The Flower Four (花の4人組,Flower Four), also spelled Flowers Four or Flowery Four, best known as the F4 (エフ・フォー,F4), is a clique of childhood friends. The group consists of Tsukasa Domyoji, Rui Hanazawa, Sojiro Nishikado, and Akira Mimasaka. They each come from wealthy families in Japan. The four first met in kindergarten at Eitoku Academy. By high school, they had gained control of the place through their fathers' influence.
By high school, the friends had formed an official group, known as the Flower 4 or F4 for short. Tsukasa was their de facto leader and became somewhat tyrannical during this time. Having gained control over the school, they generally did whatever they wanted. To anyone who opposed them, the F4 gave red cards which resulted in said student being bullied by their classmates. It always resulted in the student dropping out. Additionally, they disregarded school rules by wearing regular clothes and often skipped class or school altogether.
"You strut around like peacocks, but you're really like the frog in the fable! You know your tiny little well, but nothing about the ocean beyond it! You're protected by your fathers' names! You've never had to work for anything you've got! So shut your beaks!"
One day in their third year, a girl fell and landed on Tsukasa. He threatened her with a red card until Tsukushi Makino stood up for her and insulted the F4 in the process. The next day, she was given the red card instead. To their surprise, Tsukushi gave them her own "declaration of war." The F4 became interested in her and Tsukasa promised "no mercy." She immediately began being bullied by the other students. Tsukasa, in the meantime, thought up his own schemes to bully Tsukushi. One such scheme resulted in her kicking him in the face in front of everyone. Akira and Sojiro gradually lost interest in bullying Tsukushi, while Rui had never participated to begin with. Tsukasa was still bent on bullying her. He had developed a full-blown crush on her and refused to admit it, though it soon became obvious to his friends.
Sometime later, the F4 greeted Shizuka when she returned home from France. The next day, Rui protected Tsukushi from being attacked by bullies. His actions angered Tsukasa, whom kicked Rui out of the F4. For summer break, Tsukasa decided that they would go to Atami, where they ran into Tsukushi also on vacation. Shizuka, Sojiro, and Akira "dragged" Rui on the trip as Tsukasa was still not speaking to him. By the end of the trip, Tsukasa's anger with Rui had finally waned. Several days later, the F4 attended Shizuka's birthday party. There she announced her intention to return to France and give up her family name. The F4 were shocked by her decision, though Sojiro voiced his admiration for her determination. Later, Rui was inspired by Tsukushi to pursue his love for Shizuka and followed her to France. Sojiro remarked "It's going to be lonely without Rui."
A photo of Tsukasa and Tsukushi together was later spread around school, making everyone think that they were dating. Neither of them denied it. Sojiro and Akira both teased Tsukasa. The next day, Tsukushi introduced her new friend, Sakurako, to the F4. Sojiro and Akira were immediately taken in by her cute appearance. Tsukasa, on the other hand, became annoyed by her presence and accused the other guys of "drooling over her." Some days later, a photo of Tsukushi with a foreigner surfaced. Sakurako comforted the devastated Tsukasa, while Sojiro and Akira remained unaware of what happened. Both guys, however had learned that Sakurako was not as naïve as she portrayed herself to be. By the next morning, Tsukushi was proven innocent and Tsukasa punished her attackers. Rui returned at that moment, surprising his friends with his unannounced arrival.
"Rui, you and I have never been friends. You're nothing but a traitor. I don't want you in the F4 anymore. You're not one of us."
The F4 later vacationed at an island owned by Tsukasa's family. They brought along Tsukushi, Akira's then girlfriend, and two girls for Sojiro and Rui. One night there, Tsukasa caught Rui and Tsukushi kissing at the beach. Heartbroken, Tsukasa punched Rui and told Tsukushi "Don't ever talk to me again." He then left the island on his private plane without telling anyone. When Akira and Sojiro returned to Japan, Tsukasa told them both what had happened. The two confronted Rui about it, firmly taking Tsukasa's side. Tsukasa eventually silenced their arguing, declaring "I don't want you in the F4 anymore. You're not one of us." Several days later, Tsukasa decided to replace Rui with Tsukushi's friend Kazuya Aoike. He then announced his intention to have Rui and Tsukushi expelled from Eitoku within two weeks.
Tsukasa asked the principal to expel Rui and Tsukushi, threatening to cut off his family's money. His sister Tsubaki stopped him. At her suggestion, a basketball match was decided upon to determine Tsukushi's and Rui's expulsion. Tsukasa teamed with Sojiro and Akira, while Tsukushi paired with Rui and Kazuya. Tsukasa's team remained in the lead for the entire game. Tsukushi nearly managed to tie it with Rui's help. At the last second, Tsukasa decided to quit the game thus allowing the two to remain at Eitoku. The next day, Rui told Sojiro and Akira that he was not going to pursue Tsukushi, feeling he could not betray Tsukasa. Rui decided not to tell him just yet, taking a little revenge for his teddy bear which Tsukasa had ruined when they were children. Meanwhile, Tsukasa told his sister about his decision to move to New York.
Sojiro and Akira were concerned about Tsukasa going to New York since he was "the worst English student in [the] school." Rui kept quiet, not saying anything to Tsukasa. At Tsukasa's farewell party, the F4 were joined by Kazuya whom still thought he was a member of their group. They all questioned how long Tsukasa would be able last in New York. The following day, they saw him off at the airport. Just before Tsukasa boarded the plane, Rui told him he believed Tsukushi was actually in love with him. Tsukasa was only gone for four days when he returned to Eitoku. His friends were surprised by his sudden return but happy. He then officially made up with Rui, leading Sojiro to say "Right back to old times." Tsukasa told them about his experiences in New York. They then decided to cut the rest of their classes to go hang out somewhere.
"Have you guys forgotten? You're talking about the girl who single-handedly took on the F4! With the whole school coming down on her, she never gave up! Have you forgotten that spirit? I'll bet on Tsukushi in any competition."
A few days later, Tsukushi's house was shown on television after Tsukasa had a public fight with Seinosuke Amakusa. Akira and Sojiro were both surprised by how poor her family seemed. Tsukasa suddenly declared "We've got to make Tsukushi look like she deserves me!" He then announced his intention to enter her in Teen of Japan. Akira and Sojiro were against it saying that Tsukushi would "embarrass herself." Sojiro later learned about Tsukushi's competition, Ayano Kurimaki specifically. Akira asked Tsukasa "So what are you going to do?" He snorted, reminding the guys how Tsukushi took them on "single-handedly." On Christmas Eve, the F4 attended the competition with Tsubaki and Kazuya. At the end, the F4 all clapped and congratulated her on being runner-up and winning the special prize.
After the competition, the F4 took Tsukushi out to celebrate. She made a speech, telling them that them clapping for her "made [her] so happy." Sojiro and Akira learned that Tsukasa had a date with Tsukushi for Christmas. They tried to give him advice which annoyed him. On Christmas night, the guys waited for Tsukasa at his house. They guessed from his expression that he had another fight with Tsukushi. He grew tired of their criticism and kicked them out of his house. Sojiro later came up with an idea. Firstly, he, Akira, and Rui helped Tsukushi sell out at her job. She tried to give them the money from it, but they asked her to go with them to Canada instead. Tsukasa refused to go upon hearing about the trip. Sojiro suggested to Rui "Why don't you take your chance with Tsukushi?" Rui responded "I guess I'll do that," though he was really only teasing Tsukasa.
Predictably, Tsukasa ended up going. His reason being "He hates being alone" as stated by Akira. They stayed at his family's villa in Vancouver. Sojiro and Akira had to stop Tsukushi and Tsukasa from bickering at first. The next day, the two were relieved to see them getting along again. That night, Tsukushi went out into a blizzard after being tricked by Yuriko Asai. Tsukasa went after her. Though they were worried, the guys had faith that Tsukasa and Tsukushi would return home safe. In the morning, the two returned much to their friends' joy. Tsukushi allowed Yuriko and her friends to stay out of graciousness. Nonetheless, she later decided to play a prank on them and recruited the F4 for help. The plan was going well until they thought an intruder was approaching. It turned out to be Shizuka. They all chatted with her before leaving her alone with Rui.
Troubles for Tsukasa
Despite the trip having gone well, Tsukasa encountered more trouble with Tsukushi soon after they returned home. Akira and Sojiro tried to convince him to apologize to her. He refused at first, though he made a small attempt that Tsukushi ignored. Sometime after Tsukushi appeared in a magazine with Junpei Oribe, Tsukasa disappeared which worried Sojiro and Akira. Rui later joined their search at his house, where they finally located him. They questioned him about Tsukushi getting a red card, but he appeared puzzled. A servant then ran up with a lock of her hair and a message for Tsukasa to go to the old storeroom alone. While Tsukasa was away, the other guys were worried. Akira was especially upset, declaring "We've got to teach them that the F4 is all of us!" Sojiro agreed saying "We'll be able to do that later. I can hardly wait."
Tsukasa and Tsukushi were brought to hospital. The F4 played a joke on her by pretending that Tsukasa was dead. She was angry, of course. Sojiro, Akira, and Rui then departed after Tsukasa wrote them a note on his attackers. After beating up the guys, the F3 returned to the hospital. They then cornered Tsukushi, encouraging her to date Tsukasa. She managed to escape by comparing Tsukasa to a "dog." At Tsukasa's birthday, Akira, Sojiro, and Rui greeted Tsukushi when she arrived. They realized that her outfit would not be enough to impress Tsukasa's mother Kaede and brought her to Tsubaki. Tsukushi felt intimidated, when the guys revealed that Kaede would judge her as a potential fiancée for Tsukasa. Sojiro asked her to "act the part for today." The party went awry quickly. Tsubaki and the F3 helped Tsukasa and Tsukushi escape his mother's ire.
