Posted by psgels on 28 September 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews

Ouran is a high-school comedy-drama with a twist: the school this anime takes place in is only for the children of the richest parents in Japan. It’s meant for those children who are able to spend a huge amount of money. The only way for non-rich people to get in the school is to have exceptionally good grades.

Well then, for some reason, rich people don’t have to do any homework, so they huge amounts of time to spend. This anime is about the Host Club of this school. It’s basically a way for the rich people to spend their time. The club consists out of a group of bishounen, who all entertain the ladies who come to the host club. Then, a female, pretending to be a male joins the club, and the anime starts.

Ouran’s strength is its novelty. The bad thing is that it doesn’t seem to realize this. I’m afraid to say it, but most of the episodes, this anime just keeps milking on old concepts they already tried, up to the point at which things just become incredibly boring. An example of this is our main character’s sarcasm. When this gets used in the first episode, it’s funny. Same in the second episode. But when she reacts the same way in over twenty episodes, the fun quickly dies. It’s a darn shame, as the episodes which introduce new things really worked out. Both in comedy as in drama.

You can really see this in the episodes in which one or two particular characters stand in the spotlights. All these episodes basically to is retell things from other episodes, only a bit changed and twisted in order to make them look unique. It’s also strange that the annoying characters get three or four episodes for themselves, while another character doesn’t get even half of an episode. Still, this made the latter one of the better characters.

Still, I have to admit, in terms of character development, the characters of Ouran are very fleshed out. The episodes do give characters the chance of showing their unique cases, and later in the series, you can spot the changes. While this does look boring the moment when you see it, the overall picture that this gives is impressive.

Like I said, some of the characters are unique. Others, however, do not fit in this anime. The image of a small, cute, cuddly child who happens to be the strongest master of martial arts on the planet was just too forced. I also didn’t like the fact that being the richest also automatically means being the strongest, smartest, best, or any other superior element. The creators also didn’t really attempt to deviate from this, apart from having a main character who’s poor. But even then there’s no emphasis put on this, which is a shame, as it’s an interesting subject.

Overall, Ouran did have its very good moments. Some episodes were just hilarious. It’s just too bad that these good episodes were surrounded by bad episodes. Still, it remains a fairly good comedy, and the drama aspects were fine. It’ll be a fine watch, although boring at times.

30 Responses

  1. I think the great speciality in Ouran lies in the face expressions. They were such a great laugh sometimes, and I haven’t seen another anime that can be so funny just in the face expressions.

    Further it’s just like you said. Ouran can be fun but overall, it’s also very boring.

  2. Angelle says:

    I think the mangaka intentionally created weird, stereotypical characters (such as the cutest looking one is the oldest, the guy with the glasses thinks only about profit, etc.) so that we realize the stupidity through the eyes of sarcasm girl. Furthermore, you cannot expect drastic character changes because in real life, nobody changes that fast within one year. That is another strength of the show; the characters develop just a little. ^^”
    I do agree though that there were some boring moments, for me especially in the middle with all the forced drama and hardly anything enlightening in between.

  3. helspectre says:

    you know, of all the people and things and Ouran, I’m only interesting in Tamaki and Kyouya mainly. The rest are a tad wierd.

  4. Bri says:

    I LUV THIS ANIME!!!! I HOPE THEY DECIDE TO SHOW A SECIND SEASON!!!!! IF NOT IM SUEING!!!! -kisses to Hikaru!!!!!- I HEART U!!!!! -and to Kaoru as well-…. they’re all hot but the twins..are the hottest!!!

  5. jennifer says:

    I love tamaki! he is my favourite whos your favourite?

  6. psgels psgels says:

    Mori, of course. :P

  7. Imbroco says:

    I’ve got to disagree with this one — it’s one of my all time favorites. I found it both touching and uproarious. Simply my oppinion, but I’d give it at least a 95.

