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Vinyl Gets!: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

April 21, 2010

It’s been a while since I watched an anime series. I would say somewhere in the vicinity of three years going on four. I could probably fill up another post on the reasons why but I’ll save that for the future (when I don’t have several projects to work on for school). What’s important here is that as I venture back into the headache of episodic Japanese cartoons I find myself for the first time getting into anime merchandise.
One of the first popular series I missed while on hiatus from the “anime-osphere” was The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Being that I’m still in the process of catching up (something about chronologically out of order episodes confuses me) I can’t speak (type?) with the conviction that Melancholy, and by extension heroine Haruhi, is one of the greatest things to happen to anime like many others do. Instead I can say that it does impress me when animes opt out of using a musical act’s single for a theme and instead create something specifically for a series.

“Hare Hare Yukai” is such a song. Before stumbling across the vinyl version of the Melancholy ending theme I thought that the anime merchandising industry had abandoned vinyl back in the ’80s. Plus I’m not sure how many otaku hung onto turntables through the decades (especially when you need to make room for all those miniDiscs). Despite that, I don’t doubt Bandai managed to move enough copies to make a vinyl release worth it.

Gifts! (on a dirty turntable)

Not knowing what to expect when I ordered the record, I was all the more surprised to open the package and find two awesome free gifts: a Haruhi headband and armband.
Now, this might go over the heads of the anime-challenged, but you just need to know that the titular character Haruhi wears a orange/yellow ribbon in her hair and a red arm band that reads “group/squad leader” in moonspeak. I might not be wearing either one anytime soon but it’s very cool of Bandai to bundle them with the record.

The double sided cover/lyrics booklet is a nice touch. I personally prefer the “back” cover for it’s simplicity, but the “front” has its own charm as well. Inside, you can read the lyrics, that is if you can read Japanese, or stare at the pretty picture sandwiched between the A-side and B-side lyrics.

For a single that was released way back in 2006, this is really a great package. It satisfies my inner otaku and my inner vinyl lover, two inner-selves I didn’t think had much in common. You can pick one up from Bandai’s online store though I’m not sure for how long they’ll have them in stock since it seems people are willing to buy them, regardless of how many miniDiscs they own.

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