Episode 13…in which Tamaki gets PWND and Ryoji reveals just how fabulous he really is.
The episode opens up where the last left off: Tamaki, pinning Haruhi to the floor as He Of the Basilisk Stare (i.e. Ryoji) looks on in shock. I’m going to hurdle jump over the “might” and just flat out say that this will not end well for Tamaki. Even Tamaki with his obliviousness to creepy undertones and personal space knows that he’s going to die, or at least get his ass kicked…a lot. As Tamaki is busy doing a lot of mental Kermit-flailing, Ryoji says nothing and just smiles.
Danger, Will Robinson…er, Tamaki Suou, DANGER!
In a move that earns him a badge in Bad Ass, Ryoji simultaneously retcons the incident by fussing over his daughter and gets in a good Tama Wall-SMASH. At last, we see a genuine Haruhi reaction, even if it is a WTF over her dad’s epic Tamaki Toss into the wall. Ryoji, of course, ignores it all and prattles on even as Tamaki huddles in the corner. There are honestly no words for how scary and awesome Ryoji is. This is one papa you don’t mess with, no matter how fabulous of an Okama he is. He’d crush your balls and do it with his fashionable high heels, too.
Anyway, Tamaki does his Tamaki-Flail…thing…trying to be helpful to Daddy Fujioka to make up for the bad (SO BAD) first impression as Ryoji prattles on and ignores the Glittering Idiot. This power of Ignore is finally tested when Tamaki thoughtlessly commits a social faux-pas (addressing Haruhi by her given name, with no honorifics) in front of Papa Bear. Ryoji proves true and does, indeed, smash Tamaki with his stylish-yet-affordable pumps. Since he’s only really smashing via pinning the kid to the floor and not actually smashing the kid’s balls, we can safely call this a win for Tamaki. Relatively.
The twins, tired of waiting for the last two Hosts to get their butts in gear for the Super Supermarket Extravaganza Adventure, finally wander back into the apartment. They are just in time to witness the hilarious Smashing of the Tamaki into the floor. The twins, of course, have zero reaction to smashed Tamaki and decide to up the pain (little sadists) by walking all over his back as they chat with Ryoji, making sure to throw in plenty of insults about their Idiot King. Of course, it is their comment about him being a bit of a womanizer (read: man-whore) and Ryoji’s Not Happy face that gets King Blondie to react.
Faith is nearly restored in Tamaki by this act, but dies a quick death when he fails to rein in his Idiot and declares that he cares for Haruhi like his own daughter. This is bad (and creepy) enough with just the Hosts, but now he’s done it in front of Haruhi’s actual father.
Thus, Ryoji is left with the opinion that Tamaki is an absolute idiot. Par for the course for the Prince of Purple Prose, really.
Cut to a scene with the Host boys huddling around the table and having a laugh with the Fujioka duo while Tamaki huddles in a make-shift Gloom Corner. Ryoji, now formally introduced by his Okama name, Ranka, flirts a bit (yes, really) with the Hosts before surprising them by being able to identify them by name. Since Haruhi constantly “Whatever”s all over them and their shenanigans, I can understand their shock. This shock lasts all of two seconds…until The Reveal.
In a moment of “BTW, SURPRISE” of Epic Awesome-Sauce, Ranka reveals that he knows the shit he does because he and Kyoya are email buddies. Seriously. So, now we know why Kyoya had all those pictures of Haruhi from Junior High back in the Beach episode(s). How he went about asking for them and the reason he gave Ranka for needing them is something that we will never know (and I honestly don’t really want to know).
Tamaki leaves his Gloom Corner long enough to whine at Kyoya, who utterly crushes Twinkle Toes with his nonchalance: since Haruhi is the youngest member of the club and Ranka’s only kid, naturally they should keep him (Ranka) updated…and oh, normally this should be your job.
Kyoya’s Nonchalance: ALL THE POINTS; Tamaki’s Ego: K.O.
Not one to let a downed Tamaki get away without kicking him first, Ranka throws in a bit of Ego hurt at Tamaki, cleverly disguised as compliments toward Kyoya. Honestly, as unusual as this Evil Duo is, their combined powers are to be feared by all (well, by Tamaki, anyhow).
Haruhi finally recovers long enough from her shock to have her own “WTF, DAD” moment. Of course, this is spoiled by Ranka Squeeing all over Haruhi for being cute even when she’s angry. Thus, the Host Club discovers the source of Haruhi’s immunity to Tamaki’s brand of Idiot.
