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General Plot (shortened version from my review of Vol 1)
The basic plot revolves around a scholarship student named Haruhi Fujioka, whom stumbles in upon the "Host Club" - a club devoted to helping the rich young ladies (and gentlemen if they are that way inclined) spend their leisure time happily - while looking for a quiet place to study. Here Haruhi meets the rest of the characters whom will remain with us throughout the story: Tamaki (the King), Kyoya (the Shadow King), Mitsukuni (Hunny), Takashi (Mori) and the twins, Hikaru and Kaoru, each of course has their special skill for entertaining the clients of the 'Host Club'. The series continues by describing interesting/humorous events that happen in and around the 'Host Club'.
Volume Specific Plot
The first story in this volume start off with the Host Club playing cards, at which Tamaki and Haruhi come last, and therefore have to help Kyoya uncover the 'culprit' behind several letters (some blank, some with newspaper cuttings stuck on to make a message), whilst everyone is getting ready for the school festival. A new recurring character is introduced in this story, called Takeshi Kuze, an old friend of Kyoya's. The second story continues the first and we begin to see more about Kyoya as some of it centres around his home, and we meet his father and sister. It then moves on to the beginning of the festival with the clubs battling it out for use of the grand salon. The third story is again another continuation, finishing up the race for the crown which will give one of the clubs the grand salon, and Haruhi figures out whom the perpetrator of the letters was. The fourth story continues the letter plot, and we get to see more of Tamaki's father (the Chairman), and then the festival starts properly, with all the parents attending. We get to meet the twins mother and father for the first time, as well as Kyoya's extremely dark side when his father turns up, and finally Tamaki's grandmother whom causes quite a fuss, and directs the fifth story. As such the fifth story tags on to the fourth, starting with Tamaki feeling as if he upset his grandmother, just before the Host Club take up guests for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, it ends with Haruhi being forced into a dress for the ball. The sixth and last story is completely removed from the festival, and is a piece entirely dedicated to the creation of a mystery food to appease the deputy headmaster, after the Host Club spill his lunch all over him.
Drawing - Style/Substance
The drawings in this volume are excellent, particularly as we have several full page/double spread fanciful pictures of the Host Club, not to mention all the work on the costumes and clothing changes for the festival. There are also some more of those fantastic backgrounds that Bisco Hatori sometimes pulls out of the bag for special Host Club occasions. We also see a lot of actions/dialogue in this volume which is well fitted in amongst the drawings.
This is another volume with a lot of character development, and revelations about their pasts. It includes some flashbacks, which are nice, as we get to see some of the characters as they were as children. The stories in this volume as both funny and heart-warming, in true Host Club style.
I really don't think there are any for this volume, as Bisco has managed to simply squeeze so much into it, but I suppose having the one story just extended each time may make it seem a little lacking. It also highlights the oddity of time within the series, as some chapters leap time, while other creep along very slowly.
Overall another smashing book by Bisco Hatori that gives up beautiful backdrops on an amusing touching storyline, with well rounded characters.