The Japanese manga "Hana Yori Dango" by Yoko Kamio has so far been made into a Japanese feature film, the Taiwanese "Meteor Garden" dramas, Korea's "Boys Over Flowers" and the Japanese "Hana Yori Dango" series. All of the series have been wildly successful, launching the careers of the actors who starred in them.
It's a Cinderella story, in which a tough but likable heroine defends others and takes a stand. The poor girl meets a rich arrogant guy, stands up to his threats when no one else will and in return he falls in love with her. It must strike a chord with women because "Hana Yori Dango "is the best selling shojo manga or girl comic of all time.
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That may be why one company is trying to raise money to produce an American version. A company known as Wazego Collective is attempting to raise funds through the Kickstarter online fundraising program and hopes to air their series later this year on Roku.
They are looking for funding of up to $250,000 that will go toward casting actors, paying for permits, locations and editing. They already have a crew and the promise of investment funds if they can raise the outside capital. They also have a script, casting dates and half their locations.
According to the collective site, "The series is a gripping, funny and unique romantic comedy series that shows that girls can't be pushed around. It delivers a positive message and needs to be shared with the American audience."
The collective describes itself as manga and drama fans and promises to do a faithful job. They do not plan to cast any big stars in the series and will only use rookie actors.
"We promise to do it properly without the common Hollywood thread of changing everything about a series to suit Hollywood instead of the current fan base."
The Kickstarter fundraising project will only continue if they can raise $100,000 by a certain day.
Netizens responded to the idea of an Americanized "Boys Over Flowers" with mixed feelings. One netizen said she watched kdramas because they were so innocent and worried that in attempting to Americanize the show, the story would lose that innocence.
For many fans who have seen all the versions, the Korean version was the best adaptation and no matter how careful the collective is to minimize changes, Americanizing the drama would mean there was no kimchi and no piggyback rides. That would be sad. On the other hand, the show does deliver a positive message that girls of all cultures might benefit from.
The collective has less than a week to raise the money. So far they are nowhere close.
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