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Old 2009-10-12, 07:43   Link #2981
Triple_R
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Originally Posted by Bionicman View Post
Keep in mind: while I haven't seen any sales figures for the first season, I've heard from several people that U.S. sales were rather disappointing. Apparently, they thought that the hype the series generated in Japan and on the internet (especially with fansub groups) would translate into big sales (by anime standards), and it didn't pan out. The point is, the series isn't exactly a hot property to any U.S. companies. From a business perspective, it's a series where the first season underperformed, the second season is probably going to do even worse, and you either have to pay a bunch of big name voice actors to reprise their roles or go in a different direction (new actors or sub only) and risk further fallout. I wouldn't hold my breath for a U.S. release. On the bright side, if it does come out, it'll be cheaper; they won't bother with the limited editions, and they may give in and release half-season/season packs.

I hope you won't mind me going off on a slight tangent, but when browsing TV Tropes, I had a thought regarding future of this series (I thought about putting it in the 'Future Episodes' thread, but didn't feel like it belonged; if a moderator disagrees, please move it).

The inspiration was an entry on Out of Focus, which mentioned Haruhi's reduced screentime in the later novels. Looking at the list of stories that have been adapted and comparing it to the list of stories that KyoAni haven't yet animated, it occurred to me that if/when a season three is made, this issue will be even more pronounced. To wit:

Spoiler for Books:

Put succinctly, novel six's Where Did the Cat Go and novel eight's Editor in Chief are the only remaining stories where you can argue that Haruhi is a lead (and both of those are really ensemble pieces, like Sagittarius). I thought it'll be interesting to see how the fanbase (think of casual anime watchers who haven't read the novels) react to the titular character of the series becoming essentially a side character.

Edited for readability.
This is one of my concerns as well, although it's a mild wait-and-see one.

A lot of people, including myself, were drawn into this anime to a large degree by Haruhi's antics and hijinks. From most of the Haruhi-watching anime blogs that I've read, Haruhi herself is the character that the blog writers tend to focus on the most.

One good thing about doing Disappearance as a movie is that it avoids the issue of a Haruhi episode or two where Haruhi doesn't show up at all - a distinct possibility if Disappearance had been done as 4 or 5 anime episodes. So, I think that Haruhi's relative lack of screen-time won't be an issue in the movie since the movie is all watched in one sitting; so it'll simply make the moments that she is on screen seem more special for much of the viewing audience, I suspect.

But when it comes to future anime adaptations...

Of course, this may be a moot concern anyway, as this anime series lost a lot of its casual fandom with E8, to be brutally honest.

If we're down to the hardcore fanbase, then how much or how little any one character is on screen likely isn't going to matter much, if at all.
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Old 2009-10-12, 08:41   Link #2982
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But when it comes to future anime adaptations...
It do not applies. Really. People keep saying she goes out focus, but is not much different from how she is in Mystérique Sign, Bamboo Leaf and even Sighs. She don't do anything particularly important, speciallly when compared to Itsuki (who explain the problems) and Yuki (who solve the problems). The only possible exeption is Intrigues, when she is really almost irrelevant (she has less role there then in Disappearance, btw), however, she is still there.

So, don't worry, she is almost certanly there for all possible epsides that come after Disappearance. It is very unlikelly she don't appear at all in any episode.
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Old 2009-10-12, 09:09   Link #2983
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Originally Posted by Heatth View Post
It do not applies. Really. People keep saying she goes out focus, but is not much different from how she is in Mystérique Sign, Bamboo Leaf and even Sighs. She don't do anything particularly important, speciallly when compared to Itsuki (who explain the problems) and Yuki (who solve the problems). The only possible exeption is Intrigues, when she is really almost irrelevant (she has less role there then in Disappearance, btw), however, she is still there.

So, don't worry, she is almost certanly there for all possible epsides that come after Disappearance. It is very unlikelly she don't appear at all in any episode.
Well, as long as she's on-screen at some point during each episode, I don't see a problem. You're right in that Haruhi 2006 had plenty of important scenes where Haruhi isn't physically present, and had episodes where Haruhi is on-screen, say, for only a quarter to a half of the episode. That's fine.

Haruhi doesn't have to be the plot-mover. Heck, the key situation of the novels/anime frequently requires Haruhi to be the only major character not consciously involved in moving the plot forward.
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Old 2009-10-12, 11:11   Link #2984
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Originally Posted by Heatth View Post
So, don't worry, she is almost certanly there for all possible epsides that come after Disappearance. It is very unlikelly she don't appear at all in any episode.
Actually, it might be a possibility during Intrigues at some point, especially approaching the end, where I could see her only "appearance" in the (likely penultimate) episode as on the other end of a rushed Kyon phone call. Still, though, she is a constant presence in the plot, as many have stated. In fact, before the very end part of Intrigues (the resolution of the B plot), the scene where she's relegated to phone duty is arguably her most important contribution to the A plot.
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Old 2009-10-12, 11:47   Link #2985
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Keep in mind: while I haven't seen any sales figures for the first season, I've heard from several people that U.S. sales were rather disappointing. Apparently, they thought that the hype the series generated in Japan and on the internet (especially with fansub groups) would translate into big sales (by anime standards), and it didn't pan out. The point is, the series isn't exactly a hot property to any U.S. companies. From a business perspective, it's a series where the first season underperformed, the second season is probably going to do even worse, and you either have to pay a bunch of big name voice actors to reprise their roles or go in a different direction (new actors or sub only) and risk further fallout. I wouldn't hold my breath for a U.S. release. On the bright side, if it does come out, it'll be cheaper; they won't bother with the limited editions, and they may give in and release half-season/season packs.
The anime licensing industry has gone through major consolidations and it's future is bleak at best with the rise of broadband internet. Quite possible that the release of S2 with english subs is an experiment to see if Kadokawa can skip the whole proces. One R2 LE set sold abroad can easily compensate for a dozen or more season boxes not sold by licensees. Not to mention that internet vendors already sell the merchandise directly from Japan.

Think the Haruhi franchise should be viewed separately from the market. We don't know yet how the sales will develop of S2. Maybe E8 had a damaging effect, but it's also possible that a lot of fans wait till the Blu-ray comes.

The movie is also a different situation. The first Kyoani movie with the best Haruhi script has a lot of potential for succes and is an opportunity for the company to progress. A season 3 could easily ride on the waves created by that.
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Old 2009-10-12, 20:52   Link #2986
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Originally Posted by quigonkenny View Post
Actually, it might be a possibility during Intrigues at some point, especially approaching the end, where I could see her only "appearance" in the (likely penultimate) episode as on the other end of a rushed Kyon phone call. Still, though, she is a constant presence in the plot, as many have stated. In fact, before the very end part of Intrigues (the resolution of the B plot), the scene where she's relegated to phone duty is arguably her most important contribution to the A plot.
Still, I don't think that will be an episde where she don't appear at all. In the middle to end she would barelly appear, probably, but, still, she can still be there. Specially if KyoAni tries to avoid having an episde without her. But, yeah, she don't do anything to contribut to the plot.

However, you should remember this is just worse then Mystérique Sign (or novel Lone Island) because the story is longer. Since the begining it has some stories where she do nothing important. And most chapters she is only important by being her, she is pretty away from the main plot of Sighs, for exemple.

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Old 2009-10-12, 23:51   Link #2987
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However, you should remember this is just worse then Mystérique Sign (or novel Lone Island) because the story is longer. Since the begining it has some stories where she do nothing important. And most chapters she is only important by being her, she is pretty away from the main plot of Sighs, for exemple.
I have a hard time understanding how it's "worse". It's like managing to have a good story is a bad thing if it's sans Haruhi. Kyon is the only indispensible character, for obvious reasons (and even then, Someday in the Rain pokes a few holes in that), because Tanigawa is a good writer and the Haruhiverse has got loads of good characters and no bad ones. If he decided to write a story that focused on Itsuki and Kunikida (and of course Kyon), and was able to make it good, which I'm sure he could, then I'm sure I'd enjoy it, even though those two are hardly high on my list of favorite characters.

I've never understood the "x character must be involved in every story" mentality. It seems incredibly self-centered (regarding the "x character" fans) and/or short-sighted (regarding the "x character sells the most swag" part of the argument) to me. The work should speak for itself, no matter who is in it.
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Old 2009-10-12, 23:53   Link #2988
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And pretty much the main reason Kyon is generally the center is that he's the narrator.
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Old 2009-10-12, 23:55   Link #2989
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And pretty much the main reason Kyon is generally the center is that he's the narrator.
That would be the "obvious reason"... ^_^
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Old 2009-10-12, 23:58   Link #2990
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I have a hard time understanding how it's "worse". It's like managing to have a good story is a bad thing if it's sans Haruhi. Kyon is the only indispensible character, for obvious reasons (and even then, Someday in the Rain pokes a few holes in that), because Tanigawa is a good writer and the Haruhiverse has got loads of good characters and no bad ones. If he decided to write a good story that almost entirely focused on Itsuki and Kunikida (and of course Kyon), which I'm sure he could, then I'm sure I'd enjoy it, even though those two are hardly high on my list of favorite characters.

I've never understood the "x character must be involved in every story" mentality. It seems incredibly self-centered (regarding the "x character" fans) and/or short-sighted (regarding the "x character sells the most swag" part of the argument) to me. The work should speak for itself, no matter who is in it.
I'd agree with you from the standpoint of someone who writes for a living. I imagine Tanigawa would back me up on this, we writers hopes that the worlds we create are populated by characters who all have stories worth telling, and in truth, he has excelled at that. There's a reason why Tsuruya has the considerable, enthusiastic fanbase that she does.

However, I also think that 'the other side' has a valid argument. It's not that Haruhi's being the titular character renders her essential to every story, but part of the considerable enjoyment people got from the stories in Melancholy was the dual action of Haruhi turning Kyon's life upside down through sheer force of personality layered over the larger cosmic impacts of her actions, and much of the dramatic and comedic tension stemmed from his efforts to manage the latter and keeping it from overflowing into the former. It was a good dynamic.

Personally, however, I see that dynamic changing into something else as a sign of the maturation of Kyon's and Haruhi's relationship. I'd like to see a bit more of what exactly it is maturing into first-hand but the other stories have been very enjoyable nonetheless.
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Old 2009-10-13, 01:01   Link #2991
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Originally Posted by Ricky Controversy View Post
I'd agree with you from the standpoint of someone who writes for a living. I imagine Tanigawa would back me up on this, we writers hopes that the worlds we create are populated by characters who all have stories worth telling, and in truth, he has excelled at that. There's a reason why Tsuruya has the considerable, enthusiastic fanbase that she does.
Well said, and I completely agree. Every character is a person and every person has a story. Even though some of the characters never get to show much of their life story, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

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However, I also think that 'the other side' has a valid argument. It's not that Haruhi's being the titular character renders her essential to every story, but part of the considerable enjoyment people got from the stories in Melancholy was the dual action of Haruhi turning Kyon's life upside down through sheer force of personality layered over the larger cosmic impacts of her actions, and much of the dramatic and comedic tension stemmed from his efforts to manage the latter and keeping it from overflowing into the former. It was a good dynamic.

Personally, however, I see that dynamic changing into something else as a sign of the maturation of Kyon's and Haruhi's relationship. I'd like to see a bit more of what exactly it is maturing into first-hand but the other stories have been very enjoyable nonetheless.
Yes, Haruhi is a fun character to read and watch and is the perfect foil for Kyon. But as both characters evolve, their relationship is changing. Haruhi isn't as radical by the ninth novel as she was in the first, and Kyon is more accepting of her eccentricities. I think the beginning of "The Wandering Shadow" is there primary to point this fact out. Both characters have changed, and as such, the old dynamic is somewhat less viable. Besides, the whole dynamic between Kyon and Haruhi shown in the first novel probably would've gotten old by the nineth book anyway.

That's why the series has evolved to give other characters more of a chance to shine (namely Yuki as well a Mikuru to a lesser extent), plus Tanigawa also created some now characters fo the nineth novel. I think it gives the series the kind of depth that it was missing in the first novel.

And ultimately, Haruhi is almost always important even if she's not in the forefront of the story. She is "God" after all.

The one thing that makes me wonder is whether Aya Hirano is okay with her character being out on the sidelines so much. I don't know how things are done in Japan, but in Hollywood, such a situation would often lead to the actor demanding more screen time even if it meant changing the plot to do so. A LOT of good shows were ruined because of stuff like that.
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Old 2009-10-13, 01:12   Link #2992
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The one thing that makes me wonder is whether Aya Hirano is okay with her character being out on the sidelines so much. I don't know how things are done in Japan, but in Hollywood, such a situation would often lead to the actor demanding more screen time even if it meant changing the plot to do so. A LOT of good shows were ruined because of stuff like that.
Probably not going to earn any points among her rabid fans by saying this, but I focus on the necessity of the franchise—the novel series—and not the it's-nice-to-haves. When it comes to the Haruhi franchise, Aya Hirano is replaceable. Nagaru Tanigawa is not.

INB4 more "you hate Haruhi" rhetoric. This does not mean I dislike Aya Hirano's performance (far from it) or her as a person (don't know her), I'm just pragmatic. The novels, in other words, the source of new Haruhi information, are created by Tanigawa. If the anime franchise withers and dies, that does nothing to diminish the quality of that source material or keep someone 20-30 years down the road from resurrecting it. Nor, frankly, should it keep him from writing more novels, as long as his level of output remains high. He is the center if the franchise, no matter who directly makes the most money or is the most recognizable face.
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Old 2009-10-13, 01:23   Link #2993
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Besides, the whole dynamic between Kyon and Haruhi shown in the first novel probably would've gotten old by the nineth book anyway.
Yes. Yes it would have. But that's the thing with fanbases. They'll be upset if you run with something long enough for it to go sour, but they'll be just as upset if you're smart enough to wrap up a trend while it's still good. You can't please any of the people any of the time. I remember running into this problem when I wrote campaign back story and source material for indie tabletop studios, and I'd get hate e-mail for overworking one setting, and hate e-mail for calling it finished on a setting I saw as having limited appeal.

You damn kids and your instant gratification devil boxes...

Quote:
That's why the series has evolved to give other characters more of a chance to shine (namely Yuki as well a Mikuru to a lesser extent), plus Tanigawa also created some now characters fo the nineth novel. I think it gives the series the kind of depth that it was missing in the first novel.
Spoiler for Ninth Novel Remark:


Quote:
The one thing that makes me wonder is whether Aya Hirano is okay with her character being out on the sidelines so much. I don't know how things are done in Japan, but in Hollywood, such a situation would often lead to the actor demanding more screen time even if it meant changing the plot to do so. A LOT of good shows were ruined because of stuff like that.
KyoAni has taken some...liberties, but that doesn't seem like one they'd take. Besides, I have to imagine going forward that Haruhi will return further into focus with what has been set up in the ninth book, so it's not like she'll be sidelined for too long.
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Old 2009-10-13, 11:18   Link #2994
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Originally Posted by quigonkenny View Post
I have a hard time understanding how it's "worse". It's like managing to have a good story is a bad thing if it's sans Haruhi. Kyon is the only indispensible character, for obvious reasons (and even then, Someday in the Rain pokes a few holes in that), because Tanigawa is a good writer and the Haruhiverse has got loads of good characters and no bad ones. If he decided to write a story that focused on Itsuki and Kunikida (and of course Kyon), and was able to make it good, which I'm sure he could, then I'm sure I'd enjoy it, even though those two are hardly high on my list of favorite characters.

I've never understood the "x character must be involved in every story" mentality. It seems incredibly self-centered (regarding the "x character" fans) and/or short-sighted (regarding the "x character sells the most swag" part of the argument) to me. The work should speak for itself, no matter who is in it.
By "worse" I mean Haruhi absence in Intrigues is more noticiable then in Mystérique Sign, because the story is longer, and that is why people comment more about it. Wht I was trying to say is Haruhi (lack of) presence there is just as bad as in early stories, but people keep saying it got worse after disappearance (which I don't think is true, as she appear a lot in the 5th, 6th and 8th book).

Please, don't misunderstand me, I agree with you. I couldn't care less if Haruhi do or do not appear in a episode or not. I was just pointing this is not likely to happen anyway.

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Probably not going to earn any points among her rabid fans by saying this, but I focus on the necessity of the franchise—the novel series—and not the it's-nice-to-haves. When it comes to the Haruhi franchise, Aya Hirano is replaceable. Nagaru Tanigawa is not.

INB4 more "you hate Haruhi" rhetoric. This does not mean I dislike Aya Hirano's performance (far from it) or her as a person (don't know her), I'm just pragmatic. The novels, in other words, the source of new Haruhi information, are created by Tanigawa. If the anime franchise withers and dies, that does nothing to diminish the quality of that source material or keep someone 20-30 years down the road from resurrecting it. Nor, frankly, should it keep him from writing more novels, as long as his level of output remains high. He is the center if the franchise, no matter who directly makes the most money or is the most recognizable face.
I don't believe it is as simple. Kyoani want to sell, after all, and Haruhi is what sell. She may don't be The main character, but she is still the most popular and the face that appear in all merchandises. Loosing Aya would be a big problem and I am sure they would want to avoid it as much as possible. And they aren't above some minor changes in the plot, as they altered any thing regard Alchool in the series.

However, again, I don't believe this is necessery. Without Disappearance and besides Intrigues, the episodes that aren't focused on Haruhi wouldn't be worse then many early episodes (with at last one when Kyon don't do nothing but watch Haruhi and Tsuruya playing around). For Intrigues, while she is, plot wise, less important for the plot then in any other novel, she still have some great scenes. Assuming there would be between 5 and 7 episodes, I would say she would barelly appear in just 3 (aout of at last 14). Hardly something that would hurt Aya ego.
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Old 2009-10-13, 11:23   Link #2995
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If she's going to stick around for the Disappearance movie(where Haruhi is almost completely absent), especially after her complaints over having to do 8 nearly identical episodes, I don't think missing two or three episodes would change anything.
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Old 2009-10-13, 11:38   Link #2996
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Originally Posted by quigonkenny View Post
I have a hard time understanding how it's "worse". It's like managing to have a good story is a bad thing if it's sans Haruhi. Kyon is the only indispensible character, for obvious reasons (and even then, Someday in the Rain pokes a few holes in that), because Tanigawa is a good writer and the Haruhiverse has got loads of good characters and no bad ones.
The CCP is a pretty sucky character, imo. He's good to use as a jobber (to borrow a pro wrestling term), but that's about it.

Kyon and Haruhi are both indispensible characters, imo. The story revolves around each of them, albeit in different ways.


Quote:
If he decided to write a story that focused on Itsuki and Kunikida (and of course Kyon), and was able to make it good, which I'm sure he could, then I'm sure I'd enjoy it, even though those two are hardly high on my list of favorite characters.
If that was a side-story, sure, I'd enjoy it too. As an entire novel? No.


Quote:

I've never understood the "x character must be involved in every story" mentality. It seems incredibly self-centered (regarding the "x character" fans) and/or short-sighted (regarding the "x character sells the most swag" part of the argument) to me. The work should speak for itself, no matter who is in it.
We're talking about entertainment here. There's nothing "self-centered" about wanting to see your favorite characters in your favorite entertainment shows.

Haruhi is a character-driven anime/novel. The characters are the story... so much so that one of them is the narrator.

"The work" is indivisible from its characters.

You can do good spin-offs that don't involve all of the SOS Brigade (the Yuki-chan manga immediately comes to mind), but the main continuity is firmly wrapped around the SOS Brigade, and Kyon and Haruhi in particular.


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Probably not going to earn any points among her rabid fans by saying this, but I focus on the necessity of the franchise—the novel series—and not the it's-nice-to-haves. When it comes to the Haruhi franchise, Aya Hirano is replaceable. Nagaru Tanigawa is not.
Neither are replaceable as far as the anime is concerned. As far as the novels are concerned, yes a voice actor is replaceable. Losing Hirano won't kill the novels; it would severely hurt the anime, though. She's an extremely popular voice actress.


Quote:

INB4 more "you hate Haruhi" rhetoric. This does not mean I dislike Aya Hirano's performance (far from it) or her as a person (don't know her), I'm just pragmatic. The novels, in other words, the source of new Haruhi information, are created by Tanigawa. If the anime franchise withers and dies, that does nothing to diminish the quality of that source material or keep someone 20-30 years down the road from resurrecting it.
I very much doubt such a thing being revived 20-30 years after the fact.

With the exception of Gundam, NGE, and "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" inspired stories, anime is very new-centric. Older material is frequently forgotten, for good, sadly.

Haruhi isn't yet on the level of Gundam or NGE; not at the anime level.
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Old 2009-10-13, 11:59   Link #2997
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Triple, I said once and I am saying again, that problem don't exist at all.

As you said, the story revolves around Kyon and Haruhi. There wasn't any novel when any of then hadn't at last one important scene. And everything revolves around Haruhi, in a way or another.

Disapperance and Intrigues are focused on Yuki and Mikuru respectively and Haruhi really does appear less there then in other novels. However, she is still very important for Disappearance plot and, while the same may don't apply for Intrigues, she still has some nice scenes from the begining to the end.

So, even if there is a entire novel focused on Itsuki or Kunikida (and I believe Itsuki is needing one), is not like she will be a background character. Specially in a novel centred on Itsuki and his Organizatio. All characters are tied to Haruhi, so, exploring they more is also exporing Haruhi in a different way.
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Old 2009-10-13, 12:23   Link #2998
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Even when Haruhi's not really in the story, she is a plot point.
Disapperance = Where is Haruhi?
Intrigues = How do we evade Haruhi?
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Old 2009-10-13, 13:40   Link #2999
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Triple, I said once and I am saying again, that problem don't exist at all.
Aahhh... I think I might have misinterpreted what quigon was saying, which lead to me writing something that you misinterpreted in turn.

I meant I wouldn't want a novel where Itsuki, Kunikida, and Kyon are the only characters there.

A novel that simply focuses on those three? No problem.

Actually, like you said, Itsuki could use a greater focus put on him.
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Old 2009-10-13, 16:10   Link #3000
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
The CCP is a pretty sucky character, imo. He's good to use as a jobber (to borrow a pro wrestling term), but that's about it.
The CCP is awesome, simply because he's so hapless. Maybe you just don't get him. ^_^

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Kyon and Haruhi are both indispensible characters, imo. The story revolves around each of them, albeit in different ways.
Agreed, but not quite what we were talking about. As I've stated multiple times, there is no getting away from Haruhi's influence on the plot. What we were talking about is getting away from her physical presence in the plot, which is most thoroughly done in Volumes 4 and 7, but often occurs any time something needs to happen without her knowledge. In that sense, only Kyon's presence (as the audience POV and narrator) is truly indispensable, to the point where when something does occur without his involvement (certain parts of Someday in the Rain, Yuki and Itsuki's initial "curing" of the Mikuru Beam), it's jarring.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
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Originally Posted by quigonkenny View Post
I've never understood the "x character must be involved in every story" mentality. It seems incredibly self-centered (regarding the "x character" fans) and/or short-sighted (regarding the "x character sells the most swag" part of the argument) to me. The work should speak for itself, no matter who is in it.
We're talking about entertainment here. There's nothing "self-centered" about wanting to see your favorite characters in your favorite entertainment shows.

Haruhi is a character-driven anime/novel. The characters are the story... so much so that one of them is the narrator.

"The work" is indivisible from its characters.
You misunderstand me. Maybe I should have italicized the "must" in "x character must be involved..." to better accentuate my point. I'm not talking about preferring certain characters and wanting to see them portrayed. I'm talking about those who would dismiss an entire story or novel because they don't think there's enough of "x character" in it. I don't think we get nearly enough Tsuruya-san for example, and would love to see more of her (knowing that is a bit self-centered, considering any time spent focusing on her is time that can't be spent focusing on someone else's favorite character), but I'm content to let Tanigawa make that decision, and I'm certainly not going to brand a good story as deficient simply because there's not enough green-haired senpai in it.

Similarly I have a problem with overpromotion of a character, even if they're supposedly the centerpiece of the series, because all characters eventually wear thin with people, and overpromotion exacerbates that. All the characters are important to the story, and undue focus on any one character causes problems, especially if the creator starts reading his own press and changing plot decisions based upon it.
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Last edited by quigonkenny; 2009-10-13 at 16:12. Reason: LOL 3000th post...
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