Monday, January 30, 2012

Cracking a Goddamned Book-The Wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya

                    Live Alive: It's the school's cultural festival. Haruhi is showing off their 'movie', Yuki is a fortune teller (Who is too accurate for her own good), Mikuru is a maid/waitress, and Kyon is bored, walking from room to room, trying to find something to do. Then he goes to the band's concert, where a surprise hits him sqaure in the jaw. This is one of three chapters I would say is far better in the anime than in the books. Here, it is of no fault of the book. It's a fun chapter, but the problem is that it attempts to describe rock music, when the anime has rock music playing. And let me tell you, it is amazing. Another oddity, this is the only episode I always have to watch in Japanese, simply because the lyrics are translated and sung not nearly as good as the original. Fun story.

                   The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00: this is the movie the Brigade made over the course of Sigh, and screened last chapter. Like the preceding chapter, this one is far better in the anime, where you can hear Kyon's exasperated narrating, see the terrible effects, and hear the painfully bad acting.

                   Love at First Sight: Some guy Kyon used to know in middle school calls him up outta the blue. Seems he saw Kyon walking with a girl a while back, and fell in love immediately. When he tries to pry, he discovers the girl was...Yuki Nagato. This chapter is funny, cool, and the ending is a beautiful mixture of sadness and humanity. I always love Yuki-centric chapters, and this one is no exception.

                  Where Did the Cat Go?: After the chapter Snowy Mountain Syndrome, the Brigade arrives back at Tsuruya's resort and Itsuki treats them all to another murder mystery, but this time they'll know it's fake the whole time. This chapter really fails to compare well to it's predecessor, Remote Island Syndrome. The mystery there was cool, the characters had good interactions, and it was a tense ride. The same can not be said for this story. The mystery is pretty simple, and because we know from the start it isn't real, it lacks any real tension. The only saving grace for me is a great conversation between Kyon and Itsuki, that allows them to play off each other well, and get a bit more of Itsuki's character.

                  The Melancholy of Mikuru Asahina: Mikuru takes Kyon on But she is sad the entire time, and things are not as they seem. Ties with the third for my favorite chapter of the book. It goes more into Mikuru's character then any other chapter, period. It also alludes to something bigger coming up, and I think I know what it is. It definitely ended with me wanting the next book.

                 Which is just me being impatient. The next book, The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya, won't out until June. This really depresses me, as I am now caught up with this great series, waiting like everyone else for the next release. This book is definitely a mixed bag. Some chapters are great, and some of my favorites in a while. Others are much better done is the anime, or just mediocre stories in general. Tomorrow is the big wrap-up, where I lay down what I like, and don't, about this beloved franchise. Until then, laters.

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