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The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi 2009 December 16, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Anime.
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(Yes, I know the show finished months ago. This is the first of a long series of draft posts I am finally finishing….)

The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, or rather, the Boredom/Sighs of Suzumiya Haruhi if you’re going to be anal about it. The long-awaited second season of Haruhi got a lot of fan-flak for essentially running the same episode eight times in a twelve episode ‘season’. But for what it’s worth I really enjoyed it and admire the balls of KyoAni to take such a piss-taking direction.

For one, they did actually re-animate every episode in the Endless Eight saga afresh, with every scene from a different angle and the lines re-recorded. A colossal waste of time and money some would say, but certainly something none of us is going to forget. And after watching the same thing eight times you really felt like you’d spent half your life watching the damn thing — that’s the kind of accurate empathy you can’t buy. And for what it’s worth, I really enjoyed the first episode of Endless Eight for its slice-of-lifeness and dumb otaku jokes (kakizaki anyone?).

You’ve also got to really admire the way KyoAni screw with our minds. Logical broadcast order? No way! We all greeted the announcement of a rescreening of the first season with cries of “WTF?? Are we ever going to see the second season??”, so to sneak new episodes under the radar by revealing that they were integrating new stuff in with the first season in ‘chronological order’… man, that’s genius. And the otaku went nuts over it when the surprise was revealed. Of course, Endless Eight reversed most of that good will, but hey, easy come….

It was still a joy to see the material from the light novels faithfully animated. As with the first season — and all KyoAni productions — it was impeccably animated, perfectly paced and with joyous OP and ED themes to match (though never coming close to the inimitable Hare Hare Yukai). Getting reacquainted with the characters was like visiting old school friends you hadn’t seen in years. I thoroughly enjoyed the sweet, down to earth endings to all the arcs, particularly Endless Eight. And there was a certain sense of completeness in everything coming back round to Episode 00 (or at least there would have been if there weren’t another two first season ep’s broadcast after :P).

Overall, I was very satisfied with the return of Haruhi, even if it wasn’t quite the second coming. But then fandom’s moved on in the years since the first season (particularly after the insanely good Haruhi-chan and Nyorōn Churuya-san). Suzumiya’s going to need to raise her game if Haruhi-ism is to rule the otaku world again. What she really needs is a movie. Oh.

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