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"HANNA YORI DANGO"


Hana Yori Dango is the story of Makino Tsukushi, a 16 year old girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is a new student at Eitoku Gakuen, a very exclusive school that is attended by the richest of society's children. Tsukushi, shy at first, already feels uncomfortable and out of place amongst the rich, snobby kids at her school and she cannot wait until the time, two years later, when she will graduate. However despite finding a new friend to talk to at school, Tsukushi's problems at Eitoku take a sudden turn for the worse when she crosses the path of the F4.

The F4 are the 4 richest guys at Eitoku Gakuen, and for all intents and purposes, they rule the school. They wander around the campus unchallenged by teacher or student, they flaunt the school dress code by not wearing their uniforms, and never seem to go to class.

The F4 are:

  • Hanazawa Rui, 18, scruffy reddish-brown hair.
  • Nishikado Soujirou, 18, short, straight black hair.
  • Mimasaka Akira, 18, long wavy brown hair.
  • Doumyouji Tsukasa, 17, short dark hair curly on top.

  • Doumyouji Tsukasa is the leader of the F4, and the one with the shortest temper. He rules the school by intimidation. The entire student body is either afraid of him or in awe of him. Doumyouji has been known to terrorize any poor student is who is unfortunate enough to fall in his path. What he does (with the support of the F4) is place a red tag in the locker of the intended victim. The red tag is a sign to the rest of the school that the victim has somehow offended the F4 and is now a target for their abuse. The whole school unites to make the victim's life hell. Just such a thing happens to Tsukushi

    Tsukushi stands up to Doumyouji while defending her friend Makiko, who had fallen down some stairs and had landed on the angry Doumyouji. Doumyouji decides to red tag Tsukushi's locker, and this prompts the entire school to heap abuse on her. At first, Tsukushi is afraid of Doumyouji and is intimidated by the F4. She runs away from her attackers. However when she is confronted by Doumyouji, her fighting spirit comes to life, and she decides to do the unthinkable: Challenge the F4! Tsukushi declares that she will not take any crap from the F4 and the rest of the school, and vows to fight back. She declares war on the F4 with a red tag of her own. Tsukushi is a strong girl, not given to backing down from a challenge!

    Hanazawa Rui

    Tsukushi's unexpected resistance piques Doumyouji's interest. Her strength proves to be attractive to him, and he ends up having a crush on her, even though they are 'at war' with each other. Tsukushi, on the other hand, does not seem to be that impressed with the rich, arrogant Doumyouji, and instead finds herself attracted to another member of the F4, the quiet, sensitive violin player, Hanazawa Rui. This sets up an explosive triangle of love and hate relationships, as Tsukushi finds herself in the middle of a tug of war between Rui and Doumyouji. Tsukushi has to face the pressure of the school's rapidly shifting opinion of her, her status as a poor girl in a rich school, and her attraction to a cool but mysterious guy (Rui) while at the same time dealing with the advances of Doumyouji.

    Tsukushi and Doumyouji argue

    I think this is a great series! It is funny, dramatic, and romantic. The mood can be slow and gentle, or intense and frightening. The characters are interesting (well, most of them :) and the music is great! The series is much like a teen soap opera. The voice acting is interesting, and the character designs are unusual. The color scheme of HYD is unusual as well. The colors are very muted and soft. There are lots of pale yellows, cream, grays, blue-gray, and browns. I think this lends the series a greater sense of reality. Anyway, if you should come across this series, I highly recommend checking it out!



    Hana Yori Dango Main Characters

    The Heroine
    Makino Tsukushi
    Makino Tsukushi


    The F4

    Doumyouji Tsukasa
    Doumyouji Tsukasa
    Hanazawa Rui
    Hanazawa Rui
    Mimasaka Akira
    Mimasaka Akira
    Nishikado Soujirou
    Nishikado Soujirou
    Spacer


    Friends

    Matsuoka Yuki
    Matsuoka Yuki
    Aoike Kazuya
    Aoike Kazuya
    Toudou Shizuka
    Toudou Shizuka
    Makiko
    Endou Makiko
    Kin
    Kin-san


    Family

    Spacer
    Parents
    Mama & Papa
    Doumyouji Tubaki
    Doumyouji Tsubaki
    Doumyouji Kaede
    Doumyouji Kaede
    Spacer


    Troublemakers

    Sanjou Sakurako
    Sakurako
    Thomas
    Thomas
    Junpei
    Junpei
    Shigeru
    Shigeru
    Ayuhara, Yamano, Asai
    Classmates


    Amon

    Kunisawa Amon
    Spacer
    Spacer
    Spacer
    Spacer

     

    Hana Yori Dango Manga


    MargaretThe Hana Yori Dango manga is written and drawn by a woman named Kamio Youko, and it runs in the bi-weekly shoujo manga compilation called Margaret, which is published by Shueisha. To the right is a picture of a cover of Margaret that has Hana Yori Dango on it. Click the thumbnail to see it up close. Also, here is a picture from the opening pages of the story. I love the color pictures at the beginnings of many of the Margaret installment!

    Anyway, Hana Yori Dango has been running in Margaret since 1992. There are currently 32 'tankoubon' (collected volumes) of the HYD manga available in Japanese, and the manga is STILL running! Quite a long series!


    The Hana Yori Dango Manga Illustration Book!
    : The artbook was published back in 1995. There has been so much great artwork since then, I wonder when they will release a 2nd artbook. There really needs to be one!

    The anime and the manga are quite similar in story and in look. Well, not at first. I think in the manga, everyone looks a little odd (well, very odd in Doumyouji's case, his hair is wierd even for him =) but everyone slowly evolves to looking like how they do in the anime. Many of the details and scenes are done in the exact same way in both anime and manga. Clothing is the same, scenes are layed out the same, etc. It seems to go 3 TV episodes per volume of manga, but not always. Also, there are some differences in the manga. There are some subplots and stoylines in the manga that the anime has either skipped, or not covered yet. The most noticible one to me right now is the beauty queen contest thing in volume 11... anyway, here are some pictures :) As the manga progresses, the artwork just gets better and better, and after the manga passes the place where the anime ends, it just continues to be really great!

    Finally, after many years of waiting, the Hana Yori Dango manga has been officially licensed for English translation and release in North America. Viz has the rights to it, and will be releasing it under the name Boys Over Flowers I have placed thumbnails of the manga covers below, starting with the new North American English Translated releases, and followed by the oritginal Japanese releases. Enjoy!

    Boys Over Flowers Volume 1
    (ISBN1-56-931996-0):
    English language version by Viz, August 2003.

    Boys Over Flowers Volume 2
    (ISBN1-56-931997-9):
    English language version by Viz,October 2003.

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 1
    (ISBN4-08-848028-7):
    Hmm believe it or not, the main storyline in this volume is covered in eps 1 and 2 of the anime.

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 2
    (ISBN4-08-848055-4):
    The main events of anime episodes 3-6 are in here. As always, there are some slight changes here and there, but the main plot is the same.

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 3
    (ISBN4-08-848103-8):
    This volume runs right up to about the middle of anime episode 10.

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 4
    (ISBN4-08-848123-2):
    This goes from the second half of episode 10 up to the middle of episode 14 or 15. Hehe, this is the volume that Tsukushi was reading in episode 5 of the anime. The page layout she was looking at in the anime is exactly the same as in the actual manga :)

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 5
    (ISBN4-08-848153-4):
    Hmm This covers from around the middle of episode 14 or 15, right to the end of episode 16 =) Love the ending of this volume =)

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 6
    (ISBN4-08-848193-3):
    Yay! This relates the events of episode 17 (or rather, episode 17 relates what happens in this volume=) through the end of episode 20. One of my favorite volumes =)

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 7
    (ISBN4-08-848223-9):
    This relates the events that were told in episodes 21-23 of the anime. This volume gets my vote for one of my favorite covers =)

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 8
    (ISBN4-08-848253-0):
    Hmm episodes 24-26 cover what happens in this volume, though from what I can tell, It looks like episode 26 ends just slightly differently here than in the anime.

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 9
    (ISBN4-08-848295-6):
    Yay! You would think by the cover of this volume that it would reflect episodes 27-29 of the anime. Well, in the very beginning it does, but it changes radically very quickly. This volume skips the whole Canada storyline and instead introduces a new character, Seinosuke. He is another love interest for Tsukushi. Seinosuke is not in the anime! Wah! He is cute too! As for the Canada storyline, I have been told that is does occur in the manga, but later on in the volumes that I haven't seen yet :) The anime has rearranged some events it seems. Oh well =\

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 10
    (ISBN4-08-848343-X):
    This whole volume covers a storyline that is not (yet?) in the anime. It involves Seinosuke also.

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 11
    (ISBN4-08-848383-9):
    This one also covers events that the anime has not touched yet... this is the one with the beauty queen contest thing in it. The Miss Teen Japan contest is pretty funny. Poor Tsukushi, forced to try to live up to the examples of Shizuka and Tsubaki who have both won the contest before! Heheh =) I need to see how the contest turned out! It continues into volume 12 =)

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 12
    (ISBN4-08-848423-1):
    The conclusion of the beauty contest that was not done in the anime. Tsukushi and Doumyouji entertain/babysit a kid for a day, and more!

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 13
    (ISBN4-08-848475-4):
    Tsukushi goes to Canada! This is the volume that covers some of my favorite episodes in the anime, eps 28-29! Tsukushi goes to Canada and falls into serious danger, with only Doumyouji there to save her life! :)

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 14
    (ISBN4-08-848549-1):
    This volume covers the introduction of Tsukushi's new, very cute friend named Junpei...

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 15
    (ISBN4-08-848572-3):
    The Junpei incident! The junpei incident! See how Tsukushi got her fashionable haircut, and see Doumyouji risk his life for Tsukushi!

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 16
    (ISBN4-08-848611-0):
    This one begins with events that happen in episode 34 of the anime. I am not sure how close to the manga that the anime stays after this point :)

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 17
    (ISBN4-08-948677-3):
    Yay, volume 17 at last! This volume is very cool, it covers roughly anime eps 38-42. Even though the anime has ended, I believe the manga is still running, so keep looking for more tankoubon volumes in the future!

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 18
    (ISBN4-08-848716-8):
    Wow! now things get really interesting! Unlike the Anime, which ends at ep 51, the manga keeps going! So the events in the manga that follow the whole 'Shigeru's hot springs' story take a very different turn than in the anime! Woo hoo, looks like Kin-san, the cute guy that wasn't in the anime, is back! And what is this? Tsukushi working as a servant at Doumyouji's mansion? Oh my!!

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 19
    (ISBN4-08-848766-4):
    Yay, a new volume! This one was published in March, 1998. It continues the saga of the series past the end of the anime. Yes in deed, Tsukushi is working as a household servant in Doumyouji's mansion! What a tough situation, forced to be nice and polite to him as her employer in the mornings when serving him breakfast, and then to argue with him as usual at school ^_^ This volume does have some good scenes between the two of them though :)

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 20
    (ISBN4-08-848805-9):
    I am always happy to see a new volume of the HYD manga come out! Can you imagine my excitement at finding this one? Woo hoo :) Anyway, this volume actually doesnt really focus on Tsukushi and Doumyouji as much as all the others. Instead the main romantic focus has shifted to Tsukushi's friend Yuki, who is having boyfriend problems, and interestingly enough, finds herself in a budding romance with one of the F4 :) Yay!

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 21
    (ISBN4-08-848870-9):
    I just love the cover of this one! They both look soooo adorable! This is a great volume! Doumyouji's mom seems to be up to mischief again, and this time she's targeting Tsukushi's friends! Oh the lengths Doumyouji Kaede will go to to keep her son away from Tsukushi! There are some great scenes in this volume also, especially THE KISS ;)

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 22
    (ISBN4-08-847023-0):
    Aww, what a bittersweet volume this is! Tsukushi living the life of a girl in a fishing village? Doumyouji being mean again!? That picture of Doumyouji in the rain! And that flowered shirt! Hehehe :) There's yet another new guy in this volume Yoshimatsu Matsutarou. Now that is a name for ya ^^.

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 23
    (ISBN4-08-847074-5):
    Okay! This volume wraps up the fishing village storyline. I think my favorite bit from that was the arrival of Doumyouji, and him getting some pocket change from Rui for the villagers, ho ho ho! Lets see, Tsukushi is back in town and atEitoku Gakuen agan, thanks to an apartment from Doumyouji. Akira sports a new straight hairstyle that makes him look a LOT like Thomas from way back in the Sakurako storyline.. and what's this? Another new guy, this one claiming to be Doumyouji's cousin... looks just like him, with straight hair! Woo but what are his REAL intentions! ^_^

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 24
    (ISBN4-08-847126-1):
    The continuing saga of Tsukushi, Doumyouji, and the mysterious look-alike "cousin"! The new guy is rather cute, but what is his secret? He seems to really like Tsukushi too, but is he honest? Things are strained between Tsukushi and Doumyouji, and the look-alike's arrival is not helping things. It looks like Doumyouji Kaede is once again plotting to tear our favorite couple apart!

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 25
    (ISBN4-08-847178-4):
    Is it just me, or does Akira with straightened hair look a lot like Thomas now? Anyway... we learn who the lookalike is in this volume, and things heat up between him and Tsukushi, though not exactly in a romantic way. Tsukushi admits her feelings for Doumyouji, but that doesn't really mean everything will be happily ever after... ahh things must be so complicated!

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 26
    (ISBN4-08-847232-2):
    Even more on the saga of Doumyouji's look-alike, Amon. But then we can finally move on from that, yay! Tsukushi and Doumyouji's relationship gets stronger (IMHO)... Don't they look ADORABLE on the cover? ^_^

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 27
    (ISBN4-08-847288-8):
    Tsukushi and Doumyouji are trying to hide their relationship from everyone else, though they aren't doing that great of a job of it. Yuki reveals her feelings about Soujirou to Tsukushi, and then makes her confession to Nishikado himself. Tsukushi is worried about Yuuki, but is soon distracted by her own love-woes. She eventually makes a startling confession that leaves everyone speechless! This is soon followed by Tsukushi's family moving yet again, this time leaving Tsukushi and Susumu alone in their own little dingy apartment. But they have a new next-door neighbor who is sure to make things more interesting!

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 28
    (ISBN4-08-847349-3):
    Ahh, a very lovely Nishikado Soujirou cover! I love his pose and expression here! This volume features him on the cover because most of the story inside is a side story/flashback that talks about Soujirou's past, and his first love. But first off there is the situation between Doumyouji and Tsukushi, with him sort of living in a room away from her, in an attempt by him to live in her world. But things don't go smoothly (big surprise there.) Meanwhile Yuki is struggling to find the key to a statement Soujirou made about his first love. She finally finds out what it means. Then comes Nishikado's flashback, and we learn about his first true love, and how he let her down and broke an important promise. It's a touching story!

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 29
    (ISBN4-08-847380-9):
    Doumyouji and Tsukushi face more opposition from Doumyouji's mother. However they still manage to go on an actual date... sort of ^_^ Tsukushi ends up going to New York and while there she encounters an old acquaintance. Unfortunately, her trip doesn't quite go as planned, and she is forced to return home sooner than planned. However in a rather surprising development, she is not returning home alone!

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 30
    (ISBN4-08-847428-7):
    Before Leaving New York, Tsukushi and Co. Eat at a fancy restaurant, but are unable to foot the bill. A hard night's work takes care of it, and a serious discussion reveals that Rui is not quite as indifferent to Tsukushi as she had always believed! He reveals some deeper emotions for her, leaving Tsukushi rather confused. This leads to a rather dramatic confrontation!

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 31
    (ISBN4-08-847470-8):
    Yay, a Rui cover! And he looks so cute here! I just love this cover ^_^ Even though Rui is on the cover of this volume, the focus is on Doumyouji and Tsukushi. Kidnapped together, Doumyouji and Tsukushi find themselves alone on a huge yacht. This forced closeness brings back tension and forces Tsukushi to once again reevaluate her feelings for Doumyouji. After landing on a mysterious island, Tsukushi comes to an important decision, but before she can grasp her dream, a shocking event pulls it away from her yet again!

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 32
    (ISBN4-08-847514-3):

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 33
    (ISBN4-08-847514-3):

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 34
    (ISBN4-08-847608-5):

    Hana Yori Dango Volume 35
    (ISBN4-08-847646-8):


    *

    Hana Yori Dango Cobalt Pinky Books

    Here is another interesting HYD-related item- the HYD Cobalt Pinky books. What these are, are little novel adaptations of the HYD manga. Each book is text only, with maybe an image from the manga thrown in here and there. Cobalt Pinky publishes books like these for several anime series. So far I have bought only 3 of them because...well, I don't read much Japanese. But I like them anyway because not only do they have nifty covers, each volume has 2 little color pics inside, the types of pictures that I expect to be found in the manga art book, or used on the HYD covers of Margaret. Here are pictures of the covers of the three volumes I have.
    Cobalt Pinky #4 Cobalt Pinky #6 Cobalt Pinky #7

    The Anime

    Hanazawa Rui There are 51 episodes of the anime, and until recently, they were only available in Japan on VHS, or in some other Asian countries on VCD. Finally, after many years of waiting, the HYD anime has been licensed for North American release by Viz. They are releasing it under the name 'Boys Over Flowers'. I look forward to getting this official English Language release of HYD on DVD, and I will provide some information about this release down below my episode summaries.

    I wrote these episode summaries while I watched the series as it was airing on TV in 1996-1997. There were no English subtitled versions of ANY of the episodes at the time, so I was just going by my somewhat shaky Japanese skills. Since then all the episodes have been fansubbed into English (yay!) , so I can see that there are a lot of sections I don't explain properly, or have been resolved in detail in the fansubs. I'll eventually try and go back and revise my summaries with my knew knowledge about what is going on, but for now please try to enjoy what I managed to write at the time ^_^

    I did my best at listing the episode titles and translations for them. Some were translated by me, some were not, so forgive me if the translations change a bit over time as people point out to me what ones I have listed wrong (surely they aren't all correct =) Also, these summaries contain HUGE SPOILERS so read at your own risk :)

    Oh, and a little note about my summaries. I call most of the characters by the same names consistently- Rui, Tsukushi, Doumyouji, Akira, Kazuya. However I have a tendency to call Nishikado Soujirou sometimes by his first name and sometimes by his last. I don't know why I do this =) Also, the three snotty girls: Asai, Yamano, and Ayuhara are all so similar in character, that I tend to refer to them as a unit. Sometimes I may say Asai is doing something when it is really Yamano or Ayuhara. I tend to blur them all together in my head :)

    *Yay, after 6 years of procrastination, I completed my last HYD episode summary, for episode 25!*

    # Airdate m/d/y Title (Jpn) Title (Eng) Summary
    1 9-8-96 Sensenfukoku! Declaration of War! Summary
    2 9-15-96 Nou Burando no onna! No-Brand Woman! Summary
    3 9-22-96 Kizutsuitari shinai! I Won't Get Hurt! Summary
    4 9-29-96 Binbo na futari! The Commoner Duo Summary
    5 10-6-96 Kare to atashi to aitsu Him, Me, and That Guy Summary
    6 10-13-96 Hitoyo no Shinderura One-night Cinderella Summary
    7 10-20-96 Ai no Atami Naito Night of Love in Atami Summary
    8 10-27-96 Shingaki no Akumu Nightmare of the New Semester Summary
    9 11-10-96 Doumyouji Tsukasa Kireru! Doumyouji Tsukasa Snaps! Summary
    10 11-17-96 Subete o suteru jyosei! The woman who threw it all away! Summary
    11 11-24-96 Ai wa Oosora no Kanata e Love Flies High Over the Clouds Summary
    12 12-1-96 Deeto! Yuki no omote sandou Date?! Snow on Mainstreet Summary
    13 12-8-96 Hayasugiru koi no notenkai Love's swift development Summary
    14 12-15-96 Sakurako no kakusareta himitsu Sakurako's Hidden Secret Summary
    15 12-22-96 Totto to kiena! Get Lost! Summary
    16 12-29-96 Atashi o shinjite! Believe in Me! Summary
    17 1-5-97 Yatto Tsukamaeta Caught at Last Summary
    18 1-12-97 Ore to Tsukiaranai? Can I Hang Around You? Summary
    19 1-19-97 Sazameku mune no kotori The fluttering bird in my heart. Summary
    20 1-26-97 Uragiri no Atsui Yoru Warm Night of Betrayal Summary
    21 2-2-97 Kisu no Tsumi to Batsu The Crime and Punishment of the Kiss Summary
    22 2-9-97 Tomadoi no hatsu deeto First Date at the Seaside Summary
    23 2-16-97 Doumyouji Tsubaki rawaru Doumyouji Tsubaki comes home! Summary
    24 2-23-97 Ai no rashi! Gakuen tsuihou? Love's Tempest! Banished from School? Summary
    25 3-2-97 Futari Sorezore no Ai Two Different Kinds of Love Summary
    26 3-9-97 Numurenai Futari no Yoru! Our Sleepless Night! Summary
    27 3-16-97 Doumyouji, N.Y. e! Doumyouji Goes to New York! Summary
    28 3-23-97 Tsukushi, Kanada e! Tsukushi Goes to Canada! Summary
    29 3-30-97 Aitsu no Nekumori His Warmth Summary
    30 4-6-97 Tomodachi Iranai? Wanna be Friends? Summary
    31 4-13-97 Shyoukeki! Nidome no Akafuda Shock! The Red Cards Times 2! Summary
    32 4-20-97 Doumyouji... konai? Doumyouji... don't come? Summary
    33 4-27-97 Itsuka Waraeru Hi Someday We'll Laugh at This Day Summary
    34 5-4-97 Ore no daiji na onna desu! This girl is important to me! Summary
    35 5-11-97 Koi no Touhikou?! Love's Escape?! Summary
    36 5-18-97 Tsukasa no Haha no Hisokana Takurami Tsukasa's Mother's Secret Plan Summary
    37 5-25-97 Shikumareta taiketsu! Planned Confrontation! Summary
    38 6-1-97 Choukyoushite Ageru! I Will Train You! Summary
    39 6-8-97 Ma no Trainguru Devil's Triangle Summary
    40 6-15-97 Koi no Hikigiwa- Bunkiten The Brink of Love's Withdrawl- Parting of Ways Summary
    41 6-20-97 Atarashi Hibi no Hajimari The Beginning of New Days Summary
    42 6-29-97 Battari! Dabaru (W) deeto (Battle?) Double Date Summary
    43 7-6-97 Kokoro no Kizu wa Fukakute Omoi The Heart's Wounds Intensify Feelings Summary
    44 7-13-97 Omaejya dameda! It can't be you! Summary
    45 7-20-97 Sunao ni Nareba? Be Honest, Won't You? Summary
    46 7-27-97 Hariken Sekkinchyou! Within the Approaching Hurricane! (?) Summary
    47 8-03-97 Tenkousei- Shigeru no Hamon! Exchange Student- Shigeru's Ripple! (?) Summary
    48 8-10-97 Ryuugaku suru shikanai?! Study Abroad (?)?! Summary
    49 8-17-97 Futari no Atarashii Kankei The Couple's New Connection Summary
    50 8-24-97 Mou Oshimai Ni Shou We Shouldn't See Each Other Anymore Summary
    51 8-31-97 Nebaaendingu Neverending
    LAST EPISODE!!
    Summary

    The HYD anime Filmbook is a great HYD anime resource! It contains images from 30 or so episodes of the series, along with character profiles, manga sketches (including some of the characters that dont appear in the anime) and of course, the film comic version of the HYD anime movie. (A film comic is when they take screen shots from the movie and insert word bubbles like in a comic book). No HYD fan should be without this book!
    (ISBN4-8342-3006-6)

    The HYD anime movie was released in Japan on video by Toei on November 14th, 1997. The rest of the TV episodes were released on VHS and were available only to Japanese video stores for rental purposes. There are pictures of the VHS cover boxes for the TV episodes. The TV episodes come 4 eps. per tape, with 5 episodes on the last tape! The pictures were taken from Toei's anime catalog.


    Hana Yori Dango in North America! At long last, HYD has been licensed! Viz is doing the honors, and I look forward to seeing their release. The info I have about it is as follows:

    Boys Over Flowers DVD 1 Boys Over Flowers DVD 1
    "Declaration of War!"

    Release Date: September 9, 2003
    Released By: Viz
    Region: 1
    Wow. Finally, HYD licensed and on DVD. But... but... that cover... I realize that the HYD art can be kinda scary at times, but wow that cover is ugly. I wish they could have used the same images that Toei used on the Japanese VHS releases. Those are so much nicer. At the time I am writing this, this DVD has not been released yet, so I cannot comment on its quality.

     

    The Movies!

    Hana Yori Dango, Live ActionThere have been two Hana Yori Dango movies to date. The first was a live action film that was released in 1995. It stars popular actress Uchida Yuki in the role of Makino Tsukushi. The movie is pretty interesting, if a bit (well, okay, very) cheezy. The plot of the movie pretty much follows the storyline that runs in the anime, however events happen in a different order, or things that happen at seperate times in the anime occur at the same place/time in the movie.

    The acting I found to be a bit overdone as well, Uchida
                  Yuki as Makino Tsukushi in Hana Yori Dango Live Actionbut even though it is high cheese, it is still kinda fun to watch. Some characters from the anime, namely Kazuya, Makiko-chan, and Tsukushi's family, are not present in the movie. Sakurako is present, but her role in the movie seems a lot like Asai's role in the anime. (I was amazed when I realized that the very popular actress Norika Fujiwara plays one of the three bully-girls in the movie. She is pretty popular now)

    The abuse Tsukushi takes in the live action movie is very similar to what she gets in the anime, however there seems to be even more of it! Some of the more severe incidents that occur in the anime do not happen in the movie, but the opening credits of the movie alone show Tsukushi being hazed in all sorts of ways. Tsukushi comes off as more wimply and wishy-washy in this movie, I think.

    Tsukushi slaps Doumyouji!Some other details differ between the anime and live action movie. The movie has Shizuka just returning from America, not France. The actress who plays Shizuka (Marie Eguro), speaks perfect English, with no trace of an accent. It is kinda neat to see Shizuka make her long speech in English. I wonder about her Japanese though. It sounds somewhat accented, like an American speaking Japanese.

    The F4 in the live action movie are very similar to what they are like in the anime, behavior wise, though I think Rui comes off as being a bit nicer in the movie. Rui is played by the now--super-popular actor Naohito Fujiki. Hana Yori Dango was his debut movie. Doumyouji is appropriately arrogant. (But please, can someone buy him a shirt?? Or at least anything but those Speedos ^_^;;;) He is pretty cute though! He was played by Shosuke Tanihara. I have seen him in several TV dramas lately. He looks a lot better now, I think ^_^

    The Opening Song for the movie is 'Baby's Growing Up' and is sung by Uchida Yuki, who plays Tsukushi.
    The Ending Theme is 'Overnight Sensation' by the Tetsuya Komuro-produced group 'trf'. They perform the song in the movie.

    Hana Yori Dango Anime Movie

    Hanadan Movie picIn spring of 1997, an anime Hana Yori Dango movie was released to theaters in Japan. This time the movie is an anime version. Instead of following the plot of the TV series, this movie changes gears a bit and begins a story of its own. The cast of the anime are all now in New York, working on some sort of musical production. It is like an alternate HYD universe, and is not related to the TV series at all. Tsukushi is a poor girl who works in a theater building as a cleaning girl. At the theater, the rest of the HYD gang are dancers who are rehearsing for the big show. Tsukushi watches them and practices on her own at night. She dreams of becoming a dancer and is waiting to get her big chance. This movie was OK. I was a bit disappointed. the movie is only 30 minutes long, and I was hoping for more romance. The one nifty thing about it is the sequence that mirrors the TV series op song. Now you can see where that off-the-wall TV anime op animation came from.



    Hana Yori Dango Music

    There are four Hana Yori Dango music CDs There are also a few HYD drama CDs, staring Kimura Takuya from SMAP (how mind boggling!), but I have yet to get/listen to them! The music of Hana Yori Dango is absolutely outstanding. I admit to being a bit thrown off at first by the very upbeat opening song, 'An Ordinary Sunday', but soon the song became quite catchy, and I found myself singing it every episode :)

    *Opening Song:
    'Futsuu no Nichiyoubi' ('Ordinary Sunday')

    The opening animation features Tsukushi and the entire HYD cast in New York dancing like they are in some sort of musical production number. There is a 45 record of the HYD song playing, and each of the characters is featured. This opening animation may seem somewhat odd, considering that the series takes place in Japan, not New York =) However with the release of the HYD movie this spring, the TV series opening makes more sense now. :)


    *Ending Songs

    The first ending song, 'Kenka no ato de' ('After the Quarrel') is lovely as well! The ending animation features Tsukushi in a white dress standing in a cobblestone-type of area that is immersed in a few inches of water. She is holding the voice memo and seems to be lost in thought. She then begins to move, her dress rippling in the breeze. She walks towards a guy whose face is obscured by the mist, and isn't shown in the reflection in the water. (how frustrating :)

    In episode 33 they introduced a new ending song and ending animation! It is very upbeat and cheerful! It is called "Todoku kana", and is by a group called CaYOCO. The new animation is of a beach scene. Tsukushi, sporting her new look, is running through the surf, the water above her ankles. As she runs, they repeatedly flash to a scene of the main HYD characters lying in a circle on the sand. Every few seconds one or two of the characters disappears until only Tsukushi and Doumyouji are left. More character pictures are shown, and finally Tsukushi stops running in the surf and she turns around. Doumyouji is standing there. The water sparkles. Very cool! Oh yeah, a meaningless bit of info that was noticed- at first when the new song is used, when it ends, the volume just gets really low as it drits away and you can hear the waves. Around episode 37 or so, the song just cuts off at the end, but you can still hear the waves. I wonder why they did this... Oh well :)


    *

    Hana Yori Dango CDs

    Single 1Hana Yori Dango Single

    AYDM-118. This cd single contains "Futsuu no Nichiyoubi" ("An Ordinary Sunday", the opening song) and "Kenka no Atode" ("After the Quarrel", the first ending theme). Both songs are by Kikuta Tomohiko/TSUKASA.

    Variations-Hana DanHana Yori Dango: Variations- "Hana-Dan" AYCM-546

    This is a lovely CD. There are 10 tracks, all of them BGM. This CD contains all of the beautiful music that so well emphasizes the action of the anime. Once I have all the track titles translated, I will list them here. I know that the cd includes Tsukushi's theme, Rui's theme, a variation of the main theme, etc. Basically, all the bgm -from the gentle romantic music that plays in episode 17, to the frightful dramatic music that plays in episode 10- is on this CD, not to mention Rui's Violin music! Click on the small image of the cover to see a larger picture of it.

    Here are some images from the cd booklet!
    [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

    HYD: Encore Piece from TsukushiHana Yori Dango: Encore Piece from Tsukushi AYCM-583

    This CD is the soundtrack to the animated Hana Yori Dango movie that was released this spring and it also has many tracks from the TV series that aren't on the 'Variations' CD. It has a total of 29 tracks, including both the TV length and full-length versions of the TV show's opening and first closing songs. Lots of great BGM from the TV series Yay! This is an excellent CD as well!

    *Oh, something I noticed! As of episode 38, they began to use new BGM in the series. Up until now it has been the same beautiful classical music. However with the introduction of the character of Shigeru, they introduced a whole new set of BGM that seems to play only when she is around. It is the saxaphone/jazzy type of music that is on this CD that I had first thought was only in the HYD anime movie. So now a lot of time in each episode is filled with the upbeat sax music. It is cool, but weird at first =) I miss the sweeping classical stuff :) This music seems to be used mainly when Shigeru is there. Hmm.

    Hana Yori Dango CD Single: "Todoku kana" AYDM-134.

    This CD was released on May 21st, and it contains the second HYD ending theme that was first shown in the anime at episode 33. This is a very upbeat, happy song! I liked it as soon as I heard it =) The other song on this CD is called 'Saigo no Rabusongu', "Last Love Song". Both songs are by CaYOCO. Interestingly enough, CaYOCO also did the opening and ending songs for the Cyber Formula Saga GPX anime. Those songs have a very different feel to them, very techno, while their HYD ed song is not techno at all =)

    The Toys

    VoicelNot since Marmalade Boy or Kodomo no Omocha have I seen an anime that revolves so much around the toy merchandising as Hana Yori Dango. It is absolutely amazing how much a part in the story the toys play. EnspeeBandai is one of the sponsors of the anime, so you can guess how many toys there are for the series. As of episode 30, I have counted 6 different little gadgets used in the course of Hana Yori Dango. And the toys aren't even that cute. They seem pretty ugly to me, yet oddly funny too. Perhaps they look so funny because they must conform to the muted color palette that is used for the anime. There aren't very many bright colors to choose from in the series. And not only do the girls have the cute little gadgets. Even the guys introduce some of them. At least one of the toys is used without fail in every episode, sometimes playing a very important part in the action of the story.

    The first of the toys is introduced in episode 1 by Tsukushi's friend Yuki. It is this orange heart monitor that can be used to answer questions. Ask a question, and then place your fingertips on the sensitive buttons, and the toy lights up. This toy is used constantly by Tsukushi.Tsukushi also, at some point or other, makes everyone else in the show try it too.

    Tsukushi and the voice memoThe second toy is also introduced in episode 1. It is a little voice memo given to Tsukushi by Makiko-chan. The voice memo may be something familiar to Marmalade Boy fans. Miki, Yuu, and Meiko used one of these a lot. You press a button on the memo, say something, and it records your voice for immediate playback. Sana-chan in Kodomo no Omocha uses one to rap with =) In Hana Yori Dango, the voice memo is used by Tsukushi and Makiko to pass messages to each other. However Tsukushi also uses it to record things she says to herself as well.

