Ouran High School Host Club tv Review
Haruhi Fujioka is a poor girl in a rich kids' school. She only got to go there because of a scholarship. She happens upon the Host Club when she is looking for a place to study quietly. After getting there, she breaks an $80,000 vase. After which, she is forced to work at the club to pay off the debt.
The only problem is that the members don't realize she's a girl....
Story & Characters
In general, the term "Otaku" is used in a somewhat negative or divisive context to describe a fan that is "serious" or "hardcore". Among anime, there are some described by the community as being too serviced towards "Otakus" and their vocabulary at the expense of casual fans or newcomers.
However, occasionally an anime manages to simultaneously service the serious anime fans and appeal to newcomers as well.
The story follows a student named Haruhi Fujioka, a commoner amongst the rich, as she is unintentionally recruited to become a host for the Ouran High School Host Club, a place where “filthy rich young men with too great time on their hands entertain filthy rich young women who also have too considerable time on their hands”. As such, she must pay off her debt by enchanting young women by playing off her ‘Natural Charmer’ archetype while the rest of the boys use their looks to play off several stereotypes and archetypes found in Shoujo manga.
Tamaki Suoh plays as the Princely type, a elegant charmer who also acts as the ‘King’ of the Host Club.
Kyoya Ootari plays the Cool type, the calm and collected secretary of the Host Club.
Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin are twins who play the Little Devil type, mischievious in their acts and their taboo love for each other.
Mitsukuni Haninozuka a.k.a. ‘Honey’ plays the Boy Lolita type, indulging in sweets and stuffed animals.
Takashi Morinozuka a.k.a. ‘Mori’ plays the Stoic type, strong but of few words.
However, as Haruhi continues to work in the Host Club, she realizes that beneath the surface, these characters are much more complex than she realizes.
Tamaki is somewhat a buffoon, who only occasionally saves face when he shows a hand of kindness.
Kyoya is a somewhat miserly character, interested only in generating a profit.
The Hitachiin twins are actually pranksters of a more devious sort.
As for Honey, well, he happens to be an expert at several martial arts.
As such, Ouran High School Host Club plays as a sort of parody to the Shoujo genre, lampooning the various images fangirls rave about all the while developing strong and solid characters. However, by doing this, the series not only effectively shows us the various flaws of short sighted hero worship, but also sets the audience up for powerful drama underneath, all the while never forgetting to have a sense of fun.
One example is Haruhi, herself. Depicted as the commoner of the series, she also remains the most level headed. After spending time with the Host Club, she sees past their various charms that would have most of her female classmates swooning. Instead, she plays the responsible adult, making sure her father and herself are taken care of.
Another example would be Tamaki. While depicted as a charmer of the ladies, he is simply lost on how to handle Haruhi, and thus becomes much more of a buffoon. However, underneath the exterior is a boy not who is not only curious about commoner life, but a caring soul that means well, even if his mind does not keep track.
However, simply the best example of this would have to be the Hitachiin twins. Depicted as forbidden lovers, their story is actually more complex. After constant frustration of never being able to be told apart, they are depicted as solitary demons, caught in their own world, unwilling to let anybody in. However, that may change by someone persistent enough.
At the same time, a character called Renge is introduced. Often doing her own cosplay, she often comments on the characters and their various personalities, at times wanting to change them rapidly. She, all things considering, brings an additional charm to the series as she rallies the fanbase (both the animated and the real) to swoon over the characters and provide an insider’s opinion on the antics of the boys.
The sheer combination of character depth, shoujo parody, and deep cutting analysis makes for a near-perfect series….
….save for the ending. As with many anime, in order to end things in a set number of episodes, Ouran High School Host
Club decided to have a big anime-exclusive finale arc, in this case concerning Tamaki’s past and the fate of the Host
Club. However, even with two episodes, his arc is quickly resolved with contrived circumstances that did not match much
of the series build-up. The ending, such as it is, only neatly resolves a couple of character’s conflicts while
leaving other questions in the series unanswered.
Following Bisco Hatori’s manga, Studio Bones re-imagined the world of Ouran Academy as a peaceful, quiet school found in a series of Shoujo manga. However, much like their treatment of Fullmetal Alchemist, Bones knows perfectly when to draw characters realistically and when to go for hyper exaggerated images, where nothing is realistically portrayed. Some of the most beautiful shots are of Ouran Academy in the distance. At times a hue of purple, at other times, glowing in the sunlight.
