melancholy of haruhi suzumiya 2

“Zen-zen” is the new “urasai,” Kyon is my hero, and I’m not worthy of Haruhi. Any questions?

(For the people who wanted me to blog Haruhi, you’re getting your wish.)


Trying to size up the first episode of an anime series is sorta like trying to size up a blind date. I’ll be studying things like animation quality (her “melonpan”) and music/seiyuu (her personality) in a general sense. Nothing too deep, nor do I expect a lot of intellectual conversations or gohobis at that point but am always on the look out for wildcards (with “I’ve been in a threesome before” the equivalent of “Producer: Sunrise” and any bathing scene in the first four minutes equivalent to a desperate breast flash). Trying to size up Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu) based on the first episode was difficult. She would have great melonpan, but obscures them by wearing like six layers of sweaters on a summer day (the camcorder-like quality of the Mikuru-run movie). She would also be as personable as a bookshelf with a hint of a staunch femanist (the, uh, plot-like substance of the Mikuru-run movie), and the date seemed destined to be a train wreck until you walk her to the door, she takes off her sweater showing ample cleavage, turns into the sweatest girl possible (the realiziation that Haruhi is a Sunrise fanatic), and gives you a… well… that’s just the first episode. How did the second one fare?

Coming into the second episode, I wanted to keep an eye out for three things: (1) Who the hell is Haruhi, and why is she so awesome even though she had exactly no screentime? (2) Who the hell is the narrator, and why is he stealing my bit? (3) Why would Mikuru degrade herself by starring in Haruhi’s movie (assuming she’s not a banana freak)?


The second episode is kinda a flashback prior to the events of the first and deals with how Haruhi, the heroine, meets Kyon, the narrator. They both joined high school, and whereas Kyon is a fairly normal guy, Haruhi is six degrees of separation from normal. Kyon becomes mildly fascinated with Haruhi’s particularities– like how she joins a new club a day, refuses to talk to non-aliens and espers, changes in public, dumps guys faster than Eri, and is very, very curt with people… Haruhi makes Saber seem as warm as Belldandy. He basically stalks her and keeps a blog-like substance of Haruhi’s constantly changing hairdo (including the anty!). Haruhi is a fascinating character… the revolutionary tsundere. She’s redefining the role.

Kyon doesn’t seem to have any real interst in Haruhi except for curiosity, and as well all know, that killed the cat. It looks like it’s going to be killer on Kyon as he starts asking Haruhi about her oddities, and she actually opens to him yet doesn’t say anything meaningful. Not only is a bad thing in that his classmates are counting on him to bring Haruhi to normalacy, Haruhi begins to treat him like a henchman. Kyon eventually asks Haruhi about the school’s club selection and gives her the idea of starting her own club. So she goes and seizes the literature club room as well as the only member of the club, Hecate, and then she kidnaps a girl, Mikuru, just because she’s cute, has big breasts, and has a lot of moe potential. Winning combo!


I couldn’t stop laughing at how Haruhi just calmly kidnaps and subsequently forces Mikuru to a breast check/club induction… only Haruhi’s, Kyon’s, and Mikuru’s club has no name nor purpose. The episode ends with the club getting a name, the S.O.S. Brigade but without a purpose. Just like the series thus far… it’s crazy, lunatical, and very different. What genre is it? Two episodes in, and I’m still not sure. Comedy? School romance? Mecha? Sci-fi? Magical girl? Slice of insane life? Toriyama? Harem? Normally, for a series that seems to be going nowhere, I may get worried or stop watching, but for Haruhi, it’s pretty much the opposite. I’m wondering where the hell the series will take me, and I know it’s going to be one heck of a ride.

The animation quality is superb. Kyoto Animation really put a lot of attention to detail (like Haruhi’s hair montage where the desks and chairs shift ever so slightly and bags and such disappear and reappear), and it shows… the character animations are very fluid, every scene is colorful, and the framing and cinematography is noticably better than standard anime fare (like how the camera actually shows depth of field by blurring closer parts of a face in “Kyon view mode”).


The OP and ED, Bouken desho desho? and Hare Hare Yukai respectively, are very well done focusing on Haruhi and the girls dancing… cheerleader Mikuru bouncing is hypnotic. Ah yes, before I get hypnotized, the questions from earlier…

1. Who the hell is Haruhi?


Well, I still have no clue even though the entire episode was focused on her. Yes, we know now she’s a freak… but… what else? She oscillates between this completely insane and crazy introvert and this completely insane and crazy extrovert. There’s no rhyme or reason to what she does, and I don’t remember the last time I was so intrigued by a character. She says, “zen zen” and winks… a lot. She calls people boring compared to aliens, but why? She’s an alien? Watch too much anime/Stargate SG-1? She’s more stonecold than the typical anime tsudere yet seems to be potentially more lovable than Shana, Ilya, and Tsubaki combined. When she starts opening up to Kyon, she just feels like a completely different character, one capable of felony kidnapping. Her insanity is like those giant breasts in that blind date example… more than enough to keep one’s attention and coming back for more.

2. Who the hell is Kyon?


It looks like the story takes place from Kyon’s viewpoint as he’s the narrator, and a lot of the camera angles are from his perspective, i.e. a lot of downward shots of Haruhi’s face since Kyon towers over her. He seems like a normal guy, though I doubt that’s really the case, and he’s my hero because of his sacrastic comments (if it weren’t for Mikuru’s bunny, that would have been the episode highlight) as well as his Haruhi-stalking abilities. I just loved his, “OMFG I hope we don’t get caught like the Duke lacrosse team” face going after Haruhi kidnaps Mikuru, locks the door, fondles her, offers Kyon the chance to fondle Mikuru, and then forces Mikuru to leave her old club and join this new, un-named, no-pupose club. He’s fantastic as well.

3. Why did Mikuru agree to don a bunny suit and shoot eye beams?


She’s a complete and utter doormat. She makes Shinji Ikari look like he has a spine-like bone in his body. I’m not sure if I should feel sorry for her because she’s enslaved now by Haruhi or be delirious that she’s enslaved by Haruhi. Either way, degranged girl willing to exploit cute, big breasted, moe girl must be a winning combination. It just has to be.

4. Why is Haruhi reminding me of Shana?

Beyond the Ito character designs, both series came from novels. I hope that’s the only coincidence, but then Shana = lovable yet not lovable loli due to her lack of interpersonal skills. Haruhi = lovable yet not lovable loli due to her extreme personality. Both Wilhelmina and mystery meido have the same outfit. Yuji was fascinated by his torch status then becomes close to Shana; Kyon is fascinated by Haruhi’s weirdness and… I dunno. Need to watch more. ^^

5. What am I looking forward to in future episodes?

More insanity. I really hope it doesn’t turn into Friends like what Genshiken manga eventually morphed into. More episodes. If it’s just 13 episodes long, it’ll be more devestating than Magikano ending at 13 or Rozen Maiden at 24. More shameless exploitation. Bunny girl 4tw. More meido! I haven’t been this intrigued by a new meido since Wilhelmina appeared in Shakugan no Shana about one OP too early.

Looks like things are just getting started and interesting. For Haruhi, it’s going to be an adventure, desho, desho.

24 Responses to “melancholy of haruhi suzumiya 2”

  1. I think someone on another blog also pointed out that the Illustrator for Shana and Haruhi are one and the same hence the similarity that you see. Rest assured that the paralells that you see are not a figment of your obsess…errr Shana loyalties. A familiar face is probably leading to projections on your part. Though admittedly Shana and it woudl seem Haruhi dominate the man in their life. Haruhi is so morally ambiguous that that if it escalated to world domination it be kinda scary. Given that it is harmless I like her all the more for it. Her antics remind me of some of the crazy stuff bored puddle pirates like me do when we get drafted for tedious work. Taking Mikuru hostage reminded me of when my GM1 first got his blue guns and assembled a team to storm shipping and recieving, and capturing the SKC (though no groping was involved I assure you).

    I am going to miss Haruhi’s variable hair styles though it was a good gimick. Kyon is not a stalker he’s NSA, CIA, and FBI material, stalking is such a harsh word I prefer COINTELLPRO. It may go in a Harem direction since Kyon has the interest of Haruhi to the state of being house broken, seems to be slightly effected by Mikuru’s moe qualitites, and he’s also the only bonafide hetero male currently in the club as the other guy (as you pointed out) is not interested in combat waitresses from the future. Though given that Haruhi is about as sane as Patton I think we can expect a good deal of fun and laghs. Making this 13 eps would be crime against otakudom.

    It also looks like Mikuru is the mystery meido, and has a fascination with Yuki. I look forward to how they are going to explain that talking cat. If this keeps up a cult call Haruhi-ism will sprout forth to draft people with moe qualities and make the world a better place by making combat waitress movies under the guise of SOS brigades.

  2. *screams*

    this animes gets a must watch sticker from me.
    enuff said.

  3. I’m sorry if this isnt the place for this but where do you get your anime?

  4. Yuki reminds me more of Primula than Hecate =o

  5. This is work of pure genius.

  6. Does anyone know why the title Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu)is named as such? I mean I don’t see how she is depressed.

  7. … is it just me, or does Mikuru look a bit like Wilhemina given her hair color and outfit in one of the screenshots above? All she needs is the bonnet, the proper hairstyle, and a -de arimasu and she’s ready for prime time. ;)

  8. … scratch the Mikuru reference. The mystery Meido’s like Wilhemina’s long-lost younger sister or something. Not that I have any problem with that…

  9. >> I think someone on another blog also pointed out that the Illustrator for Shana and Haruhi are one and the same

    Didn’t I point this out in both my episode 1 post and this post?

