Title (romanji): Hana Yori Dango
Title (english): Boys Over Flowers
Broadcast date: 10/21/05 – 12/16/05
Number of episodes: 9
Genre: romantic comedy
Cast: Inoue Mao, Matsumoto Jun, Oguri Shun, Matsuda Shota, Abe Tsuyoshi, Kaga Mariko
Plot: Makino Tsukushi (Inoue Mao) is a poor girl attending Eitoku Gakuen, the elite high school of the rich and famous. The school is ruled by F4 (aka Flower Four), four boys from extremely powerful families. Their leader is Domyouji Tsukasa (Matsumoto Jun), heir to the Domyouji World Finance Group. Hanazawa Rui (Oguri Shun), Nishikado Soujiro (Matsuda Shota) and Mimasaka Akira (Abe Tsuyoshi) round out the group. Makino hoped to pass through school unnoticed. However, one day stands up against Domyouji’s bullying of her friend. As a result, she gets a dreaded red notice, which pits the entire school against her. Instead of giving up, Makino declares war on F4. Doing this not only attracts the attention of her crush, Hanazawa Rui, but it also begins to rouse romantic feelings between Makino and Domyouji.
What is good: The tension between Makino, Domyouji and Hanazawa.
What is bad: Poor Nishikado and Mimasaka get relegated to secondary characters so you don’t learn very much about them.
Letter rating: A+
Overall: I’m amazed that this season is only 9 episodes long. So much happens from beginning to end that you barely notice that an entire episode has passed. Before you know it, it’s all over. Luckily, there’s another season to keep you hooked. Both the acting and the writing in this are very good. Throughout the entire series you are rooting for Makino and Domyouji, even though there are huge differences between them. The only bad thing I can say about the series is that it is way too short. I would have loved to have seen some background into Nishikado and Mimasaka’s lives. A “filler” episode or even taking some of the scenes into their houses would have been nice. Though I will admit that you get so wrapped up in the main plot that you completely forget they exist until they pop up for one reason or another. This is definitely a series that I would recommend to anyone. I think there’s a little something for everyone here.