Ouran High School Host Club

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Ouran High School Host Club TV Poster Image
Popular with kids
Classic anime series pushes boundaries, suggestive content.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 22 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Themes range from classism, to teamwork, friendship, and romance.

Positive Role Models

Nobody is perfect here, but Haruhi does try to do right by people, and over time the other members of the Host Club consider him a true friend. 

Violence

Some fantasy pushing and shoving. Haruhi is bullied at the beginning of the series, but soon becomes an integral part of the group and is treated equally. One young woman falsely accuses him of inappropriately launching himself at her. 

Sex

There’s innuendo that will go over young kids’ heads, as well as some kissing and romantic interests. There’s also lots of LGBTQ+ associated references designed to be titillating, but the relationships never fully play out.

Language

The word "crap" is used. 

Consumerism

Adapation of a classic manga comic. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

On occasion, cigarette smoking is visible. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ouran High School Host Club is an anime series that launched in 2006 adapated from the manga of the same title by Bisco Hatori. The series features sexual innuendo that will go over the heads of young viewers, as well as lots of LGBTQ+ subtexts throughout, some of which feels dated by today’s standards. The word "crap" is used from time to time, and there's some bullying and classist comments. Smoking is occasionally visible, too. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byECee April 18, 2021

Sexist, homophobic tropes and incesty - who is the audience anyway?

This show is not for children. This show features twincest obsession (goes far beyond twin connection into sexual innuendo, supposedly as a gay joke to interest... Continue reading
Adult Written byRandall W. March 9, 2021

Weird show!

I don’t know how I feel about this show. I saw my daughter Holly watching this at 3 AM in the Morning and there were two naked identical boys looking at each ot... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byC.anime April 17, 2021

One suggestive episode

Ouran high school host club is a romantic comedy anime that is a really fun watch. One episode (s1 episode 8) has one scene that could be triggering to many peo... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byberrylovemail March 27, 2021

My first anime

this was my first anime, watched when i was 14 and loved it! it’s a goofy comedy that shouldn’t be taken seriously. haruhi is a girl who’s comfortable in her ow... Continue reading

What's the story?

Based on the book series of the same name, OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB is an animated show that parodies the traditional characters and common tropes Japanese shojo (romantic) manga and anime  is known or. Haruhi Fujioka is a new and brilliant "common" student at the elite and luxurious Ouran High School, where he prefers to be left alone to study and think about his late mother. But the search for a quiet space leads him to an exclusive club run by the school’s most handsome boys, including Tamaki Suoh, the group’s popular titular president, devilish twin brothers Kaoru and Hikaru Hitachiin, the diminutive Mitsukuni "Honey" Haninozuka and his cousin Takashi "Mori" Morinozuka, who behaves like his big brother. Rounding out the gang is Kyoya Ootori, the club manager, fundraiser, and real power behind the group. Together, they're dedicated to marketing themselves as gentlemen, and as such host receptions, teas, and dances to entertain young ladies with charming and, when desired, romantic conversation. But when Haruhi accidentally breaks one of their prized possessions, he ends up in their debt, and unwittingly finds himself caught up in the group’s antics. But Haruhi isn’t who he seems, and soon some of the Host Club members find themselves thinking differently about their new member. 

Is it any good?

This fun and edgy series, which is dubbed in English, is an early fujoshi, a humorous anime featuring a predominantly male cast and suggestive LGBTQ+ subtexts designed to appeal to gay relationship-loving (a.k.a. "shipping") fangirls. Haruhi’s gender-ambivalent presence, which pushes against more traditional female shojo roles, is a big part of the overall narrative, especially as it relates to the young women the Host Club caters to. But the young men also challenge the stereotypical roles male characters play in traditional teen-oriented fantasy romances. Their over-the-top personalities and antics also serve as fronts that hide their own complex life stories. 

Ouran High School Host Club, which was originally released in 2006 (and first aired in the United States in 2009), has an important place in Japanese popular culture, because it set the standard for the genre. Much of the narrative still works today, but some of the LGBTQ+-related humor feels a bit dated. At times, the overall innuendo is a little over-the-top for young Western teens, even though a lot of it will go over their heads. But it's entertaining, and it reveals how Japanese manga and anime storytellers have pushed the envelope and evolved.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Ouran High School Host Club employs suggestions of potential LGBTQ+ relationships to entertain teen female fans. Is this type of narrative as unique today as it was back in 2006? Do U.S. audiences interpret fujoshi stories differently than Japanese audiences? 

  • The name "fujoshi" was once considered a derogatory term, meaning "spoiled girl." How has this term been reclaimed over the years in Japanese culture? Are there any Western storytelling genres that have experienced a similar evolution?

  • What's the difference beteween anime and manga? Is there one you like better? How are they similar? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love manga and anime

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate