To say that the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for fans of the show would be an understatement. The first season hit the anime world like a storm, and huge numbers of people immediately swore their devotion to Haruhi and the SOS Brigade. The second season though, sorely tested the patience of many fans with the lesson in tedium known as "Endless Eight", and many were left wondering where it all went wrong. The ups and downs of the franchise are well documented and commented upon, and while Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (2009) had some great moments, the lacklustre
storyline left many diehard fans dejected and despairing that the promise of the first series had seemingly fizzled out.
Well, it seems someone was listening.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu begins on 16th December, a month after the cultural festival in the first series, and all is seemingly peaceful. It's not long though, before reality gets put through the wringer, and it's up to Kyon to fix everything.
The thing that most surprised me about this movie is how closely it tries to follow the light novel of the same name. Granted there are a few liberties here and there, but nothing near the number used in both TV series. The benefit of this is that the story has a solid base to begin with, especially as the plot is mainly based around Kyon's thoughts and actions.
The movie begins at a farily placid pace with nothing untoward or suspicious occuring, but one of the problems with the story is that it never really shakes off the languidity of the first 20 or so minutes. While the story itself is actually very good, there are occasions where there is a marked lack of urgency about the plot, and it's these occurences that upset the flow of the movie.
There are some plusses though. The fact that much of the movie is based around Kyon's motivations makes it a more interesting piece than the majority of TV episodes, as he is now the engine by which drives the plot rather than a reactionary element. Another big plus are Kyon's numerous monolgoues which reinforce the direction of the story, but also offer some insight into his character, especially towards the end of the movie.
The design is exactly what one would expect from the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise and follows that of both TV series, but it's when things go to hell that KyoAni really begin to flex some of their creative muscles. The alterations in the character's appearances and actions are extremely well managed, and the characters are generally more expressive here than they are in either series. The animation is crisp and smooth for the majority of the movie, however there are the oddfew blips here and there with character actions (nothing that's really worth worrying about though).
The music used throughout the movie is actually very good, even though the majority of Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu lacks any thematic pieces. The main theme, "Yasashi Boukyaku", is sung by Chihara Minori, and while the song has echoes of regret and oppurtunities lost, these sentiments are made more powerful by the lack of any musical accompaniment. The rest of the music is choreographed well with the on screen action, and some of the tracks chosen are inspired in their usage.
The one thing that hasn't really changed at all is the cast, and while many of the seiyuu definitely earn their pay with this movie, the two stand out performances are from Sugita Tomkazu (Kyon), and Chihara Minori (Yuki), both of whom give a new perspective on their respective characters.
Which neatly leads me on to the characters themselves.
One of the things that has always been a bit lacking with the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise is that there hasn't really been much focus on specific characters with a view to developing them. Thankfully, this movie begins to address that issue. Unlike the two TV series, both of which adopt a more reactionary approach to the growth of a character, the movie is more direct in terms of Kyon's development, and the difference this makes is rather surprising. While some may find Kyon's monologues to be no different to those in the series, it should be noted that the content of his comments gradually changes overthe course fo the movie, and the culmination of this development bodes well for future releases.
In all honesty, I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. The tight storyline, together with the more focused character development, means that the plot is more flowing than in either of the TV series' (although admittedly the time jumps from one episodeto the next play a part in that too). In truth, this movie is everything the second season should have been, and it goes some way to tying up certain loose ends from both series.
One thing that many people don't seem to see though, is the very clear influence of a certain long running British sci-fi series about a time traveller who sometimes calls himself "John Smith" and there were occasions in this movie where I kept expecting to see a TARDIS.
As with any popular title though, there will undoubtedly be those who will be inclined to hate this movie because it's part of the Suzumiya Haruhi series. The majority of viewers however, may find that they enjoy the movie in a way that isn't possible with a 13 episode series.
Hopefully, movies like this will be the way forward for the franchise, as the last thing anyone needs is more Endless Eight.
Assuming that a standard episode is about 20 minutes long, many would ask, “Couldn’t they just have taken out some “Endless Eight” episodes and add this movie into the 2009 Haruhi season?” However, with The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya being 2 hours and 40 minutes, it would not be possible to fit it into a 14 episode season without condensing the majority of the plot and the monologues of Kyon.
First and foremost, this movie is indeed a sequel to both of the previous two seasons of Haruhi. Watching this movie without seeing both seasons is not suggested. For those who have seen both seasons, I
suggest first taking time to remember some plot details and characters. First of all, who is Ryoko Asakura? If you remember from season one of Haruhi you would know that she is yet another alien in the same ranks as Nagato Yuki. In (chronologically) episode 4 of the first season of Haruhi she tries to kill Kyon by stabbing him. Second you should refresh your memories on the first episode of the second season of Haruhi, “Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody”, which is when Kyon goes back in time to help Haruhi draw lines on school grounds but then gets trapped in the past.
Since the plot summary isn’t too well done on the website, I’ll give a brief go. The plot starts on December 16. In about a week, Christmas will hit, so the SOS Brigade decides to have a Christmas party in which Haruhi will make a hotpot for all the members to enjoy. On the morning of December 18, Kyon goes to school to find the strangest thing: Haruhi has gone missing and there are no aliens, espers, or time travelers anymore. As bizarre events keep occurring one after the other, he finds that he is the only person who still knows who Haruhi is. As Kyon loses all hope, he goes to the club room and finds, in one of the books, a bookmark with Nagato Yuki’s hand writing. Striving to figure out its mysterious message, Kyon goes out and tries to find the key to changing the world back to how it used to be.
The plot is exceptional, with a huge plot twist in the middle. The monologues are very well done, including a really epic monologue near the end of the movie. The amount of thought put into the entirety of the plot is also well done; just by reading the plot summary will automatically suck you in. You will be on the edge of your seat the whole time trying to figure out the reasons for these bizarre events. There are some epic moments that really bring out your emotions. You will, at least one, feel tingles down your spine; for me it happened like 10-20 times. The plot is just that well put together that your body can’t help but to let you feel it epicness. Time travel is AMAZINGLY done in this movie. Your mind will be blown by the end of this movie because of time travel. One point in argument is that there are loose ends to the movie. This, of course, is part of the story because it will tie in with the seventh light novel of Haruhi (This movie being the fourth), so the movie automatically is open to a sequel, which of course is a really good thing.
The art is amazing, just as good, if not better, than the TV series. There is a fair share of flashy lights and warping colors when time travel or alien sequences occur. The art is wonderfully beautiful at Kyon’s monologue near the end; trust me when you see it you’ll know. The music is of course amazing, the OP is Bouken Desho Desho, sung by Hirano Aya (Haruhi) and is the OP to Haruhi season one, and the ED is Yasashii Boukyaku sung by Minori Chihara (Yuki) which is peaceful sad melody. The overall OST is amazing and I would definitely get it since it combines sad music with upbeat music when Kyon makes a breakthrough in trying to solve the mysterious occurrence.
Characters are at their best in this movie. Kyon is the central character and makes the biggest change in this movie. He comes to an ultimate realization of everything he was living for: Does he like the life with aliens, espers, and time travelers? Nagato Yuki would be another major character because her life, not as a humanoid interface, but as a human grows. She gains a little bit of emotions and is able to realize her true feelings. Even in the end, Kyon realizes that he has never been thankful everything that Nagato has done for him and ultimately saves her. Even minor characters play a big role, for example Taniguchi, who is ultimately the one who saves Kyon from absolute despair. Haruhi in the distorted world is just a normal person, but without her help, Kyon would not have been saved. The characters are amazingly done and you will love the way they are all presented.
Overall, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is a plot filled, plot twisting, emotional giving, character changing, enjoyment giving, plot loving, mind blowing, time traveling, time distorting, epic bringing, ultimate awesomeness, wonderfully put together, amazingly amazing story. There is only one scene in the movie that is particularly different from the light novel; this would be when Kyon and Asahina encounter Nagato at the school early in the morning (you'll know when), the movie has the scene take place outside the school gates, where in the novel it takes place inside the clubroom; however, I would say putting that particular scene outside was a good call. Fans and haters alike will not be able to deny that this movie is amazing and will love every moment of it. As I said many times before, Kyon’s monologue near the end is wonderfully epic and you will love every moment of it with a passion. Your two hours and forty minutes will not be in vain in any manner, shape, or form. The DVD will come out in 8 to 11 months and you WILL rewatch it because it is just THAT good, I wouldn’t be surprised if I watch it two to three more times. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is a wonderful experience and might be the best anime this 2010 year.
I posted this review in a blog, so please feel free to leave a comment.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about the show where the esper, the alien, the time traveler, and the normal highschool student all gathered together to entertain that certain ecstatic girl. However, as time passed by, it ended up being one of my favourite guilty pleasures. How could I forget the super fun misadventures of the SOS Brigade? Kyon’s snarky attitude? Haruhi’s one of a kind personality? And, most of all, Mikuru’s tea?
The series, though arguably mediocre, had some very fun moments. So where does this movie, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, stand?
Story/Presentation: I’m going to skip over the synopsis, since you can already read
one with a button away. Due to the hype behind this film, it’s practically common knowledge that this movie has a complete different tone compared to the hyperactive series. It starts off like any other episode from the show, and then slowly transitions into a more solemn tone. Sure, it isn’t dark as something Gen Urobuchi would write, but in contrast to the series, it’s quite the difference. The use of tone is used well, and it helps make the movie feel a lot more believable than the show (assuming you have a suspension of disbelief).
Though the tone was one of the film’s highpoints, I can’t help but feel that it makes it a tad, just a tad, disjointed from the series. People expecting more misadventures from the original show will be sorely disappointed in this movie’s change for a serious plot.
The pacing also deserves mention. The beginning of the film is very slow and deliberate, and though many people may criticize it for being boring, I found it to be good writing. Sure, it may seem a bit dragging at times, and it really doesn’t pick up until a big plot twist ¼ of the movie in, but that’s the writer’s intention. It’s supposed to give the viewer the sense of the dull normal world Kyon’s facing after Haruhi’s disappearance, this being reality.
In terms of the story itself, it turns out to be quite the intricate tale, at least compared to the series. Many plot twists come along the way, and for the most part, the film remains unpredictable. Time travel also has a big role, and it really made me think, which is something I can’t say for the show.
However, my favourite part about the story is how it uses past events from the series, as many subplots and character motivations come back and play their role here. When it comes down to it, the writing here has moments of absolute brilliance.
Its connection to the series can be, to some, a downfall, as this isn’t a standalone. To watch this, the viewer must have knowledge of the first two seasons. Another flaw of this film is its association to the source material. It leaves a few plot threads dangling and a few unanswered questions by the ending (I will refrain from spoilers), and until we get more of the series animated, these plot threads will remain unanswered (unless you consult said source material).
Characters: I loved the eccentric cast from the series. Sure, they mostly followed typical stereotypes, but they did so in a refreshing matter that made them memorable. If there’s one thing that bugged me about the series, it is the lack of characterization. Though one shouldn’t expect much of such from a slice of life show, it was shame that most of the characters weren’t given much depth on their own and in their relationships. In addition, they never really felt like real people.
This is yet another highlight of the movie. Kyon is our point of view in this movie, and after Haruhi disappears, all his motivations and interactions with other characters are completely believable. The best part of his characterization comes to play when he starts to question whether he prefers the supernatural world he always complained about or the normal life he wanted from the beginning. His decision regarding that aspect says a lot about his character.
Another character I’d like to mention is Yuki Nagato. We’ve all known her as the monotone emotionless alien/robot, and now we see her as a quite shy bookworm. How she got that way comes from her motivations from the previous season, and her actions in this movie really strengthens our view of her as a character. Did she really feel nothing throughout all the events of the original show? Is she really the emotionless drone we all thought she was?
Surprisingly, Haruhi herself, despite being part of the driving force, doesn’t get as much screen time as one might expect. That’s not to say she was used poorly, and on that note, all the side characters were used well and they each held their respective purpose in the movie strongly.
Art/Animation: Ah, Kyoto Animation. Feast your eyes, ladies and gentlemen, for this movie is a visual ecstasy when it comes to Japanese animation. The visual quality for the original series was already top notch, so just imagine Kyoto Ani squishing that entire budget on a 2 hour and 40 minute movie. I don’t think I need to say much more than that this film, from a visual standpoint, is absolutely stunning. The colours are vibrant and the animation is smooth.
Speaking of the colours, they compliment the movie very well. In the beginning, the colours are bright to show the spunky life of the SOS Brigade, and when the movie transitions in tone, the colours become subtly darker to really drive home the dullness of an ordinary life. This is just a subtle but noticeable change, and that’s what I love about it.
Music/Voice Acting: This has got to be one of my favourite soundtracks in anime of all time. Each track compliments the movie extremely well and every single one of them is fantastically orchestrated. There is a lot of range in atmosphere in the soundtrack, from upbeat to suspenseful to solemn. It goes without saying the soundtrack is excellent and is used masterfully well.
As far as the English Dub goes, I really have no complaints. It is the same cast as the original series, and so if you had no issues there, then you shouldn’t have any here. Each actor continues to compliment his or her respective role well. As far as standouts go, they would have to be Crispin Freeman as Kyon and Michelle Ruff as Yuki Nagato.
Crispin brings something new to the table as Kyon, going beyond the usual snarky attitude he usually has. Michelle Ruff wasn’t necessarily impressive in the original series (though in her defense, her character didn’t really call for anything special), and when it came to portraying the new side of Yuki Nagoto, she really delivers. She doesn’t go crazy and change her voice drastically. Instead, she subtly adds an indescribable… meekness to her performance.
So yeah. The music and the dub are both fantastic.
Final comments: This movie will give fans of the original series the fangasm they were wishing for, and even those who didn’t like the series might find something to enjoy here. Does this make the original series worth watching? In many ways, yes, it does. It’s a well-written movie with a great use of tone, amazing presentation, and masterful production values. It goes without saying that The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya gets a high recommendation from me.
That’s all for my review, folks! Feedback would be greatly appreciated, whether it be praise or criticism.
First off i would like to start this review by saying that I found this movie very enjoyable. It was good just like the original series but possessed a different tone and threw in different elements that helped me see what was going on in the world a little deeper.
I found the plot very interesting because they show you how the characters react to the events of Haruhi's disappearance(specifically Kyon). Within the original two seasons of the show Kyon is always complaining about all the ridiculous things that Haruhi gets him and the rest of the S.O.S Brigade into. But after she disappears and
he is in a world that he has no problems to complain about, he freaks out and investigates how he could change it back. They also go and show great development on Yuki when she has more emotions. Overall i found the plot pretty well driven and had a slightly slow pace, with an ending that doesn't really end. But i never found myself asking what happens next, it was a pretty satisfying show from beginning to end.
I have always liked the art style that was used for this series and the animation was very good. It was easily better than average with lots of great moments. I personally never found a moment where the animation was poor or even average, it was some of the best i have ever seen.
Even though i found Kyon and Yuki to be kind of generic and dull in the original series, i think they really stepped up in this movie. They both had very strong development. Kyon was able to go through an arc where he saw his life without the S.O.S Brigade and found that it wasnt hell for him he was actually having fun. Also for Yuki you actually got to see some emotion come out of her and see what she would act like if she were human. And lets not forget Haruhi that's all i have to say on her she is just a character that is great entertainment and really quite unique in my opinion. But now there were some generic characters like Itsuki and the classic moe character Mikuru so i gave this category an eight.
Remember this is my opinion. I really enjoyed watching this movie, even though it was almost three hours, it flew by. I found the plot interesting and I really loved how we were able to see a side of this series that had a little more drama and character development.
With an average from all the other categories i give this a nine out of ten and a recommend anyone to watch this film when you have completed the original series, it is a MUST WATCH! Thank you for everyone who took the time to read my review and have a good day
Perhaps the best 2 hours of my life today re-watching this film. I absolutely enjoyed watching Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu again! It was a major upgrade in terms of story and character relationships from the anime. Few things I loved about the movie was the outstanding story and relationships between the SOS brigade. When you watch the anime (not the movie) it can be quite the chore actually trying to get through it. However the movie adds to the story that interesting "But what if" factor and it just completely re-write everything into..dare I say "Greatness!"
One of my personal favorite things observing in the
movie was Kyon's reaction to his friends being gone and how he completely changes when he finds out he's in a different world. It was rather interesting to me because personally I don't like Kyon, I hate his personality and constant complaining which keeps me from liking him. However, when he finds out that a majority of people don't remember Haruhi, Mikuru, Itsuki, and Nagato don't remember him or are gone. That moment when he starts regretting everything, mostly about his reactions to how he treated Haruhi that is when I began to feel more respect from him. In all honesty Kyon's a stick in the mud.
Next, was the unexpected twists that occurred. I don't necessarily want to spoil anything however, there were so many moments especially towards the middle maybe the 1:40 minute mark where Kyon is able to solve Nagato's key, everything to that point and beyond was marvelous. I seriously couldn't ask for more shocking revelations in the movie!
The soundtrack was very well orchestrated, shout out to Keigo Hoashi for the work. Pretty much every song played was beautiful, it really set me in a good mood. My favorite part though, was when Kyon's friend whose name I cannot remember, remembered Haruhi and what school she goes to. The music played while Kyon was running to her school was just so damn amazing! The whole time he's running I'm just like "Hurry dude, hurry!"
Lastly, there was the artwork, I didn't actually notice too much other than there was a quality upgrade. The character designs were more or less the same. Nothing too stand out-ish.
Final thoughts is that if you're going to watch this, I would seriously recommend that (If you haven't already) check out the anime first. That way you can see and notice for yourselves the huge difference between the movie and tv show.
Overall I give this movie a solid 9/10 because of it's improvement to the story and most importantly the characters!
In a time when originality is something rare to find in animes, it is the way the content is delivered that defines whether a show becomes great or not, and in this aspect the Haruhi Suzumiya series is when it shines the most. Everyone that knows the series knows that this franchise has always been the "odd guy" that stands out when it comes to the way things are presented or given to the fans, with jumbled chronological airing, or slipping new episodes into what would be otherwise a "re-run" of the old series, or repeating the same events for 8 different episodes. While the
above actions gained the love and hate of many, it is without a doubt that the series is one of the most recognized animes of this decade, and after 2 anime seasons Kyoto Animation has decided to continue its adaptation of the light novel series with this movie.
While most fans were expecting this adaptation to occur during the show's 2009 run, Kadokawa and Kyoto Animation decided that a movie would suit the content of this novel more (or because they just wanted more money). And while their execution of the 2009 episodes is questionable, I believe it was worth the wait in order to get this film.
