My Rating: 4.5 Stars
IMDB Rating: 8.4/10
Content Rating: TV-14
At the ultra prestigious Ouran High School, Haruhi Fujioka looks for a quiet place to read and walks into an unused music room, and accidentally stumbles across the notorious Ouran High School Host Club, a group of boys who entertain the girls of the school for profit. When Haruhi accidentally breaks an expensive vase belonging to the wacky Host Club, she is made to serve under them until her debt is paid off. Haruhi is soon made a Host, but in order to pay off what she owes, she must continue to allow the Host Club’s customers to believe she is a boy.
This is quite possibly the funniest TV show I have ever watched, anime or live action. Ouran is a satire of other animes in the same genre (romantic comedy) and every episode seems to tackle a new ridiculous trope. To name a few that this series takes on and makes absolutely hilarious: cross-dressing, mistaken identity, weird incest relationships (between twins), transvestites, cosplay, homosexuality, unrequited love…there are so many that I don’t even know how to describe in one word or a short phrase. These all sound really bad, but the way they are handled in the show is hysterical.
So anime is often condemned for weird cliché’s or tropes, right? Ouran features a cast of characters that each play out these tropes while the main character, Haruhi, looks on and rolls her eyes. It’s exceptionally hilarious. To give a few examples: The twins, Hikaru and Kaoru have discovered that the girls who visit the host club go crazy when they hint at a possible romantic or sexual relationship between the two of them. You never actually see anything, and while they are close in real life, they don’t have that sort of relationship. They simply use it to gain followers, and it’s really quite hilarious.
And then the girls scream and Haruhi rolls her eyes.
The premise for the main character, Haruhi is ridiculous as well. She is mistaken for a boy when she stumbles into the club’s room and breaks a very expensive vase, and before the ‘prince’ of the host club, Tamaki, figures it out, he says she has to stay and work for them to pay off her debt. Whenever someone finds out Haruhi is actually a girl, they are suddenly and inexplicably in love with her.
HONEY-SENPAI IS THE CUTEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN. But yet another weird trope. He looks like he’s about seven years old, even though he’s like, 17, and a huge group of girls is madly in love with him. He spends his days eating cake and playing with his stuffed rabbit. And hanging out with Mori, who is the strong, silent one of the bunch.
The script laughs at itself and breaks the fourth wall constantly, with characters literally saying “we went over this in the last episode” and phrases like that. I loved all the characters, and each one gets his own feature, and you get to learn their backstories, which is fun. The Host Club participates in cosplay during many of the episodes, ironically dressing Haruhi up as a girl on a regular basis. For some reason people don’t even bat an eyelash.
There are a few serious moments, especially with Hikaru/Karou and Kyoya’s storylines, but they don’t surface often. Most of the show is very light and humorous. Friendship is really emphasized on Ouran and some of the episodes are very sweet when dealing with a darker storyline and showing how all of the guys came to be friends.
And now we arrive at the part of the review where I explain why I didn’t give Ouran five stars. Believe me, I fully planned on giving it a perfect rating, up until the last two episodes. Things got suddenly very dramatic, which wasn’t bad, but I was very disappointed in the anti-climatic resolution between Tamaki and Haruhi. The ENTIRE series they hinted at a possible relationship between the two, and it NEVER HAPPENED. I was very disappointed. The show isn’t really about them, and spends a ton more time making fun of Tamaki for being ridiculous and exaggerating the cliché’s, but they set us up to expect a big change in him at the end since everything got SO SERIOUS. I was very upset. I was like, YES, some serious drama to get us a serious relationship between Tamaki and Haruhi. SWEET.
And then my hopes were DASHED.
Still ABSOLUTELY AND COMPLETELY worth watching. You will laugh so hard you’ll cry. I plan on watching the whole series again sometime soon. You really won’t regret it.