For the penultimate episode of the live-action adaptation of Ouran High School Host Club, the drama goes full speed ahead in more character backstory revelations, bundling into a wee 23 minutes snippets on Mori and Honey, Tamaki, and even touching upon Kyoya. This was a cute episode that was really more for forward story momentum than about character interaction.
Black Honey makes an appearance, Mori has more lines of dialogue than in all previous 9 episodes combined, Tamaki manages to make you feel sorry for him both ways (sad family situation and being the world’s doofiest doofball), and Kyoya…….I don’t even know or care what Kyoya was supposed to make me feel, other than I ZOMGed my way through his many interactions with Haruhi. How can a man make talking so damn sexy?
Episode 10 recap:
The members of the Ouran High School newspaper club are passing out news sheets in the foyer. The students aren’t interested in their hand outs, which silently enrages Komatsuzawa Akira, the editor of the newspaper. He’s also the guy who overheard Tamaki’s grandmother call him a “bastard” in the previous episode.
The doors to Music Room #3 open and the members of the Ouran High School host club walk out and strike a pose. They split into two groups to walk up the stairs. It’s cute that even Haruhi is playing along with it.
The members reassemble at the top of the stairs as Tamaki announces that the flyers for the upcoming host club anniversary party have been finalized.
The girls squeal about how they can’t wait to see it, which further enrages Komatsuzawa. Yes, it must chafe to have your legitimate news be trampled by the female love of good looking men.
The host club member disperse to hand out the flyers. Tamaki tells Haruhi that he has prepared an outfit for the cosplay party. He holds up a clown outfit, which rightfully shocks Haruhi. Tamaki holds up his own matching clown outfit and explains he’s got a father-daughter routine all prepared.
He goes into his happy Tamaki land daydreaming about himself and Haruhi juggling.
Tamaki shoves to outfits into Haruhi’s arms while he prances off to pass out more flyers. Haruhi walks over to Kyoya complaining about Tamaki. Kyoya says Tamaki is just that kind of oddball.
Haruhi huffs, while for no reason other than to make me happy, Kyoya puts his hand on Haruhi’s shoulder. Hhhhmmmm, hand on shoulder…..
Honey is out wandering and deciding on his dessert selections for the day when he happens to overhear the newspaper club’s Komatsuzawa discussing the upcoming breaking news about Tamaki’s sordid birth history. Honey asks what is going on, and is detained by the members of the wrestling club. Komatsuzawa is excited that he gets to reveal Tamaki’s backstory to the entire school.
Haruhi and the twins walk into the music room, asking Kyoya where Tamaki went? Kyoya says Tamaki was summoned by his grandmother to the headquarters of the Suoh enterprise. Suddenly a thundering echoes through the room. Mori smashes down the doors to the music room and walks in looking worried. Kyoya asks what happened, to which Mori says Honey is missing.
Komatsuzawa explains to Honey, who is tied up and eating a cake in the office of the newspaper club, that the newspaper club is banking its future on this headlining grabbing news about Tamaki. Another newspaper member looks concerned about what is happening to Honey. Komatsuzawa unveils an entire table of desserts and apologizes to Honey, but he needs to keep Honey here until they publish the newspaper tomorrow. Honey happily asks if he can eat the dessert?
Tamaki’s grandmother and father are meeting with Kyoya’s father and two older brothers. Both sides compliment each other on having such good kids. Honey takes out his cell phone and starts recording the conversation in the newspaper office.
Mori is still worried, with Kyoya explaining to Haruhi that Honey would never go somewhere without letting him know beforehand. Haruhi finally asks what Honey and Mori’s relationship is? The twins say they are cousins.
But Kyoya explains that the Mori family have been the bodyguards of the Honey family since the feudal days. So even though they are cousins, Mori still behaves like he is Honey’s protector. Haruhi thinks this relationship is quite remarkable.
Kyoya explains that both families are world renowned martial arts experts. Honey is a karate champion, while Mori is a kendo and judo master. Hikaru further reveals that before Honey joined the host club, he was considered a demon karate coach. Haruhi is shocked that the sweet natured Honey was once a demon.
We see Honey leading a karate practice session two years ago. Tamaki approaches him and asks if he wants to join the host club. Honey says he has no time for such frivolous pursuits. Tamaki lures him with the cute bunny, suggesting that he could enjoy life with cute things at the host club.
When Honey tries to maintain his poker face, saying he doesn’t like cute things and is a manly man, Tamaki asks if being honest and truthful with oneself is the true example of a person being brave? He gives Honey the bunny stuffed animal and walks away. We see Mori standing to the side, having overheard everything.
Mori tells the rest of the host club that what Tamaki said to Honey that day was what he’s always wanted to say to Honey. To live life being honest with oneself. Because of what Tamaki said, that is why Honey and Mori joined the host club. The day Honey believed in what Tamaki said, was the day Mori decided to trust in Tamaki.
Tamaki’s grandmother and father walk their guests out. Tamaki happily greets his grandmother with cake and flowers, but she coldly tells him to come inside. The girl in the newspaper club looks at a picture of Mori and makes a decision. She runs out of the club.
Nekozawa senpai is at the Black Magic club and notices that a dark force is headed towards Ouran. Specifically, it’s headed towards the host club. The host club members look everywhere but still can’t find Honey.
Nekozawa senpai comes running out to warn the host club about danger. The twins dismiss it but Mori is actually serious and wants to accept their help. Suddenly the newspaper club girl arrives and tells Mori that she has something to say.
Back at the newspaper club, Honey finishes his cake. He stands up and suddenly his ropes fall away as he’s untied himself already. The wrestling team restrain him when suddenly Mori and the rest of the host club arrive.