  8. demon says:

    hmm..think anime is funny…good comedy? yea…and the characters are kinda cute…[ u guys said ] the face expression is very good too~ thats why i love it..i am nvr bored about it…[ but still...sometimes] but overall…like u all said…its a nice anime..XD

  9. Sakura says:

    I love….Tamaki he’s so kawaii

  10. HITACHIIN FANS! says:

    This anime is awsome! I can’t express it but I’m totally addicting to it!!! but sadlly, there is no 2nd season, I’m sure of it! my fav. character is kyouya and hikaru! I can’t write Hika/Haru fics coz of Kaoru!when I’m almost done writting my masterpiece and the main role was Haru/hika but when it came at the end at the last minute i said : Wait! What happens to Kaoru then?!” sometimes I feel like Kaoru is in the way of his brother and haruhi’s relationship although he means well, he is willing to sacrifice his love for haruhi and supprot his broother…so I always ended up always making it Kyouya and Haruhi fics….I don’t like Tamaki! I kinda Hate him…most of the twins’ fans never did like him, but now their hatred for him outright by demanding he cease anywhere near Haruhi! You rock guys!

    Hands down to Bisco HAtori!

  11. Jamila says:

    I can’t agree, especially, because you don’t seem to get that it’s a parody of all shojos that do that.

  12. Oya says:

    Hm…I think that this anime isn’t as bad as you had review.
    I had good fun watching it!



  14. Serenade says:

    I disagree with the rating! D8 (Objection~!)

    Ouran is /meant/ to be outrageously stereoptypical and annoying — to the point of hilarious. It’s crazy, random, overdramatic, loud, flamboyant… and that’s its very purpose.

    The ultimate strength of the anime is its characters; each has his/her specific place and specialty (Tamaki – king, Kyouya – Scrooge, Haruhi – sarcastic voice of reason), but as the show progresses (in between bouts of laughter) we find that these characters actually do not fit solely into their outrageous stereotypes. They are simply people, and as Tamaki says, contradictions are what makes a personality.

    And personally, I didn’t find any of the characters annoying — not even Renge, after a while. The point is not to take them seriously, because 90% of the time, they’re just being crazy teenagers. I love Honey-senpai, and I never tire of Haruhi’s cynical, down-to-earth comments. I think that the show’s absolute insanity is perfectly interspersed with touches of reality (from the poor folk, o’ course).

    It’s really great; you just have to go with the eccentric flow. I’d give it a 90+.

  15. Serenade says:

    Mah favoritez are Hikaru/Kaoru. =3

  16. stephen007 says:

    Oh man, I too will have to disagree with this review, well as they say everyone has their own thoughts and views. I’d probably rate this one 90+, and i think majority of people who watched this series will do so…

  17. Stephen007 says:

    Wow, the way you explained your thoughts about this series is well done! You also pointed out things that most Ouran Fans wouldn’t notice. A very interesting point of view, i think the reason youre able to point them out us because you’ve already watched ALOT of anime series (Was it 300+?). Which probably makes you a good critic of anime. People who watched only a few series will probably think youre nuts considering ouran might be one of the best of those few series that they have, hahaha.

    BUT STILL, i have to say the score is TOO LOW, i will still rate it around 90 or above. Were all waiting for you to change the rating and make it higher or expect alot more angry mobs for this blog. lolz

  18. ceillo says:

    I think your expectation for this series was too high. It’s a comedy and it was made to make people laugh. I for one couldn’t stop laughing while I watched this, and I still did the second time around. The great thing about this anime was of course the animation, it was absolutely gorgeous. I really appreciated this aspect when I watched Special A, god that was pitiful. Overall I would rate Ouran High School Host Club 89+ for a job well done.

  19. monica says:

    um…i thought this anime series was great. it was hilarious but ceillo dont diss special a. it was a pretty good anime though ouran high school host club is way better. i found special A a decent series. i felt like i had to say thid since you were the only one who mentioned it. i would rate ouran high school host club 95+, oh yeah why is everyone giving it a 90+. please give this anime higher ratings!

  20. Sarah says:

    “I also didn’t like the fact that being the richest also automatically means being the strongest, smartest, best, or any other superior element. The creators also didn’t really attempt to deviate from this, apart from having a main character who’s poor.”
    I can agree with you, if you took this series at the same level as all other series. However, that is precisely why I cannot. This series is a parody and that’s why you can’t really judge it on that basis since what you just commented on was exactly what the makers wanted to comment on. This show pokes fun of anime stereotypes/cliches (especially character cliches). Also, if anything seemed forced, like Honey’s character (which I agree with) it is likely a result of this ‘parody’ or because the anime producers had to wrap things up without including full character development (the manga didn’t finish yet). Or it could be a combo of the two.

  21. Sarah says:

    Sorry, one more thing to add. One thing I really do agree on is Haruhi. I really don’t think she was developed enough in comparison to the rest of the characters, in particular the twins and Tamaki who received amazing development, and yes, she did end up seeming a bit stale. But once again – I think the reason was because the manga didn’t end yet. The last episode gave a bit more insight into her character at least.

  22. Gaby says:

    I see how you can think this, a favorite of yours being Utena. Ouran just parodies what Utena deconstructs. Just look at the concept of princes of each show – Tamaki’s behavior in Ouran, and Akio in Utena, along with the many, many other ways the latter toys with the idea. Ouran just seems silly in comparison.

    You can find nice characters and sentimentality anywhere.

  23. Mallorie says:

    One of my favorite aspects of Ouran was the parody angle. Stereotypes were taken to over-the-top levels intentionally, and for the sake of comedy, and it really worked for the series.

    Wish Hunny and Mori got fleshed out a little more, and I agree with some of your criticisms on Haruhi. However, I also agree with Sarah, in that the last two episodes helped her grow a little.

  24. Kitty says:

    I fear the author, unfortunately, didn’t pick up on the subtle satire this anime so artfully utilizes.

  25. Miru-kun says:

    Please read this long message before jumping to conclusions.

    I first heard of Ouran in 2008 from a fanmade video on Youtube. Since I needed a new anime to watch I decided to try it out. I have to say this truthfully, when I first watched it the internet was very slow and I could only get through half of the first episode and that was enough for me. I was bored and thought nothing about it, but kept it on my long list of animes I never finished just in case it popped up in a conversation; never watched it though.
    Now it is the great year of 2010 and I’m looking for an anime site to watch new animes. I asked my friend for a site and she asked me what animes I had already finished (at this point in time I had only finished one series with a lot that I hadn’t watched completely). She asked for a list of animes that I hadn’t finished and I told her the list that included Ouran; she said I needed to finish that one first and then she would give me the sites, so of course I watched it.
    I don’t know what happened the first time I watched, but I instantly became hooked all the way until the last episode, in which I cried because it was over (I’m a huge wuss). Ouran to that date is my all time favorite anime, so much that I told all my friends about it and made my cousin watch it. They loved it too. If I had to rate it I’d give it a 90/100. No anime is perfect, but few are good enough to make me cry and laugh so hard. It’s comedy and it’s supposed to make you laugh with sterotypes and other annoying things. Some how the characters weren’t the usual sterotype though. Tamaki can come off as the blonde airhead that only cares about his beauty, but he so much more than that.
    Still have to disagree with that rating like most of the people here.
    (I’m a Kyoya fan by the way :)

  26. Firechick says:

    I don’t disrespect your opinion, psgels, but I will admit that I really like this anime (though I need to finish watching the dub). You also forgot to mention that Haruhi (sarcasm girl) isn’t one of those whiny female leads who need to be rescued and scooped up by bishounen every 3 seconds (*coughHakuokicough*) and actually tries to be independent. That’s what I mostly like about her. This is one of the first 26 episode anime that I actually managed to finish watching when I began becoming ambitious about anime (when I was around 12-13 years old). I do kind of feel that you rated this a tad low.

  27. bia says:

    i began re-watching ouran for the last 3 days and boy,it reminded me of how much i love it.
    for me ouran is a rare find,i have never enjoyed an anime this much and rewatched it so many times i’ve lost count.the characters are pretty likeable,sometimes downright hilarious especially tamaki.
    the only thing i didn’t like was the ending it felt like it was forced.but overall i had so much fun watching ouran.i honestly think this deserves a 90+ rating.

