In this screwball romantic comedy, Haruhi, a poor girl at a rich kids' school, is forced to repay an $80,000 debt by working for the school's swankiest, all-male club--as a boy! There she discovers just how wealthy the six members are and how different the rich are from everybody else....
It's summer break, and the Host Club crew head to the beach, dragging our reluctant heroine with them. When Haruhi stands up to some local bullies and gets tossed into the ocean, Tamaki, the Host Club King, rescues her. But afterward, he's so mad that he won't speak to her until she apologizes. Trouble is, Haruhi can't figure out what she should be sorry for!
Manga are so great because they are bite-sized stories that can be finished in an hour or two. And they have pictures! Everything is better with pictures. Seriously, can you imagine Jane Eyre with pictures? I can, and it's awesome.
The Ouran High School Host Club series gets better and better with each volume. Now that each character has been introduced, the stories can develop them and give them motivations and quirks. Haruhi is a fabulous protagonist because she is apathetic toward everything. Nothing fazes her. She doesn't mind dressing up like a boy, she doesn't mind bugs, she doesn't mind the wacky adventures she keeps getting thrust into. But what makes her so fantastic is how she has slowly grown to like the guys in the Club. She rolls her eyes and makes fun of them, but she's starting to care for them and do the crazy things they ask of her just to make them happy.
I've already mentioned my love for the twins. They get even more page time in this volume, and I think Kaoru and Hikaru are developing more distinct personalities. Tamaki is still mostly annoying, but every once in a while he drops the dramatic persona and is really a kind guy. Hunny and Mori are absolutely hysterical, and I love them together. Kyoya is mysterious and possibly dangerous, and I want more of him in the next volume.
I am aware that Haruhi is all kinds of tokenism, but...I don't care? Does that make me horrible? All I know is that if I were in her position, with six guys falling all over me and trying to make me happy, I would be very okay with my situation.
I would love to find out more about Japanese culture. This series is very okay with gender bending and queer life, which is not at all how I imagine Japan. Either this series is over the top (which I know it is) and satirical, or maybe the Japanese are generally more tolerant. Don't know, but it is interesting and often funny, as everything tends to be in a comedic manga.
Four out of five tidepool catastrophes.
Release Date: November 2005
Reading Level: Grade 7+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: Not currently part of Dunlap Library's collection.