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View Poll Results: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - Total Series Rating
Perfect 10 52 27.66%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 47 25.00%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 27 14.36%
7 out of 10 : Good 23 12.23%
6 out of 10 : Average 16 8.51%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 7 3.72%
4 out of 10 : Poor 8 4.26%
3 out of 10 : Bad 2 1.06%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 6 3.19%
Voters: 188. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2009-10-15, 14:07   Link #1
Kairin
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The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - Overall Series Impressions & Total Series Rating

This thread is to discuss the 2009 re-launch of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, both the 14 new "2009" episodes, and the complete 28-episode series as it aired on Japanese TV (including the 2006 episodes).

A few subjects you might want to consider:
  • General impression of the series.
  • Opinions on the overall story, writing & plot devices.
  • Thoughts about the animation quality.
  • Characters/Character Design
  • Voice Acting
  • What the show meant to you.
  • What could the creators/animators/writers have done better.

In addition, you may want to consider:
  • The impact of the 2009 episodes on their own
  • The contribution of the 2009 episodes to the overall Melancholy storyline
  • The directorial decisions in regards to the 2009 episodes, and their impact on you as a viewer
  • Your revised impression of the series on the whole in considering the newly-added content

*** Please remember that direct comparisons to the novels are allowed, but spoilers for future novel content (anything not already animated) are not permitted even behind spoiler tags. ***


The poll represents your total series rating for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. In other words, how you would rate all the episodes combined (1-10)? If you'd rather rate the whole series by technical/artistic merits, you can do so. An example:

Animation Quality: 1-10
Voice Actors: 1-10
Script: 1-10
Soundtrack: 1-10
Editing: 1-10
Enjoyment: 1-10
Emotional Involvement: 1-10

Average = Total Series Rating

Or you may apply whatever rating system you see fit.

In your review, you may choose to provide an overall rating for the 2009 episodes on their own, but in consideration for the way the show was actually aired on TV, the poll is designed to reflect the series on a whole with the new episodes added in.

Enjoy!

Last edited by relentlessflame; 2009-10-15 at 14:25.
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Old 2009-10-15, 16:03   Link #2
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I gave it a 9...

Three year wait, chain yanking and Endless Eight brought it down a notch.

EDIT: Even with the name change my stance stays the same!

EDIT the 2nd: nvm, name got changed back!
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Old 2009-10-15, 16:33   Link #3
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Boom! Four! For reasons already stated and obvious. Just an incredibly lacklustre and weak "renewal" or whatever they want to call it now. The one virtue I can point to is that it makes me appreciate the first season and it's narrative a whole lot more by comparison. How selfless of it. Okay well there was Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody and the final episode which curiously enough came right at the beginning and the end with all the mediocrity sandwiched in the middle. Not terribly surprising, but not exactly a welcome notion either. It seems like they were trying to influence feelings going in and going out, but unfortunately I can't rate the entire series just based off of those two episodes I actually happened to enjoy while the other 12 left me with nothing. However if this were to be a total evaluation based off of the entire 28 episodes thus far it averages out to about a 5.5 instead.

Last edited by Kaioshin Sama; 2009-10-15 at 19:14.
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Old 2009-10-15, 16:44   Link #4
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Wait a second... is this for just the new 2009 (why is that in quotation marks? They are the 2009 episodes!) episodes, or for every Haruhi episode up to this point?

Because... that makes a significant difference.

Since the 2006 episodes were rated 3 years ago, shouldn't the focus be on the new 2009 episodes now?
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Old 2009-10-15, 16:54   Link #5
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Right you are! Added "2009" in the episode title.
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Old 2009-10-15, 17:03   Link #6
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Ah, another show of mine comes to an end. So, let us review!

Animation Qulity: As with any KyoAni series, the series looks amazing. Granted, there are some spots where the art slips up or downgrades in quality, but that ca possibly be attributed to the Disappearance movie. I also loved the different types of Deja Vu in the various E8s, and I loved the overall dark tone of the later parts of Sigh. Another plus is what looks like a tiny Kyon in the distance in one part of BLR and a couple of girls on black uniforms: novel readers will get what I'm saying- it's nice that some company still knows how to pull foeshadowing off correctly. Overall, I give animation a 9.

Voice Actors: Now, I can't say much about this part because, as a person who doesn't usually watch subs, I usually don't pay attention to what people sund like. But, I have to say, it takes serious balls to record an episode not once- but eight times! One gets the feeling that when Kyon and Haruhi are yelling at each other in the final E8 they really mean it. I give it an 8 for symbolism and because they sound decent.

Script: This being KyoAni, the script is pretty much a copypaste of the novels- except for one part. The Sports Day part of Sigh I was written by Tanigawa for this episode, and it was kickass! I love the track scene, especially when Yuki runs like a Jackrabbit and Haruhi doesn't even question it. Oh, and I guess the inclusion of the Sigh prologue at the end iis kind of ironic, but most normal watchers will think that that's how it happened chronologically- which may cause some problems. Overall, a 9.

Soundtrack: Someone on this site once said: "Haruhi Suzumiya: mundane solutions for big problems." Well, the soundtrack is what turns 'mundane' into 'insane.' For example, the end of E8: the solution to end the endless recursion of time is to complete Kyon's homework. Boring, right? Well, how about instead of talking normally we have people screaming to the top of their lungs- and how about instead of boring pop music we strike up an orcheastral fanfare following the piano solo; top it off with an Disney Acid Sequence, and we've got a deal! Overall, a 10.

Editing: Er... it made sense; 10; NEXT!

Emotional Involvement: I admit I was originally a h8ter- but after it's all said and done, I realised I felt how Yuki had felt through the whole ordeal: angry, frustrated, and melancholic. But, we went through only eight adaptions; imagine what it would be like if we went through ~15,000 E8s. Now THAT is patience. And, at the end of each episode, we would hope that Kyon would be able to reach out to Haruhi along with him, and we would cry in anguish when he wasn't able to. THAT is art. Also, during Sigh, I started to feel a little dispair during the last few episodes: all I can say is that Mikuru has some nerve to put up with Haruhi's petulance- and this is coming from a guy who doesn't really like Mikuru. Overall, 8.

Enjoyment: Despite what the butthurts say about E8, I loved all of Season R: it was funny, epic, well-adapted, and very artistic. If SR were a sandwich, it'd be nice foot-long sub: it has the meat (content/story), the cheese (visuals to compliment the story), the lettace (creator's input), the tomatoes (quality voice-work), the condememnts (visual effects and soundtrack; stuff the atributes to the tone), and the bread to hold it all together (staff workers). And, this sandwich is good. Overall, 10.

Overall Overall: This was a good setup for the Disappearance movie: it had charm, artistic vision, good music and overall good directing. It mAde me rerealise why I love the Haruhi series so: becuase of it's constant attempts, and acclomplishments, to be the best series and the most unique series. Overall, I give it a 9.88888888242010.

Now, what's Season 2 going to be called?
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Old 2009-10-15, 18:05   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solachinx View Post

Emotional Involvement: I admit I was originally a h8ter- but after it's all said and done, I realised I felt how Yuki had felt through the whole ordeal: angry, frustrated, and melancholic. But, we went through only eight adaptions; imagine what it would be like if we went through ~15,000 E8s. Now THAT is patience. And, at the end of each episode, we would hope that Kyon would be able to reach out to Haruhi along with him, and we would cry in anguish when he wasn't able to. THAT is art. Also, during Sigh, I started to feel a little dispair during the last few episodes: all I can say is that Mikuru has some nerve to put up with Haruhi's petulance- and this is coming from a guy who doesn't really like Mikuru. Overall, 8.
That's kind of a wide range of emotions to feel all at once, especially for a character who's prime derogative is "observe and report". I don't think patience comes into the equation for a character who is built not to experience time in a linear fashion by her very nature. Also I don't think it's nerve that Mikuru has so much as a willingness to total complacency, which was why she was chosen in the first place. The best subordinate is one who will never stand up for herself or question orders and directives. Doesn't really strike me as art at all really, just stock characterization put to work in gimmickery. Then again I never once felt the desire to cry in anguish so much as I did to hit fast forward and say "yeah never mind this".

