Boys Over Flowers Adaptations: Do You Know All Versions? Here's a Comparison!
The iconic drama that sets the standards for a romantic-comedy had many adaptations over the years! Do you know all of them? Here are all the up-to-date versions!
Cover Art by Arkeen Perez
Spring comes flowers, and with flowers come…boys? When Boys Over Flowers first came out, nobody expected it to become one of the world's most popular romantic-comedy series. Everyone liked it so much that several countries came out with their version. From "Hana Yori Dango" to "Meteor Garden", travel back in time with all the versions of Boys Over Flowers released over the years!
Boys Over Flowers in a Nutshell
The series tells the story of a young girl who came from a low-income family. One day, she enrolled in an elite school where her life became entangled in the life of a group of four wealthy young men, known as "F4," who came from the most affluent families in the country. Yet, they are also known as school bullies. The drama is filled with romantic and funny moments that will make you squeal and laugh your heart out.
Hana Yori Dango 1992 Vol. 1
Originally came from a Japanese manga with the title, "Hana Yori Dango," released in 1992. It wasn't until 1995 that it turned into an action film. The strong Tsukushi Makino was played by the actress Yuki Uchida. The original F4 was played by the actors Shosuke Tanihara, Naohito Fujiki, Koichi Hashizume, and Kensaku Saeki.
Meteor Garden (2001)
The first series adaptation surprisingly came from Taiwan. Does the name "Dao Ming Si" sound familiar? You've probably heard him being mentioned multiple times!
As it was a Taiwanese adaptation, the original names had to be changed. Our favourite female protagonist was now Dong Shan Cai, starring actress Barbie Hsu. Our beloved F4 were now characters named Dao Ming Si played by Jerry Yan, Hua Ze Lei played by Vic Chou, Mei Zuo played by Vanness Wu, and Xi Men played by Ken Chu.
The following year, in 2002, the two sequels called Meteor Rain and Meteor Garden II came out!
Hana Yori Dango (2005)
Four years after the first series adaptation, a Japanese series was made! This time, Makino Tsukushi was played by Inoue Mao, and for the F4, we have Matsumoto Jun, Oguri Shun, Abe Tsuyoshi, and Matsuda Shota! Following this series were many sequels: Hana Yori Dango 2, Hana Yori Dango 2 (Returns), Bangai Hen: Makinoke Hajimete no Kazoku Ryoko in N.Y, Hana Yori Dango Special Final, and lastly, Hana Yori Dango Final! (Makino here got the red card by defending her friend this time)
Boys Over Flowers (2009)
Finally, the iconic adaptation that set the wave! Boys Over Flowers series from Korea. When 2009 hit, the Korean adaptation came out and in turn, helped spread around the world. If you're a Kpop fan, you might have heard its OST frequently in variety shows. Do the two words "almost paradise" ring a bell? With the new country came new names! Then, we had Geum Jan Di played by Gu Hye Seon, and for the F4 that almost everyone knows today, we have their unique names being Yoon Ji Hoo, Goo Joon Pyo, So Yi Jung, and Song Woo Bin. These four handsome men were played by actors Lee Min Ho, Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Bum, and Kim Joon.
Get the most out of the nostalgia with this song:
Meteor Garden (2018)
Nearly ten years later, China came back with a new version of Meteor Show, but this time with the same names as the Taiwanese adaptation. Even the character names were the same, but of course, with a fresh batch of actors to play. For Dong Shan Cai, we had the actress Shen Yue. The ever so fierce F4 was played by the actors Dylan Wang, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, and Leon Leong.
F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers (2021)
Lastly, we have the latest adaptation, this time, from Thailand! This new gem has yet to be released. It is scheduled to air in August, and thousands of fans are excited about it not only because it's a new adaptation of Boys Over Flowers but also because of the choice of casting!
Our female protagonist is now Gorya, and the latest F4 group being named Thyme, Kavin, M.J., and Ren. The actress for the main lead is Tu Tontawan, and the actors for F4 being Bright Vachirawit, Win Metawin, Nani Hirunkit, and Dew Jirawat.
Have a look at the trailer of the most anticipated F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers here:
A Netizen Comparison Between Adaptations
Unlike the original manga, netizens have found that the live adaptations did not contain the same amount of "toxic themes" displayed in the graphic novel.
For the Japanese adaptation, some netizens found it to be bland. Yet, they saw the female lead character as better written than other dramas and found that the leading lady had a higher chemistry level with the male leads. Plus, the characters were a lot more lovable compared to the manga.
For the Taiwanese adaptation, some netizens prefer it over the Korean adaptation as they've said that the characters for F4 made more sense and felt more defined.
For the Korean adaptation, netizens found it refreshing to see that parts of the storyline were adjusted to fit a Korean setting. Many have even commented that they found the Korean version to be the best out of all! Plus, the storyline was extended compared to the Japanese version since they had more episodes. However, netizens have commented that this may have dragged out the series too much.
For the Chinese Netflix adaptation released in 2018, opinions were divided in half. The first expressing their disappointment in the actors' ability in acting and long 50 episodes, while the other defended how it has better appealed in the current views of what it is like to be rich and complicate the storyline. The violence in this adaptation was notably lower compared to earlier versions.
However, one thing is for sure! Many viewers agree that the adaptations veered away from the original toxic themes for a healthier version through the years. Will F4 Thailand continue this development?
If you're looking for more adaptations to binge on, there are quite a few that aren't exactly "official." These are the dramas that didn't pay for the I.P. but were still made:
Siapa Takut Jatuh Cinta from Indonesia (2002)
Let's Go Watch Meteor Shower from China (2009)
Boys Before Friends from USA (2013)
Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan from India (2014)
Did you know that there was even supposed to be a Boys Over Flowers Philippine adaptation? But since the first auditions being held in 2017, the project's status is currently unknown or seem to be cancelled.
Who would have thought a series could have so much impact on the world? Boys Over Flowers has certainly set the global standard for romantic comedies, enemies to lovers, and school dramas! Which of the adaptations did you like the best? Haven't watched it yet? Well, this is a sign for you to go ahead and pick the transformation you want to watch the most! Better yet, binge them all!