The only reason the Ouran anime is worth a watch is because it sets the stage for the manga. Yes, this series has to be the best I've EVER seen. The whole thing has a perfect layout, which gives us our fair share of both drama and comedy relief. It's fantastic.
The story is a 9. Because there are so many main characters, all introduced at around the same time, the beginning takes a bit of time to get into. It is full of filler chapters that set the stage for what's to come. You see, in these introductory chapters, you learn a little bit about
every single character - what they say, how the act, their relationships with one another... It is perfectly laid out with a great balance of the 7 main characters. The story starts to pick up the pace at around chapter 40 - At this point, you know everyone well, do not get confused with the names, and maybe even have your favorites. Complicated stories begin to spread out before the host club, and while some try to solve their problems, others are devoted to ignoring them. Each character is different from the last, meaning that they all need each other's help. The story will most definitely make you cry around these chapters... After the twins fight, the trip to France, the Ski Trip, when Haruhi gets sick, when foreign exchange students walze in... It gets to be an emotional roller coaster, perfect for any story. Do not let the shoujo category alarm you. This isn't your regular romantic comedy. It is much, MUCH more than the usual girl meets boy, girl loves boy, boy has dark past, girl fixes everything, the end. You will be kicking yourself if you miss out on this.
The art is outstanding. While some pictures are so cute you find yourself giggling, others are so touching you find yourself tearing. Also, this manga has one thing that MANY lack: Clarity. You can ALWAYS tell who's talking, and you're never left with "...What?" being the only thought in your head. The usage of space in here is outstanding, and I have never found myself less confused after reading an manga.
Ouran has seven main characters - ALL with incredible development. They are wonderfully huggable from the very beginning, and no matter what kind of character you prefer, you'll find him/her in here. Do you like the strong silent type? You've got Mori. The cute, childlike type? Hunny. The dangerous type? Kyouya. The excessivly silly/stupid character? Tamaki. The pranksters that make a joke out of everything? Hikaru and Kaoru. Maybe you're into the characters with dark pasts? All seven cover this. The ones with bad attitudes? The twins, again. Delightfully dense characters? All of them, except for Hunny and Mori. See what i mean? And if you're missing something in there, you've always got the supporting cast to back you up. The families of the host club, the obsessive Renge, the slightly mean Mei, the Lobelia group, Casanova, the class rep... there's someone for everyone! Also, Haruhi, the heroine, has a really REALLY different attitude compared to the girls in other shoujo mangas. She doesn't have a "change the world" attitude, or "I wish I had a boyfriend" attitude, or "little miss sunshine" attitude... she has the more original "what the f*ck" attitude. She doesn't CARE. Which makes her adorable. Now, all characters have their own personalities, but the amazing part is, they all develop. Not for the worse, either. They keep their original charm while still becoming better people. They're wonderful.
Certain chapters will have you laughing out loud, others will have you crying your eyes out. All of them will have you begging for more, because there is no manga like THIS manga. The comedy, the romance, the drama, the development, the twists, the art, the plot, the beauty, he simplicity, the clarity, the EVERYTHING! It will all have you wanting more more goddamn MORE Ouran High School Host Club. This is the ONLY manga I have ever stalked, constantly checking MangaFox for updates, forums for cool topics, LiveJournal for icons, deviantART for fanart, YouTube for mmv's...
You can't go wrong with this manga. Read it, read it, read it. It will have you contemplating issues that you will need in your life.Stuff like...
How much are you willing to give to a brother? To a friend? To a lover?
I would really recommend this manga to anyone who loved the anime. The anime is a great adaption and tells the story almost exactly as it was in the manga, however it's not as progressive. Nothing much happens in the anime but once you get to around chapter 40 then it will really pick up the pace.
Also, guys, don't be afraid to pick up this manga and don't be deterred by the shojo tag. The story behind it is quite good too.
Why did I give the story a 9? Because it can be slow at times. Some pieces will drag a tiny bit while
others you are turning the page constantly. It takes a lot of time to pick up too but once you get there, you will really be thankful for reading that far.
Simple and cute. Beyond expectations for a shojo tag. It also can have quite a wide variety because in some parts there are chibis while others can be very detailed and wonderful drawings. Sometimes I just had to hold my breath and point because of all the wonderful drawings.