I also couldn't be bother to care for a character who was too stupid and lazy to even think of moving to solve his and everybody elses situation 15,000+ times in a row until just by chance the number of the episode we were watching managed to hit 8 resolving the gimmick and allowing him to magically do something even though nothing in the actual story had changed as far as their situation. Not exactly an inspiring lead character or method of storytelling, but rather an example of pure laziness.

In that sense you could call this a total failure on the emotional front as far as I'm concerned. I don't feel sorry for a cast of characters that does nothing at all to help themselves. Mikuru is too much of a crybaby, Itsuki won't move cause he's afraid to upset Haruhi, Yuki won't move because it's not her job, Haruhi won't move cause she is oblivious, leaving Kyon is the sole independent factor who totally drops the ball anyway by not even trying. It doesn't qualify as tragedy and barely qualifies as pathos even though I've used the label to describe what they did there a couple of times. Ugh....

Quote:
I love the Haruhi series so: becuase of it's constant attempts, and acclomplishments, to be the best series and the most unique series.
Attempts at what? Honestly I didn't see this series attempt much of anything to stand out other than the incredibly gimmicky Endless Eight arc. If that's being the best and being unique then I'm not convinced in the slightest since I see nothing to do with actual quality in it. To me it's no different then all of those shonen series that add terminology, attack, and power up gimmicks into the story to milk more interest out of something that is really just a familiar formula. Likewise Endless Eight has nothing to do with making the story better so much as it does with making it gimmicky and drawing attention to it in the most roundabout and production side manner possible. My biggest problem with this season was the sheer lack of effort put into it on the storytelling, thematic and character and plot progression front compared to first season. Hopefully we won't see such slopiness in the movie and it can actually succeed on the quality front instead of just having the label of success attached to it because it's Haruhi.
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Old 2009-10-15, 18:22   Link #8
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Man, I was really torn between a 5 or a 6 but I'm going to be nice and give it a 6 (2009-episode wise)
As a whole, an 8.

Animation Quality: 8; Despite the never ending arguments whether KyoAni's quality went down or that they just catered more to K-ON's style, I never thought it was terrible at all. I think too many people blew it all out of proportion to be honest. It was like every person pointed out every simple mistake in the damn show. I shamelessly liked the K-ON style mixed with Haruhi style a bit more than 2006's. It looked great on all the characters...except for Haruhi.

I was seeing Yui most of the time and that ain't good.

Voice Actors: 10. They don't disappoint

Script: 9. Though E8 was using the shortcuts, heh.

Soundtrack: 10. Good use of nostalgia when I heard the oh familiar BG music. Plus there's some new tunes I simply adored, like from Kyon's epic homework speech, the stargazing scene & that creepy music-box tune that played on Yuki's part in some scenes from E8. Plus I loved the OP....not so much of the ED though.

Editing: Should've cut down E8 into 4 episodes KyoAni
I still stand by that.

Enjoyment: 6. Hated E8, but fairly enjoyed Sighs. Yeah yeah, I can move on but that doesn't erase the fact that E8 will always be there and all the horrible arguments it spat out against its fandom. It torn some people apart but I didn't give up and I'm glad I continued watching. That and I had a boring ass summer with nothing else to do but kill time.

Emotional Involvement: 7. E8 made quite the stir but I honestly didn't care to RAAAGE at it like some fans did. Being angry wasn't going to change anything so I sucked it up & watched. Sighs made me feel more attached to the SOS brigade and into understanding the characters more, good & bad, especially Haruhi. She was one hell of a bitch but she's learning to change bit by bit. I still don't like Mikuru though. That'll never change for sure, heh.

Anywayz, can't wait for Disappearance

Last edited by Starry Dust; 2009-10-17 at 23:18.
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Old 2009-10-15, 19:08   Link #9
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It was lots of fucking fun.

Kept me entertained, and laughed at how many E8 episodes there were until I realised THERE WERE THAT MANY.

Visuals were clean.

As such, Haruhi gets a 10. It was entertaining, and judging from the people that had seen it before me, I got what I expected: retarded, yet hilarious fun.

Don't really bother with the script thingy kind of thing, but ITSUMO NO FUUKEI IS THE MOST AWESOME TRACK IN THE SOUNDTRACK. I LOVE THAT SONG. IT'S SO HILARIOUS. I DUNNO WHY.
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Old 2009-10-15, 19:14   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Wait a second... is this for just the new 2009 (why is that in quotation marks? They are the 2009 episodes!) episodes, or for every Haruhi episode up to this point?

Because... that makes a significant difference.

Since the 2006 episodes were rated 3 years ago, shouldn't the focus be on the new 2009 episodes now?
Quote:
Originally Posted by monir View Post
Right you are! Added "2009" in the episode title.
Actually, sorry to contradict you, monir... but we already had this conversation in the Request for New Threads thread a while ago. The opening post of the thread already explained this point in detail. This is a thread for both the new episodes and the new episodes in the context of the show on the whole. The poll is intended to be for the entire show the way it aired on TV in 2009, which includes both new and re-airing episodes. This is also why the episode discussion threads were renamed to be consistent with the 2009 airing. Of course if people choose to not follow that and do it a different way, that's up to them, but the way it was worded was by design.
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Old 2009-10-15, 19:18   Link #11
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I did a review, but here is my thoughts about the second season... It's horrible.... Most would thought that sequel would be better than the first season, but we are terribly wrong.

Content
This is the weakest point in the whole season, honestly… mainly because of Endless Eight. Rhapsody and Sighs (although good, but not very good) was the only arcs that did fine in this season. The rest is a disaster, because Endless Eight repeated more than 8 times which is completely unnecessary. I would rather watch K-ON! than watch this piece of s$%^ Endless Eight and that is my feeling on Endless Eight. Endless Eight in my opinion is a middle finger from Kadokawa saying, “HA! Do you want Disappearance, but you aren’t getting it!” Every time Endless Eight repeated, It makes my blood boil and want me to rage about Kadokawa again.

I found that the repeating of Endless Eight 8 times was completely unnecessary, it should have been at most 3 episodes and one loop. The light novel does not repeat it more than 3 times, so why should it repeat 8 times in the Anime. Thats because, Kadokawa is the biggest trolls on the planet.

Sighs was okay, but it’s nothing that hits home because some of the content was already presented in “The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina, Episode 00″ in the first season. Sighs is just behind the scenes making of the movie, which some people may not find that interesting until towards the end of Sighs when Kyon finally blows up at Haruhi for smacking Mikuru around. Otherwise, Sighs is good and faithful to the original (hopefully) and also the same case with Rhapsody.

Characters
Theres not much to say, but the Sighs arc made me hate Haruhi forever… because she is a absolute b%$#& and why would anyone be around her if she is going to act that way… but she atleast shaped up…

The scene where Kyon flips out is probably a reason to admire the other character for taking Haruhi as being a jerk. Also, love the talking cat, which only talked briefly.

Animation
The animation was a disappointment just like Endless Eight. The animation and art style in Suzumiya Haruhi 2009 was mediocre/below average, mainly because, someone in Kadokawa decided… Hey, why not make it look like K-ON! The K-ON! art style works only with K-ON!, put it anywhere else and it surely won’t be well received… it would just be like using Lucky Star art style in something like Kanon… You sure get the fans raging…

The K-ONification of Haruhi was pretty much another debate that was happening throughout the whole season… Some may notice that the first episode had this treatment as well… If they going to use that art style, they should just rename the show, Haruhi-ON! and have the SOS-brigade eat cake and crumpets all day long and do moe stuff and of course, play music… oh wait… Thankfully it improved towards the end of the season, although there were faint elements from K-ON!

Music
The music was not great… Tomare was okay, but Super Driver is the WORST OP I ever heard (Yes, this tells you why it’s not good) and made my ears bleed. Personally, I’m not to fond with Hirano Aya’s singing, except the first season songs since most of her songs aren’t that great and she isn’t a great singer compared to other J-Pop artists.

