Today I take a look at another manga from my Shoujo Beat sampler: Ouran High School Host Club.
Ouran High School Host Club follows the story of Fujioka Haruhi, a poor female student attending a prestigious high school on a scholarship. While looking for a quiet place to study, she inadvertently stumbles into the Ouran High School Host Club. It’s sort of like a bizarro Otaku Maid Cafe where a bunch of pretty boys serve girls. She ends up breaking a really expensive vase and becomes an indentured servant to the host club. Did I mention that everyone in the club thinks she’s a guy?
Although the plot sounds painfully generic, the characters really liven things up. There’s the narcissistic club leader Suoh Tamaki, the Yakuza son Ohtori Kyoya, the Hitachin yaoi twins, the loli Haninozuka Mitsukuni, and the silent type Morinozuka Takashi. I’d guess that all of these “personalities” are just gimmicks to get more girls to patronize the club, but maybe these guys are really just weird like that.
The artwork in the manga is pretty average in my opinion. I’m not really a fan of the bishounen look (and that’s probably a good thing). I prefer super deformed wacky characters, and there’s not much deformity in this manga (unless you count the super small loli guy). I also noticed a text overload on a few of the pages. It was hard to see what exactly was going on since there was more text than drawing. Some of the translations were also worded somewhat strangely (WTF is a “Dogsbody?”).
Overall, I’d say Ouran High School Host Club is somewhere between above average and good, mostly due to the craziness of the characters. I’m not a huge fan of the art, and I got lost in a few parts (did they flashback or jump to the future?). The plot, though generic, seems interesting enough, if the execution is done right. If I were looking to pick up some shoujo manga (I’m not), I’d probably give the first volume a shot. Otherwise I’ll just watch reruns of “Bosom Buddies” for my fill of transgender comedy.