Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Season 2


Starring (voice): Daisuke Ono, Megumi Matsumoto, Minori Chihara and Minoru Shiraishi
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £39.99
Certificate: 15
Available 04 July 2011

Haruhi Suzumiya is the major force behind the Save our Society By Overloading it With Fun Brigade (SOS), a school society set up to engage and befriend all sorts of time travellers and aliens. Through the force of personality she drags the rest of the SOS through all sorts of adventures, especially the unfortunate boy who sits in front of her in school, Kyon...

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: Season Two (2006) is an anime which pastiches and parodies fandom and the tropes of science fiction. The show was based on a series of light novels, which appeared in Sneaker magazine, written by Nagaru Tanigawa and illustrated by Noizi Ito. The show produced a short lived manga, which lasted only a single issue.

The second series is presented in a deluxe four-disc DVD set, which also includes the two spin-off original net animation series The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya and Nyoron! Churuya-san. For anyone who bought the first season a bit of explanation is required. Although you get fourteen, half hour, episodes, season two was actually made up of fourteen original episodes interspersed with fourteen from the original series, set in chronological order. What we have here is the new episodes, presented in the right order, but without the originals - call it a European second season, if you like.

So disc one contains the first four episodes and if you haven’t seen the show, then role with it. Kyon spends a great deal of time talking to himself in the first episode, which should bring you up to speed on the anime's world. The disc, like the overall set, is dripping with extras, certainly for an anime, where you're lucky to get only an opening and closing sequence. Special Ending (1 min, 15 sec) have the girls singing up a storm. Okay, so you also get the textless opening and closing sequences as well as TV spots and retail Promo’s, but then things get interesting with the Location Scouting - Part 1 (9 min, 47 sec) and Part 2 (9 min, 37 sec) which shows the series creators travelling around looking for good locations in which to set the story, odd really as you would have thought that they could have just made it up.

Disc two has a further five episodes with eight more short featurettes about the location shooting. The last disc contains the remaining five episodes and a Behind the Scenes of Aya Hirano’s Music Video, which itself is split into eight segments, mostly around five to six minutes long. The Endless Eight Prologue: Summer, an Audio Slideshow (2 min, 07 sec) has Hyon’s narration to a bunch of pictures.

All the discs are presented with audio options for either an English or Japanese 2.0 track, with subtitles; both the original Japanese and English dub do a fine job, though the Japanese version has a more manic quality to it, even if it is a bit of a naff mono track, compared to the English stereo track. The picture gets a clear a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer.

There are only three long stories in the second season. In Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, Kyon and Haruhi travel back in time, where Kyon proves that old adage about messing with the past will change the future. Endless Eight, sees the SOS gang engaging in all sorts of summer fun, again and again, before it dawns on them that they might be caught in a time loop. And The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina, has the gang again trying their hand at film making.

Whilst there is much to enjoy about the story telling the same cannot be said of the quality of animation and character design, which, at best, is average for a TV show. It was a brave decision to effectively take the p*ss out of the cherished icons of your audience, in some cases - Galaxy Quest - it works well, at other times - Fanboys - the results can be variable. That said, there is much to enjoy in both the humour and sheer energy of the show.

The last disc in the set holds The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya (48 min, 56 sec) and Nyoron! Churuya-san (10 min, 30 sec), in their original episodic format and if that were not enough there are further extras, including a TV Spot (49 sec), the Haruhi-chan Textless Opening (1 min, 04 sec), the Retail Promo Video (1 min, 14 sec) and, of course the Haruhi-chan Textless Closing (1 min, 04 sec).

Even if you don’t like the show there is little doubt that the package represents a pretty feature packed set for an anime show. Personally, I thought the show represented a nice blend of good writing and wit and whilst it is not as good as the original series, there is still much to recommend.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£26.99 (
£14.99 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.