The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is… different than I was expecting. At first glance, I thought it was going to be some high school drama kind of thing. But what do I find upon watching it? A quasi-science fiction story! I totally did not expect that.
The story follows Haruhi Suzumiya, a first-year high school girl with a strange fascination of aliens, time travelers, and all that stuff. Her introduction to her class went as follows, and I quote: “I have no interest in ordinary humans. If there are any aliens, beings from the future, or super-humans, come see me. That is all!”
She joins every club in the school, only to leave again before the day is out. None of the clubs hold any appeal for her, and so she decides to form her own club: the Spreading Excitement all Over the World with Haruhi Suzumiya Brigade. But that name was too long to fit on the form, so it was shortened to the SOS Brigade. She then abducts others into the club:
Kyon really had no idea what he was getting himself into. He can be very observant and quite intelligent, despite getting average grades. He often intervenes when Haruhi behaves particularly erratic, usually without the aid of the other members of the club, who passively follow Haruhi’s orders.
Yuki Nagato is a quiet girl, and is the only member that willingly joined the Brigade, as opposed to being ‘voluntarily arrested’. She was originally a member of the Literary Club, whose other members were all seniors, and consequently graduated, leaving Yuki the sole member of the club. When the Brigade took over the room, Yuki came with it. Yuki prefers simple body language rather than speaking, and when she does speak, it is always in a monotone with a dispassionate expression. She thinks very rationally, has a huge intellect, and enjoys reading. In most of her appearances, she is reading a book. I think she’s my favorite character in the series. It’s hard to find a person who is more like Mr. Spock than Mr. Spock, if you know what I mean.
Mikuru Asahina is very shy, and easily embarrassed. Easy prey for Haruhi, who makes her do embarrassing things. She makes very good tea, and is often praised by Kyon. She starred in “The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina,” a film produced by the Brigade for the school festival. (It had production values even worse than “The Hobbit” movie that my friends and I made several years ago.)
Itsuki Koizumi is the fifth member of the Brigade. He is constantly smiling, and speaks in a formal and polite manner. He was recruited by Haruhi as the stock ‘mysterious transfer student’ character. He seems to agree with every one of Haruhi’s demands or actions, no matter how ridiculous it is.
Something else to note about the series, is that the episodes were initially broadcast ‘out of order’. Meaning, they were not broadcast chronologically. Initially, this is a bit confusing, but it begins to make sense after you watch more of the series. People new to the series, should watch it in this order, referred to as the ‘Kyon order’. After you’ve watched it once, you can go back and watch it again in chronological order, or the ‘Haruhi order’.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot, as it should be left to be unraveled by the viewer. I will say though, that it is weird.
Watch Episode One of the series here: http://stagevu.com/video/rpaockuzotxm
(That’s the first according to the original airing order. Chronologically, it’s the 11th episode.)
Buy the Complete Collection of Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Anime Legends) at Amazon.
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