Eleven volumes in, things are still pretty much where they started with this series. Haruhi is still concealing her gender and participating in the Host Club, Tamaki is still ignorant of his feelings for her, and characters like Mori and Hunny haven’t changed a bit. This volume finds the gang competing in a sports festival that Tamaki has orchestrated in an attempt to spur Kyoya to compete passionately over something that yields him no personal benefit.
Ouran High School Host Club walks a fine line between comedy and plot progression and, honestly, dwells on the humorous side of the divide most of the time. When it does visit the other side, however, the results can be surprisingly gratifying. While many of the characters have been stuck in the same places for a while, the same cannot be said of the Hitachin brothers. Originally a pair of practically interchangeable pranksters, they have matured significantly and are now distinct individuals. Kaoru has been aware for some time that both he and his brother have feelings for Haruhi, and when Hikaru finally catches on, it makes for some great scenes between them.
The comedy is sometimes funny and sometimes not, but the more serious elements are always a hit with me. It’s for moments like that that I continue to read this series.
Review originally published at Manga Recon.