Ouran High School Host Club (Drama) – 08
Given Nekozawa Umehito’s prominent role in the drama, it doesn’t come as any real surprise that the episode about him and his younger sister Kirimi (Sawada Mone) would be adapted. While I don’t really care too much about Nekozawa’s character, it is nice to hear Ryuusei Ryou use a normal voice for a change. Long story short, this episode covers Nekozawa’s inability to get along with Kirimi because he’s afraid of light and she’s afraid of the dark. Kirimi’s image of her prince-like brother and thorough knowledge of shoujo manga lead her to believe that Tamaki is her brother, so the host club decides to help Nekozawa change his image and overcome his fear to save his sibling relationship. As usual, this is primarily Tamaki’s idea and is prompted by Haruhi’s take on it — namely, how she feels sorry for them.
There were some notable changes, as well as a story within a story surrounding Tamaki, but things were still fairly faithful for the most part right down to the host club’s police-themed day. What was new was the inclusion of first-year Black Magic Club member Kanazuki Reiko (Sugisaki Hana), who was briefly introduced last episode. Her character was left out of the anime, so it’ll be interesting to see if there be an episode about her here. I’m really hoping there will be, after learning about her subplot with Honey. This episode was merely a formal introduction to her character by having her explain the situation between Nekozawa and Kirimi, but she stood out enough to me to warrant her own episode.
Another change was the police outfit for Haruhi, which in certain kinky and fetish-type ways, is arguably better than the swimsuit. The comedic effect was more or less retained, so in all likelihood, it was to spare Kawaguchi Haruna from having to pose in a two-piece. I didn’t mind that lost opportunity though, because the highlight of this episode was Nekozawa’s special training. In particular, the scene with all the English lines where Tamaki was all “No Shadow” and Nekozawa caved and went “Yes Shadow”. I found it absolutely hilarious when Tamaki was screaming “No! no! no! no! no!” at the top of his lungs. It sounded like he was just one step away from saying, “Fuck man no!” with a Japanese accent, similar to how a certain mad scientist said some pretty random stuff. Too funny.
Things concluded much the same with Nekozawa darting out into the sunlight to save Kirimi from a cat (she’s deathly afraid of cats), so what really defined this episode from the drama’s standpoint was the aforementioned story within a story. After a quick introduction to Tamaki’s eccentric father and chairman of Ouran High School, Suou Yuzuru (Masu Takeshi), it looks like things are headed toward the backstory involving Tamaki’s French mother, whom his paternal grandmother doesn’t allow him to see. The surprise on Haruhi’s face when Tamaki told her he hasn’t seen his mother in over two years suggested as much anyway. So did her questions about Tamaki’s parents at the end when Tamaki was playing “Amazing Grace” to ease Nekozawa’s suffering. (I love that song, but was he trying to help him pass on…!?). Judging from that, I get the feeling the drama will conclude around that subplot.
Of course, things aren’t going to be headed there right away even if that’s the case, with the next episode involving Haruhi and Hikaru’s first date as per Kaoru’s setup in episode sixteen of the anime. That should be entertaining, even if it’s just to see Tamaki get riled up about it.