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Ouran High School Host Club: Let’s Have a Romantic Love June 25, 2006

Posted by Naughty Ninja in Anime, Ouran High School Host Club.

The Host Club

There’s little dispute among most that ‘harem anime’ love comedies thrive on formula. Few distinguish themselves beyond the pretty boys and physical comedy for one to be even worth recommending against another. As Theodore Sturgeon put it so eloquently, “Ninety percent of everything is crud.” However, every once in a while, a promising gem emerges from the rabble. After all, Sturgeon’s famous words also implied that ten percent of everything ISN’T crud, and that in my opinion, is certainly the case for Ouran High School Host Club.

Its clear that Ouran is unapologetic in getting its shoujo on — an immense amount of roses, sakura petals, and intricate lace borders decorate the opening sequence (as well as in the episodes themselves) with a clear ironic intent, and bounces to the beat of an opening theme reeking of hyperactive genki energy. The opening theme, Sakura Kiss, has the earnest Chieko Kawabe sings, “The reason for which people fall in love, is different for everyone but– maybe you’re my love.” the last hopeful sentence sung in sweet Engrish.

Maybe You're My Love?Essentially a fast paced comedy, the titular Host Club of Ouran is an exclusive social group where six gorgeous boys surround themselves with things of beauty and using their refined manners to entertain female guests with innocent fliration. The most engaging component of Ouran is in the intense polarization between its protagonist, Fujioka Haruhi, a “studious commoner” student on scholarship who could care less about the high society trappings of opulence, beauty and wealthy refinement and Tamaki Suoh, the Host Club’s reigning bishounen King.

But the show’s penchant for the unapologetic does not merely lie in its self-conscious air of visual winks and nudges, but in the metafictional gags as well, which while not entirely novel are witty enough in execution. In one instance, Tamaki declares, “Yes! This is a love school comedy to begin with! Haruhi and I are the main characters of this love comedy. Obviously, the rest of you are homo side characters.” He finishes by brandishing a stick and drawing a line between his importance to the plot and the supporting characters ostensible destiny as mere filler.

Haruhi, the Studious CommonerIt has been pointed out by viewers that Ouran has the potential to be the next Fruits Basket, but seven episodes in, and we’ve yet to see any deep emotional confessions, romantic hijinks, relational development, or dark and painful familial past. The general flow of the show seems to swing between two basic plots: Tamaki’s awkward and bizarre attempts to gain intimacy with Haruhi and his crusades towards granting the wishes of the heart to men and women alike.

If there’s anything it can be faulted for, it’s that it doesn’t give much of an impression that it plans to go anywhere in particular with its premise. Nonetheless, even though I may not know what’s going to happen at the end of the road, I’m pretty much enjoying the ride.

Tamaki, the Host King.

Related Links Sakura Kiss, Anime Opening – On YouTube. Not of the best quality, but you can generally get the feel of the series.

For Richer or Poorer – A large fansite dedicated to both the anime and manga title. Holds an obscene amount of content: information, profiles, summaries, screen captures, galleries, a forum, etc.

Ouran Koukou Host Club Icon Awards – As always, livejournal supplies a healthy amount of fandom, both in healthy and wanky variants. This particular community concentrates on themed icon contests.