Tanpopo Yamazaki moves from Hokkaidō to Tokyo in order to begin high school in an entirely new environment. When she goes to see her new school, Meio Academy, she meets a young man who is replanting a Tanpopo (dandelion) flower. At school the next day, Tanpopo is not only amazed by the modern facilities but also that she is in the same class as the young man she met the day before: Koki Kugyo, the son of the owner of Meio. When she greets him, Koki pretends not to know her and she is shocked that he would act so differently from their previous meeting.
Meanwhile, the students at the school discover Tanpopo is a poor girl from the country side and begin to bully her. In an effort to change the social hierarchy of the school and also find some new friends, Tanpopo cheerfully starts the "Planting Club". Soon, she attracts the attention of students like the insincerely kind Saionji Tsukiko and Kugyo, who begins to show his kinder side. However, just as Tanpopo and Kugyo's friendship develops and their gardening club grows, secrets of Kugyo's family life are revealed. Increasing tensions result as Tanpopo begins to fall in love with Kugyo and he reciprocates, though is held back as he is engaged to another girl of the same status.
- Tanpopo Yamazaki (山崎たんぽぽ Yamazaki Tanpopo?)
- Tanpopo is the main character of the manga, and the majority of the story focuses on her ventures and relationships. Tanpopo, a "country girl", moved from a small town in Hokkaidō to Tokyo to attend the Meio Academy. Although initially rejected by her peers for her lack of money and familial connections, Tanpopo is determined to make her mark on the school. She starts up the "Gardening Club" (despite the fact that live plants are illegal on school grounds) with fellow students in order to bring life back into the school. Tanpopo is claustrophobic, as she was trapped in her parents' car after a crash that killed them both. She also has a pet fox named Poplar. Her friends include Koki Kugyo, Aoi Kyougoku, Tsukiko Saionji, and Arisa Uchimara
- Koki Kugyo (九卿公暉 Kugyō Kōki?)
- Koki is the main male lead in the manga, and Tanpopo's main love interest in the beginning. He is a serious young man, and somewhat burdened by his family responsibilities. As he is the richest of all of the students in his school, Koki feels obligated to live up to the standards that others place on him. He is engaged to a young high class woman, Erika Yanahara, who was previously engaged to Koki's brother, Yoji. It is because of his engagement to Erika that Koki harbors extreme dislike for his brother mostly because Yoji left a big amount of responsibilities (Family Business) and Erika. Koki is in the "Gardening Club" with Tanpopo and fellow students, and stands up for Tanpopo when others won't, and even goes so far as to deliberately change the school rules for her so that she can have her way. Koki's favorite hobby is gardening, and when he is around plants, his personality changes from a cold and serious person to a happy, carefree, and somewhat obsessive individual (who even has a Kansai accent). He also carries a gardening scoop with him at all times.
- Aoi Kyougoku (京極 葵 Kyōgoku Aoi?)
- Aoi is a computer genius who is quite the prankster. He has a very interesting sense of humor which gives the manga a comical touch. After one attempt, for instance, he traps Koki and Tanpopo in an elevator at their school. He is good hearted, however, and becomes close friends with Tanpopo and Koki. Also, Aoi's mother is the architect that designed Meio High School. He is nick named "Flippy" by Tanpopo as he tends to flip out a lot. He's also a bit loose in the head at times.
- Tsukiko Saionji (西園寺月子 Saionji Tsukiko?)
- Tsukiko is Tanpopo's first friend at Meio Academy. Though she appears rather innocent, Tsukiko originally is not very sweet at all, but she changes for the better toward the end of the manga. She has her heart set on marrying into the Kugyo family, and has her eyes on Koki. Tsukiko does eventually get over her longing for Koki and lets Tanpopo have him all to herself, and afterwards appears to develop some feelings for Aoi, although this is never stated in canon.
- Arisa Uchimura (内村有佐 Uchimura Arisa?)
- Arisa is what is called a Ganguro or Kogal. She wears heavy white makeup and has very tanned skin, earning her the nickname "reverse raccoon". She is not a particularly good student when it comes to grades, and can be found sleeping the majority of the time, even while at school. She gets herself into hot water with Ogata, but the experience changes her for the better. Tanpopo Yamazaki helps her change from being a party girl and a "jerk magnet".
- Erika Yanahara (柳原江里花 Yanahara Erika?)
- Erika was originally supposed to marry Yoji Kugyo, but after he ran away, she was left as Koki's responsibility. She loves Koki as she once loved Yoji, but probably never really loved because for her entire life she was "expected" to marry into the family and never really made a choice in her life. She and Tanpopo get into some heated exchanges over Koki throughout the manga.
- Yoji Kugyo (九卿耀司 Kugyō Yōji?)
- Yoji is Koki's older brother. He is a free spirit, and runs away from the pressures of his high-status family to become a photographer. Upon his return, he finds himself falling for Tanpopo, and they even end up going out together for a short time. Yoji is a genuine soul who can be trusted, and Tanpopo and he soon became close friends.
- Ogata is one of the most popular, and powerful, students at Meio Academy. He is extremely jealous of Koki due to his family's wealth and status. Ogata, an infamous ladies' man, is said to have impregnated several female students, including Arisa, at Meio Academy. He even makes a pass at Tanpopo and tries to get her to go out with him. He continually fails to win Tanpopo's heart, however, and is left with the lesser girls of the school. Near the end he decides to take care of Arisa and their baby.
- Poplar (ポプラ?)
- Poplar is Tanpopo's pet fox. Named after a type of tree, Poplar is a trusty companion to Tanpopo, and is always there for her in times of need.
Volume 1: Dandelion, Volume 2: Magnolia, Volume 3: Daffodil, Volume 4: Rose, Volume 5: Poppy
- ISBN 4-09-137473-5 published in August 2000
- ISBN 4-09-137474-3 Published in November 2000
- ISBN 4-09-137475-1 published in February 2001
- ISBN 4-09-137476-X published in May 2001
- ISBN 4-09-137477-8 published in July 2001