Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Thoughts: The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya

The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya

by Nagaru Tanigawa
Book 7 of Haruhi Suzumiya

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  3.5 Stars

After closing a time loop fiasco in The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (Vol. 5), our hero Kyon is ready to start a new year with a blank slate--no time travel, no apocalyptic worries, and maybe some actual peace and quiet with the SOS Brigade, a club comprised of his high school's most extraordinary students.  Their leader is Haruhi, a bold, brash girl who doesn't realize that she's actually a powerful goddess whose moods can easily change the balance of the universe.

Just as Kyon starts to get comfortable, he gets a visit from his friend Mikuru.  Except this isn't his Mikuru; it's a Mikuru from eight days in the future!  Time traveling shenanigans start all over again as Kyon, guided by the future Mikuru, attempts to stop a terrible future from becoming a reality.

It took a bit of time for me to recall a lot of events in previous books as I read Intrigues; and the only reason I felt a bit annoyed with myself was that I know, going into each book of the Haruhi Suzumiya universe that they are all tied together quite intricately, and sometimes quite cleverly.  But you really don't catch that cleverness until the very end of the book when all the confusing chaos somehow manages to interconnect, leaving you a little exasperated, but also a bit impressed at the same time.

Haruhi Suzumiya isn't the best light novel out there, and in a way, it sometimes takes a bit of patience to get through each book.  They're not terrible, but if you're not into the mundane happenings told through a bored, yet snarky high school boy, these books may not be your cuppa.  The only reason I even got into this light novel series is mainly because I loved the first season of the anime.  But apparently there is a way to be very different in prose and print than in an audio/visual format, to the point that one actually comes out with better comedic timing than the other.


Intrigues was kind of chaotic, in that a lot of things end up happening throughout the book with no clear purpose.  The only thing you realize you count on is finding out that purpose by the end of the book, where maybe one of the sci-fi/supernatural beings will have a "tell all" session with our beloved narrator, Kyon.  Because the entire book is basically just a build up, where Kyon ends up getting roped into some mission for his beloved time traveler, where they go around performing various, strange, yet utterly nonsensical tasks, without being told why.

This is a plot that can get quite frustrating, but all along since they're wondering what all these tasks are for, as the reader, you're also wondering what will be the explanation in the end.  It's like some sort of reverse adventuring game or something like that.  If that even makes any sense.

In the end, what really brings this book to life are always the main characters... as well as some very not-so-subtle ending thoughts soaked in philosophy... or just a lot of mind-meandering from a high school boy that still really makes you think about how time traveling, and past actions, and future actions, and timelines are affected.  Or something like that.

Truth is, these books somehow have the most mundane happenings in any books I've read, for a book about aliens, espers, and time travelers surrounding a strange girl who's always on the move to make the most of her life.  It's weird how things work.

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