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Haruhi Suzumiya back to reviews
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It's pretty good - just ignore the Fan Dumb.
Ok, so you've seen the two or three nega-reviews below this (or are going to have seen, whatever). Maybe you're wondering, if these noted critics think it so bad, why does it have so many fans? And the simple answer is, because it's good.

It's not good to everybody though, obviously, otherwise the people below wouldn't have negareviewed it. I'm not going to suggest that they just didn't get it, or that True Art Is Incomprehensible. I agree though with many others that Fan Dumb has absolutely ruined people's expectations - it's not the second coming of Christ, it's just a pretty good anime. So ignore the Fan Dumb. I came into it hearing, basically, "This anime is nice", and that was about it - the rest hooks itself.

Everybody's complaining about the Anachronic Order. They say that it's horribly confusing. That's the point. And if you don't like it that way, just watch it in Chronological order (everybody is right about that bloody homemade movie though).

But the true reason to watch Haruhi, in my opinion, is the Genre Busting. Is this a shoujo romance, a shonen action show, a mystery thing, or some slice-of-life? It's all and neither. It's a story, a story that treats viewers like people, not morons; a story that is only meaningless if you only take it at face value. A story about a baseball game? Well, it must only about a baseball game! Never mind Character Development in the actions and reactions of people, what they ask, what they think. Subverted Tropes abound, the animation is pretty damn high quality, and one of the most Deadpan Snarker narrators ever to grace the tiny tiny screen (I don't think I even remember an anime with a single consistent narrator).

So if you're looking for the same thing you've seen before a thousand bloody times in whatever bloody genres you've already seen and know off by heart, go ahead. Look elsewhere. But if you're looking for a unique story that's not afraid to be serious or just to be hilarious whenever appropriate, if you're looking for something that isn't just shoe-horned into the thousand genres of anime, if you're looking for a story that treats you like you know how to use your brain, try the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Just don't expect the single greatest work of fiction ever, and you should be fine.
Thank you for finally bringing up a counterpoint to this mess I may have started.

one of the most Deadpan Snarker narrators ever to grace the tiny tiny screen (I don't think I even remember an anime with a single consistent narrator).
If the Kyon were voiced by Jeffrey Donovan then I would be watching it a lot more.
comment #395 Excel-2009 11th Jun 09
Wait, I'm "noted" now?
comment #396 Excel-2009 11th Jun 09
Excel-2009: Let's face it. What show wouldn't be improved by Jeffrey Donovan's narration?
comment #398 WilliamWideWeb 11th Jun 09
We're on TV Tropes, we're all noted reviewers here.
comment #400 Lumbargo 11th Jun 09
Hasn't this become the one of the most reviewed shows on the wiki?

For a Japanese 13 episode animated series to attain this kind of profile on a pop-culture superindex (of sorts) is something of an achievement, regardless of heavily divided opinion.
comment #401 zeroplusalpha 11th Jun 09 (edited by: zeroplusalpha)
Excel-2009: Let's face it. What show wouldn't be improved by Jeffrey Donovan's narration?
Point taken.

We're on TV Tropes, we're all noted reviewers here.
I don't feel important enough to call myself "noted" in any sense. I've only been here for about four months. I've been a member of other communities where I feel I can speak more freely for much longer.

For a Japanese 13 episode animated series to attain this kind of profile on a pop-culture superindex (of sorts) is something of an achievement, regardless of heavily divided opinion.
Heavily divided opinion is exactly what caused this.

Also, I don't mean to brag, but I currently hold the record for most discussed review, and it happens to be about this show. What does that tell you about it?
comment #406 Excel-2009 12th Jun 09
Your review or the show?

Well your review was admirably level-headed, so I guess it lends itself to discussion without everybody descending into the tedium that plagues a lot of this kind of thing.

The show itself...

We're still talking about it, so...it effects strong reactions, it would seem.

But in general people seem implicitly recognise the futility in trying to convince anybody who doesn't like it to do otherwise: one can say one liked this and that other aspect, or not, but you can't (and shouldn't) preach to the inconvertible.

comment #412 zeroplusalpha 13th Jun 09
Well your review was admirably level-headed
I wrote my review in a rush to be first and put in enough flame bait that someone would notice but apparently everyone except the intended target took it. Where are they and why are they not writing more counter reviews?

But in general people seem implicitly recognise the futility in trying to convince anybody who doesn't like it to do otherwise: one can say one liked this and that other aspect, or not, but you can't (and shouldn't) preach to the inconvertible.
The only reason I'm still doing it is because I can't pull myself away. I'm having way too much fun ripping the show apart and taking the fans down with it.

I don't get why people throw the word "serious" around about this show. At no time does the show "not take itself seriously". If it didn't, it wouldn't demand that the viewers buy the requisite strategy guide and keep up with it on more levels than necessary. I think I need to write a part two to my review addressing the malformed perceptions the fans have about the show, namely the pacing problems and how serious the anime actually is.
comment #425 Excel-2009 15th Jun 09
Yea, yea, the Anachronic Order is stupid, and therefore, every other aspect of the show is stupid too. Fine opinion, but complaining about it (and the fans) isn't exactly what I'd call "ripping the show apart". Really.

everyone except the intended target took it. Where are they and why are they not writing more counter reviews?

I dunno, but if you want to troll, Tv Tropes isn't the best place for that. Try something like Animesuki, Gaia or wherever weeaboo's hang out.

comment #426 Smokie 15th Jun 09
@Excel

Aw, crp. I forgot that the auto-parody and real life facts that inspired the show were not in the Anime. Shame, they were awesome.

They are still in the Bonus CD trough. Go and listen to it.

WARNING: J-Pop an japnese lyrics included, only for weeabos and the strong.
comment #428 src9 15th Jun 09 (edited by: src9)
complaining about it (and the fans) isn't exactly what I'd call "ripping the show apart". Really.
Point taken. What do you call "ripping a show apart" other than dissection with a little snarking mixed in?

I dunno, but if you want to troll, Tv Tropes isn't the best place for that.
Actually, I feel that this is a much better arena to do that than anywhere else. Thus far it's the only place where I've done this kind of thing and get inundated with any reaction I could have seen coming. I admit I came in expecting to look at a bunch of justifications and counter them but so far I've been doing all the justifying. I'm not one of those professional image trolls (having been on the business end of several in my time) but looking through my last few posts I really can't say that I'm not looking for a fight.
comment #430 Excel-2009 15th Jun 09 (edited by: Excel-2009)
By "any reaction I could have seen coming" do you mean "any reaction I couldn't have seen coming?"
comment #434 WilliamWideWeb 16th Jun 09
Sure why not. Either way, I was surprised.
comment #437 Excel-2009 16th Jun 09
So, in other words, you Didnt See That Coming?
comment #440 zeroplusalpha 16th Jun 09
I'm beginning to think perhaps I should never attempt to justify why I like things and just go ahead like them, and ignore anybody who says otherwise. There always seems to be somebody who thinks that you shouldn't enjoy something for the same reasons they didn't enjoy it, or something. : |
comment #442 Lumbargo 17th Jun 09
I think it can be taken as a general article of faith that if someone feels strongly enough about something to put opinion in print (assuming they're not just being obtuse), it's not going to be easy to persuade them to adopt a contrary position.

But that shouldn't stop anyone from shouting their like of something from the rooftops; there's always freedom of assembly, after all.

comment #443 zeroplusalpha 17th Jun 09
Hence, Fan Dumb.
comment #450 Excel-2009 17th Jun 09
Even though I've enjoyed the arguments that have gone on and doubtless will, there's still a major fact that everyone has kinda ignored up to this point:

Both parties are trying to convince the other of impossible.

No, seriously. For all the people that love to show enough to defend it vocally aren't going to be convinced by anything but the most earth shattering argument ever written that somehow brings to light a gigantic inherent flaw that for some reason everyone and their dog failed to notice: anything less than that and it boils down to that fickle bitch: personal taste. The anachronic order may be a deal breaker for some, but at this point the vast majority either seems to like it or not care either way. Same thing with the philosophical trappings, the character designs, the pacing and whatever else.

Of course, this is also true of the people that don't like the show. For them, no counterargument unless it's the same kind of earth shattering "AHA" moment in regards to "Oh man, all of a sudden this is awesome and I love it!" Because the show is also flawed, like everything else ever made ever. The problems that have been brought up beyond "ZOMG it sux" have legitimacy, and they aren't going to go away despite of all the good points.

I'm not suggesting that we have a hippy peace circle over this or anything. But I think that this like just about every other show that's ever been the least bit popular just needs both sides to chill out. No one is forcing you to watch it, no one is forcing you to not watch it. And no, saying that people are bugging you to watch it isn't a convincing argument as to why you should watch something even if (especially if) you don't like it enough to continue. So really, it's all just rather pointless. And the rest, I doubt, will be silence.
comment #477 Grahf 20th Jun 09
Exactly, is an infinite circle.
comment #478 src9 21st Jun 09
Ummmm...isn't that...kind of a tautology?

I'm just curious as to what a finite circle would look like.

And now some wiseacre maths major is going to call me out on this.
comment #479 zeroplusalpha 21st Jun 09
I'm not suggesting that we have a hippy peace circle over this or anything. But I think that this like just about every other show that's ever been the least bit popular just needs both sides to chill out. No one is forcing you to watch it, no one is forcing you to not watch it. And no, saying that people are bugging you to watch it isn't a convincing argument as to why you should watch something even if (especially if) you don't like it enough to continue. So really, it's all just rather pointless. And the rest, I doubt, will be silence.
Rule Of Fun. That's the only reason I've broken my promises to myself to quit talking about it so many times.

In seriousness, I'm fully aware that taking logic to a fanbase fight is one of the most dangerous things one can do. This is a show that has equal parts best elements and worst elements, with praise and criticism surrounding each. The ongoing debate suggests that they cannot peacefully co-exist. Yet somehow they do. As a result, this debate will probably go on forever, which is, as I've said, probably exactly what the creators want.

I have another argument that I'll have posted later this week. Stay tuned.
comment #482 Excel-2009 21st Jun 09 (edited by: Excel-2009)
Also they started it.
comment #483 Excel-2009 21st Jun 09
Would you believe despite my previous comment that I'm still looking forward to whatever else comes out of this?
comment #485 Grahf 22nd Jun 09
Yeah, sure. I certainly am.
comment #489 Excel-2009 24th Jun 09 (edited by: Excel-2009)

comment #5961 112.205.184.193 20th Jan 11
@zeroplusalpha

It is actually more than 13 episode, about 28 for both seasons.
comment #7422 bqk95 25th Apr 11
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