What the hell did people do on slow workdays before the internet? I guess they probably hung out by the water cooler and actually conversed with other people about the travails of hunting stegosaurus and such, but since my workplace is largely deserted today, I've been reading volume 9 of the Suzumiya Haruhi novels online instead. I'm waiting for the dark day when web filtering hits my workplace, crushing my diversions with the dark fist of productivity, but fortunately that day is not here yet.
But back to the novels--I don't really understand why these aren't out in the US, hell, I'd buy them in an instant, and given the DVDs seem to have sold very well I've got to think I'm not alone. I'm not going to spoil anything for those who have just watched the anime, but with every volume of the light novels I read I'm convinced that Haruhi season two and beyond is going to be amazing. There's just a lot of really good material to animate in the novels. Sometimes authors have a great idea but then down the road you can tell their best ideas have been used and they're just stretching things out--the last few volumes of Love Hina come to mind (although to be fair to Akamatsu-sensei, I remember reading in an interview that his publisher pushed him to make it longer than he'd originally intended, and that's where the Kanako arc came from). With Suzumiya Haruhi, while there are times I wish things were progressing a little faster, it seems like the author isn't running out of tricks up his sleeve.
It does worry me a little, though, that Suzumiya Haruhi volume 10 was pushed back and doesn't seem to have a release date yet, although months have passed--is the author having trouble figuring out where to take things? The author's taking the story in a turn his editor doesn't like, or that the publisher is afraid fans will hate? He's made so much money that he's spending his time in Waikiki downing mai tais at House Without a Key instead of in front of his laptop?
A lot of stories you can predict the ending of halfway through easily, but that's a lot harder with Suzumiya Haruhi. Is a 'happy ending' where Haruhi loses her powers and lives as a normal girl, dating Kyon? Just imagine if they have kids who are gods/goddesses too, if Haruhi's mental state isn't always even-keeled, a two-year old would blow the universe the hell up every day. By the end of the series, the author has to somehow explain what's up with Asahina (older version), what exactly happened three years back that gave Haruhi her powers (assuming Haruhi really is the center of everything), and a million other plot points--I can't imagine how he'll tie everything up in the end. I just hope we don't get an ending like the Yokohama Shopping Log manga, which didn't really explain anything at all, like the author had just picked an arbitrary point and decided "the story stops here." If that happens with Haruhi, there'll be riots in Akiba--although as long as it sells well, I'm sure the publisher will try to get the author to stretch Haruhi out to volume 95 or so, so I can't picture it ending anytime soon.
Come on, Kyoani...here's hoping season two of the anime starts this summer...