Life After Hana Yori Dango. Who Sustained Success Among The Three Popular Leads?

Meteor Garden phenomenon

Hana Yori Dango, translated into English as Boys Over Flowers, is a Japanese manga series that became a pop culture sensation in Asia when it was adapted into a television drama with many remakes around the Asian region. 

But the one that popularized the series was undoubtedly the Taiwanese version, Meteor Garden, in 2001. It was so massively popular that it opened a big window for Asian dramas to be known globally. Meteor Garden's main leads: Jerry Yan, Barbie Hsu, and Vic Chou became international sensations. 

Meteor Garden phenomenon
Dao Mingsi, played by Jerry Yan, in Meteor Garden (2001)

Although Japan created its own version in 2005, it was K-drama's version of Boys Over Flowers in 2009 that rose to popularity in Asia (although Meteor Garden 2001 is still a phenomenal hit among all the adaptations).

Meteor Garden phenomenon
Lee Min-ho as Gu Jun Pyo in the Korean adaptation of Boys Over Flowers (2009)

K-drama Boys Over Flowers's male protagonist, Lee Min-ho, had a meteoric rise in popularity after the success of this drama and became one of the premiere K-drama actors since then. 

The Chinese version, Meteor Garden, in 2018 was the direct adaptation of the Taiwanese's Meteor Garden, retaining the names of the characters and even the storyline. It helped Dylan Wang's (who played Dao Ming Si) career to flourish.

Meteor Garden phenomenon
Dylan Wang as Dao Mingsi in the Chinese version of Meteor Garden 2018

Fast forward to 2023, how the main male protagonists of this phenomenal manga series are doing so far? Jerry Yan, Lee Min-ho, and Dylan Wang sustained their popularity brought by the roles they portrayed in different versions of Hana Yori Dango, but it's Lee Min-ho who became the biggest star both in South Korea and in the international entertainment scene.

It's because he had a string of big drama hits after Boys Over Flowers - City Hunter (2011), The Heirs (2013), Legend of the Blue Sea (2016), The King: Eternal Monarch (2020), and Pachinko (2022). He also received several acting awards and citations for these series. 

Today, he is one of the biggest celebrities in South Korea and one of the most-followed K-drama actors on Instagram with over 30 million followers. Even on Weibo, China's most popular social networking site, Lee Min-ho has over 20 million followers. Lee Min-ho has his own talent agency, MYM Entertainment, co-managed by his sister. 

Meteor Garden phenomenon
Jerry Yan, Lee Min-ho, and Dylan Wang 

Dylan Wang rose to popularity in mainland China and all over Asia after the release of Meteor Garden in 2018. He also gained lots of followers on Weibo and won several brand endorsement deals. 

He also established himself as one of the Chinese drama industry's premiere leading actors today in the Post '95 generation. He also has a balanced choice of doing dramas in modern and costume genres.

Jerry Yan is the one who seems not keen on taking big roles, either on television, the web, or in movies. After Meteor Garden season 2 in 2002, he maintained a low-key status. Only appearing in a few television series in the modern genre. 

Unlike his Meteor Garden co-star, Vic Chou, who successfully transitioned from being an idol actor to a serious performer, doing costume dramas and films, Jerry Yan has not yet taken a role beyond the youth genre. 

We are still waiting for Jerry to make a big splash on both the small screen and big screen and hopefully, transition to more serious award-winning roles. His drama aired this year, Forbidden Flower, is still in the idol/youth genre. 

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