Title: The Wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya
Author: Nagaru Tanigawa
Release Date: March 30, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
The Wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya is the sixth book in the Haruhi Suzumiya light novel series. Once again, the series goes for multiple short stories instead of a whole arc, as was done before for The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya and The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya.
The first two stories (Live A Live, The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00) are complements to the events of the second book (The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya). That is, they are developed over the Cultural Festival events.
Live A Live shows Kyon’s experiences on the first day of the festival. Instead of watching the film the SOS Brigade made, he instead wanders around, going to get food from Asahina’s class with his friends.
After that, he decides to see the presentation from the pop music club members. To those who watched the anime, this is a very iconic moment. For this portion of the story, Kyoto Animation got the song “God knows…”, which fans of the series are unlikely to forget.
It’s an interesting story to show another side of Haruhi as well. Though she’s usually moved by her own whims without thinking of who she’s gonna cause trouble for, this moment reveals how much she can empathize with other people doing their best.
On the other hand, The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00 is just a detailed description of the movie the SOS Brigade made. It’s fun, but it doesn’t feel very relevant, considering it’s mostly derived from what had already been shown in the original book.
Love At First Sight occurs between The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and the last story of The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya. A few days before the end of the year, Kyon gets a call from a junior high classmate who tells him he’s deeply in love. Despite only knowing him a little, Kyon decides to help the guy. This leads to a few misunderstandings, and we see the SOS Brigade going to an American football game.
Where Did the Cat Go? continues the events of The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya. On the last day of the year, the group is on the winter home of Tsuruya, and it’s time for the murder mystery. It’s a straightforward story with a mystery that’s easy to figure out, and it, unfortunately, doesn’t bring much to the table as far as character development goes. It’s mostly just another minor slice of their lives.
The Melancholy of Mikuru Asahina is the last story in the book and the most recent chronologically. After the winter break is over, Kyon finds a sighing Asahina in the clubroom, and the two go on a kind of date.
Through this story, her character gets a little more developed, which has been in dire need for a while. It shows that there’s more to Mikuru Asahina than being the lovely moeblob of the team and the sadness of her position as a time-traveler.
The Wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya feels like a mundane addition to the plot. It’s fun to see the characters interacting in new situations, but the light consequences make it a forgettable piece of the series. There are teases here and there to allude to more interesting plot points, but we’ll have to see how that developed. However, by itself, The Wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya is a low point of the series.
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