Monday, May 31, 2010

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Haruhi-Mania!!

Normally with the "Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month", I like to focus on lesser known or obscure titles, but every so often, I'll cover a notable work if there is something significant regarding it. Such is the case with the more-than-well-known Haruhi Suzumiya franchise.

Largely in honor of the debut--and quick licensing-- of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya film earlier in the year, the release of the Haruhi-chan and Churuya-san super-deformed manga in the U.S. and the recent run (and licensing) of the controversal "second season", U.S. distributor Bandai Ent., int'l streaming site Crunchyroll, and stateside manga publisher Yen Press have a cross-platform campaign promoting the franchise and its various parts. On the streaming anime front, CR is not only showing the megahit first season, but also the two anime adaptations of the SD manga mentioned. Both shows were just picked up by BEI within the last few weeks, and the second season will, too, make its appearance on CR later in the year. All of the shows can be neatly found here at no cost and in Japanese with English subtitles.

I was huge on the first season but a little disappointed with the direction and execution of S2 (and virtually none of it had to do with "Endless Eight"...), though I still liked it enough. Personally, at least I finally have a chance to watch the manga shorts, after Kadokawa's lacking job of making them easy to find on their YouTube channel last year. In all, it is a show definitely worth checking out if you still haven't or have just heard about it. And if you like it and its gag spinoffs, be sure to purchase the DVDs!

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