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Confuzudu

  • Romania
  • Joined Jan 1, 2011
  • 22 / ?

2 things before you read this review:

1) I (unfortunately) watched the series twice, both in airing and chronological order, so I can compare them.
2) This is not a praise Haruhi review, but rather a review from someone who truly dislikes and despises the show. I tried to include all reasons behind this; so even if you are a Haruhi fanatic, please try to understand why I rated it so low.

Now onto the review.
MAL is the place where I usually decide the new anime series I want to watch. Unfortunately, this sometimes proves to be disastrous - like the case of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Reading the synopsis, seeing the nice graphics and all the hype around it, I really expected something great, intelligent and unusual. Instead, I got a really big disappointment - manifested by a boredom and annoyance overdose.

From what I've seen, there are usually two approaches of the show that Haruhi fans support. First is the parody one - TMoHS is supposed to be a light comedy not meant to be taken seriously, destined purely for laughter. Second states that TMoHS is a deep, subtle and intelligent show that has a lot of hidden meanings. I honestly disagree with both. TMoHS is nothing more than a series that delivers to fans what fans want - exaggerated, cliche characters, lots of fanservice, predictability and little to none plot and character development.

Story

You can't talk about the story without mentioning the really unusual way in which the episodes are aired - and that is, not chronological. I admit, this is an extremely intelligent, even brilliant idea - to hide the fact that the plot of TMoHS is basically zero. Nopes. Nothing ever happens; it's just a bunch of high school and spare time events that some teenagers go through randomly thrown in. That's why, it really doesn't matter in which order you watch the show, since you won't miss anything.

Now, the whole 'God is amongst us' concept could have been really interestingly developed - if it wasn't for the characters.

Characters

In my opinion, characters truly represent the poorest aspect of the show. Leaving aside the fact that there is no development in their personalities at all, they are so poorly made, that it's almost as if they were created to be mocked at. In an elegant way, you could say that they are one-dimensional sketches or exaggerated caricatures. In a non sophisticated, yet same true way, you could just call them crappy. Either way, they cut off all the enjoyment the story could have brought. Because they are so simplistic, the viewer is basically able to predict anything that's about to happen in the following 5 minutes with an accuracy of 95% - unless he's an idiot.

So let's move onto each one of them.

Haruhi:
Haruhi is what every teenage girl would want to be - she's beautiful, she's smart, she's talented and athletic. She could be called either a Mary Sue character or a tsundere - I don't care. Because of all her qualities, her life was probably pretty easy, thus leading her to believe she's special. However, she doesn't want to be special only for herself - she wants the world to know how great of a person she is. So far, so good. Then why is she so unlikeable? Well, Haruhi's way of proving she's something else is definitely WRONG.
If there was one adjective I had to pick to describe Haruhi, then I'd probably choose aggressive. Haruhi is aggressive in everything. Her speech is aggressive, her ideas are aggressive, her way of waving her hands is aggressive, but most important of all - her relationships towards other people is aggressive. She has no value of human morals whatsoever, considering everybody her pawns. Therefore, Haruhi thinks she is allowed to do everything just because she's able to. I honestly waited throughout the whole series for someone to slap her, disagree with her or at least spark the tiniest bit sense of reality into her. Unfortunately, there was no positive development at all. Haruhi started out as a perfect, bossy bitch and ended up as an even more bitchy one, receiving several ego boosts as the series advanced due to her talented, almighty nature.

Yuki:
Yuki could as very well be replaced by a broken alarm clock that rings when it shouldn't or by an old, rusted door and there would hardly be any differences. 90% of Yuki's actions are static - she's just, well, there, reading a book. (The climax of Yuki's passiveness is reached during episode 14, when the viewer is shown 5 minutes in which basically all she does is change the page while voices full of references echo on the school corridor. That's 5 freaking minutes of NOTHING. Yet I, as a viewer, should find this utterly amusing.) The rest 10% of Yuki's actions make absolutely no sense. She's just programming computers or fighting cute aliens while being equally cute, silent and moe.

Mikuru:
Mikuru's only purpose in this show is to bring fanservice. Lots and lots, if possible. Mikuru has this high-pitched, squeaky scream and this shy personality which enables her to make all fanboys fall for her. She's like a sickening cute, fluffy hamster that starts squealing every time she's touched (and she sure gets touched a lot, mind you.) Every once in a while, she might give you the unpleasant surprise that she's not actually a commercial item and she can exit her tormented animal state too and be human - by speaking.

Koizumi:
I haven't read the original novels so I can't tell for sure what role Koizumi plays in them - but to me, it seems as the creator of TMoHS had, at some point, reached a pinch. He had to create a new character. Therefore, his line of reasoning was probably something like this: "Hey, I already have 3 extremely moe and likable female characters. I should make a guy too, so the female audience would be pleased. Yeah, yeah, I should make a guy - as elegant and charming as possible." Thus Koizumi was born.
Basically, unless you're a crazy fangirl or something similar, you'd barely be able to notice Koizumi - I, for once, kept forgetting his name all the time. To be honest, the only time I acknowledged his existence was when he kept staring at Kyon's hair in the middle of a mole fluttering in the ocean breeze. I thought it was the most irrelevant and repulsing thing TMoHS had brought so far.
Koizumi serves as the voice through which the strange events occurring around Haruhi are explained. Translation: his speeches are long, boring and put you to sleep. When he talks, he talks. When he doesn't talk, he still talks.

