I'm going to preface this review with the disclaimer that this story disgusts and offends me. Admittedly, the author doesn't like happy endings (and I should have been more aware of that going in), so what did I expect? I only actually completely read the first Act of the story (20ish chapters), which is effectively the author promising to make the story serious, and abruptly using extremely flanderized versions of the cast. That's hard to take 'seriously'. After that, it's pretty much a story about Kyon failing/losing constantly, and the plot moving on anyway. As someone who doesn't like schadenfreude, watching the author (effectively) attack all the values of the original story (namely, friendship between the cast), was just depressing in the extreme. Kyon's the protagonist, but in the first Act, also the only person who goes through _any_ character development. Long story short, Koizumi is a jerk, Kyon gets in trouble for it, horrific things happen. Once those are taken care of (kind of; they're mostly handwaved), it's a perfect status quo, except that Kyon (having struggled, angsted, and generally been through some incredibly terrible trials), is verbally abused by Haruhi, demonstrating that all of his effort will get him absolutely nothing. But, hey! Kyon gets no benefit from his trials, and no one else suffers any hardship for, say, threatening to kill Haruhi. (I think this story may actually be a good reason for why I dislike Koizumi so much.) Worse, about 50% (maybe slightly less) of the content of the story? I do mean the entire story, not just a given chapter here or there. Hugely long diatribes delivered by the cast to Kyon, who dumbly smiles, nods, and accepts everything he is told by absolutely anyone? Those are author's tracts ... and not only are they not very well delivered, they genuinely have absolutely nothing to do with the story; it's just the author showing off (and getting details wrong, too). There's a lot of dream sequences that are equally irrelevant to the story, too, so (sadly), less than half of what's written is even the story. Ultimately, a hugely depressing waste of time, especially since according to the other reviewers, it just goes downhill from there in future acts.
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