The main aspect in this manga. The characters are the most well developed characters I have seen anywhere. Each character has a story to tell and a past to recreate as well as a personality that reflects there past.
It was perfect! It can be dark, light, tragic and happy.
Even though Ouran is definitely in my top 10 favorite manga, I'm going to be as honest as I can here. When I'm reading it, I notice a few mistakes or at least some things that could be improved but I still find it an enjoyable manga nontheless. There is a slight spoiler alert. Hopefully, you'll forget before you start the manga. Anyway, let's begin!
Overall Grade: 9/10 (actual: 8.5/10)
In the...let's say at least first 9 volumes of the series there's basically no substantial plot other than "a commoner girl attends a school for rich people and breaks a very expensive vase that belonged to
group of handsome and rich young men; so she has to work off her debt by becoming a host and goes through tons of silly adventures with said group of handsome and rich young men." It's pretty much an episodic-type manga. It's not neccesarily a bad thing as many people enjoy manga like that, but judging from Bisco Hatori's comments she makes on the side, I get the feeling that she got too carried away with the arcs and forgot that this is a romance story here.
Also she attempted to write each chapter and volume to correspond with the seasons she was scheduled to release them in, thus making the characters not age or graduate several times. Sure, this is a popular thing to do in the States (I swear, I've seen at least a dozen South Park Christmas specials and they were like 8 years old each time) but it seemed like it was more of a cop-out than a literary tactic, if you ask me. Hate to spoil, but nearing the last several volumes, she actually started to focus on her intended story.
As I was reading each volume, I noticed a significant improvement in the character design. I mean, it was pretty obvious that she was an amateur in the beginning. The artwork didn't really cut it for me as I watched the anime before I read the manga. It looked very sloppy. However, at about mid-series, I think she reached the peak of her improvement and even then started to climb as a better artist. I really started to enjoy the artwork and even the male cast became more handsome and resemble the anime a bit more.
The characterization is what I love most about this series. With Ouran, you get your common shoujo male and female archetypes: the clueless female lead, her friend who helps her in the ways of romance, the prince, the megane, the shota, the stoic, the twins, and even the bad boy. BUT what makes them different is that they have this comedic and almost ironic twist about them. The clueless female lead doesn't have this "I'M GONNA DO MY BEST!!!1" attitude (it's more like "do I have to...?") and didn't come to high school in the hopes she'll get a boyfriend by the end of the year, instead she actually wants to study to become a lawyer. The prince isn't so princely in that he's pretty much a hapless idiot and the token funny character of the series. The megane, even though putting off the regular megane aura, might even have a sense of compassion and consideration for others. The shota is actually the oldest character in the series and the stoic.... well the only thing I could think of is that he barely talks ^^; The twins give off the incestually gay vibe (and turning on fangirls everywhere). The bad boy isn't even bad at all! He's actually super nice.
Another thing that's good about the characterization that I love is that we really get to learn and even delve into the pasts of each character. You can totally see why they act the way they do.
Even though the story is sub-par and the art lacks in the beginning, I can't deny that I love the series.I literally lol at some parts and cry at others. I've gotten fairly attatched to the characters that I hate to see them hurt and I enjoy following their stories.
If you just finished the anime and decided to read the manga from where it left off, DON'T. The anime ends at the first chapter of volume 9, BUT the anime mixes up chapters, skips other chapters, leaves out characters, and has a made-up ending. In other words, read from the beginning of the manga series. I don't care that you're lazy. Just do it.
This manga is adorable =D It goes beyond my expectations and is still a joy to read.
I loved the anime more, but the manga is more in depth. The art for the anime seemed more furnished while the manga's seemed rough-draft. Even so, both anime and manga are enjoyable whether you like to read the manga or watch the anime.
This anime/manga really exceeds in the categories of Romance and Comedy. I love it even more because the characters are so well developed through the course of the manga. The storyline really lets their personalities shine. What makes it even better is the storyline is so
simple and silly it fits perfectly with how the anime/manga is portrayed. xD
I admit, the relationships seem to go pretty slow for me, but this is a manga that I wait anxiously for the next chapter to come out. This is the one and only manga I tend to stalk ever so often. =]
"To make a friend's wish come true, we would do nothing less...
