Korean drama ‘Boys Over Flowers’ was based on Japanese manga titled ‘Hana Yori Dango’. This manga has been adapted into numerous versions of TV dramas. While the Taiwanese are reprising Meteor Garden (the Taiwanese version of Boys Over Flowers) the Japanese have come up with the refreshed version of the drama.
Boys Over Flowers Season 2 or the Japanese name ‘Hana Nochi Hare’ is the sequel to ‘Hana Yori Dango’ and is based on the manga written by Yoko Kamio. Here we do not have the ‘F4’ but we have the ‘C5’ i.e. the ‘Correct 5’ who take responsibility in upholding the pride and reputation of their school ‘Eitoku Academy’. The drama is set ten years after F4 has passed out from the same school. Haruto Kakuragi (the school’s most rich and popular boy) and his four friends have taken it upon themselves to carry on the legacy of F4 and ensure that Eitoku Academy remains the best and most sought-after school. For this, they have to eliminate all the poor students who supposedly malign the academy’s name.
Oto Edogawa is a student of Eitoku Academy who was once rich but has now lost all her fortune and is living hand-to-mouth. But no one in the school knows of her harsh reality so she pretends to be rich to be able to continue attending the prestigious school. Going to school ensures that she will remain engaged to her fiancée Tenma Hase who is a rich boy from the rival school. However, C5 discover the truth and are now after her. But how will she save herself from them?
I watched the first episode and loved it so here I bring you the written update or recap to it. The problem with this dorama is availability. This drama is telecast once a week every Tuesday in Japan. However, it is difficult to find a good subbed version of this drama. So, I will write the episodes as and when the subbed versions are available. Hope you enjoy it.
Boys Over Flowers Season 2 (Hana Nochi Hare): Episode 1
The dorama starts with Oto Edogawa’s (Hana Sugisaki) family and her fiancée Tenma Hase’s (Taishi Nakagawa) family celebrating her admission into the prestigious Eitoku Academy where she will be studying in the coming six months.
Oto and Tenma’s family are surprised about how their children have grown so quickly. Oto’s father then jokes that very soon they might even see their grandchildren. Oto’s mother realises how sensitive the topic is since Tenma’s mother, who is in a wheelchair, is suffering from a fatal disease and may not live long enough. She then quickly changes the topic and asks Oto to click a family picture with Tenma’s family.
Fast forward, 1.5 years later, Oto is preparing breakfast as she now lives with her mother in a tiny house in a humble locality. In a voice-over, she explains that her father’s company went bankrupt and they lost everything they had. She narrates that she did not have money to spend on shampoo so she cut her hair. As she gets ready for school, her mother mumbles about receiving a gift in her sleep. Oto chuckles at her mother’s sleep talk and leaves for school.
She walks with her head down trying to avoid getting noticed as a fleet of expensive cars line at the gate of her school. In school, everyone discusses their foreign trips and expensive gadgets while Oto avoids talking to anyone as she heads straight to her class.
Suddenly, a boy comes running helter-skelter screaming ‘peasant hunt’ which alerts Ota. The boy informs her class that someone among them is going to be hunted down by C5 and Ota quivers in her seat fearing that she might be the one he is talking about. Just then, a group of 5 young students in black suits enter the class and look out for someone. Ota shuts her eyes tightly and ducks in her seat ready to be ‘hunted’ when the leader of the gang, Haruto Kakuragi (Sho Hirano) slams his fist on a desk next to Ota and sneers that the boy has neither paid donation nor his fees for the last semester.
The boy wails that his father’s company has not been doing well and that he will pay the fees within the next six months but Haruto refuses to budge as he hands the boy his dismissal letter and orders him to submit his withdrawal form within the next 24 hours.
The boy slumps to the floor while the rest of the students deride him for attending their school despite being poor. They collectively bully him as they chant ‘get out’ to him. Ota is stunned by all this and is more determined to hide her reality even more fiercely.
Ota’s friend drives Ota home and her friends gush over C5 i.e Correct 5 or the righteous 5. The group includes Kaito Taira (Tatsuomi Hamada) who has the highest IQ in the history of the school and hails from an influential family of Japanese politicians.
Next is Airi Maya (Mio Imada) who is the daughter of a real estate king and is known for her beauty.
Then there is Issa Narumiya (Jin Suzuki) who is the successor of the noble Narumiya family known for their ikebana i.e. flower arrangement.
Then we have Sugimaru Eiibi (Keisuke Nakata) whose father owns the sports company EIBI sports and is a candidate for future Olympics.
And finally the leader of the group, Haruto Kakuragi is an ace tennis player and is proficient in seven languages. His father is the President of Kakuragi Holdings which is one of the three biggest financial giants in Japan and has been listed as one of the World’s Most Influential People.
