Ouran High School Host Club 9 by Bisco Hatori: B

From the back cover:
In middle school, Tamaki Suoh must entice the coldhearted twins, Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin, to join his newly created Host Club. But in order to get them to accept his proposal, he must first best them at their own game.

I didn’t find much to get excited about in this volume. Tamaki’s cuteness was its saving grace, enlivening an otherwise ho-hum chapter about the twins’ induction into the host club and making tolerable a story about an insufferable princess who visited the school and issued many orders. In the course of this latter story, at least, Tamaki finally caught a glimmer of his feelings for Haruhi, and they shared a sweet moment together.

I probably liked the last Host Club chapter in the volume the best simply for its final few pages. They were incredibly adorable, and it’s for moments like this that I read the series. I just wish there were more of them.

Another of the “Love Egoist” short stories was also included, about a boy with a sunny disposition in love with a subdued girl, and I was enjoying it pretty well while I was expecting a bittersweet ending, but the actual resolution was kind of disappointing.

This series definitely has patchy success in terms of keeping the right balance between episodic stories and character development; it didn’t manage too well this time.

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