I usually try to give a fair, as unbiased a review as I possibly can. But not this time. This is the 0.01% of the time where I'm going to purposefully express my hate for a show. And today that show is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 2. Or as I like to call it, "The Melancholy of The Fans of Haruhi Suzumiya".
In case you didn't know, "melancholy" refers to sadness or depression. Only instead of Haruhi being the sad and depressed one (as the show is about those around her trying to keep her spirits up), this time around
it's our turn: the fans who supported it financially (if you bought the first series or any other merchandise), increased its popularity (by recommending it to friends), and who even created a sort of "Haruhi-ism" pseudo-religion.
This abomination of a "second season" is a slap in the face to all of the fans who have waited so long to see Haruhi return after all this time. I don't say this as a rabid fanboy, in fact, I'm one those out there who never saw the Haruhi franchise as anything more than another "somewhat entertaining" time-killer. I say this as a fan who empathizes with my fellow anime fans who were waiting with excruciating patience for a great second season, only to be handed a steaming pile of cow dung. Which, strangely enough, is probably the impression KyoAni was aiming for. How? Why? No one knows. Maybe they're just trying to kill their name, and the Haruhi franchise. Maybe they're trying to go out of business. It's beyond my comprehension. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!?!?
In case you didn't know (but chances are you probably do if you're reading this), the last couple of episodes of this "second season" (ugh) covered the story arc where the gang becomes caught in an endless time loop, that can only be resolved if Haruhi helps Kyon with his homework before Summer ends. They could have done this in two episodes, one episode to show one of the loops, the next episode to dedicate half for the realization of the occurrence of the loop, and the next half of the episode to resolve it in yet one last loop, leaving the next episode open to the next part of the story. They could have even stretched it to three and I'm sure it still could have turned out wonderfully.
But no. Here's (likely) MORE THAN HALF THE SEASON DEDICATED TO THE SAME DAMN STORY ARC. Not only that, but said story arc involves showing the SAME EPISODE OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER (etc) for God only knows how many times (yet to come as of this writing). Forget new content, it's rehashed content for half a season, if not more. Oh, but I guess technically some scenes were redrawn due to being shown from different angles... But that DOESN'T MAKE IT ANY MORE INTERESTING.
Here's my advice. Watch the first episode of the season. Then the second. Then skip half the season and pick up where Endless Eight finally ends, then continue on for your (probably) four remaining episodes. Enjoy your approximately five new episodes of Haruhi. It might as well have been an OVA.
I recommend we show our distaste at this horribly unprofessional series by rating it as low as possible, and writing as many bad reviews as possible. I'm not the type to do this, it's far from the kind of person I am. I always try to give things a fair chance, without spur-of-the-moment emotions, without just jumping the gun to write based on my initial impressions. I try to give a show a chance to settle in my mind. But this is a whole other ball game. It's ridiculous, and has infuriated fans across the globe. The fans who love the series, the fans who poured money into it, supported it, and the fans who, most importantly, waited a long time to do it all again in a heartbeat.
Shame on you, KyoAni, shame on you. I will never buy any of your products. Ever. Please give my regards to the Japanese government when you file for bankruptcy.
There have been a lot of negative reviews on this site, which I can agree with to an extent. However, most of them focus entirely on the Endless Eight arc, while disregarding the rest entirely.
I can't say I disagree that the Endless Eight arc sucked; Having to sit through so many episodes of what was, for the most part, the same thing was somewhat annoying. The first time it happened, I had to check to make sure I didn't accidentally rewatch an episode. The changes are subtle enough to miss if you don't watch the episodes back to back.
However, I do like the fact that
the producers tried to do something different, which a lot of others do not. If experimentation like this never occurred, we'd likely never have had the pleasure of watching greats like Cowboy Bebop, or even the original series of Haruhi.
I also very thoroughly enjoyed the other episodes, especially the final ones that very nicely covered the events that had us watch the greatest first episode of an anime ever. And while the Endless Eight arc was long, I really, really loved the final moments of the last episode of that arc.
Art and sound was spectacular, which was always to be expected. You have to hand it to the artists who managed to draw the same episode different ways so many times. The Endless Eight arc was -not- enough to detract from the other episodes of the series, which are all incredible in their own right.
In the end, as long as you're one of those people who only see the negative aspects of something, or have a hard time pushing them out of your mind, you'll probably hate the season.
I personally enjoyed it very much as a whole, and will continue recommending series 1, and start recommending series 2 to anyone who hasn't seen them. And I suggest you not let a few bad reviews deter you from what is ultimately a very enjoyable viewing.
The entirety of the season can be summed up almost in much the same way as the first season, so i am going to focus my attention on the Endless Eight arc of this season. This arc seems to be the part most mentioned in reviews and in most cases negatively so. It is also the most prominent memory we have of the season when you mention the 2nd season.
Eight episodes of the same events, over, and over again. Everyone can agree that this was not a cheap measure to save money. since the animation, clothing, and scene of every
event were unique to each of the eight episodes. But hatred still seems to fill the hearts of the viewers about this arc.
