Pride & Prejudice: A Hana yori Dango Site
-- Manga Summary: Story Arc 1 --

Translator's Notes:
Summarized & HTML'ized by Mandisa Washington. c. 2001, ver. 1.0
Original material by Yohko Kamio, Margaret Comics, Shueisha, 1992-93.


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Summer Vacation

Welcome to Eitoku Academy. For the children of the rich and powerful, this school provides an elite academic and social environment from Kindergarten through the university level. The grounds are lush and extensive, with lots of places to sit or stroll quietly or relax with friends. It is late spring, and a few months into the school year.

Chapter 1: The Weed Endures

Makino Tsukushi, a first-year high school student, attends Eitoku on scholarship. She works very hard on her schoolwork and maintains a part-time salesclerk job at a local bakery. Her mother and father are very proud of her achievements, and struggle to keep her in this expensive school. For their sake, she endures the daily slights that come with being a working-class girl in an upper-class world.

In all of Eitoku, Tsukushi has one girl whom she calls friend, Makiko. When Makiko accidently angers the school's legendary bully, Doumyouji Tsukasa, Tsukushi stands up in defense of her friend. She haughtily points out his total dependence on his family's wealth and power. Unfortunately, this switches the focus of the powerful boy's wrath on to Tsukushi instead. She receives a 'red tag', the mark of disfavor, and her torment at the hands of her classmates begins in earnest.

Dismayed at first, Tsukushi rises to the occasion admirably, and issues her own challenge in return. Doumyouji has three friends, all from rich and powerful families, who share his tyrannical tendencies. This 'F4' group has terrorized Eitoku since kindergarten, but now little Makino Tsukushi has red-tagged them!

End Chapter 1 -- Return to Contents

Chapter 2: "... ga suki" (I like...)

Among the F4, there is a boy who appears to be less rabid than his friends. Hanazawa Rui, an introverted violinist of few words, comes to Makino's aid and even speaks with her. Gentle, if not actually warm and friendly, Rui affects disinterest even as he spends pleasant time with Tsukushi in a quiet corner of campus. For her part, Tsukushi has been so starved at Eitoku for simple friendship and companionship, the sad, self-mocking eyes of Hanazawa Rui become her personal sanity-preserver as life at Eitoku grows more difficult.

Vexed and intrigued by Tsukushi's steady resistance to daily torture, Doumyouji calls upon his family's private security force to investigate the matter. After several failed attempts by his minions, Doumyouji himself orchestrates Tsukushi's abduction to his local manor house. Drugged and bound, Tsukushi fears the worst, but awakens to a full spa treatment, complete with massage, hair & makeup, and designer clothes. In fact, this is merely a bathroom in Doumyouji's house, and he offers her the dream-of-a-lifetime chance to live there, with him, as his companion.

Shocked and surprised, Tsukushi rejects him utterly and storms off, declaring herself 'not-for-sale'. The incident shakes her up somewhat, but there's worse yet. Three pampered girls, led by Asai, offer Tsukushi their friendship at school after someone chalked up nasty rumors about her. They invite her to a casual young peoples' party and pay for her admission, only to embarrass her utterly in front of the other students there. Jealous of the attention Tsukushi was receiving from the school's most eligible bachelors, Asai and her friends tried to break the naive girl's spirit.

Recovering quickly from the treachery of her false friends, Tsukushi embarrassed them in return, spoiling their chic dresses and decrying their husband-trapping, gold-digging ways. Outclassed and speechless, Asai and her mini-posse vow revenge.

End Chapter 2 -- Return to Contents

Chapter 3: The Love of your Life

Losing not a moment on their promise of vengence, Asai et al. try a more subtle attack on Tsukushi. Proferring recent fashion and celebrity magazines, they point out one striking young woman in particular as Hanazawa Rui's one true love, Toudou Shizuka. With almost human looks of awe, they describe Shizuka as one of Eitoku's finest products, a top-notch scholar with such grace, poise, and class that she became a fashion model and travelled abroad after graduation. Returning to their usual jackal-like stares, they point out that any feelings between Rui and Tsukushi are a joke as compared to his feelings for the muse-like Shizuka.

