Josh's Anime Blog Podcast Episode 79

Josh’s Anime Blog Podcast Episode #79 is now online! In this podcast, I review the anime series Ouran High School Host Club.  I also go through everything we know to this point about the Geneon-Funimation deal as well as the Funimation-Sojitz-ADV ruckus.

This week’s Podcast Stats:
Time: 28:00
Download Size: 19.2 MB

Opening theme:
“Kaidoku Funou” by Jinn
Second opening theme to Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Ending theme:
“Shissou” by LAST ALLIANCE
Ending theme to Ouran High School Host Club

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Flash Player: [audio:http://www.joshsanimeblog.com/podcast/JABPEpisode79.mp3%5D

Directly: http://www.joshsanimeblog.com/podcast/JABPEpisode79.mp3

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Funimation Licenses Strain, Shigurui, RxJ, and D. Gray Man

On top of the 3 licenses earlier this week, Funimation has now announced licenses for Strain: Strategic Armored Infantry (a.k.a. Soukou no Strain), Shigurui: Death Frenzy, Romeo x Juliet, and D. Gray-Man late last week and today.

That brings the total number of series licensed up to 7 this week. Funimation also reportedly said that they would announce Ouran High School Host Club‘s release date on May 30th and also said that Darker than Black‘s production has been delayed due to a materials dealy from Japan in their Anime Central panel today.

Ouran High School Host Club – Anime Review

The Essentials

Ouran High School Host ClubName: Ouran High School Host Club
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Episodes: 26
Released: April 5, 2006 – September 26, 2006
Based On: Ouran High School Host Club manga by Bisco Hatori
Director: Takuya Igarashi
Produced By: BONES
US Distribution By: Funimation

Major Japanese Cast

Haruhi Fujioka: Maaya Sakamoto
Tamaki Suou: Mamoru Miyano
Kyoya Ohtori: Masaya Matsukaze
Hikaru Hitachiin: Kenichi Suzumura
Kaoru Hitachiin: Yoshinori Fujita
Mitsukuni Haninozuka: Ayaka Saito
Takashi Morinozuka: Daisuke Kirii

Major English Cast

N/A

Scores

Animation: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Story: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Music: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 8/10 (x 2 = 16 pts)
English Dubs: N/A
Gut Score: 8/10 (x 5 = 40 pts)

Total: 164/190 (86.3%)

Review

Ouran High School Host Club is about a high school girl – Haruhi Fujioka – who attends the super-affluent private Ouran High School as a scholarship student. However, due to her short hair and how she dresses, she’s easily mistaken as a boy. One day, Haruhi looks around the school looking for a quiet place to study when she stumbles upon the Third Music Room and there meets the Host Club – a club meant to allow “these handsome guys that have time, to give hospitality to these lovely ladies who also have time, and profit off of it.”

However, after being picked on for a while by the club’s president and founder, Tamaki Suou, Haruhi backs into a pedestal with a vase on it, tipping it over and sending the vase to the floor, shattering it. Kyoya, the very shrewd vice president of the club, tells Haruhi that the vase was valued at ¥8,000,000 (or about $80,000) and that she will have to work the debt off by being the Host Club’s “dog.” However,Tamaki (who believes Haruhi is a boy) suddenly sees how beautiful Haruhi is and immediately promotes her to be a host. However, Tamaki soon discovers that Haruhi is a girl, but they decide to allow her to keep working as a host, provided that she keep her gender hidden.

What results is a pretty funny series about the exploits of the Host Club and it’s members. This includes taking different archetypes of shojo series and lampooning them relentlessly, both by making fun of the archetypes themselves, but by revealing that how the characters actually behave outside of club activities are often quite different from the archtype they portray within the club.

The series also frequently makes jokes about the class difference between Haruhi and the other members of the Host Club, both with Haruhi being annoyed at amazingly high-class things being seen as every-day things by the members of the host club, as well as the club member’s – especially Tamaki’s and the Hitachiin twins’ – fascination with how “those in poverty” live, such as being amazed with a package of instant coffee that Haruhi brings to the club one day.

All this comedy doesn’t mean that there aren’t story lines, however. While there isn’t necessarily a central story that runs through the entire series, other than Haruhi’s working off her debt by being in the Host Club, one does discover, over the course of the series, the background of all the major characters and how they all ended up in the Host Club. Haruhi also eventually learns about how being in a wealthy family isn’t necessarily as easy as she may have thought, either.

The technical aspects of the show shine as well. The animation is executed pretty well, despite the show sometimes switching from one animation style to another, depending on the mood in the scene. However, these transitions appear to be pretty seamless, and actually add to the show, I think. The music is also pretty good all-around. While the series has been licensed by Funimation, it hasn’t been released yet, and thus there is no dub to score yet.

Overall, if you’re looking for a good, quality laugh, Ouran High School Host Club is definitely a series you should look at checking out.

First Watched: July – August 2007
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes