Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu)

One day Kyon wakes up to discover a world where there is no Haruhi. The strangest girl in all of North High who is quite possibly the center of the universe or even God no longer seems to exist. How is that even possible?

That's not all that is different.

The beloved girl from the future Asahina Mikuru no longer remembers him. Nagato Yuki appears to be nothing more than a timid reader rather than the all-powerful but stoic humanoid interface from outer space she should be. The egotistic and enigmatic esper Koizumi Itsuki is MIA from this world, too.

What happened?

Kyon remembers preparing himself for the SOS Brigade's upcoming spur of the moment Christmas party (hoping and dreading that nothing terrible would happen because of Haruhi's eagerness). Then the next day he is in a safe world where nothing terrible ever happened. Sure, there was a flu going around that hadn't been there the other day, but there were no more time travelers, espers, aliens, closed spaces, or evil creatures unintentionally summoned by Haruhi's frustrations with the world.

It's the world Kyon had been yearning for ever since he had met Haruhi.

Is this really what he wanted, though? Or is there anything he can do to change things back to the way they were? Could he learn to forget Haruhi, too?

More importantly...

Who made the world this way? Was it all Haruhi's doing or was it someone else's?

Wow. Really, that's about all I can say right now. Wow.

Gimme a sec. Okay, I can carry on now.

I don't think I've ever seen an anime feature this good before. And this is literally a mother of a movie that clocks in at 165 minutes! That's got to be the longest anime movie ever made. And it is the the equivalent length of seven episodes of the TV series to boot! That's as long as Django Unchained or Heat!

Okay, you probably got my point by now. It's long. (That's what she said.) And it's so freaking good! (She said that, too.)

If you take the Endless Eight out of the second season and put this movie in as the season two finale then The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya would undoubtedly rank as one of my favorite shows of all time. Easily top five. As it is, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a really good show with a mediocre stretch near the end while The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is easily one of the best animated films I've ever seen. If there was anyone that didn't think anime could really entertain on par with live action American films than they really need to watch this movie.

Imagine It's a Wonderful Life meeting Back to the Future Part II and you would have something similar to The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Like Captain Spaulding's chicken... it's just so damn good.

I managed to work in a Rob Zombie reference, bitch. I'm that good.  
However, watching this movie without being really well acquainted with the series (or the light novels) would be a faux pas. This movie is not standalone. Not at all.

Based on book four in the light novel series, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is by far more dramatic than the anime series that preceded it. I have to wonder if the light novel is as equally dramatic since the anime that show as a whole is fairly true to the few books I've read.

I guess I will find out soon when I read it.

As it is, the movie completely exceeded my expectations and I really hope to see more Haruhi films in the future. Another anime series would be great, too.

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