A Visit to the Ouran High School Host Club
Adaptation of Bisco Hatori's manga remains strong
By Danica Davidson
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Haruhi is just trying to study; just trying to find somewhere quiet to do schoolwork at the wealthy Ouran Academy. But then Haruhi accidentally walks into the room where the host club is, meets the very eccentric group of individuals that make up the group, and mistakenly breaks a vase worth eight million yen.
How will Haruhi, a poor student on a scholarship, pay back the vase? Why, by being a host, of course. In other words, by more or less being a paid boyfriend who fawns over girls and makes them happy. There’s one itsy bitsy reason, though, why Haruhi might not make a very good boyfriend.
That’s because she’s not a boy.
Not all the members of the host club realize this when they sign her up, though. Tamaki, the showy “king” of the group, is the last to figure it out (well, he’s the last to figure most things out). He already seemed to have a thing for Haruhi, but once he’s aware she’s a girl, he definitely has a crush on her. Now he can’t stand the thought of anyone else being romantically interested in Haruhi, even though it’s her job as a host to get girls romantically interested in her.
Besides Tamaki, we also have Kyoya, Hikaru, Kaoru, Honey, and Mori in the club. Kyoya is probably the most down-to-earth, but at one point he still ends up in a bind when a girl flies from France to marry him because she’s obsessed with a video game character who looks like him. Hikaru and Kaoru are twins who use this for a gimmick that people outside of otaku culture might not get so much. Honey and Mori make another odd pair, as Honey is a high school student who acts as if he’s in elementary school and this is offset by Mori’s tallness and quiet seriousness.
Ouran High School Host Club began as a manga by Bisco Hatori in 2002 and the story has been a hit. VIZ Media has rights to the manga, and many anime fans were surely happy when FUNimation brought the anime series overseas. The series is insanely funny, very quirky, and always unrestrained. It’s a shojo series that basks in shojo-ness like romantic relationships and implied yaoi, while at the same time parodying these things for all they’re worth. For example, if you think some shojo manga use the “background of flowers” motif too much, it seems Ouran High School Host Club agrees… and therefore uses it too much on purpose, for laughs.