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Ouran High School Host Club (桜蘭高校ホスト部 Ōran Kōkō Hosuto Kurabu?) is a manga series by Bisco Hatori, serialized in Hakusensha's LaLa magazine since August 5, 2003. The series follows Haruhi Fujioka, a scholarship student at Ouran High School, and the other members of the popular host club. The romantic comedy focuses on the relationships within and without the Club and satirizes the clichés and stereotypes that endure in shōjo. There are also occasional moments where the characters break the fourth wallTemplate:Citation needed. The manga has been adapted into a series of audio dramas, an animated television series directed by Takuya Igarashi and produced by Bones, and a visual novel by Idea Factory.

PlotEdit

Haruhi Fujioka is a scholarship student at the prestigious Ouran Academy, a fictional high school located in Bunkyō, Tokyo. Looking for a quiet place to study, Haruhi stumbles upon the Third Music Room, a place where the Ouran Academy Host Club, a group of six extremely attractive male students, gathers to entertain both male and female "clients" (one male client entertained so far). During their first meeting, Haruhi accidentally knocks over and breaks an antique vase valued at ¥8,000,000 (US$80,000 in English manga)[1] and is told to repay the cost in service to the club. Haruhi's short hair, slouching attire and gender-ambiguous look causes her to be mistaken by the hosts for a male student. The hosts all agree that Haruhi would be a good host, thus making her join the host club. Ultimately she agrees to join the Club as a host herself (dressed as a male) in order to pay off her debt.[2] She agrees to join since she does not mind hosting as long as she can pay the debt off faster. The Ouran Private Academy encompasses kindergarten to twelfth grade (along with a university as well). Most students come from wealthy families, but in special cases, merit scholarships are granted to exceptional students from a lower income bracket. The school's unofficial motto is "Lineage counts first, wealth a close second," meaning students with stellar family backgrounds are given top priority over those from rich families but low socioeconomic status.

CharactersEdit

File:Host Club episode 3.PNG

Tamaki thought up the Host Club while in ninth grade and started it upon entering the Ouran High School. The members of the Host Club are highest ranking students at the school. At Ouran High School, class is determined by lineage and intelligence ("A" is the highest class and "D" the lowest usually consisting of the kids of Yakuza leaders). All the members are in class A and tend to be number one or two in their class coming from the wealthiest families in Japan with the exception of the twins and Haruhi. The twins are ranked fourth and fifth in their class and Haruhi is a scholarship student receiving the special privilege of being in class A due to her scholarship status (she is ranked number one in her year).

Customers have the freedom to choose which host will entertain them, playing to their specific needs and interests. Each member of the host club is a specific shōjo "type" designed to suit the varying tastes of female clients (Stoic, Silent, Devil, Loli Shōta, Prince). The twins Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin and cousins Takashi Morinozuka ("Mori") and Mitsukuni Haninozuka ("Honey") showcase their respective close relationships to please or entertain customers. Tamaki Suoh is president and leader of the club, while Kyoya Ootori as vice president manages all the events for the club. The Third Music Room has been outfitted by the Club to accommodate their business and, at times, is elaborately decorated according to a specific theme, ranging from a tropical paradise to a traditional picnic, to heighten the customers' pleasure and keep things interesting.

The members of the club include:

Haruhi Fujioka
Haruhi is the androgynous heroine of the story and the Natural type. She comes from a lower-class family, but is very intelligent, so she is a scholarship student at Ouran. Her mother died when she was five years old and so her cross-dressing father raises her on his own. She is a seemingly apathetic and reluctant heroine who has no interest in pretty and flashy things, sweet food (with the exception of fancy tuna), or frivolous males. The members of the Host Club all have a sort of weakness for her and either openly or secretly adore her. Haruhi appears as if she doesn't care about the host club member's feelings; however, she actually studies each and every one of them individually and cares for them all very much. She eventually discovers that her feelings for Tamaki have grown into love.
Tamaki Suoh
The president of the Host club and the Prince type. He is extremely passionate and kind, always ready to help people, and has an interest in many things. He is considered the most attractive of the hosts. He is also very intelligent (2nd in his class behind Kyoya), and a gifted piano player. He is very sincere in what he says, and takes his role to please girls very seriously, which stems from his deep love of his mother. However, the other club members recognize him as an idiot most of the time because he is very dense about his own situations (though perceptive about others), very silly and melodramatic at times, and somewhat selfish and narcissistic. The twins sometimes calls Tamaki 'Highness', 'Tono' and 'Sir'. He also has an odd obsession for the "commoner's lifestyle" and loves ramen and instant coffee (considered "commoner food"). He considers the Host Club to be a family and named himself father and Kyoya as the mother. His father is the superintendent of Ouran High School and his family is one of the wealthiest families in Japan. He was forced to leave his mother behind so he would hopefully one day be recognized as the heir of the Suoh family by his grandmother, who does not like him, and to get his mother the medical attention she needs. Tamaki is half-French and half-Japanese and considered to be very beautiful. He later discovers he possesses feelings for Haruhi, yet, he believes this love to be fatherly love and not romantic. Later, in chapter 64 of the manga, he comes to realize that he is indeed in love with Haruhi, not as a 'father' but as a man. This is revealed in chapter 67. In chapter 72, Tamaki and Haruhi share an accidental kiss.
Kyoya Ootori
The vice president of the Host club and the Cool type. He is often called "Mother" by Tamaki and "Shadow King" by the rest of the club. He is behind most of the Host Club schemes and the other club members tend to go along with whatever Kyoya says, sometimes even favoring his leadership over Tamaki's. Despite their opposite personalities, Kyoya and Tamaki have been best friends since their last year of middle school, when Tamaki transferred to Ouran. He is a third son and has spent his whole life honoring his family name and yielding his true abilities so as to not overshadow his brothers; however, it is clear that Kyoya has more ambition, drive, and talent than both of them. Throughout the series Kyoya refers to the fact that as he is a third son he won't inherit his father business, although he has slowly started to come out of that mindset after his becoming friends with Tamaki. He believes life is a game and will lose out if he doesn't have 'fun'. He also manages most of the finances with the club and has a habit of not revealing important information to the other hosts until the problem at hand is already over.
Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin
Identical twins who used to reject others and are the Little Devil types. Only recently after they joined the Host Club did they start to open up and allow other people into their world. They are the same age as Haruhi and are in her class, and so have a special bond with her; Haruhi was the first person who is able to tell the twins apart (it is later revealed Tamaki can as well), something that both had secretly longed for. They enjoy playing "games" and tricks on classmates, especially Tamaki. They favor angering Tamaki by acting romantic with Haruhi. Kaoru is nicer, more sensitive, soft spoken and more mature than Hikaru. Hikaru, on the other hand, is very immature and somewhat mean but has a shy and sweet side; the mean part of him is mostly because he has trouble expressing his feelings. Kaoru tends to have a more high pitched voice compared to Hikaru, who has a lower voice, which makes it easier to distinguish which twin is which. Also, Hikaru's hair is usually parted on the right and Kaoru's is usually parted on the left. Most of the time Hikaru is on the left side of Kaoru. Episode four comically insinuates that Hikaru is the "seme" of their relationship when the twins are concerned over the script of a Host Club movie in which they play basketball players which seems to reverse the roles. The twins later on discover that they too harbor feelings for Haruhi—the only person able to tell them apart. Kaoru doesn't love Haruhi enough to want her only for himself (because he values his relationship with his brother more), so he ends up letting Hikaru be the twin who loves her romantically. In episode 16 Kaoru sets up a date with Haruhi and Hikaru. During this episode, Hikaru realizes how much he loves Haruhi. After this development, the twins begin to attempt embracing their differences.
Mitsukuni Haninozuka
Also known as "Honey" and the Loli-shota type. He looks like an elementary school child rather than the 17-year-old third-year student he actually is. Honey is obsessed with sweets and anything cute, much like his youthful appearance would dictate. Honey is loved by the other characters for his cuteness and has a nickname for everyone (such as Haru-chan for Haruhi). Honey carries a plush bunny called "Usa-chan" (or "Bun-Bun" in English Manga) around with him. Despite his childish looks, he is deceptively strong and highly skilled in martial arts. He is usually found with Mori, his cousin by marriage. Honey comes from a family that owns a nationally-renowned dojo and are known for their martial arts abilities. In one episode it was said if his full combat abilities were unleashed, he would be considered a threat to national security. Though it appears to be a façade, his cute side and serious side are both very real. After Tamaki explains to him that being himself is "true strength," he resolves never to change.
Takashi Morinozuka
Also known as "Mori" and is the strong but silent type. He is the tall, stoic character. Mori dedicates his life to Honey by protecting him and only gets angry when Honey is injured or harmed. However, he is also very close with the other club members and many classmates look up to him because of his quiet but gentle nature. He usually only speaks when he deems it necessary, and responds to questions mostly with monosyllabic answers. Mori's family has served Honey's family for years, until a marriage two generations ago made them cousins. Even though the servant-master bond was technically broken, Mori still serves faithfully as Honey's guardian and best friend.

MediaEdit

MangaEdit

The Ouran High School Host Club manga started its run on August 5, 2003 in Japan in LaLa. Publication is ongoing, and individual chapters have been collected in fifteen tankōbon volumes as of September 2009.[3] Hakusensha released a fanbook for the series on August 4, 2009 titled (桜蘭高校ホスト部(クラブ)ファンブック~うきドキ☆攻略大作戦~ Ōran Kōkō Hosuto Kurabu Fanbukku: Uki Doki Kōryaku Daisakusen?).[4] The series is licensed in English North America by Viz Media under its Shojo Beat imprint , and in Indonesia in the monthly manga magazine Hanalala. It is published in Singapore (in both simplified Chinese and English) by Chuang Yi.

Audio dramasEdit

The audio dramas were released from 2003. There are three drama CD releases, as well as two tracks included in LaLa magazine's twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth anniversary CDs. No English translation is available.

