I recently finished the K-drama series titled Boys Over Flowers. It’s known as one of the top shoujo to live action shows ever made and has captivated a record number of viewers. It is based on a Japanese shoujo manga that was written starting in the early 90’s. It has become a must watch on most top Shoujo lists, so does it stand up to the hype?
Boys over Flowers revolves around our heroine JanDi who saves a bullied aristocrat on a laundry delivery to the Shinwa Academy. The academy teaches all the way up to college and can only be attended by the selected wealthy. The school, however, is anything but the prestigious place it is presented to be thanks to most of the student body doing the bully-ridden bidding of F4. F4 is a group orbiting around the heir to the Shinhwa group that owns the academy and that is also one of the wealthiest companies in the world.
To start out her school year JanDi quickly pisses off the head of F4 Gun Jyun Pyo leading to a red card showing up in her locker to represent her as the target of school bullying. The bullying soon turns into a contest of who can outlast who between the two. JanDi quickly starts to befriend members of F4 starting with prestigious Ji Hoo who is the grandson of the former Korean president. Eventually, Gun Jyun pyo comes to the realization that JanDi is only resisting him because she’s in love with him. Thus begins the start to one of the most chaotic love stories you can imagine.
The relationship between the two seems to always come with various break-ups due to the lack of communication between the two characters. The other two members of F4 Woo-bin and Yi-Jeong are always there to pick up the pieces and figure out what went wrong for the rest of the group. Ga Uel who is Jan-Di’s best friends assists the two by helping with Jan-Di whenever things go south. Together this Trio keeps the relationship running from behind the scenes for most of the show.
While the earlier plot focuses on misunderstanding the second half of the show has an actual antagonist. Chairman Kang is the chairwoman of the Shinhwa group and only believes her son Jyun Pyo should date within his class. When she finds out that he is dating Jan-Di she offers money for the two to break-up, of course, it is refused which sends her into a rampage. The mother causes a mountain of problems for Jan-Di including getting her family evicted from their home.
The story also stops to focus on the other members of F4 as well. They look at Ji Hoo’s family situation between him and his missing grandfather, as well as his first break-up with the woman he loves. Yi-Joengs growing relationship with Ga Uel that develops as the two help Jan-Di and Jun Pyo through their confusing relationship, and Woo bins playboy lifestyle. The family memebers of most of the characters are shown with needed degree’s of character development that helps add depth to the main cast.
The story overall is pretty long at 25 episodes that are all over an hour each, that being said the manga and anime both clock in at about the same read and watch time in length. The show is deep and well done but it does show it’s age with some of the tropes it uses to carry its story along. It’s also hard at first to relate to the main characters since there is so little communication between them, but if you can get past that it is a great watch!
What do you think of Boys Over Flowers, let us know in the comments below!