Friday, March 19, 2021

#IReadsYou Review: The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan Volume 12


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

ORIGINAL STORY: Nagaru Tanigawa
LETTERS: Abigail Blackman
MISC. ART: Noizi Ito; Gaku Tsugano
ISBN: 978-1-9753-1079-0; paperback (May 2020); Rated “T” for “Teen”
166pp, B&W with some color pages, $13.00 U.S., $17.00 CAN

Haruhi Suzumiya is a Japanese light novel series written by Nagaru Tanigawa and illustrated by Noizi Ito.  Released in 2003, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was the first novel in a series that saw ten additional volumes published.  Haruhi Suzumiya became a media franchise that included an anime television series adaptation, an animated film, two original net animation series, several video games, and four manga series.

One of those manga series was entitled The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan, the third of the four manga and the series' official parody.  Created by writer-artist, Puyo, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan was first serialized in Shonen Ace in July 2007 and then, continued in The Sneaker, beginning August 2007.  The series ended in December 2018, and was compiled in twelve tankobon (graphic novel) volumes from May 2008 to May 2019.

Yen Press published an English-language edition of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan tankobon as a 12-volume, paperback graphic novel series.  The first volume was published in December 2011, and the last was published this past May 2020.

The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan begins with Kyon, an ordinary high school freshman who has long given up on his childhood dreams of encountering the fantastic and supernatural... or so he thought.  He meets his new classmate, the beautiful and eccentric Haruhi Suzumiya.  From the first day of class, Haruhi makes it very clear that her only desire is to meet aliens, time travelers, and psychics.  Kyon and Haruhi form the “SOS Brigade,” a school club created for the sole purpose of gathering together fantastic and supernatural beings.  However, Kyon learns that the initial members of their club are actually members of secret futuristic and alien organizations that have the single aim of keeping watch over Haruhi Suzumiya, as she is the pinnacle of some major calamity on the horizon!

The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan, Vol. 12 declares that the series is over.  Because she is unbound by the laws of reality, however, Haruhi-chan's antics will never be over.  The gang gets cozy under the “kotatsu” to work out their problems.  There is a trip to a hot springs resort, and summer means the obligatory swimsuit chapter.  Plus, Haruhi-chan is a superhero, but she turns out to be a rather odd one.  This all leads up to the final chapter... or make that final chapters!

[This volume includes bonus art, a short story, “The Reciprocity” by Nagaru Tanigawa, and a color illustration gallery, featuring one illustration each by Noizi Ito and Gaku Tsugano.]

The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan manga is new to me, as is the entire media franchise, including its original source, the light novel series.  Still, the concept sounds like loads of fun... and it is yet another Yen Press title that reminds me of the manga, Hayate the Combat Butler.

The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan Graphic Novel Volume 12 brings the series to a close.  This is the volume that will mean the most to fans of Haruhi Suzumiya, especially those that like the franchise enough to want a parody of it.  Writer-artist Puyo, who also produced a non-parody manga adaptation of the franchise, is obviously quite familiar with the series.  Puyo manages to make these humorous vignettes funny even to a newcomer like me.

Half the chapters here are eight pages in length and the rest are four pages long.  Paul Starr's translation conveys the appropriate comic pace for either length.  In the end, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan has a rather “neat” ending.  Haruhi-chan and company's antics will never end.

7 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and  syndication rights and fees.


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