Over the summer, when this show came out, there was another series staring another Haruhi. There was much to do about the other Haruhi and not much said about this one. Thats unfortunate given this show’s great humor and cast of characters, both of which should have stood out more against the competition. Spoilers: This show will make you gay.

Ouran High School Host Club is the story of a young man named Haruhi who, while a commoner, attends the prestigious school mentioned in the title. While trying to find a quiet place to study, he finds himself in the third music room which happens to belong to the Host Club, a club devoted to charming the socks off of girls. Haruhi, in a state of shock and awe and the sheer absurdity of those present accidentally knocks over a vase and is suddenly indebted to the club for reimbursement. To work it off, they make Haruhi into a host and tell him he must get 1000 customers before the debt is repaid. Trouble is, Haruhi is actually a girl. Hilarity thus ensues.

The story itself for this show at first seemed pretty shallow. The premise of the show is set up in the first episode and it doesn’t deviate from it till the end. Most of the first half is basically “OMG Haruhi is a girl pretending to be a guy” related jokes and situations. The second half delves more into the personalities of each of the club members and how the club and Haruhi has affected each of them for the better. Even so, the show is extremely episodic and, at most, there is a very subtle threat that ties the episodes together. Regardless of these irks, the show gives off a lot of warmth as the club often goes out of its way to bring happiness to others dispite any concieved inconvenience.

The Ouran Host Club

The characters don’t develop much in the first half other than the general getting to know them and their quirks. Nearly all of them are silly most of the time and then it turns out they have another serious side to them that you didn’t know about. It seemed kind of cliche to begin with. But in the second half, when you learn about how the club has become their family each of them didnt have before, you begin to connect with them a little bit more. While I can say I did like all the characters a lot, I can’t say I connected with any of them on a personal level.

This brings us to an interesting view. The show is about a commoner being in an ultra-rich school. Because of this, the first half tended to show how ridiculously well off the other club members were and how they seemed to have it easy all the time. Haruhi even calls them “rich bastards” several times. In the second half though the tables are turned. The rich club members begin to love being with Haruhi in commoner settings and doing commoner things. (The first half had a hint of this when the club started drinking a marvelous new drink — instant coffee) Haruhi also begins to see how being in rich and prestigious families isn’t all about roses as each of the characters reveals the hardships they face living up to the families’ standards.

Thankfully, the show did not have much of a love story. If you are expecting Haruhi to fall for one of the guys in this series, you’re out of luck. This is a plus because it lets you see the subtle changes she brings out in everyone rather than her focusing on a single person. It also would not at all have fitted her personality to have fallen for one of the guys by the end of the show as she is much too strong willed and independent. Dont be discouraged though, there are hints of some of the guys genuinely falling for her at the end as well as hints she might be interested back (though nothing is shown beyond that).

Overall, Ouran kept a smile on my face the whole time I was watching it. While not an impressive story or extraordinarily unique characters, it does have a lot of originality built into it. The friendship the club has seems extremely genuine as does any feelings anyone has in the show. Being upbeat, friendly, believable and unique, Ouran High School Host Club gets 4 out of 5 stars. (Oh, and this Haruhi could beat down Suzumiya any day of the week. And she’s cuter.)

Rating: ★★★★☆

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