Posts Tagged 'Suzumiya Haruhi'

Novel: The intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya

by dm00

Hardcover (left) and softcover (right)

If someone from the future comes to tell you what you will do with your life, how free are you to do otherwise?

This is the question at the heart of this seventh volume in the Suzumiya Haruhi series. This volume is the first that consists of material that is entirely new to viewers of the anime franchise.

In Disappearance, Kyon learned to appreciate Haruhi. In Intrigues, he learns to appreciate the other members of the SOS-Dan (even Itsuki), perhaps most especially himself. Tsuruya also plays an important role as the Tom Bombadil of this book series: knowing, able to be helpful, but more a natural force than an ally.

The novel begins with a prologue that involves a bit of time-travel to clean up some loose ends from Disappearance, then jumps directly into a puzzle in which a second Mikuru appears suddenly in the clubroom broom-closet, and informs Kyon that, eight days from today, he will shove her into the broom closet and tell her to leap back in time to this point. Also puzzling to Mikuru, she got immediate permission to perform the time-leap Kyon demanded of her.

After that, the plot is driven by letters that appear each morning in Kyon’s shoe-locker — Kyon’s week of geo-caching. Trudging about in mysterious corners of the city in February isn’t the most pleasant way to spend one’s time, but mostly Kyon is puzzled about the apparently random activities and his own motivation for sending Mikuru back in time.

On top of this, Haruhi seems subdued, but not to the extreme that she’s generating closed spaces as a side-effect. Haruhi’s blues eventually clear up (and Kyon, seemingly, was the only one who noticed they were there), and, since Disappearance, Kyon now appreciates an inspired Haruhi.

And an inspired Haruhi is no longer quite as unpleasant as she was earlier in the series. She’s mellowed. Further, she’s almost a minor character (after the first book, this series has never done well when Haruhi is on center stage).

Finally, there are actual encounters with minions of the sinister opposition force that caused the snowy mountain syndrome episode.

After something of a rough start, these novels continue to improve. Tanigawa is growing as a writer, and developing a firmer, and deeper grasp of his characters.

Yen Press’ softcover includes monochrome illustrations throughout the book and a collection of color plates at the back.

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The wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya

by dm00

Hard cover edition

I just finished The Wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya, a title that makes me think of Alexander the Great for some reason.

Book six of the Haruhi Suzumiya series is a collection of short stories. The first two stories, “Live alive” and “The adventures of Mikuru Asahina episode 00”, were among the highlights of the first animated season (which I think appeared shortly after this book was originally published in Japan).

In the new stories in this volume, Yuki is on the receiving end of a confession of love, Mikuru asks Kyon out on a Sunday afternoon (“The melancholy of Mikuru Asahina”), and the cat Shamisen is a key witness in the murder mystery that got derailed in “Snowy mountain syndrome”.

Continue reading ‘The wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya’

The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya

by dm00

Hardback cover, paperback sticks with the single-color theme of past paperbacks

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….

Novel: The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

by dm00

Kyon awoke one morning from uneasy dreams to find himself transformed into a mundane.

Haruhi disappears and a familiar face returns

The sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya nearly drove me away from the Haruhi novels.  In it, Haruhi’s personality was so awful, and so unavoidable, that it was unpleasant to read about her. But that’s the way Haruhi is, at least in that point of the story, and portraying her that way is the right thing to do, even if it is unpleasant to read.

Continue reading ‘Novel: The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya’

Generic New Haruhi Post #286

By TheBigN

(sorry nekosasu. :P)

Okay, I’ll admit that even more new The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi is nice to see. The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan was more than enough for me, and I’ll definitely be missing those and the Nyoro~n Churuya-san short episodes, but now that there apparently are more episodes related to the first series coming down the pipe, I’m not complaining at all. At the same time, I’m not going to lie; I would have really enjoyed seeing the reaction if the accidental leak about “Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody” turned out to be false. When I see how some people get a little too obsessed with something (myself included), it’s nice to have some cold water moments to keep us a little more grounded, I think.

It would be nice if Mikuru willingly took Haruhi up on this offer on the bed.

It would be nice if Mikuru willingly took Haruhi up on this offer on the bed.

Continue reading ‘Generic New Haruhi Post #286’

The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to Haruhi Suzumiya

by dm00

 

The cover of <i>The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya</i>, a novel

The cover of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, a novel

 

Don’t panic, Kyon.

I haven’t had so much fun since friends started babbling about this thing they’d seen called “The adventures of Asahina Mikuru”.

Continue reading ‘The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to Haruhi Suzumiya’


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