As the students of Class 1-5 introduce themselves at the beginning of their high school careers, the cynical but otherwise fairly ordinary boy known as Kyon sits down, having just finished his piece. However, when the girl sitting behind him stands up to give her speech, the words she utters dumbfound the entire class. Proclaiming that she has no interest in ordinary humans and is in search of the supernatural, Haruhi Suzumiya makes her unforgettable debut.
Doubting Haruhi's sincerity, Kyon lets his curiosity get the better of him and attempts to befriend her in spite of his classmates' warnings. Unfortunately, as the eccentric girl slowly opens up to him, Kyon realizes she is dead serious. Moreover, a conversation between the two sparks a dangerous idea in Haruhi's mind: since she is bored with the mundanity of the school's clubs, she should just create her own. With this, the SOS Brigade is born, and Kyon is quickly dragged into a life of absurdity.
Taking over the Literary Club's room, Haruhi soon enlists three new members into her organization: the stoic Yuki Nagato, the timid Mikuru Asahina, and the supposedly mysterious transfer student Itsuki Koizumi. Having thrown together this group of students, Haruhi drags the squad around on adventures in search of the exciting and supernatural, much to Kyon's chagrin. However, he soon discovers that there is more to the new recruits than meets the eye, and that which Haruhi wishes for may be much closer than she realizes...
Haruhi Suzumiya is a collection of Sci-fi, Comedy themed Light Novels (10 in fact) that fans of the popular anime series would read to get more depth to the story. So there’s really no need to go into detail of the story and overall premise of the Novels. As you may already know the story revolves around an omnipotent high school girl Haruhi Suzumiya, with powers (unknown to her) but told from the point of view of high school boy Kyon (real name unknown).
The anime series only scratches the surface, as it only tells one of the 4 known main stories
“Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”. The other 3 being: “Disappearance…”, “Intrigues…”, and “Dissociation…”. Whereas the 1st only focuses on introducing and revealing the main characters and concepts of the story, the other stories tend to go all out in bringing forth complex stories involving time-travel, dimensional rifts and other sci-fi concepts. To help supplement these stories the remaining Light Novels contain episodic mini-events that only loosely follow the main stories. The main problem is the jumbled up nature of these stories and it does require some thinking into knowing the order of events. At least the seasons make it easier to overcome this issue.
The characters are what make these Light Novels worth reading and each of the main characters seem to have purpose into making this an enjoyable read.
- Kyon the guy that the story follows and it’s his witty comments and cynical attitude that will make him an instant fave.
- Haruhi is an eccentric and emotionally unstable girl that causes many problems for Kyon and the rest of the world.
- Mikuru is a clumsy, well-endowed girl that is there for fanservice and a means of time travel.
- Yuki is a cute, emotionless alien whose there to rely on whenever something happens.
- Koizumi is an esper that doesn’t play much of an active role except when it comes to his long explanations and annoying Kyon.
The best thing is when you see how each of these characters subtly develops, after a while but still remain a bit of a mystery. What’s also interesting is how the side characters tend to play a major role in the story and at times even become the source of speculation (e.g. Tsuruya).
Overall this is a Light Novel that any of the thousands of die hard Haruhiist would enjoy. There’s enough content to keep anyone busy with for a while and for those who like to use that thing called a brain would definitely enjoy it, with all the complex mathematical, physics and sci-fi concept involved. There are quite a bit of dull moments to be found, with excessive explanations and it can be difficult to tell what’s being thought and what’s being said out loud however these issues don’t take away the overall feel of the story.
This series of novels is very compelling. I must say I was very captivated by how the plot works. It's very confusing if you don't know anything about it though; I recommend watching the anime first before trying to decipher the light novel.
Plot: Not too many loopholes. If you're a fan of the "What's Going to Happen Next" genre then I suggest you read this. The cliffhangers, although leaving you unsatisfied, will feed your desire to read about the next.
Art: Hah, the art totally rocks. The cover and front flaps basically sums the story up. The in-book art are black-and-white manga-like drawings that are high
quality, but I can't argue with that. I'd rather have a novel with a few pics than none at all.
Character Development: This is where you get to know the story better. I think I'll start with Kyon.
Kyon: Your average bored high school student. Although he sounds very bored at first, as the story goes on he has matured into what we all know as the SOS's conscience. I am very compelled to give out spoilers here; but for the sake of those who haven't read I won't. All I can say is that he is the impromptu leader of the group, and the unofficial savior of the world. You'll get to know why.
Haruhi: Ah. Here's the happy-go-lucky leader of the SOS Dan. As we all know, she formed the group just by dragging everyone in. But as time goes by, the Sealed Realities decrease one by one, and she begins to feel that everyone is a friend, even Mikuru. Little by little she realizes her love for Kyon, as too many hints are dropped here and there.
Yuki: This silent humanoid interface alien is slowly begging to be human. I won't say anything further, but she is the character who (in my opinion) is the one who developed the most. She is beginning to realize the word "Friend", and for those of you who want to know more about her, listen to her character song, "Yuki, Muon, Madobe Nite". That'll explain a lot.
Itsuki: He hasn't changed much really, maybe just the fact that he is beginning to work side by side with the other groups covering Haruhi. Though he always talks a lot, he now has sense in him, and doesn't do much bootlicking either (maybe that's the reason why Kyon doesn't blame him often nowadays).