Fed up (and trying to get this episode going, damn it), Haruhi heads off to the Supermarket alone. Someone needs to get this plot shit taken care of, and this is the young woman to do it.
With Haruhi out of the way, Ranka can throw a bit of Haruhi insight at us. When the twins fuss that they wanted to go too, Ranka tells them that it wouldn’t matter, because once Haruhi makes up her mind, she follows through. This Independent Woman hardly relies on Ranka, even doing the application process for Ouran on her own. Ranka side-tracks a little to talk about how his daughter isn’t really concerned with looks and how he tries to get her to be girly, which is why his soul died when Haruhi gave herself her haircut a la Harry Potter. All this monologuing to say that Ranka is glad that his daughter is having fun with the Hosts and that he’s happy that they treat her like the young woman she is.
Of course, since Tamaki has a target painted on his forehead just for Ranka, the moment of “AWWW” segues into another Ego Smashing moment when Ranka comments on the blonde’s obliviousness (in regards to figuring out Haruhi’s gender). Tamaki runs off in tears and Ranka ignores them in favor of soliciting (maybe?) the other Host Boys.
Cut to Haruhi on her way to her own Not-so-Super Supermarket Extravaganza Adventure. Tamaki, proving to be part Road Runner, zips past her, only to huddle behind a lamp post in tears. Haruhi tries to deal with his drama as usual -patience, GODS, patience for the Idiot- until she realizes that he is genuinely crying. Proving that she isn’t so oblivious to the emotions of people around her, Haruhi coaxes him into feeling better by inviting him to come shopping with her and asking him what he’d like her to make for them to eat. Tamaki is led away by the hand, still sniffling and teary, looking like an over-grown toddler following his mother.
The sweet moment is killed when we cut to the fashionable Host Club and Ranka, decked out in his best clothes, stalking the duo down the streets. Apparently, he was soliciting the boys into stalking…er, following his daughter around because that’s not weird or creepy. At all. Mostly though, Ranka admits that he just wanted to walk around in the company of handsome and obviously rich boys, proving that his Crazy is of the same genus as Tamaki’s.
At long last, Tamaki gets his Sparkle back (quite literally) when he finally sees the busy hub that is the local Supermarket. It truly is a Super Supermarket Extravaganza Adventure for him, as he flits around, generally making a nuisance of himself. The fact that he proves a sucker for exaggerated sales pitches just makes it so much better.
Once again, Haruhi plays mommy and grabs a hold of the older boy to keep him from wandering off and being a pest. Tamaki and Haruhi have a nice bit of bonding until a random old lady comments on how cute of a couple they make. The twins, lurking somewhere in the background, are having none of that, thanks, and so literally break up the hand hold by shoving past their clasped hands with a push cart. Seriously. Can we say jealously issues?
The gig is up and Haruhi is Not Amused. Another group of Rich lurkers -Kyoya’s private security- pops up just in time to play taste tester for Tamaki so that he doesn’t die of poisoning from trying a food sample. Honestly, I’d like to say I’m exaggerating, but there is no making this shit up.
Finally, the rest of the Hosts and Ranka are revealed to a chagrined Haruhi, and shenanigans ensue as the Hosts wander around the Supermarket willy-nilly, being their usual chipper selves. Finally, Haruhi reins in the Hosts (save Tamaki) and pushes them outside where they won’t break shit, at least until she pays. This leaves time for Tamaki and Ranka to have their own moment after Tamaki sees a little girl shopping with her mother and Ranka snarks at him. Turns out, the stalker game of Ranka’s was his way of looking out for his daughter when she’d go shopping, since the stubborn girl took on all the house-hold chores after her mom died.
We have a nice little moment of flash-back with Chibi Haruhi shopping while Daddy, only partially cross-dressed, looks on. With the nonchalance only Haruhi can have, she brushes off her rude classmates’ comments about her dad just in time to catch him spying. Ranka blusters and makes a lame excuse of wanting to carry the basket because he loves holding it, Haruhi calls him weird as she smiles, and there is a bonding moment. Back in the present, Ranka waxes poetic about how selfless Haruhi is, and how she doesn’t really allow people to worry for her, but out of her desire to protect others rather than stubbornness. Tamaki has his own moment of clarity, complete with background montage of Haruhi doing exactly that, and tells Ranka that he understands.
