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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 of volume 7 is all about the 'Shadow King' Kyouya, and starts with him waking up in a noisy mall-type area, surrounded by 'commoners'. Haruhi happens upon him and saves him from being lost without money or a phone, and treats him to fast food. Afterwards, while walking around, Kyouya's personality shows through when browsing the porcelain. The second story in this book is based around Hunny and his newly introduced little brother, Yasuchika (Chika for short). It begins with Chika attacking Hunny, and turns into a Host Club game of 'reunite the brothers', as they have never been very close. We also meet Mori's younger brother, Satoshi, who is charged with caring for Chika the same way Mori does for Hunny. This story runs into the third chapter of this book, and culminates in a battle between Chika and Hunny, with cake and Bun-Bun at stake. The fourth story in this book starts with the Host Club visiting Haruhi's home, and receiving the shock of seeing Ranka (Haruhi's father) in his 'manly' state. It turns out that haruhi isn't home, because shes been abducted by the Zuka Club to star in their musical. The Host Club plot to save her, aided by her father, and ends in true Host Club fashion, with much hilarity. The fifth story in this book is an extra about the Hitachiin twins, containing the saga of when they first cried in public, so almost all of it is drawn with them as children.
The final story in this Volume is a bonus manga called Love Egoist (Please Please Me) which continues from the earlier 'Love Egoist' bonus manga, picking up a little while after the first one ends. Sumire is still in love with Mr. Saginuma, and as she says "nothing has changed". He still feels little for her and goes to the Kuronuma twins for help. Needless to say, because shes spending so much time with him the other girls at school begin to bully her, but she decides not to take revenge as she would have done, but quietly puts up with it, until Mr. Saginuma tells her to stop helping him and go away. The ending I will leave to you to read.
The drawings, as usual, are excellent, although the first story lacks somewhat in the backgrounds as it is not based at the High School. This is definitely made up by the level of detail and flamboyance in the fourth story, when Haruhi and the Host Club end up at St. Roberia's School. The extra manga is lovely, and shows once again the manga-ka's ability to regress her characters looks to perfection (the twins are impeccably drawn and very cute). The bonus manga is in the same more round style with a lack of backgrounds as the other bonus manga's are, but is still pleasant to read/look through.
This volume is highly re-readable, and includes a lot of character revelations, and some of their history. It also incorporates a lot of the secondary characters from earlier books, which brings back some fun faces.
As mentioned, the backgrounds as lacking in chapter one, and there are quite a few panels in this book (probably more due to the story line than laziness) that have few characters lines in, which can make it seem a bit disappointing. However, the bonus manga is the best so far, and doesn't disappoint as its length is quite long. This does mean that the OuHos part of the volume may seem short, and this could be found disappointing to fans who wanted a long plotline this volume.
Even with the shorter stories, and the lack of backgrounds/speech I still think that this is a good volume by Hatori, particularly as few of the stories are related and so would require more research/different drawings. It is as always a pleasure to read and one that will be staying firmly put on my shelf for re-reading!