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Has Haruhi Aged Well?

HaruhiWould you believe that the first season of Haruhi Suzumiya started airing ten years ago in the spring anime season of 2006?

I still remember when Haruhi was the best thing since sliced bread. I only got into the series when the Disappearance movie came out, but people were still excited about Haruhi in those days. In Japan, Haruhi goods were displayed all over the place.

Things have changed a lot since then, though. Last year, the Nagato spinoff aired on TV and no one really gave a damn. I didn’t even watch it, personally. Also, a quick Google search doesn’t show too many English-speaking fans even remembering the anime’s tenth anniversary, especially compared to the Japanese fandom. So I’m wondering what English-speaking fans think of the series these days. Would fans of today’s light novels enjoy the charms of Haruhi? I wonder about these things…

Haruhi Suzumiya was never my favourite series, but I thought it was funny and clever at the time. While I still haven’t gotten around to rewatching the TV series, I did still appreciate the merit in the Disappearance movie when I rewatched it in 2014. This time, I decided to read the first volume of the light novel as a refresher course.

And… well… how do I put it? While it was definitely written better than your average power fantasy light novel, it did still feel somewhat tedious and dull to read in parts. The sexual harassment scenes were bad, but they were also bad in 2006 (or 2003, which was when the novel was published), so that’s a moot point.

[a.f.k.] The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - 04.avi - 00001

 

The rest of the story was more or less exactly how I remembered it from all those years ago. Kyon’s observations usually made me chuckle, Haruhi’s behaviour ranges from quirky to detestable, and Koizumi rambles a whole lot. It wasn’t a page turner, but I had fun revisiting these old familiar friends.

Other than that, I don’t really have a lot to say about the novel. I will say that I really enjoyed Chris Pai’s translation of the first volume. I can tell that he made quite a few sensible changes from the Japanese text in order to make the writing flow in English. For example, “I hope you’ll show me the ropes” is a really good translation for yoroshiku onegaishimasu and I wonder why more translators have not thought of using it. In context, it makes loads more sense than the generic “please take care of me”. The other positive of the English translation is that it captures Kyon’s snark perfectly, and since this is the main draw of the light novels, it’s quite a blessing indeed.

That said, bits of purple prose still come through at times. Here’s a whopper from page 6:

I found a girl with long, straight black hair decorated with a flashy hair band adorning her perfectly proportioned face as she stared back at the gawking students with unusually large, black, determined eyes adorned with long, fringed eyelashes, her soft pink lips tightly pursed.

Yes, it’s a run-on sentence in the Japanese as well, but sentence clauses are organised differently in Japanese, so it’s not as clunky to read. The prose is still purple, so I won’t blame the translator too much for this one:

長くて真っ直ぐな黒い髪にカチューシャつけて、クラス全員の視線を傲然と受け止める顔はこの上なく整った目鼻立ち、意志の強そうな大きくて黒い目を異常に長いまつげが縁取り、薄桃色の唇を固く引き結んだ女。

I suppose I would have translated this as: “It was a girl. Her proud and haughty face, adorned with long black hair and an Alice band, never flinched even as her classmates stared at her. Wide and steely black eyes accompanied her perfectly sculpted features. Her unusually long eyelashes created a partition across her face, and she pursed her pale pink lips tightly.”

Still not the best, as you can see.

Perhaps it was little things like the above excerpt that prevented the series from catching on with literary critics and mainstream book reviewers at the time. As I recall, the first volume of the English light novel did the rounds with publications like Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly, but it never picked up any momentum outside the anime-loving crowd. Haruhi was probably the best chance light novels have had so far at breaking into the mainstream book market, but it failed then just as it fails now.

On retrospect, I don’t think that Haruhi aged poorly, but its appeal was always too narrow and specific for it to transcend its otaku roots. And because anime fans these days have such short memories, I wonder if even today’s otaku appreciate the good things about Haruhi. Haruhi might be less on-the-nose when it comes to its self-aware humour compared to modern light novel adaptations (this season’s Re: Zero readily springs to mind), but it still comments on genre tropes that are as common today as they were ten years ago.

Overall, I’d say that my opinions from 2014 still apply:

To me, the sci-fi angle was never what Haruhi was really about. This is a story about a girl who wishes she could have been extraordinary and a boy who wishes for the same. It’s about as honest and empathetic a take on the teenage “chuunibyou” complex as you can get – and this franchise predated the chuunibyou fad several years!

So to those who are tempted to think that Haruhi is outdated now with nothing new to offer to an anime fan these days: I’d say you’re wrong. Haruhi is still relevant and the story it tells is still resonant. As long as we as human beings continue to value that which we do not have over that which we do have, I think Kyon’s character journey will strike a chord.

So yes, I liked the novel overall, even if it’s one of those cases where the anime elevated the source material.

What do you guys think of Haruhi after ten years?

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Posted on April 8, 2016, in Anime Analysis and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. I’m still waiting for it to be released on BD here in the states, but I definitely intend to buy it if/when it comes out (please, Funimation, please). I’ve watched the full TV series more recently than most, likely (same it back in the summer of 2014), and while it certainly has its issues, I was pretty charmed by it.

    I guess it would be pretty interesting to rewatch now that I’ve got a lot more anime under my belt, but I’d be curious to see what someone who watched and liked it when it came out originally would think of it now that it’s no longer the huge fad it was.

    Personally, I suspect I’d still like it just as much upon rewatch, because the themes of loneliness and companionship are ones that are still relevant to my life. And, you know, even on my first watch, Haruhi felt kind of archetypal to me. I know it wasn’t the first light novel of its particular ilk, but it still struck me as being something Big. I dunno. I hope the BDs come out soon so I can rewatch it.

  2. …Well, I can’t say I’ve even seen the show myself yet. Might as well start now!

  3. To this day I still feel the same way as I once did about Haruhi: it’s okay, but was more of a fandom event than a legitimately great series. You’re right that it’s just too niche; when Spice and Wolf – initially written by an amateur for a contest – has found a mainstream market in North America where Haruhi didn’t, you know that the bar is really low and Haruhi wasn’t all that noteworthy. The Nagato anime is just further evidence that the Church of Haruhi was based on foundations of sand. Once the new-car smell wore off, it was a franchise doomed to sit along Toradora, Baccano, and Bakemonogatari on the shelf of okay stuff we all liked more back when the LN community was young and hopeful that it wouldn’t become what it is today.

  4. It’s really satisfying to see you talking about Haruhi again just after I looked back at your posts from a couple years ago. I watched Haruhi in chronological order and never really understood the appeal until long after I completed it and my contemplation of the series sunk in. I think that the idea of the average high school boy coming of age and realizing the what he values in the people around him struck closer to home than I expected. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m one to have difficulty managing and acknowledging my own feelings up until the point that I actually take the time to appreciate the things that inconspicuously interest me. So in that sense, I guess I can identify a lot with Kyon. It’s a bit of a shame that Haruhi only really ever had mainstream attention among people who were already fans of anime, but it makes sense, given the niche appeal of the show. Now that I think about it more and more, I’m starting to realize how perfectly tailored to an audience like me the show is.

    Froggy, do you think that your appreciation of Haruhi has began to rise long after watching through the whole series, with specific mention to the movie that ties the central themes together? Kyon’s choice is probably my second favourite anime scene ever, outside of Oregairu Zoku episode 8. They’re both likable scenes for very similar reasons though.

    Anyway, I just ordered The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya (don’t remember which volume that is) and I’m pretty excited for it to arrive.

    • Froggy, do you think that your appreciation of Haruhi has began to rise long after watching through the whole series, with specific mention to the movie that ties the central themes together?

      Definitely. And I think it’s interesting that you bring up Oregairu here as well. They both tell very universal stories about appreciating your friends, but they wrap it up in a way that could only appeal to people with geek interests. But if the stories weren’t told in that way, the messages might not have reached their audience.

      Hope you enjoy The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya! It’s the fifth novel, by the way. The one that directly follows Disappearance.

      • In your Oregairu post (regarding your top 10 anime), you mentioned the fact that Oregairu’s appeal does not solely come from how profound the story it tells is, and that realistically, it tells its story by, and for a very specific audience that can appreciate typical trends in light novels. And I wouldn’t have it any other way with either of these franchises. By the way, are you at least semi-hyped for the Zoku OVA coming in couple of months? They’re adapting volume 10.5, which I haven’t read yet, and I’m super hyped because Iroha is my second favourite character in the whole series. Too bad Yen Press’ translation of volume one has been delayed yet again.

        How did the content covered in volume one of the Haruhi LN fare in comparison to what the anime adapted? I know you mentioned that the sentence structure was a bit jarring, but do you think the series works any better on paper?

        • are you at least semi-hyped for the Zoku OVA coming in couple of months?

          I’m generally not hyped for bonus OVAs, but I don’t expect it’ll be bad or anything. I’ll watch it, I guess.

          How did the content covered in volume one of the Haruhi LN fare in comparison to what the anime adapted? I know you mentioned that the sentence structure was a bit jarring, but do you think the series works any better on paper?

          Short answer: no. The first volume was mostly just character introductions and exposition dumps. It was a stroke of genius for KyoAni to break up this volume with episodes from the short stories. It really allowed the characters to breathe and also gave the impression of an unfolding mystery throughout the entire series.

          Also, I haven’t seen the TV series in a long time, but I remember that the visual storytelling was very strong.

          That’s not to say that the LN is outright bad but… it’s a bit dull…

  5. I really want to go back to Haruhi now; it’s one of those things that I felt was mediocre, but built so easily into something incredible with Disappearance. I’ve also read so much great fanfiction from it. This was good to read.

  6. I know you read my post about Haruhi from a few years ago (http://animeyume.com/blog/2013/08/28/the-beginning-of-the-end-for-haruhi/ in case you forgot) and that it’s been my favorite anime and light novel series since it first took off in the US in 2007. Even though I’m not as into it as I used to be, I still can’t say an anime has yet arisen to take its place as my favorite, nor a light novel series (not that I’ve read many other light novels XD) After the most recent novel had its official US release in mid-2013, there’s been nothing new for Haruhi since…well, I’ve managed to keep my fandom going slightly when the Haruhi Weiss Schwarz cards had a surprise English release a few months ago (the card set is nearly 10 years old and they rarely release the old sets in English, so it was a real surprise!) I do want to reread the light novels again soon, but alas, with no continuation of the series in sight, either in anime or novel form, it’s hard for a then-die hard fan like me to stay enthused. I’ll keep trying though!

    And I still recommend you read the rest of the light novels, beyond where the anime left off. The story and characters really develop in good directions in my opinion, and everything just gets more interesting overall with new characters and such…which makes it all the more sad that a true ending to the series seems less likely as time goes by =/

  7. Its a recent watch for me (I only came to anime in tneclast 3-4 years and as an adult) so its pretty fresh to me. Have not read the books.

    I kind of wonder in this new LN boom whether it could be brought out. Or maybe fan translations have eaten enough to make it a problem. Of course I also wonder about A Magical Index in tnat way. a super long series where the fans are many books deep into free fan translations.

  8. Watching Haruhi Suzumiya for the first time (that I remember, anyway) in high school several years ago was déja vu for me. I guess somewhere, somehow, I had seen the intro animation and I remembered the scenes with Nagato and Kyon. And so it was both unfamiliar sometimes and yet nostalgic. My favorite part of the series is the music, and also some particular moments and visuals. When I want to be absorbed into a particular mood, I return to those parts of the anime. Haruhi was unusually atmospheric and I loved that aspect about it probably more than anything else. I’ll always see the anime as fairly-high quality, even if it’s not my number one favorite.

    I read the light novels through the library loan, and I felt like the story wandered away from its roots a little as time went on. There were really important questions brought up that I didn’t feel were being answered quickly enough or definitively enough for my liking. So I turned to fanfic, haha. (I didn’t find much: the fans of the series are mostly too young to produce works of my preferred level of quality, I think. I did try to write some, but it was my first fanfic attempt to begin with, and I put it on hiatus.) (Nagato-chan doesn’t scratch my particular itch for the series. No, Nagato-chan is another thing altogether. I tried watching it, and…the pacing…and the subject matter…got so dull…. See, there’s a REASON Kyon and Nagato rejected that reality!) That said, I haven’t read the final two light novels yet—they were still being translated last time I looked.

    I’m a Nagato/Kyon shipper, so I don’t really care about Haruhi all that much. This is mostly because Haruhi as she is continually kept in the dark is largely uninteresting to me. And like Haruhi, Itsuki and Asahina have unrealized potential character arcs, which is incredibly frustrating.

    So I’m left in a strange in-between. I still like the Haruhi series, aside from the sexual harassment aspects that you mentioned. I’d still happily gobble up whatever showed me some promise. But I don’t have a reason to fawn over it anymore.

    Other than Haruhi, the light novel series that I am be most interested in are RDG: Red Data Girl, Saiunkoku Monogatari, and No.6. Translate those so I can access them legally and I will a very happy fan. And the Spice and Wolf & Durarara!! official translations are yay! My rule of thumb is that if the light novel has more content than the anime, and the premise of the story is sufficiently intriguing to me, I won’t be completely satisfied until I can access the story in ‘original format’ to compare versions and find emotional fulfillment.

    • That said, I haven’t read the final two light novels yet—they were still being translated last time I looked.

      The good news for you is that all the light novels have been translated by Yen Press now!

      …The bad news is that it’s very unlikely for a new volume to be published for a long, long time. Maybe never.

      Other than Haruhi, the light novel series that I am be most interested in are RDG: Red Data Girl, Saiunkoku Monogatari, and No.6. Translate those so I can access them legally and I will a very happy fan.

      Yes, I’m very interested in Saiunkoku Monogatari too. Unfortunately, I doubt that those series will get an official translation anytime soon. Fingers crossed, though! There have been some cult classics which have gotten official translations long after their anime adaptations aired. Baccano and Legend of the Galactic Heroes come to mind.

  9. I’m a bit biased in this regard. I haven’t red the novels, (and I really really want to) but I am a huge fan of the anime franchise. I got into anime fairly recently, and Haruhi was one of the earlier shows I sampled. I’ve come back to rewatch it multiple times and I honestly love it the more I see. Now it’s one of my favorite things in anime and I sometimes talk about it too much.

  10. What made Haruhi special at the time was that it was a crossover hit: not just popular among anime fans, but breaking out into wider fandom. At the time my interest in anime was low, but I heard of it through word of mouth from science fiction fandom friends, downloaded the original series and was hooked. (Which I’d argue is still the best way to watch the series, as originally broadcast, without the second season.)

    The core concept behind the series, of the ordinary dude who has a goddess fall in love with him as various powers manoeuvre around her to keep her placated, was interesting and novel enough to appeal to people not normally watching anime but predisposed to like that sort of mindfsck fiction even without the meta aspects of, it which ten years on are much clearer. (Similar breakout series: Planetes, Angel Beats, FLCL)

    Looking back at pionering works like this is always fraught because the cliches it started or popularised are so much more obvious now, especially after ten years of other otaku bait(ing) series “improving” on it.

  11. It was only recently that I watched Haruhi for the first time and for me it didn’t register as anything particularly special. The movie was pretty decent, mostly because Haruhi didn’t really feature for much of its length, I think. The Ace Attorney scene was good fun.

    The rest of my opinion can be summed up with two words: Endless. Eight.

  12. I didn’t check if you posted anything yesterday because you did something the other day. And you do something on one of my favorite series of all time! I will never forget the effect Haruhi had on me. From the original mind blowing opening to Kyon’s smart ass remarks and that movie! It will never get old for me.

