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The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Haruhi Suzumiya, #1)
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message 1: by Selena (last edited Jul 19, 2015 03:20PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
Haruhi holds the fate of the universe in her hands... lucky for you she doesn't know it!

Meet Haruhi - a cute, determined girl, starting high school in a city where nothing exciting happens and absolutely no one understands her.

Meet Kyon ­­- the sarcastic guy who sits behind Haruhi in homeroom and the only boy Haruhi has ever opened up to. His fate is now tied to hers.

Meet the S.O.S. Brigade - an after-school club organized by Haruhi with a mission to seek out the extraordinary. Oh, and their second mission? Keeping Haruhi happy... because even though she doesn't know it, Haruhi has the power to destroy the universe. Seriously.

Discuss The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya here!

Reading Schedule
6/7-6/13 Prologue & Chapter 1
6/14-6/20 Chapter 2
6/21-6/27 Chapter 3 & 4
6/28-7/4 Chapter 5
7/5-7/11 Chapter 6
7/12-7/18 Chapter 7 & Epilogue


Mike | 145 comments The anime (well the first season anyway) was quite good. Looking forward to checking out the source material.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
It should be interesting. I'm going in knowing nothing more than a few silly fan jokes about the series ("Haruhi-ism", "Moe Moe Rebellion"...) and having only ever seen the first episode.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
So I just started reading this last night.

So far so good. I like the writing style, even if I wish that Kyon would actually talk more. Seems like he just quietly observes more than anything at the moment.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
I look forward to discussing with you, Neko. :)

Finished the first chapter last night. I'm enjoying it so far. I think this is going to end badly for Kyon somehow lol.

This reminds me a bit of Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime as far as our main characters go. You've got the gung ho female character and the "wants a normal life" guy. The difference is that the guy walked right into this rather than getting dragged in lol


Heather (cagalli1543) | 3 comments I read this when it first came out and it was great!


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "I read this when it first came out and it was great!"

Care to join us for a reread then? :)


Mike | 145 comments Finished chapter 1: Interesting to go through this having seen the anime first. It has the same feel, which is impressive (on the part of the anime of course, since this came first).

The writing style is a mix for me. It's a bit perfunctory to the point where I'm a bit to aware of it and it breaks the immersion a little, but every page or so there's a fantastic line or description that pulls me right back in.

Enjoying this so far. Knowing where things are going is actually raising my anticipation here, which isn't always the case.


Mike | 145 comments Will be interesting to see the reactions of everyone unfamiliar with the story. I'm also curious to see how certain things that dropped my jaw in the anime are presented here.

Neko wrote: "I looked up that novel because the title sounded so very interesting. It is now on my to-read shelf. :) "

Awesome! The Book Girl series is fantastic.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
@ Mike: (view spoiler)


message 11: by Mike (last edited Jun 16, 2015 05:26PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mike | 145 comments Selena wrote: "@ Mike: [spoilers removed]"

(view spoiler)


message 12: by Mike (last edited Jun 18, 2015 07:56PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mike | 145 comments Read chapter 3: And here's where things get really interesting. (view spoiler)

And chapter 4: (view spoiler)

I'm enjoying going through this story again, and it's holding up against the anime very well. We're starting to see moments I've been waiting for and I'm excited for the next chapter.


message 13: by Mike (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mike | 145 comments Nagato is fantastic. :)

A fair way through chapter 5 - another big moment I was waiting for has happened, and it was done very well here. It almost has as much impact as it did in the anime.


message 14: by Fanta (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments I borrowed the book in the library today and just finished from chapter 1 to 5. Chapter 5 surprised me because I thought this was just an ordinary comical novel. I think the atmosphere changed very much. I'm looking forward to left chapters.

I have some questions by chapter 5.
I'm reading a Japanese version. Kyon's narration is very broken spoken Japanese. Does English versions have same tone?
What did Kyon's sister call him before she called "Kyon"? The Japanese version said it was "Oniichan (brother)" but I know people don't say such words "brother" or "sister" in English when they call their brother or sister.
And, Haruhi said Mikuru is "Moe" when she took her to their club's room for the first time and when she dressed her in a maid's costume. How did English versions explain "Moe"?


message 15: by Mike (last edited Jun 28, 2015 12:28PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mike | 145 comments Glad you're enjoying it! Chapter 5 definitely shakes things up, and those events floored me when I watched the anime.

For your questions:
Pretty much. He uses a lot of sentence fragments and the narration is straightforward. Nothing sounds too awkward though. Interesting to hear the broken language in the Japanese too, because it wasn't clear at all when reading if it was fully supposed to be that way or a choice of the translator.

Kyon says at one point he wishes she would call him "big brother," which isn't too out of the ordinary in English. "Bro" or "sis" as nicknames would be more common though.

They use "moe" but put it in italics to emphasize it's not an English word. The first time Haruhi says it she says "moe, you know, turn-ons." I suppose that's close enough for most readers to get the idea.


message 16: by Fanta (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments Thank you for your answering!

Mike wrote: "He uses a lot of sentence fragments"
This is interesting. We have same tone but books' styles are different. In Japanese versions, he tends to connect sentences a lot rather than uses sentence fragments, so his one sentence tends to be long.

And I didn't know "turn on" in that usage. It means like "attractive and sexy", doesn't it? The word may be perfectly suitable.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
Fanta wrote: "Thank you for your answering!

Mike wrote: "He uses a lot of sentence fragments"
This is interesting. We have same tone but books' styles are different. In Japanese versions, he tends to connect se..."


In English, if you ask 10 anime fans what "moe" means, you'll get 12 different definitions (I wish I were joking).

One way I've heard it explained in terms of anime is "cute, usually underage or underage-looking girls who are meant to be turn ons for aging male anime fans." I've also heard it explained as "cute and baby-ish" as well as "childish but sexy" and many others. One day I'd love to go around a convention and ask what everyone thinks "moe" actually means. XD

So for the English usage of "moe," turn on is fairly accurate.


message 18: by Fanta (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments I understand you. In Japanese, if you ask 10 otakus, you may get 20, I think. :)
And I glanced at Wikipedia and then this author seemed to say (at the heading "Sexual attraction"):

In a light novel by Nagaru Tanigawa, one of the characters mention that the distinction between moe and pure eroticism can be made based on whether one can still maintain feelings of affection even after one has indulged in masturbation.

However, recently we don't often hear moe.


Why is the title Melancholy? I guess it's because Haruhi wants something strange to happen but she never notice they already happened around her.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
I'm not sure why they use Melancholy. Parker, the other group mod, might know since he knows a lot about this series. Maybe if he pops in this thread one of these days, he can answer. :P

I just finished chapter 5. I was not expecting anything to actually happen. I figured it'd just be Haruhi dragging them around.


message 20: by Mike (last edited Jul 04, 2015 11:57AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mike | 145 comments Selena wrote: " I just finished chapter 5. I was not expecting anything to actually happen. I figured it'd just be Haruhi dragging them around. "

Same here on first viewing. Chapter 5 spoilers: (view spoiler)

Fanta wrote: "Why is the title Melancholy? I guess it's because Haruhi wants something strange to happen but she never notice they already happened around her."

This is essentially it. Her increasing dissatisfaction with normal life (and the accompanying feelings of melancholy) drive most of the events in this book.


message 21: by Fanta (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments Finished chapter 6. I wonder how the story would end. Maybe given Mikuru's referring to Snow White and the illustration on the beginning of the book (Are there these illustrations on English versions? Most of Light Novels have illustrations on the beginning to introduce the whole story), I guess that giant would appear in the real world and then Kyon would kiss Haruhi and remove the giant. Happy ending. :)


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
Fanta wrote: "Are there these illustrations on English versions?"

There are, but since my copy is one of the first LNs published in English, the color illustrations are at the end of the book than in the beginning like the original. Probably to prevent spoilers or something.


message 23: by Fanta (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments Selena wrote: "Fanta wrote: " the color illustrations are at the end of the book than in the beginning like the original. Probably to prevent spoilers or something. "

On the other hand, in Japanese the reason they're at the beginning could be that those who read LNs tend to decide whether they buy them or not after seeing the illustrations.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
Fanta wrote: "On the other hand, in Japanese the reason they're at the beginning could be that those who read LNs tend to decide whether they buy them or not after seeing the illustrations."

That would make sense. Those images strike me as teasers, especially with the quotes and such on them.


message 25: by Fanta (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments Finished. It's like adolescence.
Why does Haruhi like Kyon? Is he first one who noticed her hair style?


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
Fanta wrote: "Finished. It's like adolescence.
Why does Haruhi like Kyon? Is he first one who noticed her hair style?"


I'm thinking because he's the first person who just sort of rolled with her weirdness. He didn't try to avoid her or change her (I'm willing to bet all the guys who asked her out did). He might have thought she was weird and said so, but it wasn't in a mean or "You have to change this" kind of way.

Or if you want a slightly more disturbing idea, maybe Haruhi created Kyon for the explicit purpose of being liked by her.


message 27: by Fanta (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments Selena wrote: "I'm thinking because he's the first person who just sort of rolled with her weirdness. He didn't try to avoid her or change her (I'm willing to bet all the guys who asked her out did). He might have thought she was weird and said so, but it wasn't in a mean or "You have to change this" kind of way."

It could be. He wants strangeness too, so he could let her do as she likes.

This cover is different from Japanese original one. I heard it was because they aimed at girls not only anime fans. Do they like this book? Are they more interested in sex, drugs, and violence that this book doesn't have?


message 28: by Selena (last edited Jul 12, 2015 12:37PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
The difference in covers was a misguided attempt by publishers to entice non-anime fans with light novels.

When they did Suzumiya, plain covers like that were big, so they went with the trend. You can see the "let's make covers for non-anime fans" in the original Spice and Wolf and in the Kieli covers as well (GR doesn't have the original cover for Spice & Wolf anymore up, I don't think). The marketing didn't work, since LNs were shelved with the manga anyway and not with general teen fiction, and fans kind of threw a fit about the changes, so they went back to the Japanese covers after a while. Companies still sometimes do adjustments to the covers (image size, colors, etc) but they don't make an entirely different cover anymore.

For those curious, I put comparisons of the two covers I mentioned above in the spoiler tag below so they won't take over the page.

(view spoiler)


message 29: by Fanta (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments I feel like recently they don't change covers. I wonder if they noticed it was better that they pushed LNs to manga and anime fans.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
Anime has become more mainstream over the years, which helps.

I think the real reason is that bookstores only ever shelve the light novels with the manga, where non-fans don't browse. It's cheaper to just reproduce the cover rather than hire an artist to make up a new one, too. Plus, it makes the fans, who are the only ones buying this stuff anyway, happy.


message 31: by Fanta (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments Do you think non-fans would buy Haruhi if it were shelved with general books or general teen fiction? As for in Japan, I think it's difficult because the story still looks like manga's one (especially otaku's) for me even if it were shelved with other books or its cover were changed. If the story was translated to other language, it could give a different impression.


message 32: by Mike (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mike | 145 comments Personally I think Haruhi is a little too odd and would disappoint YA readers who gave it a shot. It really does "belong" with manga/anime, as you implied. Kieli or even Spice and Wolf might have done ok with non-fans given the cover switches if they had been shelved elsewhere. Their sci-fi and high-fantasy touches would have helped, where both Haruhi's school beginning and eventual twists would have worked against it.


message 33: by Fanta (last edited Jul 13, 2015 05:19AM) (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments Mike wrote: "Kieli or even Spice and Wolf might have done ok with non-fans given the cover switches if they had been shelved elsewhere."

Can't publishers ask bookstores to shelve them in other place? Is it difficult? :)
Also in Japan, translated books are on shelves of "Translated Books (Overseas Authors)" no matter what their genres are, except for something very famous like Harry Potter.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
Wow, you have far more faith in humanity than I do, Mike.

I don't think any of the above would have done well shelved with other YA. Too much plot, not enough hokey romance, and the female characters have far too much personality.

I don't know too much about how bookstores decide to shelve things. I would assume that part of the shelving LNs with the manga is because bookstores either don't know or don't care that their is a difference between LNs and manga.

Translated books in the US (at least in my experience) are shelved with like books. So a German fantasy novel will be shelved in fantasy. LNs are the exception, pretty much.


message 35: by Fanta (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments Neko wrote: "In relation to why the first book is called "Melancholy," my guess would be that it's in relation to her disappointment at not discovering the unusual, supernatural/alien things that she is so passionately seeking. Could also relate to her feelings of being eccentric and more of an outsider than everyone else. She gets very easily bored and that can get very depressing at times. Sorry for the long reply. "

From other series' titles, I guess she could find and enjoy her strange days after vol. 3.
Vol. 2 is "The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya" and vol. 3 is "The Borden", but she doesn't get bored from vol. 4.


Kenchiin Ok, I've the whole book from start to end without a single pause, lol.

Some comments

(view spoiler)

Sorry for not joining before, but I can't really read 'slow', especially if I love what I'm reading, lol. Reading Haruhi in a month was not an option :P


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
@ Kenchiin - I don't think any of that needed to be in a spoiler tag, lol

Yeah, ever since Tokyopop STOPPED doing light novels, the average quality of light novels has skyrocketed. :)


Kenchiin I used the spoiler tag just in case :P

LOL! Indeed, Tokyopop's translations (at least most of them) were horrible. I remember some awful mis-translations that still make my eyes hurt.

Yen Press is doing a great work so far, not only with Haruhi, but also with several series (manga or LN).


message 39: by Fanta (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments I'm interested in how horrible they were because I'm translating my work now too. Don't their text make sense? Is the rhythm bad? Do they have many grammatical errors? I wonder why it happened though maybe professional translators did it.


message 40: by Selena (last edited Jul 19, 2015 03:19PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
Fanta wrote: "I'm interested in how horrible they were because I'm translating my work now too. Don't their text make sense? Is the rhythm bad? Do they have many grammatical errors? I wonder why it happened thou..."

Tokyopop did stupid things in translations. Grammatically, they weren't bad, but sometimes translations weren't accurate, or they changed image placement, or... or they do what they did to Kino no Tabi and rearrange all the chapters.

Translating is a tricky business, and by the end, Tokyopop didn't have the translator or editing talent to be able to keep it up anymore.


message 41: by Fanta (new)

Fanta Miste | 473 comments I see. There's the person who comments on character's gender. It's interesting.


Kenchiin For the record, they ruined Ikkitousen's manga adaptation, renaming it Battle Vixens (What the...?) and modifying several dialogues to reflect and 'more US-style' slang. You can imagine the rest... lol

Long live to Yen Press :)


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1506 comments Mod
Kenchiin wrote: "For the record, they ruined Ikkitousen's manga adaptation, renaming it Battle Vixens (What the...?) and modifying several dialogues to reflect and 'more US-style' slang. You can imagine the rest......"

I don't think I ever read the Ikkitousen manga. Probably because it was called Battle Vixens or something. XD

Viz did a fairly good job with the handful of LNs they translated.


message 44: by Terrence (last edited Dec 16, 2017 10:09PM) (new) - added it

Terrence (grnkrby) | 347 comments I just started the first novel, and came upon this.

"As soon as I asked, Haruhi looked at me like I was retarded"

The R word is definitely not a line that would be used in today's translation I think.

Enjoying the first person perspective, though the speaker has a tendency to spoil things since he's looking back on his time with Haruhi.

I am curious about her using the word "totally". Is she supposed to be Gal (Gyaru) like? Obviously she exhibits Chuuni personality too.


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