Fujioka Haruhi is looking for a quiet place to study and enters the room that houses the Ouran High School Host Club. Ouran High School is filled with rich people with lots of free time. The Host Club serves the female portion of school. Actually, Haruhi is a scholarship student because he’s not rich. The guys in the club even call Haruhi a hero because of his poverty. As Haruhi tries to escape their clutches, he accidentally knocks over a vase and breaks it. The cost of the vase? 8 million yen. Since Haruhi is poor, the leader of the Host Club, Tamaki, decides that Haruhi will have to pay back with his body by becoming the dog of the club. During business hours, Tamaki has Haruhi go buys some things, including instant coffee. Everyone gets excited because they’ve never seen the stuff before (since they’re so rich).
Aside from Tamaki, the other members of the Host Club are the brothers Kaoru and Hikari, the tall Mori, the glasses-wearing Kyoya, and the child-like Haninozuka (Honey for short). Kyoya warns Haruhi not to try to run away because he has a private police ready to go after him. It’s only after Hikaru takes off Haruhi’s glasses that the group realizes what beautiful eyes he has. Tamaki orders everyone to help fix him up, and the result is a very pretty-boy-esque Haruhi. Tamaki tells him that he needs to get 100 customers before the club will forgive the debt. Haruhi gets to work immediately and unwittingly wins over some girls with talk about how his mother passed away and how he enjoyed doing the chores and cooking.
Tamaki then introduces a girl named Ayanokouji to Haruhi. Ayanokouji doesn’t like Haruhi for taking up so much of Tamaki’s attention, so she dumps Haruhi’s bag into the fountain outside. Tamaki ends up joining Haruhi in searching the water for his wallet, which gets Ayanokouji even angrier. She then requests Haruhi and privately tells him that Tamaki is only caring for him because Haruhi’s upbringing was so unusual. Haruhi realizes that the girl is jealous and says so. Ayanokouji reaches out to hit Haruhi, but he stands up and somehow the table gets turned over. She starts accusing him of getting violent, but the Host Club takes Haruhi’s side and so she leaves. Tamaki punishes Haruhi by raising the number to 1000 customers.
While Haruhi is changing, Tamaki brings him a towel and unknowingly walks into the changing room. He finds Haruhi in girl’s underwear and the light bulb finally turns on: Haruhi is not a he, Haruhi is a she. Kyoya had known from the beginning and the rest had figured it out along the way. Haruhi compliments Tamaki by saying that the way he acted earlier was cool. This gets Tamaki red-faced and Kyoya wonders if this is the beginning of a love.
This series is amazing, probably the best one I’ve seen so far this season; BONES has really outdone themselves. I’ve provided high-res pics to show just how great this series looks. And it’s not just high animation quality, I found the first episode to be pretty funny and lighthearted. By keeping the light bulb joke going through the entire episode, it became especially funny when Tamaki’s finally came on. The story is probably not for everyone since it’s a very shoujo premise, but I certainly enjoyed it.
I actually haven’t read much of the manga (not even all of volume one). From what I remember, this episode is very similar to the first chapter except with some of the parts moved around. This is a sign that I should probably go read more of it…