Meteor Garden is undeniably the most endearing and popular Asianovela in the Philippines. Inspired by the Japanese shōjo manga series Hana Yori Dango penned by comic artist and writer Yoko Kamio, it chronicles the story of an average teenage girl who gets involved with the elite group of four rich and handsome guys in their school dubbed as F4.
Because of its fascinating, refreshing, and relatable storyline, it was adapted multiple times in different parts of the world, with the Taiwanese and South Korean incarnations continuously creating formidable impact to Filipino audiences while the latest Chinese version is expected to also become a hit once it starts to air.
As we eager await the new Meteor Garden premiere, here are the Hana Yori Dango remakes that totally got the Kapamilyas hooked.
Meteor Garden (2001)
Before we get engrossed with the Korean dramas and drop head over heels to the oppas we’re infatuated with nowadays, we first got addicted to the first and most unforgettable television adaptation of all time. The original Meteor Garden starred dashing dudes Jerry Yan as Dao Ming Si, Vic Zhou as Hua Ze Lei, Ken Chu as Xi Men, and Vanness Wu as Mei Zuo as the first and the most famous F4, with Barbie Hsu as the invincible Shan Cai. It was launched in Taiwan in 2001, but only reached the Philippines in 2003.
Who would forget the signature pineapple hair of the Dao Ming Si and the fearsome red card bestowed to everyone who would attempt to go against the F4? And even the double braids of Shan Cai that became a fad among the girls?
Due to its popularity, a bunch of its notable scenes, and even the F4’s music videos were satirized in some local shows and movies. Besides, even after the production had wrapped up, fans continued to follow the career paths of every one of them.
Although it’s the pioneer incarnation, it didn’t adhere to the flow of the manga as its creators released a second part of it which is not already a part of the story.
Boys Over Flowers (2009)
Eight years after, and in the midst of the Hallyu wave, South Korea created their own version of the phenomenal series, which is said to be the closest to the original narrative and even stuck to its original title Boys Over Flowers.
Unlike its predecessor, it was set in high school and even provided story arcs for the two “underappreciated” members of F4, Xi Men and Mei Zuo. It also catapulted Lee Min Ho, who personified the squad leader Gu Jun-pyo, to fame and became one of the premier Korean actors of his generation. Completing this rehash’s F4 were Kim Hyun-joong as Yoon Ji-hoo (Hua Ze Lei), Kim Bum as So Yi-jung (Xi Men), and Kim Joon as Song Woo-bin (Mei Zuo). Seasoned actress Ku Hye-sun was tapped to play the headstrong, optimistic, and good-natured Geum Jan-di.
Meteor Garden (2018)
And sixteen years after the Taiwanese version dominated the world, the news of its Chinese remake spread like wildfire last year, with fans already gushing over the newest actors portraying the iconic roles of F4 and Shan Cai.
The original Meteor Garden producer Angie Chai pieced together the 48-episode reboot iset in Shanghai, China. Spearheading the roster of its talented ensemble is fast-rising actress Shen Yue who would play the strong-willed yet affectionate female lead. Taking on the roles of the iconic F4 are charming newbie actors Dylan Wang as Dao Ming Si, Darren Chen as Hua Ze Lei, Connor Leong as Mei Zuo, and Caesar Wu as Xi Men.
These young, good-looking artists already have a huge following from Filipino fans.
Since it’s tagged as the modernized remake of the original version we all loved, expect it to have a millennial vibe – from the set design, props, and overall look of the characters to the execution and other small details of every of every scene.
If looking back to the past incarnations makes you reminiscent, well, we’re making everything nostalgic. The new Meteor Garden will air on the same timeslot as its original version 15 years ago, kicking off the Kapamilya primetime block. Are your hearts ready to meet the newest Shan Cai and F4? Don’t miss its pilot episode on August 20, before TV Patrol.