Ouran High School Host Club 18

February 14, 2013

Bisco Hatori – Viz – 2012 – 18 volumes

Yay, last volume! I decided to save this one for a special occasion. Admittedly, maybe reading the end of 13th Boy would have brought me more pleasure, but it’s hard to deny Tamaki the holiday.

Two things: Again, I start to get annoyed with a series when so many characters are involved. Ouran has been cast-heavy from the very beginning, but the ending is bringing everyone forward for their one last appearance. Plus, while the storyline is all about Tamaki and Haruhi, which I absolutely want to hear about, it’s almost more about how much the other characters can meddle. Sometimes their meddling brings out Tamaki’s inner clown, which is what I want to see the most. Most of the time it’s just a bunch of characters talking. Which is the second point. This is probably the most dialogue-heavy shoujo manga EVER. All the dialogue is necessary to make each member of the host club their own character, but again, I could do with much less characters being themselves, getting all chatty over the relationship of Tamaki and Haruhi.

Those are big minuses. But it was totally worth it to see Tamaki stressing and being himself when trying to plan the perfect first date with Haruhi. Seeing him stress about what to wear, and the crazy lengths he went to in order to impress her, that’s exactly what I love about this series. Tamaki is so silly, and the stoic, unemotional Haruhi really is a good match for him. The number of times she almost bailed out on their first date was really funny, but it was just as charming when Tamaki’s bizarre plans, like magic tricks, came to bear when cheering up a lost child rather than entertaining a bored Haruhi. Also really adorable was when Haruhi occasionally called Tamaki’s bluff and caved in to his demands, which would make Tamaki speechless. It was such a funny, charming, and wonderful romance story, it’s just a shame it was buried under all that dialogue and other characters.

The volume is huge, and the epilogue contains a long story about Kyoya. It’s more Host Club shenanigans with all the characters, except set in Spain, with Kyoya and his family problems at the center. It’s a cute story, and very much in the spirit of the series. And I do love Kyoya. but at that point… I really was done reading the series, and was disappointed it wasn’t more about Tamaki and Haruhi by themselves. They do get their own, very brief, short story at the end, but it just didn’t satisfy.

But man. I did love this series. It got a little overly-serious and very talky at the end, but Tamaki makes the whole thing worth it. He’s a great romantic interest.

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