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The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱) (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yūutsu) is a Haruhi Suzumiya Light Novel, written by Nagaru Tanigawa and published by Kadokawa Shoten. It is the first Japanese light novel to sell 1 million copies.
Haruhi holds the fate of the universe in her hands . . . lucky for you she doesn't know it!
Meet Haruhi - a cute, determined girl, starting high school in a city where nothing exciting happens and absolutely no one understands her.
Meet the S.O.S. Brigade - an after-school club organized by Haruhi with a mission to seek out the extraordinary. Oh, and their second mission? Keeping Haruhi happy . . . because even though she doesn't know it, Haruhi has the power to destroy the universe. Seriously.
The phenomenon that took Japan by storm - with more than 4.5 million copies sold - is now available in the first-ever English edition.
The narrator, Kyon, introduces himself as a person who once believed in the existence of aliens, time travelers, and espers in middle school, but gave up on those ideas when he started senior high school at North High in Class 1-5. The story starts on his first day of high school. After his standard and rather flat introduction, the girl behind him introduces herself as Haruhi Suzumiya, and says, "I don't have any interest in ordinary people. If anyone here is an alien, time traveler, slider, or esper, please, come see me! That is all."
Curious about this statement, Kyon later turns behind him and asks if she was serious. Haruhi coldly tells him not to waste her time, and he subsides. Kyon later notices that Haruhi is equally cold to any other classmate who tries to speak with her. One of Kyon's new friends, Taniguchi, who went to Haruhi's middle school, informs Kyon that Haruhi is notable for many strange and unknown events she has caused in her middle school, including drawing a huge set of symbols on the field in chalk, rearranging all of the desks in the corridor, and putting talismans all over school. She is also known for not turning down a love confession from any boy in school, and yet dating and soon rejecting every boy who has attempted to date her. Taniguchi then points out another girl in their class, Ryoko Asakura, whom he believes to be a model student and Kyon sees as much more of a proper girl than Haruhi.
Kyon begins to notice more strange things about Haruhi: she changes her hair every day, she feels free to change out of her gym clothes in the presence of boys, and would join and soon quit every club in the school. Curious about these actions, Kyon approaches Haruhi yet again, asking her about her hair. After Haruhi briefly asks if she has met him before, Haruhi quickly ends the conversation; however, it seems to have much of a mark on her, seeing as she cuts her hair the next day.
Kyon begins to have more and more conversations with Haruhi, a fact that the other classmates do not fail to notice (Taniguchi believes Kyon is using a "magic trick"). Haruhi begins to complain about how boring the clubs at school are, while Kyon insists that Haruhi should be happy with what others make for her. This inadvertently triggers an idea in Haruhi: she'll make her own club! After class, Haruhi drags Kyon out, ordering him to help her make the club. Haruhi infiltrates the Literature Club room, the only occupant of which is Yuki Nagato, a silent, glasses-wearing girl. Haruhi declares the Literature Club room her official room for the SOS Brigade, and forces Kyon to come the next day.
Not too long after, Haruhi retrieves a second-year girl, Mikuru Asahina, in order to catch members by increasing the "moe factor". Haruhi's reasons for using Mikuru's appeal is for her cute face and big breasts, something Kyon notices as well. After forcing Mikuru to quit the only other club she attends, the Calligraphy club, Haruhi declares her new name for the club: "Saving the World By Overloading it with Fun: Haruhi Suzumiya's Brigade" (Sekai o Oini Moriageru Tame no Suzumiya Haruhi no Dan, lit. Suzumiya Haruhi's brigade to greatly enliven the world), or the SOS Brigade for short.
The next day, Haruhi decides to get a computer, forcing the president of the Computer Research Society to accidentally touch Mikuru's breasts and photographing the event to use as blackmail for a new computer. She also has Kyon make a new website for them, which has nothing other than a top page. Haruhi then makes a bunch of flyers to advertise the SOS Brigade and forces Mikuru into a bunny girl suit (along with donning one herself) to pass out flyers at the front gate. This event makes the SOS Brigade greatly notorious.
Haruhi finds her "mysterious transfer student", Itsuki Koizumi, who automatically agrees to join without any force at all. Haruhi declares her purpose in the SOS Brigade to be that the members must find aliens, time travelers, and espers, in order to "have fun with them". As soon as Kyon goes home, he picks up a book that Yuki had lent him, and finds a bookmark inside asking him to meet her at a designated place and time. Kyon does so, and Yuki leads him to her home, revealing that she is actually a Humanoid Interface sent by the Data Overmind, from space, to observe humans and to investigate a data explosion from three years prior that was instigated by Haruhi. Kyon, unbelieving, decides that Yuki has probably read too many books.
