Love ‘Boys Over Flowers’? Learn all about the Chinese version
When the manga Hana Yori Dango made its debut in 1992, it quickly became a success thanks to its shojo style, aimed at young adult women. Over the years, the manga found itself adapted time and time again in various forms. Arguably the most popular adaptation was the Korean drama Boys Over Flowers, transplanting the Japanese story into South Korea.
But Korea wasn’t the only one to give Hana Yori Dango a makeover. China has had not one, but two series based on Hana Yori Dango. The first series, Meteor Shower, is often regarded as a rip-off of Boys Over Flowers, but the second series, Meteor Garden, was much more well received by fans of the franchise.
Transporting the F4 to China
Like most adaptations of Hana Yori Dango, Meteor Garden takes the characters of the manga and brings them into a Chinese environment. Following Dong Shancai and F4 at the prestigious Ming De University, the story feels the same as Boys Over Flowers.
Shancai struggles to find her place and F4’s leader Daoming Si makes her life hell. Slowly but surely he falls in love with Shancai, and Shancai finds her place among the F4 guys. Of course, Daoming Si’s mother is against Shancai being part of her son’s life, and will do anything to put her in her place.
Technically a remake of Meteor Garden
While the show is based on Hana Yori Dango, Meteor Garden is officially classified as a remake. A 2001 Taiwanese series of the same name, Meteor Garden was the first live action adaptation at the time of Hana Yori Dango. When the story became popular again thanks to the Japanese series Hana Yori Dango & Boys Over Flowers, producer Angie Chai knew she needed to bring the story back to life once again.
The original Chinese adaptation of Hana Yori Dango, Meteor Shower, wasn’t terrible, but it was forgotten fairly quickly among the international success of Boys Over Flowers, which premiered around the same time. So Chai wanted to give Chinese audiences their own version of the beloved story.
Meteor Garden follows the story of Hana Yori Dango as a base, but many of its deviations from the original manga are the same as the original Meteor Garden. For example, Daoming Si’s sister isn’t as big of a character as she is in the manga.
A strong hit
When Meteor Garden hit Chinese audiences on July 9th, 2018, the show quickly ruled the ratings as it scored some big numbers for the network Hunan Television. While the show did drop off in ratings as it continued airing, it remained a top show for the network during its season.
Not long after, the show was available on Hunan’s streaming service Mango TV, two days after episodes aired. The show also got picked up by Netflix for international audiences outside of Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
While it never hit the level of popularity Boys Over Flowers had during its run, Meteor Garden was still a certified hit and regarded by fans as a strong adaptation of Hana Yori Dango.