Conclusion
Although Sighs and Rhapsody was good, Endless Eight, poor sounding OP, average to not good art style and the trolling of Kadokawa is what made the season downfall like a hubristic hero. Kadokawa’s arrogance with the amount of trolling they have done to the fans (for example, Second Season announcement in Newtype and showing the Nice Boat parody video) and hubris with the handling of the Haruhi Franchise after it became highly successful caused the franchise’s downfall as a whole with Endless Eight and Haruhi Franchise as a whole will never be at the height as it was three years ago ever again. It’s such a shame, really since I expected this season to be great, but it ended up to be a total disaster after Endless Eight repeated 8 times and I felt it was a waste of time repeating and reanimating Endless Eight because the resources can be used on adapting other interesting arcs, but Kadokawa had to blew it and give Kyoto Animation a bad rep because of it. If there is ever a third season, I will still watch it, but I won’t be expecting much after this disaster of a season.

This is why Haruhi 2009 got a big F, merely because it’s a big disappointment. If Endless Eight haven’t repeated so much and the art style was a bit better than what they shown, I would have give it a better or at-least a passing grade.

Overall Score - Second Season
5/10
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Old 2009-10-15, 19:21   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Actually, sorry to contradict you, monir... but we already had this conversation in the Request for New Threads thread a while ago. The opening post of the thread already explained this point in detail. This is a thread for both the new episodes and the new episodes in the context of the show on the whole. The poll is intended to be for the entire show the way it aired on TV in 2009, which includes both new and re-airing episodes. Of course if people choose to not follow that and do it a different way, that's up to them, but the way it was worded was by design.
Considering the way it was written encourages people to do either both or just the new ones I don't think it should end up being a problem. Though I wouldn't be too surprised if people who were around for 2006 just want to talk about the new episodes.
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Old 2009-10-15, 19:56   Link #13
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That's kind of a wide range of emotions to feel all at once, especially for a character who's prime derogative is "observe and report". I don't think patience comes into the equation for a character who is built not to experience time in a linear fashion by her very nature.
Do you read the novels? *not an attack, just an honest to god question* Because if you don't, you'll see why all of this hullabaloo matters (both this and Saggitarius) after the movie is shown. Not saying more for fear of moderation.

Quote:
Also I don't think it's nerve that Mikuru has so much as a willingness to total complacency, which was why she was chosen in the first place. The best subordinate is one who will never stand up for herself or question orders and directives.
You have a point there, and that part was bugging me in the back of my mind after typing it. I meant to type "Or, she's your average Moe Moe Girl. Whichever comes first." after that part, but I forgot it. Oops ^^;

Quote:
Doesn't really strike me as art at all really, just stock characterization put to work in gimmickery. Then again I never once felt the desire to cry in anguish so much as I did to hit fast forward and say "yeah never mind this".
Not you, specifically, but there were plenty of people here who might as well have been crying by the time E84 rolled around.

Quote:
I also couldn't be bother to care for a character who was too stupid and lazy to even think of moving to solve his and everybody elses situation 15,000+ times in a row until just by chance the number of the episode we were watching managed to hit 8 resolving the gimmick and allowing him to magically do something even though nothing in the actual story had changed as far as their situation. Not exactly an inspiring lead character or method of storytelling, but rather an example of pure laziness.
Well, if you were in that situation, what would you do? Would you shout 'I RAV YOU!,' or would you ask her to go to the beach? Would you think about pleasing Haruhi figuratively or literally? Would you do X or Y? There are over half a million things she could've wanted; Kyon was thinking for anything and everything that could've broken the loop, and homework popped up at the last second. I mean, the subject of homework was only talked about once during the two weeks and after Yuki's infodump I'm sure homework was the last thing on Kyon's mind. Though, it can be argued that Haruhi wanted to do anything on the last day.

Quote:
In that sense you could call this a total failure on the emotional front as far as I'm concerned. I don't feel sorry for a cast of characters that does nothing at all to help themselves.
I meant that, while we didn't feel sympathetic for the characters, we felt how they felt. We were tired, and annoyed, and PO'd by the 'Endless recursion of E8' and we wanted it to end. It was supposec to make us feel empathetic, not sympathetic.

Quote:
Mikuru is too much of a crybaby, Itsuki won't move cause he's afraid to upset Haruhi, Yuki won't move because it's not her job, Haruhi won't move cause she is oblivious, leaving Kyon is the sole independent factor who totally drops the ball anyway by not even trying.
Well, Mikuru can't contact the future and doesn't know what the hell to do; Itsuki doesn't want to accidently fuck up the world; Yuki was never given any orders and, thus, can do nothing; and Kyon had to pick one from googles of different things to do or else it's game over and the cycle starts again.

Quote:
Attempts at what? Honestly I didn't see this series attempt much of anything to stand out other than the incredibly gimmicky Endless Eight arc. If that's being the best and being unique then I'm not convinced in the slightest since I see nothing to do with actual quality in it. To me it's no different then all of those shonen series that add terminology, attack, and power up gimmicks into the story to milk more interest out of something that is really just a familiar formula.
But those things are archetypes and have been repeated over multitude of series. This is like releasing Groundhog Day 12 or 15 times before the final one where Bill finally sleeps with the chick. Now that I think about it, the only thing really known about this series is E8 and Hare Hare Yukai, so you might be right about the gimmicks. But, the story is really deep compared to what it looks like at face value: it looks like a series for girls, but it's actually a deep elaborate plot that continues to screw with my head. I like series' that turn out to be better than what it looks like, rather than some pretentious series like most teen fodder nowadays. IMHO at least.

Quote:
Likewise Endless Eight has nothing to do with making the story better so much as it does with making it gimmicky and drawing attention to it in the most roundabout and production side manner possible. My biggest problem with this season was the sheer lack of effort put into it on the storytelling, thematic and character and plot progression front compared to first season. Hopefully we won't see such slopiness in the movie and it can actually succeed on the quality front instead of just having the label of success attached to it because it's Haruhi.
Well, E8 is fairly important to the plot in hindsight after you figure out why Yuki would do what she does in the upcoming arc. That's all I'm saying about that.

The fact that E8 was stretched so could be because that they were planning a Disappearance movie for a while and that three storys needed to be stretched to fit one cour. BLR can't afford to be stretched, and Sigh is a short book and would probably only fit 5-6 episodes. So, there are about 8-7 episodes left and, unless they want 6-7 episodes of filler, E8- given it's story and ability to be produced multiple times because of it's story- had to be stretched.

I love debating.
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2009-10-15 at 20:06. Reason: simple quote cleanup for prettiness sake -- no content changes
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Old 2009-10-15, 20:09   Link #14
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I give it a 10 simply because the entire series is a meme factory.
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Old 2009-10-15, 20:31   Link #15
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Ok... so after thinking about it, I think that the best approach for me to take is to rate the 14 new 2009 episodes, which essentially operated as a second season of sorts for me, and perhaps for many Haruhi watchers. This is how I experienced this year of Haruhi episodes, as I didn't re-watch the Haruhi 2006 episodes as they re-aired; I re-watched them on my Haruhi 2006 DVDs, but only to help draw comparisons between Haruhi 2006 and Haruhi 2009.

However, I will apply the suggested criteria to rate those 14 episodes...

Animation Quality: 7

I'm judging artwork and animation at the same time here.

The animation quality was rarely in question for me, and I have no substantial complaints to make there. I also felt that Haruhi did a good job of delivering both great artwork, and splendid animation, for the "money shot" scenes; basically, the two big Kyon-becomes-Kamina moments of the anime (the finale of E8, and Part 4 of Sighs).

As for artwork, it was pretty hit and miss for me. Part 7 of E8, and Parts 3 through 5 of Sigh, had gorgeous Haruhi artwork that looked pretty close to the 2006 style that I found very appealing when I first watched Haruhi back then.

OTOH, I was an admittedly outspoken critic of Yuified Haruhi, and this exacerbated E8 for me personally in a few E8 episodes.


