I heard about F4 through a the first Asian TV drama which was adapted from the manga Hana Yori Dango in 2001.
The show was called Meteor Garden. Since it was Taiwanese, the names were changed too. At that time, I have no idea what manga was. Anyway, I was hook-up with Meteor Garden from the first episode that I got soo depressed when I had to go to Europe without watching the complete episodes.
Once in Europe I search for any information about the TV series online, and there was a lot! But I was not good at internet surfing then not to mention
understand English so I was fighting to understand any information I got. Then I got hold of some online episode but many links was broken, and I felt heartbroken too. I bump into fan pages and different place, I spent practically a fortune buying the episodes a specific website but then when I receive them the quality was so bad I couldn't watch it (it was tv recording, pirated) but in the end I finally found a better DVD box set.
It was the only thing I watch. For laughing out loud I almost didn't any sleep, my husband was sulking each night.
After finishing the episodes I was then addicted to search for fan groups thinking of wanting to see more of the actors works but that was when I read that Meteor Garden story was based on a manga. I look up what manga is and so I keep on searching for a Meteor Garden manga but found nothing. Of course not! The manga has another title.
Anyway after a long search, I finally found it. Hana Yori Dango, and that's how it all began.
I watched Hana Yori Dango anime, then another TV drama from Japan but I but I did not continue watching the Korean version, Korean drama is usually good and in this one the actors is good, I'm just turn off by the chemistry between the girl and the boy actors, it feels unnatural. As for the Chinese version: NO WAY! I considered myself patient by even watching 2/3 of the first episode. The female heroine looks like a rich girl but, that's okay, the most annoying about it is that her acting sucks! And their f4 version was so not good looking enough so I could relate why the females would go crazy about them (with a bit exception for the one who would be competing for the heroine). I still have so many things to complain about it that it's a waste of time. It's would have been more appropriate to call it a "SPIN OFF" version, then I might have give more chance.
HERE'S the comparison charts: