I need someone to distill the live-action drama adaptation of Ouran High School Host Club into a liquid form so that I can intravenously feed myself with its delicious, nutritious, sparkly brand of awesome. If you are not watching Ouran, I can merely make a moue at you and shake my head with sadness that you are missing out on the bite-sized insanity that is a host club consisting of one drama queen, one non-crossing dressing skeptic, one criminally hot future leader of a country who likes to use the IPad for blackmail, twins who need some time away from each other, one sentient brick wall, and one honey bunny who is so damn funny.
I need another episode of Ouran like a German needs beer. While the OTP is awesome and perfect, what inexplicably floats my boat is Kyoya, who if he existed in real life and I was 18 again, I’m be all over him like a bee to pollen. Cool, level-headed, wry high school student with a perpetual look of bemusement? Makes my knees weak.
Episode 2 Recap:
A voiceover introduces the Ouran High School host club, consisting of the six richest and handsomest boys in school who formed a host club to pass the time. The narrator introduces the newest member of the host club, the school’s only scholarship student and commoner. I love how in parenthesis after the description of Haruhi as a first year student is “(Commoner)”.
She broke a priceless vase so she has no choice but to host to earn money to repay the cost of the vase. But in truth she is a girl. At the North end of the school under the stairs, if you open the door to Music Room #3, seven gentlemen will welcome you to the Ouran High school host club.
Tamaki is offering a client a selection of tea cups to drink the tea. The twins are doing another of their routines and driving the ladies mad. Kyoya walks by and unfurls a cart containing pictures of all the host club members for the ladies to purchase and carry with them as a keepsake. I love how mercenary Kyoya is.
Haruhi watches and realizes that the expenses for the host club are paid through such schemes. Tamaki walks over (okay, more like sidles over smoothly), and oh so casually overs Haruhi some afternoon cookies.
She declines. Not in the mood. Tamaki ever so nonchalantly asks what she wants to eat. Next time, you know. Just for his reference. Haruhi looks at him and asks if he’s serious. Girl, he’s so serious that if you said you wanted to eat penguin, he’d fly to the South Pole and personally pick out the plumpest one. Haruhi thinks and confesses that she would like some fatty tuna sashimi.
Tamaki asks if she’s never eaten fatty tuna before? To which Haruhi nods that she’s indeed never had such an expensive food. Tamaki cups his mouth and calls out, like there is a fire lighting his ass, that fatty tuna must be found immediately. The female students, who adore Haruhi, get into the insanity and pretty soon everyone is bellowing that fatty tuna must be brought immediately. Haruhi just looks peeved and says this is so annoying.
Tamaki scuttles over to Haruhi and changes the subject, asking why she doesn’t wear a girl’s uniform? Haruhi says to be a host she needs to dress like a guy? Tamaki holds her shoulder and tells her “your daddy, me…..your daddy, me……” And then he runs off and returns a second later bearing a framed picture containing Haruhi’s photo on her student ID. WHICH HE HAS BLOWN UP AND PHOTOSHOPPED PINK SPARKLY FLOWERS AROUND. I….I….I can’t even……….
Tamaki says he wants to see Haruhi look like THIS. Haruhi snatches the framed photo back and accuses him of blowing up her picture without her permission. Yes, normally that would be skeevy, but the pink sparkly flowers pretty much negates the skeeve factor and we’re back to seeing it as the cutest gesture in Ouran land.
Tamaki says the picture is SOOOOOO CUTE. Look at the long flowing locks. He wants her to quickly grow her hair long again. Her daddy, that is him, has already prepared a bow for her future long hair. Tamaki takes out a very pink bow.
Haruhi calls him a freak for referring to himself as her daddy. Tamaki turns towards the other five guys and bleats “mommmmmmmy, Haruhi is being disobedient.” I cannot for the life of me decide which of the five guys he is referring to as mommy if he’s the daddy. Let’s assume it’s the collective entity, m’kay? Which works, because Kyoya immediately points to himself and asks if Tamaki was referring to him?
Tamaki goes to clutch Haruhi again and says he can’t wait for her to resume her female state. Kyoya walks over and says that will happen soon actually, because at their upcoming school physical, Haruhi will have to be checked and everyone will know she’s a girl. Honey shrinks and jump hugs Haruhi, while in the background you hear Tamaki asking “what do you mean, Haruhi’s mom?” and you hear Kyoya mutter “who are you calling Haruhi’s mom”. God I love this show.
Baby Honey tells Haruhi that the physical is coming up and he can’t wait to play a height competition with her. Suddenly all the boys go into imagination land where they all promptly take their shirts off. Let me check the timer on this episode – 3 minutes and 59 seconds into episode 2 and we have achieved shirtlessness again. And this time with ALL SIX GUYS. *gulp*
The boys stare at Haruhi in shock (minus Kyoya with a tight-lipped expression like “yup, whattya going to do about it). Haruhi says “it’ll all be revealed.”
Tamaki poses artfully by the window and ponders the imminent reveal of Haruhi as a girl for the world to see. He goes into his Tamaki pink-tinted fantasy land. He stands in the foyer where Haruhi, long hair flowing and wearing the girl’s white dress uniform, runs down the stairs calling “senpai” (which means elder student). Fantasy Tamaki turns bright pink when he sees girly Haruhi, exclaiming that she’s sooooooo cute.
Haruhi thinks it looks weird and everyone is looking at her. Tamaki explains they are looking because she’s so gloriously cute. Her daddy him…..no, Tamaki says “I will protect you.” Haruhi almost calls him “daddy” but then shakes her head and calls him “Tamaki senpai” and smiles her mega-watt girly smile.
Tamaki takes out the hideous pink bow again, which was hand crafted by an artisan in England. Haruhi says it’s beautiful. Tamaki puts it on her head and she is thrilled. Tamaki yodels “Ha…..Ru…..Hi…..” and then the two of them proceed to hold hands and do the polka while all the other students join in the festivities. If this fantasy sequence didn’t have you almost peeing your pants in laughter, perhaps you need some extra humor pills.
Tamaki is thrilled with this possibility and continues to make merry in his own pink mind. The other guys watch him all happy and shit, but sadly ask if he’s considered the consequences of Haruhi being discovered to be a girl. If that happens, she can’t stay with them in the host club anymore.
Tamaki makes this horrified face (like a victim in one of them horror movies makes when they see the serial killer behind the door), and the guys proceed to destroy him. They say that girly Haruhi will probably be pursued by all the guys at school. Kyoya IPads it to show that Haruhi was very popular in middle school and got annoyed with all the guys chasing her. If her real gender is revealed at Ouran, even Prince Tamaki will find it hard to approach her. During this entire reveal, Tamaki grows greyer and more brittle until he shatters into a million pieces on the floor from the agony.
Haruhi enters the club to find everyone standing around a white board and Tamaki announcing the battle plan for “Operation Prove Haruhi Is A Boy”. Haruhi goes “huh” and looks perplexed. Tamaki says she can remain their private princess forever.
Haruhi says she wasn’t intentionally cross-dressing. But if her gender was revealed, she’s cool with it and will find another way to repay her debt. Tamaki makes this “umph” noise and pouts that SOMEONE refuses to cooperate with him. HAHAHAHA. Tamaki gets on his knees and clutches his head. He sobs for Haruhi to please let them keep her secret. The twins calls Tamaki their team leader and get down to assist his huge display of pain.
Mori suddenly has an idea. He says “fatty tuna” and that is all the hook Tamaki needs to get his Haruhi to cooperate. The boys walk over to the white board and tells her that people who refuse to cooperate cannot eat fatty tuna. In fact, they will intentionally obstruct any and all future opportunities to eat fatty tuna for the person who doesn’t cooperate. Haruhi says “ehhhhhhh”.