As such, characters are given a similar treatment. An anime that masters tones also handles its characters with an amount of grace. Tamaki varies between a wide variety of depictions, from his flower covered princely type character, to his chibi unable to do anything about himself character, to his serious character. Studio Bones takes Bisco Hatori’s manga and re-imagines an entire world for it.
OP Song- “Sakura Kiss” Japanese version sung by Chieco Kawabe.
English Version sung by Kristine Sa.
ED Song- “Shissou” Japanese version sung by Last Alliance
English Version sung by Justin Houston
Funimation’s handling of the property could be described nothing less than respectful. Keeping terminology such as “sempai” “chan” and “moe”, when it was not required shows the dubbing company’s part to keeping as faithful to the original Japanese as possible. The terminology is as important to the work, for without it, half of the jokes would have been altered.
Some may be dismayed by the dubbed versions of the openings. However, for the most part, the lyrics are kept to the original translations as close as possible and still flow as lively pop songs.
The cast works just as fine as well. J. Michael Tatum fills the role of Kyoya quite nicely. Some may dispute Luci Christian’s performance as Honey, but his character is kept the same, nonetheless. Todd Haberkorn and Greg Ayers play off each other well as the twins, as Travis Willingham brings his own personal touch to Mori. Many will find Vic Mignogna a bit too familiar to other roles he has played, including another character from the Funimation line up, Edward Elric. However, his voice talent is as clear as day.
However, all praise goes to Caitlin Glass, for her androgynous Haruhi. Known for roles as Winry Rockbell, Miria Harvent,
and most recently, Princess Vivi, she brings a natural yet interpretable voice to Haruhi, being able to play off the
androgynous dynamic quite well.
A word to best describe the anime’s run would be: Heartbreaking. As far as humor, tact, drama, character development, charm and wit go, few can do it better than Ouran. However, the anime’s resolution was nothing short of a cop-out save for a few graceful moments.
It is sad to see an anime with such potential, with such great characters depicted throughout be given the treatment at
the end. However, if one thing can be certain, Ouran’s appeal can be seen by anyone: otaku or newcomer, sub watcher or
dub watcher, Shoujo enthusiast or Shoujo non-fan.
Reviewed by Burnouts3s3, Mar 23, 2010
Kan-tastic Mar 24, 2010
Burnouts3s3 Mar 24, 2010
@Kan-tastic: " "Ouran
Sherillas Mar 24, 2010
When I first came across this anime, I was hesitant to watch it because I feared that it would fall into one those typical "high school romance" thing but, it wasn't anything like that at all, and I was over joyed. This series had me laughing out loud many times and because of that, I've already watched it three times, yes it is that good for me.
Your review is satisfying and I agree with your ratings. The art took some getting used to "character" wise for me anyway, and I'm still not fond of how huge Haruhi's eyes are however, the background art was stupendous. And yes, I'm also very disappointed with the ending. I thought they could have, and should have done a better job. It was so much fun watching the all character's development, and just when things were getting really intense, they literally pull the plug at the end. It would've been nice if they did a second season with a proper ending.
I'm sure that this anime would appeal to just about anyone but, the promotional pics are a bit of a turn off. It was for me anyway. Nice review and thanks for the read!
Warpten29 Mar 25, 2010
Well you did your best.
So i guess its fine
emina07 Mute Member Mar 26, 2010
JadeFire Apr 13, 2010
Ouran is definitely one of those series that received rough treatment strictly because the series was incomplete at the time when the anime was running. That's something that always frustrates me about anime, it's almost always second best to manga, but anime is something that can be better enjoyed with someone else or a group; whereas manga is a solitary activity.
lordryo Apr 19, 2010
petine Apr 23, 2010
Thank for review ^O^
SchRita May 01, 2010
Thanks for the review!
rukasu04 Mute Member May 15, 2010
Nice review :D
emina07 Mute Member May 28, 2010
one of the best anime comedy
Buchou-dono May 30, 2010
Thank you for the review.
SchRita Aug 27, 2010
It might be funny, I like it.
hitsu-chan Jul 20, 2011
gosh I love this anime!
thx for the review
yumizuka-chan Oct 09, 2013
This is one of the best reverse harem I ever encounter.
The heroine is passive but she's not annoying. She's weak physically but mentally strong.
I really like the characters. Pretty likable.
And the sense of humor is well done!
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