Ota’s friend drops her outside her old mansion. Ota thanks her for the ride and the moment the car leaves she heads to her actual home. Ota is still disturbed by the events of the day so as she makes her way home, she accidentally freezes in front of Haruto’s car. Haruto steps out and scolds her for trying to die in front of his car.
The entire C5 then gang step out to see which idiot tried to die in front of the car and Ota falls to the ground in shock. The driver of the car asks if she is hurt and she nervously blurts that she isn’t hurt. Kaito does a quick scan of her face to determine who she is and as her details flash on his tablet she quickly apologises and runs for her life.
At her part-time job at the supermarket, Ota’s manager, Maeno tries to act funny with her but her co-worker Koono rescues her as she calls Ota to see a film shooting with a popular actress Megurin. Ota has no idea who the actress is but still waves out to her on Konno’s insistence.
At the C5 den, the gang discusses how the population of their academy has been on the decline while that of their rival school Momonozono Institute has been on a rise because of Hase Tenma’s (Taishi Nakagawa) success. Tenma’s father owns the IT company ‘Hase.Live’ which is now listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Tenma himself is proficient in sports and arts.
The group expresses concern over students transferring from Eitoku to Momonozono. Haruto screams at his gang for not being able to keep up their institutes’ reputation and urges them to do something about it.
At Ota’s humble abode, arrives a gift from Tenma’s step-mother who sends her branded stuff every month. Ota’s mother calls Tenma’s mother to thank her and asks to speak to Tenma but the lady lies that Tenma isn’t around and hangs up. Ota narrates that her engagement to Tenma is still on as that was his dying mother’s wish under the condition that Ota should study in Eitoku till she turns 18. For Ota’s mother, her engagement to Tenma is the only ray of hope to a better life because of which Ota resolves to do whatever it takes to remain in the school.
When Haruto arrives home from a morning jog, he finds his parents at home after several days. The atmosphere at the breakfast table is hostile as the family have breakfast together after a long time. Haruto’s butler Kobayashi tells his father that Haruto stood first in the horse riding competition. Haruto’s father looks unimpressed when he learns that it was just a regional competition and not a national competition. He reminds Haruto of how much he despises anything that is not perfect and Haruto recalls the scolding he got as a kid whenever he made a mistake at something.
At school, Ota is stopped by some boys distributing pamphlets for Momonozono Academy trying to lure students to their school. C5 arrive and shoo them away from their gate. They see a pamphlet in Ota hands who quickly apologises and runs away.
At Haruto’s home, Kobayashi informs him of the arrival of the ‘thing’ he had ordered online and Haruto asks him to do the ‘usual’. As Kobayashi turns to leave, he suffers a catch in his back and collapses to the floor.
Desperate, Haruto wears a hoodie to cover his face and visits the supermarket to collect his parcel. At the counter, Ota brings him his parcel, which is actually a game, and when she reads the name she grows curious to know if the boy is Kobayashi’s grandson and bends to see his face hidden behind the hoodie when she gasps in horror on seeing Haruto. Haruto too feels terrified on seeing Ota and runs away without the parcel as Ota drops to the floor.
At Haruto’s mansion, Haruto lies on his bed in despair as his C5 gang except for Airi, try to help him out with his situation. They scold him for being careless and he justifies that he did not dream that one of his school’s students would be working at a supermarket. For safety sake, he even ordered the game on Kobayashi’s name so no one knows about it. (Point!)
But his friends are not convinced and they dismiss his addiction to ordering suspicious stuff online. He again justifies that he does not order useless stuff and then lifts his jacket to show a navel piercing with a golden ball which is meant to make you happy.
Kaito rebukes him for his weird habits such as spreading online rumours with the help of Kobayashi about his non-existent fighting skills. He goes on to criticize Haruto for spreading false news of his proficiency in seven languages when all he knows is to say ‘Thank You’ in seven languages. He expresses his dislike for Haruto’s habit of buying weird stuff online. Haruto explains that he does all this just to get close to his idol Domyouji. He says he had promised Domyuji to uphold their school’s name. Seeing Haruto fret over Ota discovering his weird habit, he suggests they turn the tables this time.
Nervous, Ota prepares for her last day at school as she knows she will be hunted by C5 today. When she reaches school she is kidnapped by Kaito who takes her to Haruto’s car where he states her current financial condition and calls her a pauper before commanding her to leave the school right away. Ota stares back at him as he looks at her disdainfully.
They then hear a girls’ scream for help and see a girl from their school being harassed by some boys right outside the school gate. Kaito leaves to get Sugimaru who is the sports champion of their group while Haruto quivers silently. Ota urges him to help the girl reminding him of his vow to protect the school. Seeing him standing transfixed, she throws his game on his face expressing her contempt towards his lack of action.
