Here I thought Haruhi’s word-slam attack on Tamaki would always end up with him against the wall. Now get your mind our of the gutter folks, I meant in a very mortifying way for him. But this episode proves that when Tamaki royally screws up, word-slams send him flying elsewhere, and a whole lot farther from his Haruhi than he would like. The best part of watching Ouran High School Host Club is in the “reactions”. The plot is so high-school-angst-crossed-with-manga-kicks that it’s not even worth mentioning. When I watch an episode of Ouran, I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I can’t ever forget how everyone behaved.
Episode 3 reveals to us all that the Host Club is populated by not just the unfairly beautiful and the obscenely rich, they are also potential rocket scientists. Oh Japan, thank you for not even pretending to be creating realistic people. But Ouran makes these complete caricatures all feel alive and unique through a combination of tongue-in-cheek (they are in on the joke as well) and genuine mirth (silliness can be adroitly funny). Haruhi continues to be awesome, Kyoya continues to turn me into a gibbering fangirl, and Tamaki continues to be the butt of 99.9% of all jokes. And finally, beaten up glassy-eyed Kuma-chan is the new pig-rabbit for me.
Episode 3 recap:
The narrator intones – it’s a day of muggy Summer rain. A girl is out in the front garden of Ouran High School. She holds an umbrella and looks at the flowers. Haruhi runs towards the school, using her hands to shield herself from the rain. Haruhi wonders why it’s raining so much this Summer? Haruhi runs past the girl, who turns to look at her.
Haruhi enters Music Room #3, where the boys of the Ouran High School Host Club await her. Today the Host Club has been transformed into an island paradise. I cannot even begin to describe WHAT THE HECK these boys are pretending to be, so let’s let a picture say a thousand words. Haruhi walks into the den of insanity and just gapes in shock at them, and she drops to her knees. Her stares will never get old.
Okay, I lie, I have to say something. My Kyoya (yes, he’s mine now, so get over it, and get in line) has a colorful cloth draped over his naked torso. The twins are dressed like male harem dancers, not even bothering with any upper body cover up. Mori is an Arabian guard while Honey appeared to have gotten lost on his way to a Luau. And Tamaki? He’s like some Sultan of Happy Land crossed with an extra from the Mardi Gras parade.
The lighting used to illuminate the boys disappears, and the boys stop their posing, once they realize it’s just Haruhi. Whatever. They would totally Zoolander themselves just for her if she flicked a finger at them. She asks what this get-up is for? Tamaki flounces towards her and explains that in such dreary Summer rainy weather, they wanted to create a sunny Island paradise to welcome their guests. Isn’t that what a gentleman would do?
Haruhi flinches and mutters that it actually makes the mood even more depressing. Tamaki prances back to formation and reveals that this season also means the Host Club Summer Party will soon be here.
Haruhi asks what that is? Honey pipes up, reminding Haruhi that the party is next week. The twins whip out their…….hair-cutting scissors to demonstrate how they will be in charge of the hair styles. They ask Kyoya what the winner of the dance portion of the party will receive as her prize. Kyoya announces that the winner will get, and here Tamaki takes over, a kiss from the King of the Host Club.
Tamaki sends a handful of kisses towards Haruhi, and she expertly and nonchalantly dodges all of them. She even flicks away one final annoying kiss. HAHAHA FOREVER. Tamaki says that as Haruhi’s father, he will teach her how to ballroom dance.
Haruhi holds up her hand and says that she needs to be excused from Host Club activities for the next week. All the boys scrunch together and go “NA NI!?!?” (What?). Even Kyoya mildly furrows his brows, which means this is sewious. (That was not a typo, so please tell me you got the Wonder Pets reference, peeps). Turns out Haruhi only got her scholarship because she is number 1 ranked in her class, but the last exam period, her ranking fell to number 3 for her class.
The boys, who have thankfully all changed back to their school uniforms, are surprised to hear Haruhi’s grades dropped. Kyoya tells her to deal with the sorrow, i.e. get over it. Tamaki sits down and Nekozawa senpai emerges from behind the sofa and says that this is a curse. According to his curse predictions, the Host Club will enter into a horrible period and bad things will happen.
One twin tells Nekozawa to stop being so dramatic, it’s not like Haruhi will be expelled. Kyoya, just sipping his tea leisurely off to the side, says that Haruhi actually might be expelled. The requirement for her scholarship is for her to maintain her number 1 ranking at school. If she can’t get it back at the next exam, she’ll be expelled. The boys all cluster around her and Tamaki plaintively wails “Ha….Ru…..Hi…”, and holds up an ugly beaten up teddy bear.
He turns towards Haruhi and offers her the teddy bear he values more than life itself, Kuma-chan, to be her good luck guardian. He tries to shove it into her arms but she says no thank you. When he persists, she emphatically says NO and that sends Tamaki tumbling backwards. Poor Tamaki says that Haruhi is being so mean to him right now.
Haruhi says that until the next exam, she has to take time off to study. Tamaki says yes, she has to get her studying in as soon as possible so she can have time to learn ballroom dancing. The boys whip out their glasses, minus Kyoya who already wears glasses, and asks Haruhi which teacher amongst them she would like to select to tutor her.
Turns out the amongst the second year students, Kyoya is number 1 and Tamaki is number 2. The twins are ranked four and five amongst the first year students. And amongst the third year students, Honey is number 1 and Mori is number 2. Okay, please don’t go there with any easy jokes, okay? Just let me use the 1 and 2 in an innocent and completely straightforward way.
Tamaki says that the twins grades aren’t as good as Haruhi, so perhaps they ought to voluntarily excuse themselves from this selection. LOL, he’s already getting rid of the competition. The twins says grades don’t matter as much as chemistry does. Honey offers to teach her math and Mori does the classics. Tamaki tells her to choose and she says no. The boys all press forward demanding that she choose, and Haruhi screams out “NOOOOOO……”
Haruhi is getting tutored by Jounochi Ayame, a second year student. She notes that Haruhi understands everything, so why did her grades drop in the last exam. Haruhi says that she skipped a question that she was pondering, and then later forgot to go back and answer it. Since it was such a basic error, Haruhi will do fine in the next exam if she’s thorough.
Kyoya explains for our benefit that Ayama is one of the top students at Ouran and is from a wealthy family. Tamaki sits on the ledge and is a depressing eye sore for the other guys with his downer stance. Tamaki hops down and says he has more important things to worry about. His Kuma-chan got kidnapped!
The twins says no one could possibly kidnap such a vacant-eyed bear. Honey suggests Kuma-chan went on vacation. Or perhaps he ran away, says the twins. Tamaki scrunches up his face and says it’s a big deal, because even his Kuma-chan pencil is missing. The twins could care less about no pencil, but Honey offers to lend Tamaki his bunny.
Ayame speaks up, and her following speech is a breathless litany of words one after another. Are the boys talking to create noise so that they can study harder. Well it’s not working because she likes quiet. So their noise is a form of buzzing that belies their purported desire to see Haruhi study hard and pass the test. So the boys are clearly saying one thing but doing another. She asks them coldly to please pipe down.
During her speech the boys, minus unflappable Kyoya, start to shrink backward in fear and clutch their chests and stop breathing from the sheer attack of Ayame’s cutting and incisive words. When she finishes, the boys collapse on the floor in a mock faint and need to suck on the convenient oxygen tanks behind them to get some air. They wonder how Ayame can talk like that without taking a breath.
Tamaki thinks to himself that he’s heard this before. He looks up and sees a old-fashioned morse code machine, which Mori correctly identifies. The boys have a nickname for Ayame now – Morse Girl.
Tamaki goes to offer tea and pastries to the two studying girls. Ayame coldly turns down his offers. She stands up and says that to study needs complete concentrate and Tamaki should go find out things to do rather than bother them. Tamaki can’t breath again during this diatribe and collapses, with the other boys quickly running over to give him an oxygen mask. Ayame coldly stares at the fallen Tamaki and sits down.
