Reviewed by: LittleWoodenBoy
Released by: Bandai Entertainment
Age Rating: 13+
Region: 1 - USA
Volume 1 of 4
Length: 100 minutes
English 2.0 Stereo
English 5.1 Surround
Japanese 2.0 Stereo
Haruhi Suzumiya enters high school declearing she is only interested in aliens, time travellers and espers. Soon she formed her own club at school and is surrounded by aliens, time travellers and espers, whether she knows it or not.
Kyon enters high school wanting an easy life. However, he gets the seat in front of Haruhi Suzumiya. She stands up for her self introduction and states she is only interested in aliens, time travellers and espers. To make things even more interesting, she changes her hair style every day in oder to attract aliens. Kyon slowly starts talking to Haruhi and is soon swept up in her bizarre antics.
The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya was actually shown out of order on it Japanese broadcast and some of that idea is retained on the US DVD. The first episode is The Adventures Of Magical Mikuru which is the film made by the cast for the culture festival that appears later in the series. Its different start to the rest of the series. The other remaining episodes are the first three real episodes in chronological order.
With Haruhi trying out all the clubs at school and not being able to find one that interests her, Kyon (foolishly) suggest she creates her own. So Haruhi drags Kyon (literally) into helping her make the SOS Brigade. In order to be recognised by the school, they have to recruit members. Haruhi decided to use the Literary Club's room as they only have one member and uses her to beef up the SOS Brigades numbers. Other members are recruited by being almost forced to join by Haruhi. Together they all help Haruhi search out weird occurrences.
While it might appear that I'm being very vague about most aspects. I am. So much of the fun in this series comes from finding out the facts as Kyon does that its best not to spoil it by writing it all here.
Its hard to fit this series to just one category. While not a full on comedy, it does have its moments and certain sections will leave you scratching your head and reaching for the rewind button.
The disc comes in two varieties. The standard and limited edition.
The standard edition is just the dvd which includes rather a lot of bonus content for an anime dvd. Theres the live action Japanese commercials and making of that total 29 minutes, the original Japanese next episode previews, three Adventures Of The ASOS Brigade episodes which are live action promos for the series and textless opening and ending animations.
The limited edition comes in a nice solid presentation box (the nicest this reviewer has ever come across), the ending theme Hare Hare Yukai cd, an iron on Haruhiism transfer, a pencil board and a Haruhi styled hair ribbon.
The series is animated by Kyoto Animations (they also animated FMP Fumoffu and Second Raid) and looks great throughout.
My only gripe with the disc is the subtitles. The picture is set to a 16:9 ratio but the subtitles are set to 4:3 and look rather stretched. Plus you only get place signs and titles subtitled if you have them switched on. So dub viewers will be switching them on and off on a few occasions. The are sometimes placed right over the characters faces which can be a little annoying.
The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya is certainly an interesting series. Once past the initially bizarre opening episode, there is a fun and enjoyable series with more than a few interesting characters.