Addiction Over Flowers

Turkish TV series don’t do it for me. Although there are exceptions, they are usually too corny, and I almost never enjoy them. I also do not enjoy old Turkish movies, where the cliched plots are so anchored that for a while you believe them to be true. 

hana yori dango

When I started watching Hana Yori Dango, I didn’t yet know that almost all these cliches were present in this piece of classic jdrama. It has everything. Rich boy-poor girl. Mean boyfriends. Rape drugs. Bullying. It’s been a while since I watched it, but I’m pretty sure I can name a bad Turkish movie or TV series for each episode of it. 

I started watching HYD when I was studying for my finals. Some warned me that it might be addictive, but I didn’t pay attention. The beginning was a bit harsh, with very, very intense bullying and Jun Matsumoto’s very, very bad clothes. The bullying was so bad that I just didn’t understand who the main pairing would be. And I am ashamed to say that I was actually surprised. For those of you who are not familiar with F4, which, cheesily, stands for Flower 4 (Hana Yori Dango means Boys for Flowers… go figure), they are “the richest” and “the most handsome” boys in this particular elite school, whose students do not think it’s weird to fly to Las Vegas to purchase a particular Louis Vuitton bag (especially since LA is closer. haha). They serve “the red slip” to those who they will bully, and for the first time they serve it to our very innocent heroine, Makino, because she stands up for her friend when one of the boys bump into her lunch tray. Like I said, the bullying is intense, includes rape and other creative and corny ways. There is even a scene where the F4 leader, Domyoji, orders Makino to lick his shoe (but you have to see the shoe to understand that I am not kidding about the his clothes. it is outrageous. in one scene, he actually wore fur).matsumoto jun

There are other disturbing things about HYD other than the bullying. For example, Makino’s family is so poor that they can’t stop talking about it. It is so annoying, and sometimes I felt like I could just kill her little brother. Domyoji, who’s supposed to be the lead, looks so much like a Turkish singer (who’s a woman but used to be a man) that my mother couldn’t stop pointing it out. For the first few episodes, he’s so unloveable that one cannot believe that he can turn good later on. I later found out that he’s called Matsumoto Jun, and is actually a very famous singer in the band Arashi, and he’s supposed to be an eye candy. I kind of like the way he looks now, and he became very, very famous later on.Makino, on the other hand, is strong as a bull and as annoying. She keeps talking back when she shouldn’t, and goes demure when she should be angry. She has weird principles that she has trouble abiding. I guess the actress, Inoue Mao, also became famous but I don’t care about girls.

F4’s “mysterious member” Hanazawa Rui is played by Oguri Shun, who’s also very famous. That character appeals to the masses in the beginning, but later his stupidity got to me. I mean, if you are not a bad boy, why are you part of F4? At least Domyoji is honest with himself. Makino pointed this out once, and said something like “Aren’t you a man?”. I agree with her on this once.manga

Because they didn’t think my finals were that important, they actually shot a second season of HYD silliness. In Hana Yori Dango Returns, more stuff happens even though F4 has graduated from high school. More cliche stuff, like evil CEOs and the like come into play, and there is actually a part with actual memory loss. I mean, one cannot go more cheesy than that. And since this wasn’t enough, they actually sot a movie, and millions of Japanese people went to see it. Geez.

You might be asking this to me by now: “if you hated this, why did you watch it?”, which is a simple enough question, but I don’t know the answer. I guess it beat studying, or it really is addictive. I didn’t even fast forward until the very last episode, when things got too stupid that I had to see the very end. Also I watched the whole series to see if it would get any more cheesy, and you know what? It did, until the very end.

Now, for the facts. HYD is the creation of the mangaka Kamio Youko, who actually created a manga out of this first. I just can’t imagine the amount of money she earned. There’s also the anime, of course, that comes before the drama. And not only one anime, but also an anime/movie which actually takes place in an alternate reality. Also, before HYD came Meteor Garden and Meteor Garden II, which is the Chinese version. I only watched the very beginning, because even I sometimes have to think of other things to do, and it looks like it’s more in line with the manga (yes, I read some of the manga, too). And last year there was Boys Before Flowers, which is the, yes, Korean version of our beloved classic.korean: boys before flowers

So if you like the story, you should be glad to find 1001 ways in which you can enjoy it. Joy. Check this out if you want more info.

chinese: Meteor Garden

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7 Comments »

  1. […] willing to pay big). His acting skills are also questionable, though in the second season of Hana Yori Dango, he was pretty good (though the series itself […]

  2. Try to watch: HanaKimi 🙂

    • nazomi said

      i love hana kimi:)

  3. Vio said

    Hey, I accidantly found your page while searching for a new jdrama to watch. And when you wrote that you love jdramas because Turkish series were too corny and too unrealistic, I had to laugh ’cause I’m from Germany and I hate German tv for the very same reason. ^^
    Wow, today’s world is kinda fascinating, isn’t it? Today people from allover the world, who are frustrated with their country’s tv/literature, have the chance to fall in love with Asian fiction. This rocks!

  4. Catherine said

    Hi… I recently watched boys before flowers the Korean version, I believe it’s best.

  5. MiuMiu said

    Just watched BBF and i love that movie!!!
    Gotta admit that I’m totally into that kind of cheesy movies bout High School and stuff. But I think BBF is the best version of that movie.
    So if u’r thinkin bout watching one of these F4 movies u betta watch BBF.
    The actors look so much betta than the actors of the other versions!!!!!
    And I agree with Vio…I’m also from Germany and I hate German TV either!!!!

  6. jicks said

    Hey, random passer-by here.

    I mean, if you are not a bad boy, why are you part of F4?
    ^^I just wanted to say that F4 aren’t meant to be a group of bad boys. They’re distinguished for their family’s power in the school (& in society.)

    Ooh, & I want to ask you… that black & white picture you’ve used in this post of Matsumoto Jun… do you have a larger resolution version of it you wouldn’t mind sharing w/ me??? (did I mention I am an Arashi fan lol) Thnanks & sorry to bother you :))

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