by fanitha, October 10, 2017

Remake dramas/movies are something that seems bound to continue happening, and I have had my share of watching remakes this year as well. This year I have heard they want to make two more remakes of HYD, one Japanese and one Chinese and there's also the new Japanese movie remake of Itazura na Kiss. So this trend might continue for more years to come.

That’s why I decide to make a part 2 of last year’s article original vs remake.

Now, let’s start with these 6 drama remakes:

Original: Death Note (2006)


Remake: Death Note (2015)

Death Note is a manga adaptation; the manga was published from 2003 to 2006. There is an anime adaptation as well as the American remake (which really sucked so I rather not talk about it and besides there’s already an article written about it).

The original versions are the set of movies which aired on 2006 and starred Fujiwara Tatsuya and Matsuyama Kenichi. Then 9 years after came the drama series with Kubota Masataka and Yamazaki Kento.

The drama has 11 episodes which pretty much covers all the volumes of the source material and also all the characters, though they do change an important thing which was making Light a fan of Misa.

The movies were released in the same year and focus on Light’s and L’s battle with some changes in the story in order to leave L as the sole rival of Light. There was also a sequel released last year which had nothing to do with the source material but if you are interested in this story I do recommend you to give it a try.

Verdict: Death Note movies

Story-wise the drama follows the manga more closely, but for me, the movies had better casting choices and even though they don’t cover Near and Mello’s story they work better because for many of us L was the star of the show. Matsuyama was spot on with his portrayal of L and I found his acting very convincing and really close to the source material. And the suspense factor in the movies was always present there were several turns that were really unexpected and the whole story was cohesive and well made.

Original: GTO (1998)


Remake: GTO Remake Season 1 (2012)

This one is also a manga adaptation; published from 1997 to 2002.

The plot is about a former motorcycle gang member who decides to follow his dream of becoming a teacher. He then gets hired at a high school teacher, but due to his background, he’s not the typical high school teacher. He starts getting involved with his students’ personal lives and gradually changes their point of views and helps them overcome their problems.

The 1998 version starred Sorimachi Takashi which is one of its biggest strengths, and it was also Oguri Shun’s drama debut.

The 2012 version starred Exile’s Kurosawa Ryohei, in his first leading role. There’s also a second season for this drama but with Onizuka being a teacher on a different school as season 1.

Verdict: GTO (1998)

I’ll say the original drama is the winner for me and the decision is mainly based on Onizuka. Both dramas follow almost the same plotline so the difference was focused on the performances. Sorimachi had more charm and fitted the role better than Kurosawa he made Onizuka more appealing and that’s why it was more interesting to watch his interactions with the young students and their problems.  

Original: Mars (2004)


Remake: Mars ~ Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru (2016)

Another manga adaptation; published from February 1996 to December 2000.

Mars manga is one of my favourite manga, the story is pretty strong and it touches several themes and sometimes it’s kind of dark.

The original version is the Taiwanese version which aired on 2014 and had Barbie Hsu and Vic Chou as the protagonists. It’s a pretty old version but follows the manga very closely, as almost every Taiwanese manga adaptation does.

The remake is the Japanese version aired on 2016, starring Fujigaya Taisuke and Iitoyo Marie. Honestly, the Japanese did take their time in making this manga adaptation and even when they made it they aired it really late at night and the episodes were 23 minutes episodes and not the common 45 minutes Japanese episodes. They also made a movie after the drama ended to wrap things up since the drama didn’t cover all the source material.

Verdict: Mars (2004)

Even though it’s old and some people may think it’s updated I like the Taiwanese drama better, and that’s because the story is very close to the source material. The chemistry between Barbie and Vic is amazing and their scenes are definitely steamy. The plot on the Taiwanese adaptation is also better since the characters have more layers and there’s a better understanding of why they act that way they do.

Original: 1% of anything (2003)


Remake: Something about 1% (2016)

The original story is the version aired on 2003 which was 26 episodes long. And the remake aired 13 years later with 16 episodes. The story is based on the novel of the same name written by Hyun Go-Woon, and interestingly he also wrote both scripts for the original and remake dramas.

