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The Mundanocholy of Haruhi Suzumoocow

I finished the first series of the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumongle. The last time I commented on it I had only seen episodes 00 and 01 and thus did not have very much to say about it. Having watched fourteen episodes, what do I have to say now?

Well, it’s not bad.

Mmm.

No doubt there are more obsessive fans out there who could explain the plot in greater detail, but in summary, it’s a slice of life show. Yes, the main character is effectively the centre of the universe according to certain implications and the other folks in her school club consist of a time travel, a psychic dude and some kind of robot chick (I think she’s actually meant to be an alien but there’s not enough extraneous limbs for my liking if that’s the case), and a couple of episodes do involve far-out events such as fighting giant cyber cockroaches and watching a city get destroyed by titanic blue monsters, but at the end of the day, it’s mostly slice of life. It does try and add drama to it by how if Haruhi gets bored then NEO TOKYO WILL E-X-P-L-ODE and having an episode where the fate of the world lies on a game of baseball, but, seriously, over half the show is spent just slicing of life-ing.

Mmm hmm.

I will say that, if anything, the rather mundane predicament is made quite entertaining by the real main character, Kyon. I am quite honest when I say that I really only stuck with the show because of his voice. I have never seen Crispin Freeman in any other works, but just from this I would be quite keen to fornicate with his vocal cords if the laws of reproduction allowed such a thing. The character narrating all the events is really what made the show for me, because otherwise, let’s face it, the other characters would’ve driven me away. They’re not too bad and could certainly have been a lot worse, but… ehhh, y’know? Ehhh. That’s my sound that excuses me for not having to explain myself. Why did I steal forty cakes? Ehhh, my friend. But in all seriousness, yeah, they’re not bad, but despite the fact they’re meant to be inherently interesting based off their odd occupations, Nagato ends up being the only truly intriguing one, if just because she spends one episode talking for a solid seven minutes and then barely speaks a word in any of the others.

As I no doubt mentioned the last time I talked about the show (for all of two sentences), reading about the show and its fandom tells me the show’s airing order is entirely different from the chronological order which presumably makes everything a little more comprehensible at the end of it. I’m not in a rush to go through it again. It’s neat to finally see what all the fuss is about and I can understand how this sort of thing would attract all manner of fanatics – the animation is quite decent for a televised anime and the dubbing is spectacular, and the mixture of mildly quirky plots with more mundane lifestyle stories leaves it open to more audiences. But, frankly, it’s not for me. Given the tone and pacing, I’d probably have been more comfortable just reading the original source material, though since I wasn’t all that taken with the story in the first place… no thanks.

It was worth watching just for this facial expression, though.

8 Comments

  1. Wes wrote:

    What did you just type? The… DUBBING… was spectacular?! No, no, no, no! You have to watch these things subtitled, man, or not at all. ;)

    I’ve never been all that motivated to watch Haruhi — well, except for the references to it in Lucky Star, which I very much enjoyed — but given my interest in “slice of life” animes, as you put it, I might have to give it a look.

    If you’ve not seen the Lucky Star Decepticons, by the way, PREPARE FOR AWESOMENESS.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0SOfOKxNU0

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 8:28 am | Permalink
  2. MightyKombat wrote:

    Never got into Haruhi, tha tmuch

    Also Dubs aren’t that bad all of the time

    Friday, May 7, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink
  3. Ragey wrote:

    Yeesh, had to edit the colours because MightyKombat’s reply was white text on a white background. I am clearly not suited for using CSS stylesheets.
    But, yes, I am all about dubs. I won’t deny that there’s plenty of dreadful ones out there, but even if it’s lacklustre I always admire them, what with my general fascination with language, translation and other such subjects. Call me back after you’ve seen Cromartie High and let me know if that changes your tone. =P
    While I don’t mind slice of life, it’s not really a genre I actively seek out, so when Haruhi only has some pretension of being far-out for only a few episodes and the rest is just mundane club events, I considered that to be a serious bummer. I’ve had no real interest in watching Lucky Star, though. The content just doesn’t seem to appeal to me, and given how the entire internet basically exploded into a big ball of hype once it started, that’s a bit of a turn off. Maybe in another three years I’ll give it a shot!
    Also Wes you seriously need to show me the ropes of WordPress. I’m so used to your blog and its ability to preview comments!

    Friday, May 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink
  4. MightyKombat wrote:

    I always thought Death Note had a great dub, and Gundam Wing’s wasn’t too bad either

    Friday, May 7, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Permalink
  5. greybob wrote:

    The best dubs I’ve seen were Fullmetal Alchemist and Cowboy Bebop.

    I’ve avoided Lucky Star. The art style irks me.

    Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 4:03 am | Permalink
  6. MightyKombat wrote:

    Sometimes its fun to watch 4Kids dubs if only to see how much more silly they can get with censorship.

    Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  7. Wes wrote:

    Ragey: Sure, I could — shoot me an e-mail and ask what you want to know! Most of the cool stuff in WordPress is accomplished by finding and applying the proper plugin, though.

    The preview thing is okay, but my favorite plugins are the comment reply and e-mailing options! That way, if I respond to a comment or ask a question, it’s more likely that people will actually see the response. :)

    Anyway, I doubt that a single anime could change my overall opinion of dubs — it’d just be another exception to the rule, like Ranma 1/2 and the Ocean dub of Dragon Ball Z. But for every one of those, there will be thirty horrible dubs like the Azumanga Daioh (my favorite anime, but ughhhh to the dub) or Excel Saga (my second favorite anime; the titular character is kind of annoying as is, but she doesn’t grate on my soul nearly as much as she does when she’s speaking English) ones.

    The Lucky Star hype is arguably justified. I’m always impressed when I expect something to suck and then it blows me away with its awesomeness — especially since things often work the other way around for me. :/

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink
  8. MightyKombat wrote:

    Hype tends to ruin stuff.

    Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink