The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Alt titles: Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu

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kamenoko's avatar By kamenoko on Aug 11, 2006

Story

Haruhi is an amalgamation of a startling number of genres: slice-of-life high school, science fiction, a detective story, ecchi fan service, harem, slapstick comedy, and more. What distinguishes Haruhi from other animes which attempt to bridge so many genres, like, say, Elfen Lied, or SaiKano, is that SuzuHaru works. Stated plainly, from start to finish, Haruhi is coherent. There is a steady hand at the rudder, and the director deserves a lot of props. The plot itself deserves special attention, but no detail. Suffice it to say it takes us in directions we do not expect. The title itself is a misnomer, Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi makes one think of drama, and there is hardly any drama here at all. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised at the unique twists this anime takes, and the liberties taken with the genres it both upholds and lampoons.


Animation

is about as faultless as it gets. Comparison-wise it reminds me a lot of the Full Metal Panic series, which shouldn’t surprise me since it was done by the same studio. Scenes are brightly lit when they need to be, extraordinarily detailed. Characters are harem archetypes as far as design is concerned: you have Asahina with her shy face, and large talents, Nagato’s loli cuteness, and Suzumiya’s vivacious, plain-stated beauty. The male characters are boring by comparison, following the harem tradition.


Sound

Voice acting is superb. Kyon’s VA first and foremost, since his has the difficult job of both being a narrator and a leading character at the same time. He has just enough omniscience to guide us along, but at the same time enough naiveté to dethrone him as the voice of God. Suzimiya’s voice actress rises to the level of the title character’s ambition, and the rest do their jobs as well as we have come to expect from Japanese voice actors. The music was very good as well, with two songs, from later in the anime, that are both wonderfully catchy, but not saccharine.


Characters

Did I mention Haruhi is a harem anime? That’s only about half-true, Suzuharu skewers harem comedies mercilessly, the tone of which is stated from the outset with the hilarious Adventures of Mikuru-chan ‘movie’. Many series treat their characters as ivory towers, with clearly defined qualities, a character’s less than appealing traits are usually caused by some childhood trauma such as abuse or parental abandonment (i.e. Evangelion, 90% of anime). This is not true of Suzuharu, Suzumiya herself is a horrible director, and a really, really crappy graphic artist. Asahina cannot utter a sentence without tripping over her own tongue, and Nagato cannot even string three sentences together. But the strongest character in the series should really be its weakest: Kyon. It is through his eyes that we view this anime, and without his eviscerating commentary, Haruhi would not be half as good as it is.

10/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
RamkoX12X's avatar By RamkoX12X on Oct 8, 2013

(Synopsis) Kyon, an average student, starts his first year of high school not expecting the sudden twist in his life that will change everything. He meets Haruhi Suzumiya, an eccentric and curious girl, who has a dream to meet aliens, time travelers, and espers. Haruhi then creates the SOS Brigade with Kyon and manages to grab a couple members for the club. Here we meet, Yuki Nagato, Mikuru Asahina, and Itsuki Koizumi who each have a secret to tell Kyon about themselves and especially about Haruhi Suzumiya. Together, they sought out to find the un-ordinary with Haruhi Suzumiya.

(Review) The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a slice of life/fantasy/comedy anime with a rather out of the ordinary plot. With great animation and soundtrack, they both help the anime bring up its witty story and feeling. Each characters has the chance to explaino their background stories which makes character development a great factor of this anime. Each character have very different personalities which makes them interesting and fun to watch.

(Final Thoughts) The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya contains a out of the ordinary plot with the addition of well-developed characters and fun episodes make this anime a must watch. I give The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya a 9.3 out of 10. After watching the series, I recommend watching The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, which surpasses the series tremendously.

8.5/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
9.3/10 characters
8.9/10 overall
willtaylor's avatar By willtaylor on Apr 23, 2010

Ok. There's rarely a time when I give a series all 10/10s. I usually find something that I don't necessarily like or agree with, and I'm ok with that. But this one really fit me. It's only 14 episodes long, but if you by the 2nd season, it's considerably longer. (The events of season 2 take place within the same school year, and you actually watch a lot of the episodes in between episodes of season one to see the entire thing.) It sounds confusing, because it is. The only thing is, it doesn't take away from the series in the least bit.

Before you watch it, I will suggest this, watch it in the original broadcast order. To me, anyway, the ending seemed stronger that way. I'll clarify. The series was broadcast in one order, but chronologically, the episodes are not the same order. Thus if you watch the American release of the DVD, you will end up watching the episodes out of the sequence they were originally broadcast in. If you watch it chronologically, the ending is not as strong as if you watch it in the broadcast order. Does that make sense?

