The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

NewAnimeThursday, sorry for not posting yesterday, I wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t in the mood to review.

Taking a look what can be considered a staple of anime and otaku culture, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the story of a girl, a boy, an alien, time traveler, and an esper.  The story follows the title character Haruhi Suzumiya, a high school girl who can unconsciously change reality, and her strange antics with her school club, the SOS Brigade. She founded the Brigade to investigate any mysterious happenings. Haruhi forcibly drafts her cynical classmate Kyon, who narrates the series, and similarly recruits three additional members into her club: the silent bibliophile Yuki Nagato, the shy and timid Mikuru Asahina, and the friendly “mysterious exchange student” Itsuki Koizumi. These members soon reveal themselves to Kyon as the extraordinary characters Haruhi is seeking, sent by their various organizations to observe her and hold her reality warping powers in check by maintaining the illusion of a normal life.

After viewing season 1, I loved the series, the characters were great, the premise was unique, and Asahina’s cuteness was criminal. It quickly became clear why this series was such a common cosplay and anime reference in otaku culture (even garnering a cosplay by Konata Izumi in “Lucky Star”).  I loved it….until season two, and the “Endless Eight”.

The “Endless Eight”, one of the truest tests of my sanity and patience, you know something is just dragging on when you start staring at the progression bar in your media player because the episode itself is driving you bonkers. The “Endless Eight” is essentially eight repeating episodes in where the Brigade is stuck in a time loop created by Haruhi at the end of the summer because she has some regret over something left undone.  I started celebrating when Kyon finally broke the time loop and did his homework (a bit anti-climatic), then realized, there’s 4 more episodes. The four additional episodes were also nothing original, just a more in-depth retelling of the SOS Brigade’s film for the culture festival.

In short, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, at least the first season, is a must watch, especially if you want to understand a fairly large aspect of anime.  If you enjoy your sanity, skip season two, though I believe all those who can sit through and proceed to function properly in society deserve a medal of honor.

There’s nothing quite like a simple story of a boy, a girl, and their alien/time traveler/esper friends.

The Melancholy of Haruhi SuzumiyaUntil next time,
-BeldenOtaku

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2 thoughts on “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

  1. Its a staple of otaku that I can not fathom why it became popular.

    I agree that the first season was nice, but yeah, the second season with Endless Eight almost drove me into insanity. Not sure why they had to recycle the same ep over and over, since it did not do much to help it move along. Still a nice series, but to me does not deserve all the hype it was given.

    • Same here, it was good, but not really “crazy multitude of fans” good, “Endless Eight” would’ve been more tolerable if it were shorter, maybe “Endless Three”, and then put some original content to fill up season two…but what are you gonna do…

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