I’m watching the first season of Ouran High School Host Club now. I’ve seen trailers and video clips and images, of course. I knew it was popular and the designs looked appealing.
Very little of it conveyed how much of a parody it is. The setup is that a frumpy girl accidentally breaks an expensive vase belonging to aat her new high school. She is too poor to replace it and so the boys insist that she act as a male host to pay off her debt. She’s the show’s voice of reason and makes funny comments on their constant shenanigans.
The more anime and manga that you know, the better the jokes are. Still, I watched the first disk with people who knew nothing about it and they thought it was funny too. And really, many of the cliches in shojo anime and manga are just weird and disturbing without much exaggeration. Besides being weird and funny, the show does occasionally stop for a tender or thoughtful moment or two.
Right now I’m in the middle of watching an episode that is borrowing from Alice in Wonderland. It’s not a bad adaptation of Alice and it fits in nicely with the characters. This dream episode is only slightly more surreal than the everyday ones.