Ouran High School Host Club – 19
When the Host Club members visit Haruhi’s house one day, they are greeted by disheveled man. They assume that they went to the wrong door, but of course this man is none other than Ranka-san – except unshaven and with no makeup on. When Tamaki presents him with a box of cakes, Ranka-san punches Tamaki, grabs the box, and greets the other members. He tells them that Haruhi isn’t here today because she went out with some female friends early this morning. The Host Club members assume that these females are Haruhi’s middle school friends and start to leave, but Ranka-san mentions he had never seen the girls from this morning before. It’s not until he says Lobelia Girl’s Academy that Ranka-san immediately gets everyone’s attention.
Over at Lobelia, the Amakusa Benio, Maihara Chizuru, and Tsuwabuki Hinako of the Zuka Club are making their way through throngs of admirers. One of the girls even presents Benio with a bento that includes the octopus-shaped wieners that Benio likes. Benio woos the girl by comparing her to the octopus wiener and asks if she wants to be eaten, which drives all the girls wild. The Zuka Club then makes their way to a room where Benio asks Chizuru about a certain girl. She is referring to Haruhi, who has finished changing into a Lobelia school uniform. The three girls absolutely love how it looks on Haruhi, and Benio even says that it’s as if the uniform was designed just for her.
Back at home, Ranka-san is panicking now because of the chance that Haruhi will be victim to a kiss by the Zuka Club. The twins remember that Haruhi already had her first kiss back during the dance party, but Tamaki shuts them up before they can fully reveal this to Ranka-san. Haruhi’s father becomes suspicious of them, but Tamaki rallies them to go save Haruhi. Back at Lobelia, Haruhi is trying to get an explanation for why the Zuka Club girls kidnapped her this morning when she was headed to the supermarket. Haruhi says it’s like something the Host Club guys would do, a comparison which gets Benio really angry. But she controls herself and apologizes because it’s natural that Haruhi is angry. Benio thinks that they took Haruhi away while she was still in her sleep-wear, though Haruhi knows that those were actually her everyday clothes.
In any case, Benio explains that the Zuka Club researches songs and plays for a periodic musical show. And it seems that today is Nadeshiko (Pink) Day, the birthday of the founder of the club. They’ve worked very hard practicing for this day, but the girl who was supposed to play the heroine got into an accident and had to be hospitalized. And so, by any means possible, they want Haruhi to perform that role. Haruhi immediately says that it’s impossible and refuses. Her answer causes the Zuka Club members to freeze in place until Benio says that the part is small and that it is mostly symbolically standing around. And knowing how good Haruhi’s mind is, they are sure that she can memorize her lines quickly. Haruhi isn’t listening and is about to open the door to leave, so Benio dramatically falls down on all fours and asks for forgiveness from her mother. Chizuru and Hinako explain that Benio’s mother was also a graduate of Lobelia and was a member of the White Lily Society. Benio’s dream is to become like her mother, and if the performance today were to be called off, then that dream would be crushed. Haruhi of course has a weak spot for the topic of “mother,” so she agrees to help.
Meanwhile, the Host Club members and Ranka-san have arrived outside of Lobelia. Ranka-san is especially concerned because he knows that once a person is deceived by the Zuka Club, they won’t want to escape even if they go bankrupt; he compares the Zuka Club to nectar from a devilish flower. Kyoya thinks that Haruhi isn’t the type to be deceived like that, causing Ranka-san to talk about how Kotoko – his wife and Haruhi’s mother – was cool and didn’t let anything agitate her. He hadn’t noticed back then for a while because of the happiness of being married. But when he was cleaning one day, he came across Kotoko’s large Zuka collection. The guys quickly realize that Haruhi could be like her mother. Tamaki thinks about how she could give up her assets, including her cuteness and her own body, to the Zuka Club. He orders Kyoya to obtain some Lobelia uniforms for them to disguise themselves and sneak around in. Fortunately for them, Ranka-san kicks Tamaki in the back. Ranka-san himself has a secret plan ready.
Inside Lobelia’s First Lesson Room, Benio and Haruhi are practicing an important scene from the play. Although Benio is getting into it, Haruhi just says “Frédérique-sama” in a loud voice, over and over again. The Host Club guys – who are now wearing Benibara shirts – are watching from outside the window and notice Haruhi’s monotonous acting. They call her a daikon (used to describe bad actors) and even think of her as a robot. It appears that Haruhi is about to sing, which gets Ranka-san really worried because he knows how bad a singer Haruhi is. To everyone’s surprise, a beautiful song comes from Haruhi’s voice. However, the sound soon stops and they see just Haruhi’s mouth moving. It seems that Hinako inadvertently unplugged the stereo with her foot; plugging it back in turns the music and the singing back on. In other words, the Zuka Club is having Haruhi lip-sync.
