Book Three of 2013: THE MELANCHOLY OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA by Nagaru Tanigawa

6076675Haruhi holds the fate of the universe in her hands . . . lucky for you she doesn’t know it. Meet Haruhi – a cute, determined girl, starting high school in a city where nothing exciting happens and absolutely no one understands her. Meet Kyon ­­- the sarcastic guy who sits behind Haruhi in homeroom and the only boy Haruhi has ever opened up to. His fate is now tied to hers. Meet the S.O.S. Brigade – an after-school club organized by Haruhi with a mission to seek out the extraordinary. Oh, and their second mission? Keeping Haruhi happy . . . because even though she doesn’t know it, Haruhi has the power to destroy the universe. Seriously. The phenomenon that took Japan by storm – with more than 4.5 million copies sold – is now available in the first-ever English edition.

As most people have probably realized, I’m a big Doctor Who and anime fan. Yep, I’m a Geeky Fangirl and I’m proud of it. That said, my absolute favorite anime is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. It has crazy characters, an interesting story, and a mix of humor joined with the contemporary day to day life of a high school student. Did I also mention there are aliens, psychics and time travelers? Seriously, it isn’t as hokey as you are probably thinking.

What I love about the book is that it is basically the first season of the anime in the written form. It had come to my attention that Hollywood should work more like the producers of Haruhi. Instead of making up your own take on a movie based on a book, just follow the book. This book and the anime are almost exact. To the word in fact.

The only difference is Kyon, our sarcastic narrator who is not only the everyday man, but also a bit oblivious when it comes to Haruhi’s motivations. I understood Kyon better in the book than the anime. Not that they were that different, but in the book I could see a clear attraction between the two main characters whereas the show only hinted at it.

The book is written in a first person narrative where we learn as Kyon learns that there are classmates who aren’t what they seem. Much to his dismay, all of it centers around Haruhi and her boredom. There is some science fiction in it, but not to the extent where you are confused. The explanations given by the unique classmates are filled with scientific jargon that it could get confusing. However, because of having an everyman narrator, the reader is lucky to get the more layman’s terminology and explanations.

This book is humorous. It is completely a comedy, but the hidden nuances of something bigger keep you wondering what is going to happen. The comedy doesn’t drive you to the point of boredom. Instead, the comedy is used much like everyday comedy happens. Do you have that wacky pixie like friend? Are you that wacky pixie friend? Then you know what I’m talking about.

What’s really great is that I can look at the characters of the book and give you the names of real life people in my life who act very similar to the characters in the book. That’s another thing I like, it’s completely relatable. You may not like anime, but this anime started out as a book. The book isn’t something that is to be taken seriously. It’s fluff, but it’s smart fluff dumbed down. Not mushy fluff like romance books or gory fluff like hack and slash books. If you want a quick and fun read, this is something you should look into.

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