Boys Over Flowers Volume One is a manga by Yoko Kamio, and it was published by Viz Media in 2003. The series is rated “T” for teens; after reading this volume, I would agree with this rating.
Tsukushi Makino is a high school student attending the prestigious Eitoku Academy; unfortunately, she’s from a middle class family, while most of the student body come from wealthy families.
There is a group of four boys called the “F4,” who are the most powerful, rich and handsome boys at Eitoku Academy. They’re the clique that essentially “rules the school,” and anyone who stands up to them or crosses them are bullied by them. Tsukushi tries hard not to stand out in order to avoid being noticed by the F4.
One day, Tsukushi’s friend Makiko falls down the stairs and accidentally kicks Domyoji, the leader of the F4, in the face. When Domoyoji refuses to accept Makiko’s apology, Tsukushi jumps in and stands up to the F4. The next day, she receives a “declaration of war” from the F4, and the other students begin to ostracize her. The volume focuses on the F4’s attempts at bullying Makiko, how Makiko handles what’s going on, and the unexpected love triangle that seems to be developing.
Like A Devil and Her Love Song, Boys Over Flowers also focuses on a girl who is being bullied. However, the main characters of these series are being bullied for very different reasons. In A Devil and Her Love Song, Maria is being bullied by both her peers and her teachers due to a reputation she had gained for being expelled from her previous school. In Boys Over Flowers, Tsukushi is being bullied by a group of boys and the students who want to stay in the F4’s good graces, because of the fact that she stood up for what she believes in and the fact that she’s only middle class when most of the student body at the school is upper class.
The forms of bullying between the two manga are also rather different. In A Devil and Her Love Song, the bullying is done primarily through shunning and twisting facts. In Boys Over Flowers, Domoyoji uses his wealth to convince others to commit acts that are more physical in nature. There is one attempted physical act in Volume One that is rather shocking; however, I’m not going to say what that act is, because I don’t want to provide a spoiler.