And from the bottom of our hearts, we prayed for nothing more."
- from the most tear-jerking pages of Ouran
Anyways, onto the actual review.
Ouran High School Host Club is about a normal girl, Fujioka Haruhi, who is admitted to a school (primarily for children of the upper class) on a special scholarship for being an excellent student. While looking for a place to study, she accidentally stumbles upon the Host Club (which is composed of six hot guys of the highest pedigree who cater to girls that have too much time on their hands)
and is mistaken for a guy herself because of her shabby dress. When she accidentally breaks an expensive vase belonging to the Host Club, she is forced to work for the Host Club for the rest of her time in high school to pay off her debt.
In most shoujo romantic comedies, slowly but surely, all the guys fall in love with her and she picks the most unlikely one and they live happily ever after. The end.
Well, this isn't exactly the case with Ouran, mostly because our main character isn't looking for the guy of her dreams; she enrolled in Ouran because she wanted to become a lawyer. So, even though she's surrounded by a variety of guys and given the luxury to pick and choose, she doesn't give a damn about them. Frankly, she just wishes they'd all go away so she could study in quiet. And so, Haruhi's life at Ouran begins.
The Host Club's philosophy is to use everyone's unique talents to attract girls who all have their own preferences. There's Tamaki, the princely type, Kyouya, the cool type, Hikaru and Kaoru, the devilish type, Honey, the cute type, Mori, the silent type, and now Haruhi (actually a girl), the natural.
Now I'll have to admit, the manga has a lot of filler content (especially at the beginning where you're still being introduced to the characters), but once you get to know the characters well, you start to realize that the main characters are all very abnormal - as in, all their personalities are ridiculously warped and unrealistic in some way. Why? Well, the brilliance of this manga lies in the journey that the author takes you on to find out.
I've got nothing special to say about the art. Bisco Hatori's style isn't very unique, nor is it totally amazing. I will say that the art significantly improves throughout the manga, and by the end, you could almost say that it is noteworthy, but overall, I wouldn't say the art is a main selling point for this manga.
If I could, I would rate this section a 13/10. The characters are very likeable, but most importantly, they are portrayed brilliantly. There is a diverse range of personalities and any reader will easily find one to his/her liking. However, the best things about the characters are, without a doubt, their backstories. In this manga, there's always more than meets the eye. Like I said earlier, as you start reading, you'll find that all of members of the Host Club (well maybe except Mori) have ridiculously warped and unrealistic personalities, but if you think about it, what could six hot guys from rich families possibly worry about?
You have Tamaki Suoh, a charming guy with a flamboyant personality who simply strikes you as shallow and annoying, and then you have his unlikely best friend, Kyouya Ootori, a cold and calculating genius who puts on a mask of perfection to hide his insecurities. You are also introduced to the twins, Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin, the sons of a famous fashion designer who love to play pranks on everyone. And of course, there's got to be that really cute 12th grader, Mitsukuni Haninozuka (a.k.a. Honey), who is addicted to sweets of all kinds and also a karate master despite his small stature, and his strong and silent sidekick, Takashi Morinozuka (a.k.a. Mori), who is ironically three times taller than him.
As you find out more about them and how they became the person they are today, I will guarantee you: you will gasp, you will sympathize; you may even cry. Don't even give me the excuse of "I have seen the anime so I know about all this already" because the anime doesn't even begin to touch upon their heart-wrenching stories. Just read it and you will know what I mean.
If you're worrying about not being able to get through the fillers to enjoy the main story, don't. That narcisstic, obnoxious, self-indulgent idiot Tamaki will come to the rescue. His actions are always hilarious to look at and his comments are always ridiculously stupid. He's the comic relief of the manga, but by the same token, he's also the source of much of the story's angst.
If you're not a fan of his, then there's always the rest of the Host Club: when their diverse personalities interact, something's bound to go wrong. Or, there's Haruhi, who's always being made fun of because she doesn't know the customs of rich kids. All in all, the manga was very enjoyable.
