Molly Rants-a-lot – Ouran High School Host Club

Posted on Apr 25 2010

Congratulations! You’ve wandered into yet another installment of “Molly Rants-a-lot”. This month we’ll be looking at one of the biggest smash hits of the past few years that isn’t Naruto. Plus, I’ll be introducing a new segment called “The Bibble Pick”. With all that said and done I cordially invite you to the 3rd music room where rose petals flood from the doorways. I welcome you to Ouran Academy.

Ouran High School Host Club is the story of a young scholarship student, Haruhi Fujioka who, while attempting to find a quiet place to study, stumbles upon the Ouran host club of beautiful young men who mistake our ambiguously genderific protagonist for a poor commoner boy. In the utter shock of this sight, Haruhi has the added misfortune to knock over and destroy an 8 million yen antique vase. Now our “audacious commoner” must become the club’s dog to repay her/his outstanding debt. This, my friends, is only the beginning of the lovingly clichéd series that is Ouran High School Host Club.

This anime boasts a large number of endearing qualities that make it the success that it is. Why don’t we start with our hosts? The host club men are made up of your overly-stereotypical bishi-shojo characters. Each host offers a personality type that caters to the specific preferences of each costumer who can reserve time with any host they choose. Some may choose Kaoru and Hikaru Hitachiin (or “the twins”/”those shady twins” which they are often referred to as through out the run of the show). These twins are the impish, mischievous brothers who capture the hearts of girls who enjoy their touchy-feely, twincest moments. Some guests may prefer the strong, stoic type found in the personality of Takashi Morinozuka (Mori/Mori-sempai for short) or the boy-lolita cuteness of Mitsukuni Haninozuka (Honey/Honey-sempai for short). Mori and Honey, cousins with a vast family history, are almost always spotted together. The costumers that spend time with these two gush over the stark contrast between the two boys. Honey may be mistaken for a young elementary schooler, but don’t let the pink bunny and flowers swirling about his head fool, because he’s got a mean temper and the fighting power of skilled martial artist.

Kyoya Ootori, the cool type and the vice-president of the club, is cold, calculating and only has his own (and the club’s) best interests in mind. Master of finances and shameless promotion, “Mommy”, as Tamaki often calls him, has complete control of the club. We rarely see him with guests during club hours, but the host club would collapse in shambles if Kyoya weren’t in charge. Finally, there is the club’s Princely type and president, Tamaki Souh. What draws the ladies to this blonde, tall drink of water? He prides himself in his natural beauty, heroic actions and incredibly clichéd, romantic novel one-liners. He does have his more personable side, which airs on the side of fatherly (or too much so) toward Haruhi, frantic bursts of energy and successive yelling. It’s a wonder how this walking contradiction (who, to Haruhi’s surprise, is a piano prodigy. Go figure that one out) calls himself the club president and how Kyoya puts up with his exaggerated antics on a daily basis. It just goes to show that the bond not only Kyoya and Tamaki shares is deeper than meets the eye, but how the bonds between each member becomes apparent as the show goes on.

Much to Tamaki’s delight, Haruhi, a budding host, is gaining popularity with the costumers because of his/her normal ways. Unfortunately, her tab continues to enlarge as loopholes, broken tea-sets and costume rentals add up. The poor girl can never really catch a break. Her character in and of itself is deep, but I don’t want to divulge too much. You’ll catch on fairly quickly.

What sets this show apart from other pop-anime, as I like to call the big current titles, is the scenery work and the music. The score is second to none. There is something so lavish about the orchestral stylings of this show’s soundtrack. It layers the classical with the spazical. Honey’s theme music is outright adorable and fits him like a glove. I have to say that they have masterfully created a track for every occasion, which plays to the show’s advantage. No awful recycled midi-messes for us, no no! What should go better with this fabulous music, like sprinkles on expensive Hagen Daz ice cream, than the just as fabulous backgrounds.

I dare you, upon watching (or even rewatching) a single episode, to take a good hard look at the detail that goes into the scenery. Every wacked out Host Club theme party, every landscape shot of the hallways, every close up of the clock faces, they all offer something that you just can’t find in any other anime. If you can name that something, I’ll give you an invisible cookie and a cup of commoner’s coffee.

So, what is it that makes this show so stupefying pleasing? Well, besides those dramatic characters, the satisfying music, intriguing sceneries, and Tamaki’s obsessions with commoner’s living (and does anyone else want to live in the Theater of Tamaki’s Mind with me. There’s room for one more), those goofy little paste-ons just complete the show. You’ve got your obligatory banana peel, your arrows discretely motioning toward a plot device, your twirly Honey flowers (akin to Major Armstrong’s sparkles from FMA), your mushrooms and your matter-of-fact narration slides all for your enjoyment. What’s not to fall in love with when it comes to Ouran? Well I’ll tell you, good people!

Renge, Renge, RENGE! Oh, and those Zuka Club Girls. Filler characters are a normal staple for any anime, but these have no use to the series whatsoever. Renge, the over bearing manager, only appears a few times in the manga and is thrown out for she is a pointless character that doesn’t even offer anything to the actual plot of the show, besides her own episode. As for the Zuka Club girls, they are just plain annoying and do nothing to drive the plot forward. I see these girls, Renge included, as a convenient diversion for our momentary enjoyment. After that moment has subsided, they just become flat out annoying. If it weren’t for them, the show could boast a higher grade, but every show has its faults, and this would be it.

Bibble’s Pick– How this works is I choose my favorite episode from the series, tell you why and ask you, the readers, to watch it and give me your opinions via comments below (i.e.: Why you loved it, why you hated it, which episode do you prefer).

My Bibble-pick would be:
Kyoya’s Reluctant Day Out/ And Kyoya Met Him.
These two episodes offer a brief inside look into the relationship Kyoya shares with Tamaki and why our cold-hearted “mommy” is so, for lack of a better word, cold. Also, we share the same “I’m gonna kill you if you ever wake me up again” look.

OK! You’re turn; Watch it, think about it, write it. Here. You know you want to!

Review Summary

Overall Grade: A (Renge Scared the “+” away with her Medusa hair)

Animation: The scenery and character designs are soft, enjoyable. A real breath of fresh air.

Story: Besides the intrusion of the Zuka Club and Renge, the story does not contain arcs or continuations until the very end. Each episode offers a new look into the exclusive lives of our hosts. They are all very funny, with a sprinkle of down-to-earth truthfulness.

Pace: Almost too fast. The manga continues past the initial ending of the series.

Recommend: YES YES YES! Men and Women find something about this series that they can enjoy. Bishis for the girls, fighting for the guys, shiny things for everyone else. A must watch if you haven’t watched it already.

An other month done and dusted, so catch me again in May for more rambling. The card games of motorbikes threat from last month still holds true, so you better come back!

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Comments
  • mollybibbles April 27, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    There is a “Bibble’s Pick Discussion” thread in the Features section of the forum! You are free to venture in that direction as well

  • Zero Gravity May 4, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    Impressive…. most impressive

  • toyNN May 12, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    Very enjoyable anime. Took me a while to figure out the reverse-harem aspect of it…everyone seems to be fighting over Haruhi (even the Dads).For fav eps I can’t differ as definitely And So Kyoya Met Him stands out – surprising since Haruhi and the other characters aren’t in it at all.

  • hayley-14- May 29, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    ewww i love those episodes also episode that’s called the relcunted day in the fujioka family or something like that and honey’s 3 bitter days

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