It’s hard to review an anime that isn’t my cup of tea. Ouran High School Host Club is one of those. It is shojo, but I tend to enjoy their stories and characterizations better than shonen. So it isn’t that. I even enjoyed the satire Ouran High School Host Club has. Yes, satire about the various elements that make up the typical shojo anime.
Ouran follows the misfortune of scholarship student Haruhi Fujioka. She accidentally breaks a vase that belongs to the Host Club and is coerced to work to pay it back. Mind you, Ouran High School is for the godly rich or those who have divine bloodlines. All of whom have too much time on their hands. Haruhi can pass for a cute guy so she falls easily into the Host Club. A Host Club, by the way, is a club dedicated to entertaining and making the ladies happy – “fanning the flames of moe” as they phrase it. Being shojo, there are various unrequited love elements surrounded Haruhi, who chooses to mostly stay above it.
Ouran Host Club is very Japanese. Honorifics are thrown around like the Host Club’s money. I suggest you read my brief overview of honorifics if you are confused.
Ouran Host Club pokes fun at (and at the same time offers) female fan service. There are plenty of yaoi elements that are satirized through a pair of twins in the club. Their ‘twincest’ drives the female clientele crazy. There are also many flower vignettes where one of the host club members (most often Tamaki, the president) says some romantic nothing…or attempts to.
Haruhi captured my general “meh” and irritation with the fan service and romantic vignettes. I found the most amusing scenes those involving the rich being exposed to the way of life of everyone else. Instant coffee anyone?
While the characters have some dimension, they left me feeling cold outside of Haruhi. They were too flamboyant or disconnected; it is difficult to put my finger on just what made me feel ambivalent toward them. They were also fairly stereotypical – especially when they were in host mode. Which Ouran Host Club made some pains to point out and even ridicule. Perhaps it is just because a guy my age is far from the target audience. Gotta try something new time to time right?
So I really can’t draw a conclusion on Ouran High School Host Club: other than it is very female oriented. I enjoyed how it satirized character stereotypes and fan service. It did have some funny moments too. It’s not a bad anime…just not my thing.