|2, 97, 98|
|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
|Buy 4||9||9||9||10||10||10||Anonymous #3161||[series:1330#3161]|
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu
My absolute favorite anime of all time. The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya is a very different anime; the reason why I like about it.
Last updated Monday, September 14 2009. Created Monday, September 14 2009.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu
After much reading of the rave reviews, I decided to sit and watch this well received anime. And much to my "not"-surprise, I safely say.... me like it lots!|
Art, Animation and Character Design
Art and animation was pretty good. It's definitely above the norm and smooth. The character designs were great. Especially Mikuru... who's uber kawaii. Her mix of naiveness and shyness made her the central figure in the anime..... at least it did for me. All the characters in general were well done and with unique personalities that you can't help but fall in love with most of them, if not all. The dramatic song in episode 14 was really good.
The opening theme song was great! Wow, and that's super rate coming from me. In fact, I think there was only 2 other animes I said that about. Okay, so it's not that I "liked" the song in the sense that I would put it on repeat for a million times. Instead, what made it enjoyable was that was it was funny.... and cute! Mikuru is "trying" hard to sing the song and the way they did it was funny. It made Mikuru even more uber cute!
Series and Episode Stories
This anime does really well in making you laugh. But the laughter is not from simply slapstick and senseless animation but rather from witty humor and smart dialogue. The story also starts off via a narration, which made it already pretty rare in the realm of anime and instantly caught my attention. I tend to believe that a narrator starting off the show somehow makes the show much more interesting. Episode 9 was.... interesting! There really wasn't much to it but Yuki reading her book as you constantly heard people in adjoining rooms talking and carrying on. At first, you would think it boring, but as you watch or re-watch it, you might notice some minor (or major) revelations about certain characters. This anime did well in capturing your attention, not only once, but a second time because... afterall, you might have been confused after the first sit through. Oh and the "1st" episode, where it shows the anime through the lens of an amateur student videographer.... a stroke of genious!
Overall, awesome anime! This is one of those that should be on your must-watch list.
Last updated Friday, February 20 2009. Created Friday, February 20 2009.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu
review coming after I rewatch the anime...|
Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!
Never forget Xenosaga.
Last updated Friday, December 05 2008. Created Friday, December 05 2008.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu
Haruhi Suzumiya was the most hypped anime of 2006 and when I first heard of the amount of buzz it generated in the fansub community during my summer break from college, I made it a mission to watch the series. Breaking away at standard conventional elements of anime, Haruhi made my mouth drop in awe over the number of things it did to break away from other animated comedies. And I definitely have a lot to say of this series as I mark it for my 100th review.|
One thing you will notice right away if you watched the series in the original order it aired on Japanese TV is that the episodes are not aired in a linear order of events. This is clear when you see the so-called 'first' episode featuring Haruhi's attempt at creating a badly edited and directed mahou shoujo film with the SOS Brigade. You get enough spoilers detailing on the origins of the Brigade members before the 'true' first episode (the second episode) officially begins the series. The jumbled order made me tempted to see the entire series just to see what had happened before all the craziness of the prior episode took place. A humorous touch to this approach is Kyon correcting Haruhi in episode previews of the proper episode order in which the next episode was supposed to be aired.
Another chunk of Haruhi's humor comes off of referencing different aspects of fandom that the series dives into. The characters of the SOS Brigade themselves are walking archetypes of different characters coming off sci-fi or high school themed titles. Mikuru is a blatant portrayal of moe anime fandom which Haruhi clearly states in her introduction. With her presence, Mikuru plays the role of Haruhi's dress-up doll, club mascot, and the teasing of potential love interest for Kyon which must be downplayed because of Haruhi. Yuki is the silent alien girl whose cold personality reminded me of Rei Ayanami from Shin Seiki Evangelion. Koizumi is the always happy esper who keeps reflecting on things positively in the Brigade, despite how questionable the orders of the leader (Haruhi) are. Kyon plays the role of the level-headed, ordinary person in the group who shows his utter annoyance for Haruhi's antics through his narrations of each episode in the series. Kyon's narrations add another touch of humor to the series as you clearly get to understand his utter annoyance at the antics of Haruhi and the SOS Brigade and questioning whether or not to believe the origins of the other four members.
Other than the characters, there are several episodes in this series devoted to a theme by which the series pokes fun of such as online space battle games, baseball, and school festivals. You will even get some references to other anime titles mentioned in this series such as Gundam and Full Metal Panic. All are fun in their own way though parodying anime titles and conventions is nothing that I haven't seen before in an anime title.
Beyond the humor of the series though, there is also a serious drama built into six of the show's episodes revolving around Kyon and the efforts of the three other paranormal members to come together in order to prevent Haruhi's power from recreating reality. The storyline in these six episodes get increasingly darker as the reality surrounding Haruhi's power to unconsciously manipulate reality surfaces. There was also a large amount of scientific jargon taken in from Yuki and Koizumi whose groups each have different interpretations of what they think Haruhi truly is. Such aspects of these six episodes helped separate it from the other eight episodes that were used solely for hilarity. About the only problem I had with the story was the little or lack of involvement from Mikuru whose habit of not disclosing information on her group and technology, as well as her archetype of the helpless moe girl do detract from the unique blend of sci-fi, drama and comedy brought into this series.
Visually, Haruhi Suzumiya's artwork is above average for a TV series featuring vivid, detailed scenery and backgrounds within both the real world and whatever pocket dimensions that the paranormal characters of the cast can jump into. Character designs are just as colorful and detailed displaying a wide range of facial expressions with each situation that takes place in the series. The animation was very fluid in many of the various scenes seen throughout the series from playing strings on a guitar, typing on a computer keyboard, or battles that took place between paranormals in pocket dimensions.
The music to this series is also worth mentioning as it is filled with upbeat and energetic songs that fit the manic and unpredictable pace of the series. The series also has notoriety for two insert songs sung by Haruhi herself, seiyuu Aya Hirano, in the culture festival episode. These songs were sung impressively well thus further adding to the show's ability to stand out from the norms of anime conventions.
If you are looking for an anime that goes against the norm in terms of conventions, Haruhi Suzumiya will be your cup of tea. You can clearly tell in terms of the artwork, music, and elements to this series that there was a great amount of effort put into making this series stand out from other anime titles and that job was effectively done. I look forward to seeing the second season of the series when it's ready for airing on Japanese TV.
Last updated Tuesday, January 26 2010. Created Sunday, May 25 2008.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu
If Monty Python's Flying Circus made an anime, it might look something like this. Just my personal opinion, but I really like this series: From Kyon's wry soliloquies, Haruhi's outrageous eccentricities, Yuki's terse loyalty, even Asahina-chan's frantic whimpers. All the characters are so strong and different, yet mesh together so well in the zany plots. I've got to admit the first episode had me wondering if I'd gotten the wrong vid, but I sortof figured out what they were doing halfway through and was chuckling the rest of the way. The out-of-order sequence had me going back to try and stitch things back together, but the shows were so enjoyable I didn't mind. (Much.)|
The soundtrack hasn't been commented on much yet, but it's really above average, with original pop pieces sung (quite well!) by the main character, to choral and classical pieces, even a tango. No cheap synthesizer rifs here. On your second pass through, give a listen. Artwork and animation is very good, with highly detailed facial expressions and body language. Somebody spent some effort keeping the quality high, and it shows.