Kyon:
Kyon is a sword with two edges. On one hand, he's really sarcastic, being quite innovative to the ordinary guy genre - thus proving to be the only aspect that might seem slightly interesting during the series. On the other one, he's extremely unlikable due to the fact that he doesn't take any action at all - unless forced by Haruhi. Kyon was the viewer's last hope of Haruhi redemption - yet he fails miserably, by making her even worse than how she actually started off.

Art and Sound

Art and sound are probably the only positive aspects of the show. TMoHS manages to create a pretty good atmosphere - the movements are flowing easily, the colors are bright and clean, the background music fits in - even though it doesn't stand out as more than ordinary. The OP and ED are either really addictive or annoying to the core - I'm more inclined to the latter. Voices are OK, the actors managing to catch each character's personality - which only adds up to how you, as a viewer, perceive them. Overall, no major problem.

Enjoyment

Zero. Zero enjoyment. I can't quite comprehend how a normal, rational person can watch a show where the characters are horrible and the story is predictable - and, at the same time, enjoy it. Haruhi is a mediocre anime for the masses. It was meant to be liked by all those who want to stand out but have no means of doing so. I honestly expect much more from my anime when I watch it. I want to be hooked or at least slightly entertained. Leave aside the fact that I constantly kept staring elsewhere asking myself 'when will this crap be over?'; I couldn't even grin ONCE throughout the series. That's how uninteresting it was.

Overall

When rating, I usually consider two aspects. One is enjoyment; the other is the effort that I feel the creators put into the certain anime. Animation-wise, KyoAni really overdid itself. Plot-wise, it was a total wreck.

Therefore, I really cannot rate TMoHS more than 4 out of 10.

1/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
1/10 characters
4/10 overall

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eifiee says...

If anyone is interested (lol yea right) this is what I said about the character Haruhi: 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.  

Aug 16, 2013
eifiee says...

Thank you, thank you so much for posting this.  I'm so bad with words but you have said everything I was thinking.  I honestly do not understand why this anime is so popular, it is so predictable & boring.  It's nothing we haven't seen before, with the stupid stereotypical character types, which I cannot stress enough, are so. freaking. boring.  I like my characters to have real personalities.  It feels like they just looked up definitions of "silent girl", "rude aggressive b*tch with no concern for anyone elses feelings" (am I allowed to swear here?), & don't forget "girl who serves literally no purpose other than boobs with an irritating voice, who is also a clutz, because  they always have to be clutzy" & created characters based on that.  Not only is that boring, but it is so so overdone.  It was such a dissapointment.  I have even heard people go as far as calling it the greatest anime of all time, & now after seeing the majority of the episodes, I am just confused.  I wonder did they really watch it...?  Kyon is the only redeeming thing for the show, in my opinion.  His sarcasm is great, though I wish he would oppose Haruhi instead of always giving in.  I wish they all would really.  Instead of just letting her always have her way I truly wish one of them would have just smacked her for being such a crappy person.

Aug 16, 2013
crypticdarkness says...

You have some good points I think the only thing that really saved the dub is Cripisin Freeman playing Kyon which is only kept my attention. but I have seemed sub couldn't watch it more than five minutes. Oh have you seen season two you should and let me on how you feel about the infinte eight number. all it is eye candy they thought if we make the moe pretty enough other than big heads and waving arms they'll love  it not if you have half a brain. also if you have a science background they didn't even get the science of how the espers in the black spaces works right which annoyed me. also if you don't have a science background then your going to be very confused.

I would though like to see a review from of season 2.

Apr 17, 2012
m2kyamanaka says...

I completely agree with your review. You have an annoying bitch who fakes sexual harassment pictures of to get a computer, does anything she wants and everybody just bows down to her when they should be beating the shit out of her (I know I wanted to) , and she isn't even likeable while she does it. Anime fans today are truly pathetic if annoying characters are deemed 'funny' if they are constantly shouting and taking whatever they want, 'cute' if they are soulless, animated sex dolls with giant breasts, and 'cool' if they sit in a corner and refuse to talk to anybody. Worst of all, possibly even worse than a good anime getting a bad rap, I think, is a piece of shit like this being worshipped by weaboos. It makes me want to vomit, preferrably all over those weaboos.

In short, I'm glad I'm not the only one who despises this series.

Aug 19, 2011
Suzaka says...

Everything you said is exactly how I feel. I kept hearing the hype so I finally decided to give this a shot and just holds nothing likable within. Everything is slow and dull, if you get a chuckle out of any episode you should count yourself lucky. This reminded me exactly of schooling, where you would constantly check what time it was and wondering when it would end. -sigh-

I feel no need to make a reveiw now because this hit the nail on the head.

Jun 9, 2011