Japanamania: Ouran High School Host Club

Posted by Guest Author on Dec 23, 2007 in Animation |


Our Top Ten Anime and Manga Series to Watch For in 2008: It’s easy to find out about a Bleach or a Naruto once it’s being aired on Cartoon Network, but it can take years for an anime to be licensed, dubbed, and put on TV. So here’s our sneak peek at one of the ten manga or anime series that we feel are likely to hit it big in America in 2008:

Ouran High School Host Club (anime)
Status: Aired in Japan; Unlicensed

For reasons unbeknownst to anyone, FUNimation sat on this license for quite some time before announcing it; it actually aired in Japan in 2006. Nonetheless, the shoujo reverse harem series (reverse in that it’s one girl surrounded by many good-looking guys) is a big hit with both the ladies and the gentlemen for both its zany humor and it’s relatively subtle drama.

Haruhi Fujioka is the lone impoverished scholarship student at Ouran High School, a school for kids so rich that a group of boys started a Host Club to entertain their female schoolmates in. One day Haruhi stumbles upon the Host Club while seeking a quiet place to study and instead accidentally breaks an expensive vase- and becomes the club’s newest toy to pay for it. At first a mere gopher, Haruhi eventually is given a makeover and becomes a host…then, and only then, do the guys realize that Haruhi is actually a girl.

The real genius of Host Club, though, isn’t the switcheroo it plays on classic gender roles. The true brilliance is that while the comedy stems from poking fun at traditional shoujo romance archetypes, the drama comes almost entirely from watching the characters grow up and learn who they are, a refreshing change of pace from the usual soap opera anime.

Below: Opening titles for Ouran High School Host Club.

Gia Manry is a Portland, OR-based professional writer specializing in pop culture/entertainment writing. Read up on more of her work at giapet.net or hire her at GiaManry.com.

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