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Old 2010-01-10, 06:25   Link #361
Bill Bones
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If there's something I owe to SHnY, it is that I've returned to watching anime.

I had quit anime some years ago with a bag of bad feelings after watching the local airing of Evangelion, whose last episodes made me absolutley sick, and then on the same TV show they began airing Paranoia Agent. I watched the first two eisodes of PA and I decided I had had enough of the whole anime crap forever.

Back then I was tired of seeing anime, and also I was feeling I was growing old and all that fantasy stuff just was losing its shine. And Evangelion certainly had made me very, very sick.

Then some months ago I was looking for music on youtube and met a video with a fanart that caught my eye.

This:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xl9XEDjQN8

I looked a the comments and got a name: "Haruhi". Searched for it and ran onto Ouran's Haruhi. I was not appealed by the char nor the series.

And then, a few weeks later, I noticed that there was a second Haruhi. One with a yellow headband, like the fanart. I read the wikipedia article and was sudden love; I had to see that series and it turned a very very apepaling, pleasant experience. It had all the creativity I had liked in anime. It was shiny fresh with inspiring ideas.

Now I am watching anime again, at a slow pace, but have found again my old love. Is like meeting a friend you lost contact with years ago and and suddenly he/she is back as the person you recall and there's that warm feeling of being home in a way.

If SHnY had been dfiferent, less technically perfect, more "commonplace" in settigns and scripts, or had failed to provide such interesting characters, I would not be here and would be a bit more bored.
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Old 2010-01-10, 11:40   Link #362
edkedkedk
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Originally Posted by Bill Bones View Post
If there's something I owe to SHnY, it is that I've returned to watching anime.
This is true for me too.

I quit watching anime about 2~3 years ago. At that time it just seemed anime wasn't that fun anymore, and the premises for the shows were getting more and more dull.

A friend recommended me SHnY one day, saying it was THE BEST anime ever. However, his synopsis of it didn't appeal to me as I thought it was just gonna be another anime with loads of fighting and special effects with a love plot thrown in. I didn't want to jump on the bandwagon, so I passed on the chance to catch SHnY in its infancy years (regret ).

Recently, another friend of mine re-mentioned the series to me. However, she took a different approach, and showed me two SHnY videos; Haruhi singing Chaka-Chan (which is my message tone, by the way), and the famous Hare Hare Yukai.

I was astonished. Was this the same show my friend had 3 years earlier introduced me to? So I took a chance and dove into the anime, watching the first episode of Endless Eight (oh boy, you have no idea how surprised a new fan can be when it looped), and to my surprise, liked it. I wondered where were the God-like powers, the aliens, time-travelers and espers, though. These characters seemed normal to me!

So I dug deeper and found an anime that not only is great to watch, but is also funny, thought-provoking, intense and with a balance of genres spread all over. What makes SHnY stands out from the rest for me is its attention to details; all the stories including the light novels themselves, are interconnected in a huge time-line. I read Disappearance after watching the anime and gasped at the connections made

Spoiler for :


It was mind-boggling and easily the best franchise I have ever seen (from the web spin-offs, to the light novels, to even the music and the concert!). If anyone is in doubt about the standard of animes, they should catch SHnY. Right now I'm back on a slow start of watching other animes, and I have turned back to learning Japanese, which I abandoned years ago, in hopes of being able to read the light novels in their original form one day.

Highly recommended, and one should check out the entire franchise before passing judgment. It's the little pieces that click that make this show magic, after all.

Alternatively, start off with learning the Hare Hare Yukai dance
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Old 2010-01-10, 12:09   Link #363
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Haruhi started my interest and was the trigger for me to start a collection...

