The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Vol. 02) – Nagaru Tanigawa (Story), Gaku Tsugano (Art) and Noizi Ito (Characters)
Published by Yen Press
So Kyon is the main character, not the infamous Haruhi? That’s proving to be a relief with how much I came to dislike her as a character in volume one. Here in volume two I remained pretty indifferent towards her, but was happy to see her smile for a change and stop being a jerk for two seconds. The majority of the volume has Kyon dealing with the explanation, and subsequent proof, that Haruhi Suzumiya may in fact be a God of this world, subconsciously moulding it to her every whim. In her quest to discover a more interesting life, the theory is that she’s the one who caused her SOS Brigade’s particular members to gather, thus far including a time traveller, space alien and a psychic who’s part of a group of like-powered Espers battling monster-like manifestations of Haruhi’s frustrations.
Throughout all of this, Kyon is pretty laid back about it. Rightfully freaked at some moments but ultimately proving the perfect character to deal with these arising situations. Kyon’s biggest concern now is Haruhi since it’s a little offsetting know the emotions of a teenage girl could accidentally destroy the world. Score one for a cool main character who’s just a guy. I hope the focus remains on him with Haruhi remaining a relevant sideline character over stage-hog as fans of the anime had me believing she was.
The whole story flows considerably better here in the second volume than the first, allowing it to well escape the chunky curse adaptations tend to fall victim to. Even the artwork looks a little crisper as the artist seems to be more comfortable with the small cast of characters after drawing them for an entire book’s worth. Their work on the front cover proves a prime example of why so many still believe anime is nothing but awkwardly proportioned big-eyed maid girls with huge boobs.
Having never seen the anime or read the original book, I can’t say how this manga adaptation will be to existing fans of the franchise. However, as someone reading The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya for the first time in this format, I can say that any who were like me and on the fence after volume one should definitely stick around to give at least volume two a try. It’s a much better read in near all-regards than the first and I’m honestly looking forward to volume three.