Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi Suzumiya, main character

I was half expecting this to be as good as people say, while half expecting to be dissapointed. That’s because everytime I get hyped up about a series, eventually watching it becomes anticlimatic cause I had high expectations of it. However, I’m pleased to say that Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is as good as fans make it out to be. While I personally have yet to read the manga, bar chapter 1, The story was pretty much fresh and new to me. As far as I knew Haruhi was a girl who hated ordinary things and only wished to be surrounded by aliens, time travellers and espers. While I thought the storyline was a bit wacky, it turned out to be actually quite interesting.

One of the reasons I decided to watch it was because its only 14 episodes. Nowawdays short anime/manga series appeal to me more than the neverending (almost) series such as BLEACH or Naruto. Simply because short series are easy to finish obviously, and I don’t always have to try and refresh my memory of what happened a week ago (like with Naruto manga). When I think about it, there actually isn’t much that’s so spactacular about the series. Each of the characters are pretty much stereotypes which are found in any story, the eccentric (haruhi), the quiet achievers (Yuki), the clumsy (Mikaru), the charming (Koizumi) and the cynic (“Kyon”). However, as these 5 very different charcters come together, it becomes highly amusing and almost a good combination of cast.

Haruhi SuzumiyaOne thing very notable about Haruhi is the animation quality. Not only is it wide screen (fitting my widescreen laptop very nicely 😀 )the animation and CG is really good. Kyoto Animation certainly did a good job, just like Sunrise did on Mai HiME (and also Mai Otome, though MO didn’t turn out nearly as good as MH), especially in terms of scenery/setting/background. Everything is so detailed and nice, one memorable part which I almost thought it was REAL was the “virtual battle” scene where SOS Brigade is challenged by the Computer Society for a virtual battle using spaceships. My god, the Spaceship designs sure as hell were good, the msot realistic design I’ve seen in anime (almsot on par with FFVII Advent Children!)

There were basically minimal flaws in character and character design (for once I get to see some decent looking clothing design), animation and plot. Although the plot of the anime I presumed followed fairly closely to the Manga (missing/adding bits and pieces here and there), the way the anime set it out was highly confusing. I found myself constantly wondering if the next episode is the right episode. For example when SOS went on holiday to Koizumi’s uncle’s holiday Manor, there was a part I and part II, however the part II didn’t come straight after part I, rather a seemingly random episode was slotted in between the two parts. This brings me to the issue of the timeline of the events (A Simplified timeline courtesy of Momento). As I’ve yet to read the manga, I’m not sure if the anime didn’t follow the manga on purpose to get a different sort of ending, as the anime ending with the “kiss and back to reality” scene seemed like a very good way to end the series.

Another complaint I have to make is the random first episode opening to the series.Gosh, I barely paid any attention to the first episode, almost wanting to stop watching it, but I kept telling me self Haruhi has good ratings so I’ll at least give it a couple more episodes before dumping it. It also made me notice the use (or lack of) music in the series. I can barely remember if any major OST was used, if it was, then it clearer blended into the anime that I barely noticed it. But I found the music neither good or bad, it was jsut there. It also seems like (from wikipedia) that the anime stopped before the manga finished, so there’s a possible season 2 which I would be looking forward to. Curious to see how the Kyon/Haruhi relationship turns out.

Memento as usual has done a very good blog segment on Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, giving overall information about the series such as short summaries, opening/ending theme PVs and their lyrics (Japanese and Romaji) and also character summaries.

Wikipedia | Anime News Network | SOS Brigade (Fansite) | reallife Vs. anime scenes


4 Responses to “Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”

  1. 1 ecky39 June 22, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    I think this anime is really good too you know, especially because Haruhi is there. Well, anyway welcome to Haruhism!

  2. 2 andrewreadscomics June 22, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    Haruhi was based off a light novel series, NOT a manga.

  3. 3 Diego June 23, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    As always, I’m glad to hear that yet another soul has been added to the fold. ^_^

    Have you read the light novels this anime was based upon? I’ve been following the online translations ever since the series ended – initially just to find out “what happens next” (since the producers only drew on the first volume and parts of others), although I’ve stopped viewing the books as a mere extension of the anime and I’m now enjoying them in their own right.

  4. 4 jankcl June 24, 2007 at 2:29 am

    Diego – heh, glad to know I’m welcomed into Huruhism fandom 🙂 Actually I started on the first chapter, but didn’t progress much further. Perhaps when I find the time to I will, since people say it’s pretty good.

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