It’s the eve of the 43rd Ouran Festival, and preparations are underway for the opening ceremony. Haruhi thought that a festival would have been something the students worked on themselves, but at Ouran, the students have workers doing the jobs for them. After Kyoya explains that all of this is actually about foresight and leadership, the rest of the club rides up in a horse-drawn wagon. As they ride along being admired by the girls, Tamaki says that for the real parade tomorrow, they’ll be dressing up in medieval French garb. In fact, they’ve got a flashy costume prepared for Haruhi. The chime of the clock tower signals the start of the opening ceremony, and it includes a dance filled with many familiar faces.
With all of the visiting parents, the Host Club is open for business to the general public in the salon of the Central Building. Everyone is acting as they normally do, except now they are impressing the girls along with their mothers and fathers. Haruhi comments on how this is still a luxurious event, causing Tamaki to rush over and talk about appealing to a wide group of people. However, Kyoya reports that this time that they’ve gone over budget. He points out that Tamaki had the wagon specially airlifted from France and thinks that Tamaki’s selfish planning is causing them much difficulty as usual. Haruhi agrees and walks off, despite Tamaki’s loud protests. From across the room, a girl is watching Tamaki through a pair of opera glasses when Haruhi approaches her tries to serve her. The girl simply confirms that Haruhi is a Host Club member before everyone’s attention is turned to Tamaki welcoming his father.
Tamaki’s father instructs Tamaki not to call him “father” at school, but rather “chairman.” Then, as Tamaki secretly watches on from atop a chandelier, his father has a talk with Kyoya that includes some whispering. Tamaki is so surprised when Kyoya calls Haruhi over that he falls down from the ceiling. At first, Haruhi feels that Tamaki’s father isn’t really like Tamaki, but then the chairman starts trying to work his charm on her, including asking her to call him oji-sama. Haruhi quickly realizes just how similar father and son are. The chairman even grasps her hand and tells her to come talk to him if she’s ever troubled. A jealous Tamaki lurks up and starts causing a ruckus, but a slapping noise interrupts him. It seems that Kyoya’s father has also arrived and is none to happy with what he calls this joke of a club activity. As he wonders if Kyoya is intending to embarrass him, Kyoya picks up his glasses and stays silent. Kyoya’s father and Tamaki’s father then have a brief chat about how it’ll only be a matter of time before a mass communication stirs things up, with Tamaki’s father wondering if the random outburst of anger won’t happen.
The other club members are concerned about Kyoya, and Haruhi thinks that Kyoya was hit because he participated in Host Club. Kyoya, however, says that he expected it and walks off by himself. Tamaki can’t help but wonder if this all wasn’t the Host Club’s fault. The chairman then walks over and lectures him about the price of his selfishness. He asks Tamaki what he plans to do from now on, asking if Tamaki wants to succeed the Suou family. Tamaki’s father thinks that it’ll be a difficult choice, saying that he hasn’t yet found an answer. He questions if Tamaki truly knows what he wants the most, and then turns Tamaki’s attention to the person who just entered the room: Tamaki’s grandmother.
Tamaki is so happy to see his grandmother that he rushes over to her. Standing with the other Host Club members, Honey tells Haruhi that he hates the old lady. It soon becomes apparent why when Tamaki’s grandmother moves past Tamaki, telling him not to touch her and labeling him filthy. When the matron calls out a girl named Éclair, the girl with the opera glasses from before walks forward. Tamaki’s grandmother announces that for today and tomorrow, Tamaki is to escort Éclair. Not going against his grandmother’s word, Tamaki accepts the duty with a smile. When Tamaki doesn’t return later that day, the other guys start wondering what happened. As the twins are thinking about who the Éclair girl is, Renge comes over and admits that she knows her.
Éclair’s full name is Éclair Tonnerre, the third daughter of the French Tonnerre family. Doing his research with his computer, Kyoya backs that up by explaining that not only does the Tonnerre family have a good pedigree, they have also recently been buying Japanese enterprises, one after another. However, he doesn’t know why that girl came here to see Tamaki. At that time, Tamaki and Éclair are riding on a gondola through an Ouran replica of Venice put on by the art club. This bores Éclair, and it seems that the only thing she wants is to hear Tamaki play the piano. When the two of them return to the Third Music Room, Haruhi – who was changing clothes in the adjoining room – hears them. She realizes that Tamaki is playing the piano for Éclair, and presses her back against the door, a noise which Éclair hears.
As Tamaki continues playing, Éclair asks if this room is where the Host Club usually does things and comments on how well all the Host Club members get along. When Tamaki tells her that the Host Club is like his family, Éclair points out that Tamaki’s real family isn’t in Japan and says that Tamaki is playing house. She even goes as far as to remind Tamaki of Kyoya’s dad hitting Kyoya, suggesting that it was because of Tamaki’s selfishness. Remembering what Kyoya had also said earlier about his selfishness, Tamaki starts doubting himself, thinking about everyone sacrificing something. Most prevalent in his mind is Haruhi’s goal to be a lawyer and how it’s possible that she sacrificed her important studying time to come to the club activities.
It is at this point that the door opens and Haruhi walks in. She explains that she came back to change clothes since a certain person had suggested three changes of clothes in one day. Haruhi thinks that if the person who said that neglected the salon, everyone would be angry. Staring at Haruhi through the opera glasses, Éclair apologizes because Tamaki is now hers. She surprises Haruhi by saying that Haruhi seems jealous. Tamaki is thrilled that Haruhi would be jealous, and his attitude towards Haruhi turns on the light bulb in Éclair’s head. Haruhi denies it and leaves, apologizing for intruding on them. Tamaki tries to chase after her, but Éclair grabs his arm and stops him. After the door closes, Éclair asks if Tamaki likes that mamedanuki. In response, Tamaki asks Éclair not to call his daughter a mamedanuki. Éclair catches on to the word daughter and relates it back to the playing house point she raised earlier. She then pushes Tamaki onto the sofa and gets up close to him, saying that she can give him what he wants the most.
All eyes turn to Haruhi when she re-enters the salon in her new outfit. When the twins ask where Tamaki is, Haruhi immediately replies that he’s in the Third Music Room with Éclair. From her tone, the Host Club members immediately sense jealousy. Haruhi denies it, but she does say that he’s being a little irresponsible. Kyoya attributes it to Tamaki’s grandmother’s order, causing Haruhi to remember how cold Tamaki’s grandmother was to him for no apparent reason. Everyone else, however, knows that the reason is because Tamaki’s the son of a mistress. As the story goes, 20 or so years ago, the previous head of the Suou family died young. Tamaki’s father was consequently put into a political marriage and made into the successor. Several years later, the chairman truly fell in love with a woman he met in France.
It was from that that Tamaki was born. Tamaki’s father had wanted to separate from his wife and marry the woman he loved, but Tamaki’s grandmother had refused. Tamaki’s mother was sickly and could not live in Japan, so Tamaki was raised in France until he was 14 years old. However, his mother’s family’s business failed, so they accumulated a large debt. Meanwhile, the Suou family had no heir, so Tamaki’s grandmother made a deal: she would raise enough money for Tamaki’s mother to live comfortably, but in return, Tamaki had to come to Japan alone. And there was one more condition: Tamaki’s mother and Tamaki were never allowed to see each other again. Kyoya explains that although the chairman is the head of the Suou family, the person with the real power is the grandmother. And since Tamaki’s mother had a weak body, she would have been lost without the aid of the Suou family. That’s why Tamaki left alone and came to Japan, leaving his crying mother.
After that, his mother moved away and is now missing, meaning that Tamaki hasn’t seen his mother since. This story triggers memories inside Haruhi of when she had just lost her own mother and had asked her father if she’d never see her mother again. She hadn’t known about this and wonders if she could have held no grudge against the grandmother if she had been in Tamaki’s shoes. Kyoya admits that it’s easy to sympathize, but he’s glad that Tamaki is who he is right now. He feels that Tamaki is ok – after accepting everything, Tamaki is here now, in this Host Club. As the others smile in agreement, so does Haruhi. It is at this moment that the door to the salon then opens and Tamaki and Éclair appear. Tamaki announces that he’s got something important to tell them: he’s engaged to Éclair, and so this Host Club will dissolve when this Ouran Festival ends.
So they did indeed decide to include the manga’s volume six Ouran School Festival and Tamaki material, though in a modified form. Things like Tamaki’s past and Tamaki’s father meeting Haruhi were very close the manga, but Éclair and the engagement bomb were completely new. The Tamaki focus isn’t a bad thing since he hasn’t gotten as much development as the twins and since it was inevitable that they’d talk about his past. But I doubt that they’ll go for a TamakiXHaruhi ending, despite Haruhi’s supposed jealousy. Rather, I’d bet that Haruhi will play a key role in getting Tamaki to reverse his decision to marry Éclair and to dissolve the Host Club, so that the entire group can end up happy together.
On the subject of Éclair (voiced by the talented Tamura Yukari), I would guess that she offered Tamaki a way to see his mother, which is why he consented to the engagement. Regardless if that’s the case or not, I hope that they write Tamaki a good conclusion, whether it is him being able to see his mother or staying with all his friends or whatever. But with the way this series has gone, I’m sure that it won’t end on a bad note, so there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. What I should instead be hoping for is a good mix of drama and comedy for next week’s finale, instead of the recent comedy or character episode divide. Still, however this series ends, Ouran High School Host Club will undoubtedly go down as one of my favorites of the year.