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A Beginner's Guide To All The 'Hana Yori Dango' TV Adaptations

'F4 Thailand' will start airing in 2021!
PHOTO: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Meteor Garden/CTS, Youtube/GMMTV

Yup, it's a tale as old as time—or as old as 1992. The OG manga series Hana Yori Dango, written by Yoko Kamio, was set in Tokyo, Japan, and told the story of a middle-class teenage girl named Makino Tsukushi who starts attending a prestigious high school called Eitoku Academy. The school is *ruled* by F4 (aka Flower Four), a group of hot guys from the country's richest families! The group's leader Domyouji Tsukasa bullies her and later develops feelings for her, but Tsukushi falls for his BFF Hanazawa Rui instead. The rest of the F4 members are named Nishikado Sojirou and Mimasaka Akira. 

The 1995 Hana Yori Dango film might just be the first-ever live-action adaptation of the manga, and many more followed! On September 16, Thailand's GMMTV announced that the country will be doing another remake of the popular story. Here, let's take a look back at the *offish* TV adaptations we've seen over the years: 

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1. Hana Yori Dango (1996)

Country of origin: Japan 

This animated series with over 50 episodes was produced by Toei Animation, the same studio that created Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, and Slam Dunk. It was followed by an animated film in 1997

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2. Meteor Garden (2001) 

Country of origin: Taiwan

It stars: Barbie Hsu (Dong Shan Cai), Jerry Yan (Dao Ming Si), Vic Zhou (Hua Ze Lei), Vaness Wu (Mei Zuo), Ken Chu (Xi Men) 

Where to watch it: Netflix

Here, the characters are a little bit older because they already attend university. The series was followed by a sequel called Meteor Garden II (2002). Because of the show, the members of F4 also became a legit boy band and released many hit songs + music videos! In September 2016, Vanness Wu and Jerry Yan even sang at Ken Chu's wedding

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3. Hana Yori Dango (2005)

Country of origin: Japan

It stars: Mao Inoue (Makino Tsukushi), Jun Matsumoto (Domyouji Tsukasa), Shun Oguri (Hanazawa Rui), Shota Matsuda (Nishikado Soujiro), Tsuyoshi Abe (Mimasaka Akira)

The drama also had a second season, Hana Yori Dango Returns (2007), and a movie adaptation, Hana Yori Dango Final (2008)! A sequel called Hana Nochi Hare based on the Hana Yori Dango Season 2 manga series was also released in 2018, but with a different cast. 

4. Boys Over Flowers (2009)

Country of origin: Korea

It stars: Ku Hye Sun (Geum Jan Di), Lee Min Ho (Gu Jun Pyo), Kim Hyun Joong (Yoon Ji Hoo), Kim Bum (So Yi Jung), Kim Joon (Song Woo Bin) 

Where to watch it: Netflix, Viu 

This version had locations in South Korea, New Caledonia, and Macau! The characters attend Shinhwa High School, and Jun Pyo (the counterpart of Tsukasa and Dao Ming Si) sported curly hair. It launched the careers of the five leads, who are now K-drama stars. 

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5. Meteor Garden (2018)

Country of origin: China

It stars: Shen Yue (Dong Shan Cai), Dylan Wang (Dao Ming Si), Darren Chen (Hua Ze Lei), Caesar Wu (Yan Xi Men), Connor Leong (Feng Mei Zuo)

For this "Gen-Z" version of Hana Yori Dangocreator Angie Chai reportedly held auditions in universities in Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, Los Angeles, and China to look for the perfect cast. The characters had similar names to the 2001 version but the series is set in Shanghai.

6. F4 Thailand (2021) 

Country of origin: Thailand

It stars: Tu Tontawan Tantivejakul (Gorya), Bright Vachirawit Chivaaree (Thyme), Win Metawin Opas-Iamkajorn (Kavin), Dew Jirawat Sutivanisak (Ren), Nani Hirunkit Changkham (MJ)

Right after Bright and Win's successful Boys' Love series Still 2gether, it was announced that they will be starring in Thailand's version of Hana Yori Dango. The first teaser trailer was released n September 16, 2020, and was met with mixed reactions from BrighWin fans. 

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Aside from these dramas, Hana Yori Dango had several ~unofficial~ remakes such as China's Meteor Shower (2009), USA's Boys Before Friends (2013), and Indonesia's Siapa Takut Jatuh Cinta (2017). These shows had similar storylines and characters but weren't directly connected to the Hana Yori Dango manga and its publishers Shueisha and Viz Media

In 2016, Hana Yori Dango was adapted into a stage musical (Hana Yori Dango: The Musical) and staged performances in Japan and Korea! In 2017, GMA-7 released a casting call for a Filipino TV adaptation of Boys Over Flowers.

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