Voice Actors: 10

It's rare that Japanese seiyu stand out to me, but this cast does. Hirano brings such passion and life to her character, and I like how she can do everything from innocently playful Haruhi to arrogantly obnoxious Haruhi to fiercely angry and about to have a nervous breakdown Haruhi. Sugita did a marvelous job of raising the tone and tenor of his vice to match the epicness of the "money shot" scenes. Him and Hirano both show considerable range, and know when and when not to ham it up.

And the rest of the cast play their specific roles flawlessly.


Script: 4

I'm not sure if this or Editing is the right place to bring up the inevitable E8 critique, but script strikes me as the more appropriate place to raise critiques against the arc layout of this year (1 for BLR, 8 for E8, 5 for Sighs).

5 was just the right length for Sighs, and I felt that this arc was well-scripted.
1 was fine for BLR, and that was well-scripted as well.

However, the bulk of the new 14 episodes was E8, and well... I'm sure anybody here who knows me at all, knows how I feel about E8. I would have greatly preferred 3/4 episodes for E8, and pretty much anything else for the other 4/5 episodes... yes, even anime original fillers, to be blunt.

Or... or... what could have saved E8, imo, would be more differentiation between the iterations. E8 could have been a lot of fun if KyoAni had played around with it a bit more, but... oh well, what's done is done.


Soundtrack: 9

Once again... perfect handling of the money shot scenes. The upbeat Disney-meets-Gurren Lagann esque soundtrack for the E8 finale scene was excellent, and the soundtrack was also nicely ominous and tense for the Kyon/Haruhi argument blows up into Kyon trying to punch Haruhi scene.

There were a few times when the soundtrack felt a bit off to me... and that schmaltzy restaurant tune was played a bit too much for my liking ... but aside from that, I have nothing but high marks for the soundtrack.


Editing: 8

A few little editing cuts struck me as odd... I recall the lengthy focus on Kyon's shoes while Kyon was walking in Part 1 of Sighs for example (others might point to Itsuki's Esquire Watch commercial, although I actually liked that as it drew my attention away from excruciatingly painfully familiar subtitles ). Still, the editing usually seemed Ok to me. Nothing to write home about, but nothing to get upset about either. A very solid 8.


Enjoyment: 9

This is the toughest to rate. This year of Haruhi really was a year of peaks and valleys for me, enjoyment-wise. Again... I just come back to the awesome money shots. As a lover of theatrical drama, I really do have to give credit to KyoAni for having the exquisite sense of timing to know when to deliver the money shots, and also for having the finesse and skill to deliver it in a first rate way.

I'll never forget the E8 finale. I'll never forget the climatic Kyon/Haruhi showdown from Part 4 of Sigh. Haruhi shooting at that temple priest and calling for a hilarious retreat... the suspenseful sequence where Mikuru first shoots off the Mikuru beam, and the cool chaotic chemistry that came from that...

You know... I'm ultimately going to remember the good much more than the bad, so I'm going to go easy here. 9/10 for enjoyment. When Haruhi shined, it really shined.


Emotional Involvement: 8

This is also tough to rate. It was an emotional roller coaster ride, with plenty of ups and downs. On my blog I argued that this is better than just even-keel consistently slightly above average fare, but... nor is it like, say, Gurren Lagann, that kept me emotionally involved purely through content, and never through the meta stuff.

I'll give emotional involvement a 8.

So, averaging out... it actually comes just short of 8 on my calculator. So, a 7.
Ok, I'm happy with that.


Average = Total Series Rating: 7

I guess the moral of the story is that even when KyoAni tries to pull utter crap, Haruhi still manages somehow to be above average. For me, at least.

I can honestly say that I'm thankful for this year of Haruhi episodes... if not for the money shots it would be a lot worse, but... I'm a sucker for those money shots, I have to admit.

Not as good as Haruhi 2006, but good enough for me to stay a Haruhi fan, and very much look forward to the Disappearance movie.
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Old 2009-10-15, 20:58   Link #16
Kaioshin Sama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solachinx View Post
Do you read the novels? *not an attack, just an honest to god question* Because if you don't, you'll see why all of this hullabaloo matters (both this and Saggitarius) after the movie is shown. Not saying more for fear of moderation.
Not really the place to be discussing the novels even though I would have answer for you.


