The final episode of the 4-part watchalong of Ouran High School Host Club with Amelia, Dee, and special guests Alexis Pratt and Isaac Akers! Can some stellar flashbacks and an emotional finale help the anime overcome a few weak links and gallop triumphantly to the finish line? The race is on!
Content Warning: The podcast will discuss the series’ hit-or-miss depiction of gender identity and sexuality as they arise. The Ouran anime English translation uses transphobic slurs in both the sub and the dub.
Hosts: Amelia, Dee
Guests: Alexis Pratt, Isaac Akers
Date Recorded: 27th May 2018
0:01:47 General impressions
0:02:56 Kasanoda’s crush on Haruhi
0:12:22 Kyoya and Tamaki
0:20:02 Tamaki and Haruhi
0:36:55 Haruhi as herself
0:42:01 Ouran as a whole
0:47:50 Dee’s reaction
0:50:14 Would you recommend Ouran?
AMELIA: Hi, everyone, and welcome to Chatty AF, the Anime Feminist podcast. My name’s Amelia. I’m the editor-in-chief of Anime Feminist, and I’m joined today by Dee, Alexis, and Isaac. If you guys would like to introduce yourselves?
ALEXIS: Hi, I’m Alexis. I’m an independent writer, and you can find me on Twitter @alexilulu.
AMELIA: This is our last day of the Ouran High School Host Club watchalong!
AMELIA: It’s kind of sad! [laughs]
AMELIA: It’s been such a good one. I’ve really enjoyed it. So, for those unaware, you probably want to skip back a few episodes and get this one from the beginning. We get a group of people: at least one has seen the series in question and loves it and knows it well, and the other people don’t know much about it necessarily; haven’t seen it all the way through or at all. And we watch six or seven episodes at a time and then talk about what we’ve seen from a feminist perspective and then move on to the next six or seven episodes.
And we’re now on the final six episodes, episodes 21 to 26, and it’s been such a great experience, this one. I’ve enjoyed it so much. I knew I would, but it’s been so pleasant, and I’m a little bit sad that we have to say goodbye to it. And I got to the end, and I immediately started googling the manga.
ISAAC: [crosstalk;chuckles] Always a good sign.
AMELIA: So, hopefully I can have words with my library this week and just get hold of that. So, how has it been for you guys. How’s it been for you, Alexis?
ALEXIS: These last six episodes…
AMELIA: These last six. How was it, finishing it up?
ALEXIS: There’s two episodes I really didn’t like, and everything else was really good.
AMELIA: That’s been quite a standard experience with Ouran, hasn’t it?
ALEXIS: It really has. It’s weird. I love so much of this show, and then it will just slam me in the face with an episode that drives me nuts.
AMELIA: How about you, Isaac?
ISAAC: Yeah, at least for me, it was pretty much a standard experience to everything else, sort of like Alexis. My overall response to this batch of six episodes was similar to the response that I’ve had to the other batches overall, I feel.
AMELIA: Yeah. I think that’s entirely fair. I love it when they weave everything together, so the last few episodes for me were just immensely satisfying. But we will get to that. So, we’ve got a few things to cover, but I imagine today we’ll talk a lot about the series as a whole. So, before we get to that, let’s just look at the last six episodes. And to start with, we had something I wasn’t expecting, which was a new character, and that was Kasanoda, who got called variously Casanova and Bossa Nova, which I thought was hilarious. I loved it. [laughs]
ISAAC: Bossa Nova. [laughs]
ALEXIS: It was a pretty good goof.
AMELIA: It was great. I really enjoyed his character, actually. And what I thought was interesting about him is he actually shows that he has a crush on Haruhi while Haruhi is disguised—or not disguised, that’s not the right way—was presenting as a boy and to all intents and purposes is living as a boy at school.
And he’s from this really masculine background. He’s in the yakuza. He’s from a yakuza family. He’s been trained to be super masculine, and he knows that the price of expressing his love for Haruhi is keeping her identity a secret. And that was something I wasn’t really expecting in these last few episodes. So, how did you guys find it? Alexis, how was it for you?
ALEXIS: I don’t know how many of y’all have played Persona 4.
ALEXIS: Okay. So, in Persona 4, there’s a rough-and-tumble bad boy who has a heart of gold, and there’s a mysterious detective boy who is disguised as a boy because they’re actually a girl and police are too gendered for them to just be a woman openly.
And that was just 80% of how I felt about this episode, which is them being like “Oh, I like this guy! But they’re a guy! What do I do?” It’s a weird thing to see again, because this came before Persona 4, and that it was so similar jarred me, because I had always considered it a one-off thing, but it’s not, so…
DEE: It’s a somewhat common trope, especially in… There’s kind of a subgenre of shoujo in particular that is: the girl presents as a boy, is in a boys’ school—
AMELIA: Like Hana-Kimi.
DEE: Yeah, Hana-Kimi’s another classic example of that. And there’s usually an arc where one of the boys freaks out about the fact that he has a crush on this character who he believes is a boy, so there’s all this “Oh, I guess I’m in love with a boy.”
But it’s kind of cheap because it’s almost like it’s pretending to be representation, but it’s totally not, because the end result is usually like “Oh, phew! They were actually a girl, so I’m fine,” and it’s very frustrating. I think Ouran handles it a bit better than I’ve seen in other stories.
ALEXIS: Yeah. The ending there was nice, I felt, where he’s just like, “Okay, I guess I can’t do anything about this, and also, I got extremely told that we are just friends, so we’ll just stick with it.”
ISAAC: [laughs painfully]
AMELIA: [laughs] I was so glad they didn’t use the word “friendzone.” I don’t know how widely used it was when the subtitles were made, but I was so grateful.
ALEXIS: Yeah, definitely.
DEE: Yeah. His reaction to it is really nice because he’s like “You’re right. We’ll just be friends.” And I was like, “Okay, that’s nice of you. You respected her decision. You let it go.” Kasanoda’s a sweet character.
ISAAC: And then everyone wants to be his friend because they feel so bad for him. [laughs]
AMELIA: Haruhi becomes his Lovely Item, which is a really, really sweet way to end his arc. I think I like this one a bit more because, for a start, he blushes at everyone. It’s really cute.
ISAAC: So cute.
AMELIA: They make a point that he’s just really easily embarrassed, and so when we see him responding to Haruhi earlier—you can’t see I’m doing air quotes for “responding to”—we get the impression that he senses that she’s got this feminine energy or whatever.
But he also does that when he’s talking to the guy who works for him, and he also does that when he’s talking to Mori, and he seems to be just really easily flustered, so it didn’t feel like they fell into that pitfall where he’s attracted to her when she’s presenting as a boy and then when he finds out that she’s biologically a girl, then it’s allowed to be a crush. It’s more like he responds to multiple people, and she’s just the one he falls for, if that makes sense.
ALEXIS: Yeah. And I did like the scene with his… I don’t know how to describe him because he’s almost a servant in most of the scenes he’s in, but the blonde kid. I don’t remember if they said his name even.
AMELIA: Can’t remember his name. I think they did.
DEE: They did, but I’m blanking on it, too.
AMELIA: Oh, dear. Important character, very bland.
DEE: [crosstalk] His second-in-command, yeah.
ALEXIS: [deadpan] Yeah, extremely important.
AMELIA: [chuckles] And as soon as he showed up on screen and he’s got this really pretty face and long hair, and I was like, “You’re gonna recur.” [laughs]
ISAAC: I did type viciously into my notes when he showed “Who is this cute boy?!”
ISAAC: He is dramatically cute.
AMELIA: [crosstalk] In front of this backdrop! He’s in this backdrop of grizzled yakuza men. [laughs] He just shows up with his broom.
DEE: Yeah. I think Kasanoda’s another nice touch on that— We talked about this; I think the last time we really talked about this was with Nekozawa, that idea of tearing back those expected archetypes and appearances and getting a chance to actually know somebody. And so the fact that Kasanoda is one of the most moe characters in the series, despite being raised to be a rough and tough, traditionally masculine aggressive yakuza dude, is a really nice reversal.
I am a little bit uncomfortable by the fetisi— by the fetisi— ugh, fetisi— Oh, my God, somebody else say this word for me.
DEE: Thank you! [laughs] I could not get that out.
AMELIA: [laughs] I’m on it. I got your back.
DEE: The way the girls in the club start to squee over Kasanoda and Haruhi is a bit discomforting. Part of me is like “Well, this was 2007, and at least they’re not grossed out. At least they’re like ‘Oh, it’s so cute!’ Maybe that’s progress?” But watching it now, it has that sense of fetishizing BL, and it’s uncomfortable.
AMELIA: I mean, this was a time when yaoi paddles were still on sale at conventions, right? This was— [laughs]
DEE: Probably, yeah.
AMELIA: This sure was a time.
ALEXIS: It was definitely a time. And it goes back to the last episode we were on. I talked about how there’s four types of women on this show, and it goes straight into that, and it’s like, man, it’s rough to see again. I’d kind of hoped they’d dropped it, but…
ISAAC: The one thing about his… especially episode 22, which is the episode where the Host Club are trying to help him be able to make more friends, is they do the same thing that they’ve done with other characters in the past, like they did with Nekozawa—which is where I thought you were going, Dee—but where they try to reform him again via archetypes.
And they use these “Okay, so you don’t fit into this gangster character box that you’re in, so let’s put you in a different one,” and none of those works. And then we get the little side story at the end where the cute broom boy shows up and is like “Yeah, I was out on the street and you took me in,” which is such a nice way to illuminate what his character actually is and who he actually is in a person.
And I feel like that actually transitions really nicely into “Okay, now he’s got a crush on Haruhi, and he knows everything about her and then is now coming into the Host Club despite how embarrassing it is for him to spend time with her.” I feel like there’s a really nice flow between “He’s not comfortable with who he is,” “We tried to make him these other things, and it turns out that he’s just fine being the person that he actually is,” and eventually people come to be friends with him and play kick-the-can with him for the person that he is rather than any of these other things.
DEE: Yeah, I think that’s a good point. And despite the uncomfortable fetishizing elements in that scene, the girls end up being friends with him because they’re so touched by his sincerity. It is that openness and being willing to be vulnerable and sincere with other people that get them to become friends with him by the end of the episode.
ISAAC: And the other thing that’s slightly different from that moment is that it’s not an acted thing like it is with the twins when they’re playing up their relationship in the Host Club. It’s him being very genuine. And so, I feel like to me at least, that made the scene, because at least from one side it’s genuine, even if the girls are off watching this constructed fantasy that they’ve got.
AMELIA: Yeah, I always find cuddly yakuza a little bit weird and jarring, but I also really like it whenever it shows up. Some of my favorite series are based around that concept. But the way that he shows up at home in that first awful outfit that they put him in and holding a teddy bear, and he’s mortified, and they just completely accept it, I love that. [laughs] I couldn’t get enough of that.
ALEXIS: It was pretty good.
AMELIA: It was a terrible first outfit. I was cringing watching. I really felt his embarrassment. It was a great choice.
ALEXIS: See, I thought he was rocking it. He was looking so fierce…
ALEXIS: He was making it work. The teddy bear, you know, you could take it or leave it, but hey.
AMELIA: [laughs] While we’re talking about friendship, we had a really important episode where we got to see the backstory between Kyoya and Tamaki, which I loved. It was so good. It was so satisfying to see it, as well. Even at this late stage, sometimes it can feel a bit like an afterthought, and it wasn’t like that at all. It felt really important.
ISAAC: It’s so good! That was probably my favorite episode of the series.
DEE: That’s my favorite episode of the series. It’s one of my favorite anime episodes, period. Probably top-ten material. I adore that episode. It does a really good job of… It’s Kyoya’s story, but it also tells you a lot about Tamaki. It does so much in 25 minutes with a lot of really good imagery to hit home on a lot of the ideas.
Obviously, the painting in the restrictive frame is a beautiful, beautiful image that has stuck with me since the first time I watched this series. But this time through, I also really enjoyed the clothes that are packed so tight in the drawers that once you take one out, they’re just everywhere; and his room gets progressively messier as he starts to open up; and then the floodgates just explode with Tamaki. And I really enjoyed that, as well.
No, sorry, you guys talk about it. I love that episode.
ISAAC: No, the clothes was awesome.
AMELIA: It was visually really strong. But also, the way that Tamaki’s character was handled, I think they’ve done so well at presenting him as being really naive in some ways and really insightful in other ways.
It didn’t feel jarring or out of character for him to call Kyoya out on him running away from things and him just accepting his fate as the third son who can’t possibly be allowed to show off his true potential. It didn’t come out of nowhere when he said that, because he’s been challenging and provoking Kyoya all the way along without meaning to, and this was kind of an extension of that. It was such a beautiful moment.
ISAAC: Yeah, and all those moments that we’ve seen of Tamaki having these moments of insight into what people really want or need—that we’ve seen with the map with the doctor really early on in the series and other moments since then—I think this slots really naturally in because of the way that they’ve constructed that as part of his character previously.
DEE: Yeah, Tamaki is so heart-on-sleeve sincere that he has a little bit of being able to see the honesty and genuineness in other people, and he also is so focused on “What can I do to make somebody else happy?”
So, he’s very keyed into— Again, he can be really oblivious to a lot of things, especially his own feelings, but with other people he gets a really good sense of whether or not they’re happy with where they are right now, and with Kyoya he definitely senses that he’s not and, in his own sort of easygoing, optimistic way, pushes him to take action to find a way to be happy with his situation and to push back against those walls.
I really like that whole arc with Kyoya. Obviously, Kyoya’s situation is very different from most of ours because I think most of us probably will not be taking over the multimillion-dollar family business, possibly, in the future. But I think that sense of: the pressure to get perfect grades but don’t be bossy, be assertive but don’t be a bitch…
I think that push and pull there, for me anyway, was very resonant while watching the episode in that sense of needing to be perfect in every possible way. And then being able to bust out of those restrictions and try to be yourself and not just follow what is expected of you by the older generation in these traditional, hierarchical structures that are very baked into the wealthy families that we see in Ouran. So, I like that that episode starts to push against that a lot.
AMELIA: And I like that they introduce that in these final stages. In the last few episodes, you really get a sense for the kind of responsibilities that they have ahead of them. And I’ve not been as won over by the kind of fantasy world that the Host Club allows for these students, where you walk in and they’re all in costumes and it’s like “Okay, here we go.” It’s always felt a little bit gimmicky to me, a little bit hollow.
But these last few episodes, they make it really, really clear you won’t get to choose your path in life. You won’t get to choose your romantic partner, necessarily. You won’t get to choose how far you can go in your chosen career. You won’t get to choose that career. And so, giving them this freedom at this time is really important, and it did balance that out for me, and it gave the Host Club some kind of real-world grounding in a way.
And that’s completely resonant with Japanese society, where you have this pressure cooker in high school, where people are really working towards getting into university. And then when people get to university, it’s commonly accepted, “Okay, this is your chance to really be free. Be independent. Do what you want. Enjoy that freedom, because once you get into the working world, that’s done.”
So, it’s kind of a smaller version of that where they have this society where they can be really free and the understanding is that once they turn 18, that’s it; they’re going to be following the family path. And that’s even earlier than the usual Japanese person would face, where at least they’ve got a few years of university or college first.
DEE: Yeah, and—Amelia, you might know more about this than I do—the way Ouran certainly presents it is that these traditional, hierarchical, familial structures are more prevalent in these founded families that have this long history almost dating back to nobility.
Whereas you have Haruhi’s family, which is a nontraditional family structure. She has a lot more freedom to choose the path— And she is following her mom, but it’s a decision she intentionally made because she genuinely admires her.
The manga is a little bit nicer about the traditional families, but I think the anime, in particular, it feels to me like it’s aggressively pushing back against those traditional boundaries and that sense of that lack of freedom and is trying to give its characters more of a modern egalitarian future. Does that make sense?
ISAAC: Yeah, and especially with Kyoya’s final masterstroke in the final episode where we find out that he’s bought his father’s company basically for the purposes of keeping Tamaki in the Host Club and then gives it back to him again. And his father says something like “He showed me that he could have it if he wanted to and then told me he didn’t want it.” I think it slots in really nicely and really strongly into exactly what you’re talking about.
AMELIA: Actually, what was key for me for that was at the very end when the fathers are fighting over which of their sons gets to marry Haruhi. The fact that she would be a desirable partner for one of their sons when we’ve seen both of them presented as very strictly following the family line—that felt really meaningful, even though, obviously, it should be Haruhi’s choice, really. I’m very excited to see where that goes when I eventually get to read the manga.
Can we talk a little bit about Tamaki and Haruhi?
AMELIA: I’m super excited to! [laughs] Oh, my goodness! I got to the end, and I think it worked really well as an ending. You feel like there is a future for Tamaki and Haruhi, but it didn’t feel like they had to shut down the other connections that she’s made with people like Hikaru, who also very obviously has a crush on her.
And that felt a little bit unresolved, but at the same time, considering where they stepped away from the story, it felt like the right time. It didn’t feel like a loose end, as it were. It was just, yeah, this is the point in Haruhi’s life where she has people interested in her and she’s not necessarily returning that. And it felt like a really good way to end a love triangle in the anime, and it just made me want to read the manga. I just got to the end and was like “Where is the manga? Need to read more.”
So, how was it for you guys? Was everyone supporting Tamaki and Haruhi along the way? [chuckles] Who were you…?
ALEXIS: [hums hesitantly]
ALEXIS: With small reservations, namely just his weird daddy thing, I was fine with it.
ALEXIS: I get the daddy construction as his found family thing, but also, it’s 2018. Hearing someone say “daddy” so many times is not great.
AMELIA: It’s a lot. It’s a lot.
ISAAC: What did you guys think about that scene—it’s episode 23—where he’s watching Bossa Nova Kasanoda-kun sit on the couch with Haruhi and he walks over as a robot, he totally fails, and then he goes on that longer discussion, saying “What are these feelings if they’re not the feelings that a parent has for a daughter?”
Which, I was like “Oh, they are putting something actually in the text,” which I know we had theorized something similar to that in previous episodes of this podcast about “Well, we get the sense it’s not some sort of playacting thing, but that’s the framework that he has available to him to slot in his feelings.” And to see the show actually lay that out, I was not expecting that. What did you guys make of that?
ALEXIS: I liked that because, back in the Halloween episode, which we haven’t really talked about, they got into the idea of this constructed magic spell that he’s cast over the Host Club to make them all go along with his mommy-and-daddy-and-kids thing. And I really appreciated them returning to that “Hey, what is this, actually, and what’s gonna happen when this breaks down?” And I felt like it was cool to see a break.
AMELIA: I was so glad they did that.
DEE: There’s definitely a sense in these last episodes that they’ve constructed this family. But Kaoru in particular is very aware of the other characters’ feelings, and so he gets the sense that Hikaru has a crush on Haruhi, and I think he sort of realizes that Tamaki has a crush on Haruhi, and so he has this fear of “Well, what happens when we inevitably have to move on to the next step? We can’t stay in this Cinderella Ball fantasy state forever.” —“Until the Day It Becomes a Pumpkin” is the name of the episode, which is very good.
And so, I think there’s a lot of that sense of anxiety and uncertainty in these last few episodes, of that sense of: when you’ve built relationships that you really care about, but people do change and your feelings for people will shift and adjust as you go forward, and how do you adjust with those so that nobody gets left behind or unhappy about it?
And I don’t think the series is able to fully resolve that, but I think there are some nice pins put in the end with Tamaki having some moments of being like “Maybe I’ve been inconsiderate to people.” And then Haruhi vocalizing, finally, that feeling we got at the halfway point that she genuinely enjoys being in the Host Club.
But for her to actually say that to him and ask him to come back to their family is a really nice way of showing that the relationships probably will shift and change going forward, but that they’ve developed this really firm, close-knit family. They do have their own bonds, even if it’s not a blood relative bond, and they’re gonna be okay going forward. I think the last episode does a nice job of showcasing that.
AMELIA: The only issue I had with the episode… I love the fact that Kasanoda calls Tamaki out and he’s like “Well, how are you her father? What, are you blood related? Are you dating her mother? What’s going on?”
AMELIA: I thought that was great, and I enjoyed the fact that Tamaki was really confused by it, but at the same time, it felt like a bit much to expect that this guy who lived in France until he was 14 was not actually in the sheltered environment that some of the others were, perhaps, just had no conception of what he might be feeling.
It feels believable for Hikaru because his experience of human relationships in general has been so distorted by his relationship with Kaoru being as intense as it is. But for Tamaki, I don’t know, it felt like a little bit much. Tamaki’s such a heightened character that I waved it away in the moment, but obviously we’re looking at it a bit more analytically now, and I was like “I’m not so sure about that.” But again, maybe if I read the manga, it feels a bit better in a more—
DEE: I don’t think the anime was able to dig into this too much, but they do talk a little bit about [it] when they’re playing kick-the-can and he confides in Haruhi, like, “Yeah, I never really did this with kids my age growing up.”
He was super sheltered as a kid. I think he was homeschooled. I think they had private tutors and stuff. His mom’s health wasn’t good. They talk about that in these episodes, and so he spent a lot of time with her. So, coming to Ouran in high school was really his first chance to be a kid with other kids.
AMELIA: Okay. I mean, I may just have not picked up enough to make it feel grounded. It just felt like a bit much in the moment. I’m always a little bit suspicious anyway when people try to—this happens in manga and anime a lot, but the idea that people struggle to identify romantic feelings when pop culture is saturated with it.
DEE: Oh, yeah.
AMELIA: So, maybe we needed a little bit of extra context to show that Tamaki perhaps hasn’t been exposed to the pop culture that you would expect to be in France for the 14 years of his life that he lived there.
DEE: For sure. No, I agree with you. Part of it for me is just shoujo is somewhat notorious for having extremely oblivious main characters, so I kinda just got—
AMELIA: It’s one of my issues with it, to be honest.
DEE: Well, and honestly it depends on the series, but I think Ouran plays with that a little bit and kind of mocks it. When Kaoru’s like “No, Tamaki, the family thing was a structure that you intentionally built so we would be happy together, right?” and Tamaki’s like “What are you talking about?”
AMELIA: Kaoru’s amazing. He just completely lampshaded it. It was great. [chuckles]
DEE: Yeah, poor Kaoru thought Tamaki was a lot deeper than he was, in that moment.
AMELIA: We also had a nice moment with Honey and Mori where they have such a clear read of the situation and they’re just looking down saying “Okay, so Hikaru’s getting some ideas and he’s starting to be less oblivious to his own feelings. Tamaki just has no clue.” And they’re just sitting on this tree, watching them and giving us narrative. I quite enjoyed that. They’re slightly older—
DEE: They’re the Senpais, yeah.
AMELIA: Yeah, exactly, and they felt like it in that moment, which is nice. Although my favorite moment for them in these episodes was probably when they’re in their fancy dress and beating away Kyoya’s family soldiers.
AMELIA: [chuckles] The secret police—and it’s just like, yeah, these two are enough. They can handle it.
So, that chase scene, let’s talk about that, where we’ve got—not a car chase, exactly—it was kind of a carriage chase. And it ends up with Haruhi just singlehandedly chasing after Tamaki in a horse and carriage, on a road, after leaping from a cliff. [laughs]
DEE: It’s ridiculous but I love it.
AMELIA: It was amazing! There’s a moment where I was like “She’s not gonna jump. She can’t jump. This is ridiculous.” Then she lands and I’m like “Well, no, actually, of course. That makes sense.”
ALEXIS: I’m sure everyone here has some feelings on this, but anytime a series drops the opening at the very end is always kind of fun. So, I got kind of excited.
AMELIA: [crosstalk; laughs] I had a moment where I looked at the timestamp just to make sure it wasn’t about to end and leave me on a series cliffhanger. I was like “This cannot be allowed!” and I was so grateful to see five minutes left.
DEE: God, the cue on it is so good, though, because it’s right as Haruhi’s— Because she’s been spending that whole episode following them around, halfway catatonic, not quite sure how she feels about what’s going on. And then, when she’s sitting in the cart, watching Hikaru and Kaoru realize “We’re not gonna make it,” and the music cue drops just as she snaps those reins, and it’s so perfect! It’s really well done. I kinda had forgotten that, and I sort of fist-pumped when it happened. I was like “Go, Haruhi!”
Ranka’s very good at the end, too. I feel like I should mention that real quick there, that Ranka gets that little moment with Haruhi, providing some advice. I think it’s a nice counterpoint to Tamaki and Kyoya’s parents, who are depicted in the anime as kind of awful. The manga’s not as harsh to them, but they’re sort of terrible here at the end; and so having Haruhi have that nontraditional family structure that’s a lot more loving and supportive and encourages her and gives her that advice at the end to help her make a decision and fight for this person and this group that she loves is really nice.
AMELIA: Tiny note, but the shirt that Ranka/Ryoji is wearing at this point has the kanji for “father” on it. So, after all of that discussion about Tamaki feeling like her dad, it was nice that they left this stamp on it at the end, like this is what a father does: supports. And I thought it was meaningful that he noticed her not eating breakfast, even though she’s smiling and she’s saying “I’m fine. I just don’t want to eat today,” and he’s like “No, there’s something wrong here, and I want to let you know that I’m here for you.”
