Anime DVD Review: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Vol. 2

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Vol. 2 is a DVD that contains four episodes of the anime series. The episodes on the disc can be seen with an English dub, or with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

At the end of “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Part 3,” Yuki told Kyon that Haruhi may not entirely be what she seems, but he didn’t seem to believe her. Unfortunately for Kyon, the events that unfold over the first three episodes of this disc really lend credence to what Yuki was telling him.

It turns out that three years earlier, Haruhi wished for a world that contained aliens, time travelers, and espers; when this wish was granted, some people were given these abilities. To compound matters, it turns out that three of members of the SOS Brigade fall into these categories. Kyon comes to realize that he is the one who needs to be primarily responsible for watching over Haruhi in order to prevent the world from being destroyed.

After watching the episodes that appear on this DVD, my interest in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has piqued a little more. The episodes on the first disc basically had to establish the series, and these episodes finally get the story in motion. By the time I finished this disc, I found myself wanting to watch more to see where the story goes next.

As for the actual DVD, there are several extras included. First are textless versions of the opening and closing credits. Next are two “Nekoman” galleries, each of which run for about 35 seconds, and include drawings of cats. At first, I wasn’t sure why they were included, since they didn’t have any direct connection with the series. However, this was cleared up in the next set of bonus features, when some of the Japanese voice actors are seen drawing “Nekomen.” The next bonus features are “Making of Haruhi #03” and “Making of Haruhi #04”; the first shows Aya Hirano (the voice of Haruhi) singing a song in a recording studio, and the second shows three of the voice actors at a photo shoot at a school. These “Making Of” features were more interesting than the two that appeared on the first volume.

Next are four features labeled as being “TV Previews.” These should have been the next episode previews that appeared on this set, but only one of them did (but this one was labeled as being the preview for a different episode than what was seen on the disc). The other previews seem to be for episodes that are later in the series. This feature ultimately left me baffled and thinking, “Thanks for the spoilers, Bandai.”

There are also three episodes of “The Adventures of the ASOS Brigade” (which are labeled as being episodes five, three, and 13). These were live-action pieces produced by Bandai to promote the English release of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I thought episode five was poorly done, episode three was amusing, and episode 13 was informative. There are also four trailers for other Bandai Entertainment properties, as well as credits.

If you like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and haven’t added the series to your home video collection, you could either purchase the single DVD releases for the series, or you could pick up one of the box sets that was released for the series.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Vol. 2 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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