ouran high school host club

May 30, 2008

Classification/Genre:  high school comedy

Length/No. of seasons/episodes:  ssn 1 = 26 episodes

Main Characters:  haruhi fujioka, tamaki suoh, kyouya ootori, mitsukuni “hunny” haninozuka, hikaru and kaoro hitachiin, takashi “mori” morinozuka, haruhi’s father

Setting:  Ouran Private Academy, present-day Tokyo

Comment:  and highly entertaining series based on a silly premise that works in many ways


so, who goes to ouran high?

apparently a lot of goofy and rich good-looking teenage guys and girls with loads of free time on their hands.

ouran line

haruhi fujioka (the lone female lead) would seem depressingly normal in a “normal” setting, but when viewed in the context of being surrounded by that hilarious dimwit tamaki, the devious kyouya, the uber-cute hunny, (who sounds and looks like), the reticent mori, the mischievous pair of troublemakers kaoru and hikaru — not to mention her harebrained cross-dressing father — she is blessedly and refreshingly sane.

ouran guys

forget logical. or sensible. just give in to your rollicking mirth as these guys (and one girl posing as a guy) go through high school and wreak havoc along the way. haruhi, a poor student who is initially mistaken for a boy, is roped in as the 7th member of the host club after breaking an expensive vase that the club was planning to sell. despite knowing her gender, the club members decide to continue with the charade and let haruhi serve as a “host” — ostensibly, until she has fully paid for the price of the broken vase.

ouran hi cast

haruhi’s gender and economic situation as well as each of the guy’s personality quirks are effectively used as a fodder for numerous silly gags and hilarious situations. the guys, who initially see haruhi as an amusing and interesting novelty, eventually begin to bond with her. and then, of course, there are those other interesting and bizarre support characters such as haruhi’s father, nekozawa, ritsu kasanoda, renge-chan, etc., who are always more than willing to stick their oar in.


Kiki’s Delivery Service

May 29, 2008


Classification/Genre:  coming-of-age

Length/No. of seasons/episodes:  Film (1989), 102 mins

Main Characters:  Kiki, her parents, Tombo, Jiji, Ursula, Osono and her husband, Bertha

Setting:  a European-like city

Comment:  another winner from the master — definitely a keeper


Kiki’s Delivery Service is another Miyazaki gem that i shall never tire of watching. this coming-of-age film centers on Kiki, a young witch-in-training who must set out for a city/town of her choice and learn to live and manage her way around ‘normal’ people (sort of like a finishing school before young trainees can actually concentrate on the serious business of practicing their craft).




with her familiar (a spunky black cat named jiji) in tow, Kiki finally decides to live in a seaside city because she has never seen the sea before. after a shaky start, she is able to find lodging and part-time work, while trying to get her business off the ground: delivering packages/parcels by air — courtesy of her broom. at first, city folks are amazed to see a young witch at their midst, but they eventually grow used to her presence.

after a while, kiki’s business begins to thrive. she also manages to form bonds with several people:  ursula, a young reclusive artist who lives in a remote village; tombo, a young boy of her age who is passionate about planes and flying; oku-sama, a rich and elderly customer.



soon enough, however, kiki goes a crisis of confidence that shakes her to the core. eventually her doubts begin to affect her ability to fly and this leads her to question her choices. how she resolves this setback and finally regain her confidence is handled by Miyazaki et al. (Studio Ghibli) with delicacy and bittersweet detail — it’s the kind of stuff that inexplicably tightens your throat long after the ending credits had rolled.

with Kiki’s Delivery Service, miyazaki once again validates his deft touch in dealing with issues that confront young people who are in the brink of adulthood. nothing really earth-shaking or emotionally shattering happens in this movie, but you can easily empathize with the characters. the european setting has a comfortable, nostalgic feel to it. for some reason, there is something captivating about seeing life’s wonders and terrors from the vantage point of a young girl who is desperately trying to hold on to her broom as a source of comfort, security and ultimately, strength.


the wacky world of School Rumble

May 27, 2008


high school comedy/romance

No. of seasons/episodes:
ssn 1 = 26 eps.; 2 OVA eps.; ssn 2 = 26 eps.

Main characters:
Kenji Harima, Tenma Tsukamoto, Eri Sawachika, Yakumo Tsukamoto, Oji Karasuma, Mikoto Suou, Akira Takano, Haruki Hanai

Yagami High School

i can’t get enough of School Rumble. *grins fatuously*


i must have watched this series three times already, but each time i see i see kenji harima‘s idiotic and increasingly manic attempts to tell tenma tsukamoto (possibly one of anime-dom’s most dense and clueless female protagonists ever!) about his feelings, i just double over in laughter. and of course, it doesn’t help that as his school’s toughest delinquent, kenji harima is honor-bound to maintain his tough-guy street.

school rumble cast

no, i’m not just talking about harima-kun’s goofy attempts (although his facial expression is worth a guffaw or two every now and then). i’m referring to all those crazy accidents (think murphy’s law to on steroids) and misunderstandings that crop up like crazy whenever he wants to get serious. poor guy. *topples over in mirth* he not only has to contend with tenma-chan’s notoriously slow mental processes, he also has to deal with School Rumble‘s other equally demented and maddening characters who are more than ready to think the worst of him — tenma tsukamoto included.

practically everyone in School Rumble likes somebody who just happens to have the hots for someone else. compounding this hilarious merry-go-round is the fact that the object of desire is usually unaware, or unimpressed, of being admired from afar.