Ouran High School Host Club Live Action – 01 Review

Ahhh!!! I just found out that there was a live action version of Ouran and I went nuts, I even made an overseas phone call to a friend to squeal about it (she did not pick up her phone). Talk about an epic fangirl moment on my part. =_=”

Okay, so since I love Ouran (both the anime and manga), I think that it is only normal that I review this series. Of course like most people, I don’t think that any human being can measure up to the coolness of the characters in the anime and manga, but lets here how that turned out for me. =)

The episodes are half an hour long and the first episode essentially covers the first episode of the anime with little change.

Please note that when reviewing, I will be comparing it to the anime not the manga because I am not as familiar with the manga as I am with the anime. Whilst the manga is good, I preferred the anime more.

Here’s a short summary of the first episode for those who don’t know about Ouran:

Fujioka Haruhi is an poor student who recently entered Ouran High School which is a High School for the elite. While trying to find a quiet place to study on her first day, she wanders into a music room which is the base for the Ouran High School Host Club. She then goes on to break a $8,000,000 vase and is now in debt to the club. To pay off the debt she starts to work for the Host Club as a host.


Okay, so I know fantasy can never compare with reality, and because I love the characters in Ouran I felt disappointed at the show, but, I shall attempt to keep a level head and be as unbiased as I possibly can.

Firstly, there were a few minor things that were different from the anime, Nekozawa is introduced early on in this episode as the bringer of bad news warning/predicting the future. Though I can kinda understand the reason behind them introducing Nekozawa so early on, I felt like it did not do too much for this episode. Nekowaza’s actor Ryuusei Ryo was much too cheery for my liking. I expected Nekozawa to have a more ominous presence and that would require the actor to act a bit darker rather than relying on a black cloud surrounding him and a costume to pull off the part. However, since we see very little of his acting in this episode, I shall refrain from thinking too much about it at this stage.

The sets that they had used in the series, whilst it did a good job in displaying the “expensiveness” of the school lacked the extra x-factor that would have made it grand and classy. For instance, the staircase that Haruhi walked down was way too short, and the ceilings too low. The library looked expensive but the fact that it looked small (looked even smaller than the library I had in my school and it was a government school.) failed to give off a sense of it being grand. The general lack of space resulted in letting down the intricate details in the sets which tried to make the series look magical.

The series however did try to make things similar to the anime with dramatic shots that resemble the anime. The use of the animated heart and the use of animation to describe Tamaki’s reactions was a nice touch. However, I did wish that they had used more of it and made it even more dramatic because those stupid moments play a key factor in making Ouran so entertaining and hilarious to watch.

One more thing about the episode that confused me, why show a picture of Haruhi as a kid just to show Haruhi’s mother? In that photo, Haruhi was wearing a pink top and looked like a girl. It seemed so obvious that I am shocked no one realised she was a girl, unless they were trying to iterate the fact that the students there are rich kids with not much brains, there really was not need for her to be in the photo right?

Now onto the actual Host Club:

Haruhi’s (Kawaguchi Haruna) actress did a decent job in acting out her character and she does not look overly feminine in her male student outfit so that is a plus point for me.

Tamaki’s actor, Yamamoto Yusuke did quite a good job in trying to portray Tamaki’s super energetic and over dramatic attitude. You could really tell he was trying his best act out his role to be like his character.

The twin’s (Takagi Shinpei and Takagi Manpei) were also quite alright as well. I missed some of the “speaking-in-time” moments that were done so well in the anime. Don’t get me wrong, they did that in the episode as well, but it did not seem as refined as in the anime.

I think the only character so far that I can’t find much fault with is Mori, then again, he rarely speaks and so it is hard to judge for now. He did a good job at being all stoic and you can definitely picture him beating people up =p.

On the other hand, I really do not like the actor for Honey-senpai (Chiba Yudai) . Argh, the hairstyle was a HUGE turnoff, it was not even the right colour and it looked all fizzled out and dry. I don’t expect them to find a actor who is going to fit the physical description of Honey, but, at the very least, he should be able to pull off the whole cute and adorable attitude of Honey without making me want to punch him in the face and walk away disturbed. I think that they should have found a better actor, then again his scene was really just a couple of minutes long so may be I am being too harsh, but he was really the only character that I could not stand. There was also the weird thing that the animators did when they animated Honey into being like a child when he leaped into Haruhi’s arms. There is also a lack of consistency in the height of the character. They show Hunny to be the actors real height (or so it seems) but when they can pull it off, like a backshot of Mori having Honey on his shoulder, they use a kid or a prop to make Hunny seem smaller. Couldn’t they just decide on a single uniformed height?

The actor for Kyoya (Daito Shunsuke) was not too bad. He seems like he would be able to pull off the role, though he does lack the “evil” aura.

