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The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, also known as just Haruhi Suzumiya, is a popular series of Light Novels created by Nagaru Tanigawa. The success of the series helped ispire an anime based off the series, created by Kyoto Animation. The series has become immensly popular among anime fans, becoming one of the most successful shows within the Slice of Life genre, as well as spawning a large online following.
The first book within the series of light novels was first published in Japan on June 6, 2003, titled “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”. The book told the story of Kyon, a typical teenage high school boy, who is forced to help create a club dedicated to meeting aliens, time travelers and espers by the beautiful but eccentric high school girl Haruhi Suzumiya. He later meets the timid Mikuru Asahina, transfer student Itsuki Koizumi, and the silent Yuki Nagato, who reveal themselves to secretly be a Time Traveller, Esper and alien respectively, who join the club in order to watch over Suzumiya, who is revealed to have God-like powers, but is unaware of them herself. The book received critical acclaim, helping spawn a series of 11 novels, with the latest being released on June 15, 2011. As well as Light Novels, the show also spawned a number of manga, such as two adaptations of the original novels, a spin-off manga titled “The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan”, in which Nagato is instead a shy schoolgirl rather than an alien, as well as two spin-off gag manga titled “The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan” and “Nyorōn Churuya-san”. A popular 14 episode anime adaptation created by Kyoto Animation also aired on April 2, 2006, which later spawned a film, titled “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya”, based of the fourth light novel, a sequel, as well as two spin-off web shows based off the two gag manga.
Both the Haruhi Suzumiya Light Novels and Anime adaptation have received critical acclaim with it’s lifetime. The first novel in the series was awarded with the grand prize at the eighth annual Sneaker Awards, as well as selling over 4,300,000 copies in Japan in September 2007. The anime adaptation was placed at fourth in A 2006 online poll of Japan’s top 100 favorite anime, as well as winning a number of awards, such as the Animation Kobe Award for TV Feature in 2006 and the Best TV Anime Series at the Sixth Annual Tokyo Anime Awards. The two spin-off web series also won the Network award at the 14th Animation Kobe Awards.
The anime adaptation of the Haruhi Suzumiya series in particular has garnered a significant online following. The show has a significant presence on sites such as Tumblr, Reddit, 4chan’s /a/ (Anime and Manga) board and /c/ (Anime/Cute) board, Fanpop, My Anime List, FanFiction.net and DeviantART. There are numerous sites holding information of the series, such as the Haruhi Suzumiya wiki, TV Tropes and Anime News Network. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Facebook page also has over 5000 likes, and there is also a Haruhi Suzumiya fansite, titled Haruhisuzumiya.net.
“Haruhiism” is a popular online fan religion, based around the Haruhi universe, in a similar fashion to The Church of the Jedi. It is mainly a mock religion that expresses worship towards Haruhi Suzumiya, or even the idea of God existing as a normal high schooler. sites such as Haruhiism.org and The Church of Haruhi Suzumiya were also created to act as the religion’s main website, and the Haruhiism Facebook page also currently holds over 7000 likes.
Hare Hare Yukai
The Hare Hare Yukai is the name given to the ending song of the first season of the anime. The ending has received huge popularity, with the dance featured within the ending receiving a number of parodies
Mikuru Beam is a meme which originates from the first episode of Season 1 in which Mikuru is forced to cosplay a magical girl and act in a movie. Within the movie, she is shown as performing a ‘Mikuru Beam’, a beam which she is said to shoot from her eyes. The scene was subject to parody on the internet, spawning a number of images and videos depicting Mikuru destroying a number of different things while using the beam.
Nyoro~n Churuya-san refers to a gag manga and web series created based off the series, starring a deformed, Smoked cheese-obssesed version of the character Tsuruya. The popularity of the series helped spawn a number of parodies, featuring different characters from different fandoms.
WaWaWa Wasuremono refers to a popular MAD video fad that originates from episode 4 of the anime’s first season, in which Kyon’s friend Taniguchi returns to the classroom after class to look for his bag, singing “Wawawa wasuremono…” before seeing a very suspicious moment between Kyon and Nagato. This clip became a huge hit among Japanese fans and several MAD videos were posted on Nico Nico Douga and YouTube. It is also closely related to that character as well.