This week, the much disputed ‘Cantabile Tomorrow” started airing and out of curiosity I watched the first two episodes. As a big fan of the original, I was skeptical about a Korean remake, especially since until now, Korean remakes weren’t that great in terms of acting or production.
I already talked about why I was skeptical about this version in one of my tumblr posts, the main reason for my skepticism was most definitely the humor that ‘Notame Cantabile” has and let’s be honest it’s a pure Japanese humor, so how can Koreans show us that?
Of course they can’t, however they can keep the original and at the same time show their own colors from their production culture. Luckily, the producer of ‘Cantabile Tomorrow’ did use Korean humor from what I’ve seen, but somehow I feel like it still lacks something.
When Joo Won and Shim Eun Kyung were revealed as the main cast, I still was a little iffy about it. On the other hand, I thought that Eun Kyung is one of the rare Korean actresses who can just let go of the ‘queen’ image that normally actresses have there, for her roles, so I was ready to give it a try. Yet, I wasn’t sure if Joo Won can pull it off; he is a good actor but not enough to make Chiaki. Still, after watching the first two episodes, I changed my mind, Eun Kyung lacks and Joo Won is actually good. To put it simply, I was expecting to like Eun Kyung more but I feel like Joo Won really thought about how to give life to a Korean Chiaki and not to the Japanese one, he kept the base of the original but from there Joo Won made his own version.
Joo Won’s Yoo Jin isn’t Chiaki, but I think that this is way I like him over Eun Kyung’s Nae Il. I mean Nae Il seems like she lacks emotional intelligence in the Korean version, thing that wasn’t even portrayed in the Japanese one, the main idea isn’t to make just a funny character and this is what Eun Kyung forgot – because I feel like she focused so much on making Nae Il funny and seem like Nodame, that she forgot to give her character a subtle touch of heaviness to show that Nae Il is more than a comical person.
But leaving aside Joo Won and Eun Kyung, I’m pretty disappointed with the older cast members, even though the younger ones made efforts to create the characters, the older ones look rather disinterested with their characters.
Overall, I think that none of the actors can live up to their actual potential mostly because Nodame is supposed to be more for the Japanese market, as I already said, it has a lot of Japanese humor, acting style and so on that the Koreans can’t actually re-make. For me this doesn’t feel any different than BOF, Marry Me Marry (wasn’t a remake but the style feels the same) or Mischievous Kiss.
For those complaining that people shouldn’t compare the original with the remake, sweethearts, that is a pretty hard thing not to do, every time a remake will be pulled in, remarks and comparisons will always be made between the two, it’s inevitable.
Regardless, I will still keep watching because this drama is fun, for now!