The first chapter of Boys Over Flowers written and illustrated by Yoko Kamio was published in March 1992 in Margaret No.8. The chapter was later included in volume one of the series. It introduces the principal characters of the series, including Tsukushi Makino and the F4 members.
At Eitoku Academy, Tsukushi Makino's friend, Makiko Endo angers the leader of the F4, Tsukasa Domyoji. Tsukushi stands up for Makiko, placing all of the F4's wrath on herself. In the end, Tsukushi decides to fight back.
Tsukushi Makino attends the affluent school, Eitoku Academy located in Yamanote, Tokyo. She and her friend, Makiko Endo are both from middle-class families, unlike most of their rich classmates. The two walk into their classroom and see Kimoto pack his belongings and leave. He had previously stood up to the F4, a clique "at the top of the food chain". He was given a red slip, the F4's "declaration of war." Despite being popular, no one helped him and he ultimately decided to leave Eitoku.
Tsukushi is frustrated by her classmates callousness and feels angry that she cannot help Kimoto. She runs to an emergency stairwell, where she yells out her frustrations by calling her classmates "stupid fools". Unseen by Tsukushi, Rui Hanazawa witnesses the spectacle and calls her "amazing". Later, Tsukushi remembers how her mother forced her to enroll at Eitoku, despite her protests. She resolves to "stay quiet and unnoticed" and repeats her mantra to "just hang on for two more years."
After school, Tsukushi and her classmates are cleaning the classroom, when a student gets dust on Tsukasa Domyoji's pants. Tsukasa, the F4's leader, orders him to blow the dust away and knocks over a trashcan on his way out. Another member of the F4, Rui, picks up the trashcan and looks at Tsukushi briefly, which causes her to blush. At work, Tsukushi recounts her day to her best friend, Yuki Matsuoka. Yuki wonders out loud what has happened to Tsukushi, who regularly defended others when they were in middle school.
The following day, Tsukushi and Makiko walk to music class together. Makiko slips and falls down a flight of stairs. She lands on Tsukasa, who refuses to just accept her apology. Tsukushi stands up for Makiko and insults Tsukasa. She arrives at school the next day and finds the F4's notorious red slip in her locker. Makiko begins avoiding her. Later, Tsukushi decides to fight back against the F4. She gives them each red slips of her own making, saying "this is my declaration of war!"
- Akira Mimasaka (First appearance)
- Chieko Makino (Flashback(s) only)
- Haruo Makino (Flashback(s) only)
- Kimoto (First appearance)
- Makiko Endo (First appearance)
- Proprietress (First appearance)
- Rui Hanazawa (First appearance)
- Sojiro Nishikado (First appearance)
- Tsukasa Domyoji (First appearance)
- Tsukasa Domyoji's father (First mentioned)
- Tsukushi Makino (First appearance)
- Yuki Matsuoka (First appearance)
- Yuriko Asai (First appearance)
Production and releaseYoko Kamio originally based Tsukasa's image off of Christian Slater, an American actor, whose "malevolent expressions" Kamio was a fan of. Over time, she stated that he began to look more like the musician, Prince. Kamio also said that she wanted Tsukasa's hair to be dreadlocks, though it ended up looking like tight curls. One of her assistants compared his hair to Marie Antoinette's.
The author launched Boys Over Flowers in the March 1992 issue of Margaret, a shojo manga magazine published by Shueisha. It was Kamio's second long-running series, after Mary-san no Hijitsu, which she finished a few months prior to Boys Over Flowers. Kamio worked solely on this series until its end in August 2003.
- An aside compares Tsukushi screaming her frustrations at the stairwell to an ancient Greek myth. In the story, King Midas has donkey ears and asks his barber to keep it a secret. The secret drives the barber to dig a hole and yell "the king has donkey ears!" in order to still keep his word.
- Sojiro sings the chorus of "You're No Good" after Tsukasa kicks over a trash can on purpose.
- In this chapter, Tsukushi's father is shown to be quick to anger, the opposite of his later genial and silly personality.