Ever since I joined OWLS, I’ve been waiting for the right topic to talk about Ouran High School Host Club. It’s the anime I hold the closest to my heart. It was the first one I ever completed, and I’ve watched every episode so many times, I practically have it memorized. But it never gets old to me.
Even in writing for this post, I ended up smiling like an idiot, and laughing so hard rewatching some of the episodes to find images. I don’t know what it is about this show.
It was also the first manga series I ever collected. And I read those a million times as well.
So, I felt it was perfect to talk about during this month’s topic, warmth. We’re focusing on the happy, heartfelt moments in anime that always bring a smile to our faces. The interactions between characters that make our heart flutter and what makes the characters feel happy. When I saw the prompt, I knew this would be the anime perfect for it.
I’m going to set this up similarly to my July post, where I’ll take certain episodes to discuss. I have four episodes chosen, and a small part from the manga. Mainly, this post will be kind of like my favorite moments of OHSHC.
Episode 8: The Sun, the Sea, and the Host Club
The scene I really want to talk about here is super short, and if you’ve seen this show, is probably not a shock that I’m talking about it.
For much of this episode, the club is trying to figure out what Haruhi’s fear is, since they say there’s no way she can be a “fearless heroine.” They’re at a beach, which they dragged her along to, even though she didn’t want to go really. But, they like spending time with her. And they like learning more about her. She’s not prone to telling them a lot about herself, so oftentimes, they have to figure out ways to learn more.
When the club seems to have failed in figuring it out, they go inside of one of Kyoya’s family’s vacation houses, and there’s tension between Haruhi and Tamaki.
Then, a storm hits, and Tamaki watches as Haruhi freezes up, hiding in a wardrobe to block out the sounds of thunder rumbling.
She hides instead of telling the others about her fears and letting them help her out with them. She’s used to doing this, much of the time at home when she was younger, she was alone while her dad was at work. She’s closed off because she had to learn to fend for herself at a young age.
Then she sees that Tamaki is there for her. And the rest of the club is there for her too. She can reach to them if she needs it, and she never has to be alone again. She can find warmth in the presence of her friends, if only she can open up to them.
Episode 10: A Day in the Life of the Fujioka Family
This is my favorite episode of this series, and I think it’ll show when I talk about it here.
The club visits Haruhi’s house during a weekend, but they don’t ask her if they can come over. They just show up, and when she comes back from grocery shopping, they convince her to let them come inside her house and spend the afternoon with her.
At first, she’s very annoyed. Yeah, it wasn’t the most polite thing to just show up uninvited, but they were so excited to see how she lived and where she lived that she allowed it. And, they’re very conscious about not offending her, since her style of living is so vastly different from theirs. I think it’s the sweetest thing how passionate the club is about learning about common people. They’re open to acquainting themselves with someone of a lower class than them, and I think that’s something rare in media.
And they value every minute they spend with her. They value the simple things she does. She makes them tea and they eat dessert together and it’s the greatest thing to them. She sees it as so average and mundane, but to them it’s like a blessing.
Then Haruhi’s dad gets to meet the boys from the club, and that’s quite a scene. He’s happy that they care so much for his daughter, but at the same time, they’re taking his responsibility from him. To make her happy and care for her. Without them, she’d be lonely and stressed from studying so hard. And her dad is so busy working, he’d never be able to relieve that stress.
Episode 13: Haruhi in Wonderland
There’s just one teeny scene I want to talk about here. This episode is really weird, I’ll admit, but there’s a scene where Tamaki, Haruhi, Honey, and Mori are all sitting at a table, and Haruhi and Tamaki have a conversation I hold close to me.
Tamaki asks Haruhi why she wanted to come to Ouran, and she answers along the lines of wanting to study so she can get into a good university so she can pursue her dream. And after that, Tamaki says something about a dream being useless unless you live a little. If you don’t take advantage of the time you have in high school to have fun and talk to friends and experience more than work, you’ve wasted your time. What’s the point of pursuing something if it’s going to be more work that will make you stressed and unhappy? Living outside of work is important too.
