Kyon becomes an errand boy for his future self, but it’s all just a wild-goose chase.
Story: Nagaru Tanigawa
Art: Gaku Tsugano
Character Design: Noizi Ito
Translation/Adaptation: Paul Starr
What They Say
Guided only by a series of notes that direct him to do the most inexplicable things—“Buy a small turtle and throw it into the lake”?—Kyon and the Mikuru from eight days in the future complete these assigned tasks, hoping that things will become clear as the SOS Brigade’s adventures for that week continue. But Kyon and Mikuru’s scavenger hunt soon becomes a manhunt when Mikuru is kidnapped by a rogue group of espers, time travelers, and aliens!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya continues along it’s meandering way. Never before has a story about time travelers, psychics and other-dimensional beings been so mundane. Despite what the description for this volume says, because I don’t recall a kidnapping… Wait! It’s completely wrong! I can’t believe that Yen did that! I can only assume that that’s actually the description for volume 15, but it’s what’s typed on the back of the book, so spoilers for volume 15 I guess.
This volume picks up in in the middle of the ‘Intrigues of Haruhi’ storyline, which continues along past this volume. A Kyon from the future sent Asahina back in time to help out his present-day self, but almost immediately this complicates matters. What follows is a game of hide-the-time-traveler-from-herself. Between rounds of keep away are little white lies about sick cats, pranks on unsuspecting strangers, and more cryptic discussions with Koizumi about unseen politics between different groups. Are we having fun yet? Haruhi almost seems bored, and Kyon is the only one who notices but he’s not particularly worried because he knows what the rest of the week holds in store for them.
It’s almost as if this story is trying to talk me to death.
There is a tiny amount of character development nestled in the long talks and other interactions in this volume. Nagato and Asahina don’t seem to get along very well, but in the process of working out some of their discomfort Kyon learns that the SOS Brigade’s slightly supernatural members are slowly normalizing. I can only imagine that it’s a relief of some sort, despite the fact that it’s not making things any easier for him.
As for the purpose that Kyon had to send himself instructions from the future, we have no idea and neither does he. The tedious fetch quests he’s running to place random items in innocuous positions almost smacks of a butterfly effect level of quantum manipulation… Oh no. I’m starting to sound like the inane ramblings of this comic. Let’s just leave it there until next time, as this volume ends in a completely unhurried manner that is the exact opposite of a cliffhanger.
As for the art in this volume, it displays the same level of workmanlike quality that the previous volumes had. Outside of the front color spread the panels feature, at best, descent character action for a comic where most of the action is talking heads. Several of the chapter leadoffs feature illustrations of Asahina in uncomfortable looking and vulnerable positions that are supposed to be sexy pin-ups. I’m not above fanservice, but these aren’t sexy, they’re just creepy and poorly drawn.
I fail to see what’s intriguing about this volume of Haruhi. How many fool’s errands can one man go one before he decides to just let everything fall apart just to watch what might happen? I think a sane man would have walked away from this group by now. For those that actually feel invested in this adaptation, it looks like volume 15 will have a measure of action in it, at least that’s what the misplaced volume description tells us.
Content Grade: D +
Art Grade: C
Packaging Grade: B +
Text/Translation Grade: A –
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: December 11th, 2012