Jan 27, 2011

Ouran High School Host Club January 2011 Special Chapter

Update:  Files updated to correct the spelling of various locations and people talked about this chapter.  Big thanks for zronoa for the information.
First of all, I would like to thank the cleaners for helping me get this out so promptly.  You guys are wonderful and generous with your time and talent.

Now, just a warning: this special chapter does not move the story forward.  There are no big revelations or character developments.  Rather it's like an extra-long chapter of a normal Ouran story.  When I first saw that's what this was, I was rather disappointed because like so many of you, I wanted a graduation, a proposal, marriage, kids, or something along those lines.  Disappointment can happen when 3 months of anticipation goes unfulfilled.  Anyhow...I got over it after I finished the translation and started typesetting and the final image editing.  With respect to other Ouran chapters, this one is on par with what usually happens in an Ouran chapter -- the Host Club comes to the rescue of some special guest.

Links to the Ouran January 2011 Special Chapter: (Zip) (PDF) -- Retired

(Spoilers Ahead)
My Thoughts on the Chapter:
I think the chapter focused too much on the setting of Barcelona. ( I don't mean to make less of Barcelona.  I've been there and I could ramble on for hours about it.  That city blew my mind with respect to architecture and food.  Believe me, I understand Hatori-sensei enthusiasm.)  Yes, I like a background, but 7 or 8 pages of it before the story actually begins is a little much.  This was keenly felt while I was translating.  Fortunately, I've been to Barcelona 4 or 5 times on business trips, so I didn't have to struggle with the Katakana for Spanish names.  Once the story gets going, I thought it was enjoyable enough.  The quipping between Kyouya and Nanako was cute and witty, though, I was sad to see no sense of attraction coming from Kyouya...booooo...As always the twins are funny, though, it really isn't a shock that they want to go to art school.  I think that was made clear in the previous short one-shot involving their grandmother.  As for the TamaXHaru moments they were cute, but there weren't enough and they didn't last long.  Honestly, I really want to know about them.  Haruhi has some serious issues that need to be dealt with and I felt that this was a cop out.

The fountain thing + The Sagrada Familia -- I wonder if this is a little hint about a future special chapter in which Haruhi and Tamaki come back to Spain in 10-years as part of the "Fountain Curse" and the little promise made at the beginning of the chapter.  I think if that happens, I can forgive all the Barcelona travel propaganda.

Supplementary Info for the chapter:
The Sagrada Familia -- If I can find my pictures of it I will do a another blog post.  It is an AMAZING architectural feat.  It is beautiful and over the top tacky at the same time.  Those of you studying structural engineering will drool at the organic shapes. 

Antonio Gaudi -- An amazing architect.  There are buildings and spaces he designed scattered throughout Barcelona.  They are weird and really capture the imagination.

Montserrat Monastery --  Home of the "Black Madonna".  This is another amazing place to visit while in Barcelona.  The buildings look like they are building into the rocky landscape and the Monastery is amazing.  Visitors are allowed to tour the cloisters.  There's lots of art and the Black Madonna to see. Again, if I can find my pictures, I will share them.

Carmen -- an opera (Link 1)(Link2)

Don Quixote -- a novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Next up are J+K chapter 7 and Magnolia chapter 7!