|Step 1: Cut a hole in the box.
Step 2: Kick Mei Zuo.
Step 3: Run away funny.
Step 4: Make her open the box. And that’s the way you do it!
Shan Cai walks into class, only to see someone’s written on the chalkboard that she’s a juvenile delinquent who’s had two abortions. Naturally, she assumes Dao Ming Si wrote it, so she runs outside to try to find him. He’s sitting atop one of those pull-up bars, which is required at every college campus. When she can’t get at him, she takes her chances in front of the F3 and blurts out that she couldn’t possibly have had two abortions, because she’s a virgin. She kicks Mei Zuo for good measure before running away. Dao Ming Si smiles and believes it’s a declaration of her… “availability.”
Back in the classroom, Shan Cai encounters Baiheqianhui erasing the message and discussing how horrible it is. They sympathize with her because they are all females, after all. They admire her for being tough and invite her to an American Western-themed party (which were all the rage back then?). SC’s apprehensive about the NT$5000 ticket, but they decide to pay for her.
Shan Cai relays this news to Xiao You at work, but doesn’t think she can fit in. XY thinks they just want to be friends — after all, they are paying for her. A couple of “cute guys” walk into the shop — Mei Zuo and Hua Ze Lei. (Lol, because Mei Zuo/Akira’s character is woefully underused in all the versions I’ve seen so far, and I think this is a way to put him in more scenes because the original person is supposed to be Soujirou/Xi Men. Also, sorry, but I don’t see how this guy is a married-lady killer. Better casting, plz.) Mei Zuo, seeing her at work, calls her a “hard-working virgin.” HZL wants to buy a pretty cake, despite not liking sweets. SC wraps it up for him. HZL looks so utterly confused in this scene. Like, he blinks really hard and seems to think, “Ooh, thing with… thing?” Xiao You, seeing their interaction, teasingly asks her if that’s the guy among the F4 she thought was “different.”
|Realizing her dream working as an Annie Oakley look-alike has been crushed, Shan Cai laments forgetting her cowboy hat for the audition.|
Shan Cai decides to attend the party, but realizes she’s been had when she sees the attendees are dressed in snazzy clothing. Baiheqianhui implies she’s dumb that she didn’t know that it would be a formal party at this place (wherever it is). SC wants to leave, but they call her ungrateful, especially after they went to the trouble of inviting her so they could be friends. SC begrudingly stays, but someone hands her a plate, because she’s dressed like the servers. Baiheqianhui laugh at her again and instruct her to be careful with all these fine foods, lest she gets a stomachache. Two older businessmen approach the two and compliment on their maturity, despite being only college students. One of the men takes a liking to Shan Cai’s unique outfit and asks if she’s from Ying De as well. Baiheqianhui remark that, of course she’s different, she’s had two abortions. The two men, now served with some un!comfortable!, walk away to feast. SC finally figures out they wrote the chalkboard rumor. They claim that they’ve spent a lot of time and money on themselves to be suitable wives for men like the F4, and here she is, a commoner attracting their attention. SC decides not to run away.
|Remember when sticking stuff around your moist, vulnerable eyeballs were all the rage?|
As Baiheqianhui touch up their makeup, they comment on the old and bald guy eyeing Bai He, but she doesn’t care as long as he’s loaded — that is, until a cuter, richer guy comes along. Shan Cai decides to use this ammunition to turn the tables on them: when a man notices that Bai He is as beautiful as her name (it means Lily), SC pipes up that she’s a rotten one, and hooks her arms to Bai He’s as she stage whispers to her if that guy is her new sugar daddy. The only thing to do to a lily is to water it, so SC dumps liquid all over her. I liked it better when they poured champagne on her first. Eye and an eye and a couple of teeth and all. SC tells them to get the F4 on their own, if they want them so badly; it has nothing to do with her. She also warns them not to mess with her: she may be a weed, but weeds don’t die easily. Is there Roundup in Taiwan?
