Hana Yori Dango
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Hanazawa Rui There are 51 episodes of the anime, and until recently, they were only available in Japan on VHS, or in some other Asian countries on VCD. Finally, after many years of waiting, the HYD anime has been licensed for North American release by Viz. They are releasing it under the name 'Boys Over Flowers'. I look forward to getting this official English Language release of HYD on DVD, and I will provide some information about this release down below my episode summaries.

I wrote these episode summaries while I watched the series as it was airing on TV in 1996-1997. There were no English subtitled versions of ANY of the episodes at the time, so I was just going by my very questionable Japanese skills. Since then all the episodes have been released in English (yay!), so I can see that there are a lot of sections I don't explain correctly, or have been resolved in detail in the fansubs. I'll eventually try and go back and revise my summaries with my knew knowledge about what is going on, but for now please try to enjoy what I managed to write at the time ^_^

I did my best at listing the episode titles and translations for them. Some were translated by me, some were not, so forgive me if the translations change a bit over time as people point out to me what ones I have listed wrong (surely they aren't all correct =) I haven't changed them to match the titles Viz used for each episode. Also, these summaries contain HUGE SPOILERS so read at your own risk :)

Oh, and a little note about my summaries. I call most of the characters by the same names consistently- Rui, Tsukushi, Doumyouji, Akira, Kazuya. However I have a tendency to call Nishikado Soujirou sometimes by his first name and sometimes by his last. I don't know why I do this =) Also, the three snotty girls: Asai, Yamano, and Ayuhara are all so similar in character, that I tend to refer to them as a unit. Sometimes I may say Asai is doing something when it is really Yamano or Ayuhara. I tend to blur them all together in my head :)

Episode Guide

# Airdate m/d/y Title (Jpn) Title (Eng) Summary
1 9-8-96 Sensenfukoku! Declaration of War! Summary
2 9-15-96 Nou Burando no onna! No-Brand Woman! Summary
3 9-22-96 Kizutsuitari shinai! I Won't Get Hurt! Summary
4 9-29-96 Binbo na futari! The Commoner Duo Summary
5 10-6-96 Kare to atashi to aitsu Him, Me, and That Guy Summary
6 10-13-96 Hitoyo no Shinderura One-night Cinderella Summary
7 10-20-96 Ai no Atami Naito Night of Love in Atami Summary
8 10-27-96 Shingaki no Akumu Nightmare of the New Semester Summary
9 11-10-96 Doumyouji Tsukasa Kireru! Doumyouji Tsukasa Snaps! Summary
10 11-17-96 Subete o suteru jyosei! The woman who threw it all away! Summary
11 11-24-96 Ai wa Oosora no Kanata e Love Flies High Over the Clouds Summary
12 12-1-96 Deeto! Yuki no omote sandou Date?! Snow on Mainstreet Summary
13 12-8-96 Hayasugiru koi no notenkai Love's swift development Summary
14 12-15-96 Sakurako no kakusareta himitsu Sakurako's Hidden Secret Summary
15 12-22-96 Totto to kiena! Get Lost! Summary
16 12-29-96 Atashi o shinjite! Believe in Me! Summary
17 1-5-97 Yatto Tsukamaeta Caught at Last Summary
18 1-12-97 Ore to Tsukiaranai? Can I Hang Around You? Summary
19 1-19-97 Sazameku mune no kotori The fluttering bird in my heart. Summary
20 1-26-97 Uragiri no Atsui Yoru Warm Night of Betrayal Summary
21 2-2-97 Kisu no Tsumi to Batsu The Crime and Punishment of the Kiss Summary
22 2-9-97 Tomadoi no hatsu deeto First Date at the Seaside Summary
23 2-16-97 Doumyouji Tsubaki rawaru Doumyouji Tsubaki comes home! Summary
24 2-23-97 Ai no rashi! Gakuen tsuihou? Love's Tempest! Banished from School? Summary
25 3-2-97 Futari Sorezore no Ai Two Different Kinds of Love Summary
26 3-9-97 Numurenai Futari no Yoru! Our Sleepless Night! Summary
27 3-16-97 Doumyouji, N.Y. e! Doumyouji Goes to New York! Summary
28 3-23-97 Tsukushi, Kanada e! Tsukushi Goes to Canada! Summary
29 3-30-97 Aitsu no Nekumori His Warmth Summary
30 4-6-97 Tomodachi Iranai? Need a Friend? Summary
31 4-13-97 Shyoukeki! Nidome no Akafuda Shock! The Second Red Tag Summary
32 4-20-97 Doumyouji... konai? Doumyouji... won't come? Summary
33 4-27-97 Itsuka Waraeru Hi Someday We'll Laugh at This Day Summary
34 5-4-97 Ore no daiji na onna desu! The girl most important to me! Summary
35 5-11-97 Koi no Touhikou?! Love's Escape?! Summary
36 5-18-97 Tsukasa no Haha no Hisokana Takurami Tsukasa's Mother's Secret Plan Summary
37 5-25-97 Shikumareta taiketsu! Planned Confrontation! Summary
38 6-1-97 Choukyoushite Ageru! I Will Train You! Summary
39 6-8-97 Ma no Trainguru Devil's Triangle Summary
40 6-15-97 Koi no Hikigiwa- Bunkiten The Brink of Love's Withdrawl- Parting of Ways Summary
41 6-20-97 Atarashi Hibi no Hajimari The Beginning of New Days Summary
42 6-29-97 Battari! Dabaru (W) deeto (Battle?) Double Date Summary
43 7-6-97 Kokoro no Kizu wa Fukakute Omoi The Heart's Wounds Intensify Feelings Summary
44 7-13-97 Omaejya dameda! It can't be you! Summary
45 7-20-97 Sunao ni Nareba? Be Honest, Won't You? Summary
46 7-27-97 Hariken Sekkinchyou! Within the Approaching Hurricane! (?) Summary
47 8-03-97 Tenkousei- Shigeru no Hamon! Exchange Student- Shigeru's Ripple! (?) Summary
48 8-10-97 Ryuugaku suru shikanai?! Study Abroad (?)?! Summary
49 8-17-97 Futari no Atarashii Kankei Their New Relationship Summary
50 8-24-97 Mou Oshimai Ni Shou We Shouldn't See Each Other Anymore Summary
51 8-31-97 Nebaaendingu Neverending

