- Author: Youko Kamio
- Genres: Romance, Comedy, School Life, Drama, Slice-of-life
Mind-blowing! Hana Yori Dango is truly a CLASSIC in its genre. While reading this manga, I laughed, I cried, I got mad, and I fell in love with this amazing series.
Although Tsukushi Makino is from a poor family, she gets to attend an elite school for the super rich, where her life becomes intertwined with the “F4,” the ruling boys of the school, and what ensues is a whirlwind of love and confusion.
The plot is brilliant, and as original as you can make this genre. The story runs smoothly and consistently with a very appropriate pacing. This series has a perfect blend of comedy, drama, romance, and slice-of-life. Not a single page will bore you. The whole manga is just an emotional roller coaster ride.
The only shortcoming of this manga is its artwork. The art style is old-school and not really something you’d call pretty.
But don’t let the art at the beginning turn you off because it eventually gets better. So much so, that if you compare the art near the beginning to the art near the end … it’s almost as if you’re comparing two different manga. Then again, the story is so engaging that you won’t mind the art much anymore.
What impressed me the most in this manga is the character growth and the development. You get to love and hate the characters at the same time. It shows how fleshed out they are because you get to see both, their good and bad traits …
Tsukushi Makino is one of the strongest female leads I’ve ever seen. True, she doesn’t have the physical strength of Superman. But she is emotionally very strong, spunky, independent, stubborn, and stands up for what she believes is right and despite her tough persona, she has a warm and forgiving heart.
She also has her moments of weakness but that just makes her more human. I consider her a very inspirational heroine.
Even Domyouji is a very 3-dimensional and dynamic character, not at all like your stereotype “perfect Prince Charming” that you usually find in most romance manga.
The secondary characters too are very likeable and are given a lot of page space which is quite appreciable.
Though Hana Yori Dongo has an enormous number of chapters (241), don’t let that discourage you from reading this manga. I don’t think that the manga would have had such an emotional resonance if it had been a short series. Highly recommended to all people who love romcoms. I would rate it 8.4/10.