Mikuru: Aside from the physical features we all know too much about, she also changes in the emotional department. She is braver now; she is now willing to take risks even though she doesn't know the consequences (pretty ironic for a time traveler). At first she was an outsider compared to Koizumi and Nagato, but because of her changes she is now willing to work with them (even though at first she refuses to work with Yuki).
All in all, very nice novel series. I suggest recommending it to your friends as well.
Here it is, the true story of what started it all. Haruhism has taken the anime world by storm and it is all because of this light novel series. But, how did such a marvelous movement branch from this you ask? To tell you the truth, that is what I would like to know.
Now I know my statement above would lead any person to believe that I am disappointed with the origins of Haruhi, and in a sense I am, but nowhere near as harsh as I first let on. What I merely mean is that, the anime took a morsel of the story and
made a full course meal out of it. The morsel being the only sweet part of the series.
The anime consists of parts of this light novel series; the first novel which is the core of the anime and six short stories that are taken from three different novels. That is a minuscule number compared to the total number of content
(nine novels so far). So what was left behind, well, to put it simply, the main character in my opinion. Yes, I know you are confused as to what I mean but
give me time to elaborate. The main character of a story is the main focus of said story, which one would assume would be Haruhi Suzumiya, but as I read through the various musings of Kyon (the narrator) the story seemed to switch its concern. Haruhi seemed to be missing during most of the scenes and when she did show up it was just Kyon berating her character.
So who filled the void of the missing main character, well none other than the most uninteresting character of the series. The parody of an otaku's true love, Mikuru Asahina. Yes, the constant praise of her beauty and the angst that it created for Kyon filled page after page in this novel series. Every now and then Yuki Nagato and Itsuki Koizumi show up and make stories interesting but not nearly enough to save some of the stories.
And therein lies the missing two points that would of belonged to the score. Asahina, who I hate so well, has the stage and she comes through with constant idiocy, which is great for those who are into that sort of thing. But, I just do not find her entertaining, especially when it is written, at least fan service keeps me attentive. While Yuki is practically a demi-god (though she seemed to be the Deus Ex Machina in most of the stories) and Kozumi has an intriguingly mysterious aura and agency backing him, the author chooses a ditsy time traveler and her older self to focus on. I shouldn't even have to mention the fact that the character the title comes from doesn't even seem to be mentioned in many parts of the stories.
I wanted to love this series, I truly did. That is why it pains me to write of it so. It still holds the unique charm of the anime and when the great characters are included, it shines. But, I found myself wanting to skip over entire chapters (which as an avid reader is against my nature) that were just boring me with repetition. It was filled with great initial concepts, that just fell hard by the time the conclusion was revealed.
It isn't a bad read. The writing is not complex but it is solid and there are many humorous jokes. Kyon maintains his sarcastic charm and all the other characters maintain the reason why we love this franchise in the first place. But, I just could not get into it. It seems as though the author wanted to scrap all of his good ideas and keep the story as simple as he could mid way through each story. I guess Mikuru fans would be pleased with this work, but for all the others I leave you with this one question, WHERE IS HARUHI?
"I have no interest in ordinary humans. If there are any aliens, time travelers, sliders or espers here, come join me. That is all."
(Note: This review is based on the first book "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya", not considering the following novels such as "The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya" nor "The Boredom of Haruhi-" and so on and so forth.)
Most everyone knows the tale of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon, and the SOS Brigade: They search out the world for the extraordinary. Little does Kyon know that all the extraordinary is Haruhi herself.
The story of Haruhi Suzumiya is so completely wonderful. When
I finished the light novel of Haruhi, I watched the first episode of the anime, and was completely dumbfounded on how similar the anime is to the novel. Its absolutely a perfect replica. Like the anime, the novel is narrated by our own Kyon, who's sarcasm and wise-cracks honestly never get old. The story from his eyes had a certain element of charm that only added to the already wonderful plot line. I can honestly say I enjoyed every moment.
What makes the book, though, is the characters themselves. I could rant about Haruhi-- her energetic, selfish, odd, enthusiastic, impatient, colorful and utterly hilarious personality-- but honestly, the character that I really loved was no other than Kyon. From the beginning of the book to the end, we lived through Kyon's eyes while he struggled with questions such as "I AM a normal highschool boy, right?" to "Why did Haruhi choose me?" to "What IS Haruhi to me?" The character growth in Kyon is outstanding, though I have to say that I liked him in the beginning... and I LOVED him at the end. I'll take my own Kyon, please.
Did you know that light novels have PICTURES? I was a little bit too delighted when I figured that out. I was spastically waving the book in front of each of my family members, saying, "LOOK!! ITS BEAUTIFUL!"
Okay. I'm going to end this art section before I embarrass myself. Anyways. The art is beautiful. It captures the scenes perfectly.
My enjoyment? A 10, without a doubt. I had a friend ask me if she could borrow the book when I had finished it. I replied, "No. I'm reading it again." Because, I have no interest in ordinary novels. If there are any novels here that has the wit, charm, humor and enjoyment that Haruhi Suzumiya had, come join me. That is all.
Have you ever seen a cute girl in your favorite anime trip, falling to the ground unharmed but embarrassed, and felt the overwhelming desire to help her up? Congratulations, you've just encountered a dojikko. Let's take a closer look at this adorable anime archetype.