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Title: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2003 [JP]/2009 [NA])
Author: Naguru Tanigawa
Genre: Comedy, Science Fiction, Slice-of-Life
Pages: 224 (trade paperback) 
Series: Book One of the Haruhi Suzumiya series (on-going)

Summary (from )

All right, I know I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again for people who don't know: I'm actually an avid anime watching/manga reader. I've been fascinated with anime since I began watching Sailor Moon back when I was a wee lass of six years. My fervor for anime has died considerably since high school, but it's still something I enjoy.

Anyway, I was introduced to the anime adaptation of TMoHS back in my first year of uni (so almost three years now), heard it was amazing and was the "next big thing" in anime. So, I watched the first two episodes... and absolutely hated it. I couldn't stand the lead titular character and it seriously turned me off completely from the show. Jump ahead about a year or so, and I try watching the show again... with the same results. Then, for some reason I still don't understand to this day, I decided to read the manga and strangly, maybe because I didn't have to actually listen to Haruhi *speak*, I was able to get through the first three volumes and actually found myself enjoying it. So, for the third time, I tried watching the anime. Well, third time's the charm I guess, because I watched all 28 episodes and actually really, REALLY enjoyed it. I've since also watched the movie (which is an important and latest installment in the series) and I've loved that as well.

I am a converted Haruhi fan.

Anyway, the point to all this is that I read this novel having watched the entire anime and a chunk of the manga (which is pretty exactly the same anyway.) I knew I was probably going to like this book, unless it was a horrible translation and/or it differed substantially from the anime. It did neither of these things, so needless to say, I enjoyed this quite a bit. 

REVIEW: no spoilersCollapse )

Final Verdict: All in all, I was pleased with the english translation of this novel, and it's a series I plan to continue reading. I recommend it, but with HUGE reservations: if you're not a fan of anime, or you're new to anime, this series might not be a good place to start. It's a very genre-savvy title, and if you don't have a grasp on anime tropes and cliches, a lot of this might go over your head. But if you have a taste for the weird, and want to read something completely different? Give this one a shot. And if you like it, watch the anime. Haruhi's character was really tough for me to swallow at first, but if you can stick with it, she becomes significantly less annoying. You might not see these changes in this first novel though, so a bit of patience (and teeth gritting) might be in order. She gets better though, I promise! 

Cover Commentary: I really like the covers they're coming out with for the english translations. They're very simple, but very cute and colorful. 


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