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Beware the Creeper!

Iain's life as a psychotic crimefighter

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The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

This is a popular Anime series from last year, that I wanted to check out because of the wikipedia entry (which I'm not linking to as it contains massive spoilers.)

I'd heard of flash mobs doing the dance in the end credits so I was curious as to how an anime I'd never heard of could have such an impact on popular culture so quickly.

Now I know.

I finally watched three episodes yesterday with Gerard (one of the most jaded animation fans I know) and - ohmigod - this was something that actually made us laugh. Out loud. A lot.

The basic set up is a high school comedy. The narrator, Kyon, is a cynical motiveless student who gets caught up in the plans of the eponymous Haruhi Suzumiya - a new (female) student who has declared no interest in humans but appears to be actively looking for aliens, time travellers and espers.

Which she doesn't find (not in the episodes so far). What she does do is set up her own club to investigate mysteries (which don't show up, not so far.)

So what we have is what seems to be a set up for a bizarre fantasy/science fiction show with lots of fanservice (Haruhi recruits a club member specifically for this purpose) but is more a commentary on such shows. Instead of being straight out bizarre, it's incredibly realistic with fairly natural dialogue and situations, except for Haruhi who is completely shameless.

It reminded me so much of a relationship I once had.

The first episode we saw (episode zero) is nothing like the other episodes we've seen so far - it's almost like a fan film of the show with a completely jaded and cynical narration that comes (we find) from Kyon. It was hysterical, and is worth seeing for anyone who has spent time in a convention video room.

It reminded me strongly of "Hot Fuzz" - parodying a genre whilst retaining a strong internal reality and consistancy rather than breaking it purely for gags (though that's what Episode zero would have you believe, even though it's revealed to something  quite different at the end.)

On the surface, it's a kid's anime, but there's a maturity to the writing (which is extremely witty and ironic) which was refreshing. It's no surprise to find out it's actually an adaptation of a popular series of novels in Japan. The best analogy I can think of is it's like a high school anime written by Kurt Vonnegut Jnr (rest his soul).

I can't wait to see the rest of it. If you get the chance to see it (even if it's just episode zero) take it, and hopefully you'll have the same kind of pleasant surprise I did.

kalentureand iwoolf- you definitely need to see this. I will make suitable arrangements.

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but appears to be actively looking for aliens, time travellers and espers.

well, you know, what woman isn't?

Seen Survive Style 5+ yet?

gave to Rob for him to watch with you. You should appreciate the set design alone.

Also the frocks.

(ahhhh... nevermind.)

we are *so* behind with our watching! Will check it out.

Just posted the trailer (though not my favourite one.)

Life on Mars starts on Sunday. Yay!

I love that show so much

Cool! Peter showed me Puni Puni Poemy a fortnight ago, from the director of Excel Saga. Very funny stuff, and banned in New Zealand.

BTW, if you are using the Firefox browser, the Ook? Video add-on is a convenient way to download Youtube or other embedded videos to watch on your TV or favourite device. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2584

I've got to stress this is nothing like Excel Saga except for its commentary on anime types.

It's hard to explain (the best thing I can think of is that Haruhi behaves as if she's in an anime, and all the other characters behave as if they're in the real world. Kind of.)

I would like to see Puni Puni Poemy - also the notorious last episode of Excel Saga.

Maybe an anime day's in order when Peter gets back.

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