Monday, March 21, 2011

An Over-Detailed Analysis of Ouran High School Host Club

Minna-san, konnichiwa!  Victoria desu!

I'm ridiculously obsessed with a certain anime called "Ouran High School Host Club" (for now, I will just call 'Ouran' because it's stressing to keep typing the full title).  I'm not particularly obsessed with Ouran because of the story or because of the story but more of the characters created in this anime.  It's never very often I come across an anime with terrific character development.  I learned about this anime at a convention, of course.  I was sitting at an AMV (anime music video) contest, watching the AMVs, when there were two different videos in the same category using scenes from Ouran.  Everyone seemed to get excited about the two videos and based on the scenes I saw, I was particularly prepared to go home and start watching this yaoi anime (as I thought it was going to be).

The anime is about a girl named Haruhi Fujioka.  As a commoner, she is somewhat looked down upon when she enters Ouran Academy, which is an elite and private academy only for the sons and daughters of the rich and famous.  Since she got to Ouran Academy on scholarship, she sticks out like a sore thumb.  To make matters worse, her haggard, boyish appearance makes everyone think she is a male.  While at first, Haruhi just lets everyone think so, when she breaks an expensive vase in the academy's music room, she is asked to work off her debt in replacing it by become the errand boy for the academy's host club, which is a club that specializes in entertaining the young ladies of the academy.  When Tamaki, the host club king, realizes Haruhi's good looks, he officially makes Haruhi a host and tells her she has to get 1000 clients to request her services to erase her debt.  But once they find out Haruhi is actually female, things get interesting!

Now, I know I'm not too good with synopsis's, but like I said, the story isn't what caught my eye.  It's the actual characters that captured me.

1.  Haruhi Fujioka
The main character in the anime.  She is the commoner of the academy and is usually the butt of a lot of poor jokes throughout the show.  Unlike most main characters in other anime, Haurhi isn't the type of main character who struggles throughout the show and tries to find her true self.  If anything, Haruhi is the other character who is sure of herself from the very beginning.  With her mother passed and her father an unsuccessful cross-dresser, she had to take the initiative to do all of the chores herself growing up.  She seems the most mature out of the all the characters and also the most practical.  Whenever there is a conflict throughout the show, Haruhi always seems to fix it somehow.

2.  Tamaki Suoh
The host club king known as "The Prince Type" of host.  He is the most annoying yet strangely charming host in the club.  Unlike Haruhi, he has a lot of self-searching to do.  Though at first, he comes off as being an obnoxious, conceited rich boy, you begin to realize that he isn't going to change.  He basically remains the same throughout the entire anime, but you really begin to appreciate him because he has the biggest heart.  He loves to help people and tries doing so in almost every episode.  Though his tactics for helping people seem crazy at first, somehow they always come together properly.

3.  Kyoya Ootori
The "queen/mother" to the host club known as the "Cool Type" of host.  He is my favorite host out of the club.  He always seem to know everything about everyone, therefore, always seems mysterious on how he pulls up information on people.  He can be best described as a computer with infinite knowledge on the students of the school as well as everyone affiliated with it.  What makes him so cool is his demeanor.  Him being the "cool type", he tends to say the right thing at the right time and sometimes too harshly, usually offending someone or getting one or more of the other hosts mad.  He can easily be known as "the dick" of the group, and at first you really think he could be, but you start to notice that he is not a mean as he comes off to be and cares for people just as much as Tamaki will.

4.  The Hitachiin Twins
Named Hikaru and Kaoru, these identical twins are known as the "Little Devil Type" of hosts.  They can basically be described as one character because their scenes are almost always shot together.  They're very hard to tell apart, so they like to entertain their guests by playing "Which one is Hikaru/Kaoru" game, in which Haruhi always guesses right.  They also like to put on the homosexual incestuous relationship act and drives a lot of the girls wild.  At first you think "Wow, they're totally taboo" but you realize that this is all a play when you notice feelings Hikaru begins to develop feelings for Haruhi.

5.  Mistukuni Haninozuka (Honey)
Honey is the "Boy Shota Type" of host.  He is is the cutest host and is usually seen eating cake or being extra kawaii.  I love the development of Honey because he comes off as so cute and young, even though he is a third year high school student, but turns out to be a strong, kick-butt martial artist that has high respect from the authorities.  As I watched the anime, it never failed to amaze me how his first appearance continued to change into surprisingly new characteristics that can only be explained as.......WOW!

6.  Takashi Morinozuka (Mori)
Honey's cousin and servant, the "Strong and Silent" but also the "Wild Type" of host.  Mori was the funniest character to know.  He hardly ever says anything and usually just stands there.  However, whenever he does speak, it's usually something either curt or completely irrelevant to what's going on.  At first I began to wonder what his purpose was on the show, but it became clear to me why after a bit.  Towards the end, I started to wonder if Mori has a crush on Honey, despite the fact that their cousins.

If you decide to watch Ouran High School Host Club and you're a girl, you love it!  However, if you're a boy, you'll also like it for the same reasons I've listed.  I'm usually not into girl-y anime, but this one I enjoyed solely for the character development.  This anime was truly inspiring and one of the very few anime that can make me laugh.  You won't be disappointed if you watch Ouran High School Host Club.  Happy viewing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japanese Lessons

Ok.  So in high school, as I might have stated before, I took a Japanese class for 1 year using the Irasshai learning tools with a teacher named Tim Cook.  He was really good at teaching, but I hardly ever paid attention.  So I hardly retained much as the years went by.  However, just recently I entered a contest that would give me a free roundtrip to Japan and a five-day homestay in Tokyo.  For various reasons, I have a good chance of winning this contest, but I am self-conscious that I will probably win and then be thrust into Japan without knowing a useful scrap of Japanese.  So I started watching the Irasshai videos once again to learn Japanese.  I have already finished about 9 lessons, and have passed all of the tests.  Today I will do lessons 10 and 11. 

Hajimemashite.  Garcia Victoria desu.  Daigaku ni-nen-sei desu.  Hatachi desu.  Doozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

I wrote that without looking at my notes and then checked it to see what if I was right.  I was!  As I progress in Japanese, I will add to this conversation so you can see my progress.

The translation to the phrases above is:

Hello.  I'm Victoria Garcia.  I'm a second year university student.  I'm 20 years old.  Nice to meet you.

Today's lesson is: "What is it called?"  I'm gonna get my notebook and flash cards ready and study away!