Even when they were little, the Hitachiin brothers had posed the which-twin-is-which question to a young girl. In this snowy landscape, she had pointed to one of them as Hikaru. In a retrospective tone, Kaoru explains that the two of them have always been one – a sole existence. This is a very important thing. 8 years after that incident with the girl, the twins were in second year of middle school. Kaoru continues explaining that they were separate people – what Hikaru wasn’t, Kaoru was and vice versa. It was during this period in middle school when one of the twins had gone to respond to a girl’s love letter. The letter had been written to Hikaru, but the twin in front of the girl identified himself as Kaoru. He told her that she put the letter in the wrong desk, but then asked her if he wasn’t good too. He revealed that he’d always thought of her as cute and said that Hikaru has other girls. Just as the girl seemed to be ready to accept Kaoru instead of Hikaru, the “Kaoru” in front of her called out the real Kaoru, who was hiding nearby. In other words, the guy in front of the girl had been Hikaru all along. The girl called him cruel, but Hikaru blamed her for being the one who felt that either twin was ok. Kaoru had walked up and told her that her hairstyle didn’t suit her, insulting her taste. The two had then ripped up her love letter, telling her to come up with a more interesting confession next time. After the twins had walked away laughing, Tamaki had been the one to comfort the crying girl by giving her his handkerchief.
The twins had gone back to class to check out a new game, after Hikaru reveals that he had already gotten tired of the old one. Their motto is to get rid of boring things quickly. Their classmates had talked about them behind their backs, saying how frightening they were, how they looked down on people, and how surely there wasn’t anyone they liked other than themselves. However, Kaoru knows that it’s different from that. Up to now, there has been one such person that they’ve liked, and she was a servant girl. Flashback to 10 years ago, at the Hitachiin mansion during a party in the courtyard: Hikaru and Kaoru had been dressed up as girls, and one of the female guests had guessed that the one in blue was Hikaru and the one in pink was Kaoru. The twins had corrected her because it was actually the other way around and had even called her an idiot for her mistake. When the woman had said that they really looked like each other, the two had told her that she looked like a frog and brought one out that jumped into her face. One of the house’s maids – the one the twins liked – came over to help. However, on one night they had found that girl trying to break into one of the family safes. She had threatened them with a knife, but they had a switch to alert all the guards.
They hadn’t pressed the switch and had instead shown their maid a note that held the code to unlock the safe. The deal was that if she played with them, they’d give her the paper with the code. However, the game they wanted to play was the which-twin-is-Hikaru game. When the twins went to bed, they had hidden the code paper inside their piggy bank. Kaoru remembers that they had wanted their maid to be able to distinguish between them because they liked her. However, they had woken up to the house alarm going off. The safe had been opened by their maid, who was now making her escape. The twins saw her as she climbed down the side of the house and accused her of breaking their promise. She told them that it couldn’t be helped because she couldn’t tell them apart. She had also surprised them by saying that someone who could really tell them apart would probably not appear in their lifetime. With that, she slid down the rope ladder and disappeared into the night. In actuality, she had smashed their piggy bank to get the paper earlier while Hikaru and Kaoru were sleeping. Kaoru notes that as a result, they became twisted as they grew up.
By middle school, the twins had a barrier of sorts to keep people away. But then came along the thick-headed guy who didn’t notice that barrier: Tamaki. He had started off by saying that they looked like they had a lot of free time, and then suggested that they start a club together. Kaoru figured out that this was the Suou person who was admitted into the school spring of last year. Tamaki was thrilled that they knew who he was and went off in his own fantasy world for a second. He then tells them that the club will be starting in two months in April when he rises up to high school. Tamaki mentions that his classmate Ootori Kyoya is going to be in the club and that he’s in the middle of inviting Haninozuka and Morinozuka, who are already in high school. The twins had told him to shut up because they didn’t want to join up and they had no interest in him. But, if he wanted to get close to them no matter what, they had a challenge for him: the which-twin-is-Hikaru game. Tamaki gets one month and as many tries as he wants to figure it out, but he has to back up his answer with a reason, meaning randomly guessing won’t work. So far, no one has ever been able to give them the correct answer. To their surprise, Tamaki accepted on the condition that if he won, they’d join his club. In fact, he predicted that come April, the twins would definitely open the door to the Third Music Room.
And so, the game started. During class, one girl had come up to the twins to talk about the class event after the closing ceremony. Hikaru had said that they’ll pass, but the girl had insisted because it was the last event of their second year. Suddenly, Tamaki burst into the conversation by identifying the twin who was reading a book as Hikaru. Tamaki thought he had figured it out because Hikaru was right-handed. In actuality, both of them were right-handed. Tamaki then said that Kaoru’s bangs were parted to the right, but in actuality the twins often changed their hairstyle. The girl from before had then interrupted and asked Tamaki about the class event, and so Tamaki had signed up both twins to attend. This pissed them off enough that they left for home. As for the game, they told Tamaki to do his best. A dejected Tamaki returned to his own classroom and tried to get Kyoya to help for the sake of the club. Kyoya didn’t really care because they could still start the club even without the twins. But that’s no good for Tamaki because he’s interested in those two. Kyoya reminded Tamaki that he considered the twins their friends, but Tamaki couldn’t figure out what the twins were thinking. He felt that if the twins wanted people to distinguish between them, then all they would have to do is change their hairstyle. Kyoya suggested that perhaps they don’t want people to distinguish between them. Still, Tamaki knew that this was a game specifically to tell them apart, so Kyoya said that maybe the twins do want people to distinguish them. Actually Kyoya was only half listening to what Tamaki was saying.
The next morning at the Hitachiin house, Tamaki showed up with another attempt at guessing which twin is which. This time, he thought that Kaoru was a bit pigeon-toed, though that was not right according to the twins. As for the Host Club, Tamaki had decided that they should make Brotherly Love the twins’ selling point. They had ignored him, gotten into their car, and it drove them away from Tamaki. Unbeknownst to him, the Hikaru and Kaoru had actually started laughing at how Tamaki talked like Tono-sama (a feudal lord). However, they realized that they were slowly getting tired of this. And so, they told Tamaki at school that the game had ended. What’s more, they had also revealed that they knew Tamaki wasn’t the son of the chairman’s real (legal) wife and that his real mother was currently missing. They suggested that Tamaki was the lonely one and that was why he decided on his own to make them his friends. The two of them were thus better than the one of him. Tamaki clenched his fist, but stayed silent through all this, even as the twins walked away.
Hikaru and Kaoru had thought that this would put an end to Tamaki’s meddling in their business. They had actually wanted to play with Tamaki a little more, but they didn’t want to be disappointed. Kaoru remembers that they were always contradictory – they wanted to be distinguished from other, yet at the same time they didn’t. They had wanted someone to know them, yet at the same time they didn’t. The two of them had been searching for someone who would always accept them, but they didn’t think such a person existed. They had always lived in this two person world where they wouldn’t get hurt, one that had a big lock and needed a very strong key. Staring out the window, Hikaru saw that another girl was waiting to confess to one of them. The twins once again played their switch trick, causing this girl to run away in tears. As Hikaru had started to tear up the love letter, Tamaki had suddenly appeared and identified him correctly. But when they asked him for his reason, Tamaki said intuition.
In reality, Tamaki admited that at the time it was impossible for him to them apart because of how similar they were. However, Tamaki also thought that that similarity could be considered a talent. So from now on, they could be the two-as-one Hitachiin brothers. Still, they shouldn’t forget that the twins have separate existences, and that’s why Tamaki was going to be trying his best to be able to distinguish between them. Hikaru and Kaoru had told Tamaki that what he said was strange and contradictory. Tamaki responded by saying that it might be so, but contradictory is what the twins are, and that’s what’s called individuality. The twins had gotten angry at him because from what he said, they’d forever be considered as a set. Plus, no matter how hard Tamaki worked, they thought that he couldn’t tell them apart – there’s no one who can do that except for the twins themselves. They had known from the start that there would be no one who could get the right answer to the which-twin-is-Hikaru game. Tamaki had asked that if that’s the case, then why did they have lonely faces when the answers were wrong?
This question triggers the memory in the twins of the snowy landscape from when they were young. After that girl had pointed to one of them as Hikaru, they had told her that she got it wrong. Afterwards, that girl had apologized and asked them not to cry. Hearing these words had surprised both twins, though at that time their faces probably had looked like they were going to cry. Tamaki had told them that even if he can’t do it, there will probably be someone, someday, somewhere who can tell them apart. Still, he is sure of one thing: if the twins stay in their world of two people, they won’t ever meet this person. And so, Tamaki once again invites the twins to open the door to the Host Club, to expand the world together. Without waiting for an answer, he walked away, telling them that the first meeting would be after school of the opening ceremony day at the Third Music Room of the high school. Kaoru remembers that on that day, the two of them had been impressed by Tamaki’s right answer.
It so happens that this was the same day that Haruhi visited the school for the first time. Kyoya had also walked out of the school behind Haruhi, though the two didn’t know each other at the time, and looked up at the sun. Over at the high school, Honey learned that Mori was also invited into the Host Club by Tamaki. Honey had been told by Tamaki that cute things and cake were ok, but he still wasn’t sure of what to do. Mori simply told him that it’s ok for him follow his heart, and Honey had agreed. All eyes turned toward the clock tower as it rang out. Haruhi thought to herself that it’ll work out somehow and that she needs to do her best. It was one month later, after school on the day of the opening ceremony, that Hikaru and Kaoru went to the Third Music Room. They were hesitant at first to open the door. Kaoru had remembered what their ex-maid had said to them as she was making her escape, and he agreed that there’s not a person in this world who can tell them apart. But… Hikaru suggested that they open the door together, and so they did – this was the door that the twins opened.
This was a fairly serious episode that was particularly light on the humor, especially compared to last week. The twins really came off as really cruel at first with how they rejected those girls (or rather had fun at the girls’ expense). And bringing up Tamaki’s family situation was even worse. I thought Tamaki would lose his temper, but he managed not to. Still, you can’t but help sympathize with their story, which had its share of betrayal and loneliness. The person I had the most respect for after this episode was Tamaki though, because he didn’t get discouraged and because he made them realize that they’d never find the person who could tell them apart unless they opened up. Of course, the person who could do that did eventually come along, and that was Haruhi.
A few other thoughts:
–Young Hikaru and Kaoru in this scene remind me of Fine and Rein.
-I love how they put the title card at the very end of the episode, right as the twins open the door to the Third Music Room, which fit the title of the episode (“The Door That The Twins Opened”) perfectly.
-I was a bit surprised by how far ahead they went in terms of the manga for this episode. For the flashback with the maid, they pulled the special chapter material from volume eight. For the rest of the story, they used chapter 37 from the April 2006 edition of Lala magazine, which I believe is going to be published in volume nine next month (if that gives you and idea of how close the anime is to the manga).
Speaking of manga chapters, next week is the Halloween episode, but not the one from chapter 11 of volume three. It’ll be the story from chapter 32 of volume eight of the manga.