That was so beautiful after we see Kyoya and Tamaki’s dads are not good at all. Kyoya’s dad hitting him, (A) at all, (B) in front of everyone at his school… Considering how they’ve been built up to be so focused on reputation, that felt really off, actually. It felt like something that might happen in private rather than in public. But, yeah, it was just a way to show how awful he is, I guess. And Tamaki’s grandmother being awful. And none of them are really trying to connect with their children at all in the way that Haruhi’s last parent is doing.
ISAAC: Yeah, the moment with Kyoya’s dad is especially odd considering how later on he’s like “Oh, yeah, I’ve been planning on giving the company to him anyways because he has done more than I had expected.” I felt a little bit like the show tried to have it both ways, where he’s a terrible father but also secretly—
ALEXIS: Pulling for him.
ISAAC: —actually really loves Kyoya and is supporting him. So, yeah, I’m kind of with you, Amelia, in that that all didn’t quite work for me.
AMELIA: Yeah, it was just strange that they do it in public, when, for example, we’ve got this whole scene where Kyoya’s dad says to him “Make friends with the Suoh heir and be his friend because his father’s important,” basically, “and I need to be in good standing with his father, so you making friends with his son is useful.” And then, in front of Tamaki’s dad, he hits his son? That doesn’t seem right. That doesn’t seem right at all.
ALEXIS: Yeah, it’s weird.
AMELIA: It was suitably dramatic, though, especially since the moment before that we’ve got—what was it?—something quite soft happening before that that you think is gonna last for longer. Something relating to Tamaki. I can’t remember exactly. And then just instantly, the whole tone shifts and the focus to Kyoya, and Kyoya’s just like “Yeah, I expected it” and just brushes it off.
DEE: I think a lot of the stuff you guys are talking about is anime original. These last couple episodes, they—
AMELIA: Oh, really?
DEE: Yeah. They wanted to give it a good finale, so they pulled a couple of things from the Ouran Fair and this one character who shows up at one point. But these final two episodes are almost entirely original, and they rewrite the parents somewhat significantly. Tamaki’s dad is not a perfect human being, but he dotes on his son and is actually kind of adorable. And Kyoya’s dad is kind of cold, but he’s usually pretty fair throughout.
The sense I got was the anime really wanted to hammer home this idea of the Host Club as a haven for these kids and this found family where they’re able to get this love and acceptance that they don’t necessarily get at home. And so, I think the anime played up the parents of the Host Club themselves being kind of terrible to highlight how important the Host Club is to them. So, I think that’s why it was done.
But if you do go on to read the manga—and I encourage you to, because I do like the manga; there’s certain things about it that I have some slight issues with, but for the most part it’s enjoyable—you’ll get more of the parents in there. They’re not nearly as harshly written as they are here.
ISAAC: Oh, yeah, that reminds me actually, we haven’t talked about the girl who is named after a pastry at all—
ALEXIS: [full of dread] Oh, man.
ISAAC: —who is the mechanism for—
AMELIA: Oh, Éclair!
ISAAC: —yeah, for all of this.
AMELIA: She felt so flimsy.
DEE: She’s not so much a character as she is a plot point.
AMELIA: Yeah, please insert bitchy woman here. [chuckles] It was just so… She wasn’t a proper character, which is unfortunate.
DEE: I like her opera glasses, though. It’s a nice visual touch.
ALEXIS: The opera glasses metaphor was nice.
AMELIA: Yeah. [chuckles] It took me a while to not be annoyed with them. [chuckles]
AMELIA: Yeah, she was kinda awful. She just slotted into this role. It’s like “Okay, you’re here to be awful to Tamaki and to force him to choose and to force Haruhi into this position where she has to acknowledge that she cares about Tamaki. Okay.” She’s just a device. That was an unfortunate way to end up.
I wonder if they even needed that; if they could have got to the same kind of outcome where Tamaki realizes he’s inconvenienced people and is given the opportunity to go find his mother. Could they have ended up at that same outcome without this awful woman showing up to whisk him away and be the bad guy? I don’t know that she was necessary.
ISAAC: [crosstalk] Probably.
AMELIA: Is she in the manga, Dee?
DEE: I don’t think so. There’s a character who she’s sort of… They take some elements of her, but I don’t think she’s Éclair, and— God, it’s hard to talk about without spoiling stuff in the manga, and I don’t really want to do that.
AMELIA: Please, yeah.
DEE: The end of the manga, whether by accident or because Hatori just really liked what the anime did here, there are some similarities. But Éclair herself is not a character.
I think, again, it was a two-parter thing, and they just had to very quickly throw in an obstacle figure, and so I don’t think they did as good a job with her as the— Again, the manga does a really nice job of humanizing everybody, even some of the kind-of-terrible characters, and I think this final arc in the anime is a lot more focused on the Host Club banding together to save their leader. And because of that, they don’t focus as much on humanizing the antagonist figures that show up in these final couple episodes here.
AMELIA: That makes sense, and that’s exactly how it feels, since she’s just injected in.
DEE: [crosstalk] I just love Haruhi showing up to save Tamaki so much at the end there that I’m like “Eh, she’s not a great character, but this is fun! Go, Haruhi, go!”
AMELIA: That moment…
ISAAC: It is nice to see that, because I’ve seen a scene like that many times before, but it’s almost always the girl is the one who has to tragically leave and the boy races after her. So, it’s nice to see that reversed for once, especially with the dramatic carriage and all that.
DEE: I was gonna say, and especially with somebody like Haruhi, who’s been sort of reticent about taking an active role in the Host Club, even though we’ve known for a while that she enjoys herself there. So, for her to have that moment where, again, on her dad’s advice of “You can’t change everything. But the things that you do have control over, be willing to fight for them.”
And that’s another nice visual touch, that she rips off that wig and the fancy overcoat and meets him very honestly as herself and is able to reach him that way. And I think—ahh, it’s just good. It’s just good stuff. Again, it’s ridiculous, but I’m into it.
AMELIA: I love that so much! I agree with you. The fact that she took off the wig and she took off the outer layer of her dress, the one with all the frills on, and so you have Haruhi looking exactly as she normally does but just happening to be in a dress.
And then the fact that she was allowed to stay that way for the final scene with all of the Host Club guests around—so her secret is out, I think—that felt really right to me, to end it in that place where she is there as Haruhi. She’s not there as “Haruhi the host,” but she’s also not there as “Haruhi dressed up as a girl.”
DEE: Yeah, or “Haruhi the girl that some of the Host Club boys like Tamaki would envision in the past.” But we’ve seen her in dresses. She’s not opposed to wearing dresses sometimes.
AMELIA: No, no, no. But being in the Host Club environment and in a dress, but not dressing up.
DEE: Yeah, like a casual-looking, fairly simple dress, the kind of thing that we’ve seen Haruhi wear in the past.
AMELIA: Right. It felt so good to end the series in that space, because I talked in a previous episode about how I wanted her to feel more grounded in her identity at school. And that felt like a great way to do it. I was kinda hoping for there to be a bit of a reveal where they talk about the fact that Haruhi-kun isn’t a boy and they maybe have a bit of reaction to it. But it’s okay. That’s just me loving to suck the drama out of every situation.
AMELIA: But it felt like a really good, satisfying ending. It reminded me a little bit, actually, of Boys Over Flowers, and that’s something that I felt a few moments throughout the series, except—
DEE: I hope with fewer predatory boys, from my understanding of Boys Over Flowers.
AMELIA: Fewer predatory boys. Have you not read it or seen it?
DEE: No, the bits and pieces I have caught about it and some of the scenes I have seen have made me realize it’s not probably a show for me.
AMELIA: Yeah, that’s fair, that’s fair.
DEE: Sorry, go ahead with the comparison, for sure.
AMELIA: No, no, no, it’s something that has come up a few times for me while I’ve been watching the entire thing. At the very end there, we do have a scene in the— My biggest point of reference is actually the drama, because it was out when I lived in Japan, which dates me a little bit there. But we have this scene where the main character runs to the airport to see the guy that she is now in love with. And he is terrible and she deserves so much better, and she’s also really ambitious. And I had this moment when I was watching these last few episodes of “Does Tamaki even deserve Haruhi?” [chuckles]
AMELIA: Couldn’t she do better once she’s a high-flying lawyer? [chuckles] I don’t know. That’s the kind of training that Boys Over Flowers has got me to think that way, because Doumyouji is just the worst. The main guy and love interest of that is just the worst. He is awful, and he gets a bit better when he’s with the protagonist, but it’s not great, even then.
And Tamaki is fantastic, but at the same time, we know how amazing Haruhi is, and at the end her amazingness is being acknowledged by everyone. So, I do wonder if she could have a better future.
DEE: But I think the last stretch of episodes, especially the flashback ones we see with the twins and with Kyoya, give us a better sense of who Tamaki is, too, and his good qualities. And, again, we talked about this a little bit last week. I think you do see him moving a little bit in this final stretch towards being more self-aware and conscientious.
Like when Kasanoda shows up and the twins are like “Tamaki, aren’t you going to immediately jump into this and try to help this guy?” he’s like, “No, no, no. This is Mori’s situation. Let Mori deal with it.” And then, Mori looks at him like “Help!”
DEE: And Tamaki jumps in. But he waits.
AMELIA: That was so great.
DEE: But he tries to hold himself back and not get involved until somebody asks him for his help. And, again, I don’t want to spoil anything because I do want you to read it, the manga spends more time. You get another school year, so the kids grow up; they mature a bit. The sort of progression you are seeing in this stretch of 26, you continue to see. I think they’re cute together. I ship it.
AMELIA: [chuckles] You were trying so hard not to spoil us.
DEE: [crosstalk] Yeah.
ISAAC: [crosstalk] That was like the girls in the background.
AMELIA: No, that’s good to know, and actually, part of what makes a good adaptation is in giving you full enjoyment of two versions of a story. To my mind, that’s what the best adaptations do. And so, for this to be enjoyable in its own right but to get to the end and for you also to be saying, “Yeah, the manga is also a good experience in a different way. It has different strengths,” that’s a good sign, I think, of a story well told.
So, we should probably talk about Ouran as a whole and how we’ve responded to it, compared to what we expected. We talked at the beginning about our impressions of the series, and now we’ve made it to the end. What do you think about it now, compared to then? Isaac, how about you?
ISAAC: So, the overall thing that really stands out to me about Ouran—and this was something that I mentioned in the first episode, that my first exposure to it was that I watched four episodes and then stopped for a while before we came back for this watchalong.
And the thing that really struck me in the first four episodes the first time I watched it was just how— I don’t know, I really liked and appreciated the way it portrayed the boys of the Host Club and the way it allowed them to be these fun and goofy and silly and entertaining people, both within the context of the Host Club and then within the context of “This is a show for your entertainment.”
And to me, that was almost a wish-fulfillment fantasy to me, the way that the show lets them be boys, but lets them be boys who can be emotionally vulnerable, and who can be really kind and caring, and who can be silly; and they don’t have to be these really tough, masculine archetypes who are really strong and fighting things, but they can just be goofy, and the show doesn’t judge them for that.
In a way, that actually reminds me of how very early on— I guess I should preface this by saying I was a big fan of One Direction when they were popular, and a lot of the way they were presented really early on in their early music videos was they were just boys who were having fun, and they didn’t have to be these cool dudes, and they didn’t have to be tough or anything like that. They were just out having fun, and I got a lot of that same sense from Ouran.
To me, I really appreciate that sort of portrayal of masculinity in this, in that these boys can be kind, they can be caring, they can appreciate and look out for Haruhi as a friend. And so, yeah, that impression that I had in those first four episodes stuck with me throughout the whole run of this show, and I think that’ll be something that I take with me, going on, looking back on the show and remembering it.
AMELIA: That’s a really great point. I really like that. How about you, Alexis?
ALEXIS: Overall, I had a great time, except for specific episodes, which we’ve obviously at this point gone over and over and over.
ALEXIS: So, I do really enjoy the goofy antics. I ended up enjoying each character on their own merits. Honey and Mori didn’t really get as much, and I know that they’re gonna get more in the manga. I’m kinda curious to go into that now. Anyway, I liked everyone.
I enjoyed my time with it. Obviously, it’s a very old show. I wish they had done a little bit better on certain things, both the translation and just the show in general. But it was fine. It was great. I never once had a thought where I was like “Ugh, I have to go watch Ouran?” I was always excited to go into it, and then I would end up watching like five episodes in a row. So, it was good. I enjoyed it.
AMELIA: Great. I’m so pleased that you’ve all had fun with this one. I did, too. And actually, I’ve enjoyed it more than I thought I would, but also, it’s hit more low points than I thought it would. I think both of those things are true.
