I think the reason I love Hanadan so much in almost every incarnation is that it takes the typical ‘strong-willed heroine transforms bad boy into a human being via love’ set-up (and I am quite fond of that set-up, I confess, however unrealistic I know it to be), and actually does so much more with it - Hanadan is basically about the slow and painful road for Domyouji to turn into a functional and worthwhile member of the human race - unlike a lot of romantic heroines who overlook the fact that their hero is a violent, arrogant mess, Makino will NOT take him until he transforms himself into someone who she can and should be with. And she doesn’t transform him, he transforms himself to be with her.
One of the things I loved so much about my ultimate romantic-kink scene of all time - where Domyouji’s enemy* kidnaps Makino and tells Domyouji that if he wants her unharmed, he has to stand there and basically let enemy’s goons beat him to death without fighting back - wasn’t even the fact that this shows that no-impulse-control, arrogant, violence-is-the-answer Domyouji is capable of standing there and not fighting back no matter what because he is capable of negating himself for Makino (and in the process experiences the helplessness his targets must have felt), or even the fact that he does it for her when they are not a couple and she told him to fuck off, but the fact that after all that, Makino does not jump into his arms. She is grateful and appreciative (and she shielded him with her own body, when she could, because she is fucking fierce), but she won’t confuse gratitude and love.
* I found the enemy set-up in manga/Meteor Garden better than in the jdrama, because in the manga/MG, it was Domyouji’s sins coming home to roost - someone who was related to a guy he had almost beaten up to death in some fight is exacting this vengeance, but either way I loved it, because Domyouji wronged Sakurako too, even if not as egregiously as he did Junpei. Plus, he way he holds onto her acar as a talisman - awww.
OK, I should start a proper rewatch and not just rewatch my fave bits :)