Not exactly unknown^^ but a worthy title for a review I think.
Title: Ouran High School Host Club
Genres: Shojo, High School, Comedy, Romance
Author/Artist: Bisco Hatori
Publication: LaLa (monthly)
Number of chapters at review: 57
Number of chapter read by reviewer: 57
General Overview: Fujioka Haruhi is a poor but brillant student who managed to get accepted into the ultra-elite Ouran Academy. Unfortunately, after being there only a short while, she breaks an expensive vase belonging to an eccentric club, forcing her to work for them to pay off her debt. The twist? She ends up having to pretend she is a boy in order to pay back her debt more quickly! The manga chronicles her madcap adventures with her new collection of friends(?) in this crazy new Host Club.
The background art is very well done and detailed, as you would expect from a monthly release. However, the artist's character designs leave a bit to be desired. As the artist tells it, her editor kept insisting that she make the characters "cuter" so somehow they all ended up with eyes the size of saucers, which really detracts from the overall look, imo. But aside from that quibble, the art is nicely done.
At it's heart, this is a reverse harem comedy, and one that doesn't take itself too seriously. Expect lots of parody of the normal conventions of the genre to hilarious results. However, the author shows her true strength when writing her more serious scenes. She also does very well at surprising the reader with unexpected twists that feel very believable.
As with most series of this type, character development is the real driving force, and the author does a very nice job of it. She slowly reveals the complexity of these seemingly simple characters and at the same time, they slowly grow.
The themes of Ouran are subtle but developed quite well. "Self-awareness" and "being true to yourself" are two of the driving themes throughout the series.
As a parody, there isn't a whole lot of originality in the series, however, several of the characters are rather original, raising the score.
Overall, the manga is very enjoyable. It somehow reminds me of Fruits Basket, even though the two are quite different in plot and setting. I highly recommend picking this series up if you enjoy shojo or comedy in the slightest^^