Ouran High School Host Club 2 by Bisco Hatori: A-

From the back cover:
The school-wide physical exam has thrown the members of the Host Club for a loop. How can the doctor not discover that Haruhi is a girl?! And once the female customers learn the truth, Haruhi can kiss her job goodbye. But then life at the club will be unbearably boring if she leaves! So the guys wrack their brains for a solution…

This volume corresponds with episodes 3 and 5-7 of the anime. I thought some bits of 7 might’ve been anime-only filler, buuuut turns out they weren’t. I didn’t like this volume quite as much as the first, because it felt like it was getting a little gimmicky. I don’t like manga where things like panda mecha or cages or alligators just randomly appear out of nowhere. The interesting characters and art that’s beautiful and cute in just the right proportion make me a little more forgiving in Ouran’s case, but I hope it doesn’t become a trend.

I continue to appreciate the moments where Tamaki succeeds in engineering happiness for someone the club has encountered, and especially enjoy seeing Haruhi being stunned by Tamaki’s brief flashes of perceptive kindness. “I like good deeds,” one of his thought bubbles declares, as he smilingly observes another success. I like Haruhi and Mori a lot, but at this point, Tamaki is my favorite character. I hope to see more insight and depth for him in the future.

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