Boys Over Flowers is definitely a classic shoujo romance, set in a school with a quintessential love triangle between a strong, intelligent protagonist and two boys that rival in popularity, but couldn’t be any more different when it comes to personality.
Perhaps as a marker to how dramatic Boys Over Flowers can be, this story has been adapted into not only Japanese, but also Taiwanese, Korean, and Indian television dramas.
Known in Japan as Hana Yori Dango, and affectionately shortened to HanaDan, Boys Over Flowers tells a strikingly realistic, but equally unbelievable fairytale of a high school girl Tsukushi Makino who goes to a high school exclusively for the rich upper crust of society; however, this high school is terrorized by four gorgeous and powerful men; the Flower Four (F4), who bully just about anyone for any reason. Tsukushi easily becomes their next target for her brazen outspokenness against their twisted shenanigans, but she will never give in and continues to stand up against them. In a super gigantic plot twist, she ends up falling for one or two of them, despite their obvious mean streak. Boys Over Flowers became and still is the gold standard for bad boy love triangle drama even though the anime aired over 18 years ago. After such a long hiatus, a second manga series of Boys Over Flowers is currently being released and is called Hana Nochi Hare: HanaDan Next Season. If you prefer watching anime to reading manga, here are six anime similar to Boys Over Flowers all ready for your viewing pleasure!
Similar Anime to Hana Yori Dango / Similar Anime to Boys Over Flowers
1. Marmalade Boy
- Episodes: 76
- Aired: Mar. 1994 – Sept. 1995
An oldie but goodie, Marmalade Boy is a shoujo, romance anime that actually predates Boys Over Flowers by a couple years. Produced by the same studio, Toei Animation, Marmalade Boy was made as one of a series of shoujo anime including Boys Over Flowers, so it’s no wonder the two are quite similar in storytelling and animation.
In Marmalade Boy, a likable Miki finds herself in an emotionally complicated love triangle as she finds herself truly falling in love for the first time. Two families strangely decide to family swap, bringing together Miki and her new brother Yuu. Yuu is originally cruel to Miki, but somewhere and somehow they find love in a “broken” place. Life isn’t smooth sailing, however, as a jealous ex continuously tries to break them apart. Marmalade boy Yuu isn’t as heartless as Domyouji in the beginning of Boys Over Flowers, but it has all that angst and old school flavor that will put you right back into F4 mode.
Marmalade Boy Opening
2. Peach Girl
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Jan 2006 – Jun 2006
Peach Girl is a shoujo, romance, school anime with a dramatic high school love triangle involving an average high school girl Momo, who gets teased for being too tan. She agonizes if she should remake herself for the boy she loves or turn to another boy who likes her. She also has to fend off other a love rival, namely her best friend, or should I say “frenemy.”
The main focus of Peach Girl is feelings, and the characters have a lot of them, a whole lot of them. If you loved the suspense of guessing and second-guessing who the main girl will end up with in Boys Over Flowers, then this is the love triangle for you.
Peach Girl Trailer
3. Ouran Koukou Host Club (Ouran High School Host Club)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2006 – Sept. 2006
Sometimes, you just want a modernized Cinderella tale of entering the world of high society and a class-crossing love story without all the angst. You don’t want to cry, but you just want to laugh and laugh and laugh. At those times, you want Ouran High School Host Club.
Ouran High School Host Club is a shoujo, romance, comedy, school anime, but it’s pretty heavy on the comedy. The anime stars Haruhi, a bright, middle-class girl who attends a private high school for the rich elite. She plans on simply studying hard and flying under the radar until graduation, until she breaks an insanely expensive vase owned by the Ouran High School Host Club, a club in which the most handsome men on campus play host to their female classmates. To pay for the vase, Haruhi joins the club and cross-dresses as a male host, but this risky move brings her to the attention of the prince of the hosts, Tamaki, who quickly falls for her.
Ouran High School Host Club is a light-hearted comedy with a hint of romance between our intelligent lead and a not-so-intelligent but gorgeous rich boy. It is almost as if someone took Boys Over Flowers and decided to make all the characters into adorable caricatures of themselves while throwing in a few more flower boys, you know, for fun.
Ouran High School Host Club Trailer
Any Animes Like Hana Yori Dango / Any Animes Like Boys Over Flowers ?
4. Kaichou wa Maid-sama! (Maid-sama!)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr 2010 – Sept 2010
Just like Boys Over Flowers, this anime spans a lot of genres: shoujo, romance, school, and comedy. Misaki is the strong, smart student council president of her high school, but she also works at a maid café to make ends meet. She managed to keep her image-destroying part-time job a secret from her schoolmates until she gets spotted by the most popular boy in school, Usui, a handsome teenage boy who is rather aloof and somewhat cold. In classic romantic comedy fashion, hilarity ensues as Misaki agonizes over if Usui will tell the world about her secret, but this horrible situation soon turns to love.
Privileged bad boy? Check. Poor, hard-working girl? Check. It may be a slightly different version of the rich boy, poor girl formula when compared to Boys Over Flowers, but Maid-sama! does it well and with a few laughs. The characters seem like a good match. In the end, you’re left with emotional satisfaction that you would expect from a romantic comedy.
You may be wondering by now, how could a self-respecting girl like Misaki (or Tsukushi) fall for a pretentious jerk like Usui (or Domyouji), and this anime will give you the answers, all the answers you already knew but wanted to know again.
Kaichou wa Maid-sama Opening
5. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red Hair)
- Episodes: 12 (Season 1), 12 (Season 2)
- Aired: Jul. 2015 – present
Boys Over Flowers may be a fairytale Cinderella story meets modern life, but Snow White with the Red Hair is an actual Cinderella tale, or a Snow White tale. A rich prince and a simple poor girl fall in love, but this time in a much sweeter and newer package. Snow White with the Red Hair is currently airing, so you get your romance with brand spanking new animation presented masterfully by the animation studio Bones.
Shirayuki is an honest, intelligent, and kind girl who works diligently at her family’s medicine shop, but when she is forced to become a concubine to the prince of her country, she flees only to be saved another prince, Prince Zen, of a neighboring country. Shirayuki enters the castle of Prince Zen because she wants to repay him for saving her but also because of growing feelings and attraction to him. The second season has just started. Since Zen’s older brother, the crowned prince, has returned to the castle, Shirayuki and Zen’s relationship has been put under a microscope. Meanwhile other men are also showing interest in Shirayuki. Will it lead to a royal wedding or to the end of a fairy tale?
Snow White with the Red Hair may appear too clean cut to be similar to Boys Over Flowers, but the difference in social status between the two main characters and how they learn to rely and trust each other despite all the upper class naysayers has the earmarking of Boys Over Flowers. That is, if Tsukushi would choose Hanazawa’s alternate reality sweet-hearted younger brother, who does not exist in HanaDan, but we wish he did! Not to mention the show is super character-driven, and Shirayuki is an extremely lovable character and a joy to watch in this classic shoujo series.
Akagami no Shirayuki-hime Season 2 Trailer
6. Nagi no Asukara (A Lull in the Sea)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct. 2013 – Apr. 2014
A Lull in the Sea brings a purely fantastical story to the modern world with gorgeous modern animation and is heavy on the drama and romance with a splash of fantasy. In a small coastal town in Japan, the local people share the shore with a group of people who live under the sea. But, as sea dwellers are slowly and controversially moving to live on land, the sea people population has become so small, sea schools have closed, and the children must attend school with land dwellers.
One sweet and simple-minded junior high school girl of the sea, Manaka, finds herself drawn to a new classmate on land, Tsumugu, who also has a keen interest in the students from the sea. This new found innocent relationship is troubling to Manaka’s childhood friend, Hikari, who sees himself as Manaka’s only protector and only match, though he is unsure of his true feelings. These relationships are further strained by discrimination and deep-seated rivalries between those of the land and those of the sea. A Lull in the Sea is a beautiful love polygon mixed with coastal town mythology that will bring you to tears of sadness and joy.
Instead of social class discrimination we see in Boys Over Flowers, A Lull in the Sea brings us tensions between “races” of people. Like Boys Over Flowers, characters rule the story, and emotional conflicts, expressed or not, are always front and center. Not to mention there are more love triangles than you can wave a stick at. The story is mainly told from Hikari’s perspective, but the emotions are so raw and real, A Lull in the Sea is guaranteed to leave you a giant, sobbing puddle on the floor, regardless who you’re shipping. That being said, who do you ship?
Nagi no Asukara Trailer:
Whether you loved Boys Over Flowers for its incredible heroine, the bad boys, the super dramatic love triangle, the fairytale aspects, or all the teenage angst you just can’t handle, but really wished you could, we are sure you can find something to meet your tastes in this list.
By and far, Boys Over Flowers is the quintessential shoujo anime, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a new guilty pleasure! After all, we all need a little romantic tension in our television lives.