Light Novel Review: The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya

The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya is the fifth novel published in the light novel series about Haruhi Suzumiya.

The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya
Written by: Nagaru Tanigawa
Publisher: Kadokawa Corporation
English Publisher: Yen On
Release Date: March 30, 2021

This volume of the series includes three separate stories, with one set in the summer, one set in the fall, and one set in the winter.

The first story, “Endless Eight,” is set between The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya and The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya. This story has gained a reputation thanks to the anime adaptation of it. For those who aren’t aware, when this story was adapted for the anime, it was done as eight separate episodes, with most of the episodes only having minor variations between them. I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went into reading the original light novel version of the story, since all I was familiar with was the anime adaptation.

For those not familiar with what “Endless Eight” is about, it’s set during summer vacation and sees Haruhi trying to cram in as much fun as she can before vacation ends. However, it’s revealed that the SOS Brigade has been going through a time loop that covers their summer vacation. I won’t say how many times they’ve been through the time loop when everyone (except Haruhi) realizes that they’ve been in this loop, but it’s up to Kyon to try to find a way to break the loop.

As it turns out, though, I really had nothing to worry about with the telling of this story in the light novel. With the printed medium, the story could be conveyed easily through written explanations, so the reader only has to experience one of the time loops instead of multiple loops. Even though I already knew what would be coming because of the anime adaptation, I found I enjoyed the prose version of this story better than the anime. Once again, Kyon’s narration really adds some flavor that the anime wasn’t able to convey.

The second story, “The Day of Sagittarius,” is set between The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya and The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. The Computer Research Society challenges the SOS Brigade to a computer game tournament, which uses a game the club created for the cultural festival. The Computer Research Society’s goal is to reclaim the computer that Haruhi extorted from them back in the first novel, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

This was another story that had been adapted for the anime series, and it’s one where Nagato gets to shine as a character. The group is given a chance to learn how to play the game before the tournament, and Nagato becomes quite interested in it. When it comes to the actual tournament, Nagato ends up playing an important role. I have to admit that when I first saw this story in the anime, it wasn’t one of the standouts to me. But reading the light novel telling, especially in the order that the light novels were released in, I came to realize how important of a character development moment this story is for Nagato.

The final story in this volume is, “Snowy Mountain Syndrome,” and it’s set after The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Since this story was never adapted for the anime, this is officially the first story I’m reading in the light novels that I was not familiar with previously.

This story is set during winter vacation, specifically between the time right after Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Haruhi decides the SOS Brigade needs to go to the mountains, and Asahina’s friend Tsuruya has a family vacation home that they can use. Koizumi has set up another mystery to solve with some of his colleagues from “The Agency,” although Koizumi made sure to let Haruhi know in advance this time so she wouldn’t freak out like she did during the summer vacation trip.

The SOS Brigade, along with Tsuruya and Kyon’s little sister, go to the vacation home and have fun in the snow. While Tsuruya and Kyon’s little sister are building snowmen, the SOS Brigade go skiing. After a while, the members of the SOS Brigade find themselves trapped in a blizzard. After wandering for a while, they happen to discover an abandoned mansion. This leads to a supernatural experience for the SOS Brigade, and it’s up to Kyon and Koizumi to try to figure out how to escape from their predicament.

Even though I had no previous familiarity with this story, I found that I enjoyed it. I was happy to finally see an adventure for the SOS Brigade that takes place after The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, since this is the last thing chronologically that’s seen in the anime adaptation. I also appreciated how Kyon acknowledges in this story that there’s still something he needs to do that ties back with an event in The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, and hopefully we will see him do what he needs to do at some point later in the light novel series. So far, Tanigawa has followed up on plot points that have been thrown out during the series, and I would hope that the trend would continue with this plot point.

As I read this story, I found myself wishing that it had somehow been adapted for the anime. I think the animators could have a lot of fun with it, especially the scenes where Haruhi is exploring the deserted mansion with Kyon.

I really enjoyed reading The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya, and I was especially pleased to encounter a story for the series that was “new” to me, since it wasn’t part of the anime adaptation. “Snowy Mountain Syndrome” is a great addition to the Haruhi Suzumiya universe, and I would highly encourage fans of the anime to pick up this light novel in order to discover a new adventure for Haruhi and the rest of the SOS Brigade.

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