We’ve reached the final stage of the Japanese Hana Yori Dango drama series with the movie Hana Yori Dango Final (2008). As this follows up after Hana Yori Dango and Hana Yori Dango Returns, there will be spoilers for the two series.
What’s it about?
Makino Tsukushi (Mao Inoue) and Domyoji Tsukasa (Jun Matsumoto) are finally engaged, having overcome all of their previous difficulties and having earned the reluctant acceptance of Tsukasa’s mother Kaede (Mariko Kaga). In a show of good faith, Kaede presents the couple with a family heirloom in the form of a tiara. However, their hotel room is broken into, and the tiara stolen. Tsukushi and Tsukasa decide that they must get it back quickly and quietly, and fortunately their friends, the other members of the F4, are there to help them. However, their travel to Nevada, USA, is only the beginning of a long journey.
One thing that I really liked about this movie is that we finally get to see Tsukushi and Tsukasa as a couple. They’re actually pretty cute together, with their bickering back and forth. I also love Tsukushi’s reaction to Tsukasa’s constant stupidity… especially his mix-ups with idioms!
I also like that we have Tsukushi being overwhelmed by Tsukasa’s life in this movie. It wasn’t a main feature throughout the series, but it’s obvious that she should be so shocked by a world in which money is only money. I also like that she doubts herself in this new strange world; it makes her a much better character!
As a whole, the movie was really haphazard. It jumps around from scene to scene really quickly, with some major mood changes. At times I was often wondering what the actual point of the movie was, despite having a clear plot… this was how jumpy it was! I also didn’t really like the plot of the movie itself; the reason for everything happening in the first place was… well… rather stupid. It would have been okay if the movie was sort of played for fun, but everything was treated super-seriously, and it just came off as silly. Finally, as with the drama series, we still have the inconsistent characterisation of Tsukasa. So much for character growth.
Anything else I should consider?
As I mentioned in my review of the second series, you don’t really need to watch this movie to feel like you’ve completed the story-line. And well… I don’t think you really should!
I should also mention that there is another movie associated with this series, although it is about Tsukushi’s family visiting New York at the same time she went at the beginning of the second season. I did not watch it.
Story: 5/10. Although parts were enjoyable, as a whole, the movie felt rather pointless and messy.
Characters: 6/10. Tsukushi shows further character development while Tsukasa remains the same… inconsistent.
As you can probably tell by now, I didn’t really like this movie. On the surface it is pretty enjoyable, with some cute Tsukushi-Tsukasa moments and a fun atmosphere, but when you start to really think about the plot and start to see how jumpy the movie is, you start to wonder if this movie was really necessary. Overall I give it a 5/10, and a recommendation to check out only if you’re a hard-core Hana Yori Dango fan.