Haruhi novel opinions (non-spoilers)

Jun 5th, 2012
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  1. Here's my own personal feelings regarding the 11 Haruhi novels and my own personal rankings.
  2. 1. Melancholy: The first and best written of all the novels. You can tell that it was meant to be a one-novel story, but Tanigawa did a fantastic job not only tying everything together, but tossing in links to future stories like Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody and Sigh. My personal favorite.
  3. 2. Astonishment (Final): The "Final Chapter" is hands-down the best in the entire franchise. A fantastic story concludes and yet leaves plenty of questions unanswered. The unique twist is revealed and in a quite surprising manner. Not to mention we get to know more about our newest character.
  4. 3. Intrigues: I personally like Mikuru's character and the development she gets in this novel. It's executed exactly like Tanigawa's usual strategy, yet it feels fresh. The little tidbits that hint for future stories are done fantastically.
  5. 4. Rampage: Out of all the short story novels, this one captures the theme the best. Summer/Fall/Winter stories showing the unique powers that Haruhi has, the potential for destruction of them, and a strange mystery involving a mansion. Snow Mountian Syndrome is my second favorite short story, and finishes this novel on a high note.
  6. 5. Disassociation: We're introduced to the first of a three novel story. A very strong beginning to the arc. I like the progression of the plot and the introduction of the twist.
  7. 6. Boredom: 4 wonderful short stories that further the "We can't let Haruhi get bored" theme. Outside of "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody" the stories capture that theme perfectly. Regardless, all 4 are incredibly solid stories and stand well for the franchise.
  8. 7. Disappearance: I know a lot of people love it, but I'm just not a fan of Yuki. I recognize that this is the pivotable point for Kyon as a character rather than a narrator, but it's just not one of my favorites. As Kaisos has been saying, the writing seems very off from what Tanigawa does (repeating details over and over).
  9. 8. Astonishment (First): Outside of the events in chapter 4, it's a dialogue-heavy novel. We find out some details and the plot moves along, but, as the middle in a three novel story, it just stays there. There's no climax in this one.
  10. 9. Wavering: I enjoyed the final short story and it is my absolute favorite in the franchise. The rest range from pretty good (Live a Live) to meh (Where Did the Cat Go?).
  11. 10. Sigh: Probably the worst follow-up novel I've read. It loses the energy created from the first story at the beginning and doesn't capture it until the end. Unlike Boredom, the tension is so thick between the SOS Brigade, it gets to where it just isn't fun to follow. I wish Boredom had been the second novel.
  12. 11. Indignation: Two short stories that don't really go anywhere interesting. Editor-In-Chief has a good premise and some fun parts, but it's weighed down by the second story, Wandering Shadow. I hope Tanigawa furthers the plotlines started in this novel or else it really feels very out of place.
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