Ouran High School is a prestigious private academy where money and status count for everything. Haruhi Fujioka is a scholarship student at the elite school, and is appalled by the lazy attitude of the rich and powerful students towards their studies. The Host Club is a clear example of this: a group of six attractive and wealthy boys spend their time entertaining the female pupils for a profit. When Haruhi accidentally breaks a ¥8,000,000 vase belonging to the club, they force her to work off her debt as one of the club's members; and to do so, she must masquerade as a boy! Can Haruhi keep her gender a secret from the club's exclusive clients?
SPOILERS> I was pretty disappointed :( Ahhh so excited to read it, I had heard it was on par with fruits basket so I guess my expectations were just way too high. First off, I hated that there was no progression of time for most of it. I mean who wants to read a high school drama utopia where time never passes? Not me. I wanted to see very badly how the charaters would deal with the imminent goodbye. When she finally added some of that element, it was very cheap. Hunny and Mori graduated, but nothing changed, they were still always there with everyone so. Not very moving. Same thing with when Haruhi decided to move away. When I found out everyone was going with her I was really annoyed. I thought it was beautiful how everyone was saying goodbye to her and supporting her even though they knew what it would mean, I was even hoping to see the "one year later" scene with a reunion. I thought it was really lame that she ended it that way, it's like the story never went anywhere at all except between tamaki and haruhi. Every single episode was a minisode until halfway through the series. Nothing was relevant to the story or moved it forward or inched the characters closer. So there was no passage of time there either. After about 10 volumes, I felt like it had been like 5 years of seasons and I still felt like the relationships and "character" of the characters were exactly where they had been at the beginning. The occasional episode she threw in that was meant to move us didn't do so. It was abrupt with no transition, no foreshadowing and poor panel work to move your eyes to the right images at the right time. Perhaps it didn't keep because she sandwitched it between 10 episodes of those filler, in which our main character sat in the backround with a blank expression saying "really guys?" for 15 pages, then was given 7 close up panels in a row to emphasize how affected she finally is. I mean seriously, did Haruhi ever say an intelligent word for the first 12 or so volumes? She came across as so lethargic and uncaring that I hated her for most of the series. How am I supposed to enjoy a love story or anything else with her as the main character? I liked her better after she realized her feelings, but soon she went right back to being apathetic and by the end of the series, no one seemed to change at all. Haruhi merely felt more emotions (still without expressing them), we never saw tamaki's kotatsu dream come true, kyoya hunny and mori were basically irrelevant characters, and the big "battle" between hikaru and tamaki was nonexistent. I also felt the series was hilarious, but it may have ruined the important parts, which is really why I was reading this. I mean, anytime that she would really draw Tamaki's face, I was like wow so that's what he really looks like. I almost couldn't see the characters as real people, just those goofy faces she drew on them when they were spazzing out, which was ALWAYS. it was very funny. but it took away from the turning points because EVERY SINGLE TIME there was an important moment, she completely downplayed and ruined it with one of those ridiculous panels of all the characters silly faces. I just couldn't take it seriously after awhile. I also noticed that she reused the characters "serious" faces OVER AND OVER. seriously, on the same page she would show the same face more and more zoomed in as another character gives them their ephiphany. I mean come on that's not art, it's lazy. Emotion is so important in manga! It's a delicate illusion, you can't shatter it with that crap! It felt like the important moments were carbon copies after awhile. I couldn't even look at tamaki after awhile because his beautiful picture was used so frequently I was like oh my god make it stop! The drama wasn't my taste either. I was honestly bored a lot of the time, there was so much talking not enough actually happening, then when it did happen, it was still not too exciting. Sometimes I would turn the page and see so much text that I would be like ok i'm done for today. And a side effect of that was that there were not enough drawings to carry along what was happening. A character would have like 5 speech bubbles bursting with text going to one drawing. Because of these things, I didn't respect the author very much. I don't think she's quite as talented as other manga authors. I don't think i'd be willing to invest the time to read this again, it just wasn't good enough. This is the first time I've ever thought an anime was better. Unlike most adaptations, the creators did not just take the first 25 episodes they found and made exact copies. The people who did this anime really looked at the whole series and said "ok what is the best story we can make in 25 episodes, what is most important." and they really did that. it was hilarious, but i still felt the power of the emotion in the specific episodes set aside for character profiles meant to advance the relationships in the story. It is probably one of the top animes I have ever seen because it incorporated two elements seamlessly, very difficult to do.
If you loved the anime, you are probably going to fall in love with the manga. It has all the crazy antics of the host club with never a dull moment but then it adds onto it with a much deeper story line. Though it loses its comedic value to an extent, the serious nature gives the characters so much more depth. This is one manga that I can say; you need to read it all even if you watched the manga because there is so much more to the stories that were shown on TV. There are a couple people who change very drastically in the manga by just how serious the manga becomes. Haruhi is pretty much the down to earth girl of the anime and manga but even in the manga, she has times when she makes large leaps in her personality and I fell in love with her more in the manga then in the anime. She just seems to have a lot more character with her emotions then the rather bland character they tried to portray her as in the anime. During times, you do find out that she really is a girl, with real girly feelings and every once in a while, she does tend to think about romance or looking cute. She at times feels a little similar to Tamaki in how stupid she can be (maybe the right words would be dunce to feelings actually) but her heart is in the right place. The twins are the next ones I want to talk about but I really can’t without spoiling so much! The characters change so drastically that you would not be able to even imagine how different they are from start to finish but you have to read it or I will spoil it. That or you would not understand any of it at all. Tamaki changes a lot too, and again, sadly the only thing I can say is that he ‘grows up’ and I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I love him even more for the changes that happen. I could just not let go the idea that Tamaki grew up at all, and it pains me not being able to talk about it do to spoilers. Seriously, read the manga! In fact, I think the only ones that don’t leap that far are Honey, Mori, and Kyouya. Honey and Mori seem to act much more like someone the characters can turn to in their time of need where as sadly, Kyouya seems to be left out at times. I know there are a few times he grows in the story but its not enough and makes me feel that he will never grow from what he is now. He feels like a static character where as Tamaki and the twins seem to jump from one thing to another very quickly. I wanted to see a little more of Kyouya but I didn’t get that. The story was so deep at times that I had a hard time not crying and I actually did in the middle. Almost all of the drama that is in normal family life was there, from problems between siblings, to problems in the family, social status, and relationships. Some of these things were made a bit extreme for the fact it was about rich people but when you break the main point down, its stuff that we all have to go through at some point. I felt they did a rather wonderful job building up on these things and not giving us too much detail where the idea would be lost. Near the end of the books, they also had special chapters to show what happened after the story finished, and talked about what would happen in the future for the group. This helped close some of the questions that were left and also gave us just a bit more fun as the kids grew up. I love when stories tell us what happen after because we get to see the characters we have grown to love grow even more. I look forward to if Hatori-san makes a sequel or even just a side story book about their life growing up in collage even though I don’t think she will. The artwork is pretty much what you would think of a Shojo style manga with beautiful men and even more beautiful hearts, flowers, and clothing designs. Sometimes we get something that is a little off for comedic affect but other then that, it’s a very well put together manga with the art style getting better and better as the volumes progress. As the story gets deeper, you actually get that feeling in the artwork and, just over all, it works. <input id="mac_address" type="hidden" value="">
When I read this manga, I feel refreshed. The art is great (the character design was a tiny bit funky at first) and fittingly adorable. If you're going into this manga looking for psychological undertones or intense character development, you are looking in the wrong place. This is a shoujo manga.... And of the many... maybe a little too many... shoujo mangas I have read, this is my absolute favorite. Why? Because it is hilarious. And there are some decent ships. intense romance is NOT in this drama. We are dealing with some seriously dense characters, so don't expect that either. Romance does come eventually though If you are looking for an adorable and hilarious shoujo manga, this is one of the best you're going to find.
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