About the Mangaka
Tanigawa Nagaru is rather unusual as a manga-ka or even as a writer, in that he didn’t train as one. Rather he is a law school graduate of all things >.<. While he is best known for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya series, which won him the grand prize at eighth annual Sneaker Awards; he has done several other series.
I couldn’t find anything solid on Tsugano Gaku, other than that he or she also did the art for Girl Who Runs Through Time, which was licensed by CMX.
Ito Noizi took me by surprise, she did the art for the Shakugan no Shana novels, but also works for a H-Game company. She has a personal website, though it’s Japanese only.
About the Manga
I was rather uninspired by this volume, in fact I felt I was forcing myself to read it at the end.
The sad thing is there’s nothing really different from the previous volumes. I like the cover design, though the border on the names is misplaced IMO and would have been better without it.
The colour panels this volume I felt were rather uninspired, and on the third read through I figured out it was the colouring that was killing it for me. It felt like a time slip to the days of hippies. While that may well have been the intention it really made the art look bad for me. Not to mention it was crowded and cramped and both looked and felt cluttered.
While the art of this volume is just as good as it had been previously something about just felt dull. The art lacked anything that made it stand out as special or intriguing.
Sure it has the usual cute characters, though even those were fewer than usual, but even with those it lacked the special feel it’s had in the previous volumes.
The other area it fails for me was the stories. Reading this volume it confirmed something I’ve been thinking the past couple of volumes. Forget monster of the week, this series is monster of the chapter.
The way these played out this volume really felt wrong to me. While I get the reasoning behind what’s going on, something about the stories this volume really just got on my nerves. They felt tired and forced lacking any sort of presence, not to mention blatantly stealing ideas from other titles.
For me the big issue though was that we have no real story progression. Why is Haruhi the way she is? Why are all these weird people gathering around her? Why is Kyon the only apparent normal guy there?
All of these questions need some time spent on them, and while I was expecting them to have done so by now, we have nothing. So while I should be focusing on the story, I’m spending my time wondering what’s going on. It’s getting in the way of enjoying the series more.
I’m not saying I want it all explained here and now, but I do want to see at least some sort of progression on the main story. Rather than lurching from one story to another, which is what is happening at the moment.
No complaints about Yen’s handling of this volume. Good choice of fonts and excellent editing. The translation is smooth and flows well with out anything feeling out of place.
On it’s own, this volume was uninspiring and frankly depressing. I’m hoping things will pick up soon.
Where to Buy