Story: Nagaru Tanigawa
Original character designs: Noizi Ito
Volume Count: 7+ (still in production)
Version reviewed: English Translated
Date of Review: 30 Apr 2013
A comedic spinoff of the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise, alternating between short comics and 4-koma.
A collection of non-canon side stories which explore what goes on with the SOS Brigade when the camera isn’t on, so to speak.
There isn’t much to Haruhi-chan, really. It’s a gag manga which occasionally breaks the fourth wall with stories taking place parallel to but not part of the canon of the main series. The world of Haruhi-chan exists only within itself, but due to its self-parodic nature, knowledge of the original series – whether through the anime or the novels – is a must. The subtitle of this series is The Untold Adventures of the SOS Brigade, which easily sums it up.
As mentioned above, Haruhi-chan’s format is a combination of short (traditional) manga and 4-koma. Most stories are set up in the traditional format, the jokes are presented as several pages of 4-koma, and then the chapter concludes in the traditional format again. However, it’s not a strict formula, so the makeup of each chapter can vary.
Since Haruhi-chan doesn’t adhere to the canon of its parent series, some interesting things happen. One character is portrayed almost completely out of character, though still remains in character, if that makes any sense. (Once you read it, it becomes clear.) There are also entire subplots derived from things that happen in Haruhi proper but aren’t part of the “actual” story; remember that Haruhi-chan takes place in a parallel universe.
The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya is a fun spinoff of the original series. It’s random comedy with a cast of established characters; running commentary in the margins keeps things interesting. If you want to see your favorite Haruhi characters doing things you’ll never see in the main series, be sure to check out this comedic variation.