In which our
hero heroine becomes imprisoned by debt, and the host club finds out she's a reverse trap. Which we the viewers already knew, because it's kind of spoiled in the premise. Whoops.
Housekeeping Just a few notes. If you're seeing this for the first time and wondering what it is, then this is the Ani-Club. You can find out more about it here. As a reminder discussion is for the episodes of the week and impressions of the series so far. This means there will be spoilers, so don't feel as if you have to hold back on plot details. The idea is that everyone will have seen up to the current episodes and so it won't be a problem. However if you've seen the series before or have watched ahead be mindful you don't spoil later parts of the series. This is more a general Ani-club rule rather than something specific to the current series. Finally I've been thinking it might be a better idea to move to three episodes a week rather than two. If we do this it will be after week three (episodes 5-6) so that the remaining 18 episodes can be evenly spread across 6 weeks. Let me know what you think.
I found it interesting how the first episode was presented, it would have been more effective if I didn't already know Haruhi wasn't a guy. I thought the light bulbs were a none too subtle but fun way of showing when it clicked with the other club members. Some are more perceptive than others, Tamaki is lovably dense on the other hand. That aside the first episode is fairly typical. Here are the characters, here is the setting, here is the set-up. It doesn't overcomplicate things, and it lays everything out on the table in the space of a single episode. At the end of the day though it's a comedy series, you don't really need much more from a first episode. It's nice to know what you're getting into right from the bat.
The characters are likeable for the most part, but so far they seem to run the fairly standard gamut of archetypes. The show does a good job of lampshading this though, noting they've got someone to suit everyones tastes. Hopefully we'll see them develop a bit more over the course of the series. Haruhi is an interesting exception however. Although she's there to serve as the straight
man woman to the host clubs antics her indifference to her gender adds a bit of complexity. It was kind of refreshing to see an anime character that didn't respond with cliched over the top violence upon someone walking in on them changing.
With introductions out of the way the second episode jumps into what the host club is all about. Apparently they have a mission statement and everything: make women happy. Just women though, their fellow man can find his own happiness as far as the host club is concerned. The plot of this episode is fairly typical, the old story of boy likes girl and girl likes boy but both of them suck at expressing their feelings and recognising the others feelings. Naturally an intervention is needed for a happy ending, and the host club is all too happy to provide. For the girls sake of course.
While the plot of this episode was fairly run of the mill I can't deny its execution wasn't enjoyable. Then again you can't really expect an engaging plot from a series like this. The main draw is the characters and how they interact. The plot is just a device to facilitate those interactions. Entertaining highlights of this episode was Haruhi being made to reverse cross-dress (is that even a thing?) and being cajoled into kissing another girl through bribery. We also saw the establishment of some running gags, chief among them bringing up how poor Haruhi is compared to the other students at Ouran. I can't imagine that this will be the last time the Host Club uses her debt to manipulate her either.
So far I'm enjoying the series. It's fun, funny, and light-hearted. I have a slight worry that the episodes may devolve into being a little formulaic, having a girl of the week that the hosts lend their aid to. But the next episode preview looks like they may be averting this.
Well that's my take on things, discuss your impressions below and remember to watch episodes 3 and 4 by next week.