Kono Aug 09, 2016
Yoko Kamio’s shojo series Hana Yori Dango, translated as Boys Over Flowers, ran in Japanese publication Margaret from October 1992 to September 2003. In 1996 it won the Shogakukan Manga Award in the shojo category. It’s still the all time best selling shojo series in Japan. Viz media published the series in the states from 2003 to 2009. At a total of 36 volumes, Boys Over Flowers bombards readers with a roller-coaster romance that sputters to an anti-climatic ending.
The Gist: The series begins with high school student Makino Tsukushi trying to blend in at the elite Eitoku Academy. Since the academy is the choice school of wealthy and high society families, Tsukushi does not relate well with many of the students being from a family that is very poor. It is her strong sense of justice that catches the attention of the F4, or Flower Four, the four wealthiest and most beautiful boys on campus. Headed up by Tsukasa Domyoji, the heir to the large and successful Domyoji Corporation, the group also includes Rui Hanazawa, Akira Mimasaka, and Sojiro Nishikado. When Tsukushi becomes the target of the F4’s harassment, she clashes wills with Tsukasa Domyoji. Tsukasa becomes infatuated with Tsukushi because she is one of the first girls who doesn’t fawn over him for his money. During the course of the series, Tsukushi develops feeling for Rui Hanazawa, Tsukasa’s best friend. However, she learns that Rui is trying to overcome his feelings for another girl and does not reciprocate Tsukushi’s feelings at the opportune time. Meanwhile Tsukasa continues to pursue Tsukushi, and as Tsukushi notices the changes in Tsukasa’s personality for her own benefit, she begins to develop feelings for him too. These two angsty teenagers from opposite backgrounds must overcome numerous obstacles to unite their ever-diverging lives.
As for this series as a whole, unless you absolutely want to torture yourself and wind up disappointed at the end, stay away from Boys Over Flowers. It’s not worth the time or emotional investment.