Hana Yori Dango Final


Reviewed by: sukting

September 22, 2010

Rating: two-point-five

How long
2 hours

Foreword
This is the last chapter of the Hana Yori Dango trilogy in Japan. How does it fair as compared to the other pre-sequals?

Story

Tsukasa Dōmyōji (Jun Matsumoto) and Tsukushi Makino (Mao Inoue) are in a sports car. He is now the CEO of Domyoji Holdings. They are now at the Nevada desert enjoying their pre-honeymoon as it seems to us. But in reality, they are searching for something important.

Weeks earlier, Tsukasa makes a public declaration that he is engaged to Tsukushi. That is a very funny one as he tells the reporters that he is going to marry her due to her ‘merries’ – in reality, her merits. The reporters laugh when his Japanese hasn’t improved. He even gives an ugly photo of her eating noodles to the press. Tsukushi has a shock of her life when seeing all screens showing her in an electrical shop.

This offends Tsukushi and she confronts him. The photo is chosen by F3. Rui Hanazawa (Shun Oguri) has claimd that this photo will stop other men from wooing her. Sōjirō Nishikado (Shota Matsuda) claims the photo to be very normal. Akira Mimasaka (Tsuyoshi Abe) insists that it has the oriental look.

Seeing her so uptight, Tsukasa wonders if she hasn’t gotten over Rui. Tsukushi denies and protests against this. She is still unprepared to be his bride. Her family has been harrassed by reporters since then with the addition of her female friends providing scoops of news to the press. Meanwhile, an old man (Kinya Kitaoji) is listening to the news while slicing a fish.

Tsukushi’s parents meet with Kaede Dōmyōji (Mariko Kaga), Tsukasa’s mother, to talk about the engagement. Kaede gets Tsukushi "Smile of Venus", a tiara which provides neverending love to the couple. It is the combination of America’s hope, Hong Kong’s tears and South Sea’s love. Tsukushi’s mother can detect that she is still hesitant over the wedding.

Upon accepting it, Tsukushi and her family live at Hotel Volver. Soon, they leave her and Tsukasa to enjoy their personal moments together. They nearly kiss when a masked man crashed through the hotel window to snatch the tiara before getting away. The two run after the thief (Shingo Tsurumi) but he vanishes into thin air through a helicopter from the rooftop.

They return to their room and discovers that the broken window is replaced. The hotel staff insists that nothing has happened, even though the commotion can be heard earlier. So Tsukasa also plays along with them, thinking that the hotel has linked with the thief. After some checking, Tsukasa's housekeeper Nishida (David Itō) informs Tsukasa that the thief may be in Las Vegas.

Tsukasa and Tsukushi secretly plan their trip as they want to get the tiara back without others knowing. Rui talks with Shizuka Tōdō (Mayumi Sada) over the phone just before her wedding ceremony. She asks him if he will inherit his family fortune but he replies that he isn’t ready for such commitment yet. He has to move on with life, including forgetting her. He sighs as he actually wants to congratulate her in person.

Tsukasa appears unexpectedly to tell Rui that he will take care of everything up in case something happens to him. Rui asks him why he doesn’t alert Sōjirō or Akira Mimasaka. Tsukasa knows that Sojiro is too busy attending lessons and giving tea ceremonies. As for Akira, he just takes over his father’s underworld business to face assassinations in Hong Kong right now. So he doesn’t wish to bother them. Rui is very free for now so he wants to get his help.

The two finally arrive in Las Vegas. This is where Nishida has the last inofrmation on where the thief may be at. They check into a cheap motel before going to a casino. Nishita has wanted them to keep a low profile so Tsukushi promises to be frugal. He feeds her with two burgers upon seeing her so hungry. He doesn’t mind her growing fat as he likes everything on her.

They have no idea that their photos are all over the magazines even in the U.S. On the way, they meet Shigeru Okawahara (Natsuki Katō) and have dinner with her. During dinner, Shigeru relates that she is seeing Kazu Kaburagi (Naohito Fujiki), the son of a large scale company that owns Hotel Volver.

Tsukasa wants to question Kaburagi, but Kaburagi is asked to pretend ignorance of the theft to get USD5 million in his account. Kaburagi maintains that he does not know who the thief is. Tsukasa gets a call from Akira. The tiara is going on auction on the black market in Hong Kong. The two decide to fly to Hong Kong. Kaburagi offers to help them by offering the money. Tsukushi is very grateful to him.

Kaburagi urges her to think over her wedding as she is only 22. What if she finds a more suitable person than Tsukasa after marriage? Tsukushi finds him very mature while Tsukasa gets jealous over this, thinking that she is flirting with Kaburagi. Tsukushi gets so mad that she sleeps on the shelf while giving the bed to him for the night. Tsukasa is troubled as he can’t get money from his company as others will question.

The two return to the casino and begin to gamble the money to pay Kuburagi back. Tsukasa is impulsive to do showhand while Tsukushi tries in vain to stop him. Just as the roulette is spinning, the two find the thief there. Tsukasa chases after him by jumping on and over the table. The ball gets into just one slot from the winning space. The thief gets away away and Tsukushi is thrown out the casino for refusing to hand over the chips. The dealers seize the chips from her.

The rest of F4 arrive after getting Tsukushi’s distressed call to meet with them. Sure enough, she bursts into tears as it is tough indeed to get along with Tsukasa. Tsukasa gets mad again when Rui touches Tsukushi’s head to console her. F3 do not envy them for getting married soon. They arrive in Hong Kong in a private plane for the auction. They are prepared to pay for them. This jet is their wedding gift to the couple.

All go to the auction venue and sees Kaburagi there. Tsukasa wants to question him but Tsukushi thinks he is not connected to this. The old man is also there when the thief informs him that F4 are here. The auction begins and the price flies to USD6 million. Tsukasa thanks his pals for their help.

They finally win the tiara back but Tsukushi isn’t that happy. She sighs at the rooftop. Kaburagi comes and gives her his namecard. Suddenly, Tsukushi sees the thief and runs after him in vain. She also observes that Rui talking to the tiara's thief. Rui denies and she also detects that F3 do not seem to be eager to hunt the thief down. She tells Tsukasa about it, but he does not believe her.

She nearly asks Rui about it but Tsukasa stops her. They get into a fight and Tsukasa vents his anger on his pals. He also suppresses his urge to ask Rui although he also has doubts about him. Both have drinks on the deck on the ship instead.

Tsukushi goes to have dinner with Kaburagi by the roadside. He recalls how his first marriage fails. He and his ex-wife never include each other in their future plans. He is in Hong Kong as Shigeru urges him to help the couple as much as he can. Tsukushi is grateful to him and tells him to cherish Shigeru. (From what I see, he isn’t helping much as the price keeps going up but he does nothing.)

The next day, Tsukasa asks her where she goes but she doesn’t answer. She asks him what his future plan is. Still, they take the same plane, intending to return home. A flight attendant serves them spiked champagne. In the midst of answering, the two pass out and the thief comes back to steal back the tiara.

The two end up on an deserted island and have to live there while waiting for help. They soon become aware that their wild goose chase around the world is similar to the story behind the "Smile of Venus". Both struggle to live on the island. Tsukushi becomes weak, blaming herself for agreeing to marry him. Tsukasa gets pissed off – he knows very well that she is the only one for him.

She remains in low spirits till she comes face to face with a bear alone. Being the strong-willed weed again, she chases it away. In the process, she loses her saturn necklace and can’t find it although she searches for it the whole night. Tsukasa comes for her and she is very apologetic for losing the important item. But she is most important to him, not it as he carries her on his back.

Tsukasa climbs up a tree the next day, wanting to get bird eggs for brreakfast. He discovers the necklace and returns it to her. She is overjoyed and he doesn’t want her to be dejected so easily again. Just as Tsukushi is about to answer Tsukasa's question to what her dream is, a helicopter arrives to pick them off the island and move on to the final step.

They trap the man whom they see at the Hong Kong auction. Tsukasa nearly punches the old man but he is not his match. Tsukasa then tosses the tiara into a pond upon seeing it – they do not need this to prove their love. Tsukushi nearly tears her hair. The old man reveals that there is never a "Smile of Venus" at all. It is just an imitation. Tsukasa yells that the old man, in order to put them through the test, nearly tear them apart instead. The old man still thinks that they have not gone through suffering enough.

The old man discloses that everything they go through is a plan by their parents to ensure that their marriage will really make Tsukushi happy. The thief is actually his faithful bodyguard to send them roaming round the world. Kaede has approached him for help. These two do not know the joys and hardships of marriage.

Tsukushi’s parents kneel in front of Tsukasa to beg for his forgiveness but he helps them up instead as he is glad for her for having caring parents.

Everyone have a part in it, including F3. Tsukasa pretends to want to punch the man when he walks out but later praises him for throwing his blows well. The past moment when Tsukushi sees Rui meeting the man is due to him recovering the money from the casino for Rui. F3 apologise to Tsukasa for making him suffer as they learn it from Rui to conspire together but he dismisses it. They are his best friends after all. Before hugging the two, Kaede thanks the old man personally. It seems that they are ex-lovers.

F3 gives the two with a "F4-produced" wedding ceremony at the Yebisu Garden Place, where they finally marry. Rui even becomes the priest to officiate the wedding. All of them give the couple their wishes. Tsukasa hugs her and carries her in the air after sharing a kiss with her.

One year later, Sōjirō is at a signing event after releasing a book but flees from a mad fan who stalks him thrice. Akira is holding a meeting with his underworld subordinates. He wants them to go straight to do good deeds as they sit at an extraordinary long table. Rui has finally moved on as he puts a photo of Tsukushi and F4 on his window sill.

Tsukasa and Tsukushi are on the very same uninhabited island. As they write "Love" on the beach, Tsukasa asks Tsukushi what her dream is. She places her hand over her stomach and says that it has come true (her dream is to have a child). Overwhelmed by the news, Tsukasa quickly listens to her stomach.

Interesting facts

In 2007, TBS indicated that the Hana Yori Dango would end with a film. The original manga writer, Yoko Kamio helped Mikio Satake (the pen name of actor Takayuki Takuma) with the screen writing. Mao Inoue and Jun Matsumoto went to Hong Kong and Las Vegas to shoot the movie. Although shooting was tight, the two did not mind as they enjoyed the sceneries in both places.

Shota Matsuda was nominated for best newcomer award for 3rd Asian Film Awards and Nikkan Sports Film Award. He won the latter and was overjoyed.

Conclusion

I have not liked this version of Hana Yori Dango as the actors are not tall enough. Acting wise, they are passable to be as childish as in the manga but Shun Oguri irritates me with his unncessary grins. Moreover, his face looks too chubby to be Rui. Rui is supposed to look moody but he looks so cheerful. They don’t look like 22 year olds to me – still far too young as teenagers.

I go for the old movie version of Rui - Naohito Fujiki instead! He is not just strikingly dashing but he also has an air of sadness around him. Everyone can melt under his graze in a matter of seconds. Thus, we can’t blame Tsukushi for comparing him with Tsukasa. So cool, levelheaded, dashing and attractive. Even though he only plays a supporting role, his presence is so distinctively felt throughout the movie.

The story sucks!! I hate Tsukushi to be so indecisive and insecure all the time but luckily Tsukasa is firm even after so many tests. He matures but she doesn’t seem to. I detest seeing a whining Tsukushi all the time. Must they go through all the squabbling and trouble to know who important love is to one another? Are they conned so easily? Must they spend such a long time on that deserted island?!

What is the bear there for? It is crazy to see them on a wild goose chase for close to 30 min. Poor Tsukasa has to do the hunting nearly non-stop. Don’t tell me the others never check out the island to make sure that it is really safe for them to stay? Plus – where is Tsubaki and their father? How can they invite everyone but they are absent for the wedding?! Kaede also suddenly becomes so soft – I really can’t accept this – do you notice that she has tears in her eyes almost at all times?

Those who read the manga before will find this deserted island part close to it. I will prefer them to be kidnapped to suffer in a locked-up room. I can’t believe this plot is written by the famous scriptwriters. It is neither here or there. This final proves to be far from a grand finale but those who wish to admire the scenery will defintiely not be disappointed. Nevertheless, it is unable to save a watery and shallow plot.

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : **1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : ** (Scale of 5)


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