Hana Yori Dango
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Hana Yori Dango is the story of Makino Tsukushi, a 16 year old girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is a student at Eitoku Gakuen, a very exclusive school that is attended by the richest of society's children. Tsukushi, shy at first, feels uncomfortable and out of place amongst the rich, snobby kids at her school and she cannot wait until the time, two years later, when she will graduate. However despite finding a new friend to talk to at school, Tsukushi's problems at Eitoku take a sudden turn for the worse when she crosses the path of the F4.

The F4 are the 4 richest guys at Eitoku Gakuen, and for all intents and purposes, they rule the school. They wander around the campus unchallenged by teacher or student, they flaunt the school dress code by not wearing their uniforms, and never seem to go to class.

The F4 are:
  • Hanazawa Rui, 18, scruffy reddish-brown hair.
  • Nishikado Soujirou, 18, short, straight black hair.
  • Mimasaka Akira, 18, long wavy brown hair.
  • Doumyouji Tsukasa, 17, short dark hair curly on top.
  • Doumyouji Tsukasa is the leader of the F4, and the one with the shortest temper. He rules the school by intimidation. The entire student body is either afraid of him or in awe of him. Doumyouji has been known to terrorize any poor student is who is unfortunate enough to fall in his path. What he does (with the support of the F4) is place a red tag in the locker of the intended victim. The red tag is a sign to the rest of the school that the victim has somehow offended the F4 and is now a target for their abuse. The whole school unites to make the victim's life hell. Just such a thing happens to Tsukushi
    Tsukushi stands up to Doumyouji while defending her friend Makiko, who had fallen down some stairs and had landed on the angry Doumyouji. Doumyouji decides to red tag Tsukushi's locker, and this prompts the entire school to heap abuse on her. At first, Tsukushi is afraid of Doumyouji and is intimidated by the F4. She runs away from her attackers. However when she is confronted by Doumyouji, her fighting spirit comes to life, and she decides to do the unthinkable: Challenge the F4! Tsukushi declares that she will not take any crap from the F4 and the rest of the school, and vows to fight back. She declares war on the F4 with a red tag of her own. Tsukushi is a strong girl, not given to backing down from a challenge!
    Hanazawa Rui
    Tsukushi's unexpected resistance piques Doumyouji's interest. Her strength proves to be attractive to him, and he ends up having a crush on her, even though they are 'at war' with each other. Tsukushi, on the other hand, does not seem to be that impressed with the rich, arrogant Doumyouji, and instead finds herself attracted to another member of the F4, the quiet, sensitive violin player, Hanazawa Rui. This sets up an explosive triangle of love and hate relationships, as Tsukushi finds herself in the middle of a tug of war between Rui and Doumyouji.Tsukushi has to face the pressure of the school's rapidly shifting opinion of her, her status as a poor girl in a rich school, and her attraction to a cool but mysterious guy (Rui) while at the same time dealing with the advances of Doumyouji.
    Tsukushi and Doumyouji argue
    I think this is a great series! It is funny, dramatic, and romantic. The mood can be slow and gentle, or intense and frightening. The characters are interesting (well, most of them :) and the music is great! The series is much like a teen soap opera. The voice acting is interesting, and the character designs are unusual. The color scheme of HYD is unusual as well. The colors are very muted and soft. There are lots of pale yellows, cream, grays, blue-gray, and browns. I think this lends the series a greater sense of reality. Anyway, if you should come across this series, I highly recommend checking it out!

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