Title: The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya
Author: Nagaru Tanigawa
Release Date: March 30, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya is the fifth book in the Haruhi Suzumiya light novel series. As with The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya, it covers multiple smaller events instead of having a more specific focus.
This time, there are three stories: Endless Eight, The Day of Sagittarius, and Snowy Mountain Syndrome. These arcs occur at very different times, featuring small preludes that contextualize them to a specific season.
Out of the three, Endless Eight should be easily recognized by fans of the series as this was the most controversial part of the anime. Simply put, it is the story of an infinite loop that the SOS Brigade is stuck on. In the anime, Kyoto Animation decided to make it into an 8-episode arc in which every episode had subtle differences until the last one provided the twist to end it all.
Though I have no issues with the anime version, it’s clear that the book has a much more straightforward approach. By only mentioning the mindless repetition of the events, the novel offers a palatable story for the reader.
The Day of Sagittarius covers the rematch battle between the SOS Brigade and the school’s computer society. When establishing her group, Suzumiya had caused a big uproar in their club, as shown in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and now they want revenge.
To challenge the energetic leader, they bring over a game. More specifically, the two groups will have a match dispute using an online RTS game focused on spaceship battles and developed by the computer club.
Always up for a challenge, Suzumiya is eager to show them their place. It’s a nice change of pace, mostly a fun story that doesn’t significantly impact the more serious narratives. Instead of the usual supernatural outcomes, it instead delves into character development.
Together with Endless Eight, those two arcs are interesting expansions to the story, especially considering the previous volume. They show the gradual change to the disposition of the SOS Brigade members and feel particularly impactful to Yuki Nagato’s character.
The third story takes place after The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. It’s also a throwback to Remote Island Syndrome from The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya, as the characters go to a lodge in a snowy mountain.
Though everyone is ready for a murder mystery this time, the story goes in another direction. Once again, the group is forced to deal with an insane supernatural situation after a blizzard hits. This is the longest short story so far, and it’s a great follow-up to the previous book. It shows how Nagato and Kyon evolved, and thanks to the other arcs available in this volume, there’s a clear sense of progress for them.
Besides the story, it’s important to note that Noizi Ito’s illustrations are some of the most interesting in this release. The art is more dynamic than the majority of previous volumes’, depicting the important events more often than the mundane character pictures that were more common before.
The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya is an impressive complementary work to the previous entry. It helps put into perspective the series’ character development with three stories that happen at different times but make the evolution of Kyon and Nagato crystal clear.
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