A Chinese TV station is set to produce “Meteor Shower”, a drama series suspiciously plagiarising on Japanese manga “Hana yori Dango” (花より男子).
The producers claimed that the drama is not based on the original manga; it’s true that they are changing the drama title, the names of the main leads, the name of the school, the time frame and probably some of the plots… but the whole setting (with the trademark four boys and a girl cast etc.) looks seriously dubious.
Besides, the TV station has been promoting the drama as the new “Meteor Garden” (title of the Taiwanese adaptation) for months… it’s a self confession that the drama is based on the manga in some sense. If the new drama is not related to the manga at all, the TV station is still at fault for exploiting the manga for promotion purpose.
There are a few (genuine) versions of drama adaptation of Yoko Kamio’s popular manga. Taiwanese first made Meteor Garden in 2001, followed by Japan’s “Hana yori Dango” in 2005, and Korea’s “Boys Before Flower” which is currently on air.
Both the Taiwanese (Mandarin) and Japanese dramas were critical success, while the Korean drama is red hot at the moment. The Chinese would have welcome their own edition of Hana yori Dango, but sadly they are getting some bizarre mixture which borders on plagiarism instead.
It’s not the first time Chinese TV stations are using similar tactics to ‘remake’ foreign drama series, but there are some positive signs from the public as some Chinese netizens are beginning to ditch these kind of practices.