I wasn’t expecting it to engage with gender and sexuality as much as it did. But if I had realized in advance, I probably would have expected it to get certain things [wrong], though perhaps not as wrong as it did. The Lobelia girls are just gonna be a consistent low point for me. I think that’s probably my most hated set of episodes, would be anything with the Lobelia girls. Thankfully, only two, but that’s two too many out of 26. But the stuff I loved, I really loved.
And I think that, as you mentioned, Dee, the episode with Kyoya and Tamaki, their backstory, that ending where you have the flower coming out of the frame… I actually started crying at that, I’ll be honest. It really moved me. It really got to me, and I was not expecting to have that strong an emotional response to something like Ouran High School Host Club; which, if you watch the first couple of episodes, you might not expect to have that kind of response to it. But by the end of it, they’ve built it up so well.
I do wish it had been a little bit less episodic at certain points and dug more into the characters that we knew rather than bringing in outside characters to look at them sometimes, but it was not as zany as I was expecting going into it.
So, I’ve really enjoyed this one, and I would happily rewatch it, which I don’t always think at the end of a watchalong. I think I would happily go through all of these episodes again. I would happily talk about them again. And, Dee, I’ll try and read the manga before I see you next—
AMELIA: —so we can just open some beer and talk about Ouran High School Host Club, which I imagine is a pretty perfect night, actually.
DEE: Sounds delightful.
AMELIA: [laughs] So, Dee, how has it been for you, listening to us talk about this series that you love so much?
DEE: It’s been really nice. I told you after the first one, when we first started it, I had not seen it all the way through for a while, and so there was a part of me that was like “Oh, God. What if it’s aged much more poorly than I thought?”
DEE: Because, really, the three episodes that in my head I was like “Oh, these are the bad ones,” they’re still the bad ones. And it’s pretty much those three. But I’ve had a great time. I’m glad you guys enjoyed it.
Again, my biggest worry going into watchalongs of stuff that I love is that I’ll watch it again and realize it’s maybe not as good as I remembered it being, or I’ll be watching it with people who aren’t into it and it’s like “No, I wanted you have a good time!” So, I had a great time. I loved rewatching it again.
I’ve never really watched it with a critical eye, so going through it and being able to tease out some of the ideas it’s doing in terms of the found family structures, pushing back against traditional social hierarchies and things like that. Kinda like Isaac said, I really like the way it explores different modes of femininity or masculinity and is very accepting towards a lot of that. I think it stumbles with actual canonical queerness and gender identity a bit, but I think it does gender presentation very— I think that holds up very well, even ten-odd years later.
And so, being able to look at it through more of an analytical lens was fun. Again, it was a different way to watch a show that I have always watched because I get a lot of enjoyment out of it and it makes me happy. And it still does that, and now there’s a little bit more that I can pull from it, too, which has been really fun.
ISAAC: Yeah, I have to say I really admire you, Dee, for putting up a longtime favorite like this for a watchalong, where you knew we were really gonna get into the details and things like that. To me, that’s always a very scary prospect, so I applaud you for being willing to go there with something that you’ve loved.
AMELIA: This is the danger of a watchalong. We set people up in a way [chuckles], because when you take part, we’re gonna be tearing one of your favorite shows to pieces; but at the same time, we do always try and look for the stuff that we’ve enjoyed, and with Ouran, that was, relatively speaking, no effort at all. I think there’s enough in it that we’ve all enjoyed. Would you guys recommend it to other people, to feminist fans?
ALEXIS: That would be a very qualified recommendation, I think, but I would be willing to put that out there as “Hey, this is a fun show that does some things that I don’t agree with, but it does other things that I really enjoyed and things that are important to portray.” So, yeah.
AMELIA: What things would you recommend it for?
ALEXIS: I absolutely adore Haruhi and having someone who just takes no shit and [with] all these boys is just like “Whatever. You are weird, and I’m just gonna keep going and do things, whatever.” I’m not expressing it well, but I really love Haruhi and her entire personality, and I think that’s an important character to have, especially because I know that she’s like “Oh, I’ll identify as whatever,” but having that kind of character who exists… Pretty much anybody can take something from Haruhi and enjoy her, I feel like, especially gender-nonconforming.
AMELIA: Yeah, I’d agree with that. Is she your favorite?
ALEXIS: She is my favorite. I also love Ranka for obvious reasons.
DEE: [chuckles] Ranka’s good.
ALEXIS: Yeah. The two of them I would recommend, and then it’s like “Okay, this is a qualified recommendation because there are going to be things about this show that are not going to be great” because… Remind me again. We talked about the dub last time or the time before. What were they using for Ranka for the slur they used in the subs?
DEE: They use the slur a couple of times. They don’t use it consistently. A lot of the time they just say “transvestite.” They say the full word. But they do use it sometimes.
Yeah, to me, the biggest caveat is the translation. Something we didn’t get into this time, they translated the word— I just blanked on the actual Japanese word, but it means just “coward,” and they translate it as “pantywaist,” which has a lot of very shitty gendered connotations to it.
ALEXIS: Oh… Yeah.
DEE: And those connotations are to my knowledge—and maybe someone who’s more fluent in Japanese could correct me on this—but to my knowledge, those connotations are not on the Japanese word. And so, a lot of my biggest caveats with the series rewatching was how angry I am with the translation. I’m like “Could we get a new translation maybe?” I think that would clear up a lot of the issues, because other than that, I think there’s three episodes that are just skippable. They’re not good; skip ‘em. And then I think everything else is fairly enjoyable if you fix that godawful translation decision.
ALEXIS: Yeah. That’s the other thing. The translation’s bad, and then there are just episodes that are not good. Zuka Club. So, it would be a qualified recommendation, but it would absolutely put that out there to someone I feel like would enjoy or would get something out of it.
AMELIA: How about you, Isaac?
ISAAC: Yeah, definitely a qualified recommendation. I would recommend it for all of the lead characters. And then, I guess the other thing that the show does that is important for being this kind of show, being a show in the genre of being like a reverse harem, is… I know we’ve talked about the Host Club, and I know some of you guys aren’t super keen on it.
I actually really like the Host Club, and I like when they’re actually doing Host Club activities. I like those antics, and in general I like the girls in the background who are always like [affects an excited feminine voice] “Ooh, suki!” [returns to normal voice] and really just have the little hearts spinning, because I think what it does it is allows all these girl characters—who aren’t really defined, but they’re just like a background mass that’s always there—it allows them to be indulgent in their fantasies and to be entertained by these boys, and I don’t think the show ever really judges them for that.