Haruhi stands before a bannister and wonders if everything will be fine. Nekozawa senpai intones that he sees a bad omen her way comes. A strange man is lurking around and staring at Haruhi.
Haruhi walks into the exam room with the twins, wondering what this school’s physical is like? The twins says it’s just ordinary and routine, to which the door opens to two rows of nurses and doctors waiting to welcome the students. Haruhi says “you call this normal?”
Haruhi watches the exams and wonders why this grand treatment. Kyoya walks over and says that this school is also about making money, so it’s important to keep the students happy. We see a strange man watching Haruhi and approaching her. Kyoya bumps into the guy, who apologizes and walks away.
Haruhi sits in the middle and asks why the boys are protecting her for? Tamaki says it’s not clear where the secret can accidentally leak out. What kills me dead in this scene is: Tamaki’s crouching hopping pose that he obviously thinks is some sort of covert operative tactic, the twins pointing finger guns next to Haruhi, Honey and Mori dressed like doctors and fixing their glasses in sync, and Kyoya just sitting there drinking his fucking tea like there is not a single thing odd about what is happening around him. Please lord, can I have some more Kyoya.
Haruhi says doing this simply makes it more obvious. Yes, one would think so, Haruhi.
The twins say that Haruhi was so pretty before, what happened. She explains that the day before school started, some neighborhood kids put gum in her hair. She just decided to cut off her hair by herself. She lost her contacts so borrowed her grandpa’s old glasses. And she couldn’t afford to buy a school uniform so she borrowed her dad’s clothes to make do.
The twins wonder why she wore such tasteless clothing? Haruhi says it’s the only thing left, since the rest of her dad’s clothes are tight, sparkly things. Her dad….he’s a transvestite. The boys gasp in shock (okay, minus Kyoya, who nothing can possibly ever shock him) – Haruhi is butt poor and her dad is a transvestite! Tamaki holds his head in pain on her behalf.
He tells her to come to his arms for an embrace. Haruhi pushes him off and says her dad is her dad no matter what he looks like. Kyoya correctly confirms that Haruhi never intended to cross-dress to conceal her gender at all. She says yes, but will continue the accidental pretense now to earn money to pay off he debt. Tamaki rushes over and says he will take care of her father and her.
Haruhi says rather than that, she feels more grounded in reality to earn the money herself to pay back the debt. A nurse comes over and calls Haruhi over, the doctor is ready to see her. Tamaki asks his boys if they are ready for battle.
Haruhi walks towards the changing room and the girls follow, excited to see Haruhi take her shirt off. Suddenly the twins start taking each other’s shirts off and lure all the attention over to their show. Honey and Mori grab Haruhi and deposit her inside the changing room, where Tamaki is waiting. Tamaki tells her that he will take care of everything.
The nurse calls Haruhi to come out. Suddenly the curtains party and TAMAKI walks out with his shirt open and a wig on. He says “sorry to keep you waiting, I am Fujioka Haruhi’. The girls and the nurse stare slack jawed, and one girl asks why Tamaki senpai is pretending to be Haruhi.
Tamaki gasps in shock that his cover was blown. ROFL FOREVER. The twins point and guffaw that they told Tamaki he would never be able to pull this off. Tamaki makes the funniest mouth twitches and snatches off the wig, telling the twins they assured him the pretense would never be seen through. God, I love how the other boys constantly screw with Tamaki.
Tamaki goes back inside and tells Haruhi that it’s all been screwed up. Haruhi turns and gives him the dirtiest look, saying that she can’t believe she believed he could handle it. She goes outside and prepares to announce the truth when suddenly an announcement that Haruhi is needed in Music Room #3. Turns out all the doctors at the physical are on staff at Kyoya’s family’s hospital, so he arranged a doctor to give Haruhi a private exam figuring that Tamaki would royally screw up.
Haruhi is relieved and goes in for her check up. When Tamaki calls her name before she walks in, Haruhi turns and gives him yet another dirty scathing look. Tamaki shrinks away in fear. A female doctor is waiting inside and welcomes Haruhi.
