Friday, November 14, 2008

Maou vs. Ma Wang ( or The Devil vs. The Devil ! )


to be continued...

(sorry, i couldn't possibly continue this today!
but i will tomorrow! gomen! do come back!)

[more cool pics of the Ma Wang cast below. very stylish! =) smallest pic credit:]


i'm sorry for the delay in finishing this post!
took me longer than i expected + some things got in the way.

1st of all, here are some useful links
for anyone that wants to learn more about Ma Wang! [info] [watch it w/eng. subs] [for more info...] [info about the most popular guy f/the cast]

I actually couldn't find much info about this drama...
but it was popular in japan in 2007, even its soundtrack was very popular!
i read about that here. i think in korea it didn't get as high ratings as everyone expected, though.couldn't live up to all the hype. but i'm not very sure. in the end, maybe the ratings went's kinda surprising to me that TBS would attempt to do their own version of such a popular drama just 1 year afterwards!! what if ppl don't like it as much as the original or don't even bother watching? risky! i bet toma's mom still likes Ma Wang better la!! lol. she really loves her korean dramas! :P

u know what, i suddenly thought today...
wouldn't it be cool if there was a remake where the 2 main characters are girls and the other character who can perform psychometry is a guy?? that would be...actually somehow hard to imagine, cuz even girl bullies...i can't imagine them actually physically hurting another student...often, they just use words to hurt others emotionally...hmmm...
anyway, just something to think about. yeah~

most of the time, remakes are not as great as the original. but in this case, in my opinion, i think Maou was better than Ma Wang. mostly cuz of toma, of course! haha. of course, i'm very very biased. BUT! i really tried to be neutral and compare these 2 dramas fairly. and i'll explain why i like maou better...but first i'll just compare how similar/different these 2 dramas are.

----> NOTE: i only watched parts of episode 1 and some parts from random episodes, then parts of the last episode of Ma Wang. and also some Ma Wang MVs that fans made. SOME ARE REALLY GREAT!! [SO, PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG ABOUT ANYTHING, I DID SKIP THROUGH A LOT OF IT!!]

SO, this is what i found out...

1. just like toma said, they really followed the plot of Ma Wang very very closely!! some scenes and the ending are very very similar. for example, the scene that naoto tries to talk to yamano and yamano doesn't want to talk to him, but naoto follows him anyway, out to the street at night...that scene was almost exactly the same!! i mean, the dialogue was almost word-for-word the same. just that Gang Oh Soo (ma wang's "naoto") was not as angry/emotional/sad as naoto.

2. DID YOU NOTICE IN MAOU, THAT WE ALMOST NEVER SEE NAOTO AT HOME DURING THE ENTIRE DRAMA?? 0__0 it's like he's always at the police station or running off somewhere...yet we see naruse at home many times, either being sad or EVIL in his dark room with a bunch of cute, secretly taken naoto photos. xD I ONLY REALIZED THIS when i saw Gang Oh Soo come home in the first episode. in Ma Wang, they all live together in a mansion. but in Maou, it seems like naoto lives with his dad in a pretty big house. despite them not getting along. cuz no way he could afford to have such a nice, huge room on just a policeman's salary, right? and his brother and his wife lived in a seperate house. ma, it's not really important, but it's just something i noticed.
(11.21.08 EDIT: i was wrong! actually, seems like they DID all live together, the serizawa family, in Maou. cuz was just screencapping and i noticed it was the same house!! just that u
almost never see them together in the house at the same time, so...and probably they didn't spend much time together though they lived together, though. cuz naoto didn't seem that close with his brother and dad...but i could've sworn the outside of the house naoto went in and the outside of the house where souda saw mari and naoto's brother, were different!! anyway, so in both dramas, they do all live together!)

3. the differences in the 3 main characters. ummmm. they are very similar, except for naoto's character. but in Ma Wang, everyone is probably around 10 years older. in Ma Wang, Seo Hae In (Ma Wang's "shiori")actually has a cool/creepy looking dark room where she uses the tarot cards to tell others' fortunes!! she's got a much bigger role than shiori in Maou, of course. since this drama is a lot longer than Maou, they have more time to talk about the other characters. i suppose all the supporting characters will be more developed in Ma Wang than in Maou, cuz of this. but from what little i saw, the supporting characters like naoto's brother, dad, and yamano are almost exactly the same! their basic image, personality, mannerisms, etc.

Gang Oh Soo (ma wang's "naoto") is a lot tougher and more mature/calm than naoto. well, the actor that plays him is older than toma and looks a lot tougher than toma. he really acts like a gangster, very short-tempered and i know i'm being repetitive, but he just IS A TOUGH GUY that you don't want to mess with. haha. i couldn't find much MVs about him, but he seems a lot more cool than naoto, that is he doesn't often get as emotional or cry as much...but when he does get angry or does cry, he's really very great in those scenes!

Joo Ji Hoon plays Oh Seung Ha (Ma Wang's "naruse"). and he's the most popular out of the cast! he was a model before. he's a handsome guy, obviously, but he's also a really great actor! just that sometimes his icy stare is so dead/robot-like, it's creepy. but he can also look very sensitive/fragile/shy/like a really kind and sweet guy!! also, he seems more out-going than ohno's naruse...

it's pretty cool how they made the evil guy more handsome AND younger than the good guy, who's older and looks like a bad guy that could easily beat up the other guy. hahaha. it makes it really really hard for anyone to be suspicious of Oh Seung Ha, when he seems like such a GOOD guy and he's so good-looking too! it's kinda the opposite for Maou. not that ohno is not handsome, but of course, toma is cuter! and ohno's just so TAN. it makes him look more evil. lol.

4. the love story: Ma Wang developed the love story a lot more than in Maou. of course cuz it's longer, they are able to focus on things like this more. from what i saw in the MVs, seems like the love story between those two is quite sweet!! but then i still prefer how maou did it...focus more on the revenge stuff and just a little on the love stuff. cuz would only make things sadder and more conflicting later on. and it would make it more easy for me to hate the evil guy if he doesn't have a girlfriend that cares about him. and if i don't see his happy/kind side too much.

5. the length: maou was 11 episodes long. ma wang was 20 ep.s long. almost twice as long. though since i was a kid, i've been watching hk dramas that are around 20-30 ep.s long, now i really love how japanese dramas can manage to make such great dramas that are about half as long! it seems like BECAUSE of their time constraint, they really try to make every moment count and they end up making better dramas cuz of that!! somehow, the pace does not seem too fast, it's just right (most of the time), and they also wrap up everything nicely at the end (which is so great to see, cuz i've been disappointed too many times by too many generic and stupid tvb drama endings!!). well, my opinion is just based on the 4 toma dramas i've watched, but i'd like to think that it applies to all japanese dramas around that same length. =) so i think of maou as a shorter, more succinct, better version of ma wang.
& i love succinctness! don't waste my time with a draggy plot, keep things nicely paced and get to the point! ....ok, so maybe they had to leave out some storylines or supporting characters, but i'm sure they kept what was most important. (i realize i have been anything BUT succinct recently, though. sorry! when it come to talking about maou, i just can't stop myself! xD )

_____________________ WARNING: SPOILERS! ______________________________

i thought it was really interesting how the ending is 80% the same, but there are some KEY differences that make me like the maou ending A LOT MORE!

(*if u don't mind, i'll just use their names from Maou, makes things easier for me, and for every1 to understand!*)

1st of all, naoto's brother doesn't die, but his dad dies from a heart attack after knowing naoto arrested his brother. he also argues with naoto before dying! i really like how it was in Maou a lot more!! cuz after his brother died, his dad actually softened up and acted like a real, caring dad. that was really so nice to see!! that his dad did change his ways before he died. and since naoto caused naruse's death, it seems right that naruse would cause naoto's brother's death. and both of them dying means that naoto has no family left, nothing left to lose. of course he'd want to kill naruse after all this!!

2ndly, yamano did not stab naruse in ma wang's ending. he was stabbed by some guy just after he left his office that night. that guy [thanks to the reviewer here for clearing this up:] turns out to be the son of naruse's first victim (the lawyer)! this is ironic and a surprising twist! that naruse, obsessed with revenge, is finally killed by a guy who wants to revenge for his dad, who naruse killed. i think it was better that yamano stab naruse, cuz he got stabbed because he was trying to save kasai! and after all, it was yamano's knife that got hideo killed and started all now it's his knife again that kills naruse and puts an end to everything!

3rd, i'm not sure in Ma Wang, if naruse left shiori anything besides the music box with a ring inside. seems like he didn't?? i liked it better, how in Maou, they have her running to try to save him, as what he said in the letter (so touching!!) is read. in ma wang, she took a taxi. also, i liked it better that in maou, naruse walked to their last meeting place after being stabbed, unlike in ma wang, where he actually drove there. it's just more dramatic and sad if they are walking/running than if they're in a car, u know?

4th, naoto seemed too calm for a guy whose dad just died (but i guess for this version of naoto, it's expected that he acts this way??), and he knew that naruse wanted him to kill him. and he just seemed too calm about it all, as he talked to naruse almost as if he was a therapist or a police mediator!! he gave up the idea of shooting naruse almost immediately, too! no real hesitation... he was almost like a motivational speaker in that moment....he can't be that optimistic and so "i wanna live no matter how horrible my life is"!! it doesn't seem right...i don't like how they made him so level-headed and sensible right then.

and after all that, they just ended with shiori looking at their lifeless bodies. =( TOO SAD!! i would have lost my mind if maou's ending was like that!! after all the sadness they put us through, they've gotta try to cheer us up a little afterwards!

i like the maou ending SOOOOO much more!! (though watching the ma wang ending also got me teary-eyed, especially when naruse was hugging naoto and crying so hard!!)
in Maou, naoto was really struggling and conflicted with the idea of shooting and killing naruse!! that was such a touching moment, to see naoto still really doesn't wanna kill him!! and naruse really trying to convince him to shoot him and let him return to his real self!! i really liked the more emotional and touching dialogue in this scene compared to ma wang's!! it was much more of a struggle and a lot more tragic for them in maou than in ma wang. AND after he was shot, naoto gesturing for him not to call the ambulance, saying it's better if he had just killed him from the start!!! that's what made me more sad, but it shows how great a guy naoto is, even THEN, he can say that and he does want to die to really make up for what he did!! =( and seeing that harmonica in naoto's hand at the end is a lot better than seeing it in naruse's hand (in ma wang). it shows he really has completely forgiven naoto, this way!!

__________________________ *END OF SPOILERS* ________________________


(*if u don't mind, i'll just use their names from Maou, makes things easier for me, and for every1 to understand!*)

MAOU VS. MA WANG in these categories:

-poster: this is ma wang's main poster, though i posted the cooler looking one at the start of the post. it looks somewhat old-fashioned/typical and boring to me. i also don't like the faded colors! i like Maou's poster more! it's scary, very unique, and really brings out the MAOU theme!

-soundtrack: hands down, the Maou OST wins!! i love all the tragic and scary/exciting music of Maou! and the sad instrumentals really bring out the mood of this sad drama so well!!! just listening to the OST now still makes me wanna cry!

-opening sequence: both are very cool, but i like Ma Wang's more! it's really very intense and stylized!

-ending: of course, i like MAOU'S better!! ma wang's was good, but MAOU'S is brilliant! for all the reasons i said in the spoilers above.

-naoto and naruse: this is a tough one, all 4 of them are really talented actors who bring out the feelings of these 2 broken men full of regret and sadness. i think it's a TIE! a draw. truly. although, i like the way toma portrayed this character more. he's more emotional and not as tough as ma wang's version, but it makes u feel sorry for him more and makes him more...human...u can relate to him more. and shiori...she seems pretty much the same in both dramas.

-crying scenes: because toma cries in such a genuine and sad way that makes u want to cry too, Maou wins for this one! and he manages to still look so cute when he's crying too. =) ohno and the actress playing shiori R also great at crying! the ma wang cast also had a lot of sad crying scenes, though. especially Joo Ji Hoon!!!!!

-costumes: the clothes for the guys of ma wang look more stylish and varied. at least their naoto doesn't have to wear tanktops all the time! haha. sometimes, i'd get so bored with seeing toma and naruse wear basically the same thing all the time. but for the girls...though i don't like how both of them dress in general, maou's shiori's clothes is better! but ma wang still wins for this, since it's 2 out of 3 that's better.

-art direction/editing/directing: i think art direction is the way they film something (like the angles, how they transition, whatever...)? it's probably a tie for all three categories. both dramas seem really great with all this stuff!

-which cast is more good-looking?: well, in a beauty contest, of course TOMA HAS TO WIN!! haha. toma is definitely more handsome than ma wang's naoto, but ma wang's naruse is more handsome than ohno. but maou's shiori and most of the supporting cast are more good-looking than ma wang's. SO MAOU WINS AGAIN! (:

so~ count up the points above. MAOU 5, MA WANG 2.
and~ any drama with toma in it gets an additional 100 points,
so MAOU WINS!! 105 to 2. lol~
hey, it's my blog. i make the rules here!!



............................ Ma Wang's OST:

[i like The Devil track (which is used in the opening theme) best! a lot of the instrumental music is nice...but there are a lot related to the love story, and some songs sound a little out of place for such a sad drama! yappari i like the Maou OST more ne.]

....................... some Ma Wang video clips:
[MA Wang The Devil Opening Credits / i love it! really cool, intense!!]
[魔王MV-hear me/ another MV about Ju Ji Hoon with some of his best sad/happy/intense moments. there R no spoilers if u don't understand korean!]
[awesome MV about Ju Ji Hoon, the evil guy in Ma Wang. handsome guy, huh? =) TO AVOID SPOILERS, STOP WATCHING AT AROUND the 3 minute mark!!]
[畏缩不前(魔王预告片)-마왕 BY:支支/ the song is too relaxed to go with this MV! but it's still a pretty good MV and it's got a lot of great, intense scenes about the 2 main characters. there R no spoilers IF u don't understand korean or u can't read chinese. cuz there are clips of them talking and there R chinese subtitles at the bottom! *I REALLY LOVE THAT COOL SHOT OF HIM STANDING ON TOP OF A BUILDING LOOKING DOWN AT THE CITY AT NIGHT!!! sugoi!!]
[魔王 MV -promise/ about the sweet love story between Ju Ji Hoon & the female lead]
[some sad or happy moments where u see the good/happy & warm side of Ju Ji Hoon]

______________________STOP HERE! videos w/SPOILERS:
[魔王MV_I am Died/ some important/really sad scenes, focused on about Ju Ji Hoon again]
[别爱-魔王마왕 BY:支支(THE DEVIL)/ sad or tenshion-filled scenes about the GOOD GUY/BAD GUY'S struggles]
[魔王MV-心酸的爱(sarang)/ another MV about their love story, but a more sad & longer one]


ToYu said...


Sorry I´m at the wrong place,
but I know where you can watch the video where Toma visited his school(2007.10.06).

If you still need the information than let me know!

Best wishes,

ToYu (´v`)/

savvy kate said...

sugoi! ^_^
i wanna watch it!!

and u can reply here or at the chatbox i added on the right recently.


ToYu said...

You can watch it at two sites:


I hope I could help!
Have fun watching it!<3

savvy kate said...

ToYu!! hi again! =)

i'll watch it ASAP!! ~_~

ToYu said...


That´s all right!<3

Yesterday I forgot to say,
the"tudou-video" is ca.40 seconds longer than the other(->at the first/second minute of the video.A scene is missing),if you haven´t seen it(or not yet).

See you!(´0`)/

savvy kate said...

ToYu, i saw your comment be4 i watched it today. ~_~ cuz of u, i can watch the full version!

ahhhh, though i didn't understand anything they said, but it's fun to see toma happily walking around his old school again!!

bye for now! ^-^

Anonymous said...

"2ndly, yamano did not stab naruse in ma wang's ending. he was stabbed by some guy just after he left his office that night. that guy [thanks to the reviewer here for clearing this up:] turns out to be the son of naruse's first victim (the lawyer)! this is ironic and a surprising twist! that naruse, obsessed with revenge, is finally killed by a guy who wants to revenge for his dad, who naruse killed."

i don't think the stabber was the first victim's son.. i was watching one of the later episodes (16? 17? 18?) - there was a scene where the little girl's mother was sentenced by the judge and the korean Naruse walked out, and a man gave him an EXTREMELY deadly stare of hatred which the cameraman focused upon, he might be the little girl's dad / the woman's husband.

haha just my two cents worth. cheers

kate`* said...

ah, sou des ka?
thanks 4 telling me. =)

wait, so who was the woman being sentenced? was she korean version of the woman with the daughter (Sora) in maou?

Anonymous said...

Well, i think i'm biased too but i believe many will agree to me that OHNO pawned TOMA in Maou...soooory, ..but I based this by watching the drama 3x already. Ohno is way convincing than serizawa's pain.

kate`* said...

wow, really, 3 times??

ohno was also amazing in Maou, but toma's performance was still the best, to me. since we're both biased, let's just agree to disagree!