29 March 2009

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya; Nagaru Tanigawa

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is supposed to be a huge hit in Japan, the start of a series that has another seven titles (to date) in it. I'm not sure if this is as a novel or as a graphic novel...

Haruhi is introduced to us as an extremely rude, beautiful and not-a-little strange girl starting her first year of high school. Kyon, through whose eyes we meet Haruhi and with whom we will participate in all the action, is also a little strange: he's convinced that there probably are such strange beings as aliens, "espers", etc. (but not Santa). For some perverse reason, he is determined to break through Haruhi's walls and initiate some sort of conversation with her; he succeeds beyond his wildest imagination.

As I read this, I wondered whether or not Haruhi was simply an incredibly rude person, ignoring normal conventions and merely dragooning people into her plans or whether there was more going on. As the members of her S.O.S. Brigade start opening up to Kyon, I wondered if there was something going on in his mind - perhaps he was imagining things, or mentally embellishing them?

Turns out that Kyon is the only "normal" in the group, and that Haruhi is incredibly important to our survival (or, as one character puts it, microevolution). I'm sure that many readers will want to get further into the series to find out more, but I think that I've read enough.

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