“All A Little Crazy” – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Part 1 (manga) – 8/10 Tulips

Mangaka: Gaku Tsugano (Illustrator), Nagaru Tanigawa (Contributor), Noizi Ito (Contributor)

Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy/School/Comedy/Romance

Review Status: Incomplete (10 Volumes/? Volumes)

Licensed: Yes, this manga is licensed in the US

Art: If you’ve seen anything Haruhi (and I’m sure you have!) than this looks just like it. Everyone is their familiar, recognizeable selves.

Summary: Kyon is your ordinary high school freshman who has long given up on his childhood dreams of encountering the fantastic and supernatural…or so he thought. From the very first day of school, his classmate-the beautiful but eccentric Haruhi Suzumiya-makes it very clear that her only desire is to meet aliens, time travelers, and psychics! A chance conversation between the two inspires Haruhi to form the SOS Brigade, a school club created for the sole purpose of gathering together such supernatural beings. The initial members consist of the mute bookworm Yuki Nagato, the timid but voluptuous Miharu Asahina, and the polite and ever-smiling Itsuki Koizumi. By the end of this first volume, Kyon quickly finds out that these seemingly “helpless victims” of Haruhi’s are actually members of secret organizations-both futuristic and alien-with the single aim of keeping watch over Haruhi Suzumiya as she is the pinnacle of some major calamity on the horizon… (Amazon.com)

Review: If I’m allowed to be honest for a moment, Haruhi was not an anime that really impressed me when I saw it. The brash, forward star just wasn’t quite my cup of tea, though I knew that a whole lot of other people liked her. Where they saw forward, I saw obnoxious. Where they saw fun, I saw irritating. Whether it’s because I’m no longer as sensitive to these things because I’ve been watching anime for so long, or because in the manga it’s so much easier to pass over these things, everything I disliked about the first season was made infinitely more palatable here.

The first season of the anime is told out of order, so that threw me for a bit of a loop. Since it’s a continuing story, though, this worked out rather well, the stories flowing rather smoothly- even if I’m not sure I buy Kyon falling for Haruhi a lot sooner than the anime let on. Everything in the manga is the exact same as the anime, so there’s no big surprises or plot twists. However, I hadn’t seen the second season of the anime, so seeing Endless Eight play out in two chapters was amazing and a huge relief!

Since the ten volumes go up to The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, I should comment on this. I really enjoyed Disappearance, and feel it’s the strongest story arc in the whole series so far. It really brings out character development and depth that was only hinted at in places. It was really interesting to see things changed up and how life would be if Haruhi hadn’t existed- and definitely was good stuff for those who like alternate pairings!

Overall, while this is only a good chunk of the series, it’s highly enjoyable and good fun!

Recommended: 13+. There’s a little bit of fanservice here and there, but I think it’s not as strong as in the anime.

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Is there anything quite like Haruhi? Probably not. I recommend watching the anime, and skipping a few episodes of the Endless Eight fiasco.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Taylor Ramage
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 21:33:41

    I had the first two volumes of the manga, which I read after reading the first light novel and watching the anime, and I wasn’t a fan. The story was choppier than the other versions and it kind of confirmed my opinion that the farther you move away from the original version of a story (be it anime, manga, or light novel), the lower the quality.

    Of course, we differ in that I’m a fan of Haruhi’s character, so I can see how for someone who doesn’t like her the manga is more palatable.


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