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Buried Treasure - Boys over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango)

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Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 218
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:14 am Reply with quote
I need to finish watching this anime! I saw it a few years ago when I rented the first few Viz DVDs. I think the animation is terrible, and there are too many funky colors in the artwork, but the writing is really strong, like you say. I've also seen the first Jp TV drama series ^^

Perhaps such an ending is more acceptable in Asia than it is in the West.

Honestly, I think gold-digging is more acceptable in Japan, so that's why HYD continues to be so popular today (as evidenced by the live-action dramas). No, Tukushi herself isn't a gold-digger (though her family is...), but marrying a rich man and being taken care of definitely seems to be a popular dream in Japan, and women who actively seek to do this don't seem to be as looked down upon as in the US. Rich, handsome men are certainly popular everywhere, but I think Japan brings it to a whole new level – I read in a newspaper that there are now dating parties aimed at women where only men who earn above a certain high income are invited.
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Joined: 24 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:17 am Reply with quote
Split into another post because ANN is acting weird...

Americans tend to take for granted the "be anything you want to be" expectation of upward mobility that comes attached to the land as a birthright, even if it's usually an unrealized dream, and Tsukushi's crushing poverty perhaps doesn't feel as much of a dead end with the promise of reinventing oneself playing such a prevalent role in our society.

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with this one. Although there has been much criticism of the “American Dream”(as seen in the Great Gatsby, etc.), I think the idea is one of the key differences between modern American and Japanese societies. You can rise above your circumstances in Japan, but it is pretty hard to do so, and like Tsukushi, you must make a lot of sacrifices.

Different attitudes about women's rights aside, in my experience Asia has a higher number of unassertive, weak men, so perhaps such a my-way-or-my-fist personality is a bit more refreshing in those parts of the world. We certainly have no shortage of jerkbags like that here.

Or in Japan either. There has definitely been a lot of coverage in the Japanese media about the supposed increasing number of soft, feminine, unassertive men, and I do see some truth in that in Japan. However, that doesn’t mean there is no domestic violence. When I was studying in Japan recently, I attended a fundraiser for local women who were victims of domestic violence. Someone who I was very close to during my recent time there was also a victim of domestic violence. At least she was able to escape her hellish situation. “Romantic” domestic violence in HYD is a fantasy that has nothing to do with the horrible reality that exists in Japan, as elsewhere.
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Joined: 11 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:28 am Reply with quote
13 discs? Uh, no. BOF was on 12 discs.

I managed to find the whole series on Amazon a few months ago (Got all of the DVDs both new and used) for anywhere from $3 to $12 per disc before shipping. My copy of vol. 12's cover wasn't in the best of shape, being a library copy--had library stickers on it and everything, and this wasn't on the plastic sleeve. It was on the ACTUAL COVER ART ITSELF. You just don't do that to a DVD cover! But I do have to thank the people on Amazon who sold me the DVDs because I wouldn't have found them otherwise.

I have to say, there were several instances where I actually wanted to punch the boys of the F4, and Junpei when he came into the picture. Ditto the rich bitches who were always on Tsukushi's case--if I were in her position, those putas wouldn't have their looks after I was done with them.
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ANN Director of New Media

Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:37 am Reply with quote
Oops, yes, 12 discs. Typo. Embarassed Fixed.
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Joined: 01 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:44 am Reply with quote
RabbitRevolution wrote:
Rich, handsome men are certainly popular everywhere, but I think Japan brings it to a whole new level – I read in a newspaper that there are now dating parties aimed at women where only men who earn above a certain high income are invited.

Sounds like The Millionaire Matchmaker.

Anyway, I remember when Viz released the Hana Yori Dango anime earlier this decade. I read about it in Animerica (gives you an idea of how long ago this was), thinking it sounded intriguing. Then I saw how long it was, and I thought that collecting the series would be expensive and take forever, so I passed. Nowadays it's hard for me to remember buying single anime DVDs, since I almost always buy box sets now.

I've been reading the manga and even though the art doesn't always look great (especially Domyoji's hair Rolling Eyes), it's very well-written. I can see why it's one of the best selling shojo manga series. spoiler[Though I am annoyed that Tsukushi ends up with Domyoji and not Rui...]
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Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:32 am Reply with quote
I'd never been interested in Hana yori dango because I'm not a big fun of hyper-dramatic shoujo, but you certainly piqued it when you brought up Yamauchi. his work on Casshern Sins is absolutely fantstic, as he takes all of his Dragonball and seint seiya experience and turns it to the dark and artistic side. I definitely want to see more of his work, and if you say it's good, it ought to be worth a shot.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:37 am Reply with quote
Libraries put the stickers on the cover to make them less easy to remove, and make it harder/less desireable for people to sell/steal an item until they choose to Discard it.

On another note, Discotek has licensed the live-action Japanese movie of Hana Yori Dango, while YesAsia has licensed and released a miniseries from the Taiwanese Meteor Garden series. English subbed dvd's folks :)
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Joined: 20 Feb 2005
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Location: Japan
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:50 am Reply with quote
I watched the live action in a club a few years ago. I'll admit, it wasn't bad, I was impressed with it. Though I think that was enough for me.
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diligent sesame

Joined: 29 Jun 2009
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:14 am Reply with quote
I remember being in Taiwan when the first Meteor Garden was out and it was HUGE. You almost cannot believe how much of a sensation it was because it really was the first drama to jump-start modern Taiwanese dramas.
I've seen Meteor Garden I and II, and both seasons of the Japanese drama. I understand that Meteor Garden is hard to watch. The acting is pretty bad, the production quality is really bad, but I can't seem to not love it since I basically grew up on it.
I find that it's actually a closer adaptation than the Japanese drama mainly because it follows the manga's plot identically but also because of the tone. The Japanese one went with a sleek, cool, toned-down show, while the Taiwanese one is more like a romantic comedy with some serious moments.

Hmmm... I think you're asking the wrong question though. Not even Makino knows what she really wants and in the end it's supposed to be love. Sorry, it's not an answer that most people including myself can be content with but I believe it and don't really have any wisdom either.

...I'd also like to take this opportunity to make a very public confession since this is the first time I'm making a reply. I love this column. I only started following it this year but I went back to the beginning and read through every entry. Even though I'm considerably younger than you are I feel like I can relate. I've actually cried before while reading your column but I was already in a rough emotional state. Heck, I even bought the Garzey's Wing DVD after reading your review- actually I found a guy on the internet who was giving his away for free.

So thanks. Thanks and keep up the good work!
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Joined: 26 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:23 am Reply with quote
I've watched the Japanese drama series and bits of the Taiwanese and Korean dramas. The anime never appealed to me much when it first aired here, after "Meteor Garden" hit big, and neither did the Hero TV rerun this year. One of the local collector's shops has some of the Viz DVDs in their bargain bin.
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Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire

Joined: 21 Jan 2004
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Location: New York state.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:27 am Reply with quote
I remember coming across this series a few years ago back in college. The one thing that stood out with it for me was its 50s-style OP sequence with Tsukushi, the F4 and other cast members doing a musical performance. But the show itself was quite over-the-top with its romance and drama which made me not want to revisit the series. I couldn't see what made spoiler[Tsukushi and Tsukasa] attracted to each other as the series progressed.
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Raven Shinobi

Joined: 15 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:01 am Reply with quote
Boys over flowers is pretty addicting. I kept watching and changing discs on my DVD player until my eyes hurt and continued the process for the next couple of days. But the ending left somehing to be desired.

I heard that the manga contains so much story for where the anime left off, but it's quite a huge investment--35 volumes as far as I know--I might wait until Viz releases a Big Edition version of the manga.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:45 am Reply with quote
As a guy, I've always wondered what the hell it is women see in us. Guys are big, brutish, and occasionally smelly. Compared to women we tend to be slobs, as most of us spend little time or effort on personal upkeep. That anybody, let alone half of the human species, finds us even marginally attractive is completely mystifying to me. For the most part, the anime scene has done nothing to explain this, as most of the popular male characters appear to be suffering from a testosterone deficiency, and therefore have little in common with the traits I expect to be so universally repellant. It appears, among anime fans at least, that even straight women don't really like us, and settle for artwork that settles into a nice compromise somewhere between the genders.

I pray that you're at least half-kidding with this over-generalization, because not nearly all guys are as imperfect or girls as perfect as you make them out to be. Either that, or we just had totally different life experiences to think this way.

Also, it’s not just Boys Over Flowers where the girl ends up with the jerk; a whole bunch of shoujo manga revolve around girls crushing on the guys that treat them like dirt. It seems to be what girls want to read since that’s what they mostly come out with, because nice guys just aren’t nearly as entertaining or thrilling. I don’t know if it’s totally true, but I theorize this is why girls feel encouraged to go out with the wrong guys to begin with, and learn all too late what’s better for them, and come up with their own genralization that all guys are the same.

Last edited by pachy_boy on Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 13 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:45 am Reply with quote
As somebody who's read the whole manga, I can attest that there is a TON left out. The manga gives Domyouji (and Makino) a lot more time to mature and figure out their relationship. The anime just ends with "Oh it's true love, let's get married!" The manga makes them do a lot more soul searching. And even throws in some character development for the two playboys, too.

I see the story as basically Pride and Prejudice mixed in with a little Beauty and the Beast. It's all about how Makino and Domyouji can learn from each other and mature, and they do. Neither is the same as when the story started.

Unlike other series *coughhotgimmickcough*, I ended up accepting Makino's choice because spoiler[ they both learned how to be better people. Makino learned to confidently asses the good and bad traits in others and herself, to learn her own worth, and Domyouji learned how to interact positively with people and accept the responsibilities in his lief. The manga doesn't end with them running off to elope, it ends with Domyouji agreeing to go abroad from America and learn to run the company and face his burdens as an adult, while Makino decides to stay in Japan, because she doesn't want to leave her friends and family and doesn't want to leave her problems behind either. They agree that they will reunite in four years, after they have matured more and learned more. And they have the trust that the other would do it. ]

Yes, it's still romantic fantasy, but I think the manga does a lot better job in making it's characters work for and deserve that happy ending.
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Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1080
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:35 am Reply with quote
Um, it's never a good idea to look to shoujo manga for an answer to the question of what women want. It's girls' fantasy, a playground for us, and not to be confused with what we want in reality, because those are usually two very different things.
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