Hana Yori Dango


Reviewed by: lixiangqingren

July 25, 2007

Rating: four-point-five

Title: Hana Yori Dango
Also Known As: Boys Before Flowers / Boys Over Flowers
Broadcast Network: TBS
Episodes: 9
Genre: Romance
Theme Song: Wish by Arashi
Insert Song: Planetarium by Otsuka Ai

Cast

Inoue Mao as Makino Tsukushi
Matsumoto Jun as Domyouji Tsukasa
Oguri Shun as Hanazawa Rui
Matsuda Shota as Nishikado Soujiroh
Abe Tsuyoshi as Mimasaka Akira
Sato Megumi as Sanjou Sakurako
Nishihara Aki as Matsuoka Yuki
Seto Saki as Asai Yuriko
Fukada Aki as Ayuhuara Erika
Kobayashi Susumu as Makino Haruo
Tomiura Satoshi as Makino Susumu
Ishino Mako as Makino Chieko
Kaga Mariko as Domyouji Kaede
Matsushima Nanako as Domyouji Tsubaki

Synopsis

Being the only poor student at Eitoku High School, a school for the rich and privileged that is ruled by a group called F4, Tsukushi Makino is a loner. Determined to make it through her last year without drawing any attention to herself, Makino is finding it rather difficult with F4 around. F4, or Flower 4, is a group of four boys who come from extremely wealthy and powerful families.

The F4 is made up of: Domyouji Tsukasa, the leader and heir of the Domyouji World Finance Group; Hanazawa Rui, the introverted son of a large company and also Makino's crush; Nishikado Soujiroh, a player who is the heir of the tea ceremony school; and last but not least, Mimasaka Akira, a madam killer with ties to the underground. If anybody dares to get on F4's bad side, they would get a red notice posted inside their lockers. It wouldn't be long before they were bullied and driven out of the school.

Makino finally makes friends with a new student at Eitoku High, Sanjou Sakurako, who is also rich but has a kind heart. Her hopes to pass her days quietly without getting noticed are crushed when she stands up to Domyouji in defense of Sakurako. The next day, she receives the horrible red notice. Even though Makino is constantly being bullied and harrassed, she decides to keep going because she's a "tough weed". In fact, she declares war right back at F4, not before punching the legendary Domjouji Tsukasa in the face! Her courage catches the attention of her crush, Hanazawa Rui. However, Makino finds herself in deep trouble when she realizes she's falling for her worst enemy, Tsukasa.

But can the two really be together? They come from different worlds, different families, different backgrounds - and as expected, Domyouji's mother, Kaede, doesn't accept her at all.

The series is based on the Japanese shoujo manga, "Hana Yori Dango" by Kamio Yoko.

The Love-Factor
I loved Makino's character. She was so strong and so amazing. No matter what, she just kept fighting back, determined to win them over. Also, she didn't give up even after Kaede kept trying to tear her and Domyouji apart. Makino didn't take anything from anyone, and that's what I loved about her. I also loved the chemistry between Oguri Shun and Matsujun. In real life, they're great friends and Matsujun even said that if they didn't give the part to Shun, he wouldn't take the part as Domyouji. The two friends, although both of them in love with Makino, still kept the same friendship and bond they shared for so long.

The Hate-Factor
Sakurako and Kaede. One was Makino's supposed friend, and one is the 'mother' of Domyouji. Kaede was downright cruel, who would want their child to suffer like that? I hated both of them. Enough said.

Review
I haven't seen Meteor Garden, the Taiwanese version of this series. However, I don't think I would. This is because Inoue Mao, Matsujun, and Oguri Shun did a great job in this Japanese version. Their acting was absolutely marvelous and I wouldn't have it any other way. Although Japanese isn't my strongest language, I still found myself captivated by this series because it was just so well done. Mao and Matsujun had great chemistry too.

I absolutely loved this series. It's not very long so the plot doesn't really drag on. It's not too short so that everything is rushed, either. I highly recommend this drama to anyone. My Japanese is rather bad, and even I was able to enjoy it. I promise, you won't be disappointed.


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