Woohoo, Jdrama breaks in-between the Kdramas is truly refreshing, and this time it’s another manga adaption, which I absolutely love. “Ouran High School Host Club” is based on a manga of the same name by Bisco Hatori, which was adapted into a 26 episodes anime. The drama, as well as the anime, doesn’t go the full distance and show the blossoming relationship of Haruhi and Tamaki, but it’s absolutely hilarious and funny and has some cute moments. Here goes the review, with some spoilers and pic spam. 😀
- General info:
Title: 桜蘭高校ホスト部 / Gekijoban Oran Koko Hosutobu / Ouran High School Host Club
Episodes: 11 episodes + a movie.
Haruhi Fujioka is a female high school student the prestigious Ouran Academy. Unlike most of the students who come from wealthy families, Haruhi Fujioka comes from a modest family background and entered the school with an academic scholarship. One day, she wanders around the campus and stumbles by accident into the school’s “host club”. The host club consists of six handsome male students who entertain female students.
In the room, Haruhi unintentionally breaks an antique vase worth 8 million YEN. To repay for the broken vase, the six male members of the host club makes Haruhi join them – not realizing that Haruhi is actually a girl!
Haruhi Fujioka (played by Haruna Kawaguchi): The hard-working simple-minded sweet girl, who comes from an ordinary background. This girl has no regard for gender differences whatsoever, until Tamaki knocks some sense into that brain of hers. I absolutely loved her in the manga, and in the anime she was cute and really sweet, in the drama there times when I really saw that Haruhi in her, and there were times when I just didn’t. I always pictured Horikita Maki playing her, but Haruna did a good job considering that she’s very young. She goes through some experiences, her first love, and her first time dealing with the real world, and having a bunch of goofy real friends. She’s got to be one of the luckiest heroines.
Tamaki Suou (played by Yusuke Yamamoto): The goofy, dorky, handsome, and charming king of the Host club, and the heir for Suou corporations. This guy is definitely my love, I loved all versions of him, and they were all the same. He’s hyper active, really fond of family concept because of his issues with his own family. His grandmother doesn’t accept him as a grandson or a heir because he’s the son of a French woman his father loved and his grandmother never accepted her. Yet, all these issues made him turn into this sweet loving person, whose goal is to make all the people around him smile, how sweet is that? Oh, and he falls in love with Haruhi, and they do end up together, now that’s perfection.
Kyoya Otori (played by Shunsuke Daito): The scheming, calculating brain of the host club, and the one with all the dirty tricks and secrets, who doesn’t do a thing if it doesn’t benefit him, but that change around his host club friends. He’s the third son so he always thought that he didn’t have any chance of inheriting his father’s so he never worked hard until he met Tamaki. Tamaki made him establish the host club alongside him, and changed his way of thinking and made him work harder to become more qualified than his brothers to inherit his father’s business. He’s a dark character, who seems to be scheming all the time and has some secret weapons that would do good in blackmailing, scary.
Mitsukuni Haninozuka aka Honey Senpei (played by Yudai Chiba): The cute, little, sweet-loving, Karate-champion, and adorable Honey Senpai. He’s the son of a big family specialized in martial arts, that’s why it was hard for him considering his cute appearance and his love for kawai things and sweet food. It was when Tamaki invited him to join the host club and be who he really was, then he dropped the tough act of a martial arts fighter and started being his cute adorable self. In the drama though, his background story wasn’t enough, they didn’t even focus on his complex relationship with his brother, he deserved more time. And Yudai, though he’s adorable, at many times he made me cringe, his over-cuteness was…at many times, too much! I didn’t love his role too much, which is a pity, because I adored the manga/anime Honey Senpai, with his occasional dark side, when he’s deprived of his sweet food and Usa Chan.
Takashi Morinozuka aka Mori Senpai (played by Masaya Nakamura): The poker-faced, emotionless, and Honey Senpai’s guardian, Mor Senpai. He appears as this character who deosn’t talk much (or ever) with no emotions on his face, and he only seems to know of Honey Senpai alone, he protects him, stays with him all the time. It’s no wonder, as Mori’s ancestors used to work for Honey’s ancestor, so that resulted in their current relationship. His family also specializes in the martial arts field. He doesn’t get a sufficient background story, and he joins the host club when Honey decides to join. But I guess the manga did him right, the drama wasn’t fair with him.
Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin (played by Manpei and Shinpei Takagi): The adorable, cunning, manipulative twins, who live in their own little world. Ever since their childhood, they lived in their own world, not letting anyone get closer to them. Even though they want people to tell them apart, they make it harder for them to do so, and enjoy seeing them suffer. They also have some issues in their family with their mother being distant, it was in the manga, I’m disappointed that the drama didn’t give them enough background story. They agreed to join Tamaki’s host club, and their world began to widen bit by bit, until they met Haruhi. Unfortunately, they both fall in love with her; it leads to too much drama, which ends in them both beginning to mature. They’re the best twins’ characters ever.
Family: We don’t see much family here, which is a shame, in the manga the diversity of families was great. Haruhi’s father, who ends up working as a transvestite after her mother dies, and dresses as a woman the whole time, is truly great and loves his daughter dearly. Tamaki’s father too is a great father who tries to make Tamaki’s grandmother accept him in the family.
The king of acting in this drama was definitely Yusuke, he did a great job as Tamaki, I’m sure that he’s read the manga AND watched the anime, he’s like a real-flesh Tamaki, and I was impressed by him. Though there are a lot of people annoyed at his over-acting, but I mean that’s how Tamaki’s character is, and he did it perfectly. Shunsuke as Kyoya was amazing too, I didn’t think of a better Kyoya. As for the Takagi twins, they have a lot of potential, they should have been given more roles and more to do, because they’re definitely the best Kaoru and Hikaru. Also Shigeyuki Totsugi as Ranka or Haruhi’s father, though he didn’t appear much, is hilarious.
- Is it funny?
Do you wanna die of laughter? Well, this drama is one of the solutions, really Jdramas are hilarious and this is just one other example. It’s funny; the over-acting is hilarious, and wellو you will laugh with each episode more and more.
- Is it Romantic/Tear-jerking?
It’s supposed to be Romantic, but the drama sadly merely mentions the romance between Haruhi and Tamaki, which is a shame. They have such a sweet love story, also Hikaru love for Haruhi and Kaoru’s sacrifice are simply tear jerking. But no, you won’t cry during the drama, nor there is that much romance either.
There’s this song as the drama’s theme song which is “Friday-Ma-Magic” by miwa, which is a light pop-ish and upbeat song, with a lot of happy feels, it really suits the drama.
- Hotness level/Style:
Well, most of the boys are hot/cute, Yusuke and Shunusuke are adorable AND hot, Shinpei and Manpei are my second favorites, they’re adorable, especially Manpei (Yes, I can tell them apart 😀 ). There isn’t much style here, but there are all of the cosplays they do at the host club, which are really impressive.
- Manga vs. Anime vs. Drama:
Plot: In Manga, the plot was flawless, we got romance in Haruhi x Tamaki x Hitachin Twins love rectangle, background stories, wonderful incidents, and a sweet ending. In Anime, more than half of the manga wasn’t even there, it was still hilarious and all, but no enough romance or background stories. In Drama, It’s funny, but it’s even shorter than the anime, and there are no background stories as they should be, and the romance is merely there. I certainly hope that there would be a second season for the drama to fix this.
Characters: In Manga, the character had room for growth and development and to change over the series, and they were done in an amazing way. In Anime, they were perfectly portrayed, though some of their main life events weren’t there. In drama, MOST of them were perfectly portrayed; Mori portrayal didn’t hit me, neither honey. I wished that they’d have taken more of the original manga chapters and done more episodes with them.
In conclusion, the manga was perfect, the anime kinda disappointed me, I wanted it to be longer, and 26 episodes weren’t enough. The anime was great but I was waiting for a second season. Then the drama came and I had high hopes for them to be crushed again, and they once again didn’t go the complete distance, showing the full drama, is it too much to ask for? I want to see the conflicts and sweetness I loved in the manga.
- Did it end well?
I have the feeling that its open-ended for a reason, maybe they’re doing a season 2? The drama was great and the ending was cute and all, the movie too, though bizarre, had some true and main conflicts, but I didn’t like the ending once again, it’s sweet but leaves us wondering, “Why isn’t there more? Ouran manga had much more interesting plots”. I’m praying for announcing a second season anytime now!
- Rating: 4.5/5 … the incompleteness and missing all of my favorite plot parts are kinda the reason, though I enjoyed it.