Episode TEN (Hell Yea~h…we’re in double-digits, baby!)…in which there are cross-dressers galore and everyone wants Haruhi to be their bitch.
We enter the scene just outside of Ouran’s gates. Poor Haruhi is cursing her luck for being forced to do the
bidding shopping for the lazy twins who, apparently, cannot figure out how to navigate the local grocers for a container of instant coffee. Haruhi, Queen of Delicate Flowers everywhere, nearly K.O.s herself by tripping over a pebble, and thus my opinion that she and I are related is reinforced, once more. She is saved by a pretty-faced androgynous figure in an Ouran uniform, who seems to know that she is a girl. I see your “Uh” and raise you and “Oh.”
Enter the Hosts, pimping and posing and Bishie-ing the FUCK out of their ambiguously European-style medieval get-up. Tamaki, of course, is working it, HARD CORE, while the rest of the pretties pose…well, prettily with swords and elaborate armor. Mori in full Knight gear with a sword…DUDE. That’s all that needs to be said, really.
There is a disturbance in
the Force the Host Club, though, in the form of a few girls in Ouran uniform who are distinctly unimpressed with His Queenliness’ purple prose. Their power of Blunt Dismissal over his Fetish Fuel scene is even more powerful than Haruhi’s, in that Ms. Oblivious doesn’t mean to be insulting and these chicks really, really do. Tamaki, dear heart (yes…I said it…) that he is, brushes off the brush-off with a smile and charm, trying to flirt these girl’s Romantic Fantasy preferences out of them. Of course, Interrupting Androgynous…Person…interrupts His Blondeness with a bit of romantic dribble of his(?)/her(?) own.
Apparently, in the five minutes it took to walk from the courtyard to the club room, this person has fallen in love with Haruhi. There is kneeling, and hand-kissing, and flowery words…and it is the yaoi fan girls’ wet dreams come true. The Cynical Chicks flock to Romantic Bishie and Haruhi, and poor Tamaki dies a little inside. Haruhi is obviously creeped the fuck out by all the petting and cooing. BAD TOUCH. BAD TOUCH. Go to your Happy Place, Haruhi, it will all be over soon.
Tamaki tries to do some damage control because, you know, the whole Haruhi needing to keep her gender a secret to pay off her debt, but only gets a FACE-PUNCH from Lover-Boy/-Girl for his efforts. There is yelling, and crying, and stuffed animals and ice-cream, and that is just to console Tamaki. Finally, Tamaki starts to get the Something’s Rotten in the State of Ouran vibe and calls these people out on being Ouran Imposters. Le Gasp!
The intruders Dramatically Strip Dramatically (no, we don’t actually see it), and BAM. All three of them are girls posing in their
Sailor Senshi Saint Roberia Institute uniforms. Thus, three more characters are added to our Ouran Pantheon of Crazy: Benio Amakusa, a second year and the one who cross-dressed to mack on Haruhi; Chizura Maihara, another second year; and Hinako Tsuwabuki, the only first year and the one actually trying to pull off the Sailor Moon two-fingers-in-front-of-the-face-pose.
…Guys? How the HELL did those girly uniforms fit under the Ouran uniforms? Especially Benio’s, who was wearing SLACKS and a fitted dress shirt and blazer?!?!
Thus we meet Saint Roberia’s White Lily (“Lily” in Japanese= Yuri…UNSUBTLE HINT is Unsubtle) Club, a.k.a. the Zuka Club. The Hosts’ brains die, and we are left with a panel of Blue Screening, Tamaki flailing, and the Terrible Two cackling over the cross-dressing lesbians (…yes, really). Haruhi gets over the WTF quickly and goes back to Whatevering over everything, and Tamaki, suffering from “the vapors,” faints dead away.