Also made me read philosophy more...
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Old 2010-01-10, 14:30   Link #364
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I find it really funny how a series like Haruhi did all that to fans who had given up on anime.
Although I never gave up on them, after watching Neon Genesis I too found a great interest in psychology and philosophy and became more strict with what a good anime really is. But seriously, after NGE, GITS, Akira and a lot other less known psychological anime of the 90's and before, Haruhi didn't offer anything to me.
That is of course something that counts for me alone, as I see most anime fans are pleased with far less than NGE or don't miss the chance to hype and bandwagon any recent series that comes along.
By the way, it is too much to think that if it weren't for Haruhi, anime would have far less fans today (like those still believing that if it weren't for Christ the world would be destroyed soon afterwards). There were many other good anime around that time as well. Heck, who can argue that a series like Naruto brought tens of millions closer to anime? Not to mention the older one, Pokemon.
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Old 2010-01-10, 15:18   Link #365
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Originally Posted by roriconfan View Post
By the way, it is too much to think that if it weren't for Haruhi, anime would have far less fans today (like those still believing that if it weren't for Christ the world would be destroyed soon afterwards). There were many other good anime around that time as well.
While I agree with this, I still think Haruhi played a role in attracting anime fans. A springboard, of sorts. Haruhi is famous for its genre being all over the place; there's always something for everyone. Fighting, romance (in a sense), sci-fi, comedy, etc etc... It's easy for one to get into the anime, then move on to others. True, there are other good anime at that time as well, but most of them I recall are too genre specific to appeal to everyone. I myself simply dislike mecha, and never liked Gundam and androids and whatever.
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Old 2010-01-10, 15:39   Link #366
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I'm not sure if Haruhi counts as a series for all tastes. The first episode of the frst series is by itself alien to most non-mainstream fans and the fact that the series blends many genres (rather weak if you ask me) means that no hardcore fan of a specific genre can really fancy it. I still find the best blend of various genres to be Escaflowne and the far too unknown Brigadoon. As for "anime hook" I believe Elfen Lied did that to at least twice as many as Haruhi, so I don't credit it even for the greatest mass recruiting of the latest years. Those probably are still Elfen Lied, Naruto, Death Note and Code Geass.
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Old 2010-01-10, 15:46   Link #367
Bill Bones
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Originally Posted by roriconfan View Post
I find it really funny how a series like Haruhi did all that to fans who had given up on anime.
Although I never gave up on them, after watching Neon Genesis I too found a great interest in psychology and philosophy and became more strict with what a good anime really is. But seriously, after NGE, GITS, Akira and a lot other less known psychological anime of the 90's and before, Haruhi didn't offer anything to me.
That is of course something that counts for me alone, as I see most anime fans are pleased with far less than NGE or don't miss the chance to hype and bandwagon any recent series that comes along.
By the way, it is too much to think that if it weren't for Haruhi, anime would have far less fans today (like those still believing that if it weren't for Christ the world would be destroyed soon afterwards). There were many other good anime around that time as well. Heck, who can argue that a series like Naruto brought tens of millions closer to anime? Not to mention the older one, Pokemon.
Just curious, how old are you?
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Old 2010-01-10, 16:43   Link #368
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^ doesn't matter
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Old 2010-01-10, 16:54   Link #369
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Originally Posted by roriconfan View Post
I'm not sure if Haruhi counts as a series for all tastes. The first episode of the frst series is by itself alien to most non-mainstream fans and the fact that the series blends many genres (rather weak if you ask me) means that no hardcore fan of a specific genre can really fancy it. I still find the best blend of various genres to be Escaflowne and the far too unknown Brigadoon. As for "anime hook" I believe Elfen Lied did that to at least twice as many as Haruhi, so I don't credit it even for the greatest mass recruiting of the latest years. Those probably are still Elfen Lied, Naruto, Death Note and Code Geass.
Ah yes, the infamous Adventures of Mikuru Asahina... If I started out with that episode, I tell ya, I probably would have been confused enough to give up the series Though it's really funny once you get to know the characters...

Back to the discussion, well yes, the mix-mash of genres is actually not very appealing, especially to hardcore fans as you have said, because they know what they want. My point however, is that the mix-mash of genres makes Haruhi a pretty easy platform for new anime fans to ease into it and find out what exactly they like, and move on from it. Hardcore fans probably watch anime often enough already anyway.

I haven't credited Haruhi as the mass anime fan recruiter, I'm just saying it played a role, more so than average animes. I agree, those animes you mentioned really drew in the fans, even though I wasn't one of them.

PS: I haven't heard of Elfen Lied before, though
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Old 2010-01-10, 16:59   Link #370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edkedkedk View Post
PS: I haven't heard of Elfen Lied before, though
Believe me, it is one of those. Without a shred of doubt.
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Old 2010-01-10, 18:01   Link #371
Bill Bones
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Believe me, it is one of those. Without a shred of doubt.
From what I know abut Elfen Lied, I seriously doubt I will watch it.

BTW, your age matters to me as I don't know wether you're too young and arrogant or too old and grumpy. Whatever the case your use of anime as a source for philosophy and psychology is quite puzzling to me. I certainly coudn't stand all the pseudo (pseudo being a weak euphemism) crap from NG:E and so it's hard to figure how or why anyone could take it "seriously"...
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Old 2010-01-10, 19:35   Link #372
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Oh come on, NGE is a billion times more serious and complicating than the school comedy that mostly is Haruhi. And even NGE is half as serious and complicating as Xenogears. And no matter how pseudo or not a series is, it is like Haruhi a cornerstone to look further by yourself.
And if you so much want to know, I am 29. Not young, nor old.
And by the way, I got far more from the rather similar in God-theme "SE Lain" than Haruhi. Combined with Haibane Renmei and Key the Metal Idol I watched around the same time, lol, Haruhi felt less than a breeze.
If I can pinpoint a simple reason of why this happened, it is simple. Haruhi was comical to a great extend. You can't take seriously an important issue if it is presented as a joke. The aforementioned titles had just specks of comedy and thus they felt faaaaar more credible and serious. When I imagine Haruhi, the only images I get in my mind is pop-dancing and doujin porn. When I think of Lain or Kei, I get images of dread and respect to a serious setting. And that makes all the difference.
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Old 2010-01-10, 21:14   Link #373
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Like I said, this is why I love Haruhi, the diverse set of opinions is generates and the clash of the opinions.

Oh and I did pretty much lose patience with the first episode, the "Adventures of Mikuru Asahina ep 00" episode. first time I watched it, I stopped watching it at 10:00ish. I cam beck to it later, maybe a year later, and forced my way through it.
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Old 2010-01-10, 22:23   Link #374
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Same here.

When I first watched episode 00 and saw bunny Mikuru, I seriously thought I was watching the wrong show lol. Till later I gave it another try and actually....liked it.

And here I was, thinking Haruhi was just another school-life comedy that was extremely damn good at pulling it off but we all know how that went of course
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Old 2010-01-11, 02:03   Link #375
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Originally Posted by roriconfan View Post
Oh come on, NGE is a billion times more serious and complicating than the school comedy that mostly is Haruhi. And even NGE is half as serious and complicating as Xenogears. And no matter how pseudo or not a series is, it is like Haruhi a cornerstone to look further by yourself.
And if you so much want to know, I am 29. Not young, nor old.
And by the way, I got far more from the rather similar in God-theme "SE Lain" than Haruhi. Combined with Haibane Renmei and Key the Metal Idol I watched around the same time, lol, Haruhi felt less than a breeze.
If I can pinpoint a simple reason of why this happened, it is simple. Haruhi was comical to a great extend. You can't take seriously an important issue if it is presented as a joke. The aforementioned titles had just specks of comedy and thus they felt faaaaar more credible and serious. When I imagine Haruhi, the only images I get in my mind is pop-dancing and doujin porn. When I think of Lain or Kei, I get images of dread and respect to a serious setting. And that makes all the difference.
I get your point and all, but really what did you want to see from Haruhi? You come across as someone who likes deep, thoughtful series. So of course Haruhi wouldn't be the show for you, yet to say something is not good or deserving of it's popularity because it doesn't suit your tastes seems arrogant. If having over the top depth/symbolism in your plots and characters is all thats needed to claim a series good, well then wow there is so much crap out there. Haruhi was never trying to be a series anywhere near like Neon Genesis, so comparing both and saying which one is better is completely meaningless.

Haruhi isn't serious? so what, that doesn't make it bad. It's a show based in a unrealistic reality with unrealistic characters that draw comparisons to many already established character types. Does that make it bad, no. Maybe that puts down the originality a bit, but since when does that dictate anything as being good either. You seem to have a very small spectrum of what constitutes a good anime and I'd love to see a list of criteria from you of what makes up a good anime.

Neon Genesis is heavily focused on psychological character study while Haruhi is more keen towards a goofy slice of life focus with science fiction undertones. All series try to pertain to a specific group of genres and crowds and one should measure the quality of a series not by whether they like it themselves, but by how well it does at pleasing the group it is trying to appeal to and if it is pulls off it's genre well and executes it's structure well. As far as I can tell Haruhi does so.

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I certainly coudn't stand all the pseudo (pseudo being a weak euphemism) crap from NG:E and so it's hard to figure how or why anyone could take it "seriously"...
I've heard that plenty of times from people.

Neon Genesis can be quite a hard series for many people to get into. I always enjoyed watching that show due to the great pyschological focus of the show and how extremely well symbolism/forshadowment is used in it. While it is presented in a very extreme/unrealistic way at times, it does tackle mostly very real/serious issues of adolescence, love and acceptance, depression, and just general problems many people face in their lives.
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Old 2010-01-11, 02:35   Link #376
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I've heard that plenty of times from people.

Neon Genesis can be quite a hard series for many people to get into. I always enjoyed watching that show due to the great pyschological focus of the show and how extremely well symbolism/forshadowment is used in it. While it is presented in a very extreme/unrealistic way at times, it does tackle mostly very real/serious issues of adolescence, love and acceptance, depression, and just general problems many people face in their lives.

I agree with your post on NGE; that is why I feel NGE is a good series. The playing around with tropes and the intense psychological aspects of it helped a lot was pretty original despite the fact I thought the plot was pretty laughable, especially near the end. It unfortunately has endured quite a backlash as with all popular series.

As for Haruhi and depth:
I certainly wouldn't call Haruhi a work of genius, but it is also fairly unique in that I've never really seen anything like it. It's a great comedy with a hint of self awareness in to it. And there are certain thoughtful aspects to the show as our main lead is fed some differing and seemingly contradictory viewpoints which suggests that the story is more complicated than itself. For example, the entire claim that Haruhi is God is not necessarily true. (I've only seen the anime) Simply because she has powers doesn't mean that she is omnipotent. After all, it's a fear that she COULD destroy the universe but there's no way of confirming that. Basically practically everything Kyon received is pretty biased to some degree.

There is a thin line that causes a show to be thought provoking and lazy. A lazy show will just leave something open ended but with no logical way to make a judgement. A better show will go out to let the viewer pick up the pieces.

But in any case, I don't necessarily judge a show's quality by depth anyways. I thought Serial Experiments Lain was a far deeper show than either NGE or Haruhi but I like Haruhi better. Complicated is not always better.
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Old 2010-01-11, 03:16   Link #377
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People watch anime for different reasons. Personally I watch anime to take a break from the rigours of school life and therefore would go for comedic and easy-to-digest animes such as Haruhi. But by no means are its issues brought across as less serious or less thought-provoking. Many comedians bring across serious issues through their comedic acts too. Just because the medium is hilarious, it doesn't mean the issues are the same, too.

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There is a thin line that causes a show to be thought provoking and lazy. A lazy show will just leave something open ended but with no logical way to make a judgement. A better show will go out to let the viewer pick up the pieces.
This is exactly what Haruhi does
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Old 2010-01-11, 05:38   Link #378
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Hate to be interrupting this mildly off-topic debate about what constitutes a good anime, but I need to ask someone a question related specifically to Haruhi.

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Originally Posted by edkedkedk View Post
So I took a chance and dove into the anime, watching the first episode of Endless Eight (oh boy, you have no idea how surprised a new fan can be when it looped), and to my surprise, liked it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but did you just say Endless Eight is the first thing you watched with Haruhi, and you ended up liking the series?
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Old 2010-01-11, 07:55   Link #379
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but did you just say Endless Eight is the first thing you watched with Haruhi, and you ended up liking the series?
Dunno about him, but it was Endless Eight that attracted my attention to the series and made me decide that it was awesome (which I decided before I actually saw any of it, though I did watch the 2006 episodes in the order they aired before watching the 2009 episodes).

I'd seen references to Haruhi and the TVTropes page and so on for a while, but never really thought it was something I'd actually want to see until I heard about Endless Eight (I think it was about the time of the fourth repetition).

There are two things in fiction which are pretty much guaranteed to grab my interest: unreliable narrators and time travel. Endless Eight being a weird time loop and the statements on TVTropes about Kyon being an unreliable narrator made me go "oh, this is going to be amazing."
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Old 2010-01-11, 10:29   Link #380
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but did you just say Endless Eight is the first thing you watched with Haruhi, and you ended up liking the series?
I'm not surprised that people actually get into Haruhi because of Endless Eight. Just like the 2006 season start was surprising with the Mikuru movie, same happened with the unannounced extended first season 2009. No one had predicted E8 on forehand. The unpredictability of the Haruhi anime is part of the attraction.

Maybe the experience is quite different for those who have read the novels before they saw the anime.
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