This is the intro to a Japanese anime show called “Ouran High School Host Club”. It’s a manga series by Bisco Hatori and was my introduction to the anime genre about two weeks ago. I had heard about anime but it wasn’t until my english conversation partner from China, Xin Guo, wanted to watch it that I was exposed to it. The preface for the show, a host club in a private high school, was completely foreign to me until I did a little more reading about host clubs.
Host clubs are groups of well-groomed men who will flatter women for a fee. According to the article above, many of the clients are prostitutes themselves who are now paying for non-physical attention from men. I would liken these men to emotional prostitutes. This begs the question, why have host clubs developed in Japan and not the US? Imagine if single women spent their Valentine’s day in host clubs, paying for male attention.
This idea of men being paid to spend time and attention to women is strange in itself, but the show also depicts these high school boys flirting with each other. I was confused by this development until my anime-savvy friend explained to me that the girls in the show were attracted by the very “taboo-ness” of homosexual flirtations. Overall, watching the show was an enlightening experience as I finally got into the rhythm of a humor and plot line completely foreign to me.
Perhaps you already understand and like the anime genre, or are accustomed to asian cultures. Have you had any other cross-cultural experiences recently? It’s a refreshing, while sometimes humbling, experience =)