Indeed it is long and boring over time. But like how FLCL must be completely confusing to get it's point across, so must this be the way of Endless Eight. This arc is the lead up to the movie "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya" For those of you who've read the novels or have done your research you should already know this, but if not well now you know. This arc was intended to bore you. it was designed to make you angry. But what can you do? you are only the viewer of this show. you can only sit there and hope the next episode will advance the plot. sounding familiar?
if you have not guessed already the main character of this arc is not actually Kyon. Although the show is told through him It's Yuki we should be paying attention to. Ms. Nagato, the alien computer interface placed on earth as an observation tool unaffected by time loops or altered realities. she has the omnipotent power to know all and to do all, the only catch? she may not do anything. her job is simply to observe and assist when absolutely necessary.
now in order for us to fully understand this we'll also need to understand the philosophy behind Artificial intelligence and how it works. but to keep it simple, intelligence is intelligence. Be it natural or artificial it will learn and develop things called emotions (at least thats what pop culture tells us) We are not in a sense born with emotions. they are learned, just like data being collected, compiled and processed. It is inappropriate even to call it "excess" data build up. For us humans the compilation of data for emotions happens between age 8 and 18 this is when we try to establish what everything is to us. Yuki has entered as an AI into this stage of her life. and it is a confusing and frustrating time.
now you're angry having to sit through this 8 times. each time is ~25 minutes for us. Now then, lets do the math shall we?(sort of, not really) those 25 minutes each represent in that universe 14 days, an entire 2 weeks. Those two weeks have repeated, in one of the episodes the number was, 15,521 times. Yuki has sat through not only 15,521 episodes, rather she has sat through that many iterations of a 14 day cycle. Imagine how frustrated and angry she must be.
looking at it from the point of view that this is the lead up to the disappearance arc, it is an amazingly well done and high risk choice made by the director which i feel worked perfectly. Not only did he anger the fans, it was his exact intention to do so. the same effect cannot have been achieved with 3 or even 5 episodes. If this arc did not completely piss you off it would have failed to deliver the emotions of the characters in the story. Tatsuya Ishihara, i salute you for this bold move.
Ah Endless Eight, how I loathe thee. With the exception of the first episode, this entire season has been the same one done over and over.
First episode of Endless Eight was good.
Second was okay, and introduced the time loop.
Third was basically a repeat of 2 with a few changes in dialogue and clothing. Disappointed at KyoAni.
Fourth as above, starting to annoy me.
Fifth also as above, and gives conclusive evidence that KyoAni is trolling.
Really, if you pick this up when the season is finished, skip all but the first and last Endless Eight episodes. Save yourself some time and boredom of seeing the same thing 5
As of writing this review, we are currently stuck in a seemingly infinite loop of "Endless Eight". The first episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 2 is based on the Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody story, which was good, however, the next episode is based on the Endless Eight story, a story revolving around the cast trapped in a time loop during August.
However, instead of resolving the incident in one or two episodes, Kyoto Animation has decided to put the viewer through the same time loop, and as of writing, 4 of the 5 released episodes have been almost exactly the same thing. There have
been only minor differences between each episode, with AT LEAST 20 minutes of the episode being dedicated to material we've already seen, and they've managed to make 4 episodes of this, with an expected 5th episode (and who knows how many more) just like it.
Not only is this incredibly boring to watch and a complete waste of time, but it shows Kyoto Animation's poor professionalism and their childish, trolling nature which they've been tormenting the fans with since releasing teasers for season 2 over 2 years ago.
At any rate, hopefully Kyoto Animation will stop this sooner or later and we'll actually get a REAL season 2. Until then, this is one of the greatest displays of unprofessionalism I've ever seen, and it deserves no more than the 1 I have given it, and the 1 I suggest everyone give it.
MOD EDIT: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is posted in the more info tab.
As expected not a lot has changed. The animation hasn't changed much but it is evident that there were some budget skimping. There's also the new ED which is pretty lackluster. Music wasn't the biggest selling point of Haruhi so let's just keep it at that.
I wasn't expecting anything story-wise since this is an insert episode. Like the 1st season, there are a number of pseudo-physics explanations. Even though this episode is an insert, I didn't see the need to rewatch the previous episodes but it doesn't mean that it's fully self-contained.
For some reason, I don't expect a lot of changes even after the 28 episode run is complete. From my point of view, it's simply a way for Kyoani to capitalize on a successful title.
I can't recommend nor hype this to any reader of my review since I didn't really enjoy watching it amidst all the hype. Average at best.
Btw. I'm not a Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya fan but I did watch the past season completely and in full attention since it is unique and a class by itself. I'm simply giving an unbiased look into this episode.
How terrifying is it to know that tomorrow, you won't remember today? Or that you don't actually have a tomorrow... because tomorrow is last week. And that this week is last week as much as it is next week. It's enough to make modern Western philosophy implode. Didn't T.S. Eliot have a poem or four about this?
This is one of the issues that comes up in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (2009). Assuming you didn't just throw a remote at the TV/mouse at the monitor in frustration and said "To hell with this shit."
Retrospect is quite a thing, especially when fans are left to compare
a follow-up series to an original that was an undeniable cultural explosion. The first run of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu pretty much shook the anime scene so strongly that even today, smatterings of people can still be found at cons dancing to "Hare Hare Yukai". A pretty influential series, especially considering that it basically cemented the dry, sarcastic everyman as a staple lead for self-reflective otaku-centric anime for years afterwards and that Haruhi-ism actually is a thing.
