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Manga Review: Ouran High School Host Club Volume 1 by Bisco Hatori

Updated on July 10, 2019
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing videogames.

Ouran High School Host Club manga volume 1 cover.
Ouran High School Host Club manga volume 1 cover. | Source

Quick Info

Author: Bisco Hatori
Publisher: Viz Media
Page Count: 184 pages
Published: July 5, 2005
Availability: Buy on Amazon digitally or physically, RightStufAnime or at your local bookstore

Story Summary

Ouran High School Host Club is about a high school student named Haruhi Fujioka. Trying to find a place to study, she stumbles upon the Host Club of the elite Ouran Academy, the rich school she has a scholarship to go to. She accidentally breaks an $80,000 vase and has to pay it off by becoming a Host Club member, the only problem is, the Host Club is made up of all boys and she’s a girl.

This Story is Fun and Enjoyable

Ouran High School Host Club is a unique parody of the reverse harem genre. I’m not usually someone that reads a lot of shojo manga, but I have watched some shojo anime, but not very often. I became interested in the anime of Ouran High School Host Club anime because Vic Mignogna is my favorite English dub voice actor and he voices the main character Tamaki Suoh.

The anime did pique my interest in the manga and that’s what the anime was supposed to do.

I became interested in the manga because the anime deviated from the original source material. I decided to start reading the manga because it’s complete and the anime wasn’t when it was made in 2006.
It’s a manga that I find enjoyable even though I don’t read a lot of Shoujou manga.

Haruhi looking for a place to study.
Haruhi looking for a place to study. | Source

The Story Pokes Fun at the Rich but isn’t Mean-Spirited About It

As an American I do see a tendency in real life and fiction to demonize rich people as people who are bad because they have money, other countries have their own takes on this idea. While this first volume does have an example of a mean-spirited rich teenager, it also has rich teens who are genuinely good people too.

It does poke fun at rich people, having the members of the Ouran High School Host Club be in awe of what most Japanese people consider to be normal, like instant ramen and instant coffee.

Bisco Hatori makes her characters a lot of fun, despite not being portrayed as the everyday reader, Haruhi is an excellent stand-in for the audience and she’s also a fantastic female character too.

Tamaki welcomes Haruhi to the Host Club.
Tamaki welcomes Haruhi to the Host Club. | Source

The Artwork is Nice

Bisco Hatori is an entertaining manga author and illustrator. The artwork is a lot of fun because it’s all comedic and while this isn’t an action manga, the character designs are all unique and unlike Vampire Knight where I get confused on who is who, Ouran has each character look different, except the Hitachiin Twins.

The manga does stand out for having unique character designs and that’s nice because it is hard for black and white artwork to stand out in Japanee manga because all the mangaka tend to use similar character designs for some reason.

The artwork is fun to look at and it’s visually appealing in a way that I’m sure female fans will really enjoy.

This Manga Probably Won’t Appeal to Guys

Because this is a Shoujo manga I don’t really see it as something guys are going to read and buy. This isn’t something that will appeal to them, but it is an enjoyable manga.

It does make a great present for your girlfriend if she likes to read manga and you don’t know what to buy her and she likes reading the Shojou genre.

Parental Rating

As a note to parents this manga does have some profanity and suggestive content and is recommended for ages 13 and up because of those things.

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The Manga is Fun but Appeals to a Limited Audience

I love Ouran High School Host Club. It’s a fun, comedic Shojo that I love reading. This is a love letter to the Shojou genre and will be enjoyed by the reader demographic.

It has gotten harder for me to watch the original anime because I’m disappointed in Funimation Entertainment and their recent behavior regarding Vic Mignogna and their own customer base, but at least the source material is readily available for me to read and enjoy. I can enjoy the manga and support the original creator like the anime intended for me to do.

IF you’re not into Shojo or you’re a male you probably won’t like it unless you’re willing to give it a try or you’re into comedies in general. This manga won’t appeal to all audiences but it is a lot of fun if you give it a try.

Quick Summary

What Works:
What Doesn't Work:
Great story, characters and world-building
You have to know Shojo tropes to get the jokes
Great artwork
Will not appeal to the male demographic unless they like comedies
Funny jokes for people who read Shojo

My Grade: A

I love this manga but not quite enough for me to buy it for myself. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pick it up. I don’t feel obligated to buy it because my local library system has the entire series and I can just borrow it to read it. But it is definitely a manga that is worth having for your manga collection if you don’t have it on hand from your local library like I do.

If you enjoyed the anime you should buy it because it’s different from the anime and goes past where the anime made their original ending. It’s well worth reading if you love Shojo and comedies.

The guys might not enjoy it as much since the target audience is female but if you’re looking for a manga to give your girlfriend as a present if she reads manga then I can wholeheartedly recommend this despite the fact that I don’t read or watch a lot of anime and manga in this genre.

It’s a lot of comedic fun, especially if you’re familiar with all the tropes they parody in this manga. It’s an entertaining manga even if you aren’t familiar with tropes commonly used in Shojo manga but you get more out of it if you know what they’re poking fun at when it comes to the tropes in the genre.

However, if you are new to either, you might be confused by all the references and even the honorifics, but it’s a manga that should be enjoyed if you enjoy shojo or harem manga and anime. This one is targeted at girls, but there are guys who enjoy it as well. I enjoy this manga, but it’s not going to be on my bookshelf, mainly because it’s not one of my favorites, but I enjoy getting it from my library. If you’re a girl, you should definitely pick this one up, but try to see if your local library has it first to try before you buy. If you enjoyed the Ouran High School Host Club anime, you should buy this. Guys should only try first before buying because this isn’t for everyone.

If you can’t afford it see if your local library has the manga on their shelf because it’s complete and it has been out for some time and you should borrow it to try it for yourself before buying it if you can.

I highly recommend this for any fans of Shojo manga and if you want to see the rest of the story they didn’t show in the manga when they made the anime because it wasn’t complete at the tie.


5 stars for Manga Review: Ouran High School Host Club Volume 1


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