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Review: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is the story of a girl aghast at the thought of living in any mundane reality. Luckily for her, she happens to be the incarnation of some godlike force shaping the universe–not that she’s aware of that fact–so the universe bends to provide her with an alien, a time-traveller, and a psychic to serve as friends and compatriots while she goes all-out to detect any hint of the abnormal. The active quest for the abnormal is necessary because all three of the aforementioned hide their differences from her.

The story is told through the narrative eyes of one Kyon–we never learn his name, only this nickname–who is the only truly normal member of her clique. He adopts a demeanor of tired resignation to the weirdness which has enveloped his life, and has very little personality other than that.

Luckily, this series doesn’t particularly need realistic or multidimensional characters; the premise and sheer manic energy are more than enough to keep it running strong through its 14 episodes. I find that I don’t mind the random shuffling through the story’s timeline, or the fact that almost no part of the show is remotely plausible. It could be that the writers don’t even bother trying lame explanations which set off my bullshit detector; it could be that I empathize with the title character more than with any other anime character I’ve seen yet. Either way, I find that I enjoy this series a lot more than I initially expected to.

In short, this series is fun. It’s a tall tale told with tongue firmly in cheek, and it’s put together well enough that it actually works. It doesn’t rank as highly as some of the more serious series that I’ve seen, but it’s far better than the average.

Genre:   high school adventure
Emotion: mild thrill
BTFS:    .84

Note: the chronological order of the episodes is as follows:
2, 3, 5, 10, 13, 14, 4, 7, 6, 8, 1, 12, 11, 9

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