Haruhi Fujioka is a smart young girl on a scholarship that allows her to attend one of Japan’s most prestigious schools, Ouran Academy. But when she runs into the Host Club by accident, it seems her gender isn’t as obvious as she once thought. Mistaken for a boy, Haruhi ends up playing the role of a host to pay back a debt she owes for breaking an expensive vase. At first, Haruhi only does her job to pay off her debt, but the longer she remains with the strange members of the Host Club the more she realizes that these rich students are far from what they seem on the surface.
The violence in this show is pretty much one hundred percent slap stick. Characters are flung around by other characters, but never really obtain any damage, etc. One character is associated with a gang, but it turns out that he is just a scary looking dude and actually a nice guy.
Unfortunately there is a bit of language, mostly words like cr-p and at least one instance of the “illegitimate-son” word.
The worst this series is on showing skin is what one sees at the beach, guys without shirts, girls in bikinis and such. It should be noted, however, that two characters (they are twins) put on a lot of “shows” in the club, mostly consisting of a “forbidden” love between them. More than once it’s revealed that this is all an act (which consists mostly of them hugging and saying awkward things). A few girls from an all girl school also have something similar going down, though whether it’s an act is left unexplored. Primarily they seem to be there simply to counterweight the Host Club. Also, Haruhi’s father is a transvestite. These topics never go far at all, and are largely there for comedy’s sake, but they might make some people uncomfortable.
Because Haruhi’s mother died when she was younger, Haruhi occasionally talks to her through narration. Once or twice it’s mentioned that Haruhi leaves “gifts” at her mother’s grave, a common Japanese practice. Other than that, there really aren’t any religious implications in this show.
Typically I’m not a fan of these kinds of shows. I do indeed like comedy, but I’m not that into romance. That being said, this show is not exactly what I expected. The music, which is good, isn’t ground shaking. The art is also decent, though typical for this genre. But the characters themselves have far more depth to them than expected. They all have motives for their actions and emotions that aren’t always obvious at first. Tamaki is often played as a moron, yet he seems to have a talent at reading other people. Kyoya has the role of the cool headed overlord, but he has a few more complex motives for his actions as well. And those are just two of the characters. The plot also plays up to the series’ strong point. In fact, if focuses so much on the characters themselves that romance is kinda left to fend for itself. In other words, it’s a story that professes to be a romance but, like School Rumble, seems to only contain romance as a side dish. And then, of course, there’s the comedy, which is fantastic and often gut busting. So if you like interesting characters, a good story that plays them up and comedy, with a bit of romance on the side, this show is a great watch. Just don’t expect a for-sure pairing at the end.
Personal Rating: Young Adult
Languages: Sub and Dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Comedy, romance
Legal streaming: FUNimation‘s site and YouTube