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.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Indignation of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa

Originally published in Japan in May of 2006 and then later republished in English in the US in November of 2012, The Indignation of Haruhi Suzumiya is the eighth book in the Haruhi Suzumiya light novel series. This time around we have two novellas instead a book of shorts or an actual novel. The first novella is entitled Editor in Chief, Full Speed Ahead! and in this story we finally get to see the student council make its move against the illegal school organization known as the SOS Brigade that happens to be residing in the literature club's room. Of course, Kyon is quick to catch that the student council president is not all he seems and that maybe fellow SOS Brigade member Koizumi Itsuki might have even something to do with sudden antagonism. 

In order to keep the literature club's room from being taken away the SOS Brigade must create a literary newsletter and all of the copies of the newsletter must sell out. The contents are not set in stone but the must be something literary and naturally Haruhi has a few ideas. 

Deciding who will write what by lottery, Kyon finds himself forced into writing a love story if he wants to save Nagato Yuki's reputation as well as Haruhi's precious clubroom. More importantly, thanks to Koizumi's never-shutting mouth, Kyon is forced to wonder if he drew "love story" because Haruhi wanted him to or if it was just a fluke. Ah, that is indeed the question. 

This novella isn't anything groundbreaking. However, we get to read Nagato's "story" and that is certainly as puzzling as it is interesting. The very definition of a brain on diarrhea. 

Other than that little gem, I don't want to call it a must-read. In fact, I would have preferred a story that took place right after The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya instead of one that takes place before it, but that is just the way this series is. I'll take the good with the slightly less than good. 

The second story is Wandering Shadow and we finally get to see a peek of life after The Intrigues. For some reason dogs are avoiding an area outside of North High and the SOS Brigade are called upon to investigate by the Brigade's second ever client. The culprit supposedly causing the dogs to steer clear of the area is a ghost, but Kyon isn't so quick to believe that. Sure, he knows an ESPer, a time traveler, an alien, and someone who might very well be God, but he doesn't quite believe in ghosts. When a few of the dogs start getting sick and Nagato begins to explain the cause, Kyon starts to wonder not only if ghosts exists... but if souls do as well. 

I rather preferred the second story of the two. The ending did leave me in full-on contemplation mode and it certainly did have a bit more meat on it than a lot of the other shorts, but the second story still doesn't quite have the gusto of a full-length novel. 

I am not sure if either of the these stories will play a large part in The Disassociation of Haruhi Suzumiya or The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya, but I am sure I will find out. These last two books comprise one longer novel with The Disassociation containing the prologue and chapters one through three. Not quite sure while they were released like that, but I didn't write or edit them. I just read 'em. 

I am kind of bummed out that the ride is almost over (Nagaru better write more!), but I still have The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan to look forward to so there's that. 

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