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Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 1
Author: Ross Locksley

Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time.

Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 1

Yen Press

As ardent followers of our forum will know, I wasn't that impressed with Haruhi's anime adaptation. I spent much of my time waiting to be blown away, only to find that the series didn't even generate a mild breeze. Perhaps weighty expectation ruined the experience, but I couldn't for the life of me see what everyone was so enamoured with.

So guess what I've wound up reviewing!

As pretty much everyone knows, Haruhi follows the misadventures of human whirlwind Haruhi Suzumiya, as seen from the point of view of her classmate Kyon. Haruhi, a beautiful girl obsessed with supernatural and other-worldly creatures has the attention span of a goldfish and on Kyon's advice creates her own club, the SOS Brigade. Volume 1 follows the recruitment of 2 new members and a scary encounter for Kyon, who soon realises that there may be something to this interesting mystery lark after all...

This manga adaptation is apparently one of two, but I've been assured that this is the "good" one. Having read the book, good seems to mean "faithful" to the anime adaption of the original novels, and in this the book is very successful. The artwork is excellent, even if Kyon looks younger than his on-screen counterpart, and the pace is excellent. It does lose some of the anime's frenetic pace, but this is a manga and that's expected.

The books follow the correct continuity, rather than the jumbled TV broadcast order, which is good in my opinion because it creates a better flow.

The only problem with the book is, like Fruits Basket, it's covering the same ground as the anime, but like Fruits Basket it will also become the major strength of the title once it moves beyond the abrupt TV series ending. With that in mind, it may be worth skipping the first few volumes and picking up when the story moves ahead of what you've seen already.

I may not be a Haruhi fanatic (giant bunny-eared statue in my office notwithstanding) but this a faithful, well-paced adaptation of the story which hardcore Haruhi fans will lap up, and even those of us not enraptured by Haruhi's spell will enjoy a decent high school comedy romp.

If you're a Haruhi nut, add a couple of points. This is a faithful adaptation with plenty of charm
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