Hana Yori Dango (花より男子)
Summary: Makino Tsukushi (牧野 つくし) is a poor, hardworking student at the prestigious Eitoku Gakuen reserved for the rich and privileged. There, she tries to stay invisible and quietly pass away the high school days. However, Fate does not think so. One day, when defending her friend, she has a run in with the leader of the F4, Domyouji Tsukasa (道明寺 司). The F4, rulers over the school, immediately issue her a ‘red notice’. Now the entire school gangs up on Tsukushi to make her life hell. Stubborn, Tsukushi refuses to drop out of school. In light of her obstinacy, Domyouji can’t help but fall in love with this very different girl. He’s not winning her over easily, though. Tsukushi’s got a crush on another F4 member, Hanazawa Rui (花沢 類), and hates Domyouji with her life. Starring Inoue Mao (井上 真央), Matusmoto Jun (松本 潤), Oguri Shun (小栗 旬), Matsuda Shota (松田 翔太), Abe Tsuyoshi (阿部 力)
Review: This was my first Japanese drama. FIRST! So, it holds a lot of special meaning for me. Anyway, I absolutely loved it when I first watched it. It was lively, it was stupidly funny, it was well formed. Unfortunately, I watched it one too many times and started (gasp) hating it a bit. Now, I’m just on neutral ground. I’ve watched many more Jdoramas to know that Hana Yori Dango isn’t the best, but it’s also not the worst. Matsujun grates on my nerves a bit at the best of times, and I start laughing hysterically every time there’s a punch fight. I mean, seriously, the punch dubs are so exaggerated. Inoue Mao was a good choice for Tsukushi, and I adore Matsuda Shota (I have a soft spot for Soujiroh. See KDrama section related to Kim Bum). Abe Tsuyoshi is… blah. Well, he’s not important is he? I will say, however that he wears a lot of old people clothes. No, he does.