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Author Topic: Suzumiya Haruhi novels  (Read 4644 times)

Offline Ariani

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Suzumiya Haruhi novels
« on: February 20, 2007, 10:11:14 AM »
(Forgive my Haruhi fangirlishness. It'll pass in a couple months, I swear.)

I can tell your site thinks pretty highly of the Suzumiya Haruhi anime. Mostly, I was just wondering what people's impressions of the light novels were like, if any of you have read them?

I don't know if there are any plans for a domestic translation of the novels, but I know that a group has been translating them, with translations available on the web. They aren't completely finished yet, but their a good ways through, and it's actually a very well-done translation. To date, I've read the first two novels, Yuutsu and Tameiki, and have just started the 3rd, Taikutsu. I can't stand reading them on the computer, so I've actually printed them out and bound them together like a small notebook.

The concept of the light novel itself is pretty interesting. I first heard about them while learning about manga culture in Japan. It seems the main purpose of light novels is to get more children/teenagers reading things besides manga by incorperating manga-like artwork and plot into an actual written novel, and indeed, the Haruhi series sees to read just like manga would, just in terms of the style of writing and the way the story is told. In American terms it would probably be considered like a Young Adult novel as far as reading level goes.

That doesn't mean it's a bad read, though. Quite far from it; I've been enjoying the novels immensely. I don't want to spoil anything for those that haven't read them, but the second novel tells the entire story behind the movie production, and now I want to go back and watch the first episode now that I understand how everything works. The first novel tells the main plot of the anime, and it seems like the third novel includes some of the mini-stories, like the baseball episode and the island episodes. The writing is very simplistic, but it works perfectly.

Something I also found interesting is how the novel series is still going on. Apparently the author, Nagaru Tanigawa, wasn't planning on continuing the story past the first book, but he's already published an additional 7 more. This does provide high hopes for the rumors about a second series.

Enough of my rambling, though. Have any of you read these novels, and how far have you gotten? What are your ideas and thoughts on them? Or maybe I'm just crazy...

Offline Shadowmage

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Re: Suzumiya Haruhi novels
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2007, 03:23:43 PM »
First of I all, I must applaud the translators as they managed to carry over the tongue-in-cheek style (I assume) the  original had.

Anyways, the light novels themselves are a small work of genius.  The writing style is fun to read, the humor is very effective, and there is a subtle layer of wit that permeates through the text.  Furthermore, the descriptions are vivid but nonobtrusive.

Haruhi is basically Haruhi.  In both the novel and the anime, she eminates the same charisma and overflowing energy.  However, the narrator, Kyon, is actually funny.  The comedy in the novel plays out like a duet, passing from Haruhi's eccentricities to Kyon's sarcastic comments and back again.

Overall, I think that the books are far superior to the anime.   It may be the chronology, or the comedy, but the light novels clicked with me a heck of a lot better than the anime.

I recommend Mobile Suit, RX-0 and Unicorn from the Unicorn OST.

Offline royal crown

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Re: Suzumiya Haruhi novels
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2007, 04:55:06 PM »
I actually didn't like the Haruhi anime that much. I mean yeah, it was a good anime, but... eh. I figure saying anymore will probably get me killed so I'll leave it at that.

However, the novels (at least, to the point that I've read) are much, much better of a read. In fact, I think that my distaste (for a lack of a better word) of the Haruhi anime was its limitations as a media; I think that the novel allows more flexibility in conveying the narrator's tone and personality more effectively than would an anime. In an anime (with a few notable exceptions) by and large a restriction exists where the inner thoughts of the protagonist or narrator is usually shortened or otherwise compressed for the sake of action or movement.

Animation, unlike a book, has a set limit in time. There's 20 some minutes to work with, and there's no going back and re-reading. Everything that's said must keep the viewer's attention, and by and large a block of narration will be droned out by the viewer, and when action occurs they snap back into focus. And thus is why I find the Haruhi light novels to be more agreeable: they allow more flexibility in terms of narration.

Offline Akira

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Re: Suzumiya Haruhi novels
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2007, 06:26:03 PM »
Man, Yuuutsu took me forever, they call them light novels only because they're small.

It was like 300 page size 8 font.

Ariani, you speak Japanese? @_@;;
I don't have opinions. I have facts.

