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Monday, May 25, 2009

Ouran High School Host Club Part 2 Impression


Volume 2 of Ouran High School Host Club from FUNimation, also the final volume gets a bit more serious without losing any of the humor that makes this series one to own … by guy or gal.

As Haruhi continues to work off her debt she comes to learn the history of each member of the club and how Tamaki recruited them. Tamaki comes from a family with a very strict grandmother, one who dictated to his mother, who remains in Europe, conditions of how he was to be raised and where. Kyoya also participates in the club at the ire of his father. Being the third son means he will never gain the company business even as he’s the most successful. Honey has his own irritants in the form of his younger brother always seeking a fight (and assuming Honey is not quite human due to his sweet tooth). Not all is doom and gloom as the Lobelia Girl’s Academy kidnaps Haruhi to participate in a play to steal her first kiss. Actually things get very serious as the host club is dissolved when Tamaki’s fiancĂ© appears and he goes along with his grandmothers commands yet again. How can such a unique club come to such an abrupt end?

Ah the host club, even in volume 2 with such a serious flavor, is still such a charming and funny series. The animation and character design seems right out of any Shojo manga with a bit more serious Shonen edge to the characters. They have their moments of hostly dreaminess but can be as arrogant, funny and wacky as can be expected. In a nutshell don’t judge this serious by its sappy, flower included cover. The story keeps the humor and awkward moments from volume one but gets a bit more serious with background stories and some brutal family situations. Even the twins have a pretty dark past of playing tricks before being recruited. Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill volume 1 and 2 can draw similar comparisons. Volume 1 was all action (Ouran all humor) while volume 2 of both goes with the background and storytelling before a final confrontation. That final confrontation in Ouran is so pleasing as viewers start to see some of the emotions coming out, this time from Haruhi, that have been percolating on the surface the entire series. While the show does get a bit more serious learning about each character gives a greater appreciation for each, how they can act like they do, why they act as they do, what the club offers each. It also sets the stage for some very satisfying events, few takeovers and surprises at the end but I’m not going to ruin that.

Overall if you watched volume 1 you owe it to yourself to get volume 2. The storytelling takes on a whole new level of seriousness mixed with the humor that makes Ouran so special a series. Looking for funny, looking for romance, looking for a series for guys and gals … yeah, Ouran nails each of these on every level so check it out, one of my faves.

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