Overall, this is a wonderful piece. The ending was ridiculous though, but I suppose it is quite fitting of the Host Club, whose members have always been...well...ridiculous.
As most people say, the story is slow. I personally like manga better than anime, but Ouran it applied in reverse. The anime is a little better than the manga, because it somehow gets to the point quickly unlike in the manga.
Not something I expected after watching the anime. The art is different, and at first glance, you wouldn't have thought it's Ouran.
Generally, people would give thumbs up for the characters. But I won't. Personally, the only person I liked is Haruhi, because I think she's the only one I'd call decent. Others are somewhat...abnormal.
Not much enjoyment for me at all.
Because I don;t like something that beats around the bush. The comedy was all right, but for me it stops to the comedy. Totally pointless.
If you'd like to try Ouran, go and watch the anime. The manga is not recommended unless you really are bored and can't find anything more worth reading.
Our heroine, Haruhi (henceforth referred to as “commoner”), was accepted in Ouran -a high school for the richest kid in Japan- on a scholarship. The poor commoner enters Ouran wearing her dad's old uniform and a short boyish haircut and quickly gets lost in the ridiculously huge Ouran campus. A chance encounter with 6 of the most rich and handsome boys of Ouran, leads her to join the Host club and work in entertaining the rich, bored girls of the school. Of course this was made possible because everyone passed commoner for a boy.
Commoner's adventures in the host club and the antics of the 6
boys are hilarious and entertaining... for a good while. After the first quarter of chapters more than a few problems appear.
The manga-ka creates a beautiful setting with interesting characters but fails to develop any aspect of that setting at all. Half of the boys get little to no development and everything that happens with the other 3 and the commoner feels rushed and pointless. The aforementioned beautiful setting comes full with interesting side-characters as well, but again they do not develop at all.
This lack of development results in a lot of fat in the story. The manga-ka takes far fetched ideas about character traits and stretches them so much that they lose their initial charm. After literally the 20th time Tamaki says that he is the commoner's father and wonders what are those non-fatherly feelings are, I cannot take seriously the subsequent story arc where he “deals” with it. Unfortunately there are more examples like that. This trend keeps up until a disappointing build-up to a predictable and weak ending.
The best backer of my aforementioned opinions is how good the anime adaptation is. The recipe was simple: They removed the fat and they let the side-main-characters stand a little bit more on the spotlight.
So, if you liked the anime there is nothing more for you here. If you like shoujo romcoms, watch the anime -it's my favorite of the genre. If you are a die-hard shoujo manga reader, well, I guess you could do worse than this. 6/10 because the first quarter of chapters is excellent.
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.
In the U.S. so far there are 10 published, the 11th volume comes out in November of 2008. I have read 10.
The series is so random, basically. Most of the characters are kind of clueless. Tamaki thinks of himself as a "father" to Haruhi. Haruhi is in the Host Club's debt because she accidentally broke an 80 million yen vase that the Host Club was going to auction. The Host Club has 6 members, disincluding Haruhi and Renge, who, in the anime, is supposedly the manager. Tamaki, the leader, "King", "Lord", "pervert", is unaware of his love for Haruhi. No, he is aware, it's just
he thinks he's her father, and he doesn't know he's IN love with her. Kyoya, or Kyouya, is known as the "demon lord no.1" (no. 2="bossa nova", no. 2=Haruhi). When he's tired he's grumpy, he comes from a famous-ish rich family (all the students are rich at that school except for Haruhi, who is there on a scholarship), basically knows everyone's background, is very secretive, and loves it when people owe him money. Haruhi is a commoner at a rich school and is there on a scholarship. She is somewhat clueless of her own feelings. Kaoru and Hikaru are twins, they share everything there isn't 2 of, they used to hate everyone but themselves, and they don't spend much time with their parents, and their mom is a designer. Hunny, or Honey, is the oldest, or second oldest, it is said that Hatori made a mistake in the manga, and the shortest. One of the wisest, actually. He's extremely short for his age, and is like a little kid, he loves cake and bunnies and when he's sleepy he's angry. There are said to be legends about him in the book. And he used to be captain of the karate club, I believe. He has a little brother, Yasuchika. Takashi, known as Mori, is a quiet, expresionless 3rd year with a fetish for small things. Hunny for example, is his cousin and best friend. He takes care of him basically. Not much is known about him, but he does like a certain fish that I forget what it's called (according to the manga)In the manga, he has a little brother, Satoshi, who is the same age as Yasuchika (the Morinozuka family (Mori's family) serves the Hanninozuka family (Hunny's family)). Renge is...Renge. She is....otaku, according to the Host Club when she first showed up in the manga. She loved Kyoya because he looks like a character from a game. No one but the Host Club (disincluding Renge) knows Haruhi is a girl. She can't pay off her debt unless they think she's a boy. Renge starts to like her instead of Kyoya (because she thinks she's a boy). According to Tamaki, Haru-chan is a "natural host".
I think the manga is pretty good! The art is nice, and the guys are drawn outstandingly! The character developement is also very nice! It's funny, and romantic, so I'm getting a whole lot of enjoyment out of it! To sum it up, this story is very good and I will be sad once it's over.
I wish I could give this series a higher score in this area. The basis for the story is quite original (even if it does include the typical male harem), but the execution could have been better. There were too many parts that I just wanted the plot to move faster, and it felt like many of the chapters were fillers. However, the comedy presented during the entire series was consistently hilarious and was one of the best parts of the series.
Hatori's art is beautiful and wonderfully detailed. I was constantly enraptured by the quality of
the artwork presented in this manga. It also complemented the work well, with the comedic scenes having hilarious artwork to complement the dialogue.
Most of the characters in this manga are stereotypical of the "male harem" genre, but nevertheless they all have their own personalities. Haruhi was by far the most interesting character, being the one of the least stereotypical heroines of a shoujo manga I have ever seen. So yeah, the crossdressing thing isn't that new, but she didn't even care about genders at all. And she was good at getting the ladies...:)
I immensely enjoyed this manga during the parts where I couldn't wait to see what was coming next, but there wasn't enough of that. I read this manga because I wanted a continuation of the anime (which is freakin hilarious), and it did a pretty good job, it just could have been a lot shorter and had the same effect. Nevertheless, I still recommend it to any readers who love romantic comedy :)
If it was not for the manga, I don't know how I could have survived when the anime ended. The manga was brilliant and it dived into more serious matters. Ouran Koukou Host Club is the one of the must-read mangas. Most of the times the genre of harem annoys me but not this one. The girl character, Haruhi is a very independent role model who is a challenge when it comes to love, which makes it even more interesting. And that because she is smart, mature and not one of those shy and fragile heroines, she is a character that you will never forget.
Then there's the boys! They are awesome with the type of character that they portray. You just can't forget those funny moments when Tamaki says something ridiculous or serious, those moments when you have to keep in mind that Kyouya is the one with the black book, Honey giving you cuteness overload and his loyal quiet beast of a cousin Mori and of course the mischievous twins, Hikaru and Kaoru.
So this is one of my favorite mangas of all time...
It was one of the first that I was motivated to keep reading steadily, and I got very excited every time I heard a saw that a new chapter had been translated.
The general story has a very typical shoujo reverse harem feel to it. The protagonist, Haruhi's mother passed away some years ago and she's having trouble fitting in to her new school which is made up of very elite rich kids. When she's looking for a quiet place to study she suddenly runs into the Ouran High School Host Club and finds herself joining.
Of course, almost everyone thinks she's a guy...
The art is quite cute, and for fans of the anime there are tons of comedic moments that were passed over, also the manga continues way past the ending of the anime as well.
In my opinion this manga is funny, the character development actually progresses. Though the romance aspects are a bit slow for anyone who prefers otherwise...
Its one of the most wonderful series that I got to read. Yes its long but it doesn't matter really. Once you get hooked on reading you'll always be asking for more. And the best part of this series- the humour in the series doesn't rely on anything vulgar. Its purely from the characters and their interactions and reactions. From random internet surfing on the best shoujo anime I had come across this title many times, but was reluctant to pick it up due to the "Host Club" in the title. But I am so glad that I
finally gave it a try. It is now one of the top anime in my must have anime collection. Since the anime is so hilarious I wanted to give this manga a try as well. And once I picked up I just couldn't put the book down.
Story [10/10]: The theme of a host club in a high school seems like a dangerous concept. But the Mangaka has handled the subject extremely cleverly to not let it lean towards becoming something vulgar. The story is also not at all shallow though its a comedy genre. In the first 7-8 volumes you read of the host club's daily activities and the heavy interaction between the club members and their "customers" and friends which are just too hilarious. In these you are also introduced to the family backgrounds of each club member slowly. In the later volumes you start seeing the change in the relationship between Haruhi and the other club members. Again this relationship transition is slow and smooth. Nothing in the story feels forced. All the situations shown seem inevitable. While keeping up the goofy atmosphere for most part the entire story gives you some very nice food for thoughts on friendship and family.
Art [10/10]: While the art of this series might not compare to say Arina Tanemura's art or CLAMP's art (well I consider their art that way) where the characters are just gorgeous looking, still all characters in this series are perfectly lovable. The reactions of all the characters and the sound effects in the manga add to the humour nicely. The Ouran High School being a school of the elite is richly drawn in most of the scenes. Even the outdoor locations seemed to have been researched thoroughly before drawing. You can come to know of how most locations or sceneries were drawn from the side panels where the mangaka gives all the details.
Character [10/10]: The strongest point of this series naturally. Each character is whimsical but still extremely likeable. You have the trouble makers twins, the airhead Tamaki, the quiet but still very much attached to his friends Mori, the childish Hunny, the extremely calculative Kyoya and the apathetic Haruhi. Their personalities are so strongly developed in the series that the humour from their interactions comes naturally since people having such personalities are bound not to be together. But the fact that they all are causes all the goofball situations and jokes.
Enjoyment and Overall [10/10]: I enjoyed reading every single volume of the manga thoroughly. Loved the story and loved the characters. Loved all the scenarios depicted in the story and especially the brilliantly they all were executed by the Mangaka. I even enjoyed reading the side panels and extra pages by the mangaka giving all the small details that went into the making of this series in general. Overall a hilarious show packed in 18 vols. Totally recommended and a must have manga for your collection.
Haruhi, the female protagonist (who is a common girl from a poor family) enters the grand upper class Ouran High School on a scholarship. One day, lost in the school, she wanders into the high school’s male host club and accidentally knocks over an expensive vase. As a deal to repay her debt, she was recruited to join the host club under the pretence of a male. No one in the school knows her true gender identity except for the members of the host club and there, it all marks the start of this uproarious journey.
Great – or perhaps, close to perfect. The
concept of a host club within a high school setting provides the stage for comedy and looking at children of a higher upbringing from a different perspective.
The creator did a splendid job in mixing and mashing the main characters whom each possesses distinct qualities and traits that complement one another. I found myself loving all 7 members of the host club.
Here, you have a seemingly frivolous narcissistic leader of the host club Tamaki Suoh, backed up by the cold scheming grinning Kyouya Ootori then coupled with the bad-ass entertaining Hitachiin twins (who in some aspects remind me of the Weasley twins from the Harry Potter fame), the quiet, thoughtful Takashi (who remains silent in most part of the manga and yet, you still somehow feel his presence – kudos to the mangaka on this, I wonder how she did it) and finally, the cute devilish Hunny senpai, the oldest of the group who however looks and acts like a six-year old.
Then in comes the innocent down-to-earth female protagonist, Haruhi, the commoner who possesses the endearing character of observing the upper class society with a pinch of salt. What I like about the female protagonist is that she is neither the damsel in distress nor the typical loud and furious heroine that wants to make known her entrance everyone she goes. Instead, she is the thoughtful girl that observes the happenings around her from a quiet perspective and intervenes only at the appropriate time. In a way, her low-profile and good natured demeanour complements that boisterous over-the-top antics of the male members in the host club.
The only reason why I ranked the story “close to perfect” instead of perfect is probably due to the lack of continuity in most chapters. Almost each chapter (at least up to the first 40-ish chapters) has its own story independent of one another and they revolve around the problems of the host club’s guests and how the hosts club helps solve the problems. It kind of shifts the limelight away from the main characters. That said though, they are sufficient to keep you entertained.
