I watched this drama on Drama Crazy.
So when I was watching Hana Yori Dango, it felt a little nostalgic because the main idea was still the same as Boys Over Flowers (of course since they are based on the same manga), but the feel of the show turned out to be very different from its Korean successor. I will be honest, though it is wildly popular, I have never been a huge fan of BoF. It was just too ludicrous and dripping with excess in every way. So why did I spend probably close to 30 hours of my life watching it? Two reasons; First, it is an all time kdrama classic, and second the plot was actually pretty addicting if you could get over all of the extra filler that made it just so irritatingly cliche and superficial.
This is really a huge piece in the puzzle of why I loved Hana Yori Dango so much and did not care for BoF. Hana Yori Dango, though two seasons long and considerably lengthier than the 3 other Jdramas I have seen, is still much shorter than BoF. There are only 20 episodes instead of 24, and each episode is only 45 minutes rather than an hour and 10 minutes. This left them less time to add little caviats such as people almost drowning and being rescued (like 5 times), random trips to islands for rich people, and supposively dead fathers miraculously coming back to life. I was perfectly okay without all of the added nonesense.
Though the plot was still and will always be in any form somewhat juvenile and cliche, it is still fun and appeals to that hidden girly desire for Cinderelladom and forbidden love. I loved Minako’s character in HYD, she was a spit fire, and though she needed a little help from time to time, was far from a damsel in distress, and was definitely no dummy. I loved that for once, the male lead was portrayed as the dopey airhead instead of the female lead. Each of the F4 members had their flaws, but were very likable in their own way. Rui was my personal favorite. Instead of being the constantly brooding and pitiful second lead, he was a truly loving and supportive friend to both Minako and Tsukasa (though not always perfect, he always came around). He stood on his own two feet and was his own person rather than just pathetically following Minako around because he needed her to be happy.
I really did enjoy HYD. It appealed to the little girl inside of me. I will be re-watching BoF soon and will watch the movie of HYD and will probably read the manga as well in order to write a comparison post between them later down the road that is more in depth than what I have mentioned today. But overall, I would give Hana Yori Dango 4 out of 5 stars. Definitely worth a watch if Cinderella stories are your thing 🙂
For a plot summary and list of the cast, visit http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Hana_Yori_Dango.