+ As trademark KyoAni, the movie provides a near carbon copy adaptation of the novel, so fans dont need to worry about this aspect. In fact, KyoAni took some liberties and added a few scenes and dialogue every now and then.
+ At a staggering 2 hours and 42 minutes run, the movie actually manages for the most part to remain interesting leaving the audience wondering just what will come next, so even though its length is intimidating for some people the movie might just go by pretty fast.
+ The movie's story manages to pull from pretty much everything that the series has gone through plot wise and use it in some way or another to further the events of the film. This is not a movie that a newcomer can just walk into, as A LOT of previous events are referenced throughout the movie. Those who sat through ALL the episodes (2006 and 2009) will be rewarded the most.
- While the movie has an incredibly interesting plot, the movie's length itself could also become a problem to some viewers, specially some scenes that could have been trimmed a little to save time and pace since they didnt really include much other than having Kyon sitting, or just walking in silence.
- Those who were turned off by the 2009 episodes might be a bit annoyed to know that while the movie is perfectly watchable as long as you only watched the 1st episode "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody", living through the endless eight could improve your views on the movie.
+ Unquestionably the most graphically impressive work Kyoto Animation has pulled off yet. And personally I have not seen such impressive and fluid animation from pretty much any anime series/movies before in the past. This movie is a looker, guaranteed.
+ The backgrounds sometimes look like they just got lazy and used real life photos, but I can assure you...they are not...its all drawn and it looks amazing.
+ It is not only the background images but also the actual background objects as well, people, cars, wind...this movie always has something going on in the background.
+ Sugita Tomokazu needs a damn award for this, he has always been great voicing Kyon...but this time his performance was just a step up from pretty much anything I've heard him voice before. Chihara Minori also deserves mention for being able to handle Nagato great, especially on this arc which requires extra attention to detail.
+ While a lot of the movie was somewhat quiet. When you started hearing music actually starting to play, you knew sh!t was going down, one of the best uses of soundtrack I've heard in a while.
+ The entire movie is alive with sound, cars, people, even small things like the sound a metal doorknob makes when its grabbed created its proper sound. A truly impressive work to the last detail.
- The only reason I did not give this a 10, is because while the soundtrack itself is truly amazing, a lot of the movie itself did not feature any type of background music except for when actual important events started to happen. Which might make some people lose focus on the film.
+ This is the movie's main feature, and IMO where it nails it. While Haruhi herself is the title character, this movie really is mostly about 2 characters, Kyon and Yuki Nagato.
+ Yuki Nagato undergoes its most severe character development yet for the series, as fans might be delighted to see her growing on the inside and possibly outside. I dont want to spoil much but this movie might give some people a new view on Nagato's character.
+ The true star of this movie however, is Kyon. He undergoes probably the biggest change out of all the characters as he finally comes to a personal choice about where he stands on the SOS Brigade. And while I dont want to spoil much, watching him struggle with himself and coming to terms with what he truly wants was truly amazing.
- The lack of involvement of Mikuru (small), Koizumi and even Haruhi herself might disappoint some of their fans.
Ever since I read novel 4 three years ago, I had been waiting for the time KyoAni would animate it. And now that it has finally arrived, I can say that the many years of wait where worth it. I came into this movie with VERY high expectations because I knew that Kyoto Animation can produce very high quality shows when they try, and even though I had high expectation, I was still blown away even if I watched this from a pretty bad quality camrip. I do not give away a 10/10 score just like that...but if I ever had to give one, this movie definitely earned it.
If you have watched the TV series (but at this point who hasnt?), I highly recommend, no...it is MANDATORY that you watch this movie. The 2009 run of the series put off a lot of people from the franchise and left a bitter taste in the mouth of many, but do not turn your backs on the series yet. This movie might just make you regain your faith in what the Haruhi series can deliver and in the case of those who were never really fans of the series, it might just improve your views on it. This movie felt like the culmination of what the first 28 TV episodes of the series has achieved, and with a few more novels still untouched you can bet for sure that the name of the Haruhi Suzumiya series will continue to live for now and for many years into the future.
*Spoilers for Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu*
Imagine you hang out with this certain group every day. Each member has their own eccentricities, but there’s that one in particular that manages to really grind your gears at times. She harasses everyone in one way or another, she’s loud mouthed, she’s obnoxious, and sometimes you really wanna showcase true gender equality by giving the same slap she might sometimes give you. However, what do you do when she’s gone; how would you feel?
Given the title of this movie, that seems like the appropriate question to ask, but, in reality, it isn't. What you should be asking is: “What
would happen if you were the one who suddenly disappeared?” “How would you feel?” “How would the other group members feel?” Two of these questions happen to be the ones that main character Kyon is forced to answer. That begs the questions: “Does the movie hold up in comparison to the praise people give it?” and “Is it better than the first season of Haruhi, or at least the second?” There have been a lot of questions here, and I can only really answer the last two right now with the rest of this review. If you wanna answer the rest (or all of them), then go ahead: tell me after reading this review. So, in regards to those final two questions, let’s find out, shall we?
It's almost Winter Break for the SOS brigade and it's your typical day with them, as typical as it grown get for Haruhi standards anyway. However, as Kyon wakes up, not only does the day repeat, and not only is Haruhi not in this school, but no one recognizes him, except for a much more expressive and timid Yuki Nagato. Kyon is now in an alternate reality, and the bulk of this movie is him developing a stronger connection with Yuki Nagato while also trying to find a way back to his reality, and there are lots of incredibly handled moments here, like when Kyon tries to walk out but Yuki Nagano silently and nervously grabs his sleeve without anyone saying a word, which ends up convincing him to stay with her longer. For most part, the plot is really well handled and interesting, of unsettlingly alienating at the 10-20 minute mark (intentionally).
The problem lies with the final act, more specifically the resolution. Ryouko Asakura, who is alive here, is once again, a crazed lunatic who stabs Kyon, and all of this is after some time travel that ends up connecting to the events of second season’s first episode. He then chooses between the new reality with the more tolerable Haruhi that he doesn't really know that also has a better atmosphere, and the one of both that he is familiar with. He ultimately chooses the latter, and then the former gets erased, which, should basically erase 95% of this movie’s events, and ultimately, this raises paradox after paradox but for the sake of plot, it's how the conflict of the film is resolved. There are probably more logical ways to arrive at the same conclusion than “and then that reality got erased”, like, for instance, “both have their proper Kyon back after they ended up getting swapped by that thing Yuki Nagato did”. Needless to say, this was an instant breaker of my suspension of disbelief. Whatever, the gang is all happy and relieved to see him since he manages to recover from that nastily knife wound; the end.
I must stress that for most part, the film executes its premise rather well, and up until the falling actions, there really isn't anything wrong with the plot, but that one moment basically wrecked the plot of the movie since it in all logic should basically erase all of the events of most of the movie from ever happening yet Kyon still remembers them. Nonetheless, I do still appreciate what the film does up until that point since t manages to really flesh out it's characters and make them even better than they were before; speaking of which…
Kyon is as we love him, a snarky and tired man lost. However, not only is he every lost and confused at this scenario, but he almost becomes timid. It's nice to see him in a more isolated situation without having to put up with Haruhi all the time, that way we actively see him in more typical scenarios. However, the real star is Yuki Nagato, or rather her new self in this alternate reality. We get to see just how timid and lonely she really is under that stoic and badass exterior, and it's genuinely charming to see that, partly due to the film’s impressive directing. Haruhi’s presence is as unwelcome as ever, but the alternate Haruhi is infinitely superior. Not only does she have a better hairstyle and clothes, but her attitude is much better and calmer. I found it especially funny when she effectively called our Haruhi an idiot. Alternate Itsuki and Ryouko are the same as ever, and it's still cool to see them here.
Mikuru is somehow the same in both realities, and as beautiful and adorkable (look it up) as ever. As for Tsuruya, we don't see her usual self this time. Instead, we see the alternate reality version, who is rather protective of Mikuru to the point of hurting anyone who scares her, which Kyon learned the hard way. Well, with that, we covered all of the characters important to this movie whatsoever aside from Kyon’s sister (who we still don't know the name of), and they're mostly good. Again, the real stars of the film are Kyon and Yuki Nagato, and again, it's touching to see their chemistry blossom in the way that it did.
Given that this film was animated by Kyoto Animation, it's no surprise that this film looks as impressive as it does, even for KyoAni standards. The movements feel even more natural and methodical than before, as it really helps the more grounded,emotional, and quiet tone of this film. I also like how the film’s color palette is much whiter and more washed out than with the rest of the series, to really sell the aforementioned tones as well.It's hard to really do this film’s impressive direction and animation justice, really. Even pointing out scenes like the aforementioned scene of Yuki Nagato getting Kyon to stay, or even the iconic moment of Kyon making the decision to go back to his reality while glass snowflakes fall, can't do it enough justice, as those scenes deserve to be talked about in greater lengths than what I can provide.
Honestly, there really isn't much that I can remotely remember from the OST. While it has been over a year since I've seen it, that's no excuse given that I can vividly remember and celebrate scores from anime that I hadn't seen in less than or over a year, such as the OST for Fate Zero and the songs from Macross Frontier. At the very least, it was really joyful to hear the first Haruhi OP return as the OP of this film, as it is a great song. The ED doesn't stack up, unfortunately. The dub is as good as ever, and some of the weaker voices don't have as much of a role here. It's still nice to hear Crispin Freeman as Kyon and Johnny Yong Bosch as Itsuki, and it's nice to hear Michelle Ruff give a heartfelt and fragile performance as Yuki Nagato. It's the best dub of the franchise, even though they all have the exact same actors each time, probably due to the more emotional material here, but hey, it's still great, and that's what matters.
With all the praise I have it, you would assume that I really had a great time with this movie. I didn't, but that's not to mean that it bores me much or that it wasn't enjoyable. At times, it did feel like a slog, but it did feel very charming at other points, especially after the first 30 minutes. I certainly wasn't as engaged as I wish I was, and that may be in part due to the 162 minute run time, but it was still a nice film to sit through, if only for most part.
OVERALL: 8/10 RAW SCORE: 7.62/10
This is certainly a well-written and impressively directed film, and a great sendoff to the main series (since nothing got adapted past this until a few spinoffs). I'm sure that many of you enjoy this film more than I did, but ultimately, it's still an impressive film, and a charming one at that. It's certainly a breath of fresh air after the abomination that was the second season, endless 8 included. Well, with all that said, I bid you adieu.
***This review is dedicated to Justin Carmical (JewWario)***
Critic’s Log - Earthdate: February 14, 2014. Review #81: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
Today is Valentine’s Day, and if someone you care about disappears. What would you do? You may or may not get the answer from The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.
It is the middle of December, andSOS Brigade chief Haruhi Suzumiya announces that the Brigade is going to hold a Christmas party in their clubroom, with Japanese hotpot for dinner. The brigade members Kyon, Yuki Nagato, Mikuru Asahina and Itsuki Koizumi start preparing everything for the party, such as costumes and decorations. But a couple of days
later, something happens and the rest is classified information.
To be technical, this is (of course) a Kyoto Animation production and seeing how Haruhi Suzumiya was such a hit, and lots of people liked their other titles such as Clannad and K-On! It is no wonder why Kyoto Animation is getting the positive response. I have yet to see Clannad and K-On!.. Don’t ask me why I haven’t seen them yet, I am trying. Back on topic, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is without a doubt Kyoto Animation’s greatest production to date. Even though it’s obvious that Anime films have higher budgets than Television anime, it still is undoubtedly Kyoto Animation’s greatest feat so far. If there are some people that think the animation does look a little awkward at times, I noticed this too until I figured out that it was done to make the viewer feel a little disoriented. This may not get everyone feeling that way while watching it but in my own personal experience, I felt it worked. Another thing I loved about the movie is how beautiful it looks as well as the symbolic touches that the movie sometimes can throw in. In my opinion, It is Kyoto Animation’s visual masterpiece.
The music by Satoru Kousaki is a huge stepup… There is some cues of nostalgia in some parts, but the soundtrack is mostly very different in this film. There is classical and orchestral music in this movie and it fits the scale of the film and it is very effective considering the things that happens in the movie, which is again...classified information. The soundtrack blends in with the movie extremely well and It is worth listening to outside of the movie.
When it comes to voice acting, The Japanese cast is excellent. Tomokazu Sugita is still the same old memorable voice of Kyon, Yuko Gato plays Mikuru Asahina just as usual as before, Daisuke Ono is still great as Koizumi, and Aya Hirano is still great as Haruhi despite the amount of screentime she gets in the film. If there is a huge step-up in performance, it is Minori Chihara as Yuki. Why? because there is something about Yuki you would have to see for yourself and if you already saw the film, you know what I’m talking about. The extras do their job well. As for the English dub, Crispin Freeman is terrific as Kyon in this film. Stephanie Sheh is still pretty good as Ms. Asahina, Johnny Yong Bosch is still alright as Koizumi, and like Chihara-san… Michelle Ruff gets a huge step-up as well and she nails Yuki in this film. The extras in the dub do their job well too. Natsuko Kuwatani and Bridget Hoffman deserve extra props for making Asakura memorable in the film. The Japanese cast and English Dub cast are both pretty damn good.
If there is something that is a huge strength in the movie is that there’s enough room for character development and the time used is done well. Kyon’s situation is believable and it pays off. Mikuru Asahina is kind of her usual self, but not in a bad way. Haruhi does not get heavy amount of screentime and it fits because of the title. Koizumi is alright in the movie. The one that does get heavy amount of attention is Yuki. Yuki is probably one of the most interesting characters in the movie and that’s saying a lot considering she was mostly emotionless in the TV series. The time is well spent on character development and it does pay off in the end. The characters do give off the thought-provoking moments, this especially leads to Kyon who ends up having the most development and screentime in the entire film. This is fitting since he’s been narrating throughout the main TV series and even though the title is about Haruhi Suzumiya. Kyon seems to be treated as a main character more than Haruhi. Kyon truly shines in this film. The characters are great in the film and they develop much better than the TV series.
This leads to the plot, which I may as well say it one last time, that is classified information. With a film such as The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Why would I tell you what I thought of the plot. Well, without giving any classified information away, I can honestly warn you on one thing. the pacing in the film may discourage you at first glance but I can assure you that it fits with the atmosphere of the entire film. The TV series was bursting with fun and giggles and it was worth binge-viewing. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is a completely different ball-game. The fun and giggles from the show is not present and what the film will give you is a more disorienting serious take on the franchise. For something like the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise, this is not out of place since the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise is a bit unorthodox to begin with. To my surprise, it takes the Haruhi Suzumiya to a low and manages to pull it off. The TV series was well-paced, but the film can be slow at times… and it works! I say this because… think of the title. Haruhi Suzumiya as a TV series was mostly fun and gives you the vibe that “time flies when you have fun”, What makes the film’s direction smart is that it is a great contrast to the TV series. Both aesthetically and in direction. Say what you will, but this movie is a terrific follow-up to the TV series after fun, whacky episodes and of course the infamous Endless Eight story arc. If there is one thing you may want to consider, it is to watch The entire TV series before tackling this film. It would help greatly with your experience with this movie. This is not a film to be overlooked if you are an anime fan. You will have to be patient on this one because this film is a must-see for Haruhi fans.
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya was available by Bandai Entertainment. Since they went under, chances are… This movie is out of print. One can hope it gets rescued someday.
With all that said, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is an outstanding film with terrific animation, great character development, a great soundtrack. and a complex story that despite some predictability, it keeps the viewer on guard. It may not be a perfect film, but it is as good as it gets.
I give The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya a 10 out of 10, it is a MASTERPIECE!
Feel free to leave a comment, and join the club!
As I wrap up this review, I have a message to address. If you or anyone ever feels down to the point where suicide is contemplated. You may have heard this hundreds of times, it is not worth it. I have been down that road before where I felt that if I took my own life, I would not have to worry about any future problems. I then went into deep thought and realized that if I did just that, It would be selfish and my family and friends would be hurt emotionally. Also, I would also like to address about bullying as well. I know it's a common saying in school and such, but I will make this clear. It is never okay to bully someone because of race, religion, gender, sexuality, appearance, size, behavior, and interests. Not everyone has high self-esteem and I can understand why this is such an issue in schools. There was a news article I heard about an 11 year old boy named Michael Morones who was bullied in school because he enjoyed the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. He attempted suicide because of the amount of bullying he got. I will admit that I enjoy that show too and I don't make it such a big deal despite how different it is to the other shows in the franchise. Putting my own enjoyment of that show aside, bullying seriously needs to start decreasing. Just because some kid likes some show doesn't mean he should get bullied over it and this really needs to stop because it makes the person obviously immatrue. Bullying probably won't go away ever, but people need to start understanding that bullying can hurt people emotionally to the point where the victim could attempt to commit suicide. Discrimination is far more serious and I will not remain silent when someone I know is being discriminated. I have been through quite a lot growing up (which bullying was not the issue) and I don't feel like sharing my past, but I can let you in on something. I have Asperger's Syndrome, it is part of the Autism spectrum. I may not seem like it, but I am autistic. It does have its challenges but I mostly focus on my strengths. I noticed that I have a good eye for detail and that I am very analytical. This is why I thought it would be fun to write and post anime reviews. I am glad I started and continued in this hobby of mine. It is really fun to me. I make anime reviews to show my passion towards Anime and its community of fans. I may be opinionated in regards to this hobby but I do try to be perfectly honest when reviewing an anime. That just comes with the territory. I am not trying to have everyone agree in what I say which is fine since I welcome a different view of something. I believe I will be doing anime reviews for quite a long time.
I believe everyone regardless of race, religion, gender, and orientation has a purpose in life, the answer may not come right away but it will probably be there. At least that is what I believe. There may be challenges ahead but don't give up. Thank you for your time and have a great day.
Hmmm writing a review for the Haruhi Movie is a bit tough, as its not something you'd want to screw up, so lets take a quick look back as to why that is. Haruhi started off as an original an innovative series that captured the heart of many portraying the life of a girl with God like powers as seen through the eyes of a sarcastic yet very relatable boy. The series was a huge success and even to this day you can walk into any internet forum, type something about aliens, espers, and time travelers, and at least somebody will understand what your talking
about. Due to this success a sequel was inevitable and while it was warned that the series would bring nothing really new to the Haruhi table, and just tack on a few stories to help better explain the overall plot, its still presented the endless eight... Which upset more people than there were weeks in that god awful mess. So now the movie comes out with a bit of trepidation, will it bring back memories of the beloved first series, or will it simply throw more oil on the fire. Well lets find out...
The story as always, revolves mostly around the world as Kyon sees it. Its starts off pretty simple, its December, and Christmas is but a week away. As such Haruhi decides that what they need to do is start a Christmas party. Anyone familiar with the series will feel right at home in this little interlude before the main story, it doesn't really provide anything plot wise, but it brings back the nostalgia of Haruhi, as you watch her order Kyon around, force Mikuru into skimpy mini skirts, and listen to Koizumi's slightly mysterious comments. After this ends, Kyon wakes up, and begins what initially looks like a normal school day, only to find that everything has gone backwards. Nobody seems to remember certain events from the day before, and Kyon at first can't seem to figure out way. When he gets to school he is greeted by a horrible realization, Haruhi is missing! (and if you call spoiler on that then I say look at the bloody title). Kyon eventually works out that nobody seems to remember Haruhi, and that everybody but him doesn't have a clue about many things he remembers. Thus the story continues on in Kyon's quest to figure out how this all came about, how to go back... and if he really wants to.
Now that the basic expositions out of the way, how does it measure up. Well I've gotta say, I was amazed by how well it was done. The Haruhi Franchise has always presented a fantastic story telling ability (and yes endless 8 was well told, its just that after seeing it 8 times it gets BORING) and this movie is no exception. The plot provides many MANY unanswered questions at the beginning and slowly but surely ties all the loose ends together creating a creative and thrilling climax, all leading up to a satisfying ending. A few questions get left unanswered, but aren't essential to the overall plot, and make for great points to ponder over. If you loved the original Haruhi, then this wont disappoint. The story is edgy, and thoughtful, but still heartwarming.
I'm gonna try to not explore to much of the other parts of the movie but here's a quick summary of the rest. The art and music are pretty much the same as any of the others, and that's really really good. And of course the characters are still the same as ever. But the catch now, is that Haruhi is missing, so for the most part, we see what everyone would act like if the SOS brigade wasn't around. Its quite fascinating as a loyal fan, to see how different some of their overall personalities are. Kyon, of course, remains largely unchanged as he still retains all his former memories, but we get to see a slightly more desperate state of him than has ever been shown before. Kyon is alone, in a world where everything has changed. Because of Haruhi's disappearance he has utterly no clue what is going on and can only try to piece everything together bit by bit. The cast has always been great, having colourful personalities and great voice work. They deffinatly get a perfect mark in my book.
Overall, the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is really good. Now I have not actually read the light novels, so I am not sure exactly how accurate they are to the original story. As a fan of the anime, I can safely say that it was extremely enjoyable. It creates a new part the time line, that can stand proudly on its own as a great story. There are many memorable moments, that make you want to laugh or cry depending on the situation. Through and through a definite recommendation goes out to the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya for creating a well told, and enjoyable masterpiece.
"This anime proves that Tanigawa Nagaru, author of the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya light novels is a genius. When you read the MAL synopsis, you already know that this movie will leave you enthralled if you watch it."
+Excellent artwork and animation.
+Silent atmosphere intensify the mood of the story.
+Supporting characters does a great job improving the story.
+You'll be entertained from start to finish.
So after the debacle which was the endless eight I came into The Disappearance of Hrauhi Suzumiya with just as much scepticism as when I first entered the franchise. This time, however, I was overwhelmed with surprises.
Unlike the series the movie is very much plot driven rather than being the episodic and sporadic. Also it takes on a much more serious feel to it which is alien to the series and could have gone terribly wrong, but gladly they succeeded magnificently. Although it is mostly predictable it still manages to keep your attention throughout its long run time, 2 hours and 43 mins to
be exact, and keeps you entertained. Some of the scenes are so brilliantly executed that it blew my brain. However there are two minor gripes that I have with this movie, and I really mean minor, is that the start is bit drawn out and can leave you slightly bored and there are certain plot points which are not fully explained at the end but I guess for the latter point that they will probably be explained in the light novels and in later movie or season.
The animation was already of a very high quality for the original series so with budget of 14 episode series for one movie Kyoto Animation took it to a new level for this series. The character movements are crisper and more fluid, the designs themselves have remained the same but there is now more detail put into the character's facial features and the backgrounds are more detailed as well. The art was pleasant on the eye, now it is breathtakingly gorgeous and there is no place throughout the movie where there is any drop in quality.
Sound- 9.0 (Soundtrack-8.8 and Voice Acting - 9.2)
The soundtrack was truly amped up a notch, yet again, for the movie as the sound track includes more melodic and classical music which corresponded nicely with the more serious tone of the movie and was far more memorable. However I could not find one piece that stood. Nevertheless this was an excellent OST which was beautiful from start to finish.
Yet again I have only watched the Dub (Sub lovers don't kill me please) and I can say that it is wonderfully acted from start to finish with highlights being the performances by both Crispin Freeman and Michelle Ruff who portray Kyon and Yuki Nagato respectively. Michelle Ruff portrays the change in Yuki's character near perfectly using the new found emotion in her voice, due the character change, to startle me in the most pleasant of manners. However Crispin Freeman made the movie for me. His portrayal of Kyon was simply outstanding and this is seen in the quite beautifully written monologues and in the variety of emotions that Kyon is put through in the course of this movie.
Now this is where I got the biggest suprise from this movie. As many many people have pointed out, the characters of the Haruhi series have not developed which is true. However that trend is well and truly broken within this movie as the characters show true features of development rather than the little snippets we got through the series. This development is seen mostly in our narrator Kyon who has to deal with many conflicting emotions through the course of the movie from false happiness to desperation to relief to uplifting joy We also see a development in the relationships between him and some of the other members of the S.O.S Brigade such as Nagato and Haruhi and how much he is willing to give up in order to be able to keep them and how much they mean to him. However if there is any flaws with the characters is that for some of the main cast they only get minor development but is still far more than the series.
Unlike the series, where I feel guilty for enjoying it, I have no such qualms for this movie as it has easily placed itself among favourite movies of all time rubbing shoulders with the Godfather in terms of enjoyment. This movie has done what very few TV shows, anime and films have done; it made me feel as if I was there right with Kyon. It grasped me by the hand and fully immersed me in the world of Haruhi and I don't regret a second of it.
I would recommend this to anyone. Yes I do mean anyone and everyone in fact as I believe that it is a spectacle that cannot be missed and the only slightly major downside is that it is attached to the Haruhi franchise itself which can put many people off of the film. However I firmly believe that if the franchise can continue by producing more very good pieces of work such as this it is promising future for all anime fans.
p.s It is advisable to have watched the two seasons of Haruhi first
This is only my second review so any kind of feedback would be greatly appreciated (especially from you people who didn't find it helpful).
There are aspects of our everyday lives that are simply outside of our control, whether for better or for worse. It may be a difficult fact to swallow, and to compensate, we complain, we groan, we lament, but at the end of the day, we accept that there is nothing we can do. And that's okay. The good things in life are balanced by the bad things, after all (or at least, that's how it's supposed to work). But what happens when the scale tips over; when we are thrusted into a utopia where these struggles are lifted from our shoulders? Do we bask in
the glory of this world, or do we struggle to accept the irreplaceable void in our new lives?
After two seasons of buildup, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya plunges Kyon into this very situation, a world in which Kyon must find his answer to, well, the disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.
These questions are the driving force behind Disappearance's story, and they are a major part of the reason why Disappearance is so highly acclaimed by many. After all, it wouldn't be an understatement to say that many people make their way through the two seasons of Haruhi just to experience the series' unmatchable climax, the movie. For its majority, Disappearance shifts the series' focus onto Yuki Nagato, not on a certain arrogant individual we all hold close to our hearts (or for others, a good kilometer or two away). As stated by the title, Haruhi is absent for much of the film, which can either be a pro or a con. Personally, it was a breath of fresh air to see Nagato take much of the movie's screen time instead of Haruhi's tendency to attract attention to herself.
With Haruhi gone and Nagato essentially becoming a main character, Kyon finds himself in a new world where his "wish" is granted - he doesn't have to be bossed around by Haruhi anymore. The days of being dragged along with Haruhi's whims are now long gone; Kyon can return to the mundane high school life he always said he wanted. Yet, Kyon is left feeling unsatisfied for most of the movie, even though, as he stated himself, "Over night, he was snatched from the jaws of Hell and taken straight to Heaven. The thing is, this person didn't do this himself." This very doubt is what I think makes Disappearance so brilliant. After all the gripes and complaints Kyon had about Haruhi during the first two seasons, Disappearance explores Kyon's feelings about the SOS Brigade behind his mask of self-deprecation. It solidifies Kyon's character and provides closure to the contradictions between his thoughts and his actions.
However, Kyon isn't the only character to find closure. Our beloved alien, Yuki Nagato, goes through immense character development. As with Kyon, the past seasons were one huge buildup to Nagato's character overhaul. Especially with the infamous Endless Eight, the previous episodes were necessary to show Nagato's discomfort and the stress of being responsible for cleaning up all of Haruhi's messes. Disappearance brilliantly addresses Nagato's bottled-up distress and it was astounding to watch her transform remarkably from her character as an emotionless android. Kyon and Nagato's individual development as well as their relationship with each other are truly the pinnacle of the Haruhi series as a whole.
The pacing of the movie is done well, especially considering its taxing length of nearly three hours. There are many startling plot points that will keep you at the edge of your seat, but in between these twists, the movie does drag along at times. While Kyon's monologuing is great as always, especially at the end, I felt a lack of drive in the story at some points. It left me sitting and waiting for the next big plot point, similar to a series of peaks and troughs.
Another gripe I have is in regards to how often Nagato is used to fill in a loose end in a deus ex machina fashion. I thought that there were too many instances in which a problem was resolved simply because Nagato was able to fix them through some supernatural means. This was to be expected, though. Nagato's powers and her ability to fix any issues caused by Haruhi is a part of the series' foundation, after all. Yet, even though the deus ex machina is core to the series' theme, I still found its repeated usage in the movie to be annoying and a bit overused.
The quality of Kyoani's art and animation is just as good, if not better, than the previous seasons, especially with Kyon's monologuing scene towards the end. No disappointment here; it's Kyoani we're talking about, after all. The animation flows very smoothly, and it especially shows during the movie's most important parts near the end.
The soundtrack used during the movie's many crucial turning points are stellar and they really drive home the tone of each plot point. It was quite surprising to hear such well orchestrated pieces during the movie; a feat I would never have expected during my time watching the first two seasons. Every piece complements the movie very well throughout the entirety of the film.
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is a brilliant film that takes the aspects of the original series and propels them to completely new heights. Kyon finally comes face to face with his true sentiments about espers and the like; perhaps he isn't as different from Haruhi as he likes to assume. After all, he does say in episode one:
"Deep in my heart, I wished that aliens, time travelers, ghosts, demons, espers, or evil organizations may pop up in front of me. However, reality is rather cruel! Through I kind of wish they did..."
Let me be blunt: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was, unquestionably, mediocre, nearly pointless drivel. I will never understand how the anime garnered the popularity it did with those two seasons.
The characters had next to zero development and next to zero introspective expositions, combine that with a complete lack of a tight, finished plot(really, because there was none) and you get one of the most pointless anime's ever made, which would never be capable of enthralling or delivering something as complex and satisfying as an emotional catharsis. Sure, it was entertaining -- at times. And yet, at times, you also just wanted to smack Haruhi's
static, annoying and completely flat character with a .45 Magnum, just to crack her skull and see if there was anything other than air inside of it. Same goes for Mikuru and Koizumi, and while Kyon and Nagato did get a few more introspectives than the others, it never leads anywhere, and you're left wondering what was even the point of those characters. Abandon all hope of something as complex as character development if the series can barely introduce character introspection or exposition, that's what I usually say.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya lacked both in character and in plot, plain and simple. It's nothing but relatively entertaining mediocrity, and definitely not worthy of the many praises it gets.
That being said; you should go out and watch it.
Yes, go out and dreg your way through it. Even if you're someone like me, who dislikes entertaining, pandering drivel, you should watch it.
Why? Well. Because, like I said, the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is "nearly" pointless. It does have something which actually holds great value.
It acts as a prologue to this movie: The Dissapearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.
+ This story is, for all intents and purposes, a Nagato and Kyon story. They're it's main characters, and every other character revolves around them, all for the betterment of telling the story. Saying this as a fair warning, if you're one of the few dozen Mikuru or Koizumi fans, prepare for dissapointment -- this story is not about them.
And if you're one of the hundreds of Haruhi fans, well, prepare for dissapointment as well. Her role is besides Mukuru and Koizume in this one. Which is, actually, a breath of fresh air, and the movie gains alot from minimizing Haruhi's role as much as possible, considering how polarizingly terrible her character is in comparison to the nearly universally loved mains of this movie. However, moving on.
+ Naturally, though, there is a great difference in tone and atmosphere. While the Melancholy was surprisingly up-beat and cheerful, the Dissapearance wants to show some of it's characters in their deepest and desperate. All for the better of understanding their development and struggles.
+ Mainly, this story is about a choice, a person asking the one closest to them what he thinks of this choice. Kyon has always been reviling how his life turns out into such chaos because of the supernatural happenings around him, so what would happen if one day, he got his wish, and woke up in a completely normal world? No time-travelling, no talking cats, no laser beams, no-one heroically saving your life. All of Kyon's friends maintain their persona's(save for Yuki), but they're all dead-drop normal and powerless, even when re-assembled.
How does Kyon feel about this? How will he react to the lack of the adventure he's come to know? How does he feel about the only person in the group whose acting completely different from their usual selves? And what does all of this mean? Why did it happen?
+ Permeated by many themes that were completely absent in the original Anime. Mainly: appreciate what you have, and pay attention to your friends, because they may be suffering due to you, and you don't even know it.
+ This movie's plot is self-contained, however. Don't come here expecting questions such as "What is haruhi" or "What is the purposes of the different organizations surrounding her" to be answered. But this is actually a good thing. Such plot questions should've been answered in the main series, and in this movie, they'd only be distracting from the real substance.
+ The animation is fluid and intense. It takes upon the good from the series and improves upon it even more. The movie is pleasant to see in motion, and the visuals all bear color and vibrancy, as is standard for the style of the series.
+ Everything seems to be completely hand-drawn, and you can and will greatly appreciate the subtle expression changes that happen in emotional moments. A fainter smile, an eye dropping slightly, a small shaking of the head, etc.
+ The sound is a definite plus. The voice acting could not have been better and the musical score ramps up exactly when it needs to and never takes up too much space, allowing for the real substance to appear when it needs to.
+ One of the best original soundtracks I've heard. Definitely fits the theme of the movie in it's own unique way.
+ How can I put this?
The Melancholy had no character.
This movie is all about character.
+ Character development is stark and memorable. Powerful and cathartic. Immensely satisfying in it's conclusion to the initial conflict, for both of the main protagonists. We get to see the workings of both Kyon's and Nagato's inner thoughts, and not only does it add several dimensions to their relationship, it fleshes out just what kind of emotions had been wafting in that relationship. Their final scene toguether is incredibly powerful and telling, and brings one of the two main conflicts of the movie into a stunning closure.
+ Individually, Kyon and Nagato also develop. Kyon in particular, we see developing on-screen, while Nagato's development, due to the nature of her character it'self, is more subtle, but no less powerful. It's actually ironic that the emotionless alien showed more emotion that 3/5's of the rest of the cast combined, but at the same time, incredibly gratifying.
When I once pegged Kyon and Nagato as characters near as flat as the rest of the cast, this movie takes those two from Melancholy and simply gives them space to breathe. Going from flat to spherical in a matter of hours. It would not be a stretch to say they've become terrific characters because of this movie.
+ As it's been said before, this is a Nagato and Kyon story. The other characters get no development, and nearly no introspection, save for a couple moments here and there. Even in the normal world, they still retain their normal persona's. Koizume with his perpetual disarming smile, Haruhi with her annoyingly control-freaky/bossy self-important self and Mikuru is the moe-damsel. Don't worry, though. They don't appear for long, nor do they receive focus. The fact that their roles is diminished is certainly a positive, especially Haruhi, whose character is so sociopathically dominant that the kind of introspection and development we got from both Nagato and Kyon wouldn't be possible if the developers hadn't put her in the side-lines.
It is thoroughly enjoyable. Really, I'd classify it as a "must see". It is a tricky must see, though, since first you have to dreg your way through the Melancholy. It follows the novel faithfully enough, and it leaves you with several thoughts for chewing even after finished. Completely revitalized my standing when it comes to this franchise.
Overall, go watch this movie.
Yes, you'll have to suffer(slightly) through the serie's initial mediocrity, but this movie will take your time wasted in all those episodes and pay for it twicefold. Pay special attention to Nagato and Kyon's character traits, because they will be important here.
Really, just consider the anime as a prologue for this movie, because it's just that worth it, and not dissapointing at all. This movie takes the series, and injects into it what it was sorely lacking: character and plot. And does so magnificently. It's the culmination of the franchise, and even considering the later novels(Dissapearance is n#4), it is incredibly unlikely that Dissapearance will ever be topped.
This movie is the Haruhi franchise at it's finest. Go watch it.
I was never a really big fan of Haruhi to begin with. I watched the first season because of recommendations and word of mouth. The premise itself was interesting to say the least, perhaps a little dumb. High school girl has deity-esque powers and controls the world around her with her emotions without actually knowing that? Not to mention that it was again up to a bunch of high school kids to save the world from her mood swings...yeah it sounds pretty dumb on paper. What made it work so well for me was the main character nobody ever thought would make a good main
character: Kyon. Yup he's pretty much the only person the audience can relate to, not that his situation is relate-able in the slightest He's the character that holds things together for the brigade, but in a way, he also holds things together for us by being the only voice of reason in the show. His monologues are well written and delivered, albeit with the perfect amount of cynicism a normal person might feel in his situation. This is what makes Kyon such a likable and good character, in a cast of completely strange people with all sorts of powers, he sticks out because of his overt normal-ness. Strangely enough this is what makes him special, the audience is Kyon as much as Kyon represents the audience. Its almost hard not to get absorbed in his character. Without him, this movie or series would not work in the slightest.
The premise of the movie is that Kyon wakes up on December 17th to find himself in an alternate reality where Haruhi seemingly doesn't exist. There are no aliens, time-travelers or esper boys to speak of and Kyon pretty much reacts like any normal person would: like a raging lunatic. Not going to delve into to anymore plot details since the plot is one of the movie's strongest points. With just enough curves and twists to be complex yet not convoluted. The pacing is excellent, and although it may start off a little slow, it soon picks up steam and becomes a breeze to watch. There is a fair amount of characterization, a lot for some of Brigade members yet even some for the ones that aren't in the spotlight this time around. Kyon definitely comes a long way from the beginning of the series, and yet when he finally reaches his epiphany, it feels like an accomplishment for the audience too. The movie itself isn't a standalone feature and to get the most enjoyments out of it, the previous seasons need to have been viewed (yes season 2 as well, for the most part).
