This is one of those strange little shows that to me; is a gem. If you start watching it, it might be rather strange because of the order that is given to you. The first episode 00 is not really the first. It’s the episode that the group makes later on in the show. A lot of shows are like that, in the wrong order. When it aired is a nonlinear way known as Kyon order. It almost makes no sense and so I suggest that you watch them in the Haruhi order which if you are looking at Kyon order number, it would be 2, 3, 5, 10, 13, 14, 4, 7, 6, 8, 1, 12, 11 and 9. What does piss me off though is that in 2009, they added a new season, but it is supposed to be mixed in with Season 1 that added additional footage and dialogue to the story. It means that I have to rewatch the whole show again with the second season and try to put them together.
The feel of the show is like a Nuevo, and it’s nice to have Kyon’s thoughts on the whole idea of Haruhi’s antics. I don’t think I would be able to stand this show without his calculated thoughts and it would go into Azumanga Daioh mode I think. I really do wish I could hear more about his background and about his little sister. Every once in a while, she just seems to pop up out of nowhere and doesn’t seem to be part of anything. She could just as easily been left out instead of having her in the show. There were also times when they lost me, talking a lot about logic and philosophies in the characters who are around Kyon. I can understand when It’s Yuki, maybe even Itsuki but when Mikuru starts talking logically about time travel and then suddenly goes into ‘That’s classified’ thing, it just gets annoying because it doesn’t seem like her character.
The animation is pretty good, though it’s pretty much the same as almost any other school life with the rather clean artwork though they have constant hair-los even in the dark. It’s this nice little shine that went all the way around there heads. It’s a bit annoying in that aspect. The background is pretty washed out and the people stand out really nicely against it being bright. There is a lot of fan service, especially with Mikuru and the strange outfits that Haruhi forces her into. I have to say, I would have thought Haruhi would look a bit more out of control looking then what she looks like.
The voices in the English actually are much better in my mind but that is just my opinion. I can understand them much better if I don’t have to read the sub titles and not only that, Wendee Lee is a great Haruhi! I love her out of control voice and right next to Crispin Freeman’s cool and collected voice, it sounds really well done. Much like yin and yang. I’m not really sold on Stephanie Sheh’s Mikuru. She seems a little too timid and high pitched. It’s also nice to hear that Johnny Yong Bosch as Itsuki with a cool and collected character instead of the hot headed thugs he seems to be known for.