When Kyon arrives at the club room the next day, he finds Haruhi forcing Mikuru into a maid costume, commanding that she wear them whenever in the clubroom. On the weekend, Haruhi has the group split up into two in order to search the city for mysterious things. Kyon is paired up with Mikuru, and they take a walk in the park seeing as they have nothing to do. Mikuru reveals to Kyon that she is a time traveler, sent from the future to find out why there was a time-quake three years prior to Kyon's "present" time, once again supposedly caused by Haruhi. Because of this time-quake, the time travelers are unable to go back further than that "three years ago".
When Kyon goes to school the next day, he confronts Itsuki about his identity. Itsuki admits that he is, in fact, an esper, a part of an 'Agency' that consists of people who received strange powers from Haruhi three years before. Itsuki believes that Haruhi has the ability to twist the world to her whim, thus making her "God".
Kyon finds a mysterious note in his shoe locker asking him to meet the sender after class. Kyon complies, and finds the sender to be Ryoko Asakura. Unexpectedly, Ryoko pulls out a combat knife and tries to kill Kyon. Ryoko is revealed to be a Humanoid Interface like Yuki, except that she believes killing Kyon would result in Haruhi creating a large data explosion that would be beneficial for the Data Overmind. When Ryoko is about to deliver the final blow, however, Yuki appears and intervenes, destroying Ryoko's data link to Earth. Ryoko warns that there may be other extremists, and disappears. Yuki begins to repair the damage she (and the classroom) has taken, but neglects to repair her glasses; Kyon persuades her not to make them, because he believes she looks better without them.
Yuki convinces the school that Ryoko has transferred to Canada; Haruhi, however, is unconvinced. Kyon finds another letter in his shoe locker, this time addressed from Mikuru. When he goes to the associated place and time, however, he does not see Mikuru but instead sees a Mikuru from a further future than the one he is used to. The future Mikuru leaves a cryptic warning - "Remember the story of Snow White" - and leaves.
Haruhi takes Kyon with her to investigate. Kyon finds that Ryoko has lived in the same apartment complex as Yuki, whom he runs into. After finding nothing, Haruhi tells Kyon the story of why she is so keen on making her life interesting: She went to a baseball game when she was in elementary school, and found how insignificant she seemed to herself against the magnitude of the crowd; thus, she became determined to be the one person with an interesting life to make herself seem more than a drop in the sea.
When Kyon gets home, Itsuki picks him up in a taxi and offers to show him proof of his powers. Itsuki takes Kyon to a certain spot and with him enters a new dimension: a grey world created by Haruhi inside a fixed space, or a "sealed reality". These sealed realities are created when Haruhi becomes irritable or angry, and are marked by strange blue giants (referred to by Itsuki as "Celestials") that destroy everything inside that world. Itsuki explains that his job is to remove these giants and destroy the sealed reality, which he does.
The next day, Kyon lightly squabbles with Mikuru over a computer mouse when Haruhi bursts in. Because Kyon and Mikuru are in a seemingly intimate position, Haruhi's mood darkens and she remains that way for the rest of the day. That night, Kyon wakes up in a sealed reality, which is limited to his school. Haruhi is with him, but is the only other person there. While Haruhi explores, Itsuki appears to Kyon in a semi-humanoid form, telling him that their powers are slowly disappearing and that this world was created because Haruhi wanted to be alone with Kyon. The world he knows is disappearing; the fate of it, or the details of the new world, are unknown. He finally informs Kyon that Yuki wants him to turn on the computer, before disappearing.
Kyon follows Yuki's request and finds a message from her that the Data Overmind would like them to return in order to restore the possibility for auto-evolution. As the message loses connection, a clue on how to escape from the sealed reality appears from Yuki: "sleeping beauty".
Celestials begin to appear, and Kyon tries to convince Haruhi to turn the world back to normal, while she believes the new world is exciting and better than the first. Kyon ponders what he is supposed to do, and realizing the connection between Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, kisses Haruhi with the comment "Ponytails turn me on" and wakes up as if the whole thing was a dream.
The next day, Haruhi declares that she had a nightmare the previous night, and Kyon noticed she has attempted to tie a ponytail with the small amount of hair she had left. Itsuki thanks Kyon for preserving this world (while leaving the possibility that this could be a new world, identical to the previous), Yuki explains how long Kyon and Haruhi have disappeared, and Mikuru tries to apologize to Kyon (ending up being forced into a new outfit by Haruhi). Kyon submits the SOS Brigade's application to the Student Council, and ponders the future of the SOS Brigade.