Haruhi asks if perhaps Ayame-senpai doesn’t much like Tamaki-senpai? Ayame says that even though Japanese love Summer rain, she happens to dislike it. Just because everyone likes something doesn’t mean she likes it. We see the twins pounding on Tamaki’s chest to revive him. Heh. Haruhi confirms that Ayame hates Tamaki then. She says yes, and the just revived-Tamaki promptly hears this and collapses again. God, his ego is so frail.
Tamaki stands in the foyer with a giant “Find Kuma-chan” banner and is handing out flyers. When he asks Kyoya to help, Kyoya thinks that the ladies would love it more if Tamaki handed the flyers out all by himself. Tamaki buys Kyoya’s lazy excuse and twirls around to pass out the flyers even more diligently. All the girls crowd around him and ask for a flyer.
Nekozawa-senpai pops up to remind the Host Club that it’s entering dark days ahead. Ayame picks up a flyer and Kyoya walks over, asking if Tamaki did a good job since the dim boy stayed up all night drawing 200 of these flyers. The girls all scream that the flyer is SOOOO CUTE. Which is is. It says “Seeking Bear Kuma-Chan- Please Give It Back To Me! If Found Please Return to Suou Tamaki!”
Ayame stares at the flyer in growing rage. She crumbles the flyer in her hand, muttering about why Tamaki couldn’t just make a damn photocopy of the flyer and draw only one. Her hair starts to stand up on end and Haruhi points it out. Ayame smooths her hair and goes back to her calm state. She wonders if Haruhi has a lot of pressure as the scholarship student to maintain her grades and be subject to the scrutiny of others.
Haruhi doesn’t think about these things. She wants to be a lawyer so she’s studying hard. What others think doesn’t matter to her. Ayame looks taken aback, and confesses that she understands this mentality and also wishes she weren’t so affected by others. Haruhi asks if Ayame had a run in with Tamaki in the past.
Ayame explains that two years ago, Tamaki transferred to their middle school. She met him and he was very charming to her. He complimented her beautiful straight long hair, saying that her inner beauty must be a reflection of her beautiful hair. Ayame was totally entranced by this prince-like boy at that moment.
But then she realized that Tamaki pulled the same stunt with every single girl. We see Ayame spying on Tamaki and muttering that it’s the 65th girl he’s given the same type of compliment to, only substituting the body part. She was thinking that this flirty boy would be stupid, but then his grades were higher than hers (Kyoya is ranked first, followed by Tamaki, and then Ayame).
She thought perhaps he spent all day studying to do so well, but it turned out he did no such thing, but instead formed a host club to pass the time. A man a frivolous as Tamaki, she will never concede his accomplishments. From that moment on, Tamaki entered as number 1 on her most hated list. Haruhi wonders if what she said was true, since Ayame appears to spend so much time studying Tamaki, and remembers his words to her. Ayame tries to demur that she remembered what he said because it was so cheesy. The lady doth protest too much.
We see a life-sized bear lurking in the background, and the twins take off the bear head to reveal Tamaki. He can’t hear the conversation though. Ayame turns to give him a dirty look, saying that all she wants is not to be affected by useless things and quietly study. Haruhi stares at her and Ayame grows uncomfortable and gets up to open the window.
The incoming breeze makes her hair wavy and the twins remark that Ayame is has naturally curly hair. Ayame freaks out and pushes them away. She screeches that because of her naturally curly hair, she hates rainy days. She blames Tamaki for mistaking her hair for straight hair which now forces her to go to the beauty salon everyday to get her hair straightened. She wishes he would stop screwing with her emotionally. Tamaki stands there and listens to this.
