Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa

186 pages. I tell you, they don't call them light novels for nothing. However, if there was ever an 186 page book worth the seven dollars I spent on it than I believe that The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya fits that bill perfectly. If you have read my review for the movie (here) then you know how highly I thought of that film. 

However, when describing the movie, it completely slipped my mind to mention how much of A Christmas Carol type of story this is. Of course, we don't have any ghosts here. We do have Kyon struggling with whether or not a world without Haruhi is better than a world with one, though. In a way the new world without Haruhi is a lot like the visits to Ebenezer Scrooge's past, present, and future in that Kyon really doesn't know how good he has it and how much he enjoys his life in an "abnormal" world until he sees how different his life would be in a "normal" world. 

This novel (as well as the movie) shows Kyon deciding to finally take an active role in the SOS Brigade. Rather than just standing by and letting things be the way they are (peaceful and quiet) in this new world, he stands up and tries to change everything back because he actually wants to and not because he feels he has to. 

Certainly, this new stance will make for an even more interesting series in the future. However, the next full novel in this series isn't until book seven. Right now I am on book five and that one contains three short stories that take place and different points during the series. I'm not sure if book six will be a true sequel, either. But I guess I'm with this series for the long haul. 

Anyway, the movie did an excellent job putting this book on screen. So far the anime really has proven to be a very good and faithful adaptation (yeah, the anime jumbles the episode order up, but it works for the anime). Outside of the Endless Eight, that is. But I will get to the Endless Eight in the next volume in this series and my comparisons between the anime and the story will take place in that review. 

P.S. - There's a spin off manga series called The Disappearance of Yuki Nagato-chan that takes place within the "Disappearance" storyline and is therefore independent of the bulk of the Haruhi Suzumiya series. I believe it's about the adventure of Nagato as a human in this alternate world. Since all five volumes are currently available for the Kindle, I suppose I might as well download those soon. While I certainly prefer the way the book (and the movie) ended, I am certainly up for a visit to an alternate future. I just hope that the manga is good. I've heard The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya manga isn't too great so I hope the same can't be said about The Disappearance of Yuki Nagato-chan

Haven't read the book? Haven't seen the movie? Dig into your pockets and do some Kindle downloading.  Or tree-killing. Either way, no self-proclaimed anime fan should be without this series at hand. 

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