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Ouran High School Host Club 9 (Raw)


Looks like it's back.

You have not seen the bad drag queens till you have seen this episode. It puts Priscilla to shame. The producers have done exactly what they've excelled at since the start of the anime, and that was to take the manga and make all that was good there better. Instant coffee, girls' boarding school series, melodramatic mush girls' comics, militant feminism, the Takarazuka Revue, and especially, or perhaps because of that last point in particular, Sakura Taisen parodies, all converge to make a story that will freeze your blood by the time it reaches the climax. It's so awful it's GOOD.

The basic plot sticks to the manga, that is, three top students from Robelia High School, a prestigious all-girls school for the supremely wealthy, visit Ouran High explicitly to recruit Haruhi and stomp on the exploitative Host Club. The Robelia students are all part of their school's Zuka Club, or women's-only theatre troupe, and practice values that place women above all other human beings, doing things only for women, women only understanding what women need and generally making sure we notice the obvious implication of all this. Haruhi is told in no small terms that the boys of the Host Club are exploiting her, and that this does not allow her true feminine potential to show through (as said by the Zuka Club's butch lead actress, it's pretty damn funny). Haruhi is then given a day to think it through and leave the Host Club for good to join Robelia High.

The Host Club, of course, is not about to take these insults sitting down, or posed as a tableau, or whatever they're into. The Zuka Club's visit has pointed out some hidden flaws of the Host Club to Haruhi, which makes her angry as she realizes she really doesn't know her new friends that well. (And that Kyouya has a fondness for taking photos of her whenever she's in distress, the evil bugger, no wonder I like him so much.) But. When Hosts get together led by their noob King, they can achieve anything, and the boys figure if girls can make a living pretending to be boys, what the hell, they can lure Haruhi back dressed as girls. Which is exactly what they do.

And it works, because if it didn't, we've have no more Ouran.

BONES have definitely taken the manga and taken it one step further, compared with the last episode, where the adaptation did leave a lot to be desired. Apart from the judicious parodying of laughing-till-you-die madness (I'm almost ashamed that I can recognize the titles being parodied, sometimes...), they've also managed to squeeze in character development for the Yaoi Twins (something the manga can be quite bad at for side characters). There's even a neat (and sensible) Tamaki/Haruhi moment thrown in for the fans. The anime's creative (and judicious) label usage for tableau shots still rules. Mori's, "Guy, but really a girl", and Kyouya's outright, "Girl...um...is this really a girl?" are classic, inimitable Ouran.

Look out for Renge's appearances throughout the show. I think she's cosplaying as Sakura herself (but with Sumire's personality?), and the "commoner's coffee" snub is a good chuckle.

I'm told that Ouran is scheduled for 13 episodes, which means we're four away from the end. Based on how these would correspond with the end of the first major manga arc, I think it's a good spot to go, leaving room (wishfully) for some kind of OVA release. Can't wait till the next episode.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 3rd, 2006 05:40 am (UTC)
Lobelia. It's a plant name. The manga botched that one. ;)
Jun. 3rd, 2006 06:31 am (UTC)
That explains the blue petals. Thanks! ;)
Jun. 3rd, 2006 06:35 am (UTC)
I thought to myself, "GAH! The subbers didn't catch that?!" Then remembered, right, you're watching the raw... ;D

My own fault for being awaket his late.
Jun. 3rd, 2006 06:43 am (UTC)
You're awake? *pokes ICQ*

Well, would you believe I've never heard of lobelias before this? The flower looks darn familiar, but it's one of those Not Foods I never learnt the name for. ;)
Jun. 5th, 2006 08:57 am (UTC)
Lobelia appears in 90% of all English hanging baskets I should reckon, and its blummin everywhere at present. :)

It also comes in white and purple :)

Jun. 5th, 2006 09:46 am (UTC)
The flower does look suspiciously familiar. I even think we have some in the garden. Though being un-food, I never paid too much attention. ;)

The purpley one that is.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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