The art and animation are top notch. The background art and the scenery almost reach photo realistic levels of quality. It isn't a slouch in the animation department either, there's plenty of background movement and actions to breath life into the whole movie. The music is very well done and placed, the pieces themselves aren't anything mind-blowing yet they work so well in the context they are used in. Voice acting is very good, everyone is expressive and believable. Tomokazu Sugita does a phenomenal job with Kyon, really there is no one better suited for the role than him.
Disappearance is one of the best movies I've seen in a while. In hindsight, it probably worked as well as it did because it's a feature length film. I didn't care about Kyoani's decision about the 2nd season or the Endless Eight fiasco, I'm just glad that they made this into a movie instead of just part of the series. I strongly recommend this to anybody who enjoys movies in general. I still think the 1st and 2nd season were nothing special, but Disappearance is just in a league of its own
Usually, when it comes to the most popular animes I usually don't jump on it as fast as some people may, but I end up watching it anyway to see if the hype is really worth it. But in Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya) I actually enjoyed it way more then I expected to, so here is my review.
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya story was a lot better executed the the original series itself it takes place Following on from the events of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime series, the story takes place from December 16 until December 24,
a month after the cultural festival. The SOS Brigade, led by Haruhi Suzumiya (Aya Hirano), makes plans to have a nabe party for Christmas. However, on the morning of December 18, Kyon (Tomokazu Sugita) arrives at school and finds that the very nature of his reality has changed; Haruhi and Itsuki Koizumi (Daisuke Ono) are missing, Ryoko Asakura (Natsuko Kuwatani) has mysteriously returned, Mikuru Asahina (Yūko Gotō) does not recognize him and Yuki Nagato (Minori Chihara) is an ordinary human. Only Kyon is aware that everything is different and no one else remembers anything about Haruhi or the SOS Brigade. The only clue Kyon manages to find is a bookmark left by the alien version of Yuki before everything was changed, telling him to gather "keys" to run a program. While wondering about this clue, he gets to know the new Yuki, who appears to be quite fond of him. As December 20 comes, Kyon learns from Taniguchi (Minoru Shiraishi) that Haruhi was at another high school the whole time, along with Itsuki and others formerly from his school. By revealing his identity to her as 'John Smith', an alias he had used when he travelled back in time to assist a young Haruhi, Kyon manages to convince Haruhi to believe his story. With her assistance they gather the SOS Brigade together in the club room, thus bringing the keys necessary for a program built by alien Yuki.
Now i'm going to give KyoAni tons of credit on the characters, they decided to put character development, yes, character development, Kyon, Haruhi, Nagato, etc all act different in a serious way we never seen them before and this was very refreshing. Kyon not acting so sarcastic and taken life more serious, Haruhi acting more mature and not so much as a hyper active 12 year old girl and I would have loved if the original series would have incorporated this element in the series too.
Now this is KyoAni so you can expect the best of the best with them. Scenes where animated very well, some scenes where breathtaking and beautifully well done.Sound was also a plus with well orchestrated music and ballads that I thought fit the movie very well.
Overall The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is actually in my opinion a lot better then the original series itself and thats saying a alot, Characters being well develop, story taking itself more serious and showing how a moe anime can be just as good as some other anime movies. Yeah, this movie may have flaws and its NOT PERFECT, but if you hated the original Haruhi series this movie stops all your bad opinions about go away, well maybe not but you get what I mean.
This review contains SPOILERS, read it at your own risk.
It took me a second viewing to be able to grasp the message of this movie, it is interesting to note that this movie, and the Haruhi series in general, have a reasonably high rewatch value. Additionally, I believe that in order to enjoy this movie to its fullest potential, one has to sit through the entire 2 seasons of Haruhi TV series beforehand as well. Think of it as doing a marathon on Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or Star Wars.
One should not watch this movie without watching the previous 2 seasons, as
they contain many events leading up to this movie. This movie is notable for its drastic change of mood. It is gloomy, dark and solemn as compared to the wacky, vibrant and chaotic TV series counterpart.
The movie started off having the similar mood as the TV series, until the big plot twist which happened during the first quarter of the movie. I find the way Kyon reacted to the major change of the world and his feelings of terror, disbelief, desperation, and the huge sense of relief when he had found a clue, corresponded very well with the viewer, as such a drastic change gave me the vibes of “this isn’t Haruhi”. In other words, it pretty much felt like I had become Kyon when I was watching this movie. I believe in order to achieve this, not only we had to thank the brilliance of the director, but also the degree we had grew accustomed to the characters and also the universe of Haruhi. Which is precisely why I had mentioned in the beginning of this review, that a marathon of the 2 seasons and this movie would be the best way to enjoy the entire series to its fullest.
To defend the Endless Eight arc of the 2nd season, which induced the rage of many viewers, including myself, it actually played a very important role in building up the tension of this movie. It is stated in many reviews that the arc was made to have 8 repeating episodes for a reason, and that reason, *drum roll*, is this movie. Having said this, I indeed did appreciate the arc a lot more, and it is highly NOT recommended to skip any of the 8 episodes of Endless Eight, if you don’t want to miss anything. This arc was made so that we would feel the frustration that had built up inside Nagato. Imagine yourself having to go through something repetitive for 15,000 times, and you could not do anything against it, surely you would lose your sanity right? That would be ultimate cause of the disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, the reason Yuki Nagato had accumulated so many errors in her system, that these “anomalies” led her to create a new world where Haruhi, Koizumi and Mikuru are normal human beings, a world that the vicious 15,000 repeating loops would never happen again.
Yet, all is not lost when the world was changed, as Kyon was presented a chance to restore everything back to the original world. Then again, another brilliance of this movie was brought up, “do you actually want to return to the original world?”, or the new world where everything is peaceful, no crazy shit happening, no aliens, no ESPs, no destructive hell will ever happen here is actually better? Sometimes we may prefer to have stability in our lives, as uncertainty will lead to risk, and risk will lead to a sudden change which may make or ruin our lives, this was Kyon during the beginning of the series, where he finds being dragged around by Haruhi a chore, troublesome. Yet, don’t you want to have fun? Don’t you want to enjoy your life filled with excitement while you are still young? As Kyon and us, the viewers, go through the 2 series of Haruhi, should we like what was going on so far, undoubtedly we would find the activities of SOS Brigade as “fun”, that a world having crazy shit like the Cave Spider, Closed Space, Time Travelling is “fun”, and hence, ultimately, Kyon, and presumably us the viewers as well, would want to have more of that “fun”, and chose to return to the original world.
All is well when the mystery is solved, and everything is back to normal, or so it seems. Then the movie throws the credits at you, Yasashii Byoukaku (lit. “Tender Oblivion”) is a wonderful song containing only the vocals of Minori Chihara, the seiyuu of Yuki Nagato, no accompanying instruments, only vocals. The result? It gives you the creeps, the lingering feeling of loneliness crept behind you as you began to ponder, “what will happen to the other Nagato, whom I did not choose, whom would end up being forgotten and disappear?”, and this would be another point of brilliance that wrecks your mind and fill your sorry eyes with tears. It succeeded to make me shed manly tears, it did. The entire movie did well in toying with the viewer’s emotions, leading to an extremely satisfying experience after finishing the movie.
In a nutshell, this movie is a superb follow-up of the 2 TV series, for all Haruhi fans, and also anime fans in general, should pick this movie up (watch everything beforehand!) and savour the greatness. This movie, without a single doubt, is a masterpiece.
This is the first time I've ever given something a perfect ten. Even Death Note, which I hold to be my favorite anime ever doesn't get a perfect ten.
I can explain this.
It took everything I loved about The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and tripled it.
The story was mindblowing. Everything came together beautiful and made the original anime, which already made enough sense to me, make even more sense. It added another layer, and was focused around one of the coolest concepts in the series: time travel and what the supernatural powers like those of Haruhi and Nagato could really do.
Speaking of Nagato, she was one
of my favorite characters in the original series, and she got even more screen time and dialogue than ever. She got a personality, a new layer--Nagato's character developed in the time that it takes Apple to come out with a new version of the iPhone. It was that fast, but it was better than the new version of the iPhone, because she actually improved in a noticeable way, instead of her screen just becoming slightly larger and having the invaluable ability to bend when you don't want it to.
Woah. That metaphor fell apart. Basically, what I'm trying to say is, Nagato was awesome in this movie.
My only complaint is that this movie made endless eight worth watching. Or at least worth seeing most of.
Overall, I loved this movie so much. It was so great that I was able to stay awake into the early hours of the morning watching it without the help of coffee or anything. It was so enthralling and entertaining that there was no need for me.
10/10. Must watch. Now.
The Haruhi Suzumiya series has taken its fan base through quite a few emotional twists and turns over the years. It all started with the absurd first episode (episode 0), followed by a fantastic first season, followed by the dreaded "endless eight" of the second season, followed by the great conclusion to the second season. When the movie was announced, the only question on everyone's mind was:
"Are they going to screw this up like they screwed up season two, or will this be just like season 1?"
