Ouran High School Host Club: Gender-bending Funtime!

Let’s just dust those cobwebs on this blog……. 

Hello! 

Yes, I’ve not been here for a very long time and in fact, in that time, I’ve actually watched A LOT of anime, some may say too much… but I don’t care! Ha Ha!

Anyway, let’s get to the point, I decided to put my excessive anime watching to some use and write some reviews about anime because some of the reasons I love anime is because it can be very gender fluid, non-conforming and feminist. I’m not saying all of anime are, in fact, I’m sure you all know how absolutely the OPPOSITE of that anime can be. But basically, the gender aspect really draws me to anime and I want to talk about that (with anyone who’s listening… reading, actually). So let’s begin.

Now, I watched Ouran High School Host Club (Ouran) a while ago, but a friend of mine recently watched it, which made me rewatch some episodes. Ouran is a significant anime to me because it was my gateway anime into how gender non-conformist anime can be.

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So what’s it about?

Well, Ouran follows Haruhi Fujioka, a scholarship student at the very elite Ouran Academy, a school for the uber rich. Looking for a place to study, Haruhi stumbles upon Ouran’s Host Club – a group of five good-looking guys who have a lot of time on their hands and entertain the female students (who also have too much time on their hands)! Accidentally breaking one of the club’s antique vases, Haruhi is indebted to the club and is made to join them to pay off the debt owed. Consequently, shenanigans, warm fuzzy times and hilarity ensue!

To binge or not to binge?

Of course, Ouran is binge-worthy, you can slot out two days and finish the whole series (26 episodes) but I would actually suggest taking it slow with this one. Most episodes are a whole story in themselves, so there are not many instances where you would need to keep going to get more story. It’s worth taking it an episode or two at a time and enjoying it!

Is it a gateway anime?

Yes, Ouran is a great place to start if you are new to anime. It will give you quite a bit of what you can expect from anime but in small hilarious doses. Just be warned about the pink. This is a comment I’ve heard many times about this anime – it’s very pink! However, just get past the first two minutes or so of pinkness and you’ll enjoy it (I think!).

Dub or Sub?

Ouran is available as an English dub (which is very very popular) or in its original Japanese with English subtitles. It’s really your choice. If this is your first venture into anime, I would suggest the dub over the sub, so that you concentrate on what’s going on.

How’s the OP/ED?

Well, “Sakura Kiss” annoyed me at first, it was too happy and girly and incredibly sugary sweet.

But it actually grew on me and I sometimes catch myself humming it. That might be because I love Ouran and I automatically associate the song with the show.

The ending is great, very rock, which is maybe an anachronism for Ouran but it’s a great theme song nevertheless. 

Both themes got an English translation, which was pretty good. But I do prefer the original versions of these songs. 

What’s to like?

If you’re looking for a fun anime, which certainly doesn’t take itself seriously, Ouran is worth watching. There is a little bit of romance and even if that’s not something you’re into, it’s quite downplayed. Honestly, I see Ouran more as a high school friendship sort of anime about a group of friends who like to make the days of people they meet a little brighter. My absolute favourite thing about this anime, without spoilers, is the number of characters that just switch up their gender roles. Does it pass the Bechdel Test? Well, that’s debatable actually. Is it a passing grade if a girl is talking to a girl but doesn’t know she’s a girl? Though that’s just the first episode, it does certifiably pass the Bechdel Test later on in the show. Another fun thing to look out for in this anime is that certain characters try to impose stereotypes and gender roles on other characters but are constantly shot down for it, I love it!

So, if you’re looking for a light-hearted comedy, which has a smattering of rom-com to it (but not overpowered by it) and a few fuzzies about good, kind hearted people, Ouran High School Host Club is for you.

 

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