Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Ouran High School Host Club Volume 14 by Bisco Hatori

Haruhi is a poor girl going to a prestigious school on a scholarship. But when she accidentally broke a very expensive vase, the club that the vase belonged to decided she could pay them off by working at the club. Unbeknownst to them at the time, Haruhi was a girl, not a boy, but she wears a boy's uniform and is slight and flat-chested. By the time the rest of the members of the Host Club found out, Haruhi had become a hit with the other girls at the school, none of whom knew she was a girl, either.

Harushi's presence has had an effect on the all-male host club, however. The President, Suoh Tamaki, half-French and half-Japanese, has fallen in love with her. But he is so out of touch with his feelings, because of his family situation, that he thinks his affection for her is like that of a father for his daughter, and not the love of a man for a woman. Haruhi, for her own part, has realized that she feels love for Tamaki, but she doesn't think that Tamaki feels the same.

Now, her friends, the Hitachiin twins, Hikaru and Kaoru, have realized that they feel love for her also, especially because she can always tell them apart. Since at first they dressed alike and looked the same, they used their resemblance to play with the emotions of others and pull pranks on people. But they have never been able to fool Haruhi. Both confessed their feelings for her to each other, but Kaoru holds back so that his brother can realize his own feelings. After a recent fight, Hikaru made steps to stop looking like his brother, dying his hair a darker color. He confesses how he feels to Haruhi, telling her he loves her, and in a romantic way,

But at the same time, Hikaru wants Tamaki to realize how he really feels about Haruhi, and he tells Tamaki of his feelings for Haruhi. And he speaks with Haruhi about her feelings and makes her see that just about everyone in the club knows how she feels about Tamaki, except for Tamaki himself. But can Tamaki admit to himself that loving her might not be the end of his friendships with the other members of the Host Club, and that therefore romance with her just might be okay? And when another girl actively pursues Tamaki to the exclusion of almost all else, can she make Tamaki fall for her? Or will his heart remain true to Haruhi?

And a small extra story, called "Mori's day off", we get to see what Mori does on the days when he's not at the club or hanging around with Hunny. What does he do to relax, and what happens when an encounter with a new puppy seriously messes with his day?

I enjoyed this book. Tamaki and Haruhi finally have to face up to their feelings for each other. No longer can Tamaki claim that he loves Haruhi as a father, and Harushi can no longer tell herself that she just likes him as a friend. Jealousy of others finally forces each other to realize what they truly feel for each other. But both are still running scared of admitting how they feel, for fear that they will alienate the other as friends, and not realizing that each feels the same way.

A lot of this means that Tamaki and Haruhi still spend a lot of the time in this volume apart, and the rest of the Host Club, who have long known about the feelings each has for the other, would probably end up playing Cupid for them. But not this time- Hikaru and Kaoru also have feelings for Haruhi, and basically tell Tamaki to back off. But is it real, or is it just another ploy to get Tamaki to confess all for Haruhi?

With this realization among the characters, it's obvious that this series won;t be going on much longer. But I've enjoyed it so far, and am at least a little sad to see it end, even if I feel that "High School Romance with clueless protagonists" is heading high up on my irritation scale right about now. This is one of the better ones in that area, and thus, is still recommended.

No comments: