Haruhi is a girl who is bored with the mundane. During her introduction at the first day of highschool, she stands up and invites time travellers, aliens and ESPers to contact her. Obviously, everybody thinks she is a weirdo, and she is mostly ignored by the rest of the class. Kyon, who sits one desk towards the front from her, one day mentions her ever-changing hair style. With that, a remarkable 'friendship' is born...
With an off-handed remark, Kyon gives Haruhi the idea to start her own after-school club, and she recruits Kyon to help her. And this is the birth of the SOS Brigade. Soon after, Haruhi rounds up some additional members: the shy Mikuru whom Haruhi dresses up in revealing outfits, Yuki, the sole member of the Literature Club whose room the SOS Brigade has 'borrowed' and the 'mysterious' (according to Haruhi) transfer student Itsuki.
Together, the SOS Brigade tries to find mysteries to solve -- much to the annoyance of Kyon, who is taken along for the ride by Haruhi.
What Haruhi doesn't know, is that the members of her club all have a keen interest in her. Mikuru is a time-traveller, sent from the future to investigate Haruhi. Yuki is an alien robot, sent by the 'galactic data consciousness' to investigate Haruhi. Itsuki is an ESPer, sent by 'The Agency' that defends reality from Haruhi's melancholy. Kyon is the only 'normal' member of the SOS Brigade!
You see, Haruhi is some sort of god. She has created the current reality, even though she seems thoroughly bored with it. WHen her melancholy reaches a critical point, some sort of 'closed space' zones are created, and luminous giants smash everything inside those zones. It is the job of the Agency to defeat those giants and close the zones -- otherwise, reality would cease to exist and the closed space zone would take its place.
Merely by (subconsciously) wishing for it, Haruhi can affect reality. And for the people inhabiting reality, the 'interesting' things Haruhi wishes for, are not necessarily good news!
The production values are quite high. Kyoto Animation, which also did the Full Metal Panic sequels, did the animation. Lush animation with great effects.
The voice acting is pretty decent, with one exception. Kyon's voice actor (Sugita Tomokazu, who also voiced Rin from SHUFFLE!) is exceptional. Kyon has lots of lines of quick, witty internal monologue, and he pulls it off really, really well. Most of the comedy of the series comes from his acting.
The episodes have two episode numbers: the number Haruhi shouts during the preview is the chronological numbering, which is different from the numbering of the actual episodes (that Kyon tells the audience). The actual ending is nice, but leaves things wide open-ended. The chronological ending is even duller. I would have liked an ending which did right to Haruhi's personality. Instead, she and Kyon get to go on dates and stuff like that -- why did the writers insist on bending her excentricity into normalcy? A chance was missed here.
Oh, and the little dance routing during the ending credits is really special. :)
- Funny and interesting;
- Great animation;
- Excellent voice acting.
- I would have liked a better/different ending.
Excellent viewing, and at only 14 episodes, it's easy to get into it. A 9.