Quote:
You have a point there, and that part was bugging me in the back of my mind after typing it. I meant to type "Or, she's your average Moe Moe Girl. Whichever comes first." after that part, but I forgot it. Oops ^^;
I find her to be the least developed of all the characters thus far other than for her adult counterpart that has very little screentime anyway.

Quote:
Not you, specifically, but there were plenty of people here who might as well have been crying by the time E8 rolled around.
Could have been, but I didn't really get upset or involved with it, it eventually ended up as a large indifference that just happened to take up the majority of the season.

Quote:
Well, if you were in that situation, what would you do? Would you shout 'I RAV YOU!,' or would you ask her to go to the beach? Would you think about pleasing Haruhi figuratively or literally? Would you do X or Y? There are over half a million things she could've wanted; Kyon was thinking for anything and everything that could've broken the loop, and homework popped up at the last second. I mean, the subject of homework was only talked about once during the two weeks and after Yuki's infodump I'm sure homework was the last thing on Kyon's mind. Though, it can be argued that Haruhi wanted to do anything on the last day.
The homework popped up because it was episode eight and they needed to bring the arc to a quick and expedient conclusion. A very simple Deus Ex Machina if you will that came very much out of the blue. Though I think they were very much aware of this fact in how overplayed the scene was I still don't think it makes up for the lacklustre conclusion to a series of non-conclusions.

Quote:
I meant that, while we didn't feel sympathetic for the characters, we felt how they felt. We were tired, and annoyed, and PO'd by the 'Endless recursion of E8' and we wanted it to end. It was supposec to make us feel empathetic, not sympathetic.
I honestly don't think there's any way to tell how the characters felt because they pretty much just sat their and excepted their fate. I also don't see that as a helpful thing either the way it was done because it just feeds back into what I see as a gimmick as opposed to the straightforward short story it was originally. Every way I look at it they just made a decent story substantially worse with the way they chose to go about it and I don't give points for that. It's a matter of failed execution.

Quote:
Well, Mikuru can't contact the future and doesn't know what the hell to do; Itsuki doesn't want to accidently fuck up the world; Yuki was never given any orders and, thus, can do nothing; and Kyon had to pick one from googles of different things to do or else it's game over and the cycle starts again.
I'm not really saying I expected much from the majority of the cast other than Kyon. He's pretty much the least cliched out of any of them and the one who seems to be able to bargain the best outcome more often than not. The thing is we never once saw Kyon even try to do anything and talk with Haruhi even when he had the wrong answer. Would it have hurt to try? The result would have been the same anyway. The problem is he doesn't even try until he comes up with the homework thing which miraculously just happens to be the right answer. It strikes me as lazy scenario presentation and reminds me of how Kyoani presented things in K-On where the solution to every problem seems to come easy. Not very deep, but rather idealistic.


Quote:
But those things are archetypes and have been repeated over multitude of series. This is like releasing Groundhog Day 12 or 15 times before the final one where Bill finally sleeps with the chick. Now that I think about it, the only thing really known about this series is E8 and Hare Hare Yukai, so you might be right about the gimmicks. But, the story is really deep compared to what it looks like at face value: it looks like a series for girls, but it's actually a deep elaborate plot that continues to screw with my head. I like series' that turn out to be better than what it looks like, rather than some pretentious series like most teen fodder nowadays. IMHO at least.
The thing with Groundhog Day is that there are more themes going on such as Bill Murray's character being trapped in the same day until he can improve his personality and outlook on life and the whole romantic thing with Andie MacDowell's character who is interested in him, but wants him to be a more compassionate person at the same time. There I can say I got to empathize with his character and actually feel something about what he was going through. At first I disliked his general attitude towards other people, then I laughed at his lame attempts to try and use the loop to his advantage, then I pitied him in his desperate attempts at suicide to try and get himself out of the loop (a dark turn if ever there was one) and then I was happy to see