Just like most fans of Ouran High School Host Club, I really didn’t think a drama would work. A big part of the manga and the anime’s charm was Tamaki’s dramatics and somehow, I felt that a drama wouldn’t be able to show that as effectively as the anime did to perfection. Besides, who would they cast as Tamaki? Where would they find an actor whom the fans would deem worthy of bringing their beloved Host Club King to life? And what about everyone else? No, I thought the drama wasn’t really a good idea at first.
Eventually, though, I found myself watching the drama on a whim since I re-watched the anime. Might as well give it a try, right? That was what I thought. I could always stop if I didn’t enjoy it and so I started watching. Eventually, I found it hard to stop.
Yes, an Ouran High School Host Club live-action drama is painfully awkward to watch, especially the first few episodes when it looked like everyone was still getting into their roles. The acting wasn’t flawless and yes, quite awkward at times, but you have to hand it to the cast and the crew, they tried and oh did they try hard. They tried so hard I couldn’t help but be won over eventually.
The cast certainly seemed like they were putting in a lot of effort into what they did, especially Yamamoto Yusuke who played Tamaki. Yamamoto Yusuke certainly wasn’t the perfect match to Tamaki in terms of looks, but he certainly made up for it by throwing himself into the role and pulling out all the stops to be Tamaki. He was dramatic, he was all over the place, he whined and cajoled and yelled “HARUHI!” and yet was also quite gentle and charming when he wanted to be. He even allowed himself to be wired up and tossed against walls. He probably had the most demanding role in the cast and I think he did splendidly. The rest of the cast also seemed to fit their roles quite well. I loved the Takagi twins as Hikaru and Kaoru and Nakamura Masaya and Chiba Yudai as Mori and Honey were pretty spot on too. Kawaguchi Haruna wasn’t my first choice for Haruhi, but I guess she did okay. I also loved how they gave the spotlight to Jounouchi Ayame in one episode and I loved her story and how well Nakabeppu Aoi played her. And Totsugi Shigeyuki as Ranka was just amazing, too. Special props must be given to Daito Shunsuke for bringing Kyouya, my favorite character, to life. He looked the part and was able to deliver a convincing performance of the Shadow King I know and love. He’s just so cool. *w*
As for the visuals, I have to say that there was a lot of sparkles and that was good because in Ouran, you can never have enough sparkles. The Hosts are always sparkling so I’m glad that the drama also incorporated that. The styling was also pretty good and the Ouran boys looked like real life obocchan as they strutted around, even when they’re out of their smart, spiffy uniforms (though I have to warn you guys about the Karuizawa episode. You’ll die. Just. DIE.). The drama also tried its best to be faithful when it came to scene composition, shooting scenes as they appeared in the manga and anime.
Is there anything about the drama that I didn’t like? Of course. For one, I didn’t like the obvious slant towards Kyouya/Haruhi that wasn’t really there in the manga or anime. It’s also quite biased of me, but I wish they showed more of Kyouya’s story. I was really waiting for that episode where Kyouya gets left alone in a mall with Haruhi, but that episode wasn’t in the drama so it was a disappointment. The drama is only 11 episodes all in all, each episode around 25 minutes long, and I wish it were longer or they just made a second season on top of the movie. But of course we fans can’t get everything. I guess there’s always the anime and manga to give us comfort, haha.
!!!END OF SPOILERS!!!
As I said earlier on in this review, the cast and crew of the Ouran drama tried very hard and I think in some ways they did very well. At the very least, they renewed interest for Ouran and I’m sure the fandom is pretty thankful for that despite everything.
Now, if only someone subbed the movie already…