Haruhi Fujiota, the new scholarship student at Ouran High School, stumbles into the third music room while searching for a quiet place to study. Far from quiet, however, the room is home to the Host Club, a group of pretty-boy students who entertain female guests. The startled Haruhi breaks an expensive vase and gets sucked into a position at the Host Club to pay off the debt, only for its members to realize a vital secret: Haruhi is a girl!
summary by Mana
Highs: Brilliant characters; spot-on comedy; amusing storytelling
Lows: Some characters left behind in development; rushed ending; comedy can be hit or miss
The plot of Ouran High School Host Club is scant, almost nonexistent. A high school club gains a new member, and the series then follows the adventures the characters have together. Full of rose petals and bishounen, it parodies such over-the-top shoujo shows as Revolutionary Girl Utena, throwing in a multitude of costumes, gags, and ridiculous expressions just to keep things silly. Looking in from the outside, Ouran appears as nothing more than pink fluff, yet it managed to collect a strong fan base of both genders, despite its shoujo roots.
Ouran‘s strength is definitely its characters. From clueless Haruhi, to diabolical Kyouya, to princely Tamaki, each of the characters spoofs an anime stereotype, yet also develops a rich personality of his own. Regrettably, the individuals that get little characterization fall behind early on in the show and never quite manage to catch up. Both Honey and Mori feel unneeded throughout most of the show, and even episodes focusing on them seem like filler. As a result, they become quickly overshadowed, but the remaining Host Club members more than make up for this.
Placing any of the characters together is a comedy success. Typical, mundane situations become twisted to the point of absurdity simply through outlandish reactions and overblown emotions. The art and animation only add to this with a simplistic style that morphs seamlessly between exaggerations and more serious moments. Even the most somber of episodes have surprising amounts of humor, but, when the drama hits, it hits hard. Romance blossoms early and often in the show, although it doesn’t take center stage until the culmination of the series.
It seems as if the show forgot it was supposed to have a plot until the last few episodes and tried to squeeze everything together at the end. The humor comes to a halt as everyone rushes to an inevitable conclusion. Characters are introduced fast enough to make your head spin. The closing moments of the series leave many characters and plots points in the dust; it’s no wonder that many fans speculate about rumors of a sequel, despite the fact that nothing official has been said.
Ouran High School Host Club was a delight of a show and some of the most fun I’ve had watching anime in quite some time. Its unique blend of humor is entertaining without being over-the-top, and the characters are simply remarkable. Just try not to get too disappointed with the ending.