Sunday, August 07, 2011

Ouran High School Host Club, Volume 15 by Bisco Hattori

The Host Club is drafted to help out in an event for the Orienteering Tournament. Pairs of students race through the school, checking in at one of six checkpoints along the way. To prove that the students have gone through all the checkpoints, at each checkpoint, they receive an ingredient for a curry that they will make at the end of the race. Tamaki is paired up with Renge, and since the prize for winning the race (and making the most delicious curry) is having the entire Host Club doing whatever you want, the Bossa Nova Club, the Sports Club, and the girl who is determined to use the Host Club to take sexy pictures of them on a deserted island are all determined to win. However, if Tamaki wins, he can do something less than dire to the Club, so Haruhi begs Tamaki to win. But can Tamaki pull off the win with so many things going wrong behind the scenes?

First, the cooking room they were going to use has become unusable, and Haruhi must run to all the checkpoints to tell them to use a different room. Along the way, Tamaki realizes that the Host Club is trying to force him to face his feelings for Haruhi. But he's not the only one the members of the club want to reach. His partner, Miss Kanoya, is also blocked in expressing her true feelings, and the course is set up so that she will have to speak her mind and reveal what she really wants and feels. But as Tamaki and Renge each deal with their problems, will they be able to break through what is keeping them blocked and reveal the truth of their hearts?

But even as Tamaki is revitalized by his newfound feelings for Haruhi, she's confounded by the change in him, seeing him going from "Paternalistic Father" to seeming "Creepy Stalker", since he still cannot tell her outright how much he loves her, and thinks that she knows how much he feels for her, and what he feels for her. But Haruhi's own feelings for Tamaki are similarly blocked, and she needs to confront how much, and what she feels for him. And now that Tamaki knows his own feelings, Hikaru hates him, as Tamaki seems to think he can just step in and sweep Haruhi off her feet. But during a Host Club event at a Hothouse Botanical Garden, can Tamaki win Haruhi's affections? Or will he turn her off even more with his overbearing affections? And what will the Host Club members decide to get Haruhi for her birhday. Can she be won with gifts, even low-cost practical ones?

Then, graduation will soon be coming up, so Hunny and Mori make their announcements at the next Host Club event. Mori is busy fighting all the challengers at the Kendo Club, and everyone realizes that because of the different tracks each one will be taking in University, Hunny and Mori will no longer be able to be together so much. This causes high emotions in the girls who come to the Host Club, and in Tamaki as well. He completely breaks down when he realizes that his friends will no longer be around for him in the coming year.

But when Mori loses to a first year in Judo club, he challenges Hunny to a duel. Meanwhile, Hunny must deal with the affections of a girl who wants him so much that she sets traps for him in an attempt to get close enough to him to ask him out on a date. But when she asks Haruhi for help, will she be able to get him where she wants him? And what will happen if Hunny accedes to Mori's desire for a duel?

This was a cute chapter in the Host Club saga. Tamaki has finally discovered his real feelings for Haruhi, but now he needs to win her interest, and tell her how he really feels. Even though he knows he loves her now, he still can't come out and just say it. He's still trying to pussyfoot around it, and show his love without declaring it. and he's made an enemy of Hikaru with his assumption that Haruhi will just go to him. Hikaru wants Haruhi for himself, and even though Haruhi doesn't have the right kind of feelings back for him, he's messing with Tamaki's game because he's irritated on Haruhi's behalf.

Haruhi, meanwhile, is keeping mum on her feelings. Intellectually, she knows she's interested in Tamaki, but she discounts it because she can't really believe she has fallen for him, and I think to shield herself from pain because it is obvious that Tamaki's very interfering family wouldn't allow him to be with her. And she may be right- someone has already come to her house and talked to her father about not allowing her to interact with the Suoh family. But her father doesn't seem to care- he certainly hasn't taken any kind of action about it, or told her to stop seeing Tamaki because of it.. But if he does nothing, how much worse will the family's influence get? And how can Haruhi, whose entire family are commoners and not rich, fight against a family who are captains of industry and rich like the Suohs?

This story continues to get more and more interesting. It's become less and less about Tamaki and Haruhi's feelings now, and more about the interference of his family. But the story continues to be told from Haruhi and Tamaki's point of view. Will their love be able to overcome his duty, and will Tamaki's grandmother do to Haruhi what she did to Tamaki's mother? How will they deal with this added pressure on their relationship, and will Haruhi be able to stand up to Tamaki's grandmother? More to the point, will Tamaki? I am very interested in seeing what goes on and how it is all resolved. Highly recommended.

No comments: