Fujioka Haruhi is a commoner who enrolls to the prestigious Ouran High School by a scholarship. In her attempt to find a quiet room to study, she ended up in the Ouran High School Host Club room and broke an 8,000,000 yen vase. In order to repay her debt, she is forced to join the club as a host.
This is one title which starts slow and rather boring but gets more interesting as the story progresses. In fact, by the end of it, I feel it is quite a waste that each episode only lasts 20+ minutes instead of the usual 45-minute duration for a J-dorama.
Despite its popularity, I never read the manga or watch the anime prior to watching this. I thought this would be typical reverse-harem+cross-dress story with Haruhi busy helping each of the guys with their personal conflicts/secrets, Haruhi falling in love with one of the guys, internal fighting among the guys as they all like her, and the ending will be her secret that she is a female being revealed to the whole school. After watching all, I am quite wrong. There isn't much story, there isn't much drama, there isn't much romance, it is mostly comedy and thus there is nothing much that I can comment on.
Kudos to the cast who makes the drama really enjoyable to watch. It is quite amazing to see in real life the lame and corny things/effects that we usually see only in manga or anime. Special mention to Yusuke Yamamoto. He may not be considered "handsome" and seeing how he often plays delinquent roles, it is quite amazing to see him as a super narcist and shameless guy. I think it is very embarrassing and it takes a lot of guts to act like he did here. The twins are also damn good with their yaoi moments. I have to say that the twins are the only ones with believable personalities. Nothing really remarkable with the rest.
Due to the nature of the dorama, it is not really thought-provoking. It is fun to watch and to have a good laugh and that's it. There isn't much story here but I still enjoy it nonetheless. I guess I am a bigger sucker for comedy than for a tear-jerking drama. Haha.. Usually I like those stories that can make me cry.
I don't have a brother and thus always wish for one. Now seeing a pair of twins, perhaps it will be more fun than having a brother eh?? But wait, if the twin has similar personality like me, I think just one of me is enough wor :p Haha..
Let's move on to the movie now..
Ouran High School is having its annual festival and the Host Club will be joining the competition in order to win the Central Saloon for their new club room. In the midst of the preparation, an exchange student from Singapore arrives and is attracted to Tamaki. What secrets does this girl hide? How will her presence affect Ouran High School and its annual festival?
The movie keeps both the goods and the bads from the TV series. Comedy is still the driving force but comedy alone is not good enough to form a 100-minute movie. An element of romance is introduced but unfortunately ends up as jokes and nothing conclusive about Tamaki-Haruhi relationship. The drama element is quite interesting up to the mid-point where Michelle's plan is revealed. However, the resolution falls flat and is rather anti-climatic. I can't see how "political marriage" and "meals with brother" are connected in anyway. Thus as much as I like the comedy elements, overall, the movie is rather below average with failed drama for the second half.
Mariko Shinoda is one of my favourite AKB48 girls but she is rather unimpressive here as Michelle. It isn't entirely her fault as her personality/story/plot is confusing and weird. She pulls of the "princessy" air well and that's it. Not even her presence can make me think that this movie is worth watching more than once.
Since Michelle and her brother, Lawrence (played by Nichkhun), are based in Singapore, they are depicted to speak English in their conversation. Their conversation sounds weird in English. Both speak very slowly, emotionlessly, and unnaturally. Hey, we don't speak like that in Singapore, okay :p
As a commoner, sometimes I dream of being rich and lead an elite lifestyle. It does not mean that being wealthy does not come with problems too: lack of family time, internal rife over family wealth, keep thinking on how to keep and grow the wealth, as well as "political" marriage are just a few things that the elites face. Honestly, I don't think I can choose which are better: those things I mention or the problems that I face as commoners: how am I going to get money tomorrow, how am I going to afford a house in the future, and so on. The bottom lines are: life is never a bed of roses and the grass is always greener at the other side.