Hana Yori Dango Anime Movie

Hanadan Movie picIn spring of 1997, a Hana Yori Dango anime movie was released to theaters in Japan. This time the movie is an anime version. Instead of following the plot of the TV series, this movie changes gears a bit and begins a story of its own. The cast of the anime are all now in New York, working on some sort of musical production. It is like an alternate HYD universe, and is not related to the TV series at all. Tsukushi is a poor girl who works in a theater building as a cleaning girl. At the theater, the rest of the HYD gang are dancers who are rehearsing for the big show. Tsukushi watches them and practices on her own at night. She dreams of becoming a dancer and is waiting to get her big chance. This movie was OK. I was a bit disappointed. the movie is only 30 minutes long, and I was hoping for more romance. The one nifty thing about it is the sequence that mirrors the TV series op song. Now you can see where that off-the-wall TV anime op animation came from.

Anime Books

Film Book

The HYD anime Filmbook is a great HYD anime resource. It contains images from 30 or so episodes of the series, along with character profiles, manga sketches (including some of the characters that dont appear in the anime) and of course, the film comic version of the HYD anime movie. (A film comic is when they take screen shots from the movie and insert word bubbles like in a comic book). No HYD fan should be without this book! (ISBN4-8342-3006-6)

Video Releases

The HYD anime movie was released in Japan on video by Toei on November 14th, 1997. The rest of the TV episodes were released on VHS and were available only to Japanese video stores for rental purposes. There are pictures of the VHS cover boxes for the TV episodes. The TV episodes come 4 eps. per tape, with 5 episodes on the last tape! The pictures were taken from Toei's anime catalog.

On March 21, 2006, HYD finally came to DVD in Japan. It's pretty amazing that the US got to have this series on DVD before Japan did. Toei released the series as a nice Region 2 DVD box set (I really hope VIZ does the same with the US release, but I kind of doubt they will). The box set has 10 discs (9 discs for the TV series, and a bonus disc for the 30 minute anime movie), and you can find it for sale at Amazon Japan. I finally managed to get my hands on a used copy of this set, but I have yet to compare the video quality to the release by VIZ. I love the look of the box. The F4 are printed on the case, while Tsukushi is printed on a clear sleeve that it slides into. The dvds are stored sort of like a bok, with each DVD on a plastic page. It's rather thick. The artwork on it is nice! Inside there is a booklet that has a recent (2007) interview with the voice actors who played Tsukushi, Rui, and Doumyouji. I don't have the skills to translate it, but I can tell that they are talking about their experiences working on the anime. It also has a cute picture of them! It is nice to see them again!

Rui, Tsukushi, and Doumyouji in 2007

In 2007, Toei finally decided to release HYD on DVD in individual volumes. They are the same 9 volumes from the Box Set but now you can purchase them separately. I really like the covers on these. Very simple and cute! Much better than the US covers from VIZ (bleck). Each of these volumes contains 5 or 6 episodes (very generous for a region 2 release) and the price per volume is 3,800 yen before tax. Volumes 1-3 came out January 21, 2007. Volumes 4-6 came out February 21, 2007. Volumes 7-9 came out March 21, 2007.
Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3 Volume 4 Volume 5 Volume 6 Volume 7 Volume 8 Volume 9

North America

Discotek release!

So... HYD was licensed in the US by VIZ (who I talk about down below), but they never released a box set of the series, just the individual volumes. Thankfully, the series was rescued by Discotek, and in 2016 they put out an absolutely lovely DVD box that contains the whole series and the movie! And they even used the same box art as the Japanese DVD release! It looks so nice! I highly recommend this edition! And it's such a decent price for the whole series!

This edition has a sub track and the dub spread across 7 discs. You can get it on Amazon here! Considering how you had to buy so many separate discs before to get the whole series, this is a great value!

VIZ release!

Hana Yori Dango in North America! At long last, HYD has been licensed! Viz has released HYD on Region 1 DVD in the US in 12 volumes. They are calling it "Boys Over Flowers". Each volume has the original Japanese audio as well as an English dub. Personally I don't like the covers of the Viz releases at all. The graphic design looks very ugly to me. I much prefer the covers of the Japanese VHS releases above. I wish Viz could have used that artwork instead. But perhaps they were limited with what artwork they could use. Here are the covers of the Viz edition US HYD DVDs:

At this time I have only watched volume 1 of Viz's release, and my impressions of it are mixed. I like how the picture looks. I am used to watching poor Nth generation copies of HYD recorded off of tv. The picture on these DVDs is much brighter than I have seen before, and I think it looks good. Sound is decent also. However there are things about these dvds that bother me. The first thing is the lack of translation for the opening and ending songs. Viz has a history of not translating songs, and I have seen them give various excuses for it. But to me it just seems very lazy and careless. If every other Anime company manages to release their series with translated songs, there is no reason Viz shouldn't be able to do it too unless there was some sort of licensing/rights issue. Fortunately I have seen the show so many times and worked on trying to translate the songs myself, that I know what the songs are about, but people new to the show are missing out.

I am also not too impressed with the English dub. Well, ok, it is not as bad as I thought it would be, but parts of it really annoy me. But I have always been a dub hater, so if you like dubs, just ignore me and watch it, I am sure you will enjoy it fine and not be as picky as I am :D That's why DVDs are so great-- they contain both sub and dub, so you can watch it however you prefer! Finally, the subtitle script/translation is also sort of incomplete at times. Some of the meaning is taken out of some things the characters say. The main example of this in volume 1 is when Tsukushi confronts Doumyouji on the staircase after the accident with Makiko. Viz's translation really missed the meaning of what Tsukushi actually says there.

But like I said, I have only seen volume 1 (I am a poor person, someday I hope to be able to afford 11 more volumes! Please release a box set, Viz!) so perhaps they corrected some of these things later on, who knows. I am just glad that HYD is reaching a wider audience now!

Hana Yori Dango is © Yoko Kamio. Site content and design © Emily Snodgrass