Ouran High School
Host Pimp Club is a 2006 “reverse harem” anime. What’s a reverse harem, you ask? Well, a “harem” anime is where one meek, bashful, skinny male loser is surrounded by a boatload of busty, horny women who are all vying for control of the guy’s penis. A constant source of rage is the fact that the guy never gets with any of the girls, usually because he’s a fag.
A reverse harem anime is just the opposite. One female character is surrounded by a bunch of dudes who all want her. Upping the ante is that these anime often feature a lot of man-on-man action in order to appeal to the female viewers watching the show. Apparently, all women are into watching gay sex.
The main character of this anime is Haruhi Fujioka, a 15 year old girl who has just entered Ouran Academy. It’s a school for super rich kids who are completely sheltered and spend most of their days doing rich people stuff like: travelling the world, buying expensive shit, getting no legal reprimand from DUIs, exploiting tax loopholes, yachting, opening up child-labor factories in third world countries, and repressing the poor in order to get rich. But I digress…
Anyway, Haruhi happens to be middle-class but she got into the exclusive private school on an academic scholarship. Her first day there, she stumbles into the
Host Pimp Club’s club room, and accidentally breaks a very expensive vase. Since she doesn’t have any money, she can’t pay for it, so she has to work it off. How does she do that, you ask? Sexual favors. She does all the guys six ways from Sunday. Doggy style, reverse cowgirl, double penetration, even Cleveland Steamers and Donkey Punches. It’s pretty fucking hot.
Anyway, Haruhi isn’t exactly into taking care of herself. She looks so unkempt that initially everyone thinks she’s a dude. Eventually, the club members find out she’s a girl, and then do the next most rational thing: Dress her in drag and pimp her out to all the ladies of the school.
You see, the
Host Pimp Club exists solely to pimp its members out to the young girls of Ouran Academy. After school, the ladies get together and spend their hard-earned trust-fund money on the boys of the Host Pimp Club. They select the guy they want to be with, designate the amount of time, and pay accordingly. That’s exactly how prostitution works. Naturally, the school is totally fine with this as an extracurricular activity. Basically, in Japan, underage male prostitution is perfectly fine.
So, Haruhi gets dressed in drag and pimped out to all the ladies, and each dollar she earns goes into the “replace the broken vase fund.” That’s the set up, pretty much everything that happens in the first episode. The remaining 25 episodes focus on the ensuing hijinx associated with being an underage male prostitute. And believe me, there are a lot. Everything from HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, clients not paying, clients needing to pay extra for anal, the cost of buying condoms in bulk, etc. It’s riveting television.
The fact that this is a reverse harem anime, with fairly light plot, and lots of slice-of-life elements is a set-up for disaster. However, unlike tedious drivel like Kanon, or featuring no jokes like Lucky Star, Ouran High School
Host Pimp Club is not tedious and is really funny.
Each character is meant to be a parody of the typical shit we see in harem/reverse harem series. All of those have one character that embodies a “desirable” (at least in pervo Japanese culture) trait. For example, the strong silent type, the shy type, the cool type, etc. This anime runs with that notion, but goes to far more ridiculous lengths for comedic purposes. Haruhi is the feminine male type, and this implies that all the girls who are into her (thinking she’s a dude) are secretly lesbian. I have said for years that ALL women are a little bit lesbian. This proves it definitively. Otherwise, we have the adorable cutesy type (a kid who looks like he’s 6 years old, but in reality he’s a hardened and nigh-invincible kung fu master), the cool type who is so laid back that he hardly ever speaks, and more.
The show has feminine character designs and pastel coloring to lower your defenses into thinking it’s a run-of-the-mill girly anime. But beneath that sweet candy coating is a twisted and perverted sense of humor. There are a pair of male twins in the club who get the ladies all hot and bothered by pretending to be gay. Another character (Tamaki) makes jokes about which one is the “pitcher” and which one is the “catcher.” Until watching this show, I hadn’t seen any other anime making jokes about gay anal incest.
The show routinely breaks the fourth wall as it mentions itself as being an anime, and characters will sometimes refer back to “the last episode.” Tamaki falls in love with Haruhi, and becomes jealous when other characters make advances upon her. He gets riled up and screams at them to stay back, as he and Haruhi are the “romantic leads” and they are “the homosexual supporting cast.”
There’s a little girl who enters the club one day, is exuberant over finding a reverse harem and cheers on their debauchery. There’s also a weird girl who randomly pop up from underground to tell them how to act in order to better pimp themselves out to the ladies. Haruhi’s father turns out to be a cross-dresser as well (I guess that’s two generations of cross-dressing in the family – that’s some psychological shit right there – damn this show is deep), and provides several laughs the few times he is featured.
There is a healthy dose of slapstick, some word-play (but not a lot because that can be irritating as fuck when done wrong), and further parodying of the entire romantic genre. For example, Haruhi is taken to an all-girl’s academy one day, and the boys of the
Host Pimp Club flip out. They go on an overly-elaborate and super-melodramatic quest to prevent her first kiss from being a lesbian one. Apparently, even girls who know Haruhi is a girl still want her. I hope she’s bisexual, because she’s in for a lot of fun once she hits college.
The artistry is really excellent. It comes from Studio Bones who have a laundry list of top-notch series they’ve worked on. There’s some recycled animation, but not very much. For the most part things are animated well, rather fluidly, and there aren’t a lot of corners cut. It looks nice. The acting is very good. I watched in both Japanese and English. Either route is fine, although the original Japanese cast probably has the edge. In the audio department, there are a couple of catchy tunes, but for the most part the music is recycled heavily, and isn’t all that great.
I watched this on blu-ray, from Funimation. It’s an upscale, so at times the image can appear soft or have a weird haze to it. But for the most part it looks great. 80% of every episode will looks crisp, vibrant, and with a good amount of detail. If you are looking to pick this up, I’d go with the blu-ray over the standard DVD.
Ouran High School
Host Pimp Club is a show I wasn’t expecting to like. I hate most things, and a show that looks this cheesy and girly seemed doomed from the beginning. However, subverting genre tropes, having strong comedic writing, and focusing on the trials and tribulations of being a teenage male prostitute really turned things around. My expectations were far surpassed. This anime is worth checking out.