Ayame rushes out and drops her pencil box. Out tumbles the Kuma-chan pencil. Ayame opens her locker to reveal the poor kidnapped hostage Kuma-chan. She picks up Kuma-chan and screams at him, tossing him against the wall saying she hates him. She pounds on Kuma-chan, wondering why she wants to treasure it. She mutters that Tamaki will surely not remember what he said to her, since he says the same things to all the girls.
Tamaki walks into the locker room and says the same thing to Ayame, proving that he hasn’t forgotten what he said to her. He picks up her hair and says that he really believes it. Ayame cries that her inner beauty is as crooked as her curly hair. Tamaki takes her hand and reminds her that only after the rain does the rainbow appears. He knows her heart is raining right now, but he believes that soon she will be even more beautiful. He invites her to the Summer party.
Ayame walks into the Host Club for the Summer party. Tamaki gets down on his knees and welcomes her, a princess that is even more beautiful after the rain. The other girl students compliment her on her new wavy hairstyle, saying that it’s so beautiful. Ayame smiles.
Kyoya remarks to Haruhi that those two (Tamaki and Ayame) needed to go through these friendship growing pains to get here. The previous sentence was completely unnecessary for the purpose of this recap, and is brought to you for the sole express purpose of putting up a screencap of Kyoya SMILING. Also, these two scream OTP to me. God, I’m so screwed.
Dancing commences in the foyer, set to cheesy music and even cheesier lighting. Suddenly the lights go dark and then the twins get up to announce the Queen of tonight’s party. Of course it’s Ayame and everyone claps for her. She’s led away to receive her kiss from the King. Tamaki gets ready to get onstage to give her a kiss when suddenly the twins announce a change in plans.
Tamaki’s mouth drops as it’s announced that Haruhi will be giving her a kiss.
She pulled on the stage as Kyoya explains to the stunned Tamaki that surprises make the event more thrilling. These two also scream OTP to me as well.
Haruhi thinks a kiss on the cheeks will be just fine. Ayame congratulates Haruhi on passing the exam, and Haruhi says that she has a great teacher. Honey the big mouth wonders if perhaps this is Haruhi’s first kiss? Tamaki freaks out and makes this ugly-ass expression of agony. Either that or he really needs to go take a dump.
Haruhi walks up to Ayame to kiss her on the cheek, but as she leans in, Tamaki rushes forward to prevent it. But he trips instead and pushes Haruhi directly into Ayame, and the two girls kiss. Everyone gasps.
Tamaki tries to explain that he was trying to preserve Haruhi’s first kiss. To which Haruhi turns and gives Tamaki this scathing look and spits out that he in fact just caused her fist kiss to happen.
Tamaki’s jaw drops in pain. The other girls wonder why Tamaki tried to prevent the kiss. Was it because he wanted to kiss Ayame himself? They call him a kissing bandit. Haruhi says that he is a kissing bandit. Tamaki tries to grab her but she calls him a pervert and her words send him flying towards the sky. The twins wave at him as he’s punted to god knows where.
Thoughts of Mine:
This episode wasn’t nearly as trippy as the first two, but definitely shows that the drama has settled into a nice groove and I have a good sense of what to expect henceforth. Each episode will have a guest character that will create trouble and it’ll be up to the Host Club to resolve everything in 20-some minutes and still have time to pose prettily. I like how the drama is low on angst and doesn’t veer into the preachy territory. It has a little message at the end of each episode and it’s delivered in an absurd fashion which undercuts any tendency to feel like an After School Special.
Episode 3 was partially about Ayame’s dislike for Tamaki because he made her feel special, and then she discovered it was just his man-whore complimenting ways that he lavishes on every woman. But then she ultimately discovered that her beauty doesn’t hinge of what Tamaki says, and Tamaki actually does treat every girl he compliments with sincerity. I guess Tamaki represents Ouran, a drama that seems frivolous on the surface which actually beats with a heart of sweetness within. When I watch Ouran, I don’t get the sense that this drama is all about the presentation or making it point. Rather it feels like the story exists as an excuse for us to spend time with these kooky and endearing characters.