The widely held belief that the Haruhi franchise is a spent force seems to have been shattered by the news that the latest novel in the series, “The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya” (Suzumiya Haruhi no Kyougaku), has sold a record 341,000 copies.
The two-volume novel’s limited edition version went on sale May 25th to a great deal of excitement, as might be expected of the first new Haruhi novel in 4 years.
Oricon in fact reports first week sales of 341,184 copies, over twice the previous best selling light novel’s first week performance:
341,184 – “The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya”
151,194 – “Ore no Imouto 8”
121,410 – “Index 23”
109,643 – “Hanamonogatari”
101,356 – “Infinite Stratos 7”
It should also be noted that earlier reports about the success of the title (reportedly 1 million copies were shipped/printed) fell for the usual press release trick of substituting “inventory shipped to distributors” for “copies sold to consumers.”
Kadokawa in this case was even more sneakily combining inventory for the two volumes (bundled in the limited edition) into one figure to arrive at a more impressive number – not that it really needed to bother considering how impressive actual sales were anyway.
Online there is much surprise at such an unexpectedly strong showing from a series many had thought to be on its way out:
“So they can squeeze some more life out of it still.”
“Amazing. Who says it was done for?”
“Haruhi is restarted… but a new anime is impossible, with the current seiyuu at least.”
“Every bookshop was showing off great piles of it. It didn’t look like it was selling to me.”
“For an industry which calls 10,000+ sales a hit, this is fantastic.”
“All I remember is being recommended this by a friend only to read it and find it is utter trash.”
“It’s still selling. If it gets another anime I hope they change the seiyuu though.”
“For season 3 please change the Haruhi seiyuu!”
“So what the hell was the author doing all those years?”