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Time is tricky in Boys Over Flowers since it takes place in a floating timeline, which explains why the characters age little over a period of time. Eleven years passed between the series' debut in 1992 and end in 2003, only about a year and a half actually passed in universe. Unlike the manga, the television dramas Meteor Garden (2001), Hana Yori Dango (2005), Boys Over Flowers (2009), and Meteor Garden (2018) are on a fixed timeline. Below are notes on the passage of time in the manga and its various adaptations:

Manga

Meteor Garden

  • A set time or year is not established in Meteor Garden, though it is presumably 2001, the year the series was released.
  • In the first episode, Dong Shan Cai and the other students are coming back from winter break, which could be the month-long break students get for Chinese New Year.
  • Teng Tang Jing celebrates her twenty-fourth birthday. Xi Men states in an earlier episode that she is three years older than the F4, making them around 21.
  • Dao Ming Si has a birthday in episode ten, but the date or his age are not mentioned.
  • The episodes of Meteor Rain take place before, during, and after Meteor Garden.
  • Shan Cai's age is listed as 22 on the official Meteor Garden II website, while the F4 are 24.[1] Since the F4 are two years older, this makes Shan Cai around 19 at the time of the first Meteor Garden.

Hana Yori Dango

  • Hana Yori Dango takes place in 2005 during the exact time that the series airs. Likewise, Hana Yori Dango Returns is set during 2007, while the first episode also covers some of 2006.
  • Despite being released in 2008, Hana Yori Dango Final is set during 2011. Tsukushi's birthday is revealed to be December 28, 1988 and her age is 22. She is also slated to graduate college in March.
  • Hana Nochi Hare is set in 2018. Haruto's and Tsukasa's meeting in the first episode takes place sometime after Returns.
  • All ages from Hana Yori Dango are sourced from the official website. Some ages from the sequels, Returns and Final, are guessed as they are not listed on the websites.
Hana Yori Dango and Hana Nochi Hare timeline
Month Day Year Event Source
January 1988 Tsukasa Domyoji is born [2]
December 28 Tsukushi Makino is born [3]
1999 Tsubaki Domyoji wins the Teen of Japan contest [4]
2000 Shizuka Todo graduates from Eitoku Academy [5]
June 2 2001 Megumi Nishidome is born [6]
December 15 Oto Edogawa is born [7]
April 2004 Tsukushi Makino begins attending Eitoku Academy
October 2005 Tsukushi interacts with the F4 for the first time [5]
30 A homecoming party for Shizuka is held at her home [8]
November Shizuka returns to France; Rui Hanazawa follows her [9]
Tsukushi and Tsukasa go on their first "date" [10]
Rui returns to Japan; Tsukushi and Tsukasa go on a double date with Yuki Matsuoka and her boyfriend [11]
December 23 Tsukushi competes in the Teen of Japan competition [12]
24 Tsukushi and Tsukasa start dating; Tsukasa leaves to study in New York
2006 Tsukasa causes Domyoji Group's stocks to fall and massive layoffs [4]
February 14 Sojiro Nishikado stands up Sara Hinata on Valentine's Day [13]
March Rui, Sojiro, and Akira Mimasaka graduate from Eitoku [2]
April Tsukushi begins her third year at Eitoku
December Tsukushi goes to New York to see Tsukasa around Christmas
January 2007 Tsukasa's 19th birthday; His mother announces his engagement to Shigeru Okawahara
Tsukasa purchases the apartment complex Tsukushi is staying at [14]
February 14 Tsukushi returns the Saturn necklace to Tsukasa on Valentine's Day [4]
Sojiro sees Sara again [13]
Tsukasa ends his engagement with Shigeru [15]
March 3 Domyoji Group's failed merger with Okawahara Corp has a huge impact [16]
19 News of Tsukushi and Tsukasa impending marriage are reported [17]
Tsukushi graduates from Eitoku; Tsukasa proposes to her at prom [17]
January 20 2011 Tsukasa announces his upcoming wedding to the world [3]
Spring Tsukasa and Tsukushi are married [3]
October 15 2016 Miyoko Hase passes away from cancer [18]
April 2017 Oto begins her first year at Eitoku
October The Edogawa family go bankrupt [7]
April 2018 Oto's second year at Eitoku begins; she interacts with the C5 for the first time
May Megumi transfers to Eitoku [19]

Meteor Garden (2018)

  • The first thirty-one episodes of Meteor Garden (2018) takes place during the 2017-2018 school year, while the rest of the episodes take place during the last half of 2018.
  • Shan Cai states her age as 18 in episode one. Since her friends, Xiao You, Qing He, and Li Zhen, are freshman, they are also probably 18.
  • The F4 are seniors, so they are most likely 21.
  • Teng Tang Jing celebrates her 24th birthday in episode four, making her three years older than the F4.
Meteor Garden (2018) timeline (incomplete)
Month Day Year Event Source
October 21 1993 Teng Tang Jing is born [20]
September 2017 Shan Cai, Qing He, and Li Zhen begin their first year at Ming De University [21]
Shan Cai bakes Li Zhen a cake for her birthday [22]
October Shan Cai, Qing He, and the F4 spend the National Holiday in Sanya [23]
21 Jing's 24th birthday; she also renounces her family name [20]
Jing returns to France and Lei follows her [24]
November Lei returns to Shanghai; The F4 and Shan Cai go on a vacation [25]
Dao Ming Zhuang comes to Shanghai to help sort out Si's relationship issues [26]
December Shan Cai enters the Chinese Cuisine Culinary Competition [27]
Shan Cai and Si go on their second date with disastrous results [28]
January 1 2018 Shan Cai and Jiang Xiao You celebrate the New Year with the F4 in Canada [29]
31 Si celebrates his birthday
February Si and He Yuan Zi's parents arrange their engagement [30]
June The F4 graduate from Ming De University [31]

References

  1. http://star.cts.com.tw:80/prog/drama/star2/star1.htm (Chinese)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Episode 1, Hana Yori Dango Returns
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hana Yori Dango Final
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Episode 6, Hana Yori Dango Returns
  5. 5.0 5.1 Episode 1, Hana Yori Dango
  6. Episode 8, Hana Nochi Hare
  7. 7.0 7.1 Episode 1, Hana Nochi Hare
  8. Episode 2, Hana Yori Dango
  9. Episode 3, Hana Yori Dango
  10. Episode 4, Hana Yori Dango
  11. Episode 6, Hana Yori Dango
  12. Episode 9, Hana Yori Dango
  13. 13.0 13.1 Episode 7, Hana Yori Dango Returns
  14. Episode 4, Hana Yori Dango Returns
  15. Episode 8, Hana Yori Dango Returns
  16. Episode 9, Hana Yori Dango Returns
  17. 17.0 17.1 Episode 11, Hana Yori Dango Returns
  18. Episode 3, Hana Nochi Hare
  19. Episode 5, Hana Nochi Hare
  20. 20.0 20.1 Episode 4, Meteor Garden
  21. https://smartexpat.com/china/shanghai/how-to-guides/family/schools/school-holidays
  22. Episode 1, Meteor Garden
  23. Episode 3, Meteor Garden
  24. Episode 5, Meteor Garden
  25. Episode 8, Meteor Garden
  26. Episode 9, Meteor Garden
  27. Episode 14, Meteor Garden
  28. Episode 15, Meteor Garden
  29. Episode 16, Meteor Garden
  30. Episode 20, Meteor Garden
  31. Episode 31, Meteor Garden

See also