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DVD Review

DVD cover

Ouran High School Host Club
Series 1 - Part 2


Starring (voice): Ayaka Saito, Daisuke Kirii, Kenichi Suzumura and Mamoru Miyano
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 15 June 2009

Haruhi Fujioka is a young female high school student who one day crosses paths with the Ouran High School Host Club, a collection of the school's elite males who combine both intelligence and good looks. Together the club hire themselves out for romantic liaisons. When Haruhi breaks a valuable vase, she is forced to join the club to pay off her debt. The problem is, because of her androgynous look, the club think that she is a boy...

Season One - Part Two of Ouran High School Host Club (2006) continues the romantic comedy of cross dressing and romantic misunderstandings, from the BONES studio. The show was directed by Takuya Igarashi and written by Yōji Enokido. If you take the show at face value, it’s probably a good representation of a genre aimed at teenage girls. Not being one myself, if truth be told its appeal is a bit lost on me.

This two-disc set covers the second and concluding half of Season One and contains thirteen episodes full of vacuous frivolity. The show doesn’t have a story arc as such, much of the humour comes from the fact that Haruhi is posing as a boy and, given that the Host Club rents the males out for high class dating... Well, we can all see where this is going. To be honest, with that premise, the most basic of authors could pump out endless narratives which deal with a comedy of errors, no Shakespeare needed here.

So, disc one covers episodes fourteen to twenty wherein we find shenanigans around the club's newspaper, a couple of episodes dealing with Haruhi getting a job at a lodging house and the most bizarre episode where the club try to understand what it is to be a common person - presumably Japan is as hieratical as ever. By way of extras disc one has trailers for three other shows - in other words adverts - and six pages of the manga, which is unreadable unless you have a fifty inch telly.

Disc two holds episodes twenty-one to twenty-six, and is another set of episodes dealing with matters of the heart. The high point here is the last episode, where it looks like the club will be disbanded. There are no extras on disc two.

It may seem like a short review but this is a show with a formula, so each episode is pretty indistinguishable from any other, a bit like Scooby Doo. Ask anyone to tell you the plot of Scooby Doo and it’s generally funky ghosts in a funfair and those pesky kids who finally foil the owner’s nefarious plot, with the odd subplot about shaggy and food. There was most probably more plots but formulaic shows tend to be like candy floss, fun while your experiencing it, but it’s never going to remain in your memory for long. I’m now going to be beaten by rabid Scooby Doo fans!

The show has a pretty decent level of animation with the option of either an English 2.0 dub track or the original 2.0 Japanese track with optional subtitles.


Charles Packer

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