The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – Nagaru Tanigawa
When Haruhi Suzumiya announced to the class on the first day of high school that she was looking for aliens, time-travelers and espers, Kyon just thought she was a little odd. When she roped Kyon into her scheme to create a school club that wasn’t boring like all the others, he thought she was pretty crazy, but couldn’t stand against her irrepressible will. Then Kyon discovered that it was up to him to keep Haruhi from subconsciously destroying the world whenever she got bored–and that’s when things got REALLY complicated. A wildly popular series in Japan, now debuting in English.
How do I express the extreme fondness I have for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya? You’ve hit on something that isn’t really like anything else. It’s all in there–a bit of lowbrow humor, a bit of sarcastic narration, a bit of irresistable charm, and a heavy helping of supernatural phenomena, all held together by the bizarre and unpredictable force of nature that is Haruhi herself. It’s a quirky and fantastic package that I’ve enjoyed in all its forms–this original illustrated novel, and the subsequent anime and manga that have been translated to English.
I will admit, though, that it probably isn’t for everyone–the narrative style and the cultural and pop-cultural references might be a turn-off for some Western readers. I watch enough anime and read enough manga that I’m not bothered when I don’t understand things, and outlandishly pleased when I do get the joke, but for someone who’s never seen an anime or read a manga or a Japanese light novel, the unfamiliarity of everything could be distracting. That said, I think that for the right audience, you’ve written an absolute gem. I’m so glad it’s been translated, and I’m super-excited for the second volume to come out! Five stars.