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The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan Vol. #12 Manga Review

3 min read
The final volume of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-Chan is a fun one.

The inanity of Haruhi’s imagination concludes

Creative Staff
Story: Nagaru Tanigawa
Art: Puyo, Noizi Ito
Translation/Adaptation: Paul Starr
Lettering: Abigail Blackman

What They Say
Fueled by her now-legendary melancholy, the absurd adventures of Haruhi-chan continue, utterly unbound by the laws of reality! Cozy up under the kotatsu with Haruhi-chan and the Brigade-for as looong as you like. Take flight with Haruhi the superhero as she swoops in to save the day…on her own terms! Bask in the obligatory swimsuit chapter! All leading up to the final chapter! And the final chapter! And the stunning Final Chapter!!!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Haruhi manga series comes to an end (for now) with the final volume of foibles of the insane imagination of Haruhi-chan. In this volume, we’re treated to a number of adventures with the SOS Brigade as Haruhi figures out how to wrap her adventures up. It all leads to a blow-out final chapter as the crew figures out that there’s only one way that Haruhi can finish up her story, and none of them want it to happen!

I think my favorite chapter in this volume was the “Swimsuit Chapter,” the obligatory beach episode with lots of fanservice pictures of the girls in their swimsuits. It wasn’t the fanservice that made it my favorite, though, but rather the fact that its whole goal is to point out the absurdity of beach episodes. How often does a manga/anime—even the dramatic ones—stop everything it is doing to have a fanservicey interlude with all of the characters hanging out at the beach, typically with the women in pretty revealing bikinis? The joke in Haruhi-Chan’s “Swimsuit Chapter” is that it continually foretells all of the tragedy that will soon befall Fujiwara, but then keeps just saying, “But who cares? Here’s the girls in their swimsuits!” It hits the absurdity of the concept perfectly on the head, and I loved it.

Another favorite is the chapter set in the future where a college aged Haruhi is trying to catch us up on what has happened to everybody from the series since it ended, but every single time, she basically just stops what she’s saying and admits that it’s all a bit of a cliché. Again, a bit of a funny take on concluding chapters that often come in high school manga (even though this isn’t the final chapter).

And really, that’s what I find fun about this final volume of Haruhi-chan. It’s all a bit of a send-up of all the tropes of anime. We have the lazy Kotatsu episodes. The beach episode. The “what will the future hold?” episodes. Etc. And it has a lot of fun with all of them, particularly with the final chapter in which it pokes fun at the silliness of the Haruhi Suzumiya universe. It’s the perfect ending to a series that never took itself particularly seriously and yet found a lot of interesting things to say.

In Summary
The final volume of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-Chan is a fun one. As with the prior volumes in this series, nothing is sacred and nothing is particularly coherent, but that’s what makes it fun. It’s just a series that makes fun of anything and everything and has a good laugh at itself as it does so. Obviously, it doesn’t carry the weight of the main series, but it’s not supposed to. We’re supposed to just have a good time, and I certainly did. Recommended.

Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: OT – Older Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: May 26, 2020
MSRP: $13.00

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