【Novel】涼宮ハルヒの溜息 / The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya

More like The Sigh of polymetrica, which was my reaction while and after reading. This will also be the last novel review for a long while, I believe.

Title: 涼宮ハルヒの溜息 (Suzumiya Haruhi no Tameiki) / The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya
Author: 谷川流 (TANIGAWA Nagaru)
English Translator: Chris Pai
Illustrator: いとうのいぢ (ITO Noizi)
Volume: 2nd
Genre: Light Novel (Comedy, Supernatural, High School)
Status: Ongoing, currently at 9 volumes. Volumes 1 and 2 published in English by Little, Brown and Company and Yen Press.
My Rating: 5/10

Summary: The SOS Brigade, under the directorship of Haruhi, makes a movie to screen at the school Cultural Festival. Tsuruya makes her debut in this volume.

Review: I disliked this volume even more than the first one, as it was not only infuriatingly mediocre, it was immature and just not fun to read. The entire thing was about Haruhi being her usual bossy self and getting people to do things with little to no direction, and the others trying to accomodate her demands to the best of their ability. I found it pretty overboard that she’s torturing Asahina like that, and congrats to Tanigawa for making the reader have sympathy for Asahina, but for me, it was temporary in that it wore out in the middle, and I also thought that the events that happened to evoke pity for Asahina were overdone and really repetitive. After my sympathy was depleted, I turned to disliking Haruhi even more since she continued to be unreasonable, unproductive, and just annoying. Another reason as to why I didn’t sympathize with Asahina anymore was because Kyon was kind of reeling in her suffering, making typical male teenager remarks like how cute her squeal is, or how even her scared face was adorable. There were some saving graces in this book, though, and those would be Kyon’s frustration with Haruhi (whose feelings echoed my own), and Nagato’s uh, action scenes.

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As in the first book, Sigh is also narrated by Kyon, who makes a lot of snide, sarcastic, and almost petty comments throughout the observation of events around him. I usually enjoyed his remarks, but it sometimes got in the way of understanding the events, and especially a certain heavy explanation given by Koizumi. The explanation was supposed to confuse the reader (and Kyon), but I wanted to actually understand it before moving on, and read it about 3 times to understand it. In order to do so, I had to ignore reading Kyon’s intrusive and distracting comments to make sense of it, and thankfully, the explanation actually ended up making sense.

All in all, I did not like this book in the least, and it felt like it would never end while I was reading it. Rest assured, I personally will not be reading the other books in this series, but I think that Haruhi fans who haven’t read the novels yet will want to give this a try, for both comparison purposes and to see if the original is to your tastes as well. I don’t recommend reading this second volume if you didn’t enjoy the first one, though, because this one is not of the same quality.

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Packaging: The paperback version uses a graphical cover instead of the cover illustration and layout of the original Japanese version. There are 5 pages of glossy paper in the book, and the rest is printed in black and white on the same kind of yellowish paper as the first volume. The colour pages at the back include the original cover illustration, again in a severed form with feet beside the head, and illustrations of scenes from the book with lines from the scenes depicted. Unlike the first volume, there are no ads or manga previews. The whole book consists of the book’s contents and nothing else. The size of this book is about 1.5cm taller than a standard DVD case, and approximately 0.2cm wider.