Makino Tsukushi is the only poor student at Eitoku Gakuen, the school of the ridiculously rich and privileged that is ruled by Flower 4 or F4, a group of four boys who come from extremely powerful families: Domyoji Tsukasa, the leader and heir of the Domyoji World Finance Group; Hanazawa Rui, the introverted son of a large company; Nishikado Sojiro, a player who is the heir of a tea ceremony school; and Mimasaka Akira, a madam killer with ties to the underground. If a student gets on the F4's bad side, he/she gets a red notice and is bullied and driven out of school.
Makino hopes to pass her days quietly - without drawing any attention to herself - but one day, she stands up to Domyoji in defense of her friend. The next day, Makino gets the dreaded red notice. Even though she is harassed, Makino decides to keep going to school because she is a "tough weed". She declares war right back on the F4. Her resolve gets the attention of her crush Hanazawa Rui and oddly enough, rouses romantic feelings in her worst enemy, Domyoji Tsukasa.
The series is based on the Japanese shoujo manga "Hana Yori Dango" by Kamio Yoko.
Cast & Credits
I think almost everybody who is familiar with this story knows that there are several adaptations for it. It all started with the manga, then the anime, then the 1995 movie and then 4 drama adaptions from China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. This version, the JDrama one is my favorite. Reasons? Here I go.
The story isn't your typical Cinderella. Yes, there's a poor girl and a rich guy and yes, he falls in love with her, but this Cinderella definitely doesn't want the charming prince to return her glass slipper. For me this story is a master piece not because of the love story, but because of its crudeness. It deals bluntly with heavy issues (even more forbidden in Japan) like bullying, rape, tolerance, corruption, class differences and the general injustice that is high school. I think this a story that every teenage girl should know of, because it says that you don't have to be anything to please a guy.Instead, you should worry about the things surrounding you and how you can make a change.
The love story is pretty good and addictive too. You have a strong female character who deals with a LOT of things throughout the story. She isn't searching for love, she has her hands already full with school and her family. She isn't pretty OR nice. Neither is she elegant or flirty. BUT, she is loyal to her friends and always defends people against injustice. She is honourable and honest, she always speaks her mind, even if it will get her in huge trouble afterwards. She's also fearless and does what most people are afraid to. Watching this now, I realize that Makino has been my role model throughout my teenage years and has helped me morph into the person I am today. I am still very far from being like her, but she's a truly inspirational character who makes me always push myself harder.
Then there's Domyouji, who is far from your perfect prince charming. To put it mildly, he's a total jerk and a bully. He's used to getting his way and everybody is afraid of him. He's a really rotten human being, if that can even be called human. But, when Makino confronts him instead of running away from him, he falls instantly in love with her. For me one of the greatest thing about HYD is seeing Domyouji slowly changing from being the monster that he was at first to a truly beautiful human being. His love for Makino makes him grow as a person, become someone kind and adorable, and he learns a little more about life, and accepts that he can't always have his way.
All the cast does a perfect job. They made the characters from the manga come alive completely, instead of changing them. The chemistry between Inoue Mao and Matsumoto Jun is so real that I often wish they were a couple in real life while watching them, and the chemistry between the F4 is great too. They really came together as a group of friends who always have their back for each other.
The thing about this story is that you don't say: wow this person is a great actor/actress. It is the kind of awesome acting that makes you forget they're acting. It's simply natural and perfect.
The OST is really good. It's not mad good, but it's the kind of music that gets stucked in your head for several days in a row. It has been on my iPod for several years, and I sometimes use it as a ringtone from my phone.
I've watched this several times and I will keep rewatching it, because I learn something new about it every time I watch it.
This is one of those dramas that for ME, is really a must. If you haven't watched it, I recommend it greatly. I don't know if you'll think of it as high as I do, but I seriously think you'll like it, what are you waiting for? :)
Story: So if you've read the manga, watched the anime, or have seen either the Korean/ Japanese version you already know the story. For others the story may seem a bit weird but it has a lot of heart and it totally grabs your attention. Its a romantic comedy so its a story based around love.
Acting: Ahh soo much better than the Korean version, much much much better. Though the cast wasn't as pretty as the Korean version they were excellent actors. I already liked Matsumoto Jun from Kimi Wa Petto but this story made me fall in love with him. The main female Inou Mao is SOOO SOOO SOO much better than Goo Hye Sun and her horrible acting. I love the cast, and I thought the girl who played Shisuka was GORGEOUS! She was so pretty.
Music: I really liked the music it was cute and catchy. But I got annoyed after they played it over and over again.
Rewatch: Definitely will watch again when I'm in the mood for a good romance drama.
Forget the Korean version of the drama, why wasn't this my drama. Why did the Korean version have to be my first drama and ruin Kdramas for me for a while. If you want pretty sets and pretty actors go to the Korean version, but if you want awesome acting and true feelings this version is THE BEST!! LOVE LOVE LOVEEEEEE