But that aside, it seemed pretty much a guaranteed hit for Kyoto Animation, doing a sequel to a juggernaut in the midst of several critical and commercial darlings (Clannad and ~After Story~, K-ON). Franchising seems like the best thing to do, and how could you possibly go wrong with Haruhi? Oh ho ho.
What you end up getting is a series that, also in retrospect, seems a lot better than what the fan outcry was at the time it was airing. This "second season" should not be viewed as an entity onto itself. The episodes fall into place when you consider its role in the entire Haruhi chronology. It all makes perfect sense when you think of it as a whole. Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu showed off its brilliance the first time by experimenting and mastering plot. 2006 saw the first series air out of order, yet the entire narrative functioned perfectly. It challenged its viewers the first time around. This time it might seem like a trial. The Endless Eight arc as it is known is perhaps the best way to drip-torture someone without water.
It's summer, the last two weeks of vacation, and Kyon, Yuki, Mikuru and Koizumi are trapped in Haruhi's infinite time loop. Think less Groundhog Day, more deja vu. The characters have no idea what's happening to them save for Yuki (for obvious reasons). And so we, and they, are presented the same events ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
It's the same thing over and over. And over. Again and again. And again and again and again.
The episodes aren't entirely copy and paste of one another. Clothes change, maybe one time you'll see them at a store, another at the poolside. But the vacation is burned permanently into our minds and possibly their DNA at this point: pool, shopping, festival, bug-catching, part-time job. Every summer cliche in the book, really. So here is the reason for the outrage: what kind of cheap trick is this? There might be two camps about this situation. Either Kyoto Animation is laughing maniacally that they got away with this or (even beyond their control) the studio dared to show something deeper to its audience. In any case, what other franchise could do something like this? This is Nintendo-Revolution-surprise-Wii levels of throwing an audience and dedicated fanbase for a loop.
And so, if it's the latter and not some cheap cop-out, where is any depth in these pool-filled episodes of repetitious service? The aforementioned questions of time and existence and ignorance.
It's astounding to consider what a nightmare it is to have no tomorrow... and how much worse it is to not even KNOW that. Knowledge is what we crave, always. It's a terrible way to exist when one doesn't know. What about Yuki, for whom time "passes normally"? What is it like to observe eternity before you? Not bad questions or propositions, although they come at the expense of tearing your hair out.
The episodes outside Endless Eight come as relief. Some of these cover the troubled and joyless production of the supremely funny "Asahina Mikuru's Adventure" (which is easily one of the best and most creative episodes of anime ever produced). The high point of these episodes is what they propose: everyone is not what they seem. Wait, wasn't that in the first series? Yes. But here's the kicker: everyone is not what they seem... to Kyon. For instance, think for a moment that Mikuru's unbearable blubbering is act she's putting on to fool him. Really consider it. Huh.
But that leads to the most important questions people seem more inclined to ask: is this worth it? It depends.
Is it entertaining? Not in the slightest. Is it even good? Who even knows? To say it's horrendous is as right as saying that it's brilliant. It's not either one of those things yet it's not passable or average. What is this anime, then? It's Haruhi.
It is my belief that a terrible plot can be pushed up if the exposition is good. Inversely, a good plot can be ruined by terrible exposition. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 2 could be considered a story with a fairly good plot and possibly the worst exposition I have ever seen in my entire life.
KyoAni has apparently reached the point where they realized people loved the show so much they'll sit through anything if it has Haruhi in it, and so decided to play a cruel joke on us by forcing us to watch the same episode over and over again. I call this
trolling, and on god-level.
Quick explanation: Haruhi has the SOS Brigade do a series of summer activities over a period of two weeks, what's left of summer vacation. The next episode begins the same way. Halfway through it, the characters realize they've been caught in an endless time loop. The next episode begins the same way. Halfway through it, the characters realize they've been caught in an endless time loop. The next episode begins the same way. Halfway through it, the characters realize they've been caught in an endless time loop. The next episode begins the same way. Halfway through it, the characters realize they've been caught in an endless time loop.
See what I did there? For five episodes these same events have been occurring to the point of becoming frustrating. Every single time you hope this will be the episode where the time loop ends, but it just keeps going. Three episodes would have been more than enough for this story arc, but KyoAni decided six was more appropriate.
Another thing to take into account is how much a bad sequel or bad second season hurts the original title. As good as it may have been, it suddenly looks like it wasn't so good in the first place, and that is exactly what this story arc is doing to the entire series.
Okay, now to break it down The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 2nd, has hit a ditch in the road, or is being written on a treadmill. (First and most probably last review)
I admit I did quite enjoy the first season, simply because of the torrent of ideas which seem to flood me after I've seen an episode. (I myself am a writer, though this is quite unnecessary information)
The first two episodes stated out fine, bringing us back into Haruhi's world, and linking back to previous episodes, but when we got two the "Endless Eight" Arc (of which I'm dreading might actually be eight episodes, fingers
crossed for ep 6 to be the last one) you find yourself watching the same thing as you did last week, I actually was certain that I had loaded the wrong episode and watched each of them again. This is all quite bad for an Anime. But I found myself looking at this from a objective and overall story view, then it becomes slightly more enjoyable, though, cutting it down to maybe only three episodes would have been a wiser decision (Just a small tip to help you get through it, if your still sticking to it.)
This is poor quality story telling especially for a TV series/Anime(Which should shorten down any story to about a quarter of what was written) , I do not recommend you watch the Endless eight arc, when its over I believe it would do good to watch the first episode of this arc and then the last (and one in between if you really have to) as to save time and patience.
Only fanatical fans of the show, or ones to lazy to stop watching should continue on this downward spiral.
Overall Story - Is sticking to a realist style,for me its new yet boring to see this happen. (i say 5 & 3, for the fact that the first two episodes did not repeat themselves)
Animation and Sound - Keeps up the clean crisp standard of the Previous series, no complaints
Characters - Kyon is his sceptical disgruntled self, that's all I really need from the characters, and Nagato does actually look quite bored ~I wonder why?
Enjoyment - To be honest I have waited with a sense of anticipation for each episode, as one part in the opening theme song with the Kyon head shake, I do quite enjoy that. but to say that the opening theme is more enjoyable than the actual content puts me in quite a melancholic mood, excuse the pun..
I've wasted enough of your time, go watch something else for a while, come back when the series is over.
The second season of Haruhi has been seen as a failure by a lot of anime fans.
But frankly I don't understand it.
The art work is very good. VERY VERY GOOD guys, the animation is fluid and the characters are nicely designed. While it is not the same as the first season and there are certain things I dislike compared to it, there are also quite a few things with the artwork in season two that I think have lived up to season one's creativity, and in some ways surpassed it. I noticed a more detailed animation as far as hair
and clothes and also a more unique use of lighting. I think most would agree that season two's artwork deserves at least a 8, but personally I give it a 10.
The sound is, once again, golden. The seiyuu are giving a tremendous amount of effort into the voice acting. (While unfortunately there is no second Haruhi concert, that is because it is the one and only.) The soundtrack features scores fitting to the events in this season, which are actually a bit darker than in season one. So in my book, Haruhi still is a 10 in sound.
The characters are fantastic as always. Kyon and Haruhi in particular grow in this season as we see the worst dispute between them (The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya). We see Haruhi get desperate, Kyon lose his cool, Koizumi under stress, Asahina suck it up, and Nagato show more emotions. Haruhi retains another 10.
So now comes the problem, or is it a problem? The storyline is quite memorable from this season. Basically we watched Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, a pretty good episode if I do say so, and then we get into two new arcs: Endless Eight and The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya.
Well, you know which one is more important right? :)
Quite frankly, I'm shocked and disappointed in the animosity shown by the Haruhi fans towards Endless Eight. Let's look at it from the animation company's point of view shall we? "Hmm, Endless Eight. How about we plan eight episodes about the same sequence of events and form eight animation teams to design them." If you look at it that way, its actually not such a bad idea. Its not as if they actually broadcasted the same episode every week guys, and if you weren't interested in the animation used each week, then you can hardly call yourselves animation fans.
Its so irritating to know that a show that I enjoy so much is getting 1'S IN ITS REVIEWS!! Can ONE ARC really change the way you view the series?? So much that you give it a 1?!! I can't think of ANY SHOW that I've given a one to, its just not possible. If you didn't like this show, at least give it points for animation and sound which it obviously deserves. And what these people are giving a 1 for is only half of the season, hell people were giving this season a 1 before it was even finished!
Basically, I urge the community to change its outlook on Endless Eight. While we all agree that the show should have been directed in a different way and that Endless Eight should have been kept as a one, two, or three episode arc, its not as if Haruhi was ruined as a series because of it. In my case, I actually enjoyed a majority of Endless Eight because I loved the animation, but I really wished the count hadn't been so long that we didn't get to see the Disappearance. Simple as that, don't flame the series because of something so simple.
And after the Endless Eight Arc, we watched the Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya. Now I have a confession. I don't really like this arc. The reason is that I actually found the Sigh the most boring novel in the Suzumiya Haruhi series. However, I'm glad to say that I enjoyed the anime version a lot more. It was a bit more dramatic than usual as you may have noticed, but if they hadn't made it that way we'd all be complaining that it was boring. The only part of the Sigh that I found interesting was the dispute. I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't seen the series, but this moment is supposed to be as dramatic as it was in the anime. A very pivotal moment for the series as a whole. I found the story telling of the Sigh most befitting to the novel it was based on (even if I didn't really fancy that novel.)
So overall I give the story telling an 8. Minus one point for the repetitiveness of Endless Eight and minus another point because we didn't get to see the Disappearance because Endless Eight was too long. Fair, right?
I give the Enjoyment a score of 9. This is my personal enjoyment of the second season.
And finally the season gets an 8 overall. This is a fair assessment of this series, and even if it isn't it sure as hell is better than the reviews of people who give this series a 1.
The basic rule of anime is that if something is perfect the first go around, you will only fuck it up if you come back and make more of it. The second rule is that fans will watch it, regardless. The third rule is that message board fucktards will defend it like the honor of their dead mother who perished in a tragic incident involving a horse dong...
But I digress.
Clearly after the endless hype, the teasing, the disinformation, the creators of Haruhi have managed to shit out three stunningly mediocre episodes of a 'sequal' [sic] to the original show that managed to be somewhat quirky,
fresh, and a semi-original premise.
Kyon travels to the past and meets a pre-teen Haruhi and rapes her... erm he seems to be the 'seed' of the idea of her later dealings of the SOS brigade. Then there are two stunningly mediocre episodes that deal with deja vu and the end of summer, but just rehash the events in a different order and wind up reeking of Higurashi without the creepy aftertaste.
There's really nothing to this. There's nothing revealing, there's nothing entertaining, you're left to watch the episodes and wait for the punchline before realizing there isn't one and that waiting for the sequals [sic] was like waiting for your long lost lover to come back after a world trip only to realize she had fucked her brains out in Belgium and now has a family and doesn't remember you anymore.
Literally three episodes and nothing has happened. They're not particularly good episodes in terms of plot, characterization, or whatever. We're supposed to THINK that Haruhi scrawling some shit on a baseball field in alien letters is meaningful then having to listen to some space time psychobabble about time travel and feel all self-important to have understood SOME of it and pat ourselves on the back. Then watch an entire episode of high school kids doing lame-ass summer activities that would bore US if we did them, not mentioning watching someone ELSE do them--only to watch the same fucking thing again before being treated to a revelation that this is deja vu.
Based on the view-or-drop rule of shitty anime, I would have dropped this if this was the first three episodes. Even as a sequal [sic] that qualifies.
Is it shit?
Meh, maybe not totally.
But it's totally mediocre, boring, and probably proof positive of the grand plan of seeing if the loyal fanbois and girls would watch anything regardless of how brainless it was.
That and the anime industry never had an original idea in its existence.
Okay, so I skimmed through two MORE "Endless Eight" episodes and have concluded that Haruhi 2 is shit. The simple fact that people would animate repetitive tripe is bad enough, the fact that people would WATCH it is even more painful in hopes that the anime will redeem itself. I'm sure that there are people out there who are being hopeful because this shit is a way of screening out who the REAL Haruhi fans are, like how your girlfriend cheats on you with a new guy each night to show you she loves you.
I don't care what future episodes bring. I don't care if I'll be having screaming, gushing orgasms when I watch them, the series has truly exceeded the dropworthy status and I just watched two more episodes because I, as an objective critic, have to. Yeah, right. I want the bandwidth I wasted back.
This is so terrible, with its subpar animation, and hopeless pursuit of an idiotic premise and lack of storyboard that my hatred of this show is spilling into my like of Haruhi 1.
I would like to focus mainly on the "Endless Eight" arc in hopes to provide an antidote for the overwhelming negative response this series has encountered by the community, as I myself genuinely enjoyed these episodes. I'm not saying everyone should like this story arc, and I'm definitely not saying it's a crime to hate it.
Though each of these episodes are physically the same, they are each unique in their own way with the use of subtle (but definitely noticeable) differences. I apologize for my lack of specifics, however I'm sure you understand why it would be difficult to remember which episode was
One episode I found rather eerie and almost scary, mainly the way the deja vu was depicted with the sudden shift to gray colors and muffled sound.
One episode made me laugh despite knowing the plot practically word for word, due to the humorous aspects of each persons actions being noticeably more defined.
The last episode of the arc I found to be appropriately "Melancholic" especially with a beautiful scene with the group sitting in the rain. I enjoyed this episode enough to watch it twice in row within 45 minutes. (though admittedly this was perhaps a subconscious attempt to "get what I can" out of this long story arc or "make it worth it" haha) I did with all honesty enjoy the way it ended, though I can't explain why without giving too much away.
Each of these episodes did have one interesting thing in common (besides almost everything)- during the last few minutes of each episode, my heart started racing... and this feeling increased with each episode. You may or may not appreciate that feeling, but I must say that even some of the other anime that I wholeheartedly enjoy don't get me going like that.
The point here is that the creators (how I see it) made a bold move in taking a plot line and repeating it with each episode only to be distinguished by unique subtleties brought into being by their elite (in my opinion) artistic prowess. They have made a dent in this industry with a stunt that may never be repeated (some of you are like "thank god" haha) This at the least must be respected undeniably.
All that being said, I encourage those who haven't seen this series to witness this piece of history and not be turned away from all the bad noise out there.
After three years (of what seemed to be a long time of waiting) the second season of Suzumiya finally came out. What we weren't expecting was a troll from Kyoto Animations. But hey the message boards were extremely fun to go on when this show premiered.
What made this Suzumiya season so "special" was that there was no announcement about it. One day I was surfing the web and people were screaming all over the message boards. "OMG NEW SUZUMIYA." I laughed and quickly scrolled down, until someone told me it was actually true. I was like, "WTF KYOTO ANIMATIONS WHAT." And behold a new season
of Suzumiya was brought to the face of the earth. Of course it was bundled with the first season, so sometimes you had to wait like a month for the next episode. But at least we got something, right?
Which brings us to Suzumiya's second season's problem; Endless eight, which is basically the same episode eight different times with OMG DIFFERENT CLOTHES, OMG DIFFERENT YUKATAS, OMG DIFFERENT SWIMSUITS, AND OMG NEW ANIMATIONS! What disappointed me was that Kyoto Animations didn't skimp out on the budget for these eight episodes (and I'm proud of them for that). But it makes me feel like it was a waste of money, just animating the same thing over and over again. When they could have spent their budget elsewhere. I also feel bad for the voice actors, since they had to actually record it eight different times. I thought Kyoto Animations would record their voices once and then be like, "Okay, you guys go take a break for seven weeks. We'll call you when we get bored of trolling everyone."
It was tedious to watch each week of Suzumiya's EE to see if something would change. At least there was the fun thing of going on the message boards to see everyone's reactions. There are the people who will love Suzumiya, no matter what crap Kyoto Animations gives us. Then there are the people who rage and rage and blame the world for this torture. There are also the intelligent spectators, who very carefully planned out how many more episodes were left and were like, "Kyoto Animations is doing this, so we can understand how Yuki feels." And there were the trolls, they were the most interesting to see. One of my favorites was this youtube video about how Endless Eight will never end with Hitler. And another one was someone putting the broadcasting information and listed Endless Eight until 2012. Oh, I also like Kyon-kun, denwaaaaaaaa~
The other six episodes are actually quality episodes, five of them being Sighs and one being just a one-episode arc. Nothing could beat the Endless Eight arc in discussion though. Kyoto Animations kept the animations high quality and they were able to hire the voice actors to repeat the same lines again and again.
I don't know how I would feel if I was to marathon the entire show at once. I'd probably fall asleep or just stop watching the show overall. I guess this new season of Suzumiya was meant to be taken in slowly, instead of all at once, which most anime watchers tend to do. Since I was watching it while it aired, I was able to break away from watching it continuously and be able to discuss it with everyone online. (MyAnimeList forums were especially fun to visit during this time.)
Would I re-watch this? Ummm ...... no. I could barely make it through the first time. Would I tell my friends to watch this? Ummmm no ...... unless they were die-hard Suzumiya fans. It's very hard to recommend this, but for all you masochist out there I would tell you to watch all of Endless Eight twice, no three times. And everyone else can watch the first episode of Endless Eight, a random episode in between (I recommend the fifth repeat, since Izumi is wearing a speedo. lololololol!), and the last episode. So eight episodes all together for the whole series. Hey, that's almost as long as Endless Eight.
I'm writing this review with great fear and trepidation. In the end I'll either get shot by those who behead anyone who insults Haruhi, and on the other I'll get shot by the people who are simply overreacting giving this show a 1. Let me start off with the fact that the story was superb! The writing didn't drop at all in quality. The second season instead gave us far more insight into Haruhi's character and mysterious forces working behind her. Her powers were shown to a much greater extent as well. It is really quite amazing how
well this series seemed to have such excellent continuity with the rest of the series and the attention to detail did not disappoint.
Now before everyone starts thinking this review will be just rainbows and lollypops, that ends here. The Endless Eight was a too endless. I honestly enjoyed it, the first four times through. And I did like the last episode, but it was nearly too much making it through the middle three episodes. I loved that there was insight into Yuki's character during this part, but the variances could have been much more noticeable. Basically you watch one good episode, eight times over! (It would have been perfect if it was the Forever Five)
The rest of the series was fun and enjoyable and the last plot was, well, different. I'll address this in the character section.
It was not at the same level as the main series somehow, it felt like K-ON!. So it deserves a nine, a high nine, but a nine. The faces really annoyed me at times, especially Haruhi's, which I thought was changed significantly. Nevertheless it does mostly blend well with the rest of the series, but it didn't test it's limits like the first season did.
I saw no decrease in voice acting quality. Actually I thought it might have been even better as we get to hear the characters in different situations. I didn't like the intro or ending nearly as much though as the original ones. After all, what can beat Hare Hare Yukai. I thought the intro was actually very mediocre.
One place the show did step up was in the characters. They're different and deeper and in the case of Haruhi, darker. In the "Sigh of Haruhi" plot she seemed at times bordering on evil and we indeed saw her much darker side. This wasn't necessarily bad, it displayed more of her humanity, but it also showed how much of a brat she really was and I felt quite uncomfortable. Usually I can laugh it off when she's using/abusing her friends. But in that plot it just felt very unsettling, and I think that was the intention. This therefore caused what could have been a fun plot, be more of a serious and dark plot and I found I really couldn't laugh like I could with the original series so it disappointed me. Thus at the same time it felt like a step down because of the loss of general likeability.
Taking all things into account this show does deserve this rating in my most unbiased examination I could muster. It explores a different side of things and it definitely deserves a look from those who've seen the original series. But it doesn't stand on it's own like all the other sequel shows I've reviewed.
-Yuki tackles a girl and it looks... awkward.
-In the endless eight each and every episode has a scene at a pool and on some loops Mikuru is, focused on a little too much.
-In the Sigh of Haruhi episodes Mikuru is in fetish costumes, but they aren't overly immodest.
-Some swearing, I really didn't notice very much of it.
-Some physical abuse.
Let me say something up front here, I laugh at everyone who insists on griping like a child over Endless Eight. Also, my art and sound scores may be a bit high. That's because as long as it falls within reasonable parameters I don't really care.
That said, I found the series as a whole very enjoyable. The Endless Eight arc added to that for many reasons, not the least of which was my amusement at how badly everyone seemed to overreact to it. In addition to this, however, there were also the many minor variations made in each loop. In one case, they even granted
Itsuki a line almost on par with his "Oh, it looks like we're going to get some rain" comment in Someday in the Rain in terms of downright hilariously purposeful blandness. Aside from that, Mikuru Asashina and Nagato Yuki were able to generate increasingly strong hug-urges in each loop.