Haruto then recalls an incident in his childhood when his friend was being harassed by a bunch of bullies and he only stood in a corner quaking in fear. His idol Domyuji (guest appearance by Matsumoto Jun who played Domyuji in Hana Yori Dango) then walks up to him and urges him to shake off his fear and fight for his friend. He then single-handedly tackles the bullies and saves Haruto’s friend. He then tells Haruto to be stronger and the hands him the pride of Eitoku.
Ota then runs to help the girl and the boys then start harassing her too. Overcome by emotions, Haruto screams at the boys to stop harassing the girls so the boys turn to him. He then nervously runs towards the boys and happens to trip and accidentally punches one boy in the gut. He then straightens himself with a jolt that accidentally sends the three boys to the ground. Haruto is stunned to see that he accidentally tackled three boys in two blows.
The girl who was being harassed thanks him and the rest of the crowd lift him thanking for his act of bravery. Kaito and Sugimaru reach the spot and are surprised to see the crowd chanting C5 and Haruto’s name for saving the two girls.
Ota escapes the crowd and quickly retrieves the game box that she threw at Haruto before running to help the girl. She then flashes a placard asking him to allow her to stay at the school or else she will reveal everything about his penchant for childish games.
At the C5 den, Haruto is angry that Ota has leverage over him and wants to destroy it to have full control over the school. Issa then suggests he make Ota fall in love with him because once she falls for him she will never go against him.
Putting Issa’s idea to use, Haruto visits Ota at the supermarket and invites her to his house which shocks her.
Ota wants to say no but her friend Konno accepts his invitation and they both go to his mansion where Konno’s jaws drop to the floor on seeing the opulence. Ota wants to leave right away but Konno stops her saying she wants to have just one meal in such an grand place. Ota to stunned to find Haruto in a white tuxedo (Woah! he looks hot!) and he says it his everyday clothes.
He takes them to his backyard where he has arranged for a lavish buffet for Ota. Konno goes dizzy with excitement as Ota looks in awe.
She then meets Kobayashi who tells her that he now works as a butler for Haruto’s family. In her excitement, Konno stumbles over a bottle and throws her plate on Haruto whose white tuxedo turns red and green.
Konno offers to reimburse for his suit and he instantly quotes 1 million which stuns Ota and Konno. He mocks her for being unable to pay an amount that huge and Konno assures to pay him in instalments. He goes on to mock her food coupons and insults her for being poor.
Unable to stand the humiliation, Ota heads to the buffet counter, grabs a meatloaf and smacks it hard across Haruto’s face. (Ha!) Unable to comprehend Ota’s action Haruto gapes at her in disbelief.
She screams at him for making fun of Konno who accepted her and taught her a lot of stuff. She rebukes him for his arrogance and his attempts at cleaning the school of the weak students. She tells him to never talk to her again and collecting her stuff runs out of the place as Haruto continues to lie on the ground in complete shock. He is surprised that things did not turn out the way he had imagined. He thought his surprise would impress Ota and she would happily sing a song proclaiming her love for him.
Still frozen on the ground, Haruto cannot come to terms with what just happened and his reverie is broken by Konno who apologises for being the reason behind Ota’s rejection. He rises in surprise and fiercely dismisses her idea that Haruto is in love with Ota.
Tenma is in his car when he sees Ota walking on the streets. He stops his car to be able to talk to her. Ota is ambushed by her manager Maeno who attacks her but she is saved by Haruto (Oh you got me Japanese dorama! I thought Tenma will save her.) who instantly tells her to no get any wrong idea.
But just then Maeno punches him sending him to the ground. Maeno tries to grab Ota but Haruto pulls him back and pounces on him like a monkey and bites his arm like a dog. (hahahaa… Since when did drama heroes start fighting so funnily? Love it.)
Scared Maeno flees the place cursing Haruto. Haruto tells Ota not to think that he saved her because he loves her because it is not true and that he can never fall for a lowly peasant like her.
She screams back that she does not misunderstand him because she already has a fiancée. Surprised he asks who it is and just then arrives the prince in white, Tenma leaving Ota in a fix.
That was an interesting cliffhanger, wasn’t it? This first episode was really entertaining. I like Ota so much for not being childish like Geum Jan Di. She’s cool and hard-working. The meatloaf smacking scene showed the feisty side of her and I am excited to see more of her foul temper.
I did see glimpses of Domyuji or Jun Pyo in Haruto but he still appeared to be different. Actor Sho Hirano acts well so I’m expecting this dorama to be a smooth journey acting-wise. Since this episode just introduced us to the characters in the dorama I would not be able to comment on the supporting cast. Honestly, none of the C5 gang members interest me for now. Looks like the dorama will focus mainly on Haruto and Ota.
As expected, Taishi Nakagawa who plays Tenma looks cute for the part of second-lead. However, I am a little sceptical of his acting. Hope he improves in this dorama because the main lead is really good to beat.
Image Courtesy: Tokyo Broadcasting System