  28. bia says:

    i began re-watching ouran for the last 3 days and boy,it reminded me of how much i love it.
    for me ouran is a rare find,i have never enjoyed an anime this much and rewatched it so many times i’ve lost count.the characters are pretty likeable,sometimes downright hilarious especially tamaki.
    the only thing i didn’t like was the ending it felt like it was forced.but overall i had so much fun watching ouran.i honestly think this deserves a 90+ rating.

  29. ManuOtaku says:

    Psgels i respect your opinion, and this is my second years seen your reviews, and strongly believe that you have a keen eye to capture the failures and good points for animes on all departments.
    Having said that i think you didnt get ouran for what it is a very well done satire, a good reverse harem with really strong characters (over the top i must say), i believe you only had two missteps on all your reviews, this one of course and welcome to the NHK, both of these series are really special and deserve it a better score comming from you, but like i said is your opinion and i respect, but do not share it though.

  30. kura says:

    I can’t agree with your review. It took me just 2 episodes to run out to the book store and purchase all the available Ouran manga volumes. This anime is one of the best that I’ve ever watched, whether in animation quality, humour and characterization. There may not have been much of a plot but it is understandable as the anime covers a small part of the manga. The ending of the anime might not have been so good because it was a filler made up by the anime production team but I still love this series. I’d rate it a 95/100 imo.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:31 PM)
    I’m trying not to get my hopes up however, given that it wouldn’t be surprising if he gave us another filler chapter like he did with that pointless flashback.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:26 PM)
    I enjoyed this chapter of berserk and it made me immediately think “Finally now we’re getting somewhere”. I have been flicking through older chapters of the manga and wow, this really has turned into something fairly different. Bam is right about Gut’s reason to go to elfland. I think its impossible now to get a satisfactory ending out of berserk though we’ve been waiting too long.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:14 PM)
    The alternative is that Miura wants to bank on this till he dies; can’t blame him cuz you can always bet on black (swordsman).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:13 PM)
    @Aidan: I think the point was originally to heal Caska (hence Farnese showing hesitation in fear of losing Guts when Caska is back) but then so many people tagged along that I don’t think the party knows anymore why they’re going there, just that they were supposed to. I have said before but I’m sure that either Miura doesn’t know what to do or has serious doubts about the ending.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:52 PM)
    Fairy dust, stargate, riding dragons, ruby slippers…anything to get Gut’s back on track to taking revenge. Miura needs to end this. He’s sick of making it and we are sick of waiting yet he drags the thing to high heaven.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:48 PM)
    It’s been so long I can’t even remember why they were going to elfhelm in the first place. Also was that a one piece joke?
    I like his art but yes, going simpler for moving the story along would be a better idea. Even if he needs to downgrade to the level of one punch man webcomic standards to bring weekly releases.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:14 PM)
    I just hope they teleport back to Midland or something, or ride faeries or whatever, I don’t Gove a damn, just anything but the boat. #NoMoreBoat
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:13 PM)
    The artistry remains incredible, with every frame filled to the brim with details, almost to the point of tiring the eye. It looks great and all, but I wouldn’t mind some simplicity for the sake of more frequent Berserk. I swear Guts’ entourage has grown so numerous and colorful that they’re almost like a traveling circus. I didn’t even remember that Roderick and a whole bunch of other people are also on the boat.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:06 PM)
    I enjoy Rickert but this chapter made me remember how better the story gets when Guts is back in the picture. This was a primer chapter and spent most of its time touching bases and getting the story back on track, and it did that wonderfully and humorously.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:01 PM)
    I was tryna stay spoiler free, but you’re goddamn right they got there! Few months back when Miura got it running again I said I believed that if Guts didn’t get to Elfhelm before the next hiatus then the series will probably never end. I really did feel that way and had little hope, but alas, rejoice indeed.

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