Monday, December 2, 2013

Manga Mondays #170: Boys Over Flowers vol. 1 by Hana Yori Dango

Manga Mondays Meme

It's been far too long since I've done a Manga Mondays. I'm going to try to get back into the habit.

I've been doing Manga Mondays every week since I started my blog 3 years ago. It started out as a personal feature, but I decided to turn it into a meme last year. There are quite a few people who do Manga Mondays. I don't claim by any means that I owned or created the idea of Manga Mondays - it's an obvious choice given the alliteration. I think a meme is a great way for everyone to publicize their own Manga Mondays and get a little more publicity.

The linky will be below my review.

Boys Over Flowers vol. 1 by Hana Yori Dango


Tsukushi Makino has been accepted into the snobbish Eitoku academy. From a middle-class background and poor compared to her classmates, Tsukushi is determined to get her diploma. Standing in her way is the gang known as F4 -- four handsome but vicious rich kids who rule the school and attack anyone who gets in their way This popular series features drama, romance, humor, strong girls, and cute boys. When her only friend, Makiko, accidentally offends F4 leader Tsukasa, Tsukushi boldly defends her. Enraged, Tsukushi puts the dreaded red tag in Tsukushi's locker -- a sign that she is now a target for the abuse of the F4 and the entire school. But when Tsukushi fights the gang with their own weapon, Tsukasa finds himself falling for her (courtesy of Goodreads)


*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.

From the cover and title alone, I was expecting this to be a typical, ridiculous shoujo manga series. Perhaps it will become so eventually, but the first volume was surprisingly genuine and serious.

Boys Over Flowers tackles bullying, which, not surprisingly, is a problem in every country. Tsukushi is a middle class student attending an uber rich private school. The school is renowned not for its academic rigor, but for the cruelty of its ruling popular gang, the F4 - interestingly these consist solely of 4 guys. Anyone who crosses them is brutally ostracized. That itself is a little weird. The guys' actions are more typical of girl bullying, at least in my experience.

Tsukushi ends up on the F4's hit list after defending her friend against the leader of the group. This is when I really started liking the volume. She just takes it. She shrugs off everything the guys throw at her with an apathetic laugh. The consequence: the lead bully develops a secret respect for her, while continuing to torment her. Tsukushi is a very strong character. She is immediately likable.

The first volume is quite promising and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

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  1. I have such mixed feelings about this manga! And it's pretty closely related to the'll know what I mean pretty quickly. And yet I ended up watching the anime AND the KDrama (who knows why? I didn't even like the story that much!).

  2. I've had ups and downs with this manga so far. I'm up to Vol 12 now. There's some story arcs that I like better than other but honestly, I'm continuing to read them because I love Tsukushi as a character. She is unlike any shoujo heroines I've encountered thus far.

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