Okay, I admit it – this manga (and its corresponding anime) are the reason why I’ve been so terribly distracted. They swallowed me whole. I guess I’m not the only one, because it’s consistently been on the top sellers’ lists both in Japan and North America, with the animated version making TV Asahi’s polls on the top shows of all time. Who’d have guessed that a story about a host club of all things (not at all like real host clubs supposedly are, by the way; these are high schoolers) would do so well?
Mangaka Hatori Bisco has penned nine tankubon of these to date, with the English adaptation by Viz one month behind and no end in sight. It runs in LaLa magazine as well as Shoujo Beat on this side of the pond and has been going since 2003. This is not Hatori’s first title, but the humourous style of Ouran is a far cry from her previous works.
Fujioka Haruhi is a scholarship at Ouran Academy, an elite school for the very wealthy. After happening across the eccentric and incredible Host Club, a group of six boys with plenty of money and time to waste, Haruhi breaks a vase and, unable to pay for it, ends up in servitude to the Club, who exist to entertain affluent schoolgirls with too much time on their hands.
The problem – the Host Club, taking in Haruhi’s tomboyish appearance, believe her at first to be male, and after a makeover she finds herself in the dubious position of attracting customers to the club. When they do find out, they’re not sure – are they willing to out her and let her be noticed by the rest of the student population…or keep her for themselves?
This crazy romantic comedy manga will have you laughing out loud, especially with the special omakes included at the end of the volumes, and the hilarious captions scattered throughout. If you read anything this year, let it be this!
Hakusensha’s Official Site (Japanese)
Shojo Beat Official Site (English)
For Richer Or Poorer (Fansite)