I don’t think I’ve ever been more impressed with any other title in the shoujo genre. The pacing and character development is absolutely remarkable. It is because Ouran Highschool Host Club was so successful that it has become the roots of other titles in the reverse harem genre that have attempted to be its equivalent. But no matter what else comes out, it seems that Ouran Highschool Host Club will always be the best in the world of one girl and many guys. It stands alone in the fact that its main characters see that friendship, family, and getting along are more important than having a hot boyfriend or girlfriend.
Ouran Highschool Host Club falls into a category of storyline plots that I like to call “Young People Doing Things For Fun”. When I put an anime in a category like this, it means that I know there isn’t some deep or spontaneous plot line that I need to pay attention to but I do expect to become fond of the characters and watch them develop as the show goes along. This also means that introduction of characters is critical in order to impress me and make me want to see the next episode. I will be honest with you for the first 2/3 of the first episode, I was very tempted to just drop the show. The guys seemed like such jerks; they acted so full of themselves and looked down on people who weren’t rich. All of my sympathy went to the female protagonist who had unintentionally gotten herself involved with the host club. However, during the last third of the first episode, the guys did something that rarely any character does in an anime.
They stood up to a girl who was bullying Haruhi!
After that I loved the guys and was willing to give the next episode a shot. So after that terrible introduction, I continued to watch the show and found myself loving it more and more. We learn more about each main character as we follow them on their comedic adventures in daily life and become attached to each of them in some way. The same kind of attachment can be said for the characters as their bonds with each other grow stronger the more they are together. The Host Club guys gradually change their opinions about middle-class people and Haruhi changes hers about rich people. The last few episodes are probably my favorites though. It’s during those episodes that the characters’ friendship is put to the test. That is when we see the real strength of the characters that we have followed since the beginning and I just love how the power of friendship made the last episode so epic. So overall, the things that usually come to my mind when I think of Ouran Highschool Host Club are not the weak beginning, but the many good qualities of Haruhi, Hikaru, Kaoru, Kyoya, Hunny, Mori, and Tamaki and of course, all the funny moments.
Best looking school I’ve ever seen! I don’t think that in any other school-related anime, I’ve seen that so much detail has been put into the actual school. Usually the school is just there, and we’re not supposed to think about it too much. But here, they’re not afraid to flaunt everything the school has to offer and make us believe that Ouran Academy is every rich person’s paradise. I loved all of the bright colors because they went perfectly with the show’s comedic, hyper, and generally friendly atmosphere. It is also important to note that some of the funniest faces I have ever seen come from this anime, particularly from Tamaki. Basically the animation is one of the main reasons why Ouran Highschool Host Club is such a lol-fest. It will either direct your attention at certain objects to make you anticipate an upcoming funny moment involving that object (those moments are always hilarious) or someone or something random will appear when you least expect it too (silly face, monkey, random role-play, etc.) and the end results are always priceless. And even more important than that, the guys in this show actually fit the definition of a bishounen! They have every right to brag about their looks because they really are hot, especially during close-ups!
The pop opening was nice and fit with the anime. The ending was awesome; it’s sort of a pop-rock kind of song. It’s just such a treat to listen to, kind of like a bonus dose of happy so that the feeling of excitement stays with us even after the episode is over. The music played during the show is good too! As for voice acting, I prefer the Japanese version and I liked the twins’ voices the best.
I love Haruhi! She’s just one of the most amazing heroines I’ve ever seen! Others could learn from her example! And obviously the guys are great too, they have a lot of qualities that set them apart from other characters from similar animes; plus also they are loveable. But man I love Haruhi! She’s clever, blunt, level-headed, confident, and non-judgmental! What more could you possibly want?
The reason why I have given this rating for the characters actually has nothing to do with Haruhi and the Host Club guys at all. It was some of the minor characters who brought down the quality of the show. Sure, they only appear in 1 or 2 episodes, but the episodes they’re in are practically centered on them and we end up putting up with them instead of enjoying time with the main cast. However, this is only a few episodes so of course we still get to see a lot of Haruhi + guys but some of those minor characters were just not necessary and certain episodes would have been better without them. Besides, the only thing these minor characters proved was just how selfless the Host Club is.
Good minor characters include: Arai, Ritsu Kasanoda, and Isao.
Bad minor characters include: The Lobelia Girls, Shirou Takaouji, and Kanako Kasugasaki.
I would also like to bring up a secondary character who goes by the name of Renge Houshakuji. She seems to be one of the most hated characters in the franchise. To be honest, I did not think she was a bad character. I actually kind of liked her. She wasn’t mean or anything and she was occasionally funny. My only problem with her is that she is so unoriginal. I don’t mean that her whole character concept is unoriginal, it’s her ideas. She claims that she knows everything about what a guy can do to win a maiden’s heart, but in reality she just uses visual novels to tell her what girls like and does not come up with anything by herself. Until she has her own ideas, she needs to stop bragging about a talent that she does not have.
In the end, all I have to say is please give this anime a chance if you haven’t already. This series has so much to offer with quirky characters, pure (good) nonsense, stunning character design, feel-good sensation, happy moments, and more. I think most people will find that they like many aspects of Ouran Highschool Host Club and it might even become one of their favorites.
overall score: 7/10
overall score: 10/10
overall score: 9/10