Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: DVD: $59.98
Running Time: 300 minutes
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now
Still the best service in town.
Thinking back to my High school days, having a Host Club on my campus would have really been something else. I mean, what girl wouldn’t want to take some time off the brutal class schedule to drop in for tea served by an attractive boy that is there to make you feel appreciated. So it’s no surprise that Ouran High School’s very own Host Club is a such a success and such a popular place for the school’s rich and affluent female student body. Welcome back to school in the second part of this funny and agreeably entertaining series.
In the first 13 episodes that make up Part 01 of Ouran High School Host Club, we are introduced to the tomboyish Haruhi who agrees to play the role of a boy and join the Host Club to pay off a debt. Having successfully injected herself in a club filled with the cutest guys in school (each with their own unique little quirk), Haruhi is quickly finding out that each day with these boys is just so wildly offbeat. The second part of this series finds the Newspaper Club wondering how the Host Club became to popular to the point that Host Club-themed publications like “I Love Love Love Tamaki” and “Moe-Moe Oran Diaries” overshadow the newspaper sales.
The truth is that the Host Club is popular thanks to the imaginative direction Tamaki is taking the club and the saavy managerial skills of Kyoya. It also helps that the Host Club members range from sexy (like the strong and silent Mori-senpai) to the downright adorable (Honey-senpai). Then there’s the Hitachi twins that play up an uncomfortable moe fantasy. It’s surprising, however, that Tamaki is so willing to do whatever he can to help others, especially the Newspaper Club whose President asks the Host Club for help. We learn a lot about Tamaki in this second part. Yes, we know he’s seen as a dummy by his fellow Host Club members and out-of-his-mind when it comes to the way he views his relationship with Haruhi.
We not only discover more about Tamaki, however, because Part 02 offers a deeper peek into who each member of the Host Club are like when Haruhi suddenly disappears during the summer break. The boys find out that Haruhi left home for her hometown of Karuizawa to work in a comfy Bed & Breakfast. It doesn’t take too long for the boys to invade the town and the pension and compete to stay I the inn with her. When Haruhi runs into an old friend from Middle School who had a crush on her despite the fact that she turned him down (unknowingly, mind you). As she gets chummy with him, Hikaru Hitachi becomes jealous. Sensing his twin brother likes Haruhi, Kaoru sets his brother up on a date that ends up a disaster.
The boys also decide to go to a produce expo to see what “commoners” do during one of these only to find Kyoya has dozed off in the expo and wakes up alone and without money. Fortunately for Kyoya, Haruhi is at the expo as well and they end up spending the day together as Haruhi learns a lot about the attractive young marketing mastermind of the club. We then find out a lot about Honey-senpai when his brother, Chicka, comes to his school to attack him. It turns out the Honey is actually a martial arts master who was brought up to be a tough guy only to fail miserably thanks to the fact that he much rather have cake than eat a manly meal and darn if he doesn’t like cute things.
In later episodes we also discover the truth behind the twins and how they wanted to move away from the protective bubble they created for themselves. Even Mori-senpai, who hardly utters more than a few words, becomes the target of the son of gangster who wants so terribly to be liked instead of feared. Kasanoda befriends the Host Club students, especially Haruhi who he becomes strangely drawn to and even more so when he discovers her secret.
In the last two episodes, the Host Club itself is threatened when Tamaki’s past catches up to him at last during the Ouran Festival when the school and its clubs are open to the public. A young French aristocrat shows up and within minutes Tamaki himself emerges telling his friends that the Host Club will be closed indefinitely. The others race to not only save the club that has brought them together as a family but to save a friend who has opened a new world to each one of them including Haruhi. It’s actually one of the more exciting moments of the series.
On top of the interesting revelations and deeper look at the characters – such as an episode where Kyoya met Tamaki – the second part of this series is loads of fun to watch and its humor actually works. Tamaki using a bunny hand puppet to lure Honey (a tough martial arts expert able to swat away shuriken blades like they were pesky flies) is downright cute and funny as is the time that Haruhi’s friends from another school convince her to participate in a school musical with an all-girl cast.
Ouran High School Host Club, Part 02, definitely deserves a passing grade. What started as a series about a tomboy with a girlish side winning over the pretty boys of the Host Club has become an amusing and delightfully offbeat series that will not fail to put a smile on your face. There are certainly more standout scenes in this second part but, as a whole, Ouran High School Host Club is a delightfully good time.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
We learn more about the boys of the Host Club in this one than in the first 13 episodes of Part 01 and this makes us fall more in love with the characters. Whether it’s seeing a softer side of Kyoya or Honey-senpai true nature, you’ll have a blast watching Haruhi make sense of every situation.
VIDEO QUALITY: A-
The animation looks decent enough but it’s great to see the quality of the video this good on DVD.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
There’s an excellent cast here whether you like the Japanese voices or the English dub (that includes talents such as Vic M and Caiytln Glass just to name a few). The original score is good, although – personally speaking – the opening and closing songs aren’t my cup of tea.
There’s audio commentary for three key episodes in the two-disc set and they’re actually fun to listen to as well. The juiciest extras come in the second disc, which include pages from the first volume of the VIZ Media manga as well as a fun Outtakes reel. Those that like textless opening and closing songs plus trailers will not be disappointed. The cute little calendar that comes with it is nice too.
Genuinely funny and delightfully fun to watch, Part 02 of Ouran High School Host Club is as charming as the cute boys (and girl) that make up the roster of characters. The first part was a great introduction to this warm series but this second part is like an even tastier slice of the same cake. Give this series a chance and it will win you over, I promise.