Now onto what I thought of the series. The thing I like best about it, was that it was over the top, without being over the top. No one wields swords that can chop buildings in half with a single swing. There are no over top explosions or overly comical punches that launch the main character several hundred feet in the air, or anything like that. Within the confines of the plot, the action is zany, but not unrealistic. The plot however, takes a major step away from reality in a way that only enhances the story. It's believable and unbelievable at the same time.

At the heart of it all you have Kyon. He is by far my favorite male protagonist when it comes to anime. He's not clueless, nor stupid, nor unbelievably heroic or altruistic. In fact, he seems to be absolutely believable as an everyday teenage boy. He's a little more intelligent than most, but not unbelievably so. He learns to understand his own feelings gradually, and while he's aware of his own sexuality he's not too shy about it, nor too forward about it. If I would say anything, I would say that Kyon is typical in the sense of he acts much like people you see everyday, but he's got a certain savvy that makes him endearing to watch.

Haruhi, on the other hand, is a force of nature. I don't mean that literally. What I mean is, that she is driven and unfortunately for Kyon, whatever she has in mind usually involves him in one way or another. She's forceful, intelligent, creative and sassy. Some might say over the top, but I don't. I've known people like that, and when I come to think of it, I typically remember that kind of person with a smile in my heart. She is genuinely unafraid to speak her mind or be different, and it makes for a lot of comedy when people who aren't that way get taken along for the ride. Just being near her brings about positive change to her friends, even though they don't know it at the time.

The other characters add to the story, but this is really about Kyon and Haruhi. Its interesting that the only one that seems to have any chance of reigning her in is Kyon. Their relationship unfolds in a way that makes for really good story telling. My suggestion to anyone watching this is to put your belief aside when it comes to the premise, and sit back and enjoy the ride.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
luvmaya's avatar By luvmaya on May 8, 2010

The Story was absolute TOSH. A 'Special girl?' She was just imensely strange.

The Animation was Good though. Not anything ahead of it's game. Anime was fairly HQ at the time of release though.

The Music. What can I say? Aya hirano was Utterly great in all the songs :) the English Dub Artist did alright aswell.

Characters? Haruhi Was a bit Tipsy and Kyon was a bit Too Boring. Yuki Was an Alien and Itsuki was Just there! He didn't ever dissagree or anything! He just smiled and looked pretty! Bassically All 4 were at different corners of the room.

Overall This Anime came across as completely Average. it's deems itslef quite high in peoples 'watched' list because The Dance(End Sequence) Gives it too Much Publicity. I did enjoy this Anime at a modest level but If you're looking For a shoujo Anime(One to be a fan of, I mean this was a 'watch and forget about' anime) ...Go for something else. and series two? Bassically the same tosh.

5/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
5/10 characters
6.5/10 overall
Tomo90's avatar By Tomo90 on Jul 5, 2011

When I when to watch The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya I unwittingly began to watch it in the order it was broadcasted, now for those who don’t know the broadcasted order is not linear so I had a wft moment after I watched it because the first episode in the broadcasted order is actually the 11th one in the chronological order. Lucky I decided to watch the second episode, which is actually the first episode in chronologically, and it made more sense to me. So for those of you who are watching it for the first time make sure you watch it in chronological order it makes a whole lot more sense.

Ok, with that little note out of the way time for the story. The story is very interesting and there is a little twist around every corner. However it is the evolution between the two main characters, Haruhi and Kyon, that really interested me. At first I thought that it was going to like Clannad but I was so wrong. Although it was elements of Clannad, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya excelled in many different areas much more. The comedy was a lot funnier and the personalities of each character were much more defined and unique (not so many stereotypes). Each character had their own story to tell which was brilliant and each had their own motives.

Haruhi, the main character, is described as an ‘alien’ because she lacks what most people would call a normal sense of what is right and wrong. Haruhi is not interested in normality and looks to quench her boredom at any opportunity.  This leads to some rather funny situations especially when she drags her club, SOS brigade, along for the ride.

There is a hint of romance in this anime but it doesn’t develop to anything substantive but it does add a nice touch to the story and a couple of tender moments.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Its story was funny and interesting, it had unique characters and their development was well done. I could keep praising this anime till my voice failed and still not reach the satisfaction it deserved. It’s definitely one to put on your list to watch.

 

10/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall