Hana Yori Dango

Title:Hana Yori Dango
Boys before Flowers
Boys for Flowers
Boys Over Flowers
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: DOI Mika
Makino Tsukushi goes to a preppy high school where the 4 richest guys, the F4, can turn the whole school against you if you cross their path...literally. The leader, Tsubasa Doumyouji, declares war against Makino, but she gives it right back to him in spades. Oddly enough, he finds himself attracted to Makino, as Makino tries to deal with her feelings for the youngest member, Hanasawa Rui...and romantic chaos ensues from there.

R1 Licensed by: Viz Media
51 TV Episodes.

There is also a Japanese live-action TV-drama series based on the manga, which is viewable (subtitled/streaming) at Mysoju.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 10 10 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:147#1393]
This one has the in crowd and the ones who aren't so in. I was watching it a couple days ago and I want to watch more episodes.

Last updated Thursday, June 24 2010. Created Thursday, June 24 2010.
Watch 7 6 6 8 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:147#1552]
Hana Yori Dango was an anime series hard for me to like. While I am a sucker for romance titles, the series delves into enough melodrama and over-the-top situations which made it difficult for me to enjoy. The whole "lower class girl in a school for the wealthy elite" storyline I've seen before from seeing a few episodes of 1991's Brother, Dear Brother. While the melodrama was nowhere as ridiculous from what I seen from Brother, Dear Brother, Hana Yori Dango still has enough developments in plot that I found unbelievable. The number of times where Tsukushi gets bullied and no one comes to her aid quickly enough just baffled me throughout this series.

Let's not forget how many of the characters have shallow enough personalities. Tsukushi's family members were pathetically shallow characters caring more about Tsukushi getting rich from attending the school than their own well-being. Enough characters, besides Tsukushi's family, lack a good amount of depth as many just fall under some 'evil' archetype whose sole purpose is to make Tsukushi's life a living hell. Even with the F4 as main characters, two of their members lack a good amount of depth as Rui and Tsubasa get all the focus. And those two characters were hard enough for me to connect with. Rui has a deadpan personality which makes it hard to care for the guy's problems. With Tsubasa's violent personality, I found it hard to believe Tsukushi would even have any interest in the guy. Sure I've seen the "opposites attract" romance storyline enough times in anime. But with how over-the-top much of HYD's story is, I just couldn't take the pairing seriously.

The only character who I could connect with throughout the series was Tsukushi. It's not too often I see strong-willed, independent girls in an anime TV series and seeing her put up with the stupidity of her family and the constant bullying was something refreshing for me. The OP and ED musical choices were of great surprise for me as well. Both featured an old-school musical beat which had me intrigued, especially as the OP animation featured the entire cast dancing in a musical.

If you can endure the melodrama and many of the shallow characters, then you might be able to appreciate Hana Yori Dango. As for me, I don't plan on watching it again anytime soon.

Last updated Friday, October 17 2008. Created Friday, October 17 2008.
Rent Stretch [series:147#628]
(All 51 Episodes watched--I swear!)

My first impressions of Hana Yori Dango were that the video has seen better days, and the BGM often seemed overdone and annoying (and I'm the sort of person who spends most of my concentration on speed-reading subtitles, and what's left on the video, to the extent that I often can't remember whether there was any music playing at all). I'm surprised that such a technique was still being used as late as 1997--it feels like 80's vintage anime. I haven't seen Marmalade Boy, but the show HYD reminded me of was Kodomo no Omocha--an out of control gang of boys is making a mess of a school, the female main character is the only one willing to stand up to them, she finds herself strangely attracted to one of them, who has a troubled past--see what I mean? 51 episodes would be quite a committment, but I took the leap and both quickly became and remained interested throughout the story. There are a couple good jokes per episode, the plot moves swiftly, and I couldn't predict where the story was going. I was surprised that relatively soon Yui dropped out of the running to be Makino's boyfriend, and it was between her and Tsukasa, who I had been sure would be the bad guy of this show. Somehow this show managed to remain intriguing and believable--again, KnO is the similar series that comes to mind. I zoomed through my rented DVDs of HyD in a couple days while those of other shows took me literally weeks to watch and return. Though it takes getting used to, the use of BGM and visual techniques is unusual and interesting--it lends a feeling of drama to the episodes. This seems to be one of the poor-girl-versus-the-rich-and-famous anime subgenre, perhaps because marrying into wealth is about the most realistic chance such a girl has of getting ahead in Japan (a more recent example would be Ouran Host Club). Makino and Tsukasa's relationship goes up and down, 'til near the end she seemed to give up altogether, and I was convinced the story would have a bittersweet ending. But I was wrong, this series boasts a superb ending, and I loved it--just goes to show how attached I'd become to the characters. I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who detected echoes of West Side Story from the OP sequence!

Does a remarkable job of remaining interesting and engaging for such a long series, and ends splendidly.

Last updated Wednesday, August 01 2007. Created Monday, March 13 2006.
Rent 6 7 9 6 7 Ileenka [series:147#669]
YO!!! It's a cool anime. I really liked it. In some ways, it is funny, and highly entertaining. The Taiwanese Drama Meteor Garden got their story from here, but much as they tried to follow this, they can't beat Hana Yori Dango, or even come close to be at par with it. And the Meteor Garden II is a whole load of crap. Anyway, over all i would give this a score of 7.5/10. it's still a shade under that score of 8 though. ^_^

Last updated Thursday, May 01 2003. Created Thursday, May 01 2003.
Buy 5 5 7 9 9 Anonymous #130 [series:147#130]
I really like this anime, being the King of Shoujo I am. But it really kills me that it seems to go back and forth and all these stupid things are happening when you know that these 2 main characters should be together *sigh*. It's a great story though. I love how she fought the school by herself :)

Last updated Thursday, January 25 2001. Created Thursday, January 25 2001.
Watch 6 5 7 8 10 9 Krisha [series:147#68]
This is one of my favorite series because it's shoujo without being overly cute.
The animation leaves something to be desired and the use of SD is terrible but I think the story makes up for the difference. The tension that the story creates with it's many twists and turns really keeps you wanting to see more and the great use of music really adds to this.
The love triangle is both humorus and sad (and stressful at times). Also the opening animation and song are really neat even though it takes a while to get used to the song, and I love both of the ending songs.
If you watch anime for the animation then I don't recomend this series, but if you watch it for plot and interesting characters then this is a really great anime.

Last updated Thursday, August 23 2001. Created Sunday, August 06 2000.
Rent 6 5 7 7 7 Bryan [series:147#14]
The second time I watched this (at least the first 12 eps) I liked it a lot better. It still has problems, but once I got over some artistic decisions, I found I enjoyed HYD. I've got to admit the number of over-stylized guys in this thing made even a Marmalade Boy fan like myself a little uneasy at times (I'm sure female fans don't mind ^_^). These would be the F4, not to be confused with the tornado damage scale, (oddly enough also created by a Japanese-American), but four seniors who terrorize their high-school -- hum, maybe there is a correlation. Being spectacularly rich they are untouchable, even by any of the teachers. They don't even wear school uniforms.

The op is really good, a sort of West Side Story like street dance with the cast going through some neat choreography in front of Brown-stones in the streets of New York. The opening song is good as well. Not great, but pretty good. The orchestral tracks which make up most of the background music are also good. It kind of has a Oniisama E feel to it.

Everything is done in metallic hues: silver, tin, cooper etc. The was a little bothersome to me, as was the lack of detail in most of the backgrounds. These elements I think really conspired to keep me from getting into the story the first time around. The second time I begin to really enjoy the sort of bipolar nature of the lead of the F4, Doumiyouji Tsukasa. He was actually a fairly complicated guy, though super-incredibly-rich characters like this still irk me.

The products and product placements were pretty bad. A little pear-shaped thing with different colored LEDs that light up when you touch it and tell your mood. And the silly, unrealistic way it was used during a confrontation between Tsukushi Makino (aka Mochicha Maki -- I like her acting!) and the rich-chick clique really gets some negative points. Makino's parents were also pretty stereotypical: the mother obsessed with getting her daughter married off to a rich guy, and the spineless father who only wants his allowance increased. Maybe they will be placed in a more sympathetic light later in the series.

I definitely found the scenes with Makino and Doumiyouji to be much better than those between her and Hanazawa Rui, the "nice" member of the F4. He was basically boring in my opinion.

All told I plan to pick up more of the fan-subs of this series. It is not my favorite shojo, but once I got over the art and the silly product endorsements, there were some really interesting characters. Did I mention that I really enjoyed Mochicha Maki's acting? Good.

Last updated Friday, July 07 2000. Created Friday, July 07 2000.

Buy Jenn-chan [series:147#31]
Was this really made AFTER Marmalade Boy? I read somewhere that it was, but I find that very hard to believe. The art style is just way too old looking to be done on purpose. This series is your basic romantic shoujo anime series. It's just one big love story, much like Marmalade Boy, but a bit more depressing. You have a poor girl Makino being turned against by literally everyone in school. They go so far was to tie her to the back of a car and drag her down the street! A little unbelieveable, don't ya think? The love story itself I find quite addicting. With most shoujo romances, you know who is probably going to end up together in the end, but there's several bumps along the way. In Marmalade Boy, you have the main romance being constantly thwarted by new characters...and just when you think they can finally be together a new character shows up and another love triangle forms. HYD doesn't use this rather redundant formula, which is why I kind of like it a tiny bit better than MB. My favorite character is Doumyouji, hands down. He's just so unperdictable! He's snobby, bratty, has a very bad temper, and doesn't miss a chance to show off his riches. Unlike Yuu from Marmalade Boy, he's not perfect, which makes him a very believeable character. Kinda violent..but believeable. You really have to be an anime soap opera fan to enjoy this because it is highly mellowdramatic.

Last updated Saturday, April 29 2000. Created Saturday, April 29 2000.

Other Sites
Hana Yori Dango http://niko-niko.net/hana/hana.html

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