Joe and Jenny recommend: Ouran High School Host Club

Kitty

‘Kitty’ designed by Rosemary Buckley

[Jenny and Joe work at the Central Library and they LOVE manga and anime! They are going to share their favourite books and films on the Swindon Libraries blog, so watch this space for more great reviews in coming months! ]

This time around we’ve decided to review the offbeat romantic comedy of Ouran High School Host Club, published by Shojo Beat. This story centres around Haruhi, who earns a scholarship to the prestigious school Ouran Academy and while exploring the school she stumbles into the student run Host club. This is a club for young male students to entertain young female students and make them feel appreciated. When trying to leave she knocks over an antique vase which is worth $80,000 and in order to pay back the debt they demand she work for the club, having originally been mistaken for a boy due to the way she dresses. This leads to a lot of misunderstanding and hilarious hijinks.

host clubJoe’s Opinion – Jenny has been a great fan of this manga and has told me loads about it and I have to admit I was a bit sceptical about liking when I heard the plot of the story. But when I got past the first volume and the story gained momentum I really got into the story and getting to know all the members of the Host club. I even laughed out loud at some bits in the story! My favourite character in the series is Tamaki who is the President of the Host club and is also the main male character in the story. He thinks himself a bit of a charmer and a ladies man but because he is from a wealthy family and Haruhi is not he can be very over the top in his reactions to parts of Haruhi’s lifestyle. Also there are a lot of misunderstandings that concern Haruhi and Tamaki that are just hysterical when the other members of the Host club turn up.

host club 2Jenny’s Opinion – As Joe mentioned, this is one of my absolute favourite series and one of the main reasons for this is that it defies the conventions of the genre by highlighting and even gently mocking the tropes and clichés usually found in Shojo. Haruhi represents a more realistic viewpoint being dropped into a Shojo world and a frequent source of humour is how most the characters’ more whimsical natures run into a brick wall against her practical outlook. One of the reasons I love this series is as well as the comedic factor the characters are really developed over the course of the series and there are several serious, complex underlying plot lines. My favourite character in the series would have to be Kyoya; the Host club vice-president and Tamaki’s quietly long-suffering best friend who manages to stay calm in almost all situations and pull strings behind the scenes to an almost sinister degree.

If you like this series also look at Vampire Knight, Rosario Vampire and The Story of Saiunkoku (coming soon!) which you can reserve on the Swindon Libraries catalogue for free!

roseroseroserosehalf roseWe give this series 4.5/5 roses!

Joe was pleasantly surprised about how much he liked Ouran High School Host Club. We’d like to hear from our readers what manga series you have read in the past that have surprised you. Please leave comments on our blog or tell us by email at: jmccance@swindon.gov.uk and we’ll post some of your responses in our next blog entry!

Next time we will review our first anime film, the new Studio Ghibli film ‘From Up on Poppy Hill’.

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