Second-Lead-Syndrome: As always am I limiting my point of view to Asian dramas and movies – and these are FULL of great examples for the Second-Lead-Syndrome which can basically happen in three ways…
The pitiful little puppy~ Gah, this is the most awful Second-Somewhat-Syndrome I can think of! A drama with such a character usually entertains one of those tiring triangle-love-twists I dearly hate and avoid at all costs. Why? Because I know myself and in 9 of 10 cases I’m SO going to get the Second-Lead-Syndrome that watching this drama actually starts to frustrate me. Let me explain: The main guy in such a story is most of the times a total jerk, rich, arrogant and just disgusting. Our main female lead is not only being insulted and exposed by him but sometimes also put in danger and misery. That guy hates her and she definitely hates him, too. At this time the second lead appears: A gentle, handsome and nice man who could be the best friend of the main lead or a childhood friend of the girl. Either way he’s the one who treats her like a princess to begin with; he loves her from the bottom of his heart, supports her in every way possible, is always running over whenever she calls him and tries to protect her from every evil in this world.
It’s pretty easy to fall for a guy like him because (a) you know from the start that he won’t get the girl which’s why you already pity him precautionary, (b) he’s too perfect to be true and (c) he can’t tell anyone what’s wrong so’s hurting all alone and by himself… which’s why you feel like you’re obliged to sympathize with him.
Second lead guys like that are usually pushed into the drama-world-hell called “friend zone” and will never escape this damned place. I always cry for them… inwardly, of course. 😉
Drama: You’re Beautiful/ Second lead: Jung Yong Hwa (CN Blue) as “Kang Shin Woo”. Just look at his eyes! Gaah!! I cried rivers for this guy. Rivers!
Drama: Cinderella’s Sister/ Second lead: Ok Taecyeon (2PM) as “Han Jung Woo”. Okay, the main lead wasn’t a jerk per se… but who could resist such an adorable Ok Taecyeon right in front of you?! And he was definitly more supporting and nice than the lead guy!
Drama: Boys Before Flowers/ Second lead: Kim Hyun Joong (SS501) as “Yoon Ji Hoo”. Here we have an even bigger twist: The main girl actually really liked the second lead guy which’s mainly the reason why he fell for her. Just that later on she realized that the main jerk isn’t such a total jerk after all so… I guess she changed her mind?! I didn’t understand why, though…
The cheerful funny pal~ Oh, I love these guys! They’re great! Mostly the best friend or brother of the main leads are these guys the characters which make a story mainly as awesome as they’re. They brighten up every situation as soon as they appear, are loyal, helpful (even though a little clumsy), darn lovely and face every misfortune with a positive mindset. The problems along their way may make them fall down from time to time but (a) are they used to falling and (b) do they love their life way too much to be depressed about those small hurdles.
These people don’t poke at our compassion but happiness and bring laughter to us whenever the main story gets too dramatic. I love them! ❤
Drama: Sungkyunkwan Scandal/ Second lead: Song Joong Ki as “Gu Yong Ha”. I love this pal! He’s funny, smart and totally adorable! Plus that Flower-Boy-Face! 😀 😉
Drama: You’re Beautiful/ Third lead: Lee Hong Ki (F.T. Island) as “Jeremy”. Yeah, I know: He’s not exactly the second lead. So what? Let’s call it Third-Lead-Syndrome then. ^^
Drama: Chuno (The Slave Hunters)/ Third lead: Kim Ji Suk as “Wang Son”. The video below may be kinda bad but there aren’t any better ones since he’s neither the lead nor second lead character. He’s one of the best friends of the lead guy. I so damn love this guy! Funny and careless yet loyal and strong – the perfect companion! 😀
Hybrids~ Being both pitiful yet hilarious is this kind of second lead guy the strongest one to look at among my ranking. In many cases are they best friends with the main hero and always try to support them in every way possible even if it means that they have to ridicule them self in front of many many people.