Apparently, since His Majesty, Queen of Man-whores, is out of it, we have time for a bit of back-story on Saint Roberia’s:
All girls school…blah, blah…
Female Power…blah, Chastity and Grace, blah…
Men are Bad, blah…Yuri Power ALL THE WAY…blah, blah…
These three, the main powers behind the well-established Zuka Club, are not fans of penis-wielders, obviously, and throw down the scorn all over the Hosts boys for daring to be born with a Y chromosome. Seriously, I am all for Female Power and all, but…really? Super-Feminist Lesbians who hate men? Are we really whipping out that stereotype, Ouran? Really really? If I didn’t love you so much…
The rambling goes on enough that the fan girls have long since buggered off and the Hosts are ignoring the girls, bored with all the self-praise and penis-scorn. Apparently, their biggest beef with the Host Club is that they advertise “false love” to “young maidens.” The fact that they’ve pulled a “young maiden” into it pisses them the fuck off. Benio, in particular, wants to shut this shit down.
Obviously, she does not know that she’s fucking with the Demon Over-lord of All, Kyoya. She’ll learn in time…Oh, she will LEARN. Anyway, Benio and her mini-harem are determined to rescue Haruhi from Ouran and
drag bring her into Saint Roberia’s and the Zuka Club, without even asking her. Nice. Rea~l classy, Ladies.
Haruhi tries to smooth shit over but it bites her in the ass…repeatedly…as the Hosts pretty much confirm all Benio’s talk about being Club “newbs” who take money (in this case points in a point-system) from Ladies in exchange for services. The Zuka Ladies leave with promises to return tomorrow and Haruhi storm-clouds and leaves. The Hosts despair losing their cute little indentured servant, and thus Tamaki comes up with A PLAN.
NEXT DAY (DUN DUN DUNNNN!!!)
The Zuka Club and Haruhi meet up outside of the Hosts’ club room and enter to find the Hosts in outfits that look like they took Edwardian clothes, handed them over to RuPaul, and then Bedazzled the shit out of them for Las Vegas. Oh, and in addition to the feathers, and Sparkle, and flowery flamboyance, Hani and the Twins are in dresses…you know, because that is the thing to do in this series.
The unknowing onlookers Blue Screen like no one has ever Blue Screened before. It is made so, sooo much more beautiful by the fact that Hani is calling himself a Princess. Tamaki, of course, takes the time for a flamboyant explanation while Haruhi and the Zuka Ladies’ brains reboot. Apparently, he thought he could lure Haruhi back with a “two for the price of one” deal: now that they’re cross-dressing, the Hosts can be her brothers AND her sisters. To borrow a quote (you know who you are): Tamaki is a gift. Seriously. Only he would think of that.
The twins actually ask Haruhi if they are prettier than her cross-dressing father and Hani offers to let her call him “big sis.” Really. I can’t…the hilarity is eating my brain…
Benio blusters all over, not believing Haruhi would fall for this shit, but is silenced (at long fucking last) by Haruhi’s fit of hysterics. I can’t blame her. At all. Turns out, she never had plans to leave the Host club and only stormed off because she noticed she was going to be late for a sale at the grocery store.
Though she basically gives the Roberia girls a gentle but firm let down, the Yuri Brigade is not discouraged. In the end, they promise to someday return and rescue her from Ouran and the Hosts.
Thus we are left with this maybe/sort of/weak-as-hell potential cliff-hanger of “meh…?”
The episode closes with a peak into Roberia’s SUPER SECRET PLAN OF SUCCESS: they’re cross-dressing too, but they are throwing in some age make-up so that Haruhi can have some “Aunts” and “Uncles” to go with her “Brothers” and “Sisters.”
…I see your face-palm and raise you mild chagrin…
So, so much love for this episode. So. Effing. MUCH.
Not only do we have more cross-dressing than we can throw a powder puff at, but we get to see the manga-ka give a bit of love to all those Yuri lovers (since she already has TONS of fan service for the harem/yaoi fans out there).
Plus…who could turn down Tamaki in a ruffle of peacock feathers, or Hani and the twins in full ball gowns and wigs?
In a lot of these episodes, we either see Haruhi grumbling over the Host Club, or the Hosts steam-rolling all over Haruhi and other Hosts, and sometimes at the same time. Though there is friendship and humor, you don’t often see the genuine affection between these guys. The fact that the Hosts would go out of the way to do something as crazy as what they did (even Kyoya dressed up) for Haruhi shows that they think of her as more than an indebted student. The Roberia girls, coming from money themselves, could have easily paid off Haruhi’s debt and the Hosts could have sat back and let that happen. Instead, they chose their fellow Host, their friend, over any possible financial gain. Also, this is one of the first times that you see Haruhi genuinely enjoying herself and laughing with the Hosts. Even though she is technically laughing AT the twins and Hani, there is genuine affection and humor in their interactions. For once, we see her without her dead-pan and her eye-rolling, having a good laugh with friends. In the end, Haruhi, who was the main decider, chose Ouran and thus the Host Club, even though she probably knows that she could have escaped all the madness and debt had she chosen Roberia.
