Rated "Masterpiece" to "Excellent" by Anime News Network viewers, see: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/the-melancholy-of-haruhi-suzumiya/dvd-1 . Just watched this, note my wife and I are 46 and have been watching anime since the early 80's... we are... picky. Was afraid watching first episode that this was some awful, made for 16 year-olds, fan-service flick, but then you find out that this is what appears to be a film put together by the SOS club, the subjects of the true storyline, so don't give up hope too quickly, things really take off beginning with the second episode. Wonderful and intelligent fun with lots of puns regarding anime culture and forms and a completely unique storyline. Excellect voice acting help keep the humor intact. You won't regret this one...
This anime is kinda' like Love Hina, Azumanga Daioh, and FLCL all mashed up together, but in a way that's original. It's not a , 'style-over-substance' anime as the story moves along at a decent pace. The quality of the animation is pretty good, too. If you liked any of the shows listed above, you'll probably enjoy this.
Fantastic anime. I cannot recommend this series highly enough!
I'm glad it has an option to watch it with the original Japanese audio track and English subtitles, though, since the dub SUCKS.
Now, I'm not some otaku snob, I usually prefer my anime dubbed, but this one... no. Stick with subs.
It loses another half a star because I was introduced to it through a fan-sub, not the official one. The fan sub is somewhat more dynamic, entertaining, and closer to the dialogue in the original books than the official one.
Still, the series is excellent, blending comedy, sci-fi, slice-of-life, etc. so smoothly that it defies genre completely. Not only that, but the characters are incredibly likeable, and the stories are incredibly entertaining as well.
As I said at the top, I cannot recommend this series highly enough!
(This review applies to all volumes in the series.)