The Melancholy of Haruhi
Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱 Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu) is the first Japanese light novel in the Suzumiya Haruhi series written by Japanese author Nagaru Tanigawa and illustrated by Japanese artist Noizi Ito. It is also the name of a 2006 Anime
based on the series of novels.
The story of Haruhi Suzumiya initially appeared in The Sneaker, a Seinen
novel magazine by the Japanese publishing company Kadokawa Shoten. Since then, the story has spanned a range of media, all based on the earlier novels. Two separate Manga
series were created, though the first was discontinued shortly after production began. The second is still currently running in Japan.
The anime adaptation, produced by Kyoto Animation, shares the first novel's plotline, interspersed with self-contained episodes (with the exception of the two-part Remote Island Syndrome) taken from short stories from later on in the novel series. The first of the 14 episode series premiered in Japan on April 2, 2006. Significantly, these episodes were not originally broadcast in chronological order. There has been news about a possible second season to the anime series set for a fall 2007 release.
Soon after the show aired, Kadokawa Shoten received various offers from companies in regards to licensing the anime, manga, and novels. On December 22, 2006, the website asosbrigade.com revealed that the anime version of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was licensed for North American distribution by Kadokawa Pictures USA, who sublicensed production and distribution to Bandai Entertainment.
The latest incarnation of the Haruhi Suzumiya series is a series of radio dramas based on the anime version. The first volume was released on July 5, 2006 by Lantis with the second volume having been released on September 21, 2006. There will also be a drama CD released on January 24, 2007.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya follows the high school life of Haruhi Suzumiya and those who are caught up in her antics. While Haruhi is the central character to the plot, the story is told from the point of view of Kyon
, one of Haruhi's classmates.
Kyon is a first year in high school who recently departed with his fantasies of espers, time travelers, and aliens behind him along with middle school. When he chooses to speak to one eccentric girl by the name of Haruhi Suzumiya on the first day of high school, he unwittingly sets off a chain of events. In turn, he is dragged into seemingly unreal situations, which required some self-convincing of being a part of. This all turns his world nearly upside down as he is drawn further into a world eerily like the fantasies he had just managed to outgrow, with Haruhi Suzumiya at the center of it all.
Searching for a group that interests her, Haruhi joins and quits every club in school finding only dissatisfaction. Kyon makes a snide remark about her actions and accidentally provides Haruhi the inspiration to create a club of her own. To help start the club, Haruhi forcefully drafts Kyon, who only stays in the club to protect (or try to protect) other helpless victims of Haruhi's "voluntary arrests". Then as the story progresses however, Kyon finds that each of these supposedly "helpless victims" has a specific reason to be there.
Except for Kyon, all the students in the club are secret agents of various organizations who are sent to observe Haruhi. They gradually explain that Haruhi has superhuman control over every aspect of the universe - an ability she is unaware of. Whenever Haruhi becomes bored or otherwise dissatisfied with reality, she unconsciously creates a new universe - one more to her liking - and attempts to switch over. This leads to the destruction of the current universe. To prevent this, the members of Haruhi's club spend most of their time trying to keep their god-like leader entertained, hold her powers in check, and maintain the illusion of a normal life. Their adventures often lead to humorous results.
The series never clarifies whether the club members gathered around Haruhi by their own free will, were drawn together by her subconscious, or were simply created out of thin air for Haruhi's amusement. The question of their origin is a motif.