Eitoku Academy (英徳学園, Eitoku Gakuen) is a school that caters to children from rich, high-society families. Hence, Tsukushi, who comes from a poor family, is considered by others to be the "weed" of the school. The school is ruled by the "Flower Four" group, more commonly known as the F4. The F4 leader, who is the son of the wealthiest, most powerful family in Japan, Tsukasa Domyouji, takes an interest in Tsukushi because she is the only girl at Eitoku who does not fawn over him. However, his hot-headed nature and bullying ways are originally a major turn-off for Tsukushi, who has her sights set on Rui Hanazawa.
The violinist Rui Hanazawa, Tsukasa's best friend, becomes Tsukushi's first serious romantic interest. He is a quiet and cool guy, but he has a soft spot for his close friend and Tsukushi's idol, the model Shizuka Todou, whom he harbored feelings for since childhood. His character is a bit complex, and always has changing feelings for Tsukushi, but above all cares about her a lot.
The other two members of the F4 are Akira Mimasaka, the laid-back peacemaker of the group, and Sojirou Nishikado, an unrepentant playboy. They both usually have at least one girlfriend at any one time; Akira prefers older women because the women of his household (his mother and two younger sisters) are quite childish. Sojirou is happy to be in casual relationships with many women, although we later discover that at one time he was in love with a childhood friend.
Over time, Tsukushi's feelings towards Tsukasa evolve, as she begins to appreciate the degree of change that occurred in Tsukasa once he fell in love with her. Tsukasa becomes fiercely loyal to Tsukushi, believes in her beyond all doubt, and slowly gets her to see him in a different light. However, because of the difference in their family background, Tsukushi and Tsukasa's relationship receives a lot of opposition from Tsukasa's mother, Kaede. Tsukasa's mother then tries all ways and means to break the pair up.Tsukushi Makino (牧野 つくし, Makino Tsukushi)
Voiced by: Maki Mochida (Japanese); Kelly Sheridan (English)
Portrayed by: Yuki Uchida 1995 film, Mao Inoue 2005 series
The protagonist, Tsukushi Makino is one of the very few students studying at Eitoku High School to come from a poor family. Although her family can barely afford to pay Tsukushi's school fees, her parents push her to continue at the school hoping she will seduce a rich man and take them out of poverty. Tsukushi is not thrilled about being stuck at Eitoku, and is determined to remain out of sight until graduation. However, after defending her friend who accidentally falls down a set of stairs and onto Tsukasa Domyouji, she, instead, receives a red card--a declaration of war from the F4. This officially marks her for future torment by the F4 and the rest of the student body.
However, unlike most of the F4's targets, Tsukushi retaliates by directly attacking Tsukasa. This unexpected retaliation and steadfast resistance to the hazing is one that he has never encountered from a victim before, and sparks a nearly obsessive fixation with her within Tsukasa. Initially, Tsukushi hates all of the F4 with the personal exception of Rui Hanazawa, for whom she harbors romantic feelings. But, after Rui goes off to chase after his childhood sweetheart Shizuka, Tsukushi slowly falls in love with Tsukasa. In this process, she allows her fierce determination and her stubborn, hardworking ways show through, and in the end, turns the F4 into her close friends. In the end, Tsukushi and Tsukasa became a couple. It is hinted that they will get married when the time is right.
Tsukasa Domyouji (道明寺 司, Dōmyōji Tsukasa)
Voiced by: Naoki Miyashita (Japanese); Michael Adamthwaite (English)
Portrayed by: Shosuke Tanihara 1995 film, Jun Matsumoto 2005 series
The leader of the F4 group and the heir to the large Domyouji Enterprises, and his family is extremely wealthy and influential within Japan. Tsukasa spent much of his childhood with the rest of the F4 since his mother was always overseas, and his older sister had moved to Los Angeles after her marriage. His mother, in particular, is cold towards him, and wants to control his life for the sake of preserving the family name.
As the extremely hot-blooded, hot-headed and volatile leader of the F4, Tsukasa uses his power to rule over the entire school. He uses an infamous red card and attaches it inside anyone's locker who has made the F4, particularly him, upset. A red card gives the entire student body at Eitoku free rein to bully, prank and humiliate the receiver until they decide to leave the school. However, Tsukushi's declaration of war against the F4, retaliation against the student body and strong will, after receiving the red card, begins to remind Tsukasa of his beloved older sister, Tsubaki. Consequently, Tsukasa grows increasingly fond of Tsukushi, falling madly in love with her. Unbeknownst to him, Tsukasa begins to constantly do things to attempt to impress Tsukushi, like unsuccessfully straightening his curly hair, and so on.
Because Tsukasa is used to always getting his way, he is, initially, not very good at interacting with Tsukushi. He frequently makes fun of her family's poverty and responds angrily when she refuses to do as he says. He is also extremely possessive and protective of Tsukushi, and frequently loses his temper and gets extremely jealous when anyone tries to get close to her. As time passes, he slowly begins to mature and develops a greater understanding of how to interact positively with others, a consequence of his relationship with Tsukushi.
Rui Hanazawa (花沢 類, Hanazawa Rui)
Voiced by: Kouji Yamamoto (Japanese); Stephen Park (English)
Portrayed by: Naohito Fujiki 1995 film, Shun Oguri 2005 series
Rui is Tsukasa's best friend and Tsukushi's first romantic interest. He is generally quiet, distant, uninterested in people and is said to be autistic, but has a soft spot for his close friends and the model Shizuka Todou, for whom he has harbored feelings for since childhood. His character is a bit complex, and his feelings for Tsukushi are in a nearly constant state of flux varying from annoyance to love. Above all, he cares about her deeply.
Rui likes to be left alone and hides in quiet, isolated places such as the emergency exit at the school and other spots (music room). While Tsukushi is being bullied by the F4, Rui does nothing to her and helps her with her problems after accidentally hearing her rant about the F4 on the emergency exit. After he comes back from France and witnessing Shizuka's marriage, Rui was very frustrated and slowly falls in love with Tsukushi. However, after learning that Tsukushi genuinely loves Tsukasa, Rui backs off. Tsukasa also befriends Rui again. After Tsukasa's engagement to Shigeru Ookawahara, Rui, mends his relationship with Shizuka and, once again, grows closer to Tsukushi, and encourages her to chase after Tsukasa and to not run from her feelings. He, the F4 and Shigeru eventually set up a plan to help them be together at the end.
Sojirou Nishikado (西門 総二郎, Nishikado Sōjirō)
Voiced by: Yoshihiko Akaida (Japanese); Andrew Francis (English)
Portrayed by: Kensaku Saeki 1995 film, Shota Matsuda 2005 series
Sojirou is the biggest player of the F4 and, perhaps, the most perverted of them all. He is incredibly interested in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, which is his family's business. For the most part, he and Akira usually work to keep the peace within the group and following Tsukasa.
Akira Mimasaka (美作 あきら, Mimasaka Akira)
Voiced by: Yuuta Mochizuki (Japanese); Alistair Abell (English)
Portrayed by: Koichi Hashizume 1995 film, Tsuyoshi Abe 2005 series
Akira is arguably the kindest and most mature member of F4. His family is very powerful in the Japanese underground (in the manga they own a large trading company). He keeps his cool and rarely loses his temper, although when he does, even Domyouji has to run for the hills. Akira is also a "madam killer". His taste tends towards older women 10 years his senior, due to his childish young mother, who is only 38 years old. He has a pair of young twin sister who annoy him due to their extreme affection for him. He is also the only F4 member who only uses cash.
Yuuki Matsuoka (松岡 優紀, Matsuoka Yūki)
Voiced by: Kanako Tobimatsu (Japanese); Tabitha St. Germain (English)
Portrayed by: Aki Nishihara
Yuuki is Tsukushi's best friend as well as a childhood friend. The two work together at a dango shop after school. Tsukushi and Yuuki also went to kindergarten, elementary school and junior high together. She cares a lot about Tsukushi's feelings and does not want anybody to hurt Tsukushi. Yuuki offers Tsukushi a lot of encouragement and advice about her situation with the F4. In the manga she, and Sojirou sleep together then part ways.
Shizuka Todou (藤堂 静, Tōdōu Shizuka)
Voiced by: Keiko Imamura (Japanese); Nicole Oliver (English)
Portrayed by: Marie Eguro 1995 film, Mayumi Sada 2005 series
Shizuka is a rich heiress and a childhood friend of the F4. She and Rui particularly are very close; she was the first person who was able to get him to come out of his shell, and the two were inseparable for much of their childhood. She began a modeling career during her high school years, but shocks everyone at her twentieth birthday party by announcing that she plans to give up her career as a model as well as her position as the Todou heiress to move to Paris and become a human rights lawyer. She was very kind toward Tsukushi, as she sees her as Rui's romantic interest. Rui initially accompanies Shizuka to Paris at Tsukushi's request, but their relationship suffers as Shizuka spends more and more time at work. At the end of the series, she comes back and confesses that she wants only him. This makes him join the foreign exchange program to go to Paris to be with her.
Kazuya Aoike (青池 和也, Aoike Kazuya)
Voiced by: Ietomi Yoji (Japanese); Brad Swaile (English)
Kazuya is another one of Tsukushi's childhood friends. He enrolls at Eitoku after his family comes into money through some real-estate deals. The other students at Eitoku draw a sharp distinction between Kazuya's "new money" and their "old money". The F4, in particular, mention this difference fairly often and consider him to be a nuisance as the story progresses and simply tolerate him because of Tsukushi's fondness for him. Tsukushi is both relieved to have a friend at Eitoku, and worried for Kazuya's safety if he continues to hang around her. She is particularly worried about Domyouji, who clearly considers Kazuya a romantic threat. This was shown when Tsukasa gave him a red card on the first day he went to Eitoku because of his close friendship with Tsukushi. Kazuya is fiercely loyal to and harbors romantic feelings for Tsukushi, but is also relatively clueless and not very quick to pick up on things.
Makiko Endo (遠藤真紀子, Endō Makiko)
Voiced by: Fuuko Misaki (Japanese); Nicole Bouma (English)
Makiko is one of Tsukushi's only friends at Eitoku in the beginning of the series. Tsukushi rescues her from inevitable torment after she collides with Domyouji on the stairs. Although she is forced to break off their friendship to prevent becoming a target of abuse, Makiko finds ways to help Tsukushi, sending her secret messages of encouragement or to warn her of impending danger. After Tsukushi become best friends with the F4, Makiko seems to stop being afraid of being seen near Tsukushi. She cares about Tsukushi's feelings, and helps her when she is in a bad condition.
Sakurako Sanjo (三条 桜子, Sanjō Sakurako)
Voiced by: Mikako Sakurada (Japanese); Jocelyne Loewen (English)
Portrayed by: Kaori Sakagami 1995 film, Megumi Sato 2005 series
Sakurako was the object of torment of the children she went to school with because she was born "ugly". When she confessed her love to Domyouji, he traumatized her by making fun of her looks. She was Makiko's friend when they were still in Elementary school, but moved to Germany because of her family's business. Sakurako undergoes plastic surgery and returns to Eitoku, determined to use her new beauty to take her revenge on Domyouji by making him fall in love with her. She met Tsukushi when she asked for help at Shizuka's birthday party. She acts sweet and innocent, but lets her true colors show when she thinks no one is watching. When she hears of his growing attraction to Tsukushi, she conspires with her friend Thomas to destroy her. She has Thomas drug Tsukushi at a club and then distributes photos of the two of them in bed together around the school, causing the student body to turn on her for betraying Domyouji. When Tsukushi finds out that Sakurako is behind of this, Sakurako tells Tsukushi that she only used her in order to take revenge on Tsukasa and that she does not need any friends and says that ugly and average people like Tsukushi should not be near handsome men like those in the F4. When Domyouji eventually refuses Sakurako's advances and sees through her plans, Sakurako becomes remorseful. She is then bullied by the whole student body because of her plastic surgery, but Tsukushi defends her. Tsukushi then says that she still cannot forgive her. Sakurako also takes advantage of the situation to be near with Tsukasa when Tsukasa breaks up with Tsukushi because of her romance with Rui. But Tsukasa only pretends to be close with Sakurako to make Tsukushi jealous. At first, it is unknown whether Sakurako and Tsukushi can still be friends or not, because Sakurako becomes cruel when she is with Tsukasa. But, as the story progresses, Sakurako seems to be more friendly and sometimes defends Tsukushi from other people with malicious intent.
Junpei Oribe (織部 順平, Oribe Junpei)
Voiced by: Hiroki Takahashi (Japanese); Bill Switzer (English)
Junpei is a kohai of Tsukushi's that saves her from being bullied after she gets back from her trip to Canada. He first appears as a nerdy boy, with glasses and an oblivious attitude. He is actually a famous model for a well-known magazine, hiding his identity in school through his glasses. Tskushi sees him as the only other person at school who thinks the way she thinks after he says he only needs to endure two more years. Junpei's real motive is to lure Domyouji for revenge for injuring his older brother who is sent to the hospital after Tsukasa kicked him in the stomach so hard it caused a stomach rupture. He uses Tsukushi as bait to lure Tsukasa to him and his friend, who are looking for vengeance after being humiliated by Tsukasa. Both Domyouji and Tsukushi end up in the hospital after a hostage situation where Domyouji's ribs are broken. Junpei later apologizes to Tsukushi, having developed feelings for her, but she denies his apology (Tsukushi does acknowledge that she'll one day forgive him). He is left wondering if he'll ever get to laugh with her, again, like she does with the F4 after they tease her at the hospital.
Shigeru Okawahara (大河原 滋, Okawahara Shigeru)
Voiced by: Emika Sato (Japanese); Rebecca Shoichet (English)
Shigeru is the princess of the Okawahara Corporation. She is extremely tomboyish, examples of this being when she bravely punches Tsukasa and when she bit his earlobe, but has a girly side. Shigeru befriends Tsukushi and often asks her to help her get Tsukasa, not realising that Tsukasa and Tsukushi has feelings for each other. Initially, Tsukushi is very angry with Shigeru because of her engagement with Tsukasa, but after seeing her innocent and kind side, she accepts and helps Shigeru, despite the fact that she still feels upset when seeing Tsukasa and Shigeru together. In the end, Shigeru realises that Tsukasa will never love her and so decides to get her two friends together. On the surface, Shigeru seems aggressive and boyish but she is actually quite feminine.
Tsubaki Domyouji (道明寺 椿, Dōmyōji Tsubaki)
Voiced by: Chiho Ohkawa (Japanese); Willow Johnson (English)
Tsubaki is Tsukasa's sister. She is four years older than Tsukasa. When she and Tsukasa were little, she cared for Tsukasa and tried to teach him to not act naughty because their parents were always overseas. When she was a student in Eitoku, she did some modelling in Paris, which made her an idol at Eitoku. After she graduated from Eitoku, she dated a man of common wealth, which led to her mother forcing them apart so that Tsubaki could marry a wealthier man. She is one of the few people who is not afraid to stand up to her brother, a trait that Tsukasa secretly admires in her. After struggling to date the man she loved, she finally gave up and married the wealthy heir to a hotel company and moved to Los Angeles with him. Although she has obtained a degree of happiness in her marriage, she often gets sad and travels home to Japan when her husband is busy overseas. She begs Tsukasa not to make the same mistake in love. She sees Tsukushi as a younger sister, and always helps with her relationship with Tsukasa. According to people near Tsukasa besides his mother, her character is similar to Tsukushi.
Kaede Domyouji (道明寺 楓, Dōmyōji Kaede)
Voiced by: Mika Doi
Kaede is Tsukasa's controlling mother. She is the chairwoman of Domyouji Enterprises. She is very clever and devious, and hatches many schemes to break apart her son and Tsukushi, whom she sees as an "insect" that must be squashed for the sake of the family. She meets Tsukushi at Tsukasa's birthday party when Tsukasa is going to introduce Tsukushi to her. She saw Tsukushi as an obstacle for her son's future. At one point, she tried to pay Tsukushi 50 million yen to get her to agree not to see Tsukasa again. However, Tsukushi's mother refused the money and poured salt onto Kaede's head because Kaede had insulted Tsukushi. Kaede then tried to force Tsukasa to marry Shigeru. When she found out that Tsukasa was going to break up with Shigeru, she became furious and forced Tsukasa to marry Shigeru quickly. When Shigeru and Tsukasa "marry," she witnesses Shigeru's true plan to set Tsukasa and Tsukushi up and even tries to stop it at first. But after knowing that Tsukushi truly cares about Tsukasa and everyone else, she began to accept their relationship and marriage.
Hana Yori Dango was serialized in Shueisha's bi-weekly Margaret magazine from October 1992 to September 2003 and was collected into 37 volumes. The manga has been licensed by Viz Media for publication in the United States. It has also been published by Glénat in France and by Planeta DeAgostini in Spain.
In July 2006, a short story based on the manga was published in issue 15 of Margaret magazine. Another two-installment short story was published in January 2007. Both short stories were done by Yoko Kamio.
In 1996, an anime series was produced by Toei Animation and broadcast by Asahi Broadcasting Corporation. It was shown from 8 September 1996 to 31 August 1997, with a total of 51 episodes. The storyline is closely based on the manga version with little changes to the storyline. The opening sequence for this anime series features Tsukushi dancing with F4 and the whole of the student population. The anime was originally licensed by Viz Media in 2003. Discotek Media has since rescued the anime.
Source of all this info and more is here An anime film was also produced in 1997. However, this film deviated from the plot of the actual manga, and was set in an alternate universe. The characters were placed into new roles to suit the film's plot. In this film, Tsukushi is an aspiring dancer that is attempting to win a role in a large stage production.
Hana Yori Dango had been adapted into several live-television dramas:2001 - Meteor Garden on CTS, Taiwan
2002 - Meteor Garden II on CTS, Taiwan
2005 - Hana Yori Dango on TBS, Japan
2007 - Hana Yori Dango Returns on TBS, Japan
2009 - Boys Over Flowers on KBS2, South Korea.
In 1995, the manga was first adapted into a Japanese feature-length film entitled Hana Yori Dango. This film starred Yuki Uchida as the main character Makino Tsukushi.
Another film, entitled Hana Yori Dango Final, was released in theaters on June 28, 2008 This film is an ending to the Japanese TV series, with the actors from the television series reprising their roles. The film focuses solely on Tsukasa and Tsukushi's adventure to retrieve the precious family heirloom: a tiara called "Smile of Venus" which was stolen by a mysterious man in black who was obsessed with sex games. A cameo appearance was made by Naohito Fujiki, who played Hanazawa Rui in the 1995 live-action film.
The film was a box office success in the Japanese box office, grossing a total of 7,750,000,000 yen. The DVD for the drama became the best-selling DVD in 2008, and is also the third Best-Selling Japanese Film DVD of all time.