It is at this point that a group of Benibara fans appear behind the Host Club and force the guys to join the girls in practicing a greeting to Benio. Tamaki asks Ranka-san if this is his secret plan, but Ranka-san says that if they want to get close to the Zuka Club, they have to take on the viewpoint of a fan. During the break, two girls come up and ask the guys what part of Benibara they like. Ranka-san springs into action, gushing about Benio’s singing voice, the shape of her head, and so on. The girls then talk about the tragedy, called 「追憶のセニョリータ」 (Tsuioku no Senorita), which is a story of love and revenge. When those girls wonder about how the substitute for Marianne (aka. Haruhi) would do, the leader of the fans says that if by chance someone ruins Benibara’s stage, then the tough looking girls from behind the gymnasium will take care of them. The guys panic out of fear for Haruhi’s safety because of her lack of acting ability, and a serious Tamaki knows that they have to go help her.
The guys sneak into the theater before anyone else, although Benio does notice them. Ranka-san realizes that Kyoya isn’t with them anymore and hasn’t been for a while now. Honey turns around and spots Kyoya in the theater’s control room, being given a tour by a woman who is honored to have a member of the Ootori family come visit. He gets her to show him the controls, including the digital screen that lowers on stage and can display various pictures. Meanwhile, the doors to the theater open and the throngs of girls fill the audience as the time draws near. The performance starts with a song from Haruhi, but the first things the guys notice is how much make-up she has on. Tamaki tries to go take her off the stage, but Ranka-san stops him because he sees that Haruhi is looking livelier now than she did in the practice room. Tamaki realizes that if by her own will Haruhi is trying her best, then they have no right to get in her way.
The play continues and eventually arrives at the climactic scene that Haruhi and Benio were practicing earlier. When the audience starts murmuring about the upcoming kiss scene, Tamaki is reminded of what the two girls earlier told him about the play, specifically remembering the revenge part. In fact, at that moment, Benio is saying a line about how it’s not possible for her to erase her feeling towards Marianne and her revenge towards that man. Suddenly, three spotlights turn on, all focused on where the Host Club is standing. As Haruhi is realizing that Tamaki and her father are here, Benio grabs her and announces that she’s going to be snatching away Haruhi’s first kiss right in front of Tamaki’s eyes – this is Benio’s revenge. Tamaki rushes towards the stage to stop them, but he slips and falls on a peel thrown by the banana monkey. Benio and Haruhi then get lifted up on a platform, out of Tamaki’s reach.
However, it seems that Kyoya, who is still in the control room, is up to something. As Haruhi struggles with Benio attempting to kiss her, the digital screen behind them lowers down. With the press of a key, Kyoya loads up the image of Haruhi kissing Kanako from that time at the dance party. Benio is shocked, but even more freaked out is Haruhi’s father. He charges the stage with Kaoru and Hikaru, though all three fall victim to the banana monkey. Haruhi looks for a way off the platform and sees Tamaki standing below with his arms out, calling to her. She jumps down towards him, but lands right on top of him. Haruhi then has to run from both her angry father and the angry Zuka Club. While doing laps around the stage, Haruhi wishes to herself that she was studying at home quietly. The banana monkey, who is now enjoying takoyaki, ends up tripping everyone at once.
I think this may be the best episode so far. From beginning to end, there were just tons of laughs. It almost felt like it was the culmination of many jokes and episodes, including the Zuka Club, the monkey, Haruhi’s first kiss, and Haruhi’s father. The reappearance of the banana monkey was comedic genius, as was giving Tamaki such a serious face (it reminded me a lot of School Rumble). But the funniest part for me was the Haruhi daikon followed quickly by Robo-Haruhi.
What made that scene even better came after Robo-Haruhi – I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard Haruhi start singing. In other words, a Maaya Sakamoto song!! I remember that before this show even aired, I had been excited at the prospect of such a song, and now it has finally come. I loved the song and I hope it’ll make an appearance on a future soundtrack (I’m also hoping for Sakura Kiss in piano). But really this was just icing on the cake that was a great episode. Forget what I said, see below. The song is actually Kawabe Chieko’s little wing from her 2005 album brilliance.
Next week, we get another twins episode, time about how they joined the Host Club.