So, I finished Ouran. I think it’s probably the most surprised I’ve ever been by a show, and I’m kicking myself for having been so homophobic of it for so long. This easily ties with Utena for my favorite shoujo ever – surpassing it in certain areas even (though not enough to push out ahead, after all Utena is classic.) This is definitely an example of getting everything right. The characters were all great, well-developed worked well together, and were just fun to watch. The constant making fun of shoujo was just too perfect. Scenes like in the first episode where they instantly realize the girl is a bully, or when Honey-sempai’s brother is immediately identified as having a complex made hilarious triviality of annoying shoujo cliches. The pacing in each episode was perfect as well, which to me is a rare thing since most episodic shows end to be sometimes good and sometimes bad in my opinion. The overall series pacing worked perfectly, too, since we delved slowly deeper into the characers past with the more dramatic things coming out more as the story progressed. The writers did a god job of mixing plot, comedy, and random adventures in a way that made none of them take over too much (a lot like Utena did.)
Onto the characters, I loved then all, even Mori despite his miniscule dialog. As i mentioned before, they just worked perfectly together. From their personal relationships to their relationship as a group, they felt like people who naturally belonged together. What’s interesting is that a lot of shows feature a group as they come together, while Ouran takes a group that’s been together for a while and figures out exactly why they are together (with the exception of the new member, Haruhi). There are certainly other shows that do this, but I think of the ones I’ve seen, this one does it best. As for my favorite, excluding the obvious choice of Haruhi, it’s gotta be Tamaki. Loveable idiots are always fun, especially when they have the (I daresay) Captain Tyler feel to them. I was also a big Kyouya fan since smart people with a manipulative side are always a plus for me. Mostly because I’m a smart person with a manipulative side XD There were also awesome touches like Haruhi’s crossdressing father and Renge the otaku girl. Their recurring appearances were always extremely fun.
And of course, lets not leave out the most important thing – trippiness! love unique visuals, and Ouran has them! They may not have been layed on as thick, but it was obvious that Utena was some kind of inspiration for this. I mean come on there were spinning roses and an ever-present fucking clock tower XD Touches like the lightbulbs when people realize that Haruhi is a girl (especially their triumphant return at the end) just gave the show that extra heaping dosage of awesome. And episode 13. Fucking perfect.
So, this will easily make the honorable mentions in my favorites, right under Utena. Even at 26 episodes, the show felt like it went by fast as hell and I’m sad that I won’t be watching it anymore. I look forward to a rewatching sometime. (has this been licensed yet? I should just get the DVDs)