For the episode before for the finale, I wasn’t expecting much focus on the remaining host club members yet they managed to slip in a bit of Honey and Mori’s backstory and hint at Kyouya’s as well. It was a welcome turn of events to say the least, because I anticipated the newspaper club’s Komatsuzawa Akira (Nagase Tasuku) to steal a lot of the focus when there were plenty of other subplots that I’d much rather see. Much to my surprise, he turned out to be a stepping stone to showcase Honey’s karate and Mori’s kendo, and help explain the Haninozuka and Morinozuka’s master/servant family relationship. To that end, I don’t deny that it was kind of cheesy to see them kick the wrestling club’s asses — with sparkly special effects and all — but the choreographed fight was actually half-decent. I like how they slipped in “Black Honey” too, a side of Mitsukuni that I had completely forgotten about. We were also given glimpses of his karate days before Tamaki enticed him with sweets and cute things, which I found amusing simply because Yuudai Chiba wasn’t using a cutesy voice for a change. Nakamura Masaya finally got a decent amount of lines as Mori too after he busted into the music room in search of Honey.
Other than some Mori-love care of the newspaper club’s Akari (Uema Mio), the other major highlightwas the build-up towards the finale next time. Haruhi finally learns that Tamaki’s an illegitimate child and despised by his grandmother, while Kyouya starts to show that he’s not completely okay with how his father and two older brothers want him to stay close to Tamaki just out of personal interest with the Suou family. That looks to be ample setup for the host club anniversary party next time, now that Tamaki has stated that he’s going to quit afterward (for reasons the drama has chosen not to explicitly state yet). While I had anticipated things would proceed down this route much like the anime, the inclusion of it at the very end came as quite a surprise since Tamaki already showed that his illegitimacy doesn’t bother him and thanked Haruhi for worrying about him. The emphasis on his host club family led to a fairly uplifting note, especially with the goofy Dragon Ball-like antics during the credits, so Tamaki’s announcement crept up out of nowhere. It sure served as an awesome cliffhanger though. With tears abound in the final episode, it looks to be a touching conclusion like I remember.
* Honey-senpai picks Android over iOS for all his telephone and recording needs.