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The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi is an anime from the summer of 2006, which has become very popular in Japan (it's based on a best-selling "light novel" series) and is getting a lot of attention in Western circles too. The reason for this rapidly accumulating cult following is probably the combination of the animation quality (it's generally outstanding, in the OP and ED as you might expect, but also in a lot of the scenes), and the storyline balancing elements of parody, comedy, mystery and moe?.

However, the focus of most of this rabid attention is the eponymous Suzumiya Haruhi. She's captured a lot of public attention with her demented and direct approach to life and what she wants. What she wants seems to be aliens, espers, time travellers and such; normal human beings hold no interest whatsoever to her. The story follows her and the brigade she rounds up to hunt for these people, and where that hunt leads them.

It's notable that the episodes aren't in chronological order. This is a deliberate choice on the part of the creators. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of this, but it does allow things like episode 4, which would be basically a filler episode if placed in its proper chronological sequence, to play more of a role than just that, by showing some things that the viewer watching them in broadcast order hasn't been told yet.

Also notable is that the narrator character, Kyon, is refreshingly non-clueless. He's fairly competent and has a good line in sarcastic comments; it's just that Suzumiya Haruhi would put just about anyone out of their depth. It's pleasing that the focus of it all is on Haruhi herself rather than the narrator; things are just told from his point of view as he watches the insanity unfold around him.

Extremely brief and hopefully spoiler?-free summaries of the first few episodes follow:

The reason for reifying this page (other than drawing people's attention to this intriguing series) is in order to draw people's attention to the scary things some fans of it will do: http://www.pori.co.uk/?p=184

OP = AlexChurchill

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Last edited June 7, 2008 4:07 pm (viewing revision 2, which is the newest) (diff)