12 Days of Anime Day 3: My First (and probably last) Foray into Reading Light Novels

As I’m sure most of our longer term readers already know, I’m not much of one for reading manga or light novels. I dabbled in manga back in high school, but up until a few weeks ago I had never read a light novel. Maybe it has to do with the format or maybe I’m just a snob (it’s probably the latter haha), but I really disliked the experience. I started my foray out with The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. This review is based on the first two light novels, I didn’t make it past those, but I think I at least gave the series a good shot.

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Things like this epitomize why I hated the story.

I know this is supposed to be a great story and it’s classic and everyone loves it, but not this girl. Maybe my experience with manga and anime is just too similar to my experience with reading novels. I also tend to dislike the classics in that medium as well. However, for this one I think I can very clearly pinpoint why I hated the light novels and the series in general.

haruhi_christmas_wp

To put it quite bluntly: this bitch.

Good god (no pun intended) I don’t think I’ve ever hated a character quite as much as I hated Haruhi Suzumiya. Was she supposed to be funny? Entertaining? I don’t even know. What the hell was her appeal supposed to be? Do guys really like deranged, psychotic girls operating under the guise of quirky impetuousness? In that case give me a moment to go dye my hair green and force my next-door neighbor to dress up as horse so I can harness her to my chair and force her to drag me up and down the hallway. I’m sure I’ll have all the boys flocking to me in no time.  

I have disliked, even detested many anime characters in my time, but this is the first time one has ever made my teeth clench and toes curl every time she did or said something. Never before have I wanted to punch a book so hard. The concept was interesting and the other characters were fine! It was just this Haruhi psychopath that ruined the entire thing for me. There’s no way in Hell that I’m the only one who feels this way. Surely some of the rest of you must have seethed in rage to watch her get away with crap under the ruse of her ‘being a god’. Bullshit. I call total and complete bullshit. The character reminds me of this fantastic webcomic by Hyperbole and a Half about how the author thought she was a god when she put on a dinosaur costume and used it as an excuse to do whatever the fuck she wanted.

The difference? The author was FOUR. Haruhi is not four and even if she was I’m still not sure that some of her behavior would be acceptable. On that note, I would be very much indebted to anyone who would kindly explain to me why these light novels/anime/manga are so popular when they contain such an odious character!

Seriously though, whether you care about my post or not you should read the webcomic. It is brilliant haha.

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8 responses to “12 Days of Anime Day 3: My First (and probably last) Foray into Reading Light Novels

  1. I’m no fan of the series, but even I can tell that Haruhi is intentionally an annoying character, as Kyon’s narration will inform you constantly. The charm of the series lies in how Kyon deals with her antics and the accompanying oddities that surround her, and his own contemplation of why he puts up with them. As a programmer would say, it’s a feature, not a bug!

    • Oh, I’m sure it has to be intentional, but that doesn’t make it any better for me haha. I definitely understand what you’re saying, but regardless of intent, the character is so obnoxious that even a narrator who comments on it doesn’t save the situation in my opinion.

  2. For what it’s worth, I really liked the anime but the LNs just left me cold. The writing really isn’t anything special, but the stuff KyoAni does in their adaptation is. They somehow found a way of making a show that made me feel like I was revisiting it for nostalgia’s sake even when I saw it for the first time. And then came the movie. The show was worth watching if only because of Disappearance.

    And yeah, I alternate between finding Haruhi sympathetic (especially in the Melancholy arc and in Disappearance) and finding her insufferable (dear god, Sigh was a pain to watch). Still not as bad as Kirino, IMHO.

    • I haven’t seen the anime so I can’t really comment, but I don’t know how it could possibly be worse than the LNs. I’m not sure if I actually got to the Melancholy arc so maybe I would find her less insufferable if I read that part.

      • Melancholy is the first volume; I’m just referring to it as an arc because I always remember it in that weird out-of-order way the anime presented it, where saying “the first six episodes” or something of the sort would be questionable at best.

  3. I enjoyed the first season of Haruhi so I checked out some of the novels, but I wasn’t too impressed. The author is just maintaining the status quo rather than advancing the story.

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