A Challenge from Lobelia Girls' Academy! is the ninth episode of the anime series. During Ouran's annual cultural exposition, Haruhi is tempted to switch schools by a trio of students from St. Lobelia Girls' Academy, an elite all-girls prep school. The maidens of The Zuka Club enter the picture and worried that Haruhi may transfer to St. Lobelia Girls' Academy under their influence, the Hosts devise a secret plan to keep Haruhi at Ouran.
The episode opens in a general student area where Haruhi is seen chatting with two girls, who tell her about the upcoming culture exposition held at Ouran each year in which neighboring schools perform music and drama for the benefit of Ouran's students. The twins are overheard chastising Renge for not knowing about instant coffee, which they go on to describe in detail. Realizing that the club is all out of the stuff, they send Haruhi on a coffee run. As she leaves, the two girls follow to thank her for helping the twins "come out of their shells." As Haruhi returns from shopping with a bag full of instant coffee, an out-of-nowhere ape appears to drop a banana peel on the sidewalk upon which Haruhi slips, falling into the arms of a tall girl wearing a school uniform other than Ouran Academy's. Much to Haruhi's surprise, this person recognizes that the errand boy is actually an errand girl.
Scene skip to Music Room #3 where two other-than Ouran girls enter to discover the hosts cosplaying as medieval knights. Despite their negative comments about the club, and men in general, Tamaki remains courteous until the tall girl reappears with Haruhi by her side, professing undying love for the petite host. As Tamaki flips out and demands that she unhand Haruhi, he's given an upper cut and falls back, crying. Kyoya recognizes the uniforms and confirms that the three interlopers are from St. Lobelia Girls' Academy. The Lobelia maidens are suddenly seen in flashy costumes, announcing that they are the leaders of their school's White Lily League aka Zuka Club: Benio Amakusa, Chizuru Maihara and Hinako Tsuwabuki. The hosts are flabbergasted, all except for the twins, who find them hysterically funny.
Renge appears on her motorized platform with her, by now, trademark evil laugh. Saying that she's always been fascinated by girls' schools, she goes on to share what she knows about St. Lobelia's and The Zuka Club, a society for strong young maidens who consider themselves superior to men in every way. She admits that while she admires the school, she could never attend there because it lacks boys. Then, as mysteriously as she arrives, she departs.
The Zuka Club members share what they consider to be their insights into their "specialness," leaving the Hosts cold. Chizuru and Hinako are surprised that they aren't more upset by their open homosexuality, but Benio is unphased, proclaiming Tamaki to be a pretty little "halfer" who shouldn't be using his looks to create a fictitious romance just to demean Haruhi, who is clearly confounded by her allegations. The trio declares they will abolish the Host Club, at which point Kyoya points out that Tamaki is bedridden with shock, which Honey calls "nappy-time." Haruhi offers freshly-brewed instant coffee to mitigate the tensions but Tamaki, who has recovered his senses, rushes the Lobelia maidens and refutes their challenge.
The Lobelia maidens make it known that they intend to have Haruhi transfer to St. Lobelia's to which Haruhi objects, discovering in the process that Tamaki is actually half-Japanese and half-French. As she goes on to defend the Host Club, it's further revealed that the Host Club lacks equivalent history and that they auction personal host items to raise funds. Finding out that the Hosts took her mechanical pencil and sold it without asking, Haruhi is outraged and leaves with some "thinking to do." Tamaki speculates on Haruhi's preferences and admits that she might be better suited to St. Lobelia's social climate. When the Host Club refuses to give her up, he recants and devises a secret plan to keep Haruhi at Ouran Academy.The following day, the Zuka Club returns to Ouran to take Haruhi by force, if need be. When they arrive at Music Room #3, however, they are greeted by the boys cosplaying as girls to show Haruhi that if she stays at Ouran, she'll have "sisters" as well as "brothers." While the Zuka Club find their actions insulting and useless, Haruhi finds it hilarious. She turns down the The Zuka Club saying that she came to Ouran to seriously study and never really considered leaving; she only got angry at the hosts for taking her pencil without asking. Defeated but not out, the Zuka Club leaves with a promise to yet win over Haruhi and to destory the Host Club. As they leave, they trip over banana peels.
- (singing in ascending notes) Lo-be-lia...Lo-be-lia...Lo-be-lia! -The Zuka Club
- (To Ouran Host Club) I don't care if your president is a half or not!
- Men are lowly life forms that think about nothing save for their own reputation.
- Haruhi Fujioka
- Tamaki Suoh
- Kyoya Ootori
- Hikaru Hitachiin
- Kaoru Hitachiin
- Mitsukuni "Honey" Haninozuka
- Takashi "Mori" Morinozuka
- Renge Houshakuji
- The White Lily League and Zuka Club
- Renge Houshakuji doesn't appear in the manga but she does appear in the anime, and even provides infomation about St. Lobelia Academy, stating that she has a fascination with all-girl schools.
- In the manga, the reason why The Zuka Club is at Ouran Academy is unknown; however, they get into the school by wearing the Ouran uniform.
- When the Hosts first meet The Zuka Club in the manga, they are hosting with their customers leaving when The Zuka Club appears.
- In the manga, Hinako spills coffee on Tamaki rather than Tamaki accidentally dipping his finger in the cup. Haruhi doesn't bandage his finger up in the manga, either.
- While all the boys apart from Mori dress up as girls in the anime; only Hikaru, Kaoru and Honey cross-dress in the manga, with Tamaki and Kyoya wearing outfits like Mori's.
- The reason why Haruhi left the club in her bitter mood in the manga was because she had to go to the supermarket. This isn't said in the anime.
- At the end of the manga chapter, The Zuka Club is seen coming up with a "four-in-one" plan, adding uncles and aunts to the Hosts' plan.
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