anime

Anime Review: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Introduction

Welcome to my very first anime review and I’m sitting here wanting to discuss a very special and quite popular anime, Haruhi Suzumiya. I consider Haruhi to be the very first anime to get me interested in anime. Sure I’ve watched Pokemon, Spirited Away, Sailor Moon and three episodes of Clannad before this but I wasn’t really interested in anime until I saw Haruhi. How I was introduced to this series was when my sister and her friend were watching a bit of Season 2 and I was with them watching it. After that day I was curious to see Haruhi again and eventually decided to watch all of it. By the way this was all the way back in about July-August in 2012 so it’s pretty much nostalgia discussing this anime now. But I remember this anime very well and I really do want to talk about it.

Story

Kyon is an average high school boy who you could say is a realist, he isn’t someone who hopes for good things to happen you know he just goes with the flow and is the “that’s how it is” type of person. However sitting behind him is the opposite, Haruhi. Haruhi is an extremely unusual girl who doesn’t socialize with others finding “ordinary people” boring and only wants to communicate with creatures such as aliens, time travelers or espers. She hopes for mysterious and exciting events to happen. Kyon is very intrigued in Haruhi and starts to talk to her quite often. Kyon suggest Haruhi to make her own club if she is so bored and she does so dragging Kyon with her introducing him to members such as Koizumi, Mikuru and Yuki. Kyon is told by Yuki that Haruhi is actually a god.

What I liked about this story was how it was told. I’ve never come across another anime that tells the story through first person point of view (Kyon’s perspective). I also enjoyed the supernatural element in it but sometimes the story would come off as more of a slice of life (which isn’t really a problem). The anime has so much filler episodes which is unfortunate because they could of done so much more to the plot. The episode listing comes in as broadcast order and chronological order and it is recommended to watch the show in chronological order because it’ll be easier to understand what is happening whereas broadcast order will be confusing and you’ll have no idea what’s happening. And I find the episode known as “Someday in the Rain” as the most boring episode I have seen by far and a bad way to conclude season one. If you are going to watch season 2 by the way watch it in DVD order. There is also eight episodes known as “Endless Eight” and I recommend the first episode to “Endless Eight” which is episode 2 in DVD order then watch the last episode to it which is episode 9 in DVD order because it won’t make any difference if you watch it all.

Score: -B

Characters

Kyon and Haruhi are by far one of the best duo’s in anime history. Kyon is the voice of reason to Haruhi’s wacky ideas and his sarcasm and he is easy to relate to. Haruhi is extremely eccentric and she balances to Kyon’s more calmer personality. Haruhi may come off as selfish, arrogant and stubborn but she’ll never bore you believe me. Then we have the other main characters, Yuki Nagato, Mikuru Asahina and Itsuki Koizumi. These characters are no way near as fleshed out as Kyon and Haruhi but it doesn’t mean their characters were weak. Yuki is the alien and kind of a badass who is emotionless and quiet but gets fairly developed in the movie, “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya”. Mikuru is a time traveler and a character made for moe, something Kyoto Animation can’t help but add into their anime. She is pretty much made for fan-service and continues to get sexually harassed by Haruhi. Then their is Koizumi, the esper who is kind of a kiss-ass to Haruhi, I didn’t find him unlikable though. Koizumi is there to explain everything to Kyon about the supernatural things happening. The rest of the supporting cast were useless and were only used for filler episodes. Especially Kyon’s little sister who doesn’t even have a name.

Score: C+

Animation

The animation for Haruhi Suzumiya is very good though isn’t Kyoto Animations best. It wasn’t a stand out though there was this one scene where I thought the animation looked outstanding other then that it is great but rarely anything outstanding. The character designs were done quite well too but nothing great.

Score: C+

Sound

The soundtrack for Haruhi Suzumiya were good but there is no stand out except for one known as “God Knows” by Aya Hirano. Speaking of Aya Hirano, she actually performs the openings and endings and in both the endings she performs with with Minori Chihara and Yuko Goto. All the openings and endings were good but I personally enjoyed the 2nd opening, “Super Driver”  more then the 1st opening. As for the ending I much prefer the 1st ending, “Hare Hare Yukai” over the 2nd ending “Tomare!” but I did really like the openings and endings. “Hare Hare Yukai” is enjoyable because of the dance which I’m still trying to learn.

As for the voice acting. The Japanese is outstanding and so is the English. It is hard to choose out of the two because Haruhi is Aya Hirano’s best role but Kyon is Crispin Freeman’s best role. Don’t get me wrong Wendee did great as Haruhi but this isn’t her best. And Tomokazu Sugita… well he was ok but didn’t have as much in his voice acting as Crispin Freeman as Kyon, besides Sugita has done better roles. As for the supporting cast, they’re all good as well. I watched Haruhi in dub though and enjoyed it but whether you prefer to watch this dub or sub is something that is all up to you.

Score (Songs): -B

Score (Voice Acting): -A

Conclusion

Overall Haruhi is a very good anime and has a good story however needs less filler. It is very fun to watch and can come off as a great comedy and supernatural anime. I loved Kyon and Haruhi and I liked all the characters but would’ve enjoyed them so much more if they were fleshed out more. It has good quality animation, great openings and endings and good voice acting from the Japanese and English voice actors. I give this anime a -B.

If you liked Haruhi and you want to watch something similar then I recommend:

Lucky Star: Lucky Star tends to make many references to Haruhi. Also they have same voice actresses/seiyuus in it.

Angel Beats: When you think about it Kanade is kind of like Yuki, Yuri is a bit like Haruhi and Hinata is kind of like Koizumi. These shows are fairly similar both having a supernatural element with a bit of music.

So what are your thoughts on my review? Did you like it? Did you hate it? This is my first review keep in mind. Oh I plan to do a review for a recommended anime/movie to watch on Thursdays. On Fridays I do an anime of my choice and on Wednesdays I do a movie of my choice. 

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