Ouran High School Host Club (桜蘭高校ホスト部 Ōran Kōkō Hosuto Kurabu?) is a manga series by Bisco Hatori, serialized in Hakusensha's LaLa magazine since August 5, 2003. The series follows Haruhi Fujioka, a scholarship student at Ouran High School, and the other members of the popular host club. The romantic comedy focuses on the relationships within and without the Club and satirizes the clichés and stereotypes that endure in shōjo. There are also occasional moments where the characters break the fourth wall. The manga has been adapted into a series of audio dramas, an animated television series directed by Takuya Igarashi and produced by Bones, and a visual novel by Idea Factory.
Haruhi Fujioka is a scholarship student at the prestigious Ouran Academy, a fictional high school located in Bunkyō, Tokyo. Looking for a quiet place to study, Haruhi stumbles upon the Third Music Room, a place where the Ouran Academy Host Club, a group of six male students, gathers to entertain female "clients". During their first meeting, Haruhi accidentally knocks over and breaks an antique vase valued at ¥8,000,000 (US$80,000 in English manga) and is told to repay the cost in service to the club. Haruhi's short hair, slouching attire and gender-ambiguous look causes her to be mistaken by the hosts for a male student. The hosts all agree that Haruhi would be a good host, thus making her join the host club. Ultimately she agrees to join the Club as a host herself (dressed as a male) in order to pay off her debt. She agrees to join since she does not mind hosting as long as she can pay the debt off faster. The Ouran Private Academy encompasses kindergarten to twelfth grade (along with a university as well). Most students come from wealthy families, but in special cases, merit scholarships are granted to exceptional students from a lower income bracket. The school's unofficial motto is "Lineage counts first, wealth a close second," meaning students with stellar family backgrounds are given top priority over those from rich families but low socioeconomic status.
Tamaki thought up the Host Club while in ninth grade and started it upon entering the Ouran High School. The members of the Host Club are highest ranking students at the school. At Ouran High School, class is determined by lineage and intelligence ("A" is the highest class and "D" the lowest usually consisting of the kids of Yakuza leaders). All the members are in class A and tend to be number one or two in their class coming from the wealthiest families in Japan with the exception of Haruhi. The twins are ranked fourth and fifth in their class and Haruhi is a scholarship student receiving the special privilege of being in class A due to her scholarship status (she is ranked number one in her year).
Customers have the freedom to choose which host will entertain them, playing to their specific needs and interests. Each member of the host club is a specific shōjo "type" designed to suit the varying tastes of female clients (Stoic, Silent, Devil, Loli Shōta, Prince). The twins, Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin, and cousins, Takashi Morinozuka ("Mori") and Mitsukuni Haninozuka ("Hunny"), showcase their respective close relationships to please or entertain customers. Tamaki Suoh is president and leader of the club, while Kyoya Ootori as vice president manages all the events for the club. The Third Music Room has been outfitted by the Club to accommodate their business and, at times, is elaborately decorated according to a specific theme, ranging from a tropical paradise to a traditional picnic, to heighten the customers' pleasure and keep things interesting.
The members of the club include:
- Haruhi Fujioka
- Unlike other characters in The Host Club,she comes from a poor family. It is thanks to the scholarship that she is able to enter Ouran High. The heroine of the story who ends up joining the club to pay back a debt she incurred by breaking a valuable vase. She has the gift and role of "natural host".
- Tamaki Suoh
- The idiotic host king, created and founded the club. He is very charismatic and charming and considers himself the "Daddy" of the group. He considers his relationship with Haruhi as paternal in nature, but is often seen using it to mask his true feelings that he is in love with her.
- Kyoya Ootori
- The Vice President of The Host Club, the co-founder, the third son of the Ootori Group. He, like the rest of the members of the club is very handsome. He is considered the "Mummy" of the group by Tamaki.
- Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin
- The twins; they are devious and funny. Haruhi, Tamaki and the twin's mother are the only ones who can tell them apart. Hikaru likes Haruhi despite the fact that she can tell the two twins apart. It is mentioned that Kaoru notices Hikaru's crush on Haruhi.
- Mitsukuni Haninozuka
- Also known as "Hunny" and the Loli-shota type. He looks like an elementary school child rather than the 18-year-old third-year student that he actually is. He is very strong, coming from a martial arts family and is very close to his cousin; Mori. In fact, he is so adept at martial arts that, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry, if he ever used his full ability, he could be classed as a weapon of mass destruction. Hunny is also the only host club member to call Mori by his first name.
- Takashi Morinozuka
- Also known as "Mori", his character is the strong, silent type. He is the tall, stoic member of the group. Mori dedicates his life to Hunny by protecting him and only gets emotional when Honey is injured or harmed. He is also very close to the other club members and many classmates look up to him because of his quiet, gentle nature, despite his intimidating appearance. He usually only speaks when necessary, and responds to questions mostly with monosyllabic answers. Mori's family served Hunny's family until a marriage two generations ago made them cousins. Even though the servant-master bond was technically broken, Mori still serves faithfully as Honey's guardian and best friend.
The Ouran High School Host Club manga started its run on August 5, 2003 in Japan in LaLa. Publication is ongoing, and individual chapters have been collected in fifteen tankōbon volumes as of September 2009. Hakusensha released a fanbook for the series on August 4, 2009 titled Ōran Kōkō Hosuto Kurabu Fanbukku: Uki Doki Kōryaku Daisakusen (桜蘭高校ホスト部(クラブ)ファンブック～うきドキ☆攻略大作戦～?). The series is licensed in English North America by Viz Media under its Shojo Beat imprint , and in Indonesia in the monthly manga magazine Hanalala. It is published in Singapore (in both simplified Chinese and English) by Chuang Yi.
The audio dramas were released from 2003. There are three drama CD releases, as well as two tracks included in LaLa magazine's twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth anniversary CDs. No English translation is available.
The anime television series premiered April 5, 2006 on Japan's Nippon Television network. The series was directed by Takuya Igarashi and written by Yōji Enokido, while the character designer and chief animation director for the series was Kumiko Takahashi. It also features a different cast from the audio dramas, with Maaya Sakamoto starring as Haruhi Fujioka and Mamoru Miyano portraying Tamaki Suoh. Ouran High School Host Club finished its run on September 26, 2006, totaling to twenty-six episodes.
The series is licensed for distribution in North America by Funimation Entertainment. Caitlin Glass is the ADR director of the series. The first anime DVD set containing the first thirteen episodes was released on October 28, 2008 in North America. The second volume containing the last thirteen episodes was released on January 6, 2009. On April 27, 2009, the series made its North American television debut on the FUNimation Channel.
Three soundtracks have been released by Video and Audio Project using music from the Ouran High School Host Club anime adaptation. The first, Ouran High School Host Club Soundtrack & Character Song Collection (Part 1) (桜蘭高校ホスト部サントラ&キャラソン集 <<前編>>?), was released in Japan on July 26, 2006 and contained twenty tracks, including the anime opening theme song. The second, Ouran High School Host Club Soundtrack & Character Song Collection 2 (桜蘭高校ホスト部サントラ&キャラソン集 <<後編>>?), contained an additional nineteen tracks and was released on August 23, 2006. On September 20, 2007, a third soundtrack, the Ouran High School Host Club Soundtrack & Character Song Collection Special Edition (桜蘭高校ホスト部 サントラ&キャラソン集《特別編》?) was released containing eight songs from the previous two tracks, with four additional songs.
The Ouran Host Club visual novel was released for PlayStation 2 on April 19, 2007 by Idea Factory. Based on the television series, the player makes decisions as Haruhi that affect the other hosts feelings toward her. The game features the characters of Jean-Pierre Léo, a long-time French friend of Tamaki, and Sayuri Himemiya, a childhood friend of Haruhi, designed by the series creator. There are two other original characters. The game has been released exclusively in Japan. A Nintendo DS port of the game, updated with a fully voiced cast and new character-specific scenarios, was released on March 19, 2009.
- "Ouran High School Host Club Vol. 1". Viz Media. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
- "Ouran High Host Club". Chuang Yi. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
- "桜蘭高校ホスト部(クラブ) 15" [Ouran High School Host Club, Vol. 15] (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 1, 2010.
- "桜蘭高校ホスト部(クラブ)ファンブック～うきドキ☆攻略大作戦～" (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 28, 2010.
- "Ouran English anime official website". Funimation Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- "Funimation Week 18 of 2009". Funimation Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
- Official Ouran High School Host Club manga website (Japanese)
- Official NTV Ouran High School Host Club anime website (Japanese)
- Official IDeaf Ouran Host Club visual novel website (Japanese)
- Official Ouran High School Host Club DS visual novel website (Japanese)
- Official Shojo Beat Ouran High School Host Club manga website
- Official Funimation Ouran website
- Ouran High School Host Club (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
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