And for a show in this genre, in terms of what you would expect, they are making this show for the audience they were making this show for. I feel like this show validates particularly female viewers and says to them “It’s okay for you to have your own fantasies and to be entertained by this silly genre, and we’re not gonna judge you for that.”
And obviously, as we’ve talked about, there are things that the background girls in this show go for or fetishize that aren’t great, so, obviously, there’s a qualification there. But I think overall the way that the show validates specifically a female audience and says “It’s okay for you to have your own fantasies and to enjoy this genre, too”—I think the Host Club is really a mutually agreed-upon, consensual experience and it validates all the people involved, and I think that’s important, and I really appreciate that about this show.
AMELIA: Yeah, I think that’s an important point, because actually we see that the girls in this school face the same situation as these boys who are heirs to the company, in that they don’t get to choose their own path. And unfortunately, the character through which that’s expressed is Éclair.
So, they had a real opportunity to humanize Éclair and to show— There’s a moment where Tamaki says “How do you feel? You’ve just been told to get married to a guy you’ve just met. Are you really okay with that?” And that’s the only glimpse we get of the fact that that’s actually not an ideal situation.
So, the Host Club is really a space where these young women, who may not get to choose their own partners, can indulge in their fantasies, as you say, without judgment. And I appreciated that more in the last episode because they put it in context, because they made these people’s lives outside of the school. They gave a bit more context there. They gave a bit more grounding.
And so, from that point, I was much more comfortable with it, much more understanding of it. It’s not like I was uncomfortable before, but it always felt gimmicky, like I said, and it didn’t really feel that way in the last few episodes. It felt much more like a refuge. It felt much more important and meaningful to these people.
DEE: Yeah. We talked about that a little bit in the first watchalong, too, and we never quite went back to it, so I’m glad you guys circled us back to that, as well. Yeah, I think that sense of the Host Club as being a playground, like you said, where both sides are mutually agreeing to partake in this game without judgment on either side and it’s okay to indulge in that fantasy…
But at the same time, over the course of these 26 episodes, we see that there is a quote-unquote “reality” to these characters, as well. And so, it’s that sense of “You can enjoy the fantasy, the fiction, as long as both parties are in on it,” but then also being aware that there is a real world where those elements are not gonna be that simplistic or people are more complex than that.
So, I think that rewards a rewatch in some ways if you go back and you watch some of the earlier episodes, knowing the history of the characters and how they’re using the Host Club to work through their own adolescent anxieties or hang-ups or what have you. Yeah, so I think you’re right. I think a lot of that is built into the story, as well.
AMELIA: What a great show. Okay, unless anybody has anything to add, I think we can wrap it up there.
ALEXIS: No, I think that’s it.
DEE: I still love Ouran! I’m so glad I still love Ouran! [chuckles]
AMELIA: [laughs] I’m so glad you still love Ouran. If we’d ruined your favorite series for you, that would be… [chuckles]
DEE: Oh, no, you would not have… Again, it was more of, if I had rewatched it and gone “Oh, there’s a lot more problems here than I had remembered there being.” Yeah, it would not have been your fault.
DEE: So, it was nice to watch it again after a few years and see that— Again, I think any time you watch a show that’s more than like three years old or something, especially with issues like gender and queer identities and things like that, where things are moving so quickly, shows start to date themselves very fast.
So, I think that any time you watch—I mean, we talked about this with the Fushigi Yugi watchalong that I did with Caitlin and Vrai last year—I think there’s a certain point where, when you recommend it to people, you do need to ground them in “Well, this is when it was written. This is what the cultural situation was at the time. It’s doing some things that are progressive for the time but maybe don’t hold up because we have moved forward very quickly.”
Which is good. That’s a good thing. In a way, it’s good that Ouran is dating itself a little bit, even though it’s only been maybe ten years.
AMELIA: It’s dating itself because it engaged at all, right?
DEE: Yeah, and that’s also part of it, too. I would much rather a show try and mess up here and there than not try at all. I think Ouran does get quite a few things right when it comes to pushing back against traditional ideas about masculinity and femininity and letting the characters exist on a spectrum of presentation, a lot better than a lot of shows at the time were doing and a lot of shows nowadays do.
So, I think, like you guys said, with some caveats, it is one of those series that you do want to ground it in the time that it was made. But if you go into it with that knowledge, I think that you can still have a really good time with it.
AMELIA: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And I’m glad you still like it.
DEE: Yeah, I’m glad you guys liked it! This was fun. Thanks for joining me as I walked down this… as I opened those doors again—how’s that?—to Music Room 3.
AMELIA: Thank you. Thank you to all of you. It is a commitment. Watchalongs are a big commitment. They’re at least four sessions, and it does take up a chunk of time to watch the show and then to discuss it, and it is very much appreciated because I think the perspectives that we get out of watchalongs are really valuable. For Dee to revisit while we’re going to it for the first time with a fresh perspective, I think that’s such a great dynamic. I absolutely love this. I really love hosting these ones.
DEE: Yeah, and I loved all of your perspectives and takes on it were really different, and you guys brought up some points that I hadn’t necessarily thought of, so that was great. Thank you, all three of you, for joining, for opening those doors with me. [chuckles]
ISAAC: To Music Room 3.
AMELIA: And we will continue doing more watchalongs. So, just a bit of housekeeping then to wrap up. If you’d like to see more of our work, you can find that on animefeminist.com. If you’d like to find us on Twitter, we’re there @animefeminist. We’re on Facebook, facebook.com/AnimeFem. And we have a Tumblr, animefeminist.tumblr.com.
We also have a Patreon, patreon.com/animefeminist, which is how we pay all of our writers, contributors, editors, administrators. Everyone gets paid through our Patreon. And we’re always looking for more funding so that we can do more projects, create more content, pay more creators. Lots of ambitious plans, so please go to patreon.com/animefeminist. Send us $1 a month. That’s all it takes. It all adds up.
Or if you send us $5 a month to continue our work, you also get access to our exclusive Anime Feminist Discord server, which is like a chat room where you can talk about anime, manga, Japan, anything unrelated, but from a feminist perspective, without having to go through Feminism 101.
So, thank you so much to Alexis, Isaac, and Dee. This has been such a great experience. And listeners, please let us know which watchalong you’d like us to do in the future.
DEE: Go forth, find your Lovely Items, and we’ll catch you next time.
ALEXIS: [chuckles deeply]
DEE: How was that?
DEE: Was that good?
ALEXIS: Nice! Nice!
AMELIA: I just had my hands over my mouth to stop laughing. That was pretty good. [chuckles]