With these guys it’s always a 50/50 chance that they’ll fall for the main girl or not. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. But the good thing is: Even if they do start to have deeper feelings for her is it not as heartbreaking as with the little-pitiful-puppy-type. Hybrids can make us feel compassion and sadness but the viewer still knows that these kind of guys are strong enough to snap out of it. Even if they fall in love are they more than capable to get over it on their own. We feel sorry for them but we know that they’ll find someone else sooner or later – because all in all are they happy people who like to laugh and have fun in life. Which makes them the best best-friends you can wish for! 😀
Drama: Hana Kimi/ Second lead: Ikuta Toma as “Nakatsu Shuichi”. Do I even need to explain? Everyone should know that guy! ❤
Drama: Playful Kiss (or “Mischievous Kiss” or “Itazura na Kiss” or “It started with a Kiss”)/ Second lead: Kim Hyun Joong as “Baek Seung Jo”. Of course I could name you every actor from every version ever made who played this character but let’s keep it short: The video below is kinda bad but I hope that everyone of you has watched at least one version of this already so you know whom I mean. 🙂
Drama: Nobuta wo Produce/ Second lead: Yamashita Tomohisa as “Kusano Akira”. I love Yamapi in this one! I mean: I always love him but especially this character is to die for! Hilarious, adorable and loyal yet somehow pitiful and definitely weird. XD (For the ones who don’t know him: Yamapi is the guy with shorter hair.)
Genre: school life, romance, comedy
Episodes: 13 + a special episode
Main actors: Oguri Shun, Ikuta Toma
Main actress: Horikita Maki
Story: Mizuki Ashiya (Horikita Maki) is a Japanese girl who originally lived in California together with her parents but decided to come back to Japan for the boy she’s in love with: Izumi Sano (Oguri Shun), a high jump star whom she only knows from TV but wants to meet by all means! Since Izumi’s attending an all-boys boarding school Mizuki needs to disguises herself as one of them and enter the school as a new student. Living together with a bunch of young guys, however, isn’t as easy as she may have thought. Besides the trouble that she mustn’t get caught while taking a shower, changing clothes or lying sick in bed there’s another problem in front of her: Nakatsu Shuichi (Ikuta Toma) falls in love with Mizuki even though he thinks she’s a boy and starts to question his own sexuality. And as if this wouldn’t be enough there are still a ton of other troubles for a student living in a boarding school such as rivalry between the dorms, festivals which need to be organized, sport events or just the ordinary madness. How is Mizuki ever going to confess in all this chaos?
Own opinion: Oh yes! My first asian drama of all times and still one of my favourites! I already loved the manga which’s undoubtedly one of the cutest things I’ve ever read but this drama’s even better!
Let me tell you that Oguri Shun, Ikuta Toma and Horikita Maki are one of the most famous actors in Japan. Sure, “Hana Kimi” was a huge help for all of them to get known by the people but their performance here really IS awesome – in a cute, funny and heartbreaking way. Horikita as the strong willed but nevertheless shy girl disguised as a boy is perfect. Since she’s small and skinny she doesn’t really has a chest either but her adorable face compensates these features – she doesn’t seem manly per se but on the other hand not female enough to be troubled over this. Definitly a good boy-aka-girl. 😉
Oguri Shun as the cold but somehow really lovely Izumi Sano is exactly as I imagined him while reading the manga. If I remember it correctly Izumi is said to be handsome but has more of an interesting face rather than a common pretty one. Oguri pulls that off perfectly! On first glance I thought he isn’t handsome at all but the more I looked at him the more I thought that he’s kind of sexy. And his huge thin body made him the perfect actor for this character.
Now to the secret hero of this drama: Nakatsu Shuichi! Really, this is the most adorable love driven guy I’ve ever seen in a drama or movie! Ikuta Toma acts so unbelievably passionate that the viewer has no other chance but to fall in love with him! His character really is the secret hero of this drama since he has a bigger fan base than Izumi Sano or any other guy involved. His funny yet romantic yet heartbreaking actions make him the audiences darling and even though everyone knows how his love for Mizuki will end they still cheer for him. He’s the one who makes the whole drama more enjoyable and interesting. Nakatsu, the viewers sweetheart. ❤
Just let me tell you this one before you start watching this: Japanese people tend to overact sometimes. They want to make their dramas as original-like as possible so they act out everything! And with everything I mean even things like getting a nosebleed, screaming directly into the camera, having hearts instead of eyes and seeing pink frames around the face of the beloved ones. 😀 But that’s what makes “Hana Kimi” so really great!
Rating: I give this one… hm… well, yeah: 10 / 10. Because they made it as good as it was possible. There couldn’t have been any more.
PS: Maybe I should mention here that there also exists a taiwanese version of “Hana Kimi”, a japanese remake and a korean one called “To the beautiful You”. I tried to watch them but for me the original japanese one’s still the best. 🙂