    >> I mean I don’t see how she is depressed.

    I have no clue. I also watched this “Bubblegum Crisis” and was very surprised when it had nothing to do with bubblegum.

    >> The mystery Meido’s like Wilhemina’s long-lost younger sister or something.

    Recycled character designs 4tw! I wonder if Ito is a meido fanboy as well.

  10. Haruhi seemed pretty meloncholy at the general lack of Aliens, Espers, Time Travelers, etc at the start of the episode. Trying all the clubs and all the guys and finding none of them up to your standards seems like a pretty good example of something I’d call meloncholy.

  11. @Jason

    >>Didn’t I point this out in both my episode 1 post and this post?

    Indeed you did but you seemed a bit worried that you were seeing Shana every where. Rest assured that it is likely projection on your part as similar things tend to stir up old emotions. Cordite does the same to me. Even if we all call you nuts at least one other person on this planet agrees. :)

  12. Haruhi seems disappointed with the world in general. Both the school and the male population are too boring for her, and she spends a while lamenting this fact to poor Kyon (who seems fascinated by her in much the same way that some animals are by approaching car headlights – what’s worse for him is that he seems aware of this and unable to stop himself). Hence the melancholy (at least, in my opinion).

    The title of this series was, I imagine, taken straight from the first volume of the novels. Probably we’re stuck with ‘melancholy’ till the end of the series. The novels, however, take an episodic view of titling – the first novel is “The melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi”, but later volumes have titles like “The boredom of Suzumiya Haruhi”, “The disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi”, and “The delusions of Suzumiya Haruhi”. Whilst changing the title every couple of weeks would be fun, and totally in keeping with Haruhi’s style, it would cause chaos (which I imagine she’d like), so ‘melancholy’ it is (unless someone knows different).

  13. Simply kick but camera angles, color, movement and detail. Add to that the ‘where could this possibly go’ factor and bust out laughing moments that make the first two eps winners.

    When I met up with a fellow anime fan that lives out of town, we both started talking about the shows that we were excited about. Both of us thought one show stood out among the rest. Ironically we eventually figured out that we were both talking about the first ep or Haruhi.

    I think the creators of this show have got something good going. I agree with Jason that it would be dissapointing to see this show get hosed in any form.

  14. Damn, I gotta go buy the novels and manga… Well, from that zany movie they made, it’s obvious there’s at least 3 SF characters in the anime… Just what Haruhi wants.
    Mikuru with her (NOTE)blue left eye that actually disrupts camera function, that weird talking cat Shamisen and Koizumi the esper who really emits blue light.. (come on that’s definitely no cheesy paste-on light effect like Mikuru’s 2nd battle scene)

  15. Christ on a cracker… Two episodes in and this is becoming one of my favorite series. I fear that the rest of the seaason can only be a dissapointment now.

  16. Bad things happen when this girl gets her melancholy mood on, as I would expect to see in the later episodes. Since everyone seems to recognize what a great show it is – something unparalleled since Futakoi Alternative or Pani Poni Dash! – I will just take my leave by saying this is the best x-to-anime conversion I have seen to date. What makes the original novel stand out so much is Kyon’s rhetoric with an absurd amount of cynicism, and the makers of the anime series seemed to have well understood the fact.

  17. The title, IMO, only refers to a very short span of time towards the climax of the story. Feel free to ask more questions, I will try my best to let the cat out of the bag without while keeping spoilers under control.

  18. Just wondering about Mikuru. She decided to join the club after she looked at Yuki and “understand” something. Wonder if that got to do with anything in the future

  19. I will just say SOS-dan is not by any means formed by some conincidence. Every member there (except for Kyon, though, ironically he has a greater significance to haruhi than anyone else) has their secret identity and irreplaceable meaning to haruhi’s pursuit for her “something along the line of alien” type of fun.

  20. piler,

    How many volumes are there for the novels and is it still running?

  21. I am not sure about the future plans for the novels. All I know is that the series was extremely well received among the NT novel readers, and there are 7 series in total. The newest one is Haruhi no Inbou, featuring Mikuru as the cover girl :

    Personally, I am only about to read the second one :(

  22. For some reason I keep thinking AIR and Kanon Rev.2 as I watch Haruhi… Shana I noticed on 2nd pass. I recall fondly how AIR began very lightheartedly.

  23. From what I can see here, Haruhi is only running for 13 episodes.

    I’d love to be proven wrong, but…

  24. Panzerfan: “For some reason I keep thinking AIR…” I don’t know about Kanon but you are right about Air. Their animation style, direction, cinematography (especially with motion shake, depth blur, and pan/tilt) are EXACTLY the same. To my understanding, the outfit is Kyoto Animation but could also be a spin-off just for this series. I am impressed at the post-editing quality which can only be compared to another series: Gonzo’s FMP.

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