Manga Reviews

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Hana Yori Dango

Boys Over Flowers (original title: Hana Yori Dango)
by Kamio Yoko
36 volumes (complete)
Licensed by Viz

Makino Tsukushi's family is poor, but they scrimp and save to send her to elite Eitoku High. She is shunned and ignored by the other students, who are rich, snobbish, and downright nasty. One day she protects another girl who's being bullied and draws the attention of the school's elite quartet of handsome rich boys, the F4, and her school life goes from bad to worse as she becomes the target of their intense and violent bullying. As if that wasn't enough trouble for one girl, one of the F4 decides he wants her for his girlfriend, whether she likes it or not...and the drama never stops.

This manga is the kind of thing most people think of when they hear "shoujo manga" - bishounen, drama, and angst on every page. It's a wild ride, but also a mostly fun one. Though there is a fair amount of character development, and lots of action/adventures, I had a hard time really liking or caring about the characters. Some of the F4's early actions were just too much for me to forgive (no matter how lousy their home lives were), and Tsukushi's forgiveness was hard for me to accept. Furthermore, I was hoping for more growth/maturity in certain characters than actually happened. In spite of all that, it's good melodramatic shoujo with a fairly satisfying ending.

Rating: 6.5/10.0

-- Review submitted by Tofuqueen


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