Attack of the Lady Manager! is the fourth episode of the anime series. The episode introduces the French otaku, Renge Houshakuji, who proclaims herself Kyoya's fiancée upon seeing his photograph and noting his striking resemblance to Miyabi, a character from the dating-sim game, Uki Doki Memorial. Renge transfers to Ouran Academy to meet her real-life Miyabi and, in the process, sets herself up as the Host Club's manager. In her quest to make the Hosts' character arcs more exciting, she produces a movie about their "dark" sides.
The episode begins with Renge playing the dating-sim game Uki Doki Memorial! in a darkened room by herself. Obsessed with a character named Miyabi, her room is filled with Miyabi-oriented artifacts. Oddly, Uki Doki Memorial's six male characters resemble Ouran Academy's six male hosts; Miyabi resembling Kyoya. Renge's father, Reynard Houshakuji, enters and comments on her fascination with the game, but allows her to do as she pleases. Later, as father and daughter chat about his recent business trip, he shows her a photo of his business partner standing with his three sons. Renge sees Kyoya and, due to his uncanny resemblance to Miyabi, is smitten and off to claim him.
Scene skip to the Host Club open for business with the cosplay of the day being Traditional Kimonos. Tamaki is observed with teary eyes at his guests' beauty while the twins flirt with one another, revealing that their mother is a fashion designer. Haruhi’s customers compliment her kimono, saying she almost looks like a girl. Kyoya reminds Haruhi that although she seems to be gaining customers, and he isn't charging interest as he normally would, there is a rental fee on the kimono. Haruhi likens Kyoya to a heartless tax collector, but upon hearing his exchange with the twins who inquire about profits made on the photobooks, realizes that without his shrewd management, the Host Club would be bankrupt. Honey is seen crying because he's lost a sandal. Mori appears, placing it on his foot, after which they hug for the viewing enjoyment of their customers.
Haruhi comments that tears seem to be “popular,” but wonders how they all seem to cry on command. She bumps into Kaoru and a bottle of eye-drops pops out of his sleeve, answering her query. Hikaru and Kaoru explain that "no woman alive can resist a man on the brink of tears." They then give her a sweet and her customers ask if she likes them; she says no but thinks it will make a nice shrine offering to her mother. Tamaki gushes over her devotion with more tears and many more sweets. When Haruhi suggests that his tears are fake, he's insulted because a true host only cries real tears.As he carries on, Haruhi notices Renge peeking in on them from the doorway. The twins flirt with her, but Tamaki interrupts, telling them they should be more courteous to first-time guests. As he role models perfect host behavior, Renge shoves him and calls him a phony. She laces into him with endless insults until he collapses. Kyoya seems to recognize her but, before he can complete a sentence, Renge flings herself at him, calling him her Prince Charming. Things settle and Renge describes how Kyoya is her real-life Miyabi who, in fact, is nothing like the sensitive character she describes. When she learns that Kyoya is the club's director, she appoints herself the club's manager which Kyoya allows because her family does business with the Ootoris.
The next day, Tamaki approves of Renge being manager because she can "feminize" Haruhi and, sure enough, Renge shows up with home-made cookies. Tamaki again seeks her favor, but she still calls him a "phony prince." She offers the cookies to Kyoya, thinking he will react as Miyabi might. Honey says the cookies are burnt, at which point Renge is seen as Medusa!Renge, chasing both Honey and Mori, who flee from her in terror. Haruhi tries one and says it has a good flavor so Hikaru bites a piece off the cookie between Haruhi's lips and Kaoru licks crumbs off her cheek. Tamaki freaks out while Renge observes. When Honey offers Renge a glass of milk, she snaps. Shifting into manager-mode, she tells them that each host must develop a "dark side" to keep their customers interested, Kyoya, of course, is perfect. Honey is labeled "the baby-faced thug;" Mori is the "flunkie;" the twins are neurotic sports stars; Haruhi is a bullied honor student and Tamaki is "the lonely prince."
Scene skip to the twins on the basketball court. Kaoru is injured and Hikaru plays up their "Forbidden Brotherly Love" act. Tamaki is viewed standing in the rain, sans blazer, in a tragic pose. Honey is seen walking with Mori towards Haruhi with a menacing look on his face. All of a sudden, he breaks down and throws his arms around Haruhi saying he can't be mean to her. Renge calls, "Cut!" and it's revealed that she's producing a film about the new and improved Host Club, using a real Hollywood director. She calls for Haruhi to play her scene with two Ouran students who, because they look tough, Renge casts as Yakuza. When she grabs the arm of one in order to direct him, he pushes her off causing her to fall into a ladder which begins to tumble onto her. Haruhi shoves her aside and they both fall to the ground. Tamaki arrives on scene and upon seeing Haruhi on the ground with tears in her eyes, he hauls off on the bit players though, as it turns out, she's only crying because her contact popped out. Renge loves the ad libbing and asks the film crew if they caught it. When they say yes, Kyoya smashes the lens with a rock saying he can't allow a record of any host engaging in violence. When Renge asks why he's acting so differently, Tamaki explains that her fantasy is not reality. Haruhi suggests she just get to know people little by little, as they are.
A few days later in Music Room #3, the girls are gushing over the film to the surprise of everyone but Kyoya, who has been selling it to make money for the club. Renge arrives and tells them that she's staying in Japan because she now realizes who her "true love" really is - Haruhi. As she drags her off to "play together," Tamaki has a conniption fit.
- (To Kyoya's photo) I'm coming for you, my Prince Charming! -Renge
- (To Haruhi) I can't believe I didn't realize this sooner. It was so chivalrous of you to risk your life to protect me. I could feel the love when you lectured me in judging people. When you said it was fun to get to know people little by little, you were talking about me! Come on, Haruhi! Let's go to my house and play some games together. I think it's time you get to know me better. -Renge
- (To Tamaki) No. Don't touch me. You're phony! -Renge
- (Thinking about Kyoya) He's kind of some heartless tax collector! -Haruhi
Kaoru: I've never seen one!!
Renge: Hey Everyone! You'll be happy to know that your new lady manager, Renge has baked you some delicious cookies!
Tamaki: Oh, isn't she ladylike? I'm moved by your generosity.
Renge: I didn't bake this cookies for you, you phony prince!
- Haruhi Fujioka
- Tamaki Suoh
- Kyoya Ootori
- Hikaru Hitachiin
- Kaoru Hitachiin
- Mitsukuni "Honey" Haninozuka
- Takashi "Mori" Morinozuka
- Renge Houshakuji
- Reynard Houshakuji
- Kotoko Fujioka (mentioned by Haruhi)
- Yoshio Ootori (photo only, mentioned by Kyoya and Reynard)
- Yuuichi Ootori (only seen in the photo)
- Akito Ootori (only seen in the photo)
- Uki-Doki Memorial does not exist, though some say it's based on a video game called, "Tokimeki Memorial."
- Renge's hair changes to living snakes when she gets angry, making her appear to be Medusa, a character in Greek mythology who could turn any living thing into stone if they looked into her eyes.
- The drops the hosts use to make them cry are menthol drops.
- The first hint of Tamaki's relationship to Chairman Suoh occurs in the manga when he tells the actors-cum-yakuza-boys, "Want me to have both of you expelled?"
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