This review is spoiler free.
“I sought quiet… Instead I found the Host Club!”
Series: Ouran High School Host Club
Published: 2005, by VIZ Media.
Genre: Sequential Art, Manga, Romance, Graphic Novels, Comics, Young Adult, Contemporary
Contains: Implied Sexual Content, Crude Humour, Strong Language
‘Ouran High School Host Club’ follows Haruhi, a scholarship student at the exclusive Ouran High School. While searching for a quiet place to study, she accidentally breaks an $80,000 vase that belongs to the school’s ‘Host Club’ – a group of six wealthy boys. To pay back the damages, she must work for the club and discover the life of the rich first-hand.
After discovering this series for the first time via the anime, I read the first few volumes years ago, falling in love with all the characters in seconds. However, as I’m currently away from home and trying my hardest to remain grounded and happy, I felt like it was time I returned to my favourite Host Club.
The vast majority of readers of this series most likely discovered it similarly to me, through the popular anime series. For those unaware, this volume reaches three episodes, from Haruhi’s initiation into the club (“Starting Today, You Are a Host!”) to Renge’s introduction. (“Attack of the Lady Manager!”) The second episode, “Beware the Physical Exam!”, does not feature in this volume. Regardless, the story still flows the same as the anime, moving through the chapters/’episodes’ smoothly and engagingly. The level of humour in the story works perfectly in its favour, introducing numerous characters in such a small space, yet it works; they’re all difficult to forget.
Personally, while watching the anime, my favourite characters had always been the Hitachiin Twins, yet while revisiting the manga, it’s changed to Kyoya. Within the story, it’s Kyoya’s smooth sarcasm dotted within the pages that maintains that level of light-heartedness. His relationship with Tamaki is brilliant, tolerating his hysterics with opposing composure yet its clear that he respects him greatly.
The artwork is gorgeous, Hatori’s work being iconic, especially in the back pages. At the end of the manga, there is a character introduction page, where each member of the club has a description stating their likes, dislikes, and other important information about themselves as characters and their backgrounds. The artwork is more detailed than within the story itself, exploring the characters more with their individual physiques and dress sense.
Overall, this series has a special place in my heart, feeling intense nostalgia whilst reading. I adore every single one of these characters, and will be returning to the series again and again whenever I get homesick.