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- "I want to at least tell you the truth. I really, really, really, really love Domyoji. I'm always, always thinking about him. I've tried hard to imagine it, but I can't imagine living in a world without him. Even now, I still want to be with him again. I want to with him. Even when I tried to give up, even when I tried to concentrate on other things, for some reason, I just end up thinking about him."
- —Tsukushi to Tsubaki
"One year later... it finally returns!! This time the stage is New York!! Love's up-and-downs and new developments in friendship... But wasn't it a happy ending!?" (あれから1年…今夜遂に復活!! 今度の舞台はニューヨーク!! 大波乱の恋と友情の新展開 つーかハッピーエンドじゃなかったの!? Are kara ichinen... konya tsuini fukkatsu!! Kondo no butai wa Nyū Yōku!! Dai haran no koi to yūjō no shin tenkai tsu-ka happīendo janakatta no!?) is the first episode of the Hana Yori Dango sequel, Hana Yori Dango Returns. It aired on January 5, 2007 and was followed by the second episode.
After not hearing from Tsukasa Domyoji for half a year, Tsukushi Makino travels to New York to see him. He gives no explanation and their relationship seems to be over. Back home, Tsukushi receives an invitation to his birthday party.
In December 2006, Tsukushi Makino has traveled to New York in order to see Tsukasa Domyoji. Tsukasa's friends, the F4, graduated last March, but Tsukushi still occasionally sees Rui Hanazawa. She has had no contact with Tsukasa, who stopped answering his phone. Tsukushi was originally worried about him, until she received news from Sakurako Sanjo that he was fine. She resolves to forget about him. That fall, Tsukushi goes to a junior high school reunion with Yuki Matsuoka. She meets her friend's cousin, Junpei Oribe, who also attends Eitoku Academy. Junpei suggests that Tsukushi would be a good lawyer. Remembering Shizuka Todo, Tsukushi decides to aim for Eitoku's law school.
Tsukushi later runs into Junpei at school. She barely recognizes since his glasses and hair hide his features. He asks her if they can be friends and invites her to a photo shoot. He convinces her to take a few pictures with him. Junpei promises that they will not be published, but one actually ends up on the cover of a magazine. Tsukushi tells Junpei that they cannot be friends, though she takes it back once he starts crying. At the same, Tsukasa sees the photo in New York. Later, Rui, Sojiro Nishikado, and Akira Mimasaka arrive to celebrate the opening of the F4 Lounge at Eitoku. Tsukushi jokes with them, despite being disappointed that Tsukasa did not show up.
The following day, Tsukushi receives a red notice. Junpei protects her from the bullies and reveals his identity as the model, Jun. That night, Rui suggests for Tsukushi to go to New York and confront Tsukasa. Tsukushi's father later wins a trip to New York, which he gives to his daughter. Near Christmas, Tsukushi makes her way to New York, but has a luggage stolen. She finds herself in an alley, where four men approach her. Rui arrives and scares them away. While buying hot dogs, Tsukushi runs into Tsukasa. He is not exactly happy to see Tsukushi and brushes her off, when he receives a call from work. Later, Nishida reports to Kaede Domyoji about Tsukushi's arrival.
Akira and Sojiro reach New York the next morning. The three guys go to talk with Tsukasa, while Tsukushi sight sees. She happens to meet Tsubaki Domyoji, who takes her shopping. Meanwhile, Tsukasa treats his friends coldly and ends up punching Sojiro. Tsukushi decides to see Tsukasa one last time. She tracks him down at his school. They are unable to resolve anything and Tsukushi leaves without closure. Back in Japan, Junpei saves Tsukushi from being bullied again. He actually kidnaps her, revealing his animosity towards Tsukasa. At the same time, Tsukasa tells his friends that "there [is] no longer anything between [him] and [Tsukushi]."
Tsukushi slips out of her bonds and runs from her captors. Outside, Tsukushi is greeted by Tsubaki, who orders her bodyguards to capture Junpei and his cohorts. Tsubaki takes her out to eat dinner, where Tsukushi says that she has "decided to forget about [Tsukasa]." Tsubaki understands since she really just wants Tsukushi to be happy. Before Tsubaki leaves, Tsukushi stops her car and confesses that she is still deeply in love with Tsukasa. Later, Kaede orders Tsukasa to return to Japan in time for his birthday in January. Kaede sends an invitation to Tsukushi. At the party, Kaede announces Tsukasa's engagement. The spotlight lingers on Tsukushi, before settling on Shigeru Okawahara.
Cast and characters
|Video Research Ltd.||Source|
- This episode primarily covers the "Pretty Boy Junpei Arc" (chapters eighty-three to ninety-three) and the "New York Arc" (one hundred and ninety-one to one hundred and ninety-five). It also includes parts from chapters ninety-seven and one hundred and two.
- The episode has a runtime of 129 minutes, making it about 82 minutes longer than the regular episodes and 60 minutes longer than the finale.
- A director's cut of the episode is included on the Returns DVD set. It is about three minutes longer.
- Megumi Sato's appearance as Sakurako is credited as a cameo.
- In New York, Tsukushi mistakes several normal people to be famous celebrities, including Tom Cruise, Madonna, Brad Pitt, Eminem, Beyoncé, and Paris Hilton.
- Rui is seen reading The Great Gatsby, which he is first seen with in episode one of Hana Yori Dango.
- Scenes from episodes one, four, five, six, eight, and nine of the first series are used in this episode.
- The restaurant that hosts Tsukushi's junior high reunion is named "Jeanne d'Arc," a reference to Junpei's nickname for Tsukushi. He also calls her by this name in the manga.
- Tsukushi visits "Strawberry Fields," a John Lennon memorial in Central Park, as the song "Strawberry Fields Forever" plays in the background.
- Maroon 5's "This Love" can be heard at the diner Tsukushi eats at with Rui, Akira, and Sojiro.
|Hana Yori Dango series|
(Hana Yori Dango)