Japanese Drama Addiction Pt. II: Hana Yori Dango

I was introduced to the mayhem of Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) about four to five years ago when I watched the anime. The story was both upsetting and very intriguing due to the characters and the circumstances they encountered. It is an odd love story. The story from the manga and anime was different from the other shojo manga I’d encountered where the heroine wasn’t always the most strong-willed or quick-witted. Makino Tsukushi, the story’s main character was the heroine who challenged that. They kept most of her charm in the drama. The character was played wonderfully by Mao Inoue.

I can’t remember how I discovered the live drama, but it was the beginning of a new era in my love for almost everything Japanese. The introduction to Jun Matsumoto was most pleasing XD. At first, I was not in agreement with the choices of F4 (the four boys who “rule” Eitoku High School, the setting for Hana Yori Dango). I thought, aren’t they supposed to be the most gorgeous guys in the school? When I saw the actors who played them, I thought: That’s it? My reaction to Jun Matsumoto as Domyouji Tsukasa was not good, initially. I didn’t think he was tall enough or cute enough. Same thing with Shun Oguri as Hanazawa Rui. But these were just first appearances. My views changed quickly (especially since the were shallow and based on anime and manga drawings). 🙂

As the show progressed, the delivery of each character’s development and relationship to one another became an emotional investment, on the part of the audience. The music of Hana Yori Dango was supplied by a few artists including Jun’s group Arashi, who performed the theme songs for seasons one and two in addition to the movie. Ai Otsuka and Hikaru Utada set the mood best for season one and season two, respectfully. I definitely cried in both seasons. The movie Hana Yori Dango Final was released in June 2008. It was not as developed as the series, of course, but it was a satisfying conclusion to the tale. “FINALLY!” (you’ll know what that really meant) would sum up my reaction to the end of Hana Yori Dango drama.

Thanks to this drama I was able to discover so many more! I recommend it to anyone. You’ll get hooked. I count on it! I already got my mom and sisters. They can’t get enough. XD

HYD Cast: Tsukushi and F4

Mao Inoue as Makino Tsukushi

Jun Matsumoto as Doumyouji Tsukasa

Shun Oguri as Hanazawa Rui

Shota Matsuda as Nishikado Soujirou

Tsuyoshi Abe as Mimasaka Akira

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