The art is rather flowery, with the dialogues and insertions crammed among the drawings. It got me a while to adjust to it as each chapter has a load of information to absorb – compared to other shoujo titles I have read, each chapter in OHSHC took me a longer time to complete due to the intense amount of dialogues and insertions.
Nevertheless, the art work visibly improves throughout the series and what make the characters attractive are the witty dialogues. The comical aspect is hilarious and at times, I found myself laughing out at the most impromptu moments.
Overall, this entertaining manga definitely makes for my favourite top 3 shoujo titles! It sends out a strong positive message about friendship, love ties and learning how to laugh at life while learning it.
Ouran High School Host Club may seem like your typical love story. Numerous boys fall in love with single girl. It IS something like that, and at the same time, something much more.
Hatori Bisco is really creative with the making of each character-- each one has his own unique and special trait, like the idea of "brotherly love", or Kyouya being a person who takes benefit in every action, or Hunny-senpai being the lover of all things cute, but in truth a master martial artist, Mori-senpai, the man of few words, the narcissistic Tamaki cowering in a corner--- most of all, however, the fact that
Haruhi is overflowing with pheromones, and appeals more to people of the same gender.
I also saw Hatori's idea that she made Hunny's birthday fall on February the 29th, so he ages only once in four years.
There are lots of characters in the manga, that makes it hard to keep up, but still all of them are interesting. I actually feel a kind of excitement whenever there is an additional character to the series, because it makes me wonder what kind of person HE/SHE might turn out to be. I was actually surprised by all of the lavishness the students of Ouran are used to, and it interested me to see how flamboyant they could get.
It doesn't lack in anything really; romance, comedy, and gender-bender, even medical aspects, fantasy (alice in wonderland chapter) or even action, thanks to Mori/ Haninozuka. Every chapter thrills me to read on, and I can't wait for the realease of 81.
Ouran High School Host Club was one of the most iconic shoujo series of the 2000s with cosplayers at every anime con and a huge following online at the time. For those not familiar, it is a mostly light-hearted reverse harem comedy series centered around Haruhi, a girl from a relatively poor household attending a prestigious school for rich kids as a scholarship student. Due to an unfortunate accident and the fact that the lazy way she dresses caused her to be mistaken for a boy, she ends up getting recruited to be part of the high school’s “Host Club” in order to work off
a debt. She must then act as a male to entertain the (mostly) female patrons of the Host Club while also dealing with the various antics of the other Host Club members.
I was originally exposed to this series around when the US English releases where first coming out and read the first 6 or so volumes around that time. I continued to collect the series, but fell behind in reading the books as I got them. Now I’ve just recently started over and read the entire 18 volumes series from beginning to end. While it did have some genuinely amusing moments and even some touching moments with fun characters, it sadly felt like a bit of a slog to get through it all. I am glad that I read the series, but I don’t imagine myself ever having the desire to read it again.
Anyway, let’s get into the category breakouts:
-----Story - 6 out of 10-----
The story was easily the biggest sticking point for me. As mentioned above, the 18 volumes were a bit of a slog to get through. For something that’s largely light comedy content, the series is much more text-heavy than it probably needed to be and many of the storylines felt a bit empty. While the overall story has its interesting bits, I didn’t feel very invested in it until the romance aspect took more of a central focus in the last 5 or so volumes. Also, a major personal issue that I had with the series was how it treated time. Early on in my manga-reading life, one of my favorite things about the series Love Hina was its progression of time throughout the series; characters aged over the years and it actually let time pass at a rate which seemed to line up at many moments with the actual real-world time when the manga was being published! However, in Ouran an artificial passage of time was used for a lot of the series similar to US cartoon and comic series like Peanuts and The Simpsons. At times the text would literally say things like, “A new school year has started, but please ignore the fact that the characters are still in the same grade.” That just really bothered me and took me out of the story. They did eventually pass on to a real new school year, but in a way that almost made the early parts worse. Like, why couldn’t you have just done this early?! Other than that, there were a number of genuinely funny and touching moments, although it did feel at times that the series was nearly twice as long as it needed to be.
-----Art - 8 out of 10-----
There was very little to complain about in the art department. The character designs were largely distinctive and fun to look at. A lot of the clothing design was particularly interesting. While there were some occasional gaffs and some awkwardly re-used panels for flashbacks from time to time, the art overall was very good shoujo material.
