-- HYD Anime Series Guide -----------------------
The Hana Yori Dango anime series was first aired on TV in Japan from September 1996 to August 1997, and for the longest time it was only available to us non-Japanese literate viewers through fansubs that was provided by Pakman Productions and Sachi's Distribution. (They did a superb job!)
The good news is HYD has since been licensed by Viz and the first DVD was then finally released in North America during September of 2003 under its English name, "Boys Over Flowers". Yes, you can now purchase Hana Yori Dango DVDs- brought to you by Ventura Distribution. ^_^
There are a total of 51 episodes to the anime (approx. 23 minutes each), and it's "completed"- meaning it has an ending and the story isn't left chopped off like many manga-turned-anime series. One thing to note, however, is that the anime's ending is not the same as the manga's ending. This was due to the fact that the manga was not yet completed at the time...which meant the anime's storyline had to eventually split and take its own course towards a different ending.
The anime series actually follows the manga's storyline relatively accurately, with most key moments included but covering only up to around volume 18. There are some minor alterations and areas that were left out, as is often to be expected in animated versions of a manga. But mostly, the story flows along quite nicely and it's definitely worth picking up. Whether you're new to the series or you're already familiar with the manga, the anime has enough of its own appeal that it can be enjoyed by both new and old fans alike.
If you've read the manga and haven't seen the anime, but really want to know the differences- read further down, but beware of spoilers.
From Left to Right:
For information on who their Japanese seiyuu and English voice actors are, please refer to the characters section.
Below are the cover images of the U.S. DVD release from volume 1 through 6. For more information, hover your mouse over the image. As a side note, the HYD DVDs have been rated PG-13 for violence, adult themes, and intensity.
Anime & Manga Differences
I often hear people asking what sort of notable differences took place in the anime when compared to the manga's storyline. As I've mentioned, there were some minor changes and adaptations made for the anime. Below, I've listed some but please note that they're filled with spoilers. It's impossible to touch upon the differences without spoiling something...so please only proceed if you're okay with that.
Shigeru transferred from Eirin and attended Eitoku once she decided to "pursue" her relationship with Doumyouji. In the manga, she never transferred over while in the anime, we actually see some additional clips and scenes of Shigeru while she was in Eitoku.
After Rui came back from France (the Shizuka trip), Shizuka actually eventually came back to find him...where they then made up and returned to France together. So yes, in the anime, they ended up together.
One of Kaede's plans to separate Tsukushi and Doumyouji, which was the study abroad program where Tsukushi was actually going to go to Boston and leave Eitoku behind. This didn't happen in the manga.
The relationship between Doumyouji and Shigeru dragged on longer and took several different turns than the manga did...in fact, all the way up to the end of the anime.
The ending was obviously different- but I think that's the most I should say about this part. ^^;
In the anime, when Doumyouji went to NY with his sister after the Rui incident, he hopped over to Canada and told Tsukushi to join him there. In the manga, however, Doumyouji was actually forced to stay in NY for a little bit before he flew right back to Japan after seeing a magazine with Kin's face on it.
This one is more like what was not included rather than the difference. I'm mentioning this because it was something that happened early on in the manga, but the anime skipped it completely- the beauty pageant.