Ouran High School Host Club
Anime DVD Review
Here's one for the ladies, but it's just as much fun for guys!! This shoujo anime reverses the usual "harem" stereotype in that this time, it's one girl surrounded by many good-looking guys and has been a big hit with both the ladies and the gentlemen for both its zany humor and it's relatively subtle drama.
Haruhi Fujioka is the lone impoverished scholarship student at Ouran High School, a school for kids so rich that a group of boys started a Host Club to entertain their female schoolmates in.
One day Haruhi stumbles upon the Host Club while seeking a quiet place to study and instead accidentally breaks an expensive vase — and she becomes the club's newest toy in order to pay for it. At first a mere gopher, Haruhi eventually is given a makeover and becomes a host... then, and only then, do the guys realize that Haruhi is actually a girl...
The real genius of Host Club, though, isn't the switcheroo it plays on classic gender roles (although they get a substantial amount of slapstick mileage via this gimmick), the true brilliance is that while the comedy stems from poking fun at traditional shoujo romance archetypes, the drama comes almost entirely from watching the characters grow up and learn who they are, a refreshing change of pace from the usual soap opera anime.
There's nothing like a gaggle of bishonen to make the ladies scream with delight. If you enjoyed "The Wallflower" then you'll adore Ouran High School Host Club.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, December 2008
Below: Scenes from Ouran High School Host Club.