The Indignation of Haruhi Suzumiya is the eighth novel published in the light novel series about Haruhi Suzumiya.

The Indignation of Haruhi Suzumiya
Written by: Nagaru Tanigawa
Publisher: Kadokawa Corporation
English Publisher: Yen On
Release Date: April 20, 2021

This installment of the series includes two stories, but the first story is significantly longer than the second one. The first story makes a lot of sense, because it touches on a topic that’s kind of been “an elephant in the room” that the reader tries not to think about as they’re reading the series. The second story focuses on a situation that fits in with the whole reason Haruhi established the SOS Brigade to begin with.

The first story is “Editor in Chief, Full Speed Ahead!” As to where this fits into the overall timeline, Kyon makes a comment about “it was a day in the third term of school as the footsteps of the approaching New Year were starting to become audible.” This seems to indicate that the story is taking place shortly before the end of the school year that the series has been set in up to this point. The fact that the new student council president is introduced in this story adds to the idea that it’s almost the end of the school year instead of the end of the calendar year. In this story, we also see a character who appeared in an earlier story in the series making a comeback as the student council secretary.

The setup is that Nagato, as the sole official member of the Literary Club, has been summoned by the student council. Koizumi and Kyon are both also asked to come along, but Koizumi makes it clear that Haruhi isn’t supposed to find out about this summons The new student council president says that the SOS Brigade is illegally occupying the Literature Club’s room and that they have to vacate it. Haruhi finds out what’s going on and barges in, getting into an argument with the student council president. After the president points out that the SOS Brigade hasn’t done anything remotely literary to justify using the room, he makes a wager: the SOS Brigade has to put together a literary anthology and all of the copies have to be taken by students. If they fail, they must vacate the Literary Club’s room. Haruhi takes him up on the challenge.

Unknown to Haruhi, the new student council president is from the same organization as Koizumi, and the Agency has come up with this plan to give Haruhi an adversary in order to keep her from being bored. Naturally, Haruhi declares herself to be the editor of the anthology, and she has each member of the SOS Brigade randomly choose what type of story they’re going to write. Kyon gets “love story,” and we see him agonize over what he’s going to write, since he doesn’t really have experience in that department. But what he does end up writing gives the reader an insight into Kyon right as he was finishing up middle school, which is shortly before he met Haruhi and became involved with the SOS Brigade.

Asahina has to write a fairytale, and we get to see what her submission is… including the pictures that Haruhi says she has to draw to accompany the story. The drawings are quite cute, and I could picture this section being animated with these pictures being accompanied by someone reading the story. Yuki’s three short stories are a little strange, but Kyon seems to think there may a deeper meaning to what she’s written. I have to agree with Kyon on that assessment, and I hope that at some point in the series, these stories are referenced again. At this point in the series, the reader has seen Tanigawa bring back or reference things that seemed minor when they were first introduced, so it’s not an unrealistic thing to expect Yuki’s stories to resurface again at some point. Koizumi, who is assigned a mystery story, is writing out what happened during one of the staged mysteries the SOS Brigade solved during their vacations. Since his story is based on something the reader’s already read, there was no reason to show the reader his manuscript.

Overall, I thought that “Editor in Chief, Full Speed Ahead!” was an enjoyable read, and I hope to see more of the new student council president in future volumes of the series. While he may be someone from the Agency, he still works as an adversary for Haruhi.

The second story, “Wandering Shadow,” is set shortly before spring break, which means the school year that’s been depicted in the series up to this point is coming closer to an end. A girl in Haruhi and Kyon’s class named Sakanaka comes to the SOS Brigade about an issue with her dog that might be connected with ghosts. She pulls out the flyer that Haruhi handed out at the beginning of the school year about the SOS Brigade that played up investigating paranormal activity. I thought it was a nice touch to bring that poster into this, since it shows that there ended up being a purpose for it after all. To be honest, though, I was just as surprised as Kyon when Sakanaka took the flyer out. Who would have thought she would have held on to something like that for the entire school year?

When Haruhi hears about the possibility of ghosts, she jumps on the chance to investigate. Even though Haruhi is the one who decides to take the case, it’s ultimately Koizumi who leads the group for the investigation. It’s a good thing he does, since he can rationally and logically figure out what they need to do in order to narrow things down. The answer to what’s going on is quite surprising, and it’s Nagato who figures it out. However, since it has a connection to aliens, Nagato, Koizumi, and Kyon have to keep this truth away from Haruhi.

“Editor in Chief, Full Speed Ahead!” is a rather straightforward story that focuses more on character development than on the odd happenings that usually take place in this series of novels. “Wandering Shadow” returns the volume to the type of story that readers have come to expect from this series. While the first story in The Indignation of Haruhi Suzumiya may be a little different tonally than what this series is usually known for, a change of pace is always a good thing. The introduction of the new student council president to the series makes sense, especially since the school year is getting closer to ending, and the character development Kyon receives is also a nice touch.

I really wish that both stories included in The Indignation of Haruhi Suzumiya could have been animated as OVAs or something, because I think fans of the franchise who are only familiar with the anime would have enjoyed them. As I’ve said in the reviews for previous volumes of the series that include stories that were never animated, I would recommend these volumes to fans of the Haruhi Suzumiya anime franchise so they can see what else the SOS Brigade gets up to and how the story and characters continue to develop and evolve past the anime’s ending.

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