Overall, it was a decent effort and I did enjoy certain moments of the episode, mainly the moments with Tamaki in it. I was not jumping out of my seat but the cast did a decent job most of the time and the script stuck pretty close to the original story. The cinematography was nothing fantastic or even good, it was okay at best, if not dissapointing. (I expected them to use more yellowish lighting rather than such a white tone just to give a more “golden” glow to everything like in the anime.) I suggest you give the first episode a shot and see it it goes, I doubt the quality is going to change much as the series goes on.

Rating: 6.5/10

-ra out! Let me know what you think about the episode and if you agree or disagree with what I have said. Now I have to go dig for those mangas to re-read them.


About Saranaufogus

An Anime fan who can't seem to keep her thoughts to herself. Find me on: Instagram | Twitter

Posted on July 25, 2011, in J-Drama / J-Movie, Ouran High School Host Club Live Action and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Where can we aamericans watch it? :/


  2. Ouran is one of my favorite animes, so I wasn’t expecting much from the live action. I was pleasantly surprised, actually. I agree that Tamaki and Haruhi are the best parts of the episode, but I didn’t have any problems with the other actors. It’s a good thing that they didn’t try to bleach the actors’ hair- peroxided blond hair on Asian people always looks horrendous. As for Hunny’s size issue, since Haruhi lampshaded it, I think it’s an intentional and ingenious way of dealing with the fact that they can’t cast a person who’s actually that young in the role. It’s just another one of those things that makes the Ouran universe the crack-tastic place that it is- like the magically disappearing black door or piano.

    I was giggling and “awww”ing almost as much as I did with the anime, frankly. I definitely think the anime is better, simply because it is easier to portray the intricacy of the sets and the physical gags, but I thought these guys have done a pretty good job. I will be checking back in for my weekly happiness fix, just like when the anime was airing.


    • I think after I got over the fact that this was an adaptation, I enjoyed the show. Episode 2 was definitely funnier though.

      But I am quite sad at how low-budget this series looked as compared to some of the other j-dramas. I just hope that when it comes to the episodes where Hunny battles his brother, they won’t CGI the whole thing.


  3. I do love it, but do find it lacks the grandness and while the actors are okay in the roles, they don’t necessarily embody them like I would like them, too. Yamamoto and Kawaguchi do a wonderful job in the leads and Daito has potential, but just not that aura like you said. I do have to agree that Mori’s character seems pretty spot on and I have trouble with Chida’s Honey as well.


    • I felt that Mori’s character is one of the trickiest to play because when he does nothing it is easy, but it is when he finally has to do something, the actor can easily portray the impression wrongly. =_=”

      Have you seen episode 4? I thought Mori felt out of character in that episode. He came across more dumb than stoic. =/ sigh… But so far Tamaki and Haruhi are both doing a good job. Especially Tamaki, I think he has been hilarious thus far.


      • Yes, Mori’s character is tricky, so I was pleasantly surprised in the first 3 episodes. I plan on watching 4 this week. This story was a favorite from the manga with the over-the-top “fiancee”

        I agree that Yamamoto has captured Tamaki perfectly and it is just awesome and funny. I was wondering how he would do since he, obviously, didn’t fit the image of Tamaki I had from the manga and anime, but he’s doing a great job. And I am pleasantly surprised at Kawaguchi’s portrayals of the more …darker? side of Haruhi when she unleashes her annoyance at Tamaki.


      • I agree with you on that. Yamamoto did a great job. I agree that he does not look the part but he is so believable that I kinda forget what my impression of how Tamaki would look like after the 1st episode. Now that is what I call an actor.

        Kawaguchi is funny when she is annoyed at Tamaki and I am glad that at least they cast the main leads right. Who is your fav character in the manga? Mine is Tamaki followed by Kyoya but then I felt like Kyoya’s character in this show does not have the same “authoritative” aura as what I would have expected.


  4. I’m so nervous about watching this…

    I adore the anime, and I don’t think it’ll ever come close… My father (who dislikes all thing anime- especially the girly ones) even warmed to the series after I forced him to watch the episode there Tamaki and Kyoya first meet.


    But being such a fan, it’s hard to resist… 😦


    • Your father?? LOL! That is so awesome! I doubt my parents would ever want to watch anime… at least not unless I drug them and tie them to a chair. =p

      The show gets better and you get into the mood of it. The first episode is quite a shocker but I think that after the first episode, you kinda have to accept that these characters are going to become their own characters and we should not compare it to the anime (at least not as much). =/


    • You should definitely watch it!

      The anime is definitely one of my faves, so I was apprehensive as well, but I am really liking the drama. Live action is very different from animation, and so they have to translate certain things. However, I think they do a really good job of keeping the plot points and capturing the spirit of the original, while adding their own quirks.

      The lead actors are doing a really awesome job. You can tell they are having fun, but I think once the deeper stuff starts coming through, they’ll be able to portray it well. For me, it has just become another wonderful way to enjoy the story. I hope you can see it that way, too.


  5. You guys might want to check out this website:


    Just create a account and search for the word ” Ouran “. 6 episodes so far.


  1. Pingback: Ouran High School Host Club Live Action – 01 Review « Otakuness … | Manga Writer

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