「Episode 3」

As I mentioned last time, Jounouchi Ayame (Nakabeppu Aoi) is the guest character in this week’s episode of Ouran, providing something new to anime-only fans such as myself. A quick glimpse of the manga showed that this is episode is taken right out of chapter 17, when Haruhi’s grades slipped from their number one ranking and put her scholarship in jeopardy. Watching this episode actually made me wonder why it wasn’t included in the anime, since it was relatively self-contained and added some interesting developments in Tamaki. From his Kuma-chan teddy bear to its mechanical pencil variation, it showed more of his eccentric side in contrast to his more respectable one. It didn’t feel like it took away too much from the focus on Haruhi either, given that Ayame was brought in by Kyouya to help tutor her because all the other alternatives were far less approachable.

On that note, I’m still dumbfounded by how the host club members are the top students in their respective grades, especially Tamaki as the runner-up behind Kyouya for second-years. Honey is technically the smartest student in the entire school too, leading all third-years. Haruhi makes sense since she got into the school because of her grades and only fell behind this time because of a careless mistake, so she probably didn’t really need to be tutored at all. I’m well aware that this over-the-top juxtaposition of the characters’ images and personalities is exactly what the series is going for, but it does demand a fair bit of suspension of disbelief on my part. In Tamaki’s case, I do see how it helps bring out his playful innocence, but when he stays up all night drawing two hundred flyers by hand rather than photocopying them, I sometimes stop and wonder. Because of that, I can understand where Ayame’s coming from and why she “claims” to hate Tamaki. After being sweet talked only to learn that he’s a womanizer, it was pure insult to injury to learn that he’s academically smarter too.

Of course, Tamaki has a tendency to twist our image of him around and it was no different this time around. I still think he cuts the cheese incredibly thick with his lines about how the rain is a pretense to clear skies — as a metaphor to describe the effect the weather has Ayame’s naturally frizzy hair — but that’s Tamaki for us. Regardless, his cheesy lines still served as a nice follow-up to the way she suffocated everyone with her Morse Code-like monotone lecturing, which I enjoyed quite a bit because of its anime-esque roots. A quick flip through the manga proved how incredibly faithful that scene and many others were in this episode, so there’s very little to fault about the direction of this drama. The summer party was added (and modernized to this year), but came with the added bonus of a real-life lesbian kiss. More importantly, it created a larger rift between Haruhi and Tamaki. I originally found it odd how the drama between Tamaki and Ayame was much more prominent than Tamaki and Haruhi after a single episode (which may explain why it was left out of the anime) but that final scene helped turn things around.

Next time, we’re going to see Houshikaguji Renge (Tsuchiya Tao) like I pointed out last week. This should be interesting. The preview already had me amused by the prospect of it.

* P.S. Watching a real-life tsundere feels so weird.




    1. I’ve watched some J-dramas as well, so I expected over acting. But I think it’s also due to having watched the anime, that it’s easier to accept and enjoy it by comparing it to the memories of how the scenes were done in that anime. Like how divine compared some scenes directly in the ep 2 post.

  1. I don’t really watch anime-live shows. But my most recent Japanese drama was the Kimi ni Todoke movie. IDK if I’m ready to watch a 26 episode drama given that the movie didn’t hold up to my expectations. But I like CG effects in shows.

  2. Since when do the so-told “smartest” people in anime do actually seem to be the smartest by the actions and hard work they do? Even Yagami Raito seemed downright low-IQ (high retardation and insanity points, more like) during the series.

    Japanese culture seem to have an obsession about cold-and-evil-and-born-with-Einstein-and-Mozart-brains-with-Beckham-bodies-but-seem-demure-or-underaged-or-emotionally-unstable-or-social-outcast- characters.

    It’s getting quite annoying, actually.

  3. I read a bit of the manga, so while I knew what Ayame’s reason for ‘hating’ Tamaki was, it was still nice to see again in live-action.

    The only thing I find disappointing is that they seemed to add the ball from the ‘estranged teacup couple’ episode of the anime to the end of this. I was really looking forward to seeing them dress up Haruhi as a girl too, so I hope they can somehow fit that into the adaptation.

  4. I still don’t know if I would give up on this adaptation, even Nekozawa-senpai is getting irritating (I hope his episode with his imouto gets an adaptation) but, let’s see if Renge and Tamaki’s piano skills can change my mind.


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