Ouran High School Host Club Was Born From A Simple One-Sentence Pitch

If you're a fan of the reverse harem manga, especially ones geared towards fujoshi (female fans of fictional gay content), you've probably heard of "Ouran High School Host Club." Created by Bisco Hatori, this series has been adapted into a hugely successful anime series directed by Takuya Igarashi, a Japanese live-action drama, a live-action film, and more, and continues to be popular to this day.

The comedic series focuses on the scholarship student, Haruhi Fujioka, who is just trying to survive the chaos that takes place at the prestigious Ouran Academy. With an eccentric and wealthy student body making it near impossible for the poor student to study, she tries to hole herself up in the campus' music room. Unfortunately, this room is not just for music. Nay, it is where the Ouran Academy Host Club has made its home. Comprised of six male students, these students gather to entertain their mostly female guests with conversation, snacks, and tea. Haruhi, despite her best efforts, accidentally breaks a vase worth more than she can afford. To pay off her debt, she gets pulled into becoming a host for the club. Thus, all sorts of shenanigan take place, and the power of friendship takes hold. 

So how did this wacky series come to be? Sometimes a story is born from images. Other times, it develops from just a simple sentence. That most certainly was the case when it came to the much-beloved romantic comedy manga series, "Ouran High School Host Club."

Lightbulb moment

At the Anime Expo in 2019, Hatori chatted with Viz Media about  "Ouran High School Host Club." During the course of the discussion, the mangaka explained how the idea for the manga came to be, and it all came down to a sentence:

"Ouran High School Host Club came about around the time I was working on Millennium Snow. And my editor at that time, we were just throwing around ideas. And he brought up – he just threw out themes of handsome boys at a rich high school. And at that time, there were relationship video games that were pretty popular, and also host clubs were popular as well. And during that meeting, nothing really hit me. I wasn't particularly drawn to a specific genre, because it was just a brainstorm meeting. But then, someone put the words together of, "Well, what if there's a host club at a high school?" And that's when the lightbulb went off. And I thought that it could be a ridiculously funny manga."

The manga itself is pretty hilarious, with the various situations that main character, Haruhi Fujioka, gets herself into being one of the main sources of the humor. The manga's embrace of parodying otaku culture is one that is sure to get laughs out of anyone familiar enough with that subculture, especially directed at fujoshi and fudanshi (male fans) types when confronted with the reverse harem style in "Ouran High School Host Club."

The anime is available on Netflix now.