This could have been a truly poignant moment between Father Ranka and Tamaki, where they finally bond over their mutual caring for Haruhi and Tamaki finally gets a clue that his “paternal” feelings for Haruhi aren’t so paternal. Instead, Ranka goes from Dr. RuPaul to Mr. Bitch-face and declares Tamaki his enemy (if only because he isn’t ready to let his little girl go, yet).
In the end, the Hosts and the Fujioka duo bond over a shared meal while Ranka passive-aggressively picks on Tamaki, again.
I love Ryoji/Ranka. Seriously.
This is a great character and am so psyched that he has finally had his debut in the main storyline.
Ranka, Ranka, forever Ranka. This is a big, bad single daddy who loves his little girl, works long and hard to take care of her, and still manages to be both fabulous and hilarious. Honestly, between his Epic Smashing of Tamaki (both his body and ego) and his covert alliance with the Demonic Kyoya, what isn’t to like? The fact that he can be a doting daddy while still managing to put the hurt on a young man who, from what he can tell (since he hadn’t yet met Tamaki), is being sexually forward toward his little girl is just made of all kinds of awesome. He is also the King of Passive-Aggressive when it comes to picking on Tamaki: whether is is insulting him via compliments to Kyoya, or complaining to Haruhi about his arm hurting from dealing with “some giant pest” when he first Wall-Smashed him. Though I love Tamaki -I really do- I cannot say that Ranka’s aggression his completely without merit. First, he walks in on the guy pinning his daughter to the floor in an otherwise empty apartment. Then, the boy makes a fool of himself and is kind of insulting when trying to be helpful to Ranka. Next, the boy ignores formality by using Haruhi’s given name (without honorifics, no less) in front of said girl’s father, which is a social no-no unless family or specifically given permission. Of course, the twins don’t help it with their comments about his “womanizing” and “playing around.” To say that Ranka is just being mean, or unfair, isn’t really true. With all this stacked against Tamaki, it is no surprise that Ranka has an immediate dislike for him and has fun picking on him. Considering my father would have chased the Blonde Moron out of the house at gun-point, he got off relatively easily.
The Email Alliance, as I shall call Ranka and Kyoya’s friendship, is beautiful and awesome, no matter how unusual the pair may be. Unfortunately, we are not given much info as to when Kyoya started emailing Ranka, or just what they talked about -aside from Haruhi- in all those emails, but we can assume that those emails would be worth their weight in gold, if only for the amusement factor. Though this is really the only time that this Email Alliance is brought up, it will now forever be lurking in the background of my mind as I read about the Host Club’s crazy antics. Every time I WTF, or Face-Palm, or want to wring Tamaki’s scrawny, pretty neck, I will know that at some point, Kyoya will slip away to document it all via email to Haruhi’s father. Maybe it is just me, but there is something wonderfully amusing about that. It’s almost as Epic and Amusing as Ranka’s Alliance with [SPOILERS: CENSORED] or Haruhi’s reaction to meeting [SPOILERS: CENSORED].
Though Ranka and Tamaki may not get along (mostly-no, completely-on Ranka’s part), they are very similar people. Both are flamboyant and a bit ridiculous at times, but are equally as capable of being thoughtful and equally as protective of Haruhi. Under normal circumstances, they should be the firmest of allies, being so alike and caring so much for Haruhi and wanting to take care of her. However, since Tamaki’s Idiocy cannot be contained and, in fact, often goes out of its way to hurt Tamaki, this alliance is not to be. Instead, we get a Clash of the Divas, which is just hilarious, not to mention full of delightful Schadenfreude at Tamaki’s expense.
Though we don’t really see as much of the others Hosts as normal (since this is mostly Ranka, Tamaki and Haruhi’s episode), this still works as a Host Club experience, as the group forms stronger bonds, and manages to have fun together outside of the trappings of the Host Club. The chapter’s end just reinforces this closeness as we see the Club gathered around the table and eating together, like a family. With Tamaki’s fixation on “Mommy” and “Daddy” and “Brothers/Sister” in terms of Club dynamics, this is just one more moment of making them into a patchwork family (while also further aiding Tamaki’s delusions…it can’t be helped, unfortunately). Though it is still early on (in the series) for these bonds of closeness to be so important, they are vital as the plot further develops and as the Hosts grow as people.
Though all these aspects work well individually in the chapter, it is as a whole that they make this chapter what it is. It is the bonds you make and relationships you form, good or bad, that make you a family. In this chapter, we see the family coming together. In the end, it is all this that makes this one of my favorite chapters.
Thanks for reading!
Till next time~