Following his birthday, Tsukasa happily showed his friends the gift Tsukushi made him. Sojiro and Akira reminded Tsukasa of his parents, but he was confident that they would not decide his future. Later, Tsukasa's mother arranged his engagement to Shigeru Okawahara which he was against. Sojiro and Akira decided to "get Shigeru away from Tsukasa" somehow, but Rui did not want to be involved. The two guys took Shigeru out on a date. She, however, saw through their plan. They then met with Tsukushi, whom revealed that she "broke it off with Tsukasa." Tsukasa subsequently began dating Shigeru. Their relationship did not last for long. Later, the F3 visited Tsukushi at her new apartment. They were joined by Kaede, whom Tsukushi stood up to. The guys were impressed by her actions and offered Tsukushi their support.
The F3 were happy when they learned that Tsukushi was living at Tsukasa's house, where she worked as a maid. The news soon spread around the school. Later, Akira decided that they should go over to Tsukasa's in order to "egg" on the couple. The guys actually ended up interrupting them, much to Tsukasa's annoyance. The following morning, Tsukushi agreed to date Tsukasa on a trial basis. Sojiro and Akira noticed that she seemed "stiff" around Tsukasa. Kazuya told them that she appeared to be "forcing" herself. Akira later warned Tsukasa to "stay on [his] toes," but he was unconcerned. After a disastrous double date, Tsukushi seemed ready to end the trial relationship. Sojiro attempted to calm her down to no avail. Though the initial misunderstanding was cleared up, Sojiro later thought up a plan to bring the couple closer.
Sojiro took Tsukushi's best friend Yuki Matsuoka on a date as a roundabout way to have Tsukushi and Tsukasa spend time together. The couple followed Sojiro and Yuki to a hotel. When they finally located the room, they were greeted by Sojiro and Yuki as well as Akira and Rui. Tsukasa revealed to everyone that they saw his mother there. Though concerned at first, the F4's attention soon shifted to food. It took them several moments to notice that Tsukushi and Yuki were gone. The following day, everything seemed well as Tsukasa reported to Akira and Sojiro that he was "the happiest [he had] ever been." However, the day after that, Kazuya revealed to Sojiro, Akira, and Rui that Tsukushi had left Tokyo. The guys questioned Tsukasa but he only became angry, leading Sojiro to say "He's back to his old self." Rui replied "It's worse than that."
In an attempt to cheer up Tsukasa, Sojiro and Akira hosted a get together with some of their other friends. Tsukasa called it "irritating," which caused Sojiro to snap at him. The two then had a physical fight. The following day, Sojiro declared to Akira and Rui "I give up on him." Some days later, after being tracked down by Tsukasa and Rui, Tsukushi returned to Tokyo. Akira and some others were there to greet her, except Sojiro whom refused to see Tsukasa. Sojiro finally spoke to Tsukasa again after Akira told him about an imposter posing as Tsukasa's cousin. The imposter came to Eitoku and revealed everything, including that he liked Tsukushi. She eventually snapped at the F4's bickering with the imposter and left with him. Afterwards, Sojiro seemed to harbor some resentment towards Tsukasa, to whom he suggested that Tsukushi had been "swept up" by the imposter.
Tsukasa dating Tsukushi
A couple days later, Sojiro and Akira wondered if Tsukushi was really dating the imposter. At first, he seemed to have given up. He then punched the wall, saying "If she liked me even a little, I'd do anything for her." Two or three days after that, Tsukasa asked his friends if they had seen Tsukushi. He surprised them by calling the police to aid his search.
The F4 is portrayed by Shosuke Tanihara (Tsukasa), Naohito Fujiki (Rui), Kensaku Saeki (Sojiro), and Koichi Hashizume (Akira) in the 1995 Hana Yori Dango film. It is the first live-action appearance of the F4. The group has a fan club in this version with a high membership fee. When Tsukushi refuses to join the club, Tsukasa gives her a red card and bullies her. Similar to the manga, Akira and Sojiro are given significantly less screen time than Tsukasa and Rui.
In the 1996 anime, they are voiced by Naoki Miyashita (Tsukasa), Koji Yamamoto (Rui), Yuta Mochizuki (Akira), and Yoshihiko Akaida (Sojiro). All four actors were newcomers at the time. For the most part, the F4 are kept the same from the manga. For example, they all met while attending kindergarten at Eitoku. Kazuya also briefly joins the group like in the manga. However, it is taken even less seriously in this version. The F4 appear as a group together in nearly every episode. In the finale, Akira and Sojiro are the only members left at Eitoku after Rui and Tsukasa's departures.