Story - 7/10
The truth is it’s hard to assess a series such as Ouran HSHC without looking out how many people love it and adore it to this day, even though it’s more than five years since it was released. Surely with a series like this you expect deep storylines that keep you on the edge, keep you guessing as to what will happen next? Well no. But Ouran High School Host Club never aims to do that.
The story is focused on a school club, that’s right, you guessed it – the Ouran Host Club, a group of rich, handsome boys with too much time on their hands, who also entertain “young ladies who also have way too much time on their hands”. From the name, nobody will expect a series like the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, or that of K-On!, instead you get a series that delivers the same high calibre of comedy as these two, perhaps even more so, and leaves you hungry for more after finishing.
So, where can a series about a bunch of rich boys go? Well nowhere, but just wait a second! Enter the main persona – Haruhi Fujioka. With a name like Haruhi, anyone will expect her to be a girl, but oh no, Tamaki and the other members of the Host Club get mislead and believe she is a boy for the majority of the first episode, and after Haruhi breaks a vase worth 8 million yen she gets roped into serving the Host Club by being their “dog” . Because of this extremely unlikely set up, Haruhi eventually gets forced into becoming a Host of their club and must repay her debt by collecting customers. Of course she must cross-dress. This provides the witty comedy and hilarious moments that are Ouran High School Host Club.
Animation - 6/10
As expected of a series primarily based on a shoujo manga, the animation is bright and colourful. Each of the host's hair comes in a variety of different colours - all I can do is thank god that they didn't put pink in there. But despite their being a colourful setting and characters, that does not mean that things can get better from here on out. Character movement is extremely unnatural. The limbs of the characters at times were disproportionate to the rest of their bodies, and most of the time did not fit the mood or tone of that episode.
Backgrounds were better. They were detailed and pretty and complemented the characters in every way possible however the most notable part of the animation was by far the character designs. Definitely one of the better series to contain this, all of the designs are original and unique, the use of roses, sparkles and annotations in effects were also a brilliant addition to the animation and is probably what makes Ouran, for me, so memorable.
Sound - 9/10
After re-watching this anime with a friend, I decided to pay extra attention to the soundtrack used in it and was rather surprised at what I found. Unlike any other anime which usually uses any old typical background music for their anime, Ouran High School Host club incorporates the use of violins, pianos and other classical music to suit the tone of the anime which is ultimately set in a rich kid's school.
As well as the use of classical music, it also uses a delightful variety of sound effects to add comedy to the series; these include boings, calls and chimes used randomly but effectively throughout the episodes.
Another aspect that extremely pleased me was the English dub of this anime. Now, I'm a one for subs, I think it's pointless going into this sub vs. dub debate right here and now, but personally, I was rather impressed by the voice actors in this particular anime. They far outshined the original seiyuus in the fact that the voices used were far more suitable for the role than the Japanese. An example of this was Haruhi. Her English voice was rather deep or a lot deeper than the seiyuu's and I felt like in the Japanese version, her voice just wasn't believable for a character who cross dresses. Another is Tamaki. Now, both of the voice actors in Japanese and English portrayed Tamaki brilliantly, however, Vic Mignogna's performance felt more solid and was indeed more entertaining.
Characters - 10/10
Ouran High School Host Club does not attempt to hide the fact that these characters present the five types of boys in Romance or perhaps any anime: cool type, wild type, boy lolita, mischeivous type and the King of the Host Club. They even make fun of it in the first episode as Tamaki asks Haruhi which one she prefers and I think this is where Ouran High School Host Club shines the most.
Each character is loveable in their own way. I have a large group of friends who have watched this show, and each time I ask them who their favourite is. Some have told me Tamaki, some have told me the twins, Hikaru and Kaoru, and some have told me even Mori and then the popular Hunny. I've even had a friend tell me Kyoya who oddly enough looks like my maths teacher who does watch anime. This is what makes this anime so great.
Unlike a surprising amount of anime out there, the main character Haruhi was also likeable and could even be related to a normal person. Haruhi is pretty average in how she thinks, she wants to repay her debt, and wants to work hard as well, some may say that she is a boring character, however when you look at how she interacts with the other hosts, you can see why she is so loveable.
I mentioned before about how Ouran High School Host Club shines the most in how it portrays the stereo-typical characters, to do this, the characters have a great deal of depth and an interesting background behind them. Character development, although cut off in the anime as the manga goes on in developing the characters, is still at its best, particularly with the twin's stories.
Overall - 8/10
Everything about this anime is great: loveable characters, great sound and animation and an interesting storyline to boot. Anyone really should watch this - don't be put off by what it looks like. This series is not the shoujo norm, and particularly the characters and comedy aspects of this anime are reasons alone why you should watch it.