Xiao Fei doesn't have luck with men. Every time she asks a guy out, she gets rejected. One day, she meets a man who offers to sell her anything that she desires, and just to get rid of him, Xiao Fei tells him that she wants a boyfriend. To her surprise, however, the man tells her that it's indeed possible for her to purchase a boyfriend.
I was somewhat hesitant about this one due to 1) how much I absolutely love the first (Japanese) version; 2) my dislike of dubs (and I knew they were going to do that with my beloved Goo Hye Sun, forever Jan Di ban) and lastly; 3) the change of the male actor as I don't care for the acting chops of any of the Fahrenheit boys but one can't deny that Wu Zun is the better eye candy. Moreover, with Jiro, I tend to either absolutely love or absolutely hate his character roles because there is something goofy about him that comes out even in characters that would be better "cool."
So it was with no small amount of surprise that I found myself sobbing away uncontrollably at the end of this one. Despite already knowing the ending that was coming, this version made me fall in love again to the point that I was hoping against hope that a tragedy this one was not.
Once I convinced myself that these were entirely different stories (an easy feat since they differentiated at several important plot points), it was easy enough to see that Mo-kun is the best Nighto-kun and Jiro is a pretty good Nai Te (although I did have a couple of times where I thought that Calvin or Wu Zun could have done a certain scene better). One steamy kiss scene made me forgive all flaws though ^_^ Nobody could have done THAT better!
As for the dubbing, although there were spots where I found myself thinking that Goo Hye Sun would have sounded a bit more forceful (that's how much I obsess over her body language), Chinese/Taiwanese dramas ARE veritable masters with dubbing and I wondered if the same person who dubbed the actress in Down With Love worked in this drama too. In any case, it was palatable and I noticed that they made great use of Goo Hye Sun's lovable expressiveness via just her body language and "thinking" scenes.
Finally, I honestly can't say which series was the BEST. One reason for this is that in both dramas one falls in love with, not just the story but the entire cast. If I HAD to choose, I'd probably make some weird amalgamation, taking
* Nighto-Kun, insert Nai Te's kiss;
* Xiaofei because Riiko was cute but Goo Hye Sun has got her beat in that department;
* Namikiri-San as an engineer with Lei Wu Wu as a salesman side kick while kicking the fuddy duddy alternates in both dramas to the curb;
* The kid boss with the storm troopers was just too cute;
* Xong Shi was pure awesomeness while Soshi paled in comparison as a rival;
* Jun Shu for upping both the scariness and the hotness as Robot Number 2;
* Sky & money-smarts chick from the Taiwanese version & the chubby older woman in the Japanese version as they make the perfect office mates (the only memorable ones too).
* The office bosses, evil frenemy and brothers are interchangeable and inconsequential as far as I'm concerned but needed for plot devices.
Speaking of plot, I liked it better in this version and read somewhere that this one was truer to the manga but I would have liked it even more if Xiaofei had some sort of life goal/occupation like Riiko and her baking.
Personally, I"m still a bit dissatisfied with them both in that arena though because, while I know we are trying to stay true to the manga, hasn't anyone ever heard of Bicentennial Man? Or can I at least get a Chobits ending--anime, not manga though because while there are workarounds to the no-kids thing the no sex thing in the manga is kind of a deal breaker.
And now we get to "that." What was up with "that"!?! I know that its a drama and not a movie so we weren't going to get anything hardcore but can I get the insinuation or at least one more steamy kiss!?!