Title: The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya
Author: Nagaru Tanigawa
Release Date: April 20, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya is the seventh book in the Haruhi Suzumiya light novel series. After finally closing the events needed for the fourth book’s time-traveling shenanigans, Kyon can finally start a normal new year. Or at least that’s what he thought.
It couldn’t be farther from the truth, as the volume is a hectic affair. One day, Kyon finds an Asahina from the future in the locker of the SOS Brigade. Instead of the already known mature version, this alternate version of the meek senpai comes from just eight days after.
Worse still, as usual for Asahina, she doesn’t know many details, as they’re classified. She expected Kyon to guide her, but he’s just as puzzled as her by this turn of events. He’ll later get some directions through letters, but all the orders are weird things that seem random.
Now he’ll have to make sure Haruhi and the current-time Asahina don’t get to see the time traveler. The volume dives again on the topic of time paradoxes, how the timeline works, and the impact of seemingly small-scale events.
It is also a clear example of how much the SOS Brigade grew as a group. Everyone has had some form of change since the start of the story. The group’s dealings with the supernatural have come a long way from when Nagato would solve everything by herself.
Though Kyon’s missions are simple, the road ahead has perils he couldn’t anticipate. Some of the previous volumes had teased that other organizations could be after Haruhi Suzumiya. Agents from them show up this time, making their threat concrete.
The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya works as a warning about allegiances and the perils that will come back to haunt the group. The SOS Brigade is composed of individuals that deeply trust each other despite coming from different backgrounds. The conflict of interests could eventually lead them to split up, but they remain steadfast with the friendship they built.
Though Asahina may be the center of the events this time, many other characters participate in intriguing ways. There are even revelations about Tsuruya, a side-character that rarely interacts with the SOS Brigade. Curiously, a few unnamed people are also shown as relevant, one of which comes from a previous story.
It’s a shame the volume has very few illustrations as there are multiple relevant scenes and characters only described through text. Once again, this is a weak point to the series, as it feels like it wastes Noizi Ito’s great art with minor situations, leaving a lot to the reader.
The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya dives a little further into the hidden sides of the story. Besides the main characters, there are multiple organizations behind the scenes, which are now more than just abstract concepts. Introducing them and showcasing the SOS Brigade’s evolution as a group, this volume could be a turning point in the series.
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