October 13, 2014

Monday Musings ~ Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers)

I decided to attempt to blog weekly or at least regularly, and to do so, I'll try to post something on Mondays. I decided Monday because it's the start of the work week and a good reminder for "hey you, write something!" Thus I give you the first of my Monday Musings (A.K.A. random stuff I feel like talking about). For the most part, this'll probably be random things I've watched or read and some thoughts about it.

Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers)

Hana Yori Dango (Hana Dan) is one of my favorite anime/manga/dorama shows. I'm currently watching the Korean version and am loving it! So, I thought I'd share a little about the different versions available. Obviously I'm not the only one who thought this story was great, as it's been remade many times in different formats. Choose your favorite!

The Manga

The original story of Hana Yori Dango came as a Japanese Manga by Yoko Kamio. The title is an idiom "Dango (dumplings) preferred over flowers" which means that something necessary (like food) is more important than something frivolous like flowers. 

Manga Illustration
While I love reading manga as much as the next person, the habit can get prohibitively expensive quite fast. Therefore, I can't comment much on the content of the manga and how it differs from its other permutations.

The Anime

My first introduction to Hana Dan was the anime, which is still awesome.

The Anime!
Now, it's not the "prettiest" of anime, but the story is gripping. It's a romance and it's got drama. I mean Tsukushi gets dragged behind a car because the other kids at school are "bullying" her. Excuse me? That goes WAY beyond the scope of bullying. But, it does give an excuse for great drama. The other thing that stood out to me about this version was Rui (the redhead) and his violin playing. The music had this eerie quality to that really gave the ambiance of the show it's own feeling. I highly recommend Hana Dan the anime if you're into romance and drama.

The Japanese Drama

The Japanese Cast

Many years after the anime came out, Japan produced a live action version. It wasn't 100% true to the story shown in the anime. However, the changes brought a new twist to the story. They focused a bit more on the other members of the F4 (the flower four, or the four hot guys), and their stories brought a new dynamic to the show that wasn't present in the anime. It felt more fleshed out because it didn't revolve entirely around the three main characters (the love triangle). Hana Dan the live drama was so popular, it came back in a second series and a movie.

The Korean Drama

My current obsession, the Korean version!
Korean Cast
What struck me about this one is that it seems the best mix of the live drama version and the anime. The casting has the characters seem more accurate to their anime versions (they "look" right) and it has the same dynamic of showing more of the other F4 guys stories. I think their stories must be in the manga and just not very present in the anime version. Now, in the Japanese and Korean versions, the characters have much different dynamics. It's like the heart of the story is the same, but the exact happenings can vary a great deal. There are always plot elements that pop up in every version, but lots of smaller details are quite different.

That being said, it makes it so you can watch/read all the different versions and still enjoy them. They're all different. There's always something new! And, they give you the feels.

Anyway, that's my random thing for now. Go enjoy Hana Dan. FYI the Korean drama is up on Hulu, which is why I'm watching it now. Have a great week


  1. What about the old Korean version you watched years ago? How does that compare?

    1. Honestly, I don't remember much about it. I know I didn't get too far, but the production quality was very low and distracting. It did feel more like "loosely inspired by" than a real version of the story.