Mori and Honey tag team and easily vanquish the wrestling club. The twins happily watch and encourage Honey and Mori to use more force. The wrestling team runs out of the office.
Komatsuzawa tries to run away but is tripped. Honey walks up him and gives him a piece of advice. He really likes Tamaki, so the next time if Komatsuzawa tries to hurt Tamaki, Honey won’t let him off with just a warning. The twins are thrilled to see the presence of Black Honey.
Mori goes to thank the newspaper club girl, who totally has a crush on him, and is just happy to do the right thing. Haruhi notices the newspaper articles on the table and picks one up.
Haruhi goes back to the host club and asks Kyoya about Tamaki’s situation. Kyoya reads the newspaper and tells Haruhi to forget about it. She looks distressed and he tells her having that expression will impair her hosting duties.
Back at the Suoh headquarters, Tamaki’s grandmother makes her proclamation to Tamaki. We don’t hear what it is, but Tamaki’s father looks stricken. She tells Tamaki to leave now.
Kyoya confirms to Haruhi that Tamaki is indeed illegitimate. Twenty years ago, Tamaki’s father had an arranged marriage. But when he took a trip to Paris, he met Tamaki’s mother and fell in love with her. They had a child that was Tamaki. His father divorced his arranged marriage wife, but his grandmother would not accept Tamaki’s mother or Tamaki into the family.
Tamaki’s mother still lives in Paris. She won’t accept Tamaki as the successor of the company, and won’t let him step foot in the family residence. Tamaki lives in an auxillary estate owned by the family. Haruhi realizes that this is the reason why Tamaki longs for a family so much, and constantly plays family-related cosplay games.
Haruhi can’t believe Tamaki has such a sad story since he’s always acting so goofy and happy. Kyoya tells Haruhi that it’s easy to pity someone. But he’s actually glad Tamaki is the person Tamaki is. Haruhi turns to look at Kyoya curiously.
Kyoya goes home and sees his dad sitting with his two older brothers. His dad asks how Kyoya is getting along with Tamaki? Kyoya says they are good friends, which makes his father happy since being on the good side of the Suoh family heir is great for the Ootori family future.
His father walks away to get more wine. The two older brothers wonder when Kyoya will stop wasting his time at the host club. One brother suggests it doesn’t matter since Kyoya is just the third son. Not having to inherit the family allows him to fritter away his time. Kyoya doesn’t respond.
Haruhi sits in the host club and wonders what Kyoya meant when he said that he was glad Tamaki is the person he is. Tamaki walks in and notices Haruhi reading something that she hides from him. He manages to distract her and grab it. He reads the newspaper and doesn’t say anything.
Everyone looks worried, until Tamaki turns around and shows that he’s upset because the newspaper didn’t consult with him beforehand before publishing this horrible picture of him.
He barfs up all these pictures of himself, which he would have gladly given the newspaper club to use for this article. The twins grab the pictures from Tamaki and head off to doodle all over. Kyoya smiles to see Tamaki react in such a lighthearted way.
Tamaki pats Haruhi on the head and thanks her for watching out for him. He tells her that he’s fine. No matter what people say, he’ll continue to be himself. He will treasure every single moment in life.
He walks away and Kyoya walks over to Haruhi, noting that if Tamaki wasn’t the person he was, he probably wouldn’t be able to endure this. But Tamaki has the ability to transform his life into a source of positive energy. Nekozawa senpai notices that the dark cloud hasn’t lifted from the host club yet, which means the danger is still present.
Tamaki takes off his jacket and tosses it behind him, where Kyoya calmly catches it. Tamaki strikes a pose and his shirt gets incinerated as he conjures up an energy ball to strike at the twins and Mori and Honey, who are doodling all over pictures of Tamaki.
Tamaki sends a ball of energy towards Mori, the energy causing him to stumble backwards and Kyoya uses one arm to prop him up. Mori returns the energy fire. LOL, this random Dragon Ball reference was cute.
After Tamaki gets everyone’s attention, he announces that at the host club anniversary party next week, he’ll be resigning from the host club. Everyone stares at Tamaki in shock, especially Haruhi.
Thoughts of Mine:
I think this episode did a great job of introducing a minor little situation that posed a risk to the host club, and using it to flesh out some major characters. But ultimately each episode is so short that as the drama gets a little more serious in each episode, it makes me wish there was more time to go into more detail. While I don’t love the story so much I’m going to go read the source material, but it’s reassuring to know the mangaka was able to do more with her delightful creation on the page than what we are seeing in the live-action adaptation.
As a viewer, I’m simply going by what I see onscreen, and this episode was all Kyoya for me. Honey and Mori were adorable and kickass, Tamaki continues to roll in the dichotomy of lonely boy with a heart the size of an ocean, but it was Kyoya and his barely touched upon family dynamic with his father and brothers, and his understanding of Tamaki, that makes me cry out “tell me more about yourself, you poor repressed boy!” The fact that Kyoya had a lot of scenes with Haruhi totally didn’t help my barely under control KyoHaru shipping, which burst forth the moment early in the episode when Kyoya put his hand on Haruhi’s shoulder for no good reason.
Setting aside my random non-canon shipping, ten episodes into Ouran, I definitely feel like these kids are like family even to me. Their antics are genuinely silly but with so much heart, and knowing how they really only found a measure of happiness once they are together adds to the feeling of sweetness. Ultimately Ouran isn’t aiming to be anywhere near realistic or deep and meaningful, but rather imparting simply the presence of a drama that aims to make viewers happy, just like the calling of the members of the host club.