Boys Over Flowers (Hana yori Dango) is a manga, or Japanese comic series, that was created by Yoko Kamio. Boys Over Flowers is considered to be a shōjo manga, which means that its target audience is high school girls. It was, in fact, released in the manga magazine Margaret, whose prime audience is high school girls as well. The manga became extremely popular and was adapted into an anime in 2003. It was then later created into a television drama as well as an animated movie. A television series called Meteor Garden used Boys Over Flowers as the basis for its series. In 2003, the series was also released in the US and Canada.
The story focuses on Tsukushi Makino. Tsukushi is a teenager girl who is fairly poor. Her family has to work for a living, and she ends up going to Eitoku Academy, which is a school for children that come from the higher end of society. She is the only one in the school whose parents work in poorer jobs. Enter the Flower Four (the F4). These are the elite of the school. They are boys whose parents are the richest and they run the school. Their leader, Tsukasa Domyoji, finds himself attracted to Tsukushi, if only because she does not flirt with him and fall all over herself for his attention like all of the other girls do. Tsukushi does not return the feelings, and falls for Rui Hanazawa.
Rui is another member of the F4. A violinist, he is a very quiet teen. He is not attracted to Tsukushi the same way she is to him, and sees her as more of a friend than anything else. He actually has a crush on Shizuka Todo, who is a model that Tsukushi idolizes.
Akira Mimasaka is another member of F4, and fancies himself the peace maker of the quartet. Finally, Sojiro Nishikado rounds the group out. Both Akira and Sojiro are considered playboys, as they have more than one girlfriend at a time quite frequently. Sojiro prefers being in relaxing relationships with women, where he does not have to make a commitment, and Akira likes to date women that are older than he is because he finds his mother and sisters fairly silly.
The story follows Tsukushi as she comes to realize that Tsukasa is not the bad guy she made him out to be. He shows how he feels for her in a number of ways, including sticking up for her when no one else will. As Tsukushi tries her best to become one of the students in a snobby, stuck-up school, and to keep up with the lifestyle of the richer girls, she learns important life lessons that leave her realizing what is truly important in life.
The movie is quite a bit different than the manga and the anime. Instead of being a regular, upscale school that Tsukushi is trying to fit into, it is instead a dancing school. The other characters appear as supporting staff and as dancers. It has been remarked that this movie resembles Flashdance fairly closely.