The Manga Series: Hana Yori Dango

In this series I’ll be covering dramas based on mangas, especially ones with multiple adaptations.

Today’s is Boys Over Flowers, or Hana Yori Dango (the translated Taiwanese name was Meteor Garden, but the chinese name meant boys over flowers)


It’s a shojo manga first published in 1992 and adapted into two Taiwanese dramas (Meteor Garden I and II), two Japanese dramas (Hana Yori Dango I and II), and a korean drama (Boys Over Flowers). It also inspired an unofficial Chinese adaptation (Meteor Shower), though the drama isn’t authorized by the manga author. The drama centers around Makino, a young girl who is pushed by her family to study at a wealthy high school in the hopes of attracting a rich boyfriend. She’s determined to stay out of the way of the snobs, until one day when her friend is bullied by Domyouji, the leader of F4 (the four flower boys of the school). Unlike previous F4 targets however, Makino fights back – eventually winning over F4 and Domyouji.


Hana Yori Dango was first adapted into a Taiwanese drama called Meteor Garden (also believed to be the first internationally famous drama) in 2001, followed by Meteor Garden II in 2002. Following the success of the Taiwanese adaptation (which thrust all 5 of its main actors into stardom), Hana Yori Dango aired in Japan in 2005, along with a sequel in 2007 (Hana Yori Dango returns). The most infamous adaptation (credited with the Hallyu wave/making Lee Min Ho famous), Boys Over Flowers, aired in 2009. I say infamous because people went crazy about it while it aired, but it also received a lot of backlash for lots of plotholes/wooden acting. Popular doesn’t always mean a good drama.


So how do they compare?






Meteor Garden


-characters are funny

-hilarious dialogue

-best second lead

-good kisses

-good male lead

-best “heart” in the drama


-low budget/old (2001)

-terrible second season


Hana Yori Dango


-great male lead

-good second lead

-boring kisses

-main actress wasn’t very kickass/fiery


Boys Over Flowers

South Korea

-very shiny packaging

-great kisses

-“crack” drama that sucks you in even though it’s not all that perfect

-amazing second pairing

-wooden second lead (worst second lead)

-bad writing/plot


You can watch BOF on Dramafever!
Korean–> Boys Over Flowers


6 thoughts on “The Manga Series: Hana Yori Dango

  1. the love and hate I hold for Boys before Flowers. I love the actors (most of them), especially Lee Min Ho on the second round, but man I hate the female lead. Also, the writing, the writing is so bad it feels like they were trying to make it into a “My Immortal” for HYD

    1. Aha…aha…Goo Hye Sun was the lead actress in Absolute Boyfriend, and I vowed not to watch another drama of hers after I finished it. I think the writers started out fine with BOF, but as it got wildly popular, the writing got wildly dramatic/loopy. It was pretty much a roller coaster ride with no seat belts.

  2. Boys Over Flowers has such a pretty cast. That’s what I always think when I see pictures from it, lol. It’s the worst drama, but so pretty!

  3. The only version I have seen is Hana Yori Dango and I thought it was just alright. Nothing spectacular. My friend loved the drama though; she was absolutely obsessed. I’ve watched both seasons and the movie a couple years ago. I remember mainly just the first season, forgot the second season almost entirely and hated the movie. I don’t know if I want to watch Meteor Garden because it’s older and I might not be able to find all the episodes. BOF looks like fluff and no substance. We’ll see if I’ll watch Meteor Garden someday. I’ve only heard good things about that one.

    1. Meteor Garden is a classic, but since it aired over a decade ago, you shouldn’t expect a lot of flash/eye candy that we see now. It’s got a lot of heart though, which is why so many people love it still.

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