Offline royal crown

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Re: Suzumiya Haruhi novels
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2007, 07:15:42 PM »
Akira:

Quote from: Ariani
I don't know if there are any plans for a domestic translation of the novels, but I know that a group has been translating them, with translations available on the web. They aren't completely finished yet, but their a good ways through, and it's actually a very well-done translation. To date, I've read the first two novels, Yuutsu and Tameiki, and have just started the 3rd, Taikutsu. I can't stand reading them on the computer, so I've actually printed them out and bound them together like a small notebook.

sounds like she's got the translation.

I have 1-3 on pdf from a download on this forum actually...

Offline Kuma

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Re: Suzumiya Haruhi novels
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2007, 09:41:00 PM »
Quote from: royal crown
I actually didn't like the Haruhi anime that much. I mean yeah, it was a good anime, but... eh. I figure saying anymore will probably get me killed so I'll leave it at that.


*sound of gun cocking*

Offline C0MPL3X

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Re: Suzumiya Haruhi novels
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2007, 01:39:51 AM »
I have read upto the first volume because I don't want to spoil the story for the second season of anime (there is going to be second season right...?). And so far, anime version is in my opinion superior to the novel version. Shadowmage mentions how the descriptions are vivid but I don't remember any particularly descriptive passages with striking details. I don't think reading the passages of Ryouko fighting Yuki was more exciting than watching their surreal battle in anime. The way anime crafted atmosphere using music, camera angles, facial expressions and body gestures were all so well done while I don't think the novel could match it. It had too much dialogues and mere descriptions of what happened. But maybe I need to read more than 1 volume to give it a fair assessment? I don't know, this is just how I value two different works at this point.

Offline Ariani

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Re: Suzumiya Haruhi novels
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2007, 08:32:05 AM »
Both the novels and the anime have their charm. The anime is nice as a visual representation, but thinking about it, I probably do prefer the novels as far as story-telling goes. It somehow holds better as a consise whole, and just seems to go that extra step that teh anime didn't have a chance to do, mostly because of length. On that matter, I must say that I agree with RC on the matter of time limitations.

Or maybe it's just because I'm a reader over a watcher on most things.

The only Japanese I know is American-Otaku Japanese. Things like "ohayo!" and "kawaii~~~" and so forth. I don't actually speak this "Japanese" out loud to anyone. Besides, it's a pain in the ass trying to pronounce all those ~'s.

As far as I'm aware, the second series of Haruhi is still in rumour status. It's yet to be confirmed by anyone to my knowledge, so I won't hold my breath.

Offline C0MPL3X

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Re: Suzumiya Haruhi novels
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2007, 05:35:37 PM »
The book goes extra further in terms of story because it simply has more written than what is shown in anime due to length (as you agree), yet the experience of seeing it animated was much more entertaining than trying to imagine what is happening from mere dialogues and very brief descriptive passages, which I imagine, is fitting for manga readers looking for lighter novels (yes I don't think suzumiya novel is that great, it's good enough to kill time, which anime version does mighty finer job at that).

And I still remain reader over watcher. Very few anime could match the world and characters conjured by greatest books. As proverb goes, 'books write more people than number of books written by people'.

Offline royal crown

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Re: Suzumiya Haruhi novels
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2007, 05:48:16 PM »
Actually, now that I think about it, I don't think an audiobook would be a bad idea at all. Actually, in execution the idea will probably fail, but if they used the anime seiyuu it's good, at least theoretically to me. I think that would add a bit to the frenetic pace the anime tries to get at. Despite this, I actually liked the musings of Kyon moreso than the fast pacing of the anime. Kyon seems, at least to me, more round in this respect, as he tended to become increasingly bothersome as the anime went on, if not solely because he wasn't developed to the degree that I think he could have been...

OK I just realized my ramblings so I'll end it here <.< Anyway, I think an audiobook is fine too.

Offline Shadowmage

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Re: Suzumiya Haruhi novels
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2007, 05:59:48 PM »
By saying "vivid but nonobtrusive," I was trying the enunciate the fact that the light novel managed to spark my imagination without using pages upon pages of descritions.  Yes, the writing never uses a massive concentration of words, but it does adequately express the dichotomy of energy and melancholy the franchise is so revered for.

I recommend Mobile Suit, RX-0 and Unicorn from the Unicorn OST.
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