Minori ChiharaHiroshi NakaKenichi OgataHaruhi Suzumiya
Nyoron! Churuya-san
Medium: webcast, series
Year: 2009
Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto
Original creator: Nagaru Tanigawa
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Keywords: Haruhi Suzumiya, anime, SF
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Actor: Yuki Matsuoka, Natsuko Kuwatani, Akane Omae, Aya Hirano, Daisuke Ono, Eiji Yanagisawa, Hiroshi Naka, Kenichi Ogata, Minori Chihara, Minoru Shiraishi, Nobuyuki Kobushi, Sayaka Aoki, Tomokazu Sugita, Yuko Goto
Format: 13 episodes, each only a few minutes long
Url: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=10635
Website category: Anime late 00s
Review date: 7 May 2015
Haruhi Suzumiya
It's the second of the two 2009 internet Haruhi Suzumiya spin-off comedy series. It's also impenetrable. Almost every episode ended with me going "what"? It's basically a giant non-sequiteur and I couldn't even tell how it was meant to be funny, let alone actually start laughing. It's so short and inoffensive that it's fairly watchable anyway, but I'm wondering if something crucial got lost in the adaptation process.
Its origins are awesome. It started out as a fan's home-made four-panel parody manga, but it became so popular that it got an official animated adaptation starring the original voice actors. How cool is that?
It's ostensibly set in the universe of Haruhi Suzumiya, but in a far odder, less recognisable form than Haruhi-chan. The main character is Churuya, who I've just discovered from the DVD back cover is meant to be a version of a supporting character, Tsuruya. I'd been wondering who she was. Her main characteristics are:
(a) green hair
(b) likes smoked cheese
(c) says "nyoron" a lot
(d) the size of a small child in a world of adults
You now understand the title.
Churuya will say "nyoron" in response to anything at all, which might conceivably be some kind of punchline. She also has a blue-haired friend, Ashakura, who's again based on a minor character from the parent show. Ashakura has a massive crush on Kyon that never goes anywhere, which may or may not contradict the fact that she tried to kill him in the parent series. (We kill the ones we love. That kind of thing, perhaps.)
The original show's main cast are all here, but as dead-eyed sons of bitches who never do anything nice or helpful. Mikuru's new, tough tone of voice makes her sound like a man. Furthermore they're being drawn so crudely that their faces are almost on a par with stick figures. This show's art style in general is a bit different.
Is this a good show? I don't know. No, I suppose not. Um. It defies analysis. Random things happen, then the credits roll. Theoretically our two heroines have motivations (smoked cheese and Kyon, respectively) but these don't get turned into scenes in the normal way and I don't think I could say that any of these episodes has a plot. They might have motifs, perhaps, e.g. Churuya-san as a computer game character in ep.7. Is this what you get when you adapt a four-panel gag manga exactly as it is, with no modifications? (I'm guessing; I haven't read it.) Or does the original source material have to be bonkers absurdism to begin with?
I sort of like it. It's an experience. It's so short that it's painless. Also, in fairness, I suspect it might become a little more coherent in the later episodes. Right now, though, I don't feel qualified to discuss this on any level above the most bewildered and superficial. Intensive study would be required for me to move beyond this.