This is a contract relationship drama where an old man decides to leave his fortune to an unknown lady who helped him once, so if his grandson wants to get his hands on the fortune he’ll have to marry that girl. So there he goes in search of the mysterious lady, when he founds her he propose to date in order to show he’s making an effort to his grandfather but with the intent to finish the relationship after a couple of months.

The original story is more on the side of a family drama since both of their families have more weight in the story and there are also secondary plotlines focusing on them. The remake is mainly focused on the OTP and the development of their relationship.

Verdict: Something about 1%

The remake for me is the winner, the story is straight to the point there’s no filler in any episode. The decision to focus only on the main couple and leave their family’s side stories out was a great decision because in return we got more lovely scenes between the OTP and some were really steamy ones. This couple has great chemistry and the story really moves fast, though that may be thanks to the 40 minutes episodes.

Original: The liar and his lover (2013)


Remake: The liar and his lover (2017)

Once again we have a manga adaptation which was published from 2009 and has yet to publish its last volume.

The original version is the Japanese movie which aired on 2013 and the remake is the Korean drama which came 4 years later

The story is about a genius songwriter, Aki/Han Kyeol who due to some coincidence meets the leading lady, Riko/So Rim. She falls in love at first sight with him not knowing he’s the famous songwriter of the band Crude Play. Riko/So Rim is a big fan of Crude Play’s music and she herself dreams of becoming a professional singer. From there on they start associating with one another and their relationship grows through their mutual connection to music.

Verdict: The liar and his lover (2017)

The Japanese version is gloomier than the Korean drama, so for me, the Korean version is better. It may be due to time constraints but the Japanese movie’s plot was kind of rushed and some characters were not developed that much, like Sorimachi’s character as the president of the music label company. I’m a huge fan of Sato Takeru and Miura Shohei and I also like Kubota Masataka and Sorimachi Takashi as actors, but I think this story would have been better if they had made a drama.

The Korean drama really develops every character’s storylines and even the president played by Lee Jung Jin gets a very interesting plot arc and development. Lee Hyun Woo was very good playing the lead male and he had chemistry with Joy. So this drama has more development on the plotline and on the characters.

Original: I’m Sorry, I love you (2004)


Remake: Gomen, Aishiteru (2017)

The original story is the Korean drama aired on 2004 after this drama they made a Thai drama remake (2016) and then the Japanese drama remake (2017). But in this article, I’ll compare only the Korean and Japanese version.

The story is about an orphan who was adopted but then thrown away by his adoptive parents. Despite this, he holds no grudge against his birth mother thinking she lived in such poverty she had to give him for adoption. Because of an incident, he ends getting shot in the head, this leaves him with 3 months to live and decides to go to his birth country to search for his mother. There he’ll find things weren’t as he thought and due to some shocking revelations he turns vengeful towards his mother.

I’m sorry I love you is one of my all-time favourites melodramas, so when I heard they were going to make a Japanese remake I got really excited about it.

Verdict: I'm sorry, I love you

The original version is way more heartbreaking compared to the Japanese one, so for me, it’s better. So the original plot is about revenge but also has a very touching love story, the plot is very good and there are some twists here and there and more revelations to come. The Japanese remake, unfortunately, couldn’t achieve the touching love story, they did try but there were times when I keep wondering why we were supposed to believe they fell in love. Also one of the strongest points of the story was the revenge plotline, which they barely touched on the remake, and that was such a shame because the Japanese people have proved to be very good at doing revenge dramas. And there they just missed the chance to do so, and also we lose one of the main reasons this story is heartbreaking. I’ve seen the K-drama twice and both times I have shed tears watching it, but with the Japanese remake not once I felt moved to tears.

Also, the Korean performances were outstanding from So Ji Sub to Im So Jung to a very young inexperienced Jung Kyung Ho and finally to an awesome Lee Hye Young.

I do think Nagase Tomoya did a great job in the remake since I think it’s the first time I have seen him doing a melodrama and taking such a serious role. As well as Sakaguchi Kentaro who did his best as a professional pianist.

So this is my opinion in the originals vs their remakes article. Thanks for reading!

Please share your opinion, have you seen any remake this year?