Wednesday, December 2, 2009

If you're wondering about my avatar...

That cute little girl is Haruhi Fujioka and she's close to my heart because I have recently become an obsessive fan of Ouran High School Host Club, created by Bisco Hatori. The premise goes something like this:

Haruhi is a scholarship student at the Ouran High School, a private school attended by children of the most obscenely rich and powerful families in Japan. She can't afford a school uniform and, not being terribly concerned about appearances, she is mistaken for a boy at school. The Host Club is a campus group consisting of six super-rich, incredibly attractive boys, who host events to entertain their female "clients." One day, while searching for a quiet place to study, Haruhi happens upon Music Room 3, the home of the Host Club and on this first meeting she breaks a vase worth $80,000 (¥8,000,000 in the original Japanese). The boys discover that Haruhi is actually a girl, but in order to pay off her debt she agrees to work for the club, pretending to be a male host.

The story follows the adventures of the Host Club's escapades, but especially their relationships as they all get to know each other better. The dynamic caused by having one girl working closely with six boys is the source of much comedy, but also a bit of drama. Another interesting dynamic is the vast cultural difference between the wealthy and the poorer commoners. All the characters seem to be based on common stereotypes, which makes them all the more entertaining and engaging. I've honestly grown to love all the characters, with all their little quirks, as if they were real people!

The Ouran High School Host Club manga (think anime in print form) is ongoing in monthly chapters (76, so far). You can read them translated into English online here. There was an anime series made that consisted of 26 episodes. It follows the same basic storyline of the manga with some changes, presumably to allow for it to come to a conclusion without ruining the story. All episodes can be viewed online here.

I'm addicted and I can't wait until the next episode comes out at the end of the month. Even if you aren't into cartoons or anime, I urge you to watch an episode or two. It's insanely funny, cute and sometimes bizarre and you just may like it!