Book Review: The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya

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I know that this blog has not been too active, since I am taking a break from Detective Conan (Case Closed), but unfortunately, I, like everyone else, must deal with distractions. Anyway, a while back, I got an ebook from Barnes & Noble. Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

Before the SOS Brigade filmed a movie for the cultural festival, they got tied up in various incidents.

One day, Haruhi, who is bored, announces that the SOS Brigade will be entering an upcoming baseball tournament. However, things become desperate when Koizumi receives word of the appearance of closed space. Now, their team must win their first match, in order to keep the world from ending.

It is time for Tanabata, at least according to Haruhi, and she wants the group to hang up their wishes for Orihime and Hikoboshi.

While practically doing nothing, Mikuru Asahina and Nagato hand Kyon some notes, one of which asks him to wait until everyone leaves.

When he does as instructed, He goes on a trip through time with Mikuru and told by the older Mikuru to help somebody.

Later, The SOS Brigade gets their first client, who wants them to find out what happened to her boyfriend. While Kyon and Haruhi think that this will be a simple issue, things do not seem to be so simple when Koizumi and Nagato notice something strange.

Finally, the SOS brigade goes on a trip to a remote, where most of the members think that they will have a fun and relaxing four days and three nights. However, the fun comes to an end when their host found dead and the prime suspect has fled. Now, Haruhi and the gang must solve the mystery, or let a killer get away.

I am not too sure about this one. This was a bit more interesting in this than the last one. I kind of liked the baseball story. Not much about it caught my eye, but I did like how Haruhi at least listened to Kyon, when he pointed out that their opponents, who had more experience, were crying their eyes out. If Haruhi were a real jerk, which she can be, I do not think that she would have willing forfeited. What had me laughing the most was that their opponents wanted the bat they used, when the opposing found out that the SOS Brigade were dropping out. I guess that they did not know that Nagato removed the special enhancement that was on the bat during the match. While it did happen the anime adaptation too, I found it much funnier here, probably because it was the original source, whereas the anime is not. Speaking of the anime, another nice thing about the baseball story was that a few things made more sense than in the anime counterpart. Although, things are not exactly same between the two versions, Asahina is taken off the field, but in the anime version she is seen watching behind a fence, wheras she is taken to the nurse's office in this book. If I were to take somebody off the field, I would have taken the person to the nurse's office as well. Of course, I guess it kind of makes sense because they actually say that hardballs were used in the practice in this book, but they do not make such a distinction in the anime counterpart. Outside of that, I cannot really think of much else that I liked about the baseball story. I also liked how things were described a bit more in this book. Back in the first book, the only thing that could be used to draw images were the illustrations present, but here, things were described in a bit more detail. That is at least better, but I can see why Japan is better known for its comics and animation than its literature. After all, I have not even heard of the name Edogawa Rampo before seeing Detective Conan (Case Closed), though he is supposedly a famous writer in Japan. The fact that things have a bit more detail and the baseball story makes more sense certainly seems like things have improved.

Although things have improved, there are certainly some issues. First, most of the stories just were not that great that. Even though I found some good with the baseball short, even that was not really that good. I will admit that I am asking for trouble by continuing through this series, when I obviously was not too impressed by two books, but I would definitely like to see more light novels come in ebook format, so I thought I would support it until some of the events of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya are resolved, namely how Kyon saved himself, at least. Still, I just do not see how the first two seasons of the anime did so well, especially when novels have not been looking that much better. The biggest complaint about this book though is the last story. It seemed to start out somewhat interesting, but it all just turned disappointing, which I would expect, since this series obviously is not aimed at those interested in the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres. Things seem to be a bit entertaining for bit, but once the murder case crops up, it all just goes downhill. While not every case in works that belong to the detective, mystery, and crime genres is great, I felt like those were much enjoyable that this one. If one thinks that most of the cases in Detective Conan (Case Closed) is obvious, I suggest one take a look at this murder case. Ever since beginning of the case, I had the feeling that this was all staged. Even if such were the case, I, having read various books or stories in those three genres, expect it to not be as obvious as it is here. At least, things in Detective Conan (Case Closed) episode 43 (Japanese count) were not this obvious. I am not so sure about the rest of you out there, but I think even things that are a parody on the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres should not be obvious and they should be interesting, just like I expect the works that actually belong to those genres to be. Here, however, I get the opposite. Outside of that, there were the usual issues present in light novels, such as grammar and other things, but as they were hardly noticeable and what could be seen was probably intentional in the Japanese release, as far as searching around brought up, I cannot really find anything else that I did not like. The fact that most of the stories were not that interesting, as well as the fact that the last story was too obvious for my liking, seemed to ruin much of the enjoyment.

Despite the fact that things have improved a bit, the fact that most of the stories seemed dull almost made this a waste of time. I would only recommend this to fans of Haruhi. As for everyone else, especially fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction, I recommend skipping this.

What are your thoughts on The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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