-----Characters - 8 out of 10-----
With a core cast of seven characters who you see over and over for 18 volumes, they need to be enjoyable. For the most part, the cast is successful in this. The boys of the Host Club are all largely presented as one-dimensional archetypes, but that was kind of the point. They’re essentially all parodies of different tropes as they play their roles in the Host Club to entertain the girls, but they also have a few nice layers to discover underneath as they interact with Haruhi and each other. Haruhi herself is a rather nice character. While she plays as a bit of a typical “I understand who you all are deep down and therefore you fall in love with me” kind of shoujo heroine, this is counterbalanced by her other personality quarks such as chronic apathy about most things, severe bluntness, and being totally oblivious about some key points (usually romance related). Most of the side characters in the series are also interesting.
-----Enjoyment - 7 out of 10-----
Again, while it did feel like more work to read through this than I would have liked, I did generally enjoy myself and don’t regret reading it. The series had some amusing comedy bits, the characters were fun, and there were some touching moments and interesting character building. Unfortunately the series’ length and bloated nature did hurt how enjoyable this could have been for me and it just barely skates by with a 7 here. I won’t ever care to re-read the series and I only have the slightest interest in watching the anime adaptation at this point. If it wasn’t for the fact that I already own the anime on DVD, I probably wouldn’t bother at all. But depending on your tastes and reading style, you may like this more than me.
-----Overall - 7 out of 10 (Conclusion)-----
So overall, I can’t give this series higher than a 7. I’ve said it many times, but it drags a lot for what is mostly a simple comedy series about reverse harem trope parody and gender-bending antics. While it does have a larger story under the surface, it doesn’t get enough of a spotlight through most of the series to keep you invested while reading. The chapters start to feel like long drawn-out episodic gag-comedy segments which can be rather hit-and-miss and provide only the slightest influence to the overall plot. I feel like the series’ biggest failing is not committing enough to what it wanted to be: Did it mainly want to be a silly gag comedy or a somewhat-serious romance story? It felt jarring as it tried to do both equally. But that’s not to say there aren’t things to like here as well. If the comedy really connects with you, then you might enjoy it for the long haul. If you’re a faster reader, the text-heavy nature may not be that much of an issue for you and not feel like as much of a slog. And of course, if you get into the characters and design of the series, then it could even potentially be a favorite of yours. If what I’ve said interests you, then I’d recommend at least checking out the first two volumes to see if it’s your kind of thing. But if some of the issues I’ve brought up might bother you, then I would not consider the series to be essential reading at this point, even if you’re a big shoujo manga fan.
A masterpiece, not just of shojo manga but of manga in general. The first half of the series is non-stop hilarity. The second half adds just the right amount of seriousness to make you care. Tamaki Suoh is a believable, unexpectedly complicated male lead--something you almost never find in this genre. You need to visit Ouran High, especially if you think you don't like shojo manga.
One of the best aspects of this series is the way it lampoons a whole bunch of shojo cliches. For example, Tamaki at first seems to be a generic "perfected male form" or "prince of the school" but it
soon becomes apparent that he's mainly there for comic relief. Moreover, the female lead feels no physical attraction to him whatsoever, which is a nice change of pace from the typical shojo plot of "rude handsome guy encounters boring girl and her hormones instantly shoot through the roof against her will." Anyway, just read it; you'll thank me later.
It's so hard to say what Ouran is, it might just be easier to say what it isn't. Ouran is not serious. Ouran is not supposed to make sense. Ouran is not supposed to be remotely realistic. It will not change your world view. It does not have a deep, philosophical meaning, and is not supposed to make the reader want to go out into the world and do great things.
And that's what makes it great.
It has an overused cast description (and makes fun of the stereotypicalness itself). You have the prince, the glasses character, the twincest, the lolita, and the stoic type -
something for everyone! The setting is completely unrealistic, the activities outrageous, the behaviors creepy and crazy. But the beauty of Ouran is, that's exactly the point! The entire story is based on the idea of all these characters and situations being completely absurd, hilarious, and yet still strangely relatable for the reader.