Looking for a good time with cute boys and laughter? Look no further than Ouran High School Host Club!
Brief intro: Meet Haruhi Fujioka, a middle-class scholarship student in Ouran High School, an elite school for rich and high ranking students. While looking for a quiet place to study, Haruhi unexpectedly stumbles upon the Host Club. Led by Tamaki, the club—whose other members include Kyouya, the Hitachiin twins, Haninozuka “Honey,” and Mori—is where good-looking boys with too much time on their hands entertain the girls of Ouran High School.
In a frantic attempt to get out of the club before being noticed, Haruhi ends up breaking a vase worth eight million yen. Of course this causes quite a bit of noise, and she is noticed by the hosts. Due to her having a deeper voice than other female students, short hair, and androgynous clothing, Haruhi is mistaken as male. Haruhi is then forced into becoming the host’s errand boy to repay her enormous debt. Soon after, she proves to be a natural host and is promoted to full status as a host of the Ouran Host Club. It then becomes clear to the other hosts that something isn’t quite right…
Review: OHSHC will have you laughing, tearing up, and head over heels in love.
In the words of Tamaki, the leader: Only those with excellent social standing and those from filthy rich families are lucky enough to spend their time here at the elite private school, Ouran Academy. The Ouran Host Club is where the school’s handsomest boys, with too much time on their hands, entertain young ladies who also have way too much time on their hands. Just think of it as Ouran Academy’s elegant playground for the super rich and beautiful. Thanks for the intro Tamaki (who is also voiced by the same VA that did Fullmetal Alchemist’s Edward Elric).
Let’s meet our hosts! Tamaki: the princely president of the Host Club. Kyouya: the cool vice president of the Host Club. “Honey” Haninozuka:the child-like and cute martial arts champion. Morinozuka: the strong and silent protector of Honey and the Hitachiin twins, Hikaru and Kaoru who are mischievous troublemakers.
Upon meeting Haruhi and pushing her into becoming the club’s errand boy (that is, until they decide she would be more valuable as a host) to pay for the vase she broke, the members of the Host Club have no idea that Haruhi is actually a girl. Haruhi’s mistaken gender doesn’t last long though. The club members quickly come to her aid once the secret is out. They must keep their female clientele fooled as Haruhi fills a gap in the club’s collection of anime male character tropes. Plus she still has to pay them back for that vase.
What we get is a ridiculously huge amount of hilarious circumstances and lots of romance. Bizarre events, characters with gobs of money, and intricate costumes; OHSHC doesn’t hold back. The Host Club is Tamaki’s invention and his week-to-week themes keeps you on your toes. But in the best way. You’ll just have to go with with flow on this one.
The Japanese shoujo tropes are all a part of the fun, too. Don’t feel guilty when picking a favorite. It’s hard not to! The guys are all so easy to like and are even more likable as the anime digs into their past and lets you see who they are behind the tropes they represent during club time. On the surface, the club is superficial and lacks depth. Underneath is a gang of friends who love and care for each other like no one else.
One thing that this anime does well is the play on gender roles and being non-gendered. Obviously Haruhi doesn’t look or dress like a girl and it lets her choose her own identity. Then we meet her dad who has formed himself into a mother AND father figure to help Haruhi. If you’re curious to read more about this, check out Lyn’s post: Disrupting Gender in Ouran High School Host Club.
An anime that promotes identity versus gender and gives us a peek behind the curtain of typical anime tropes is sure to become one of your favorites of all time.
Bottom Line: Don’t let the stereotypical tropes fool you into thinking Ouran High School Host Club is a flop; it deserves to be on your watch list!
Official Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Romance, Comedy, Reverse Harem, Shoujo
Geeky Gal’s Score: 5 out of 5 stars!