"You know, my engagement was a marriage of convenience that was determined a long time ago. So I wasn't expecting any love to come out of it. I thought he was gonna be some old-fashioned wimp. But when I met him, I felt like my life wasn't gonna go to waste after all."
Shigeru talks about her new-found feelings for Tsukasa.

"The strongest rival" (最強のライバル () Saikyō no Raibaru) is the second episode of the Japanese drama, Hana Yori Dango Returns. The episode aired on January 12, 2007 on TBS. It was followed by the third episode on January 19.

Tsukasa's mother announces her son's engagement to Shigeru Okawahara. Shigeru starts to like Tsukasa, and befriends Tsukushi Makino to help win him. In the meantime, Tsukushi is confused about what course of action to take.


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Cast and characters

Character Actor Notes
Akira Mimasaka Tsuyoshi Abe
Chieko Makino Mako Ishino
Erika Ayuhara Aki Fukada
Haruo Makino Susumu Kobayashi
Kaede Domyoji Mariko Kaga
Minako Yamano Emiko Matsuoka
Nishida David Ito
Rui Hanazawa Shun Oguri
Shigeru Okawahara Natsuki Kato
Shizuka Todo Mayumi Sada (Voice only)
Sojiro Nishikado Shota Matsuda
Susumu Makino Satoshi Tomiura
Tsukasa Domyoji Jun Matsumoto
Tsukushi Makino Mao Inoue
Yuki Matsuoka Aki Nishihara
Yuriko Asai Saki Seto



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  • Shigeru takes Tsukushi and Yuki to look at jewelry at Bulgari, a famous Italian luxury goods brand. In the manga, Tsukasa had the Saturn necklace custom-made from Bulgari.
  • A cover of Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", sometimes referred to as "I Love You, Baby", can be heard at the restaurant Shigeru, Tsukushi, and Yuki eat at.
  • Tsukasa says "shina" (meaning "quality") instead of "hin" (meaning "grace, elegance"), both are different readings of the kanji ( () ).[1] The F4 try to correct him, to which he replies, "'Shina' as in 'Shinagawa' (品川区 () Shinagawa-ku)".
  • Rui is seen reading the same copy of The Great Gatsby from the previous episode.
  • Yuki uses the word "yuuki" (勇気 () , "courage, bravery").[2] She laughs, because it sounds very similar to her own name.
  • Scenes from episode three, four, six, seven, and nine of the original series are used in this episode.


See also