The answer was "neither". The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is an absolute masterpiece that not
only surpasses its original episodic version, it blows it out of the water. With unparalleled character development, an intriguing and emotionally investing plot, and a PERFECT soundtrack, this movie is without a doubt one of the greatest anime films of all time. Even if you hated the original Haruhi series, I can't see anyone of any age finding a reason to dislike this amazing film.
As you probably could have guessed from the title, this movie is about The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. One day, Kyon wakes up and is shocked to discover that Haruhi Suzumiya is nowhere to be found. Nobody at school has any idea who she is, and even the members of the SOS Brigade have never heard of her. In fact, the SOS Brigade no longer exists. Nagato and Asahina no longer know who Kyon is and Koizumi is nowhere to be found either. Kyon has to figure out what is going on and how to fix this mess, but more importantly, he must discover if he actually wants to fix this mess. He finally has a chance at a normal life; so is his life better or worse without Haruhi Suzumiya?
I don't see any possible way that the plot of this movie could have been written better. It's a film that is almost three hours long and it still never lost my attention. The pacing? Perfect. The content? Outstanding. The concept? Genius.
Make no mistake; this movie is an entirely different animal then the original Haruhi series. Whereas the original series was centered around fun, comedy, and absurdity, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya focusses almost entirely on emotion and character development. There are really powerful moments in the film; I even got goosebumps a few times, which is something I thought the Haruhi series was incapable of delivering. I won't say anything more for the sake of not spoiling anything, but long-story short: the plot blew me away.
The animation, which was way ahead of its time during the airing of the original series, is noticeably improved upon and it looks absolutely stunning. Truly breathe-taking artwork.
An amazing mix of classical and orchestral music that creates a fantastic, unique, and engrossing atmosphere that adds a lot to the film. Top the amazing soundtrack off with stellar voice-acting in both the sub and the dub and you have yourself a 10/10 rating for sound.
The characters of the SOS Brigade have always been know as Kyon, Haruhi, and 3 generic stereotypes. This film completely changed all of that. In addition to Haruhi, a fantastic character, remaining intact, the movie provides amazing character development for Kyon, Nagato, Asahina, and Koizumi, but particularly Kyon and Nagato.
Kyon already had an amusing and humorous personality to begin with, but this is the first time we really get to see him go through serious change; his emotional struggle throughout the journey is arguably the most engrossing part of the entire experience. The audience really connects and sympathizes with him. I liked Kyon to begin with, but this film really propelled him into the elite category of anime characters.
Kyon is certainly not the only one to receive development though, particularly when you consider the transformation of Yuki Nagato. Throughout the series, she has been the stereotypical quiet bookworm, but with no emotions what so ever. I won't spoil what happens, but lets just say that all of that changes in this film, and it's a change for the better. Asahina and Koizumi's development isn't quite as thorough as Kyon and Nagato's, but it's not like every character was going to get outstanding development; that is simply impossible.
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya takes the already strong and/or lovable character from the original series and takes the time to develop them into truly unique and relatable characters. Haruhi isn't in the film very much, but when she is, she just as awesome as usual.
I do NOT give 10/10 ratings lightly, but The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya more then deserves it. There is little doubt in my mind that this is one of the greatest anime films of all time. With a masterfully written plot, amazing characters, breathe-taking animation, and a stellar soundtrack, this movie has everything you could ever want out of an anime. This movie makes watching the Haruhi series more then worth it (not that it isn't awesome on its own) and I would recommend the series to everyone if for no other reason then for the chance to see this film. It truly is a masterpiece, and those only come around every so often.
I'll be blunt right up front and to the point. Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu is a fine movie, great even depending on how you view it but it has a few overwhelming flaws that keep it from being all that I could be. But before I get too far into that I will put this up since, this review is not going to garner much sympathy. I liked the original series and that in no way holds sway over the opinion I'm about to state. So no more stalling on to the review.
Chances are you have already heard of the original series the Melancholy of
Haruhi Suzumiya. And by some miraculous turn of events you live in a rock cave in the Himalayans and have not heard of the craze that is this show. I'll spare you a summary and just tell you to watch the original series. This movie is up and foremost made for the fans. While is not necessarily a requirement to watch the original it is pivotal to your over all enjoyment of the movie, as you enjoyment will increase exponentially depending on how much a fan you are to the original. Not to mention the numerous references to not just the two TV series but the manga to. Much the to the delight of fans and confusion to others.
The sound and art design have always been terrific in this series and this movie is no exception. The animation is crisp, and fluid. With many things being animated in every shot. The sound and music being on the same level with plenty of orchestrated pieces to fill out its terrific sound track.
The characters of Haruhi have always been a tricky point in the series. On one hand we have our terrific duo Kyon and Haruhi. Both of whom are wholly original and entertaining character and the series is always at its finnest when those to on the field with each other. Than on the other hand we have everyone else. Asahina, Nagato, and Koizumhi and others These character are beyond one dimensional to just being simple charater traits repeted at nauseum. Thats not to say they are not entertaining but they sure do lack any depth or complexion. Any attempt at complexity that does turn up for them is not shown through their actions but instead inferred through others.
But now on to the really meat of the movie the story. I'll be blunt right up front and say this. Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu is one of the most horribly paced and agonizingly slowly plotted movies I have seen regardless of medium. This plot simply put does not need over two and half hours to be told. While it approaches nothing near the redundancy that was the Endless Eight, this doesn't excuse it. The story itself is rather simple. Think Its A Wonderful Life except its Haruhi who disappears and Kyon is the only one who remembers anything, though not quite that simple thankfully. I won't spoil it for you except that its not necessarily predictable and has a few plot twists and one as* pull near the end. Plus it all ties up nicely for long running fans a newbies alike. But the entire idea of taking your best character and making her disappear is not a very good one, since as a said earlier, the show is always at its most entertaining with Kyon and Haruhi. So most of the movie hinges on how well Kyon can support the movie. On this note he does his admirable job. They try to spice things up by changing up Nagatos character, but all they end up doing is replacing her stoicism with vulnerability and shyness and it falls flat. Plus Kyon's monologues only can go on for so long before he starts repeating himself. Yes, they do evolve over the course of the movie, this did not need to be dragged out for such a long time, because lets face it there was only so much to say.
In conclusion Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu is a fine movie that has a few major flaws keeping it back from being what it could. The movie simply put needed editing and a lot of it. I meandering, molasses fulled pace coupled with it lack of Haruhi until well over half way through and then the fact that Kyon alone with his monologues is not enough to support this behemoth 160 minute movie. Fan will no doubt delight in every minute of it but everyone else keep a finger on the fast-forward button for its going to be a long ride.
Until I saw this movie, I was rather unimpressed with the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime. I had seen the first season and really liked it, but the second season severely disillusioned me. I got it into my head that the things that drew me into the original 14 episodes were the art, the humor, the variety, and the novelty. With Season 2, it seemed that once you took those away and focused on the plot, the anime was mediocre at best.
Then this movie came along and restored my faith in the series.
The thing that stood out the most to me after
watching Disappearance was how well the characters were made. Here we have a movie that essentially removes the main (and title) character from the plot, and it's just as good, if not better, than the previous works. Kyon and Yuki get some serious development, and the other characters play their parts as well. More on this later.
The next major aspect of this movie that left me in awe was the art. I'm don't often give out 10s when I rate things, as I generally consider that to be an ideal rather than an achievable state. Furthermore, one might say I'm in no position to comment on the art, as all I've seen is a low quality camrip. One would be wrong. In general, the art was very good, though Haruhi still looks like Season 2 Haruhi instead of Season 1 Haruhi (the face is too long, or the expressions are different, or something; I can't put my finger on it). But the landscapes and background continue to be beautiful, the animation is pretty good (for anime) and some noteworthy work was done on lighting effects, too. I remember being very impressed by the way car headlights illuminated the characters as they drove by. I can't wait for a good quality version of the movie so I can see the art in all of its glory.
The plot is very well-written and very evocative at times, though it does require a prior understanding of the setting. Kyon becomes the center of the plot, rather than a narrator pulled along by Haruhi's shenanigans, and I find this to be very refreshing. After a standard intro with Haruhi directing traffic as usual, he wakes up to find himself in a world where she doesn't exist. Since it was her actions that brought the other characters to him, none of them know him either (except the other students in his class). Although to me it seems like he's been granted a wonderful gift anyone in his position would have dreamed of (that is, a world without Haruhi), he makes it his quest to find out what's happening, why it's happening, and what he can do about it. We get a nice "what could have been" experience with some great allusions to past events and insights into the different characters. When the main plot twist came, I was still unaware of it right until the moment that it was explicitly made clear. In retrospect, there were indicators, sure, but they're simply part of the well-written and well-executed story. You feel a good deal of sympathy for some of the characters as new aspects of them become known, and any movie or show that can evoke the feelings in me that this did is a great work.
There's not much to say about the music, other than that it's generally new and original, that it sounds good, and that's it's placed very well in order to emphasize different scenes and events. The song played over the credits is a nice touch in both its lyrics and a capella style.
So there you have it. If it's not clear already, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and the additions it makes to the existing anime. It's well-written, well-executed, well-drawn, well-animated, well-scored, and it takes characters that are already full and complex and adds to them. At the time of this writing, Disappearance has taken the #1 spot on the "Top Anime" list here, and it's well deserved. If you get the opportunity to see this soon, do it, and if you have to wait for it to be available in your area, you have my sincerest sympathies.