Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Volume 3|
Actors: Tomokazu Sugita, Aya Hirano, Minori Chihara, Yuko Goto, Crispin Freeman
Genres: Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Infinity Resources Inc Release Date: 09/25/2007
Volume with my fave episode(s)
sanoe.net | 10/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi was the surprise hit anime of the Spring 2006 season (on Japanese TV) and its popularity is not without merit.
The series ranges from wacky screwball hijinks to scientific discussion on parallel universes that have an actual basis in real science. The series is often called an "otaku fest" but that's misleading in that while it has fun with its homages (Look for the homage to Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney in Remote Island Syndrome Part 2), it also contains a full fledged plotline with a compelling mystery at it center because in TMoSH, all roads lead to one Haruhi Suzumiya, a brilliant, hyperkenetic 15 year old high school student, who is searching for aliens, ESPers, time travelers and the like to assuage the boredom and melancholy that mundane life can bring.
But while Haruhi is definitive center, the story is told through the eyes of Haruhi's pragmatic, cold eyed, droll voiced classmate, Kyon. Kyon (not his real name and one of the many mysteries of the series) and his deadpan narration provides the perfect counterweight to Haruhi's frenetic energy.
In the original TV broadcast, the series was not shown in episode order and it was an interesting move that kept viewers on their toes (and it is also available by Bandai under the Limited Edition disks), but in this volume, I'm rather happy to have the episodes in order because it contains my favorite two episodes (outside of Episode 00 aka The Adventures of Asahina Mikuru) called "Remote Island Syndrome" Part 1 and 2 are played one after the other. (In the original broadcast, part 1 was played and then the 2nd part was played almost three weeks later.)
To me, this two parter represents the lengths that those around Haruhi will go to keep her "interested" in the world and keep her boredom at bay. As the events unfold almost like one of those murder mystery dinner theaters, the viewer is never quite sure of what is real, what is not and who is affecting the events. There are also little hints in seemingly unrelated scenes of what may or may not happen in the future.
The Japanese voice cast is amazing and their chemistry is all too apparent, but as much as I love the Japanese cast (especially Aya Hirano as Haruhi and Tomokazu Sugita as Kyon), I very much enjoy the English cast's work. Crispin Freeman gets the job done as Kyon and there are even times when I think he surpasses the work of Sugita in that he gives Kyon, who can sometimes be frustratingly sarcastic, more warmth and therefore more likability without sacrificing Kyon's overt need for detachment. Stephanie Sheh perfectly matches her Japanese counterpart, Yuko Goto, as the adorable Mikuru. Michelle Ruff's Yuki isn't quite as good as Minori Chihara by itself, but when matched against her castmates, her Yuki fits in quite well. I had to warm up to Johnny Yong Bosch's Itsuki, because I enjoyed Daisuke Ono's way of portraying charming dullness, but by this third disc, I'm sold on Bosch's performance. But the one I am most surprised by is Wendee Lee's Haruhi. This is the same woman who did the infamous Faye Valentine of Cowboy Bebop! When I first heard she would be Haruhi, I groaned. I love her Faye, but Haruhi? No way! But Lee is more than up to the challenging task of performing the mercurial Haruhi. Hirano's Haruhi is hard to top as it is a signature role for Hirano, but Lee comes so close to matching Hirano's breakthrough performance that Lee's work deserves its own special praise.
All in all, I give a lot of credit to the production and cast (both Japanese and English), Kyoto Animation, and Bandai for delivering on a great product with a job well done.
Now that I've got the first 3 dvds, I'm looking forward to the 4th and final DVD with great anticipation."