Volume five of the Suzumiya Haruhi novels, The rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya, has been out for a while now, and I finally read it. It consists of a couple of short stories, and a novella. The paperback appears to be out of print, but the hardback is available for paperback prices.
The stories are Endless eight (which only takes us through the last iteration — which is all it can do, since that’s all our narrator, Kyon, could know about to write down in his memoirs), and Day of Sagittarius, the story of the game contest with the computer club.
The novella is Snowy mountain syndrome, about a ski trip gone terribly wrong. The book has lots for Yuki and Tsuruya fans. In addition, Haruhi has mellowed a great deal and actually shows some consideration for others. It’s an excellent puzzle story, somewhat reminiscent of a Heinlein or Asimov short (you know the sort of story — it reads like the author was inspired by a Scientific American article, and writes a story about a nifty idea). Tanigawa is definitely growing as a writer.
…And it’s a bloody wasted opportunity. It advances the plot and development of the world and the characters. But the “math is hard” Barbies at Kyoto Animation chose to demonstrate their craftsmanship on eight variations of Endless eight instead of rising to the challenge of animating a story in which the resolution requires Koizumi to use a carpet as a blackboard.
Shaft could have done it, and it would have been a miracle of typography. And fanservice — the resolution of the puzzle involves a series of nocturnal visits among the cast members. Oh, it could have been wonderful.
Anyway, this series, after bobbling a bit with The sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya, just keeps getting better. I’m looking forward to the next volume.
Anyway, on to The wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya, which includes the story of “The adventures of Mikuru Asahina 00”, and has yet more for Yuki and Tsuruya fans….