For the latest in our My Favourite Anime series, Sandra over at Japan Reviewer argues Ouran High School Host Club can more than hold its own against anime’s top dogs. If you weren’t a fan before reading, then you’ll be a convert by the end.
The intro music might sound like Avril Lavigne’s ‘Sk8er Boi’ but this anime has a lot to like. While everyone else is interested in the main anime like Naruto, Bleach or Death Note, there is room for a more light-hearted show in Ouran High School Host Club. This is the story of a poor girl, Haruhi Fujioka, who knocks over a priceless vase and has to pay for it by pretending to be a male host at Ouran Academy’s Host Club. There, she and the other hosts wait on and flatter rich schoolgirls who will pay handsomely for a little time with a good-looking guy.
In all there are seven hosts, including Haruhi. Self-appointed “king” Tamaki Suoh is the most popular host. Twins Hikaru and Kaoru provide the two-for-one offer, for those girls who like the idea of a shonen-ai experience (which helps as Kaoru is gay). Mitsukuni Haninonzuka (Hunny) is the boy lolita as he looks cute, but hides his martial arts expertise until he wants to prove a point to his jealous brother. Takashi Morinozuka (Mori) is Hunny’s right hand man who waits on him with patience – Mori has just a few lines in the series, though he has a presence some of the other characters lack at times. Meanwhile, Vice President Kyoya Ohtori keeps an eye on the club’s finances, and appears dry and unconcerned with joining in the club’s fun.
Tamaki and Kyoya are opposites in every way, except Kyoya realises he can let his hair down occasionally (the Halloween episode springs to mind). Haruhi is blunt, dismissing most of her hosting duties as silly, and speaks her mind when she thinks Tamaki is going over the top – this sends him into a sulk where he sits on the floor ignoring her, while everyone else knows he’s being dramatic.
Ouran is lots of fun for the otaku who likes comedy anime. Each character is likeable in their own ways, especially Hunny and Tamaki, though the twins can be a handful when they don’t get their own way. Author Bisco Hatori debuted with Isshun kan no Romance in LaLa DX magazine and had her first hit with Ouran. The manga said it was a must have for all Hana-Kimi fans, and most will see why. It’s a high school anime with the episodes taking place after school, rather than in the classroom. But most of all, Ouran offers a fun slant on the high school theme that can get tiresome when overdone in other anime.
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