And I keep that thought in my head all the time. I used to be so dead focused on school that I would spend all time after school working on homework and studying, but now I have this blog where I get to talk to people and I see my friends at the mall.
Episode 16: Operation Haruhi and Hikaru’s First Date
This episode doesn’t focus as much on Haruhi, but Hikaru. We learn that since the twins never had friends previous to the host club, they don’t really know how to have friends.
Haruhi’s friend from middle school arrives at the pension Haruhi is working at over summer break, and the rest of the club is there as well. But I guess Hikaru didn’t like the idea of Haruhi having other friends besides them, so he gets angry at her old friend. He acts like a huge jerk to everyone because he’s jealous of Haruhi having other friends.
So later, Kaoru sets them up on a date to see if Hikaru can handle making Haruhi happy. And it goes well for a while, but when Haruhi notices a storm coming and decides to go home, her old middle school friend volunteers to take them back to the pension. This sets Hikaru off again and he leaves Haruhi alone.
Tamaki finds out that Hikaru abandoned Haruhi, and yells at him for being such a crappy date. He tells Hikaru that he better go find Haruhi and apologize, since he knows her deathly fear of thunderstorms and Hikaru does not.
When Hikaru finds Haruhi and apologizes, Haruhi forgives him immediately. Hikaru comforts her through the storm, and learns the importance of treating your friends right and how dangerous it is to be jealous of other friends.
I’ll insert a little of myself here. I used to have a friend in middle school who was overbearingly protective of me. I’d been friends with her since about second grade, so the behavior didn’t strike me as odd at first. I thought she just valued the fact we’d known each other for so long. But it became concerning when she told my other friends, who she told me were also her friends, that she hated them. And when I hung out with another friend for a weekend, my other friend got sent a bunch of nasty messages calling her names and making my other friend feel like garbage.
I understand Haruhi’s perspective in this ordeal, and Hikaru’s actions were horrible. Jealousy is an awful thing to have. I’m glad that in the end, Hikaru sees where he went wrong, and knows that in the future, he should be more accepting of people having relationships outside of just him.
This relates to warmth in the sense of Hikaru learning that his warmth of being friends with Haruhi can be shared and he can’t have her all to himself.
I love this anime, but the manga is absolutely incredible. I love it so much. And there’s a part I want to mention that the manga deals with that fits with the idea of warmth. Like I said at the beginning, I’ll keep it vague so I’m not spoiling.
- The family dynamic
Something a lot of people like about this anime is that the characters act like a family. Well, in the manga, this is dug into deeper. A lot of secrets about Tamaki’s past are revealed, and to keep it simple, he didn’t grow up in a stable or happy family atmosphere. All he ever wanted was for his family to come together and have a nice meal together once. So he finds solace in the tight-knit host club. He can always have tea with them, and it makes him happy. That’s where Tamaki finds warmth.
I titled this post around Haruhi, because I think we generally overlook how much Haruhi actually loves the host club. She acts like she hates being a part of it, when they drag her to the beach and show up at her house suddenly, but it’s the thing she holds on so she can live a little bit. Outside of school and housework, she doesn’t do a whole lot. The host club is someplace she can interact and experience things she wouldn’t be able to. And she really does love all the guys she’s in the club with. And they love her too.
For Haruhi, the warmth she yearns is right in front of her, even if she doesn’t realize it. She loves those idiots a lot.
Aaah! That was so long! But I love Ouran so so so much, it was hard to keep it short. I wanted to include another episode, but I knew it’d exceed 2,000 words, which is my absolute limit.
See you tomorrow for Day Nine of the 30 Day Anime Challenge and next year for January’s OWL tour!
Also, that will mean that OWLS has been around for one year! Yay!