October 18, 2008

God...What a Beeotch

For the last 2 years, there has been one show that has exceeded all others in hype, discussion and adoration. It's alleged to be one of those "important" shows that in some ways marked a sort demarcation point in the history of fandom. Most distressingly, it is a show I had seen but one random episode of.

   Well, last night, I finally watched episodes zero, one and two of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumia.

 The buzz surrounding this show was actually a bit offputting,  with some  fans of the show giving the sort of coercive and evangelical salesmanship that leads one to believe that a negative response will be met by violence.
It is by all accounts an interesting show, and I had been looking forward to seeing it.
One of the reasons for my delay is that I was informed that it was exceedingly important to watch the show in broadcast order as opposed to actual episodic order.
The show was initially broadcast deliberately out of order and that is said to be important to the pacing of the story. Of course the broadcast order set is the delux set...and is expensive.

Last night my friend Allan announced that he'd watched it, enjoyed it and offered to show it to me...so I said "Screw it!" and we watched the show beginning with episode zero.....

My first impression was..."Lord what awful voice acting!" This is one of the worst dubs ever! Switch the audio!  

(Then I got the joke that is episode 0.)

Episode zero aside, three episodes in, the English dub is actually quite good. Wendee Lee  gives a great performance as the manic and bombastic Haruhi.

The show has unusually high production values. It is also unusual in other ways.

Haruhi Suzumia is bored...completely...utterly...bored. She despairs of her banal existence and wants desperately to do interesting and unusual things and by golly she is going to try to make said things happen!
This is, on the surface, a really cool character trait and certainly should be an excellent start for anything.
Unfortunately, Haruhi is not a particularly good person, in fact she is a borderline sociopath.

Haruhi is, you see, one of those obnoxious, pushy, psychobitch fangirls many of us have had the misfortune of encountering over the years, the manipulative narcissistic female bully to whom all people she encounters are nothing but disposable red-shirt bit players in the glorious Mary Sue story that she believes her life must be.  Unfettered with any ethical inhibitions and adept at avoiding any serious sanctions for her increasingly bizarre actions, Haruhi collects a likable but hapless band of  bit players through intimidation and kidnapping to join her highschool club ( the SOS Brigade) and help her achieve a state of not-boredom......



...beginning with Kyon, who has the painful misfortune of being seated ahead of her in homeroom, and who made the mistake of engaging this loon in a conversation....which to his considerable detriment did not bore her.

Kyon is quickly joined on the path to hell by one Yuki Nagato, a painfully shy, and rather odd girl . She is a very intelligent and highly literate girl who is...bookish...and glasses...and  and is....Umm...glasses and ...smart..and...I  she is......I...I....



... I'm back

Wait what?

Oh yeah...Mikuru Asahina is a quiet, and introverted young lady who was...ahem.. ...recruited...for the school club by Haruhi in part because of her ample bosom and all round Moe' vibe...  because, you see,  all leading ladies need a bimbo to act as their foils. Ms. Asahina is not actually stupid and is in fact a very decent person, but she is introverted and rather overwhelmed by Haruhis bullying.


It should be pointed out at this time that Mikuru Asahina doesn't generally dress like this and rarely ever shoots badly shopped beams out of her eyes.

There is no way the show could possibly live up to its hype, but it is in fact quite interesting, if a bit creepy.  How creepy? Well, watch this 2 minute clip...




This isn't escapism...or a sitcom....it's EEOC hell!
This girl is not precocious...she is evil.

Our three heroes....protagonists are caught in a vortex of whiteknuckle stress and high school peril as they watch the inevitable trainwreck that is Haruhi's  club...from the perilous vantage point of the train itself.

We viewers, of course can watch the trainwreck from the safety of our couch.

This show is more than a little schizo, but it has an exceedingly interesting set of characters and a story that is developing in rather surprising ways. Despite the exceedingly unlikeable title character, it has certainly gained and kept my interest at 3 episodes in.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 04:49 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1

Which version (i.e. which order) are you watching? The broadcast order or the chronological order?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sat Oct 18 19:05:45 2008 (+rSRq)

2 Chronological order.
(It's not my set.)
I've seen 0-2. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sat Oct 18 19:30:24 2008 (V5zw/)

3 Well, it is a temptation to give you tantalizing hints about what's coming, but it would be wrong. I look forward to further reports as you continue with the series.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sun Oct 19 00:31:33 2008 (+rSRq)

4 Keep watching! It's far more terrifying than you think it is!

Posted by: pulpjunkie at Mon Oct 20 14:30:08 2008 (WNrir)

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