The cross-dressing. Ye Gods, the cross-dressing. SO MUCH in this episode. I am still baffled as to HOW Benio managed to fit a Sailor Suit uniform under fitted slacks, dress-shirt and blazer, but WHATEVER. The other two, I can KIND OF see, if only because the Ouran female uniform is like a powder puff of yellow, lacy, ribbon-y Princess Dress. Still…I can see why they didn’t actually draw out anything more than Benio loosening her tie before the uniform reveal, because…yeah. I doubt that those outfits have Velcro seam like stripper clothing to just whip them off, and TA-DA~! Anyway, the best of it all…the absolute BEST…were the dresses that Hani and the twins were wearing. SO GOOD. Since it is (obviously) a black-and-white drawing, you don’t see any garish make-up like you would in an anime, but still. The rose-backdrop, and the ballgowns with both Tamaki and Mori in humongous peacock feathers coming off the collar, more than made up for the invisible make-up. Honestly, I loved this bit to pieces, a bit because of the twins fishing for compliments and Hani’s comments about being a Princess and being called “big sis,” but mostly because they did it so that Haruhi wouldn’t leave them behind. Their shameless silliness paid off, of course, but it was still fun to read and endearing to see Hani and the Twins affectionately laughing with Haruhi as she laughed at their expense.
We are FAM~IL~Y! I’ve got all my SISTAHS with ME~!
Aside from all the minor hinting throughout the series so far, this has been the first instance of the Hosts (whichever ultimately ends up with Haruhi, and I’M NOT TELLING) having a love-rival for Haruhi’s affections. Sure, it was one-sided on Benio’s part, but I still consider this foreshadowing of things to come. Once ONE suitor comes out of the wood-works (or the brain of a manga-ka, as it were), more are sure to follow. The fact that there is so much little moments of drama, and anxiety, and affection wrapped up in this Cotton Candy series is lovely. To quote the lovely J. Michael Tatum (the voice of Kyoya and an adaptive screen writer for the English dub), Ouran is like “a nest of vipers, dipped in chocolate.” This is very, very true. I couldn’t agree more, and I cannot wait for the next bite (Yay for Derp-y jokes).
We finally…at long fucking LAST…get a bit of a hint about what is going on in that brain of Haruhi, as she makes it clear that she has plans of her own and they do not involve leaving Ouran or the Hosts behind. I find this very interesting because, in general, she is the Queen of Face-Palms when it comes to dealing with the Hosts and their antics, yet she attempt to defend them to the Roberia students, even though that crashes and burns horribly. Even though it is only hinting at this point, you get a feeling that the Hosts are growing on Haruhi, like a breed of friendly fungus, and that she doesn’t actively dislike them, as much as she eye-rolls over their idiocy. These suspicions are proved true…for now…by her reaction to the cross-dressing Hosts and by her turning down her chance to attend an equally as prestigious school, free of debt. Though we are still a while away (a LONG while away) from learning her motivation for choosing Ouran, the facts are clear: she has plans for herself that include Ouran, even if that means sticking with the Hosts Club and maybe…just maybe…that isn’t something that she finds terrible after all.
Mini-episodes, WHY HAST THOU ABANDONED ME?
I am sad to report that there are NO mini-episodes to come in the following episodes. This makes me a very, very sad Usa-chan, but at least there is a lot…A LOT…of fun extra-episodes and such to close out this volume, so not all is lost. I will just have to hope that they make a come-back, but if not, I will have to console myself with the fact that ALL THE DRAMA is starting to pop up now that we are really getting into the series, so that will be fun.
The more the series goes on, the more little details I am remembering from later on and I cannot WAIT to get to it. So, SO much fluff, and silliness and crack, with back-story GALORE to come!
Thanks for reading! Till next time~