The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006 IMDb)

Categorization

Transcendent bishoujo based on the core concept of Oshii's Labyrinth Objects: File 538 (1987).

Subject

The contemporary universe is pretty much as we know it, except it's three years old. It was secretly remade to permit the existence of time travellers, aliens, psychic superheroes and similar oddities, which have yet to be discovered. The creator of the new universe is an easily bored misanthrope, you see, but an ordinary guy might save the world from another secret cataclysm. First he has to meet some extremely unusual people.

Commentary

Japanese syncretism wins again. The massive SF exposition barely explains a gigantic genre stereotype: A fairly normal, inert, nameless guy is gradually surrounded by pretty girls with radically different personalities, except that they are all well disposed towards him for vague reasons, plus one male sidekick/mentor who poses no threat of romantic competition.

This typical sexist situation is crossbred with an action adventure on cosmic scales, and every crack is filled with some eerily appropriate wedge: The episodes air out of order. The main character provides amusing narration, aware of the show's stereotypes without smashing the fourth wall. Several scenes are much more realistic than the mainstream average. For instance the main character sits, half asleep, through some crappy but not comically bad musical performances at the annual cultural festival, an excellent slice of life. The first episode aired is a vibrant pastiche of atrocious indie-tokusatsu. The characters dance realistically (para-para style) to the end credits. So much stylish trouble for such absolutely unoriginal core content!

Japanese production animation series

Spin-off:

Nyoro~n Churuya-san (2009)

Categorization

Absurdist super-deformed comedy. 13 episodes, 2 minutes each.

Subject

A tiny harebrained SD version of Tsuruya, Mikuru's friend from the original series, has very brief adventures.

Commentary

The video game is definitely the high point.

Japanese production animation