It is no surprise why every J-Pop fan loves Jun Matsumoto (松本潤) — he is dashingly handsome, and is such a talented actor. Although J-Dramas are probably not as popular as Korean and Taiwanese drama series in the Philippines and other Asian countries these days, there is no denying that Jun Matsumoto or “Matsu Jun” has left a deep impression in the hearts of every Filipina in his breakthrough J-Dramas “Hanayori Dango” and “Gokusen”.
Before Matsumoto Jun became was known as a member of one of the most influential boybands in Japan (Arashi, 嵐), he was first known as Sawada Shin in the first season of Gokusen. The 18-year old Shin is the leader of class 3-D. He is cool, level-headed, smart and a bit of an introvert. He is the son of a police official. His path will cross with Yankumi’s as he punches his teacher in middle school as the teacher refuses to apologize to an innocent student whom he kept on harassing. As the story progresses, Shin will be the first one to find out about Yankumi’s true identity as a member of yakuza clan. He develops a special affection for Yankumi but he hides it with his brute and crass behaviour. He then devotes himself to saving Yankumi—the main reason why he always gets beaten and why yankumi always comes to his rescue.
First premiered in the Philippines via GMA-7, the Filipinos once again had the opportunity to see Matsumoto Jun’s acting powers as Domyouji Tsukasa in Hanayori Dango or “Boys over Flowers”. The spoiled bratty and violent Domyouji is the leader of the elite group F4 or Flower Four (other members include Nishikado Soujiro, Mimasaka Akira and Hanazawa Rui) whose paths are about to cross with his love Makino Tsukushi. The F4 are sons of the wealthiest and most powerful business tycoons in Japan and their hobby is to pick on students and bully them out of boredom until these students quit Eitoku Gakuen. The onscreen chemistry between Domyouji and Makino is the main selling point why Hanayori Dango seasons 1 and 2 has remained very popular until this day in the Philippines and many more countries so that fans still clamor for a rewind.
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