Anime Review

Anime Hajime Review: Ouran High School Host Club

Original Run: April 5, 2006 - September 27, 2006
Number of Episodes: 26
Genre: Comedy, Harem, Romance
Based on the Series Created By: Bisco Hatori

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Ouran High School Host Club. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

On an academic scholarship, Haruhi Fujioka (voiced by Maaya Sakamoto) is able to attend the prestigious Ouran Academy, an institution normally reserved for Japan’s wealthiest families. Coming from a far humbler background, Haruhi cares little about the nuances of high society. In fact, the uppity nature of the rich makes it hard to find a quiet place to study.

One day, Haruhi comes across what appears to be an unused music room. Once inside, the purpose of this room turns out to be exceedingly more lavish than ever expected. For you see, Haruhi stumbled upon Ouran Academy’s famed host club.

Haruhi is instantly overwhelmed by the – unique – nature of the club. But upon accidentally breaking an outrageously expensive vase, Haruhi will have to get used to the larger than life surroundings to repay the damages.

Amongst the club’s members, there are:

But the loudest of them all is the club’s president Tamaki Suoh (voiced by Mamoru Miyano), who takes an immediate liking to Haruhi. According to Tamaki, Haruhi will be a natural at taking care of the club’s clientele, namely women who wish to spend time being doted on by a handsome man. However, in his excitement at obtaining a new member, Tamaki notices embarrassingly late that Haruhi – herself – is female.

Despite this, and to settle her debt, Haruhi proves to be an excellent host, and she fits right in with this never-boring bunch.

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Series Positives

Despite this series being twenty-six episodes long, this review won’t be that extensive.

The simple fact of the matter is:

Ouran High School Host Club is one of those must-watch shows for anyone who is either already a fan of anime or is trying to decide if the medium is right for them. This really is a remarkable series.

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I’m not sure when we can start considering something as a classic, but if Ouran High School Host Club isn’t one yet, it will be.

Assuming we reward classic-status based off age alone, then we must remember (even if someone, like yours truly, doesn’t want to think about it) this series – at the time of this post – is a little over a week away from celebrating its thirteenth anniversary. That’s nothing to scoff at.

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However – and I put more stock in this determinant than in the mere passage of time – what if we consider a classic to be a classic because it consistently holds up. When we use such a criterion, then Ouran High School Host Club’s excellence is self-evident.

It had been quite a while since I last sat down with this series, and although I managed to recall much of what occurred in it (which, in of itself, is a good sign), it was as if I was experiencing the show anew.

Or to cut out the fluff: Ouran High School Host Club was so much fun – again.

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It is no mystery why this series has remained so enjoyable. For every anime that has focused its energies on instantly satisfying fanservice, flimsy plotlines, and dime-a-dozen jokes – and most of these shows have fallen into obscurity fairly quickly as a result – we have Crown Jewels like Ouran High School Host Club that actually took the time to craft characters worth remembering.

Ouran High School Host Club’s characterizations and character development were nothing short of outstanding.

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First and foremost, this was a comedy; a great one at that. Therefore, it was primarily lighthearted, and its tone was overwhelmingly silly. And yet, that isn’t to say this series didn’t have somber moments. On the contrary, somberness was this show’s key to success.

Ouran High School Host Club didn’t give its characters overly tragic backstories, but their lives before joining the host club weren’t one-hundred-percent carefree. All the members had gone through, and throughout the story, were going through their own difficulties.

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Without giving the show away, I’m a little in awe at how well Ouran High School Host Club portrayed Haruhi. She was a character who demonstrated her intelligence by constantly surprising people with her insightfulness. This series never bothered with bombarding us with expositional reminders of how smart Haruhi was. Her actions said more than words ever could.

What really struck home was how Ouran High School Host Club framed Haruhi’s views on self-reliance. While still being as vague as possible: Haruhi doing everything for herself was less of a held virtue than it was the byproduct of the role she assumed. Her turning to others for help wasn’t something she was averse to, it was something that never occurred to her. In line with that, there was one scene which illustrated how exposed a person can be if they choose to handle certain things alone.

And though it was rare, whenever Haruhi fell into one of those vulnerable states, it wasn’t fun, but those instances solidified her as a fantastic protagonist.

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When a story shows a strong character during a low point, that doesn’t disregard their strength. If anything, giving a character a “weakness” only makes it more impressive when they stand firm on their own two feet.

Ouran High School Host Club understood that concept. And to tell you the truth, Haruhi wasn’t even the best example I could have gone with.

I am not going to go into any depth, but I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t at least mention the Hitachiin twins. Let this series be an example for all others. Just because two characters might look identical, that doesn’t mean they can’t have unique personalities.

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As a final point, I could have discussed this series’ animation, story, humor, voice cast (by the way, all the actors gave extraordinary performances), and so on. Each of those elements played their own part in making Ouran High School Host Club what it was. Nevertheless, those you can witness for yourself.

To anyone who hasn’t yet had the chance to watch this show, the most definitive thing I can say is:

You will not be disappointed.

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Series Negatives

Okay, so, this is going to be difficult. If I had to pick something:

The ending of Ouran High School Host Club wasn’t my favorite part of the show.

That’s pretty much the extent of what I’ve got to say.

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In an attempt to make this a proper critique: Ouran High School Host Club was clearly not finished. It was wildly apparent there was more to this story, and the series even left itself open to a possible continuation. Minus picking up the manga and reading the conclusion for myself, I would like to see what happens next.

There is, however, one major problem with this “negative.”

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Although this series ended as a story-in-progress, the finale was more than satisfying. Yeah, a part-two would be welcomed, but not having it has never bothered me.

Since no anime is perfect, I’m not about to contradict that by claiming Ouran High School Host Club was. But if there was a single glaring flaw with this series, I didn’t see it.

Feel free to let me know what I might have missed in the comments below, but for full transparency, I never once believed my opinion of this show would lessen upon re-watching it. Actually, Ouran High School Host Club’s standing has risen more than anything.

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Final Thoughts

Could you tell I liked this show?

If that wasn’t clear enough, let me say it here:

This series is a bona fide classic, and if you haven’t seen it already, you should.

With hilarious humor, a fun story, and a marvelous cast of characters, this show is sure to please on all levels.

Thus, it is no surprise to me that I am wholeheartedly recommending Ouran High School Host Club.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Ouran High School Host Club? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

1 comment

  1. The first time I watched this through, it wasn’t until mid-way through that it clicked. I just didn’t connect with it at first. However, by the end of the first watch through I was having a great time so I went back and watched it again. Knowing the characters, those first episodes were a lot better. This has become one of my go-to feel good anime since.

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