Disclaimer: I have no idea what im talking about! go find someone who knows more about jdrama or Japan or manga or anime or ANYTHING to tell you about this show, as im bound to misspell names, mangle explanations and abuse language in a horrible way. This is an extremely basic intro, with the bare minimum of information, because really, its much more fun to watch and not know who's good and who's evil and who's about to do something insanely stupid or overdramatic.
Ok, so first point of confusion - Hana Yori Dango has been a manga, an anime, AND two different live action shows. We're talking about the Japanese one.
Lets meet a couple of peoples!
Makino Tsukushi is a) adorable and b) poor. She likes eating, standing up for people, and dreaming about her first kiss. She hates bullies.
She attends school at BIG!SCARY!SCHOOL! where everyone is richrichRICH. Except for her. Her main goal in life is to get through school without being noticed.
This is working fine until she stands up for a girl who is getting picked on by F4, the boys who basically own the school. They have more money than god, absolutely no taste in clothes, and have a hobby of handing out "red notices" to people who've gotten on their bad side. If you get a red notice, the whole school turns against you, torments you and takes joy in your pain. And then F4 beats you up until you cry and quit school.
I cant introduce you to all of F4, because I havent yet figured out how to spell the names of 2 of them, but out of those two, one only sleeps with women 10 years older than him, and the other sleeps with anything female.
But! I can introduce you to the other two!
Meet Doumyouji Tsukasa, the leader of F4. He enjoys beating people up, doing jigsaw puzzles, and mangling the Japanese language beyond all recognition. Thanks entirely to sarahtales, i started out calling him Dorkface, and now I cant stop.
Hanazawa Rui is the "mysterious" member of F4, who sometimes wanders off while the others are beating someone up because he's bored. He likes to read on the fire escape and pine over a model. He is hot like burning.
So! Our lovely lady stands up for another student who is getting picked upon, and gets herself a red notice. She gets garbage dumped on her head, water poured on her, the other students throw her desk away, and F4 keeps picking at her - destroying her lunch and breaking her lunchbox and all kinds of things. Including one briefly disturbing scene of an almost sexual assault. However, Makino doesnt give in so easy, and keeps going to school, which is driving Dorkface crazy. Also, Rui keeps randomly being in places where she is when she's being attacked, picked on, and whatever, and she owes several close saves to an idle, bored word from him. She thinks she might love Rui, as he is a)hot and b)her savior.
Of course, eventually, she snaps, at which point, she punches Dorkface IN THE FACE in front of the entire school and declares war. It is quite the awesome.
And also at this point, Dorkface, who is rather inept in dealing with, understanding, or even being the same space with other people, starts getting funny feelings that he doesnt know how to label about this girl. Which leads to him "accidentally" being in the same place she is to offer her a ride to school. Which she refuses. As you should when you think someone might want to kill you. And then, y'all, HE CHASES HER DOWN THE STREET trying to get her to get in the car as she flees in fear from this weirdo!
I cant tell you anymore, except, really, it is full of awesome. It is totally insane and I LOVE IT. There are kidnappings! makeovers! ridiculous clothes! love! wealth! hilarious evil girls! Rui looking hot! HOW CAN YOU RESIST?
There are so many more awesome characters, and so much going on, but ive just gotten through episode 5, and I dont want to give too much away!
You can stream the episodes online here, i think, but jdramas is a fabulous resource for links and downloads and stuff. You have to join the comm, but this link is a good place to start.
PS. This scene makes me flail wildly.