‘Hana Yori Dango’ adaptation through the years

Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) is a long-running shojo manga by Yoko Kamio. First published in 1992, the series has produced and inspired many adaptations, including a film, an anime, and many television series.

Personally, whenever I reminisce my childhood, Meteor Garden is included in my thoughts. That’s when I first felt “kilig” because I was 9 years old back then when it aired in Philippine television. A lot of us grew up loving the 4 handsome rich kiddos also known as “F4” and dreaming of becoming a Shancai or Tsukushi Makino. 

The popularity of the original series and its many adaptations has lead to unlicensed versions, while some simply share similar themes. 


1. Hana Yori Dango (Japan, 1993)

→ is a series of three audio dramas, also called drama CDs or CD books, based on the Boys Over Flowers manga. They were released by Shueisha from July 1993 to July 1994 on both CD and cassette tape.


2. Hana Yori Dango (Japan, 1995)

→ a film released in August 1995 starred Yuki Uchida, Shosuke Tanihara, and Naohito Fujiki. It was the first live-action adaptation of Boys Over Flowers and the 2 members of F4 were not properly introduced. Some of the characters from the manga were missing too. 


3. Boys Over Flowers (Japan, 1996)

 → is an anime series based on the manga of the same name. It aired from September 8, 1996 to August 31, 1997 for fifty-one episodes. The anime was directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi and produced by Toei Animation, Asatsu-DK, and ABC TV.



7. Hana Yori Dango (Japan, 2005)

→ the second live-action television adaptation of the manga. It starred Mao Inoue as Tsukushi, Jun Matsumoto as Tsukasa, and Shun Oguri as Rui. The drama aired for nine episodes from October to December 2005. Like Meteor Garden, Hana Yori Dango was successful and received high ratings. As for me, this was the best adaptation for Hana Yori and the chemistry of the 2 lead characters were undeniable!


8. Hana Yori Dango Returns (Japan, 2007)

→ the sequel to 2005’s Hana Yori Dango. Inoue, Matsumoto, Oguri, Shota Matsuda, and Tsuyoshi Abe returned from the previous series. The drama aired from January 5 to March 16, 2007 for eleven episodes and it was still a huge success.


9. Hana Yori Dango Final (Japan, 2008)

→ a film conclusion to Hana Yori Dango. The film premiered on June 28, 2008. It premiered on June 28, 2008 and topped the Japanese box office for three straight weekends. Inoue and Matsumoto again starred as Tsukushi and Tsukasa in the film.


10. Boys Over Flowers (Korea, 2009)

→ a Korean live-action television version of Boys Over Flowers. The drama aired from January to March 2009 for twenty-five episodes. It starred Ku Hye-sun, Lee Min-ho, Kim Hyun-joong, Kim Bum, and Kim Joon.


11. Hana Yori Dango: The Musical ( Japan, 2016)

→ a musical adaptation of Boys Over Flowers was first announced in April 2015. The musical opened on January 5, 2016 at Theatre Creation in Tokyo, Japan and ran for twenty-five performances. It starred Ririka Kato as Tsukushi, Yuya Matsushita as Tsukasa, and Jin Shirasu as Rui.


12. Boys Over Flowers: The Musical (Korea, 2017)

→ a Korean adaptation of the Japanese musical. Yumi Suzuki, who directed the original, traveled to South Korea to direct the new version.The musical premiered on February 24, 2017 at Hongik University Daehakro Art Center in Seoul, South Korea, and ended on May 7 after eighty-eight performances. It featured a large cast of high-profile stars, such as Min, J-Min, Lee Chang-sub, Ken, and Lee Sung-min.


13. Hana Nochi Hare / Boys Over Flowers Season 2 (Japan, 2018) 

→ is a 2018 Japanese television drama series starring Hana Sugisaki, Tatsuomi Hamada, Sho Hirano and Taishi Nakagawa. It is the official sequel to Hana Yori Dango. The story takes place at the same Eitoku Academy, 10 years after the famous members of the original F4 have graduated and it introduces new characters.


14. Meteor Garden (China, 2018)

→ is a remake of the 2001 series of the same name. The series was first announced in April 2017 by Angie Chai, who produced the original Meteor Garden. It aired on July 9, 2018. It stars Shen Yue, Dylan Wang, Darren Chen, Connor Leong, and Caesar Wu. FINALLY, THE LONG WAIT IS OVER! Watching this makes me feel like I’m 10 years younger.



1. Siapa Takut Jatuh Cinta (Indonesia, 2002, remake 2017)

→ an Indonesian drama that aired in 2002. Early on, the series was accused by fans and the media of plagiarizing Meteor Garden. Several other Indonesian series have similarly been accused of copying the Japanese and Korean adaptations. Meanwhile, Siapa Takut Jatuh Cinta Reborn is a 2017 remake of the 2002 series of the same name. Both series are loosely adapted from Boys Over Flowers and the Taiwanese drama, Meteor Garden. The series is produced in Indonesia by SinemArt.


2. Meteor Shower (China, 2009)

→ is an unlicensed adaptation of Boys Over Flowers. The producers later stated that the show is an “original work” and is only inspired by the manga. The first season aired in August 2009 for thirty-six episodes, followed by the second season in August 2010, also thirty-six episodes. Meteor Shower has  a novel, and  an animated series.


3. Boys Before Friends (USA, 2013)

→ is an online, American adaptation of the manga, Boys Over Flowers. The production team has since stated that the series is an “original work”. It was written by Kel and Eriden Williams. The web series was first announced in mid-2013 and began airing on December 26 that same year. It was originally planned for sixteen episodes, but ended at six and one special.


4. Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan (India, 2014)

→ an Indian youth soap that was adapted from the Korean drama, Boys Over Flowers. The series ended on December 31, 2015 with over three-hundred episodes.


5. Boys Over Flowers (Philippines)

→ is a cancelled Filipino television adaptation of the Korean drama Boys Over Flowers and the manga by Yoko Kamio. The series was first announced in early November 2017. The drama is a joint project between GMA Network and JU Entertainment. GMA held the first round of auditions on November 25, 2017 for the female and male leads. As of December 18, 2017, GMA removed every mention of the adaptation from their website. The status of the project is currently unknown.


With all these ‘Hana Yori Dango’ adaptations, which one is your favorite? For me my number 1 favorite would be Hana Yori Dango (Japan, 2005) though their acting back then was a bit awkward or exaggerated, that series made me cried a river. I can still feel the love between Tsukushi Makino and Tsukasa Doumyouji. The next of course is the Meteor Garden (Taiwan, 2001) that started it all. I remembered that I went ga-ga over that series and probably the first time I fell in love with a fictional character. Lastly, my new favorite, Meteor Garden (2018). As I’ve said earlier, it makes me feel like I’m 10 years younger. Plus being a millennial myself, I can relate to this series with all the technological advancements and F4 earning money themselves. 

(credits to the owners)

Much Love,



3 thoughts on “‘Hana Yori Dango’ adaptation through the years

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