Continuing the F4 Legacy.
Edogawa Oto (Sugisaki Hana) was a girl from a rich family. She still attends the Eitoku Academy while hiding her family’s bankruptcy. Instead of F4 the school has C5, the Correct 5, who try to restore Eitoku to the glory it once had. It’s leader Kaguragi Haruto (Hirano Sho), goes around peasant hunting those that can’t pay donations to the school. Hase Tenma (Nakagawa Taishi) is the leader of a rival school trying to pass Eitoku. He also happens to be the fiancée of Edogawa, the only girl Kaguragi can’t seem to hunt out of school.
Edogawa was the only daughter to the Edo quality cosmetics company which suddenly bankrupted. The whole Edogawa family fell from their riches to the life of a regular citizen. Her father went of to work on a fishing boat and her mother is unable to pass a job interview or do any housework. This leaves Edogawa working part-time and running the house.
In school Edogawa lives in constant fear of someone finding out about her peasant status and tries to avoid everyone. Her family’s only hope of rising back to their spot in society is through Hase Tenma. He still remains a fiancée of Edogawa, but with the condition that she stays in Eitoku until she turns 18.
Kaguragi is the leader of C5. He is crazy about Domyoji Tsukasa and other members of F4 (some of which do make a special appearance in the drama). He has vowed to restore Eitoku to its glory but after he falls in love with Edogawa he starts questioning his methods.
He is looked up to as the best member of C5. Kaguragi is rumored to speak 7 languages, be great in many sports, and to top it all his father is the president of one of Japan’s big three financial conglomerates, the Kaguragi Holdings which measures up to the Domyoji Group. In reality he can only say thank you in 7 languages, can’t fight at all and has a bad relationship with his father.
Kaguragi is thick-headed and simple-minded. Despite his high status in school, his real personality is a complete opposite of it. He does goofy things, makes funny faces and loves to do suspicious online shopping; he buys good luck trinkets online and sincerely believes in their power no matter how silly they are. He heavily relies on his fellow C5 members to uphold his smart and invincible reputation in school.
Like most drama rich boys, he has a difficult relationship with his father. His father is a really “warm” person, often reminding his son that his family has no need for someone who isn’t perfect. This has made Kaguragi insecure and doubtful of his abilities.
The relationship between Edogawa and Kaguragi doesn’t start of perfect. She hits him with a slab of meat, punches him and avoids him all together. They find out each other’s secrets and Edogawa uses this as a way to stay in school. Despite her being engaged Kaguragi can’t ignore his feelings and decides to pursue her.
Kaguragi; “I’ll become a perfect guy who won’t lose to him.”
Edogawa; “Isn’t it fine even if you’re not perfect?”
Despite being dedicated to her fiancée, Edogawa spends time with Kaguragi. She finds herself being more honest with him and laughs a lot. To Kaguragi, she becomes the first and only exception to his peasant hunting rule.
The smartest member of C5 is Taira Kaito (Hamada Tatsuomi). He is the clichéd smart boy with his glasses and infinite amount of information.
Narumiya Issa (Suzuki Jin) is a successor to a noble family of ikebana and a lady’s man.
Eibi Sugimaru (Nakata Keisuke) is son of Eibi sports company. He is the candidate for next Olympics. Where Taira is the brains of the group Eibi is the body. He is not very smart but an excellent fighter.
Maya Airi (Imada Mio) is the only female in C5. She’s a daughter to a real estate king. She only joined the C5 because she is crazy for Kaguragi.
Hana Nochi Hare may not be right up there with the original Hana Yori Dango, but it does an excellent job of following in its footsteps. Hana Nochi Hare is actually an enjoyable spin-off. It has just enough of clichés and references to the original Hana Yori Dango, but most importantly it manages to make its characters interesting.
I especially love Kaguragi’s silliness- He never fails to make me laugh out loud with his antics. I also like the twist of Edogawa actually being engaged and this not being a simple re-enactment of Hana Yori Dango.
A spin kick replaced by a hit to the face with meat.
To make it simple, Hana Nochi Hare is an entertaining and funny drama you don’t want to miss.