Greetings! Railgunfan75 here. September 13th marked the re release of an anime classic. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of season 1, Funimation re-released the entire Haruhi library (except for the movie which will likely come at a later date).  This was welcome news to fans of the series such as myself who because the set was out of print and insanely expensive to buy had a hard time tracking down a physical release. In addition we also got the releases of the Haruhi-chan spin off series and the more recent Disappearance of Nagato-Yuki chan. These releases were exciting for me for multiple reasons.I finally was able to get the complete Haruhi series on blu-ray, I was also able to add another good series to my collection with the Nagato release and I could check out the Haruhi-chan spin off for the first time. I of course had to order the collectors edition and was able to get the complete experience.

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While I wasn’t watching anime at the time of it’s initial release, I was at the early stages of my dive into anime when I saw this series show up on many people’s top 10 or favorites list. The premise seemed interesting enough- average guy meets girl, girl seeks extraordinary beings, guy gets dragged along in her insane adventures. This is a vast oversimplification of course but it was enough to get me interested in checking out this series. Let’s just say that I have never regretted that decision-  the Haruhi franchise is an entertaining and genius piece of work. The franchise remains popular 10 years after it’s release which is no small feat.

So why has this series endured for so long? There are multiple reasons for this.  One reason is that the characters themselves reflect who we are. Haruhi is the free spirited/do what she wants individual that we all want to be. Kyon is the serious, practical, mature individual we all have to be. Nagato is the quiet observor who wishes to gather as much information as possible. Mikuru is the unsure and nervous participant. Koizumi is an obedient individual who wants to make sure that Haruhi gets what she wants.  We see a bit of ourselves in each of these characters and we all have felt as these characters do at some point. Their personalities are relatable because many of us are like one of these characters or are a combination of these traits.The characters are very human characters and they don’t need some tragedy or complex story to get to that point.

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The series also resonates today because it addresses an issue we all must face as we get older. I always liken the debates between Haruhi and Kyon between those we have in are own minds. Haruhi basically refuses to grow up while Kyon refuses to let loose a little. We have to be like Kyon but we also need to let our inner Haruhi out from time to time. Both characters do change by the end of the series but the center of many of the conflicts centers around the differences in these ideals. The fact that this conflict is hidden in the midst of the adventures of the SOS brigade makes such an exploration much more accessible and entertaining to watch.

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Haruhi as a series takes many tired tropes and approaches them in a fun and creative way. Want a sports story with with underdog pulling off an impossible victory? Haruhi has it. Want an action packed battle between two bad beings? You can find that here. Looking for a murder mystery? You guessed it. Haruhi has that too. The series was able to take some unoriginal ideas and present them in a very interesting way. These same story telling cliches are prominent today as well allowing these episodes to have meaning today.  The standard conventions were changed in other ways as well. Haruhi is notable for having the episodes aired out of order. The idea of having multiple ways to view a series is really a cool one and not one seen that often. It was also a gutsy and genius move to present the Endless Eight story the way they did. The idea of the same repeating may seem like a boring concept but it is a  fascinating experience which should be experienced at least once.

On a simple note, Haruhi is a fun story about what would happen if you had to power to change the world, if you could change the world simply based off the possibilities you can imagine. As children we all have this desire to change the world and a much greater imagination than we do as adults. Haruhi indirectly calls us back to that time where anything was possible in our minds, we just had to wish for it. All of us wish for those days and to watch a story about someone who can make wishes come true in some way brings back those days when our imagination ran wild. The series reminds us to not be satisfied with the ordinary but to seek the extraordinary.

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Finally let us not forget- The Hare Hare Yukai song and dance-that is worth the price of admission alone. (Yes I did listen to this song at least once while writing this.)

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a series which has stood the test of time and is one of the greatest anime series ever made. The series is childish and mature at the same time, and reminds of the greatness of adventure.For me this series convinced me of the sheer creativity and vast imagination that the anime genre has to offer. Also thanks to Haruhi for reminding me to let loose and enjoy the wonders of the world.I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to experience this series and am excited to see it released for a new generation of fans to explore. If you haven’t experienced this series yet, you owe it to yourself as an anime fan to check this out. Because if you don’t- it’s the death penalty for you!

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