Ouran doesn't just mercilessly poke fun at shoujo cliches and fangirl frenzy, it harpoons them. In a string of merciless parodies and precisely timed recurring gags, it somehow builds a fresh product from the stale remains of a generally vacuous genre. Furthermore, its archetypical characters miraculously showcase all the trivialities and traps of the genre without ever falling into them; they develop instead highly individualised personalities full of nuanced internal conflicts. Fans of bishounen can thus enjoy watching pretty boys submit unashamedly to set anime roles like 'the cool type' and 'the loli-shota type' and still relate to their touching personal dilemmas. Ouran's single weakness is its filler format where the plot meanders through numerous evocative scenarios without ever going anywhere.