The newspaper club at Ouran High School is in danger of being shut down because of lack of readers. With the wild success of the Host Club’s publications and the failures of their own, the newspaper club feels that they have no choice but to bow their heads to the Host Club. Unaware of this, the Host Club is holding a Heian Period-themed day. While everyone else is making the girls swoon as usual, Haruhi is enjoying the peacefulness. Suddenly a ball comes flying towards her head, but Tamaki tackles her out of the way. The twins are unimpressed that Tamaki didn’t catch the ball, and Tamaki tries to prove himself by delivering his Starlight Kick. But with his poor aim, the ball ends up hitting the president of the newspaper club, Komatsuzawa Akira, on the head. When Tamaki goes to apologize to him, Komatsuzawa uses the opportunity to tell the Host Club that he wants to do a piece on them. The twins explain to Haruhi that the Ou Spot newspaper has become a tabloid with so many lies that no one reads it anymore. Komatsuzawa says that with the closure of the club coming, they’ve opened their eyes and now want the Host Club’s help. Seeing how desperate the newspaper club is, Tamaki tries to accept, but Kyoya pushes him out of the way and refuses. Tamaki goes as far as to try to issue a Presidential Order to get his club to help, but everyone continues to refuse.
Back in the Third Music Room, an angry Tamaki plays silently with a ball. Haruhi asks why they don’t help the newspaper club, saying that she has a strange feeling that Tamaki will look at them with puppy eyes until they give in. And indeed, Tamaki does start giving them puppy eyes. In the end, Kyoya decides to help the newspaper club out, but with some conditions: they’ll do the planning, interviews are forbidden, and the customers are not to be troubled. The rest of the club decides that if Kyoya says it, then it’s ok. Haruhi thinks that this is as you would expect from the shadow king, referring to Kyoya. The Host Club vice-president goes to tell the newspaper club the decision, and also presents Komatsuzawa with a first-aid box for his head injury. As Kyoya prepares to leave, Komatsuzawa verifies that Kyoya’s family is in the medical business, and then reveals that his own father is the president of the Komatsuzawa Publications, something that Kyoya already knew. Komatsuzawa explains that his little brother is going to succeed his father in that position, but he is hoping that staying on for three years as the president of the newspaper club at Ouran High will make his father reconsider. So, he makes it extra clear to Kyoya that this club cannot be shut down.
After Kyoya leaves, Komatsuzawa clarifies to his two subordinates that his enemy is actually Tamaki. In Komatsuzawa’s eyes, Tamaki is a shrewd and arrogant man who likes to display his power. He is sure that Tamaki has a dark side. Imagine his surprise when he sees Tamaki leading the Host Club in a game of Dahrumasan ga Koronda. Tamaki introduces this as a game of the commoners, and it relates to the newspaper piece because of friendliness. He explains that friendliness is essential in getting rid of the club’s bad image, and his mind is filled with images of an article about the Host Club enjoying a commoner’s game. This attitude prompts the newspaper club to wonder if Tamaki’s just an idiot. Komatsuzawa decides to interrogate Haruhi and try to dig up dirt on Tamaki’s dark side. But Haruhi is confused when he talks about showing off the Suou family’s power and she denies any dark side of Tamaki. The twins then take her away, and the next game they play is kankeri. Tamaki grabs Haruhi and runs off into the nearby garden labyrinth where he quickly gets lost. Along the way, Haruhi realizes that she doesn’t know anything about Tamaki’s family.
Hiding together inside the labyrinth, Haruhi admits that she didn’t think she’d be playing these types of games as a high-schooler. She did this with her friends back when she was in elementary school. Tamaki reveals that he didn’t have many friends his age because that his mother was sickly. He was so worried about her that he didn’t go out and always stayed by her side playing the piano for her. That’s why he’s so happy playing with everyone now. Meanwhile, the newspaper club president is furious with how things turned out and is ready to just write a gossip article on Tamaki. But waiting for him in the newspaper club’s room are the twins. They overheard everything Komatsuzawa was plotting, though it was already obvious to them. The only person who didn’t know was Tamaki himself. They warn Komatsuzawa of the repercussions of his actions, which would include making his family an enemy of every single family represented in the Host Club. Komatsuzawa thinks that Tamaki had them use their families’ influence, but Honey appears behind him to deny it. Honey says that Tamaki wouldn’t do that, and then declares that they all love Tamaki. Kyoya and the others recount how Tamaki brought them all into the Host Club. Komatsuzawa says that he’ll ruin all of them, but Kyoya reveals that he hid a disk in the first aid kit he gave earlier which recorded Komatsuzawa’s plans.
The Host Club members eventually find Haruhi and Tamaki inside the garden. Hikaru and Kaoru say that the newspaper club stopped working on their piece because of urgent business, that they’ll write honest articles from now on, and that the newspaper club won’t have to close. With the Suou family still on her mind, Haruhi asks Kyoya about it. Kyoya tells her about how the Suou business was based on finance and banking, and how they now run many properties, including the school. Haruhi doesn’t know what school he’s talking about and is shocked to learn that it’s Ouran High School. It seems that Tamaki’s father is the chairman of the board, and Haruhi is actually able to come to this school because of support from the Suou family. Haruhi can’t believe what she just heard.
Well I didn’t really like this episode all that much, which is just about as much as I liked the manga chapter it was based on. There were a few funny moments (especially Haruhi’s priceless expression at the end there), but overall it’s just not as good in terms of laughs or plot as some of the other episodes. What this episode does manage to do is hint at some of the future stories. The Komatsuzawa family successor situation mirrors Kyoya’s family’s situation, and this episode gives the first bits of information about Tamaki’s mother and father.
Next week is the first of a two-part summer arc in Karuizawa. And for those of you who don’t know, the “lady” in that first preview shot is actually a man, one of Ranka-san’s friends.