  13. I remember being somewhat new to anime when everyone I knew who liked anime hyped this series like there was no tomorrow. I have to say, I just didn’t like it… And I think the biggest reason for that is I simply didn’t care for any of the characters. I found Kyon’s constant snark to be tiring really fast. Haruhi meanwhile always just came off as a mean bully to me. And as for the rest of the characters, none of them really stood out–they all seemed like pretty basic tropes. Once I had more anime experience I gave the series another shot, but still, I just didn’t like any of it (including the seemingly-pointless nonlinear narrative gimmick). Couldn’t really understand what everyone loved about it. Perhaps the LNs are better? I don’t know. I’m glad for those who enjoy the series though.

    Maybe when it comes to high school clubs, I just prefer something like the Little Busters? Everyone is good friends, and they’re all cute. And don’t you just want to pat Riki on the head?

  14. arbitrary_greay

    I rewatched it about a year ago, and I think KyoAni did an incredible job in elevating the material. The structuring of the writing (fractally, from the episode order, to the timing of the dialogue), to the use of visual language, to the sakuga, it holds up as A+ entertainment storytelling, for what the source material could be. The baseball episode still has great comedy, and I loved the layers in all of the Haruhi/Kyon moments, sprinkled throughout, and the hints of depths in Itsuki and Nagato were nice and subtle, too. The blocking of the action scenes is still top rate, and I wish more live action productions followed their lead. (And we saw some execution of that promise in the Scott Pilgrim movie.)
    You can see that KyoAni is making respectable and effective storytelling choices at any given time, and appreciating that meta-level of the production makes up for a lot of the weaknesses in the source material. Especially when you can see choices made in oder to make up for said weaknesses.

    Mainly, though, the first season treats Haruhi herself very well, and that was due to the length and structure of the series. There were always humanizing moments next to the madness, and back half of the season, juxtaposing the aftermath of the music festival, the rainy day, and the origin story finale, all point to Haruhi developing and growing.
    But further series focus on Kyon’s development in accepting things the way they are, and the need for more club shenanigans require a reinforcement of the status quo, so Haruhi was shafted for it, becoming just a manic pixie dream girl who bullies her way into shenanigans. Getting more of Asahina also did her no favors, since she had to keep being useless, not getting to grow up into the confident future agent.

    Comparing Haruhi to its predecessors makes its own better elements that much more glaring. Most all of the club members were actually competent, with Haruhi and Kyon demonstrating their competence episode after episode, winning against their antagonists on the strength of their wits. I checked out on Chu2Koi pretty much immediately, because Rikka was So. Fucking. Useless. And the other characters had lip service skills that always mysteriously disappeared when they could be used to solve problems. Compare to K-On or Oregairu, where the characters’ strengths are also used to drive both shenanigans and solutions, which is what makes them good characters. Haruhi’s first season also had a specific purpose, for character arcs and thematic arcs, especially indicated by the episode order structure. Other shenanigans shows get bogged down in the shenanigans content, and forget to have that driving purpose to make things more than masturbatory.

    So yeah, I think the Melancholy anime still holds up on its own. (Episode 0 is actually even funnier now, knowing what I know about film-making. So much truth in comedy.)

  15. You’re going to laugh but in France too, Haruhi never picked up when it was translated. Like the Haruhi series is better left in Japanese only or as an anime.

    I’ve never read the books and from the few episodes I’ve watched, the premise was interesting but I saw it more as a critique of current modern anime & light novels rather than a quirky series with a unusual setup… Then I dropped it when we had a character reduced to boobs. (I’m all about seeing characters in their best.)

  16. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is pretty interesting. Both the show itself, which was one of the first anime that I watched then I got into the stuff back in 2013 (the friend who introduced me to anime is a big Haruhi fan and watched it as it aired in 2006), and its status in the western anime community.

    Haruhi, to be certain, is still popular. Reddit recently did another one of its “Best Girl” brackets, and Haruhi herself managed to get a pretty impressive amount of votes (around 6,000). She was bumped out early by being defeated by Yuuki Asuna, but it was only a narrow loss. Haruhi wouldn’t have stood a chance against the likes of Saber, Senjougahara, or Yukinoshita (the eventual winner), but she didn’t do poorly. Plenty of fans of the anime came out of the woodworks to voice their opinion on the Yuki Nagato anime as well, leading to a brief upswing in discussion about the franchise, and Haruhi is frequently mentioned in those “which anime do you really want another season of” threads that are all so common on /r/anime.

    “I’m new, recommend me an anime” threads are even more common, and it strikes me that The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is almost never offered up as a recommendation in the comment sections. Code Geass, another 2006 anime, is frequently mentioned in such threads (as are several shows that are much older than both Haruhi and Geass), but I can’t recall ever seeing Haruhi mentioned.

    I wonder why that is. I suspect that it is in part down to the basic premise of the show: it’s an LN adaptation set in a high school with science fiction & supernatural elements. Basically, it sounds about as unique as a tennis shoe. Granted, the anime industry was different back in 2006, but we live in 2016, not 2006, and many people might simply discount the show because of its seemingly generic nature before giving it a chance. The simple truth is that if Haruhi Suzumiya was a brand new LN series that was receiving its first anime adaptation in the Spring 2016 season, few people would be excited for it before it aired, especially if it wasn’t being adapted by KyoAni.

    Ouran High School Host Club aired alongside Haruhi in the 2006 season. It wasn’t as popular as Haruhi back then, and it still isn’t today. Yet Ouran is a frequent recommendation, perhaps because it stands out as a strong show in a specific niche (shoujo reverse harems), whilst Haruhi has sort of been lost in the sea of high school LNs.

    Haruhi Suzumiya’s fanbase seems to mostly consist of people who watched the show back in 2006 or in the following couple of years, and that doesn’t seem likely to change. Most self-declared Kyoto Animation fans don’t even seem likely to bother checking it out, at least. Basically, there are many old (relatively speaking, of course) fans of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but there aren’t many new fans. Haruhi hasn’t disappeared, but she’s definitely declined.

    • arbitrary_greay

      I think Haruhi’s low recommendability for newbies comes from it being contingent on understanding otaku tropes. When I first watched it, all I had under my belt was Cowboy Bebop and Trigun, neither of which illuminate the tropes Haruhi so expertly sends up. So episode 0 was completely bewildering to me, and the rest of the series not that much better.

      On the one hand, it could be argued that Haruhi is a good gateway series for these tropes, as it’s an actually good series, and not garbage. On the other hand, having at least some idea of otaku culture very much enhances Haruhi’s comedy.
      I’d say that NGE would be a good precursor to watching Haruhi.

  17. Before I answer your question and detail my thoughts on Haruhi, I often see “Yoroshiku onegaishimasu” translated as “I’ll be in your care”, which stands between the two, and for an underclassman/trainee at work captures something of both meanings.

    As for Haruhi, I’ve brought this question up so many times. On reddits, on Twitter, on AniSkype. I’m pretty sure you and I discussed it in the past directly as well.

    The long and short of it is that Haruhi hasn’t done much that is special, and has been replaced by other shows of its kind that offer the same thing. Maybe Haruhi is a bit better, but it doesn’t matter, because it’s not *different*.

    Some shows are sort of one of a kind, or one of two kinds, such as Serial Experiment Lain or Dennou Coil, so they get mentioned years later. Other shows might not be one of a kind, but they’re some of the best of their kind, by a large margin, so no matter how many others of their kind exists, they’ll still get brought up (NGE, Eureka 7, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, for instance). Haruhi doesn’t have that. You can watch Haruhi, or you can watch any one of the 10 Haruhi-esque/inspired shows airing each season. Not all are as good, but you can usually find a handful every year, so why should people go back to Haruhi?

    And here are some specific reasons for why Haruhi in particular isn’t brought up. First, I want to brush away the LN hopes of literary acceptance, because not only is that not going to happen (and by the by, “Steely eyes” does not seem the right connotation for that sentence), but even if it did, it wouldn’t really bleed back onto the anime-watching circles, not in the west, so it’s not really all that relevant.

    The problem is Haruhi isn’t good enough, and did far too much to destroy goodwill of its fans, and the pay-off is too late. Yowza. Time to unpack that.

    First, I watched the first season of Haruhi somewhere around 2007 or 2008, in DVD order. The first arc was great, exciting things, cool characters. Then the second half became exceedingly lukewarm comedy slice of life shenanigans. I know at least one person says the original broadcast order was genius because it kept the first arc going to the end, but that’s just a tacit way of acknowledging how weak the rest of the content was.

    I was already an aniblogger when Haruhi’s 2nd season aired. There were a lot of angry voices over how KyoAni betrayed Haruhi by K-On!ifying the characters, but such stuff comes and goes. And then Endless Eight happened. Modern anime fans who say “I watched Endless Eight, it was fine, not sure why everyone made a big deal of it!” ignore a couple of facts. First, you wait three years for a sequel to a show you love, only for most of it to be taken up by non-content? Then there’s the fact it’s different when you know ahead of time what you’re getting and can prepare yourself to it. Finally, when you watch weekly, not knowing what will come, and getting “non-content”, your spirit is broken.

    This led to most of the Haruhi fanbase abandoning Haruhi. In the end, who do you rely on to spread word of a show years down the line? Its ardent fans. I probably got more people to watch Shigofumi than 50 other people who watched it. The people who rate a show 11/10 will get others to watch it, not the ones who rated it 6/10. And these people have been lost.

    Finally, a lot of sound is made of how the movie is worth the price of entry. But when people ask for a recommendation, you don’t really recommend a 25-episode series you’re lukewarm on just for the sake of a single film.

    And of course, “Watch order discussions” kill a lot of would-be watchers’ interest. A case of rabid fans arguing on both sides ruining the experience for would be hopefuls.

    So, simply? Haruhi isn’t good enough. It has some highlights, but they’re buried under a sea of average-quality content, and why watch Haruhi in that case when all of the LNs it inspired or influenced are just as good? There’s no real convincing argument, except for its historical place.

    So why does Index still have some rabid fans? First, most of the people recommending Index are hardcore fans, not your average fans who know it’s pretty underwhelming. And there, the fandom kept getting seasons, and new LNs, and the quality was pretty consistent(ly crap), so more of them stuck around as there was something to stick to.

    • arbitrary_greay

      Do you mind listing some of the Haruhi-inspired LNs/anime that are just as good? I do like a good club ensemble show.

      • It’s not necessarily whether I find them just as good, but that the audience does. Some of them are real stinkers IMO but where I’m in the minority, or that most of which is solid but not all. And some have other focuses, like if I say Hyouka and K-On!, then people would argue one’s more of a drama and one’s even more slice of life, and neither is sci-fi enough, and you get the point. I mean, we’ve had Nanana’s Buried Treasure, and Kyoukai no Kanata, and… I mostly don’t watch these shows. Chu2koi? Kokoro Connect? C3-bu? Girls und Panzer?

        It depends what you want to focus on.

        • arbitrary_greay

          Club shows with a supernatural element.

          Of those you listed, the only one I haven’t watched is Nanana. Is it any good?
          (I’ve also watched Occult Academy, have not watched Inou Battle)
          Of the shows listed, only GuP held up the same level of consistency as Haruhi S1. All of the others dropped the ball at some point. (although a good number remained watchable despite that, like C3-bu and Kokoro Connect)
          I guess I should check out School Live?

          I have watched a good number of club shows without the supernatural elements. Oregairu, Eupho, Tari Tari, Hanasaku Iroha.

          Iyashikei is hit-or-miss.

          • Hadn’t watched Nanana myself, so can’t say. But how important is the supernatural element really is? I’m not sure it is. And as I noted in my write-up, I personally thought the second half of Haruhi’s first season, after all the characters are fully introduced had been much inferior to the first half. So these shows being inconsistent only puts them closer to Haruhi, not farther.

            There are plenty of series that went a bit more haremy and a bit less “school club”, but which carry the same overall atmosphere. Kannagi would be my best example of such a show.

      • For a good club ensemble show, you should watch Sound! Euphonium if you haven’t already. Imo it’s the best KyoAni anime since Hyouka.

        Or watch the Tamako Love Story movie because it’s amazing.

  18. This brings back memories I remember watching it around 2010 or 2011

  1. Pingback: Light Novel Notes (May 2016) | English Light Novels

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