Friday, July 17, 2009

Hana Yori Dango

Title: Hana Yori Dango

Genre: Romance

Language: Japanese

Year: 2005-2008

Episodes: Season 1- 9epps; Season 2- 11epps; + Special

Summery: Season 1: Eitoku Gakuen is a school where only the richest families send their children, and the sons of the richest of the rich rule the school. They called themselves the Flower 4, or F4. Mimasaka Akira’s (Abe Tsuyoshi) family works in the underground world, and he only dates older women. Nishikado Sojiro’s (Matsuda Shota) family owns a tea ceremony school and he is the biggest player of the four. Hanazawa Rui’s (Oguri Shun!!) family owns a large company. He’s very quiet and hardly gets involved in anything unless his childhood sweetheart, Todo Shizuka (Sada Mayumi) , is involved. Domyoji Tsukasa (Matsumoto Jun, of boy group "Arashi") is the heir to the Domyoji World Finance Group, is the richest of the four, and is also their leader. If a student so much as looks at Domyoji wrong, the leader will send out the “Red Notice” on that student. From then on the others will harass the student until the student is driven out of the school.

Makino Tsukushi (Inoue Mao) is a poor girl whose family forced her to go to Eitoku despite the costs, hoping she would find a rich boy to marry. She had hoped just to get through school without being noticed, but one day a friend received a Red Notice and she was forced to face Domyoji.

Season 2 (**SPOILERS if you haven’t watched season 1**):

Months after Domyoji left for New York, Makino has fallen out of touch with him. She calls only to be sent to voice message. With the encouragement from Rui and the other F4, she goes to New York to find him on her own. Both eventually return to Japan, and Domyoji seems to be over Makino, but will not let the waiting Rui take her as a girlfriend. Discovering Domyoji is engaged, Makino gives up all hope, but Domyoji isn't quite ready to let her go, but his mother Keade (Kaga Mariko) is still bent on keeping the two away from each other.

Review: Hana Yori Dango is a drama in every sense of the work. It seems every time the main characters get a nice break, they are interrupted in some fashion. Matsumoto Jun is the perfect character for Tsukasa, and Oguri Shun, of course, is great as always. Defiantly worth the watch if you don't mind chewing off a few fingernails in suspense!

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