The strange man from earlier walks through the school and accidentally enters a room with girls changing. The girls scream and he runs away. Tamaki is pouting outside and the twins says that Haruhi is thoroughly despising Tamaki right about now.
Haruhi finishes her exam and we see the man sneak into the music room. The girls inform the host club that a pervert was seen in school. The boys realize Haruhi could be in danger and they sprint towards the music room.
Haruhi is putting her clothes back on when the dude barges into her changing room. He silences her and tries to get something out of his pocket. Suddenly the curtains open and the boys of the host club are artfully arranged to kick some ass. They gorgeously inform the guy that they stand for justice and protecting the innocent.
It’s Honey who prevents the dude from bolting by delivering a kick to the face. Turns out Honey was a three-time karate champion in junior high. Tamaki takes off his jacket and drapes it over Haruhi. The guy tries to escape but completely freezes when Mori blocks his path. They tie him up.
Haruhi wonders if this guy really is a pervert? Nekozawa senpai arrives and says he’s not a pervert, since this guy asked him for directions this morning, But he was practicing his curses this morning so didn’t hear the guy asking if this school was Ourin High School. The guy is told that this is NOT Ourin, but is Ouran High School.
Haruhi checks his pocket and takes out a gift box that the man brought as a present for his daughter who started high school at Ourin. He’s a local doctor who doesn’t know how to earn money, so his wife and daughter left him. But he still wanted to bring a present for his daughter.
Tamaki tells the twins to draw the guy a map to Ourin. The twins say the daughter will just reject the present anyways. Tamaki says the man has to go make the effort.
The man accepts the map, but worries that he’ll be an embarrassment to his daughter. Tamaki says a girl once said that no matter what her father looked it, he’s still her father. Tamaki tells the man to trust his own daughter. Tamaki hands the gift box back to the man, but he’s affixed the ugly pink bow on the box. He says that the bow will be a good luck charm.
The man bows in gratitude and everyone smiles. They walk back to the host club, with Tamaki saying that they did a good thing today. Haruhi asks about that bow, and Tamaki apologizes because he had intended to give her that bow one day.
Haruhi turns and smiles at him, saying that it’s a wonderful present. Tamaki calls out “Ha….Ru….Hi” and tries to hug her. She pushes him away and calls him a pervert.
Her pervert becomes a giant letter attack and Tamaki hits the wall again. The boys walk over and remark that Tamaki sure looks like a pervert. Kyoya says he’s an eyesore and they ought to call security and have him removed.
Haruhi turns to asks her Mommy in Heaven, asking if this club really will work out?
Thoughts of Mine:
Watching Ouran just makes me happy. Period. It’s not terribly deep or important, nothing is ever serious in this show, and ultimately it’s as trifling as they come. But it’s just so earnest in everything it does, putting a live-action spin that is filled with charm and joie de vivre. It’s really all a testament to the seven leads playing the host club members that make this work. Nothing else is all that memorable, but the acting, the camaraderie, and the chemistry brings it all to life in a way that makes me long to spend more time with the world of Ouran. It feels like a fantasy world almost, yet with shades of the fun teenagers can have in high school just being goofy and odd and sincere.
I love how normal Haruhi is, and normal not just in the Little Shop of Fruits, Nuts, and Hotness that is the host club, but down-to-earth normal. She’s freaking drop-dead gorgeous, but she doesn’t give a flying fug. She cut her hair because gum got stuck in it, put on fugly glasses because she lost her contacts, and paraded around in trannie dad’s old clothes because it was cheap and convenience. How much do I love her? Probably not as much as Tamaki does actually.
Yamamoto Yusuke is just killing me softly with his portrayal of Tamaki, he of the excessive emotions and great love of the dramatic flair. I love how even his subtle gestures are brimming with excess, and he can hardly contain his glee for his Haruhi to be oh-so-pretty before his eyes. I find this story so sweet, with nary a judgmental or sarcastic bone in its body. I can bask in Ouran’s warmth all day long.