|“I’m slipping…” “Hang on a second, I have to pick my ear…”|
Hua Ze Lei finally receives notice that Teng Tang Jing is returning and is so happy he skips to my Lou. Shan Cai sees he has returned to the roof, despite his earlier proclamation. He suddenly asks her for the time difference between France, but when he realizes she doesn’t know, he smiles and tells her to forget it. In the background, Baiheqianhui are recording this on their gigantic camcorder. They decide to confront Shan Cai, tossing her a magazine cover of Teng Tang Jing. Extolling her many virtues (such as winning Miss Teen France), they finally reveal she is the woman of Hua Ze Lei’s dreams, therefore Miss Commoner has no right to try to talk to him. Obviously affected, she doesn’t return their barbs and doesn’t notice Bai He push her until it’s too late — right into Dao Ming Si. He informs them that only he is allowed to bully her, and threatens them with red tags. They apologize, scurrying away. DMS softly asks her if she’s all right, but she pushes him back, blaming him for her troubles. He claims he came here specifically to save her, but she retorts that she never asked him to. When asked if there is a more perfect man that he, SC lists all the things she hates about him (including his shifty eyes and idiocy), then adds that he’s the type of guy people hate in psych tests. Ugh, I really hate the upcoming part. I did like it that DMS muttered to himself before the break, “Am I really that unlikeable?”
|Pretty and emo|
So Dao Ming Si goes home, and after a quick dip (or five hours, who knows), sits around and has his servants take down his answers for these “psych tests”. Also, I’m pretty sure he’s drinking Chardonnay. Anyway, the results prove Shan Cai right, but there is some advice: be more friendly and wear more approachable, cuter clothing.
The next day, Xi Men and Mei Zuo invites the “hard-working virgin” for a drink. They discuss HZL’s current weird behavior, which must be the result of Jing’s impending return. When Shan Cai asks about their relationship, they describe Jing as HZL’s first love. They thought HZL was “autistic” as a boy because he would always sit in a corner while the others were having fun. He would also throw up and cry for no reason. Jing, three years older, took him away and when they returned, he was always smiling. As they marvel at how much Jing helped HZL, SC VOs that it feels like something hit her upside the head. Later that evening, she runs into HZL staring at a poster of Teng Tang Jing as he receives a text from her. He’s so happy that instead of skipping, he kisses SC’s cheek.
|Teng Tang Jing knows you can’t handle this (The Chinese text says, “Yes, I know.” I know, right?)|
|Jing: “That shit is ridonkulous.”|
Dao Ming Si comes to school with straight hair, wearing an Astroboy shirt. Before the F3 can make fun of him, Hua Ze Lei receives a call from Jing and they rush over to meet her. Shan Cai happens to be around for the reunion of the only female member of the F4 with the guys. They decide to go out for drinks, but insist on DMS changing clothes first. As they drink, they catch up: Xi Men and Mei Zuo are still playas, but DMS’s sister has moved abroad since her marriage. Jing thinks he must miss her, since they were so close, but MZ pipes up that a similar woman, Shan Cai, has taken care of that problem. DMS steadfastly denies it while XM asks a sullen Lei if he isn’t happy Jing’s returned. They think he’s in one of his “moods” again, but HZL says, “I’m not!” Holy crap! I can hear his voice! Lei is upset because he thinks those adverts of Jing are too revealing. Jing is glad he’s worried about her like that and gives him a kiss on the forehead. It appears like they made Jing a tad more reciprocatory in the “relationship”… in the manga, when it seems like she’s doting on Rui, she literally turns around and gives the same attention to the other three.
Shan Cai can’t bring herself to eat dinner, so her dad steals her fish! Hah. As her mom tries to scold him, he says kids today don’t realize how good they have it — when he was younger, he had to sell his blood for money. While her mom’s vying for half of the fish, SC VOs that she can’t compare to Jing (you know, since Jing’s dad’s a CEO and her dad sells his blood), and that she should just avoid the F4 from now on.
At Ying De, an old classmate of Shan Cai’s pops up, Qing He, who is now rich after his father sold his land. Remembering her red tag, she thinks maybe they shouldn’t hang out, but QH whines that she’s always helped him out before, so she acquiesces. In awe of his new surroundings, he wonders aloud if the F4 are celebrities. What would automatically make you think that, Qing He? It’s not like they are wearing starkly different clothes from you or walk any differently, except that they always travel as a gaggle. SC warns him to stay away from them if he wants a normal school career. Also, I’m starting to remember why Vanness Wu (Mei Zuo) pisses me off. His mannerisms make me want to clobber him with a credenza. Dao Ming Si spies with his jealous eye them having lunch, by the by. QH discovers a red tag in his locker, thinking it’s a welcome card for transfer students. I guess the words “You’ll Be Dead” really threw him off.
|Director: “No… run funnier! FUNNIER!”|
Shan Cai runs up to Dao Ming Si as he’s hitting baseballs by himself. (Kind of sad. The pathetic kind.) She asks why Qing He, someone he doesn’t even know, received a red slip, but he only claims that it’s her fault. She orders him to take back the notice, but he ignores her command and pushes her away. She falls, yelling at him for doing that to a girl. WTF???? In the manga, he slapped her! I think DMS’s pussification is complete. Next comes the whipped part, physically manifested by the straightened hair that stays straight forever and true, but that’s not till a bit later. SC hits him back and he asks if she’s actually siding with the nouveau-riche twerp. She confirms it as they stare at each other with the intent of a thousand lasers.
|Pineapple Head vs. Funny Runner… Ready? FIGHT!|
|Unconvincing judo kick!|
Shan Cai unconvincingly kicks away Qing He’s tormentors and they run away from another approaching herd. Meanwhile, the F4 and Jing hang out in the cafeteria. An old classmate of Jing’s approaches them and assumes Hua Ze Lei is her boyfriend, but she quickly dispels that notion, insisting they have a more sibling relationship. Mei Zuo and Xi Men try to change the subject to vacationing in Hawaii when they see Lei looking forlorn, but the guy doesn’t get the hint and goes on that only one of the F4 is worthy enough for her, and concludes it’s Dao Ming Si. You know, I can barely hear the guy, I don’t know why they are looking so pissed. You’d think he was singing in a deep baritone voice complete with Broadway musical choreography or something. DMS holds up one of his red tags and the guy finally leaves.
Shan Cai’s and Qing He’s running from the student body finally leads them to the F4 and Jing. Seeing them being doused in water, Hua Ze Lei finally says, “Enough!” but of course, we can barely hear him. The bullies run off, and Dao Ming Si asks if he knows what he’s doing. HZL responds that he should know when to stop, but DMS believes he helped her because Lei likes her. He doesn’t respond, which means “yes” in DMS’s book, and breaks up with Lei. Mei Zuo stays with HZL while Xi Men goes after DMS, who has stormed off. Jing offers to help Shan Cai clean up.
In the ladies’ room, Shan Cai admires Teng Tang Jing’s beauty, in disbelief that they are the same species. Jing says she mustn’t think badly of the F4, it’s just that they can go a little too far sometimes. Then she claims she had never seen an outburst from Lei like that before and wonders if he really likes SC, who quickly replies that Lei likes Jing. The older woman admits she has a feeling Lei will leave her one day, but then goes right back to helping SC clean up. When commented on her beautiful shoes, Jing recounts a saying she heard in France — beautiful shoes will take you to beautiful places. So, can we get a shot of these mystical shoes??? No? Then what was the point, except it being a manga line?
Shan Cai goes to the roof to thank Hua Ze Lei. She lingers, thinking to herself why he would put his friendship on the line to help her. HZL says she can stay if she’d like. Now we see Dao Ming Si sitting in his Jacuzzi, thinking back on what transpired between him and Lei. Ugggghh at least in the J-drama, we see emo Doumyouji beating up some suckas!! What about here? He just relaxes!! SC and HZL have spent the whole night on the roof together. As he stares at his phone, she wonders if HZL is always waiting for Jing’s call. (Yes, Shan Cai, he does. It’s really sad, but that’s neither here nor there.) He notices it’s nearly daybreak, and lights up some fireworks. He explains to SC that a friend once told him that angels/spirits go see God before sunrise, and that fireworks will catch their attention, making it easier for your wish to come true. He then closes his eyes and silently wishes for something. (For some reason, I am thinking, “Are you there, God? It’s me, Hua Ze Lei. Why don’t I have my period? All the other little boys are bleeding out of their ass except me.”) Guess they’re really trying to live up to the “Meteor Garden” translation, which I’m still befuddled by.
The next day, Qing He greets Shan Cai camouflaged as… I’m not sure. You take a gander. He confesses yesterday was really exciting, which is why he dressed that way. He notices SC discomfort, but goes ahead and asks if she’s going on the Hawaiian spring break vacation the school’s offering, which, of course, she can’t afford. QH then invites her on a cruise around the island, but it falls on deaf ears because she faints.
Down with a fever, her mom cooks her some porridge, of which her father sneaks a spoonful. When admonished, he blurts out that he’s not a rabbit and he’s sick of eating carrots, heh. Her mom tells Shan Cai that if the pressure is really too much, she can quit Ying De… because marrying Qing He would be a much quicker route to wealth; she tries to ignore her mother. Back at school, Dao Ming Si finds out that Shan Cai’s sick. We can almost see an idea form in his head.