Crushed by this news, worse than any physical blow, Tsukushi is rescued by Doumyouji, of all people. Strangely, the girl's continued high spirits have fueled his vigorous interest, and he is testing out kindness as a new tactic for gaining her trust. Aware of none of this, Tsukushi flees from his attempt at consolation, and runs straight into Nishikado Soujirou and Mimasaka Akira, the other half of the F4. The two older boys confirm Asai's story, explaining that Shizuka is practically the fifth member of the F4. Moreover, since childhood, Shizuka has been the unfulfilled love of Rui's life.

The weird developments continue. Tsukushi spots Rui on the street, caressing larger-than-life-sized advertisements featuring Shizuka, the cover girl. Like a madman, Rui is deliriously happy and even dances with Tsukushi, cheek-to-cheek. All of it is mere mockery however, and the two almost-friends exchange harsh words about letting your fantasy take control of your life. The insanity has even gripped mighty Doumyouji, who arrives at school bearing a Rui-like straightened hair-do, rather than his usual naturally curly hair (or dreadlocks, depending on your POV). He presents his 5-hour cosmetic accomplishment to Tsukushi, but she only laughs at the new 'do, causing it to revert comically back to it's original state.

Finally, the angst-filled augury comes to fruition. Like a comet, beautiful but chaotic, Toudou Shizuka arrives at Eitoku and whisks up Hanazawa Rui in a passionate embrace. There are hugs and kisses for all of the F4, but Tsukushi can see only Rui as he is led away.

End Chapter 3 -- Return to Contents

Chapter 4: Old Faces, New Faces

Off to a night on the town, the welcoming party for Shizuka takes a turn to current events. Shizuka is glad to see her 'boys' growing into such nice, handsome men, but worries that the two youngest, Doumyouji and Rui are loveless. Making trouble, as always, Soujirou mentions that Doumyouji has a little 'virgin girl' who's holding his constant interest, Makino Tsukushi. Breaking out of his Tsukushi-inspired reverie, Doumyouji retaliates with mock hostility against Soujirou for such a thoughtless and oh-so-untrue comment.

Moving on, the boys point out that Rui is no longer loveless, now that Shizuka has come home. Rui uncharacteristically loses his temper at such mocking, demonstrating his high-strung passions in spite of his words. Fulfilling her long-time role, Shizuka calms Rui with gentle caresses and kindly words.

In almost another universe, Tsukushi has returned to her pre-Hanazawa Rui state of loneliness. Even Doumyouji's clowning fails to cheer her up. But she has little time to mope, because a startling face from her past appears! Aoike Kazuya, her own childhood friend and classmate, has become a neuveau-riche child and transferred to Eitoku in search of his old secret sweetheart. Sharing talk of old times and fun adventures, Tsukushi nearly forgets the quirky F4 and bathes her soul in the sweet balm of friendship.

Unwilling to accept his apparent dismissal by Tsukushi, Doumyouji sees the friendly newcomer as a threat and a potential rival. Before Kazuya's first day ends, he has a red ticket of his own. Tsukushi tries to protect her friend from the mob, even as she wonders why Doumyouji would target such an obvious non-combatant. Separated from Kazuya and the pursuing mob, Tsukushi faces off against her tormentor and asks him what his problem is, point-blank. Vague and unsure of his own feelings, Doumyouji goes on the attack, accusing the girl of causing her own hardship and forcing him to take such heavy-handed action.

Taken aback, Tsukushi points out Kazuya as her one ray of hope in Eitoku's dismal atmosphere. Bewildered, Doumyouji complains of Kazuya's and Tsukushi's low-class attitudes and argues that the boy has no special or endearing qualities to speak of. He doesn't actually offer himself in comparison, but in the heat of argument, Doumyouji asks if she loves this poor-boy. Tsukushi almost gets the hint, and insists that she likes Kazuya about a thousand times more than Doumyouji.

With this final insult to his pride and to his fragile emotions, Doumyouji loses his temper and slaps Tsukushi across the face. Incensed beyond measure, Tsukushi gives back three-times what she got, and floors the great fighter Doumyouji Tsukasa with one punch. Skipping past the unconscious body, she runs off to find Kazuya.

End Chapter 4 -- Return to Contents

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