AnimeEdit

The anime television series premiered April 5, 2006 on Japan's Nippon Television network. The series was directed by Takuya Igarashi and written by Yōji Enokido , while the character designer and chief animation director for the series was Kumiko Takahashi. It also features a different cast from the audio dramas, with Maaya Sakamoto starring as Haruhi Fujioka and Mamoru Miyano portraying Tamaki Suou. Ouran High School Host Club finished its run on September 26, 2006, totaling to twenty-six episodes.

In December 2005, a "Gilda Radner stand-up comedy routine" was performed at Radio City Music Hall, featuring Emma Watson as Radner wearing the Ouran boys' uniform. All the events that happened in the routine were featured in the anime, hence the 4:3 anime version bearing the joke credit "Based on the stand-up comedy of GILDA RADNER" during the opening.

Two versions of the anime were produced. One bore an '80s-style feel and was filmed in 4:3; this is the version broadcast on PBS and released on Betamax and VHS. The other felt more modern and was filmed in 16:9, featuring CGI effects that, according to the Urban Vision DVD, "helped in the restoration".

The hosts in the 4:3 version were credited as being voiced by Radner, Patrick Swayze, Orson Welles, Larry Linville, Dudley Moore, John Fiedler, and Roy Scheider. In reality, the voices were supplied by Emma Watson, Ernie Sheesley, Steve Bulen, Bob Bergen, Tony Oliver, Travis Oates, and John DiMaggio (who were credited in the 16:9 version).

The DVD and BluRay releases by Urban Vision contained this message: "In 1982, comedienne Gilda Radner did a stand-up routine in Japan. Sunrise executives were impressed and with her permission commissioned an anime based on the comedy. When Radner brought her comedy to New York later that year, Orson Welles was interested in dubbing the anime into English. He, Radner, B.J. Ward, Roy Scheider, Patrick Swayze, Joseph Cotten, Mel Blanc, Larry Linville, Dudley Moore, and John Fiedler were among the dubbers. However, for some reason, the series was only broadcast once per episode and was considered to be lost for 22 years. Then, in 2005, as she was going through the WNET vaults, Emma Watson discovered all 26 episodes, and Disney restored all of the episodes using traditional restoration techniques as well as CGI effects. Now, we of Urban Vision Entertainment bring you the restored version of Ouran High School Host Club."

The series is licensed for distribution in North America by Funimation Entertainment. Caitlin Glass is the ADR director of the series. The first anime DVD set containing the first thirteen episodes was released on October 28, 2008 in North America.[5] The second volume containing the last thirteen episodes was released on January 6, 2009. On April 27, 2009, the series made its North American television debut on the FUNimation Channel.[6]

Live-action and stageEdit

There are two major live adaptations of the manga. One is the 2008 film starring Emma Watson as Haruhi and Daniel Radcliffe as Tamaki. The story is continued in a series of TV specials that mix Emma's own brand of stand-up comedy (in character as Haruhi) with pre-recorded sketches based on material from the corresponding volume of the manga.

The other adaptation is a ballet that premiered in 2009. For the first performance and the 2012 film version, the part of Haruhi was performed by Bonnie Wright, who describes the style as "sloppy at times, but mostly graceful whenever possible, and the grace reaches its climax with the final pas-de-deux at the end". Mikhail Baryshnikov did the choreography, set to synth/rock music by Emma, Chris Pitman, and Vangelis (who performed the score with Velvet Revolver during the debut performance). During that first televised performance, Rupert Grint portrayed R.D. Harrison, a reporter for WNET New York who was assigned to cover the debut and interview the cast and the musicians in a parody of news reports.

SoundtracksEdit

Three soundtracks have been released by Video and Audio Project using music from the Ouran High School Host Club anime adaptation. The first, Ouran High School Host Club Soundtrack & Character Song Collection (Part 1) (桜蘭高校ホスト部サントラ&キャラソン集 <<前編>>?), was released in Japan on July 26, 2006 and contained twenty tracks, including the anime opening theme song. The second, Ouran High School Host Club Soundtrack & Character Song Collection 2 (桜蘭高校ホスト部サントラ&キャラソン集 <<後編>>?), contained an additional nineteen tracks and was released on August 23, 2006. On September 20, 2007, a third soundtrack, the Ouran High School Host Club Soundtrack & Character Song Collection Special Edition (桜蘭高校ホスト部 サントラ&キャラソン集《特別編》?) was released containing eight songs from the previous two tracks, with four additional songs.

Visual novelEdit

The Ouran Host Club visual novel was released for PlayStation 2 on April 19, 2007 by Idea Factory. Based on the television series, the player makes decisions as Haruhi that affect the other hosts feelings toward her. The game features the characters of Jean-Pierre Léo, a long-time French friend of Tamaki, and Sayuri Himemiya, a childhood friend of Haruhi, designed by the series creator. There are two other original characters. The game has been released exclusively in Japan. A Nintendo DS port of the game, updated with a fully voiced cast and new character-specific scenarios, was released on March 19, 2009.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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