Boys Over Flowers (TV Series 2005– ) Poster

(2005– )

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At Last!!
jora_dyn16 December 2005
Hana Yori Dango, a popular manga series by Kamio Yoko, has seen many incarnations. It was an anime series, a live action movie, and also a Taiwanese soap series. And now finally the Japanese have given us a 9 episode long, live action TV series.

This version.. obviously based off excellent material... wins major points for story of course. With excellent production and casting. Inoue Mao stars as the heroine Makino Tsukushi... Frankly I'm blown away by her performance. She pulls off Makino so very well and has the look down perfect. And opposite her is Matsumoto Jun from the popular band ARASHI, starring as Tsukasa Domyouji.

This series is chalk full of beautiful women, gorgeous guys, and all the drama that makes HYD so beloved. If you are a fan of Hana Yori Dango in any of it's previous forms, you will love this new retelling, a bit of a blend between the manga and the anime, but with real people....
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Be true to yourself!
bruisedlee5 February 2006
"Hana Yori Dango" (Boys Over Flowers) is quite intriguing - written and illustrated by Kamio Yoko, it started out as a manga and was made into an anime, and later brought to life as the Taiwanese live-action drama "Meteor Garden". With all its incarnations, surely there must be something about its story that strikes a chord in people's hearts.

And yes, there is. In Fall 2005, Japanese TV network TBS released its own live-action "Hana Yori Dango" series starring Inoue Mao (Kids War 3) as the strong-willed Makino Tsukushi and Matsumoto Jun (of pop group ARASHI) as the hot-tempered Domyouji Tsukasa (here, Matsumoto is a revelation as he renders a heartbreaking Domyouji). Joining the well-appointed cast is Oguri Shun (Gokusen, Great Teacher Onizuka) who takes on the role of the calm and collected Hanazawa Rui.

Makino is a student at Eitoku, an exclusive school for Tokyo's rich kids. She seems to be getting by until she gets involved with the notorious F4 (Flower 4), a group of four of the richest boys on campus, and whose members include the very irritable Domyouji and the soft-spoken Hanazawa. Challenges face Makino as she gets entangled in the world of F4, and subsequently, the affection of Domyouji and Hanazawa who are the best of friends yet are complete opposites of each other.

"Hana Yori Dango" is an excellently produced show with topnotch production design. Viewers will be transported into a world of magnificent imagery - with mansions, flashy cars and the latest fashions that spice up the screen. The characters are adequately developed and the situations that unfold will keep you at the edge of your seat. But what makes this series even more appealing is its unique combination of humor and drama that just never runs out of steam. Packed into nine satisfying episodes, "Hana Yori Dango" will give you the ride of your life. Expect emotions to run high. It will make you laugh and cry. It will make you cheer. It will capture your heart.
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Absolutely wonderful
gemtsoi20 February 2006
The production crew of Hana Yori Dango probably watched Meteor Garden, noted down all its faults, and ironed them out in this surprisingly satisfying 9-episode drama. This series is eye candy, with expensive cars, enormous mansions, restaurant-like canteens, beautiful people, branded clothes and products...highlighting the tremendous wealth of the students at Eitoku High School and especially F4, the four richest guys in Japan. The soundtrack sounds quite Stepford-Wives-ish, but is captivating and sets the mood for the show (which is very different from MG).

I admit I began watching HYD with a bit of prejudice, having been on the MG bandwagon for two years, but my attention was completely caught by the first five minutes. After that my love for it escalated all the was a vibrant, funny, heartbreaking, exciting, suspenseful show that left me wanting more and more after each episode.

Inoue Mao carried off the role as Makino Tsukushi expertly. Although I normally hate the 'kawaii' gang, I couldn't help loving her. All her expressions and actions were spot isn't so hard to understand now why Tsukasa loved her so much! Sada Mayumi and Matsushima Nanako were stunning in their roles as Shizuka and Tsubaki respectively. Oguri Shun gave a very solid performance as the quiet, deep-thinking Hanazawa Rui (though I have to confess here that I still prefer Zaizai as Hua Ze Lei).

But it was Matsumoto Jun who amazed me the most. I scarcely expected much of him after seeing his pictures (skinny and short!) but was astonished to find, after three episodes, how much I enjoyed him as Doumyouji Tsukasa. He displayed all of Tsukasa's rage, arrogance, pain, insecurity, and cuteness flawlessly. What he lacked in height and build he made up for in acting. My image of Tsukasa has forever changed from Taiwanese F4's Jerry Yan to Matsujun (an admirable feat indeed!) I am eager to watch more of his shows.

I highly, highly, highly recommend HYD to any HYD anime/manga and MG fans. It is truly an excellent series that surpassed all my expectations. I only wish there were more episodes!
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And now back to it's original form.
james_ateneo26 January 2006
Enough of the "meteoric fever", Hana Yori Dango rocks.

Meteor Garden is overly-rated and too over staged. I personally would say that Hana Yori Dango take a higher notch than it's Taiwanese counterpart.

It seems that Meteor Garden was just a test flight. Yes MG's good, I won't rule out that there are good actors and actresses there (DAO MING FENG perhaps!). But still there's something missing here.

In Hana Yori Dango, however, the actors and actress are efficient, that you could feel their presence.You would learn to hate, adore and love the characters here... That's what adds to the flavor.

I watched HYD's pilot episode and was instantly hooked. Man! the shots are good, the story's good, and their costumes are perfect... What's more to ask.
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yes, better even than the Korean Version
tamarenne3 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
First let me say that a lot of reviews here came before the second season. There were two. The first season was 9 episodes and the second season, which takes place two years later, adds another 11 episodes, for a total of 20.

Do not miss either season as both are spectacular. LIke others here, I was initially introduced to Boys over Flowers by the Korean version, made several years later, in 2009. That version is called "Kkotboda namja" and I instantly fell in love with it. I especially loved the main character of Goo Joon Pyo, (the Korean version of Doumyoui Tsukasa) played amazingly well by Min-Ho Lee. I wanted more so I got the Japanese original live action version, Hana Yori dango, and watched it.

I would never have believed that anyone could play the role of the spoiled rich boy at the heart of this story as well as Min-Ho Lee. And at first I was sure of it. The star of the Japanese version is actually too short for the role, as it is described in the original manga. But as has been reported by others, Jun Matsumoto stole my heart as the ferocious, hilarious, spoiled and yet amazingly lovable Tsukasa. He breaks your heart. I can imagine no one else in this role.

And not to be forgotten, the heartbreaking Mao Inoue in the role of his Cinderella love, Makino Tsukushi. She looks and is acted exactly as the character is originally described, and when she finally tells a dazed Tsukasa that she loves him at the end of Season 1, it will literally break your heart into a thousand pieces.

The wits and wisdom and tender romance make this the definitive version of Boys Over Flowers, for me. I never thought anything could be better than the Korean version, but for me, this, the Japanese version is tops.
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Fantastic adaptation of Hana Yori Dango
smc91917 June 2006
I came to this series with an initial prejudice after being utterly turned off by the wooden, dry acting in the Taiwanese version called Meteor Garden. Then, I happened to pick up a copy of Hana Yori Dango in a bookstore, and the series captivated me so much I read all 36 volumes in the course of a few days.

Hana Yori Dango then became my absolute favorite manga, and Doumyoji and Tsukushi my favorite manga characters. Matsumoto Jun and Inoue Mao do a truly fantastic job of bringing my favorite characters to life.

Jun honestly isn't the most attractive of actors, and he's a bit lacking in the height department to boot, but he has such a spark on camera that by the end of the series, I went from wondering what he was doing as uber-hottie Doumyoji to being absolutely crazy for him. As physically unsuited for Doumyoji as he is, after seeing this series I just cannot imagine anyone else as Doumyoji.

Inoue Mao is wonderfully feisty as Tsukushi, and she has great chemistry w/ Jun. In the series, she seems to spend more time doubting Doumyoji than actually developing her relationship w/ him, but that's probably more due to time constraints and writing than anything else. Still, it's a shame that there weren't more scenes of Doumyoji and Tsukushi together.

The supporting actors are great as well, and I particularly like the actors who play Nishikado and Akira. They're a great source of comic relief, and very amusing to watch.

Love, love, love this series. It's definitely piqued my interest in Japanese dramas, and Mastumoto Jun in particular. I think he's definitely my favorite Japanese actor at the moment. And he looks much better in Gokusen and Kimi wa Petto. Curly hair just isn't for him.
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Fantastic Series!
titanica503 August 2006
I discovered Hana Yori Dango and I was really stunned by it. What a wonderful series,while it was short lived,(9 episodes only), a sequel is coming in 2007 so I cant wait!I loved all of the characters specially Makino Tsukushi.What it is also great about the series is that depicts life in present day Japan and you get to see how the Japanese society deals with the concepts of love,drama, money...I really feel bad after seeing Tsukushi struggling to adapt to a higher place in society after she meet Tsukasa.And the final episode made me cry!!!!Now I am really looking forward to the sequel! Highly recommended!!!!
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It's the Better Live Version
khatz_lil_kitty15 March 2006
I first saw Meteor Garden and I liked it a lot but this Japanese Live Version is far better. Acting wise, the cast pretty much gave justification to all the characters they played. I specifically, enjoyed watching Mao Inoue and Jun Matsumoto's performance. They pretty much showed the characters as I imagined then while reading the Manga and at some parts I also would go reminiscent of the anime version. It's a perfect blend.

Jun at first seemed a bit too skinny as compared to Jerry Yan who first played the role of Tsukasa but watching from the scene when F4 was first introduced (EP1)there was a certain air about Jun that just made him a very convincing Leader of the Notorious F4.

Mao made an excellent Tsukushi. She played the HYD heroine with the right kind of spunk, which her Taiwanese counterpart, although quite good in her own way, lacked. Her interactions with both Jun and Shun were really impressive. I loved her acting and her way of ranting at Tsukasa for beating just about anyone or everyone, and, her family for making her go to a private school that they could not afford....

The Tsukushi, Rui, Shizuka love triangle was also nicely depicted with Tsukasa just waiting on the sidelines for Tsuky.

Nanako Matsushima who played Tsubaki (Tsukasa's older sister),she was hip and funky. Acting, wise she was as always, very awesome. She played the tough and yet loving sister to her affection-deprived little brother. She also shed some light to her confused and baffled love-sick kid bro.

Megumi Sato, played Sakurako very well, she was able to manage the good and the bad sides of her character. She makes a pretty nasty villain one minute and then a sweet naive friend in a quick sec.

All in all HYD is a great story to explore and this live version is considerably remarkable, given the fact that they were able to show a lot in just 9 Episodes, which basically leaves us HYD fans wanting more... I have to say they have brilliant writers whom I would have to say was able to bring the Manga and the anime into a mix of wonderful fusion. Great production, wonderful cast with a great deal of talent... what more can you ask for? well, maybe a sequel wouldn't be too much to ask, don't you think?

By the way the back ground music they used specially with scene done in the school reminded me so much of Hedwig's theme from Harry Potter.
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Heartwarming, romantic drama.
doglover4eva6 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is definitely one of my most favourite dramas. I've been a big fan of these types of dramas, anywhere from Japanese dramas to Taiwanese dramas to Korean dramas to Mainland China dramas. But, I have to honestly admit that Japanese dramas are the best. They make everything so real and the entire series is casted perfectly.

I actually first started watching Meteor Garden I (being Chinese) and I didn't like it at ALL. It was really long and it just kept going on and on, and I really did not like the main cast (Barbie - Big S, Jerry Yan, etc) The only person I did like from MG was Lei, the Chinese version of "Rui." However, I finished the entire drama by force, not really by preference.

However, my friend i introduced to me Hana Yori Dango, the Jap version. I was really intrigued, so I began watching it and fell in love with it. Everything was perfect - the music, the cast, the storyline, the fact that it didn't lag on forever. I cried during the last episode, and it was just really a great, heartwarming, romantic drama.

I'm off to see Hana Yori Dango II, from other reviews I've heard that it's really good. Knowing Meteor Garden II, I'm a bit skeptical, since in MG2 the main character (DaoMingSi) loses his entire memory...for the entire season! Honestly, that is just really screwed up. But, hearing from others, Hana Yori Dango II is actually very different, and perhaps even better than the 1st season.

If you're in store for a romantic, heartwarming series, pick Hana Yori Dango - it doesn't even matter if you can't understand, there are great subtitles that come along. (That's what I did, I don't understand a word of Jap).
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Better than the Korean version?
sunraider8 September 2011
The Korean series from 2009, "Boys Over Flowers," was my first introduction to this story. I loved it so much that I decided to also view the Japanese version that had come out a few years earlier. Now, I'm not sure which version is my favorite. Although the stories are virtually identical, there are enough differences to make this a worthy viewing even if one is already familiar with the basic plot line.

THe Korean version is more glamorous, with beautiful sets, exotic locales, incredible fashion on display, and the actors are more physically beautiful, which enhances their aura as a group of super-cool, privileged young men. But the Japanese version stands out because the heroine and main rival to the primary love interest are much more demonstrative and direct with their feelings. We feel the heartache and confusion all the characters feel as they deal with this love triangle. And, without extended back stories for the supporting characters, there's more time to devote to developing the relationship between the main characters. My advice, see both versions.
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One of the best TV shows if not the best
eassa18919 September 2011
Despite the seemingly weird name of 'Boys Over Flowers' or in Japanese 'Hana Yori Dango' this is an amazing TV show and is a must watch as this is also one on my favourite TV shows ever( and I have an amazing taste in films lol).

Everyone should watch this TV show as it has Drama, a lot of Comedy and Romance for those people who like that and tbh I liked it as well because it was so real.And there is really nothing bad about this TV show except that its really hard to remember the names of the characters cause there are lots of them.

Personally I would say everyone must watch at least the first episode and i am sure that u will be hooked as in you would love the TV show an BTW did I mention the story line is amazing because it really is amazing.

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2005 Japanese Version of Boys Over Flowers better acted than Korean version...
fprefect-685-28108422 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Hana Yori Dango (2005, Boys Over Flowers, Japanese Version) centers around a rich boy, Domyouji, who falls for poor girl, Makino, with plenty of obstacles in their path to love. Domyouji is the leader of the F4 (Flower Four), 4 close friends that are sons of Japan's wealthiest who are wildly popular in the richest high school in Japan.

I watched the Korean version of Boys Over Flowers (2009, made after Hana Yori Dango) before I watched the Japanese version. Comparisons between the two versions are inevitable.

What I liked about the Hana Yori Dango (season 1) a) F4 synergy and friendship was excellent. The F4 Japanese actors are better than the F4 Korean actors with the exception of the lead male actor where I preferred Lee Min-ho. In Hana Yori Dango the male lead Domyouji is more violent and a bit dumber than the Korean version. b) Each F4 character had a storyline and mattered. Rui is really a viable rival for Makino's love until she decides Domyouji is the one for her. Soujiro, tea master, calls it like he sees it and Akira, gangster son, is the glue of F4. c) female lead Mao Inoue as Makino Tsukushi was spunky and seemed more open about her feelings than the Korean version of this character. I liked the Domyouji and Makino pairing. Their first date which ends in getting stuck in the elevator is adorable. d) Makino's family is more palatable, the Korean version made you cringe. e) storyline is more compact (9 episodes) versus the Korean version (16 episodes) but it works well. The series ending is satisfying and if the second season (Hana Yori Dango Returns (2007)) had not been made, the season could have stood alone.

What I did not like about the show a) the evil mother is so cold and willing to manipulate her son and others. There is no humanity or glimmer of love for her children, everything is about the success of the company, this was off-putting. b) The sweet shop boss's many former love stories just bugged me. c) Makino should have won the Top of Japan contest, she totally ruled in playing with the kids. The other contestant would have had no chance if Makino hadn't invited her to play with the kids too. I realize if she'd won, then there would be no season 2 but still she was the clear winner of that final round.

While Hana Yori Dango was better made, better acted, and more concise than the Korean version, the Korean version has intangibles which makes me prefer it. I plan to check out first version, the Taiwan Meteor Garden (2001) Meteor Rain (2001) and Meteor Garden II (2002).
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Better than the korean version, except for the girl.
martin-fennell23 December 2012
This is a review of seasons one and 2. I liked this version better than the korean one. Although I think I prefer the female lead in the K version. The version has a more sympathetic male lead, who is also a better actor. I'm not saying he's great, but he's certainly more animated. In the K version, I could never understand what she saw in him. In this one I can. This version is more wacky, but it also has it's violent moments. My favorite character is probably the owner of the sweet shop, especially her stories about john lennon, and a certain person who goes around in a red suit at Christmas. Funnily enough, in this version, the male lead's hair is referred to as weird. Actually I saw nothing wrong with it. In the korean version, (unless I'm mistaken) no mention is made of the hair. Although IMHO, it is weird. Note. The next winner of Miss World will be decided on a play of stone, paper, scissors. 9/10

What can i add to what I said about season 1. Well, I've recognised the male lead is a good actor. The character is more endearing than his counterpart in the korean version. I guess one thing that made me root for him, instead Rui, which I did in the korean version, was his mangling of certain Japanese/English phrases/words. I also liked that in the fight with Rui in particular, he didn't always come out on top. Wheras I think he did in the K version. I thought the best performance was by Nishihara Aki as Yuki. who sheer coincidence was also the best looking. Okay, She's gorgeous.
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