Sunday, 14 April 2013
Ouran High School Host Club ‘Ôran kôkô hosutobu’ (2006) – ★★★
Stars: Maaya Sakamoto, Mamoru Miyano, Masaya Matsukaze, Akaya Saito
I am torn between liking and hating this show. Maybe it was the ‘fake-incestuous’ twins, or the relationship between a ‘toddler-like-boy’ and a senior… something just didn’t sit right with me. It’s full of stupid stories and over-the-top characters. Popular opinion says that this is a great show, but I think it’s pretty average in comparison to other Shoujo anime series. With that being said, I enjoyed this show enough to watch it to the very end. It’s not good, and it’s not bad.
It’s about a girl named Haruhi (Maaya Sakamoto), who accidentally walks into a room full of handsome high school boys. They are the ‘Host Club,’ a group of boys who are in the business of escorting girls who want to be wooed and thrilled by their charm. The group is composed of: a very feminine leader, a boring manager, fake-incestuous twins, and another boring person (with his toddler-like companion named Honey). Basically, Haruhi becomes friends with them and you see all kinds of mischief they get up to.
First of all, there aren’t any likeable characters, save for Haruhi… not one. You never hear their thoughts (unless they’re joking), which makes it impossible to connect to the characters. The thing is, none of the characters have a particularly interesting story. They’re all either over-the-top and annoying, or too quiet.
The character that looked and acted like a toddler bothered me the most about this series. There is an implied romance story with this character that is just plain weird. This is a toddler for all intents and purposes, he’s there to look cute and represent a 3 to 6 year old boy. Even though he is ’17′ in the show, does that make his romance any less disturbing? Honey-Senpai is literally the most annoying anime character I’ve ever come across. He’s not cute, and the sound of his voice makes me cringe. I dreaded having to watch an episode that focused on him.
The incestuous brotherly love characters also made me feel a bit uncomfortable. It is as if someone made a fan-fiction of The Weasley Twins (Fred and George) from Harry Potter, with them being a couple. It’s like there’s no such thing as ‘Taboo’ in Japan. Crossing the line… what line? Nothing is off limits for their anime's. I guess that doesn't necessarily make it a bad show, it just wasn't executed in a way that made me care.
After seeing top quality anime recently, Host Club was above all, unimpressive. There was nothing new or exciting. If there was a hint of originality or heart put into the story-lines and characters then perhaps the show would have won me over. What saved it for me was its fantastic finale, which was thrilling and beautiful. Other than that, it was nothing special.