Series Review

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As I write this review, I am presently at episode 18 of Ouran High School Host Club as a part of a marathon with my anime club. This is my third viewing of the series, and I am still impressed and amused by it even now. Even now, no shoujo series before or since has had the same kind of impact on me.

When I first saw the series a little over a year ago, my first impressions before the end of the first episode were “oh gods why am I watching this.” To say I was skeptical when I first heard the name and saw screenshots would be an understatement, and up until the last minutes of the first episode (which was also shown to me in the same anime club, though as one of our semester series) I was staring at it more like it was a train wreck.

After all, it seemed outwardly like a simple, typical shounen-ai series with little other substance. There was so many stereotypes of a genre that didn’t interest me heavily running around that up until the final punch I only watched with something of a morbid fascination.

The final punch of episode 1 was a series hook on par with the first five minutes of Full Metal Alchemist for me. In one moment of sheer storytelling brilliance, the revelation that the “young boy” at the center of a “shounen-ai” harem was in fact a girl who now was being forced into a fish out of water story somehow instantly appealed to me… and it became a black horse for my favorite show of 2006.

And from there it only got better. At first a simple amusing parody/satire of shounen-ai, the series grew quickly into something a bit deeper and more heartfelt and real than just about any shoujo I had seen since Kodomo no Omocha. As important to me as The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya in 2006 and still one of my favorite shows in recent memory, I feel now is as good a time as ever for my review of this show. (more…)