Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (spoiler free review)

If you haven't watched it, you have probably heard of it. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, or Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu. It's one of the most popular animes out there, and I'm not really sure how to explain this one.

This anime is about the seemingly completely normal teenager Kyon, who happens to get seated in front of Haruhi Suzumiya when he enters high school. One thing leads to another and they become, uhm, friends. Haruhi is a peculiar girl though, she has no interest in regular humans, she only cares for aliens, time travelers, etc. She creates a club in order to pursue these things which shouldn't actually exist. Strange things start to happen around her and Kyon.

Now, the twist is, the episodes weren't aired in chronological order.

I saw this 4 years back, and I did not like it at all. I found it dull, uninteresting and with bad pacing. However, I made one grave mistake. The non-chronological order irritated me, and I was worried about not being able to comprehend, so I watched them chronologically. Don't do this. This anime was made to watch in a random order.
I always thought about re-watching it, in proper order, to see the difference, and I finally got around to giving a second chance. Good choice.

Some of the characters are very stereotypical. There's a moe girl, a silent girl, and the next-door teenage guy, all with their own twists. Haruhi herself is one person so crazy and full of energy. I once heard someone say every class should have a girl like her, but I have to admit I disagree. A girl like her in my class would be too much trouble. She's stubborn, moody and unstable. Needless to say, the characters aren't the strongest point, although I do find Kyon a pretty likable guy, along with some of the other very minor characters.

Now, the music is great. I feel like the sound effects here is what makes the show. Because of the mixed order of the episodes, the music is what helps build the suspense. For example, the last episode in the anime is episode number 6 chronologically, and you call tell by the sound. When I watched it the first time, episode 6 was the peak, and I knew before looking at the order of airing that this was the end. Also the ending theme is fantastic, it sticks onto my mind and made me want to cosplay as Haruhi.

The story is alright I guess. (Minor spoiler alert in this paragraph). I do find the concept of it very interesting. Some of the characters refer to Haruhi as "god", to explain her ability to make things always go her way. She "created" the world. I think this is an amusing and well-thought idea. The thing is, I can't possibly imagine Haruhi as the world creator, seeing as she's such an annoying and immature person. She's just not fit for that role.

Lastly, I've seen most of this in Japanese, but some English dubbed episode tricked their way into my Suzumiya Haruhi arc. I do prefer the Japanese version. There's nothing wrong with the dub, except that Haruhi's voice in English sets her whole character off, and she can be perceived as a much angrier girl than she's supposed to be.

To be honest, there are so many things I dislike about this anime. It's way too stereotypical and the story revolves around a girl that's not very likeable (or many I'm just jealous of her, haha). Still, I enjoyed it and I would recommend it. I really do have a love/hate relationship to this. Because it's also funny, sweet, and somewhat romantic(?), it does have it moments. But I feel what makes this show is the random order of the episodes. I gave it 7/10.

I will be watching season 2 and the movie in the not so distant future, and of course, I'll post about it here. Until next time.


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  2. cool post sweets...
    keep in touch,