Moving on from the "endless" recursion of time, the final arc provided good laughs (with a moment of frustrated anger thrown in for good measure) as well as intriguing plot developments. As for the ending, I applauded the highly appropriate conclusion and was left even more excited for the upcoming movie and prospect of a second season than I was before.
P.S. I have no doubt that many of you disagree with my review. I decided to post this because it seemed this part of the series was being sorely underrated due to the unnecessarily massive amount of whining over Endless Eight.
T: Watching Haruhi, I see. The first season again?
NK: I'm trying to forget that the second season exists.
T: It couldn't have been that bad. What went wrong?
NK: They made a second season.
T: Come on. A little more detail would be nice.
NK: That is the true mistake, though. The first season of Suzumiya Haruhi was enough. The characters were designed well, the stories were all the right length and really helped show how the characters developed over the course of the series. It ended on a very good note and nothing needed to be added.
T: The ending was open, though.
It would make sense to add more after the events after the first season.
NK: Yes it would. They didn't.
T: Wait, do you mean that the second season takes place during the first season?
NK: Correct. And there were only three stories. 14 episodes. Not quite as concise as the first season.
T: What were the stories, dare I ask...
NK: A one episode trip back in time for Kyon. That was actually good. Then the Endless Eight began.
T: The...Endless Eight?
NK: Eight episodes that repeated the same two weeks of summer vacation because Haruhi didn't do her homework. I just summarized over half of the second season for you.
T: Um...spoiler warning?
NK: Why bother? You're wasting time by watching the same thing eight frickin' times. I figured I'd remove curiosity for that part of the story for everyone.
T: And the final story?
NK: The other 5 episodes were about the making of the movie that acted as the prequel episode to season one.
T: That's it?
NK: That's it. No further character development, no captivating plot, nothing. Just a 14 episode time sink.
T: There had to be something good, right?
NK: I have two good things to say about the second season. First, the characters were intact. They weren't acting in a way that would surprise you despite the obvious cash-in that this season was supposed to be. Second, the opening was actually enjoyable despite the how bad the season was. It makes me wish that it was the opening for the first season.
T: So...no recommendation.
NK: If you've watched the first season, this is entirely pointless. If you haven't, you can actually find the broadcast order for when the episodes were aired in chronological order with season one. That might be a bit better context-wise, but you're better off just watching season one. Hopefully, the movie is better. The first season deserves such a better follow up than this.
Anyone who has seen this show is going to understand the irony here, but I'm going to repeat what everyone else has said here: The "Endless Eight" story arc is living up to its name. Kyon mentions that he can't imagine how Nagoto feels having to live through the same story for almost six hundred years, but I'm pretty sure we the viewers are really starting to get the picture. Worst of all, it's hard to call shenanigans on the most of the production team. Nearly all of the scenes (even the "repeated ones") are redrawn each episode, with different angles, costumes, montages, etc. The
baffling part is, this means that the animators are still working their asses off, redrawing the same scenes time and again. I almost feel bad for them; they're going through the same things we are. O_o
I understand the direction they all tried to go in. It just didn't work. I enjoyed the beginning and I'm really looking forward to the end. Bah.
“I'm getting bored and just fed up watching something that doesn't seem to be changing at all.”
- Asakura Ryoko, chronological Episode IV of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
In 2006, Kyoto Animation made a simple little anime called The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. It was based on a popular series of light novels written by Nagaru Tanigawa. Even still, nobody expected it to be very big. Kyoto was not trying to make a popular anime. All they wanted to do was make a good anime.
And maybe that’s what went wrong with its 2009 sequel of sorts. That they forgot what Haruhi truly was. That they, rather
than wanting to make a form of art, made a capitalistic envoy instead.
The story is entertaining, but nowhere near the levels of the first season. The first story was Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, by the way the only story with a good amount of screen time. While pretty interesting, the spunk of any given first season episode is gone; the episode just chugs along.
Then came Endless Eight. The exact same thing over and over again. It could have easily been accomplished in one, two, or even three episodes if you wanted to give the feeling of a loop. But instead, Kyoto Animation decided to drag this on for eight episodes. Needless to say, it gets extremely boring and repetitive. Each episode by itself is passable. But put together, it is one of the most boring, redundant, pointless, and driveling arcs ever devised.
After that ends, we get The Sighs of Haruhi Suzumiya. It’s interesting, but the charm, the wit, the feel of the first season are still, well, disappeared. The story itself is a bit tedious, too.
Another weak point for the show. Kyoto Animation began a show shortly before Haruhi Season 2 called K-ON!, a moe-blob anime with cosplaying, tea-drinking, and a surprisingly small amount of actual rock performances. (Or so I hear; I didn’t have the patience to watch the show.) This show had an extremely large influence on Haruhi Season 2’s animation, and it really hurts it. The character’s eyes are taller, more childish. Everybody suddenly develops buckteeth. The colors are less bold, more washed out. There is much less detail. The animation is not as smooth. Animation changes are expected, especially in a period of three years, but for the animation company to regress rather than advance is a terrible thing. I often found it painful to see K-ON! expressions copied and pasted onto everybody, and had to rewatch a first season episode to try to blot it out of my mind and only think of the first season designs whenever I thought of the characters.
The sound is average, which means highly disappointing. In 2006, we got Hare Hare Yukai, Bouken Desho Desho?, God Knows, and Lost My Music. All excellent pieces of J-pop. Even the background pieces are memorable. But in 2009, all we get are Tomare!, Super Driver, and a couple new background pieces that are extremely meh. Tomare! and Super Driver are still fairly good J-pop songs, but when you think of how Hare Hare Yukai, Bouken Desho Desho?, God Knows, and Lost My Music were done so well three years before, they don’t stand a candle.
Exactly the same. Still excellent. Haruhi is still God (though she doesn’t look the part anymore due to the K-ON!ification of the animation), Kyon is still snarky, Yuki is still awesome, Mikuru is still a moe-blob, and Koizumi is still gay. Koizumi and Mikuru are still meh, but that’s just a case of me not liking their personalities and mannerisms; they’re still good characters. And I do not think Haruhi is a bitch, because there is so much more to her character. One small complaint: Kyon seems a lot less observant and a lot more slow than last season. (His lines aren’t quite as memorable this time around, too.)
We have deeply regressed. Haruhi was such an original show. It was indescribable. The second season, however, can be easily described in two words: troll, and disappointment. Which is a pity, because this show had so much promise. There were so many more stories to adapt. There was so much more character to develop. There was so much more merriment to be had.
Kyoto Animation has turned an excellent show into an average show. And they will never learn from their mistakes, because they will still sell hundreds of thousands of Endless Eight DVDs. They will have succeeded in milking as much money as they can from this hot property.
Quite frankly, I'm dissappointed. Not in the show, but in the "fans". I first started watching Haruhi about two months ago, and in that short time, I was impressed time and again. The art, the voices, even the concepts of alternate time and space were mixed together in a way I've rarely seen. After the first few episodes, I was completely enthralled. I just had to see the next episode. After finishing the series for the first time, I can honestly say I was satisfied with all I had just seen; something that no other series has
matched for me, to date. Although satisfied, my curiosity crept in, constantly asking if I had missed anything, if the order might change the perspective. I set the episodes to shuffle, and again, I was completely impressed. I watched the whole series another four times, each in entirely random orders, and each one was like a new series, just as good as the last, and still making perfect sense.
This second season, so far, has still lived up to the expectation left by the first, at least for me. The episodes do repeat, up to this point, and I will admit that the repetition is a bit tiresome, but each episode has its own unique, quality that makes it all that is "Haruhi". The attention to detail, not just in the visuals, but in the minute changes in the voices of each character in each similar, but unique, situation is simply incredible. I truly would not have expected this quality of art from anything else, and I am still astounded by it.
I may be the only one to think this way, but I believe that the Haruhi was not made this way on accident, that it took careful planning to get everything to fit together so well. I also believe that the creators have a reason for the repetition spanning so many episodes, rather than compressing it into one or two episodes. I truly think that this season will live up to its predecessor. Whether it be due to lack of attention, or simple impatience, I really am sorry that so many people seem to be giving up on it.
I'm going to say right now that my general review for this will be negative. Don't like, don't read. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion.
Now as far as I'm concerned, people that reviewed this with an 8, I can only assume they reviewed each Endless Eight episode with a 1, totaling the entire review to an 8.
Well, that would be funny anyways.
Story 3/10: Like most people, I'm going to rate this very badly. There was no story as far as I'm concerned. Aside from the few episodes that were different, the repetition of Endless Eight had no good excuse for even happening. So what if
they included different outfits each time, different camera angles, and maybe a few seconds of extra scenes. IT'S STILL NO EXCUSE. To be honest, I'll admit that I didn't bother to sit through the entire 24 mins of every episode of Endless Eight. There was no point in wasting my time doing so. So, the story in general sucked.
Art 8/10: I'll admit Haruhi's art level is high quality. First series had high quality, second series had high quality. I give kudos for the poor artists that had to re draw scene after scene for Endless Eight. I would have quit, or bashed my head in. So whatever, the art of Haruhi will be as it is. Good.
Sound 7/10: It's been probably close to a year or over half a year since I watched this, so I can't remember much about the sound. I do like Haruhi's sound though. It's one of the better qualities of the show. Can't have a good anime without good music. It keeps you entertained to say the least. So it was pretty good.
Character 5/10: I guess I'm only giving this half because Haruhi's characters in general are pretty plain. Nothing we haven't seen before. I for one quite dislike Haruhi's character in general. She's too annoying for me to handle. Sorry to any Hirano Aya fans (which I know there are many) but I just can't stand her voice. It drives me up the wall, and Haruhi's character with said voice just has me hitting my head against the screen. Besides Haruhi, everyone else is alright. Except, as I said, it's already been done. I guess there's no such thing as an 'original character' anymore.
Enjoyment 2/10: To say the least, I hated The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 2009. As I said before, there were a couple good episodes near the end, but Endless Eight just shot everything down and turned what could have been an okay series, to a dreadful one. I really wasn't expecting them to go as far as to really do 8 episodes of the same shit. It started to seem all too clear as to what KyoAni's plans were when the 3rd and 4th episodes came out for this arc. Terrible.
Overall 2/10: Seriously...there's nothing more to say. If you want to watch it, go ahead. There's no one stopping you. I won't say it's completely unwatchable, but I can't say you'll enjoy it as much as the first series. Just watch the first couple episodes, ONE episode of Endless Eight, and then the last episode of Endless Eight and carry on from there. You don't even need to watch half the series to understand where it's going.