    Tsukushi with her bath toysAlso introduced in the first episode are the bath supplies. For a long time these items were seen only in the anime's eyecatch, in which Tsukushi is seen in a bubble bath with the F4 peeking in on her. I was pretty impressed to see them advertising for the items that weren't even used in the actual show, but only in the eyecatch :) Finally a device that pumps soap bubbles into the tub and an automatic scrubbing brush make an appearance in the course of the actual show in episode 17.

    While on a date with Rui, Tsukushi sees some girls crowded around a toy vendor selling even more ugly/cute gadgets. In a show of kindness, Rui buys one for Tsukushi. This gadget is also answers questions. It has a section of 'anwsers' laid out in a grid with with light-up dots along the x and y axis. When a question is asked, and fingertips are pressed on the buttons, the dots light up, eventually leaving only 1 dot on the y axis and one on the x axis lit. By following the spot where the coordinates cross, whatever answer is in that square is the answer to your question. This toy provides some very funny instances in episode 29.

    Doumyouji and toy!Makiko-chan once again is a supplier of a toy on the show. This time she leaves in Tsukushi's locker a secret message written in invisible ink. Next to the message is this little light that will make the writing visible when shined on the paper. This gadget is used by both Makiko-chan and Tsukushi.

    Doumyouji is the provider of the next two toys. After the events in episode 17, he gives Tsukushi a pink pager so that he can contact her at any time. This pager plays an important role in the relationship betwen Rui, Tsukushi, and Doumyouji when it is lost and then found.

    Finally, the second toy Doumyouji gives Tsukushi is vital in saving her very life. This toy is a little message screen that will display one kanji/hiragana/katakana character at a time, spelling out messages. Doumyouji uses it at first to spell out the word for 'clumsy idiot' to show to Tsukushi. The characters appear lit in little LED lights on a screen. The glow of the letters on the screen end up meaning the difference betweenlife and death. Later on, Doumyouji tries to write another message on it to show Tsukushi, but she fails to notice it.



    Link to Me! Tsukushi

    This site is link free, but please do not reproduce any of the text or images on this site without permission!

    *--*Other Pages about Hana Yori Dango*--*
    Some of the links I have listed are to Japanese pages, so it helps to have a web browser that can display Japanese :)

    Toei's Hana Yori Dango Page This is, of course, the offical web page for Hana Yori Dango by the people that bring it to you every week. It is in Japanese only, but there are some really cool pictures there. (I tried not to use too many of them here ^_^) It is a really cool page. They have just reorganized it too.

    *Hana Yori Dango This page, by Marisa is very nice. It contains lots of nice scans of her own HYD cell collection *I want all her cells, wah!* and it has information about how to join the HYD mailing list! Isn't it great that HYD fandom is growing? :)


    Hana Yori Dango Anime & Manga Page This is a nice page in English that talks about the HYD story, manga, and characters!


    The Hana Yori Dango Project Here is a fairly new site for the HYD manga translation project! Several people on the HYD mailing list are working on trying to translate as much of the manga as they can! THis page has the results of their efforts so far!


    Hana Yori Dango This is EX, the Online Anime Magazine's article about HYD. It is in English. It is a cool, favorable article that does a fairly good job describing the series. :)


    The Hana Yori Dango Webring: Now there is even a Webring for HYD sites!
















    "MGA IMITASYON"
     
    Meteor Garden

    The F4, not in character

    Meteor Garden, or Liu Xing Hua Yuan, is a live action version of the Hana Yori Dango story that was made into a TV series in Taiwan. (Shoujo manga --> live action seems to be popular there, as there are also live-action dramas of the manga Peach Girl and Marmalade Boy as well.) Over there, the manga is called Meteor Garden, so the TV series took that name as well. Meteor Garden totals 2 TV series, and set of side-story specials called Meteor Rain. The show has been incredibly popular and influential all over Asia, and the guys who were cast to play the F4 have become huge idols. They even record music as a singing group, also under the name of F4. The popularity of the series has even resulted in the show being banned in China (for fear of it promoting negative feelings between the classes, if I remember correctly).

    Meteor Garden follows the HYD Anime and Manga very closely. Some slight changes were made (for example, all the characters attend Ying De University, not high school) but so many other things follow the original closely in the first seriesI was amazed! The second series strays a bit.

    The Cast: HYD Name/Meteor Garden Name : Actor Name

  • Makino Tsukushi/Shan Chai : Barbie Hsu
  • Doumyouji Tsukasa/Dao Ming Si : Jerry Yan
  • Hanazawa Rui/Hua Zhe Lei : Vic Chou
  • Mimasaka Akira/Mei Zuo : Vanness Wu
  • Nishikado Soujirou/Xi Men : Ken Zhu
  • Aoike Kazuya/Qing He: Edward Au
  • Matsuoka Yuuki/Xiao You: Rainie Yeuang

    I am tempted to remove this cast list because a lot of people have emailed me with 'corrections' to the spelling of the names on the cast list, and everyone gives me DIFFERENT versions of the names! I am getting a little confused :) I'm not Chinese (or even Asian at all for that matter...) so I have no idea who is correct ^_^;;;;
















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