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The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Review

August 11, 2006

story 10/10

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya screenshot

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 9/10

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 9/10

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 8.5/10

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.

overall 9.5/10

The thing is, I cannot summarize this anime, I cannot put it into a neat little box, and that is the highest praise I can give to it. The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi defies convenient description; it is a treat; an anime that surpasses the good, and the very good. In five years time we will be discussing this anime in much the same way as we discuss Kino no Tabi, Ghost in the Shell, or a Ghibli movie. This anime is a classic; it’s just too new to be called that. All I can say is: watch it.

Anime Info

The eccentric Suzumiya Haruhi wants nothing more than to meet aliens, time travelers and espers… but she’ll have to settle for the everyday Kyon instead! Along with the mysterious Itsuki and the vacant Mikuru, the duo forms the SOS Brigade – a club whose mission is to discover the mysteries of the world. Armed with a razor sharp wit and a skill for manipulation, Haruhi will stop at nothing to have fun at all costs, even at the expense of Mikuru’s dignity!

my anime:

not rated

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comments

eifiee avatar eifiee
Aug 16, 2013

As many people have said, I feel you overrated it, but if that's really your opinion then that's fine.  I have been wanting to watch this for months because I heard from a friend how fantastic it was, & then I found out that it was extremely popular, so I figured it must be great.  I watched it with an open mind & at first I was really enjoying it (minus 50% of the time Mikuru was on screen) because it was cute & Kyon is absolutely hilarious.  But then I honestly just got bored, & really irritated.  In my opinion, from what I have seen, Haruhi herself is kind of rotten.  She's so selfish, she literally does not care for anyone else, except maybe Kyon (& maybe the others too) but she doesn't show it at all, she treats them all like crap.  I don't even know if she would consider them friends, because they're just like decorations half the time & when they're not their to fill space, she bosses them around, it just pisses me off.  Her attitude & personality sucks, to me at least.  Mikuru is my least favorite character but for her to treat her the way she does is horrible.  I don't find that funny whatsoever.  She has no concerns about her feelings or anyone elses as long as she gets what she wants.  Everyone is just her play thing, I can't stand it.  I kept watching for Kyon's commentary & for the hope that her character would at least SOMEWHAT develop & mature, but I think I have to at least stall it now.  I stopped at like 5 minutes into episode 14 so if she starts developing beyond that point please tell me so I can pick it up again. Sorry this is so long, oh my gosh.  & also I don't mean to offend anyone by this, I know how it is when people say bad things about your favorite animes, but please try to see where I'm coming from! ^-^  

Wirusan avatar Wirusan
Oct 23, 2012

I thought this season was great, definate ly the better of the two. I don't think it deserves a 9.5/10 but I thought this was a fun anime to watch and had great animation, that's one thing we can all agree on. However I did not like season 2 as much first off the dreaded Endless Eight. The second season wasn't as good as the first but I thought the movie was great and is one of the greatest anime movies I've seen so far. 

NicoNicoDesu avatar NicoNicoDesu
Aug 4, 2012

I enjoyed the anime, but 9.5/10? If this review was written on April 1, okay. But it makes no sense.

Exrage avatar Exrage
Jun 29, 2012

One of the most overrated anime imo.

Singan avatar Singan
Jun 8, 2012

I'm sure this review is a joke. But I'm not sure in which sense.

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