Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ouran High School Host Club Season 1, Part 1 Impression

Never judge an anime by its cover. A lesson repeated with FUNimations Ouran High School Host Club, part 1 of season 1. At the prestigious Ouran High School breaking a vase can lead to strange debts as Haruhi Fujioka learns. As she stumbles into a seemingly empty music room this commoners life takes an interesting turn as she encounters Ouran’s own host club. A group of pretty boys who appeal to all taste of the ladies and are there to please. Haruhi inadvertently breaks a vase that was for auction and to pay off the insane debt becomes a host herself, but she’s not a he, something the host discovers later but it does not matter. There’s the King, Tamaki Suou, blond hair, blue eyes, ever charming, the mischievous twins Hikaru & Kaoru Hitachiin, the boy Lolita Mitsukuni "Honey" Haninozuka, strong type Takashi "Mori" Morinozuka and calculating Kyoya Otori. Each has unique appeal; each is charming in their own way. Throw in a power hungry female manager, Renge, and you have one interesting club.

If the stereotypes and how they play their roles, Haruhi pretending to be a boy and their obsession with commoner’s coffee was not funny enough, then each adventure is pure comedy bliss. A day at the beach leads to accusations of S&M, a rival girl school vies for Haruhi’s attention, a strange brother and sister, a cavity and a trip to Wonderland just touch on the fun that is the Ouran Host Club. Did I mention Haruhi’s father is a tr … I’ll save that one for now. This is not your ordinary Host Club and as our heroine keeps saying, ‘rich people.’

The animation and character design is straight out of a Shojo manga but with a twist of humor that reminds of the best the Erlic brothers delivered in Full Metal Alchemist (voice actors being the same helps). This series delivers the good on look and feel but seals the deal with the characters. The king, Tamaki is especially outstanding as he obsesses over Haruhi who herself takes everything in stride. Honey being ever cheery and cute, Mori always there to protect and the twins doing their … twin thing, each character delivers such perfect humor. Never have I watched an anime that from the cover I frowned a bit at. This just did not look like an anime for me, but now, now I’m eagerly waiting for part 2. It’s been a long time since an anime surprised me with it’s humor and charm (been a long time since I’ve said I so much too). For a Host Club, Ouran has done its job and charmed this anime fan.

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