Title: The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya
Author: Nagaru Tanigawa
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya is the third visual novel in the Haruhi Suzumiya series. It includes a collection of four stories between books 1 (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) and 2 (The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya). Those are all covered in the anime, and the original story shows a little more of Kyon’s personality and his thoughts on the whims of Haruhi.
As the name of the book implies, Haruhi is feeling bored. Without anything specific in mind, she decides to get involved in a lot of activities. And that means the SOS Brigade members will be the ones dealing with whatever fun thing she wants to do, much to the dismay of Kyon.
The first story is about a local baseball tournament. After randomly getting some flyers, Haruhi decides the SOS Brigade should try to win it. Though the SOS Brigade is only a four-people group, she leaves it to Kyon and the other members to recruit more players.
The second story is Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, which covers the group putting together a small celebration for Tanabata. Though it begins as a simple affair, this story is one of my personal favorites, showing a little of Haruhi’s past and how Kyon influences her.
On Mysterique Sign, the SOS Brigade symbol is created by Haruhi, but Kyon faces a few programming issues because of it. As he’s trying to fix that, the clubroom gets its first visitor, a girl from the second year who wants their help looking for her missing boyfriend.
The final story is Remote Island Syndrome, which is also the largest in the collection. It starts with the death of an unknown character in an island manor. After the shocking event, it proceeds to explain how the SOS Brigade got involved with that mess.
All these stories are good examples of the general gist of the Haruhi Suzumiya series. The scenarios begin as small events that could be a slice-of-life moment for other works. However, they are twisted with supernatural and sci-fi elements that turn them into something extraordinary that the group has to deal with.
The division in specific arcs gives the entire novel a good variety as each story is flashed out. The volume is a great example of what the daily life in the SOS Brigade is like. Kyon isn’t exaggerating when he feels Haruhi is a natural disaster dragging them into ridiculous scenarios when she’s bored.
However, his grumpy attitude, interest in Asahina, and general personality traits make him an unreliable narrator. It’s easy to notice that he’s getting used to the uncommon events despite him being constantly annoyed.
Thanks to Noizi Ito, there are also a few clean arts among the text to show what’s going on in the story. These are mostly character arts, but they also provide a small view into a few of the book’s events. It doesn’t cover some of the most interesting bits of the story, though.
Overall, The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya is another good read from the series. The book is well fleshed-out with four side-stories and provides interesting insights on the usual sci-fi and supernatural natures of the story.
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