Last updated Tuesday, December 05 2006. Created Tuesday, December 05 2006.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu
All I can say after seeing this is wow. I think that Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu is an anime that everyone should see at least once, regardless of whether they want to or whether they understand what's going on (and for the most part, no one will). The animation quality and art are just superb. Character design is unusual; the characters act like their personalities were chosen out of a hat at random. But it works, and will make more sense the more you watch the series. Music doesn't seem as important here as it can be in other shows; in fact, I hardly remember the music. But the ending theme especially is well done, and the opening and closing sequences are so well done that they bump up the animation and music scores on their own. The story, as a whole, will not make sense. Don't worry if you don't catch a lot of it; it's designed to be that way. In fact, as things go on, you realize that the story is making less and less sense as time passes, with the middle of the series being rather confusing. This is most certainly the thinking otaku's anime; and being a thinking otaku, I love every minute of it, but it may not be for everyone.|
There are a few problems, though. The first episode, if you could call it that, is actually a movie made by the main characters of the story. While this isn't a real problem, I must say that the writers did TOO good of a job making their movie as bad as possible. The first episode could actually be a turn off to people who don't realize that the rest of the series is pure greatness. Another problem is the sheer amount of dialogue. People talk a lot, and they talk fast. And while Kyon's narration is good fun, when someone else is talking at the same time, it all goes to subtitle hell. Expect to rewind or pause several of the episodes in order to catch all the dialogue.
As a note, it must be said that the series was shown out of order in Japan, in a sort of Kill Bill fashion. So, while I watched the series in chronological order, having been oblivious to this fact at the time, purists may wish to dig up the order in which the series was aired on television. I can't see this making much difference; both episodes that could be counted as the last episode, depending on the order followed, would make good endings to the series. Ultimitely, it is personal preference that dictates what order you choose; I, personally, enjoyed the last chronological episode as a last epidsode.
So, I give this series a buy, rent, watch, whatever. It doesn't make much difference to me how you get your hands on it, just make sure that you do. Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu is perhaps the closest to perfection I have ever seen a series come, and you would be missing out big time if you passed it over.
Last updated Wednesday, October 11 2006. Created Sunday, October 08 2006.
|Rent 4||8||9||7||7||8||6||Devil Doll||[series:1330#752]|
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu
Score: 74% = Rent- (chronological order preferred, Yuki is the only character worth watching this show; see Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu 2009 for more details)
Last updated Tuesday, January 05 2010. Created Tuesday, July 11 2006.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu
I'd heard things about this anime, like how the producers decided to scramble the order to create a buzz. I'm surprised that this actually worked, especially in light of how this throws confusion into the series and even splits a 2-part parody episode. However, I waited until the series was completely released, then "took the fun out of it" by watching it in the proper order. So when I refer to the episode numbers, I'm refering to the chronological order.
The first six episodes I believe are based on the first novel in the Suzumiya Haruhi series (I don't know how many novels have been written a/o this review). They are darker in tone than the episodes that follow. The first two episodes are mainly used to introduce all of the major characters. Episode 3 has Mikuru-chan and Nagato reveal their secrets to Kyon. Episode 4 has Kyon nearly lose his life when a fellow classmate reveals her secret, then attempts to murder him. Episode 5 has Koizumi reveal things to Kyon that are spawned from Haruhi. Finally, episode 6 (used as the series finale in the TV run) brings the darkness to a head with Kyon having to bring Haruhi out of the darkness and back to the real world. These episodes, while having humor moments, are not what I'd call comedy. There is a dark, serious nature as the secrets of Haruhi are revealed and the staggering nature of what she could unconsciously.
Episodes 7-14 are much lighter in tone. Indeed, this is where the series picks up the comedy label as well as the parody one. There are tributes to anime titles beyond the FMP ones mentioned in the description, and there are tosses to live-action stuff like Japanese comedian "Hard Gay." Episodes 9 & 10 (which were seperated in the TV run for some bizarre reason) are a parody of Detective Conan from what I'm told. There's the sports (baseball) parody, the video game/massive space battles (in anime) parody. There was the school festival, and other things. After the events in episode 6, the goal of the supporting main characters appears to be to keep Haruhi from being bored and activating her powers to re-create the events of episode 6. However, the writing never goes back to the dark nature of Haruhi as seen earlier. The movie appears to be from the 2nd novel and the remaining episodes from short stories.
I have to mention the 14th episode, in which 23-minutes had to be killed. I don't think I've ever seen an anime (or anything else for that matter) waste as much time as this episode did. I don't know how many minutes were wasted on a "ceiling-cam" look down on Nagato reading her book in the club room while people outside the club room can be heard saying various (and clearly very Japanese-oriented) things. That's not to say the episode didn't have anything important to say. Clearly, the only force on Earth that can even slow Haruhi down is Kyon (a fact she understands). In addition, if we didn't realize this before, Haruhi clearly does care about Kyon beyond any kind of attraction she may have had for him. I have sense learned that this episode is not from the novels or short stories, but is a new episode from Kyoto.
I really developed a dislike of Haruhi's using Mikuru-chan by bullying her into doing things like wearing costumes at club meetings. Haruhi calls Mikuru-chan the lolicon character with big breasts, but really, Mikuru-chan is a moé character. This is because she is so timid and has no defence, save somewhat from Kyon, to anything Haruhi does. Her seiyuu gives her that higher-pitched, sympathetic, and often weepy (due to the bullying) voice which adds to the moé effect. I get the feeling that this is supposed to be funny, and indeed seeing some BBS avatars and signature images created from such bullying moments, some folks clearly liked it. I didn't. Basically, Haruhi is a spoiled character and I didn't care for that either.
But I'm going to be in a minority here. The gimmick done by Kyoto has apparently worked as most every anime fan who watches this orgasms at the brillance of showing the series out of chronological order and that if you don't watch it this way, you are missing the brillance. Yeah, right. I hate gimmicks and refuse to go along, but don't let that stop you. Go ahead and watch it in the TV order, then watch it in chronological order if you like. For me, I see this as the new over-hyped series.Bottom line: while I give this the producers credit for trying to be somewhat different, it didn't make me laugh near enough, nor have a story-arc involved enough, nor have enough character development for me to rate this above a rent. Had I watched this in the TV order, I would have been more irritated and may have knocked this down another notch. Clearly, this is the latest hyped anime to be created with a gimmick that has made fans of the show have big "O's" because of it being shown out of order. Still, should a new series/season be created, I will check it out, as I plan to do the first novel.
Last updated Thursday, December 28 2006. Created Tuesday, July 11 2006.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu
For a while I was asking myself "where are all the funny shows this season?"--I had at least three favorite comedies during the spring. I'd seen the title "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" here and there, but the last thing I wanted was a "melancholy" show. Fortunately I stumbled across this page (thanks to the title being in Japanese) and realized this is, at least in part, a comedy. I watched the first episode, and found myself confused until I remembered Forbin saying something about a cheesy amateur movie. Lines like "a combat waitress from the future" and "that Stirling wand sent out magic or electronic waves or something" stick in my mind. I would say my first impression is of about a 50-50 mix of the hilarious and the bewildering. It quickly became clear that this is without doubt a comedy, and what's more a thinking otaku's comedy. An interesting difference from most shows is that Kyon serves as a narrator ("Thanks to Haruhi Suzumiya, eccentric among eccentrics, my journey through never-ending hell had begun"). A nice bonus is that I like both the OP and ED songs. It's obvious that a lot of effort was put into this series; for example, during one episode Suzumiya improvises as a singer for a school band. Aren't you annoyed by shows in which whenever a song is called for, they use a slightly modified version of the OP or ED tunes rather than ponying up the money to create something new? Here, not one but two original songs are provided. This show is somehow on a different, higher plane than the usual silly comedy that I tend to feed on. Maybe it's just me, but I feel that I need to pay closer attention than usual to this show, and in return I'm rewarded with a more sophisticated sort of humor (plus the characters tend to talk fast, with clever, cutting remarks, and the subtitles are rather small!). I hope I'll be up to the challenge, because this show is certainly a lot of fun. The "shuffled" episode order can definitely be confusing at times--such as episode four, in which a new guy is suddenly an SOS Brigade member, and there are references to "closed space" and "the previous incident, when you and Suzumiya-san were in the other world" (what?!). The technobabble about physics and philosophy and whatnot remind me of stuff you'd hear on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The next-to-last episode was kind of freaky, and made me wonder why Kyon wasn't taking his fellow SOS Brigade members all that seriously in episodes which would have taken place later, if the timeline hadn't been scrambled. However, having finally watched the "last" episode I think I actually like the mixed-up episode order, because this one just feels like a concluding episode, and leaves me feeling good. The effect is to leave us with a mostly hilarious series which gets serious at the end then ends on a heartwarming note. Otherwise, the series would have ended in an unexceptional way--funny, that is, but not particularly touching. I began rewatching it rightaway. The OVA/episode one is especially hilarious once you have a grip on what's going on--I love Asahina's song ("Come on, let's dance baby!"). Also, I notice all sorts of jokes I missed the first time around. Both times I watched the series, the only exception I made to the mixed up order was watching episodes six and eight back-to-back, since they comprise a two-parter episode. In conclusion, I'd say Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu is a great show, and the standout performer among anime comedy for this season--thus my rating of a "Buy" (if only this had been a twenty-sixer!). Anyway, I've definitely found one funny show for the summer!|
My favorite line: "It looks like a grumbling, drunken tapeworm to me" --Kyon
P.S: According to Anime Insider magazine (#36, Sept. 2006), "Haruhi Suzumiya... was easily the biggest name to emerge from Japan's most recent anime season, and the nation's otaku can't get enough of her 14-episode series... The anime's ending theme single hit the top spot on both Oricon and Amazon Japan's CD charts, and the first volume of the TV series was number one at Oricon's DVD listings. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya hasn't been licensed in the US yet, but with the buzz building (and the show's high ratings all but guaranteeing a second season), Haruhi won't go ignored for long."
P.P.S: According to Protoculture Addicts magazine (#89, Fall 2006), "In a recent poll of several thousand Japanese TV viewers, The Melancholy of Haruhu Suzumiya was ranked their fourth most popular anime, behind Fullmetal Alchemist, Evangelion and Pani Poni Dash!"
Finally, after watching other shows for several months, I recently happened to rewatch the culture festival episode (largely because it just happened to be on the same DVD as another show I'd just watched). I'd forgotten just how a great a show this is; the overall quality left me in awe. This show stands head and shoulders above the rest! Here's perhaps the most objective indicator of how much I like this show: I'm currently rewatching it a third time!
Last updated Monday, February 19 2007. Created Friday, June 09 2006.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu
Analysis : All Episodes Watched
Note : Too bad the DVD was released in order. episode 13 (The DVD last episode) was a real sleeper. It didn't have the impact of the other episodes.
Ok I have finished Haruhi, and what a great 14th episode it was. Everything the series hinted (If not outright cut out) was answered in the 14th...err 5th episode.
KyoAni must've realized that Haruhi in order was a progressively boring show. After episode 5, nothing comes close to equaling the rush that episode generated. So to fix that they played episode 5 last and instead put what should've been the OVA in the first episode. People I have talked to are split on the OVA. I am part of the group that went WTF on this episode and turned it off. Others thought the OVA was the most funniest thing on the planet. After watching the whole show and watching the OVA again, I laughed, I was shocked at how much it revealed of the whole series. And I wondered where the cat came from.
What did I like about it?:
Last updated Friday, December 22 2006. Created Tuesday, April 11 2006.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||http://www.haruhi.tv/|
|North America R1||http://www.asosbrigade.com|
|Wikipedia entry for Haruhi Suzumiya||http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haruhi_Suzumiya|
|2006 Anime Reactor Award List||http://forum.anime-reactor.net/viewtopic.php?t=19995|