Ouran High School Host Club Volume 18 by Bisco Hatori
I was happy to read the final volume of Ouran High School Host Club, a series that manages the tricky feat of simultaneously making fun of shoujo reverse harem scenarios while embracing the whole reverse harem concept in its story of a girl named Haruhi who is forced to cross-dress as a boy to attend an elite school with its own over the top host club. I read the first fiver or so volumes of this series but it didn’t make it into my regular reading rotation. It was still fun to see how the story wrapped up for Haruhi and her host club companions.
After 18 volumes, Haruhi finally admits to Tamaki that she loves him, and they go out on their very first date. What follows is the typical Ouran High School Host Club type of story that manages to be both sweet and ridiculously demented. Tamaki’s typical overreactions to the possibility of a date with Haruhi cause the other host club members to stalk the new couple, ready to swoop in at any opportunity to save their feckless leader from embarrassment. When Tamaki decides to take advice from his Grandmother on what to wear he shows up for the date in ceremonial robes. He is is whisked away and changed in seconds, as they brought along a spare set of clothes. Tamaki’s idea of date preparation is to show up with a bunch of magic tricks in case Haruhi gets bored, and she’s almost fatally embarrassed a couple times. For all of Tamaki’s theatricality, he basically has a good heart as seen when the date concludes by a visit to the grave of Haruhi’s late mother, where he promises to support Haruhi in achieving all of her dreams. It wouldn’t be a volume of Ouran High School Host club without some elaborate events, and in this volume the reader gets a Greek-themed host party as well as a masquerade ball. Tamaki is (of course) Apollo, and the twins enact the story of Castor and Pollux to demonstrate their “brotherly” love.
The ending of the series is satisfying but a bit open-ended, but that never bothers me much in a comedy manga. There is a fun bonus story after the concluding chapter about the Host Club set in Spain that features Kyoya maneuvering through a complicated plot involving his family while Haruhi eagerly experiences Tapas and the rest of the club is overcome by Spanish architecture. Another bonus for readers is getting a quick glimpse of Haruhi and Tamaki in a more established relationship at the very end of the manga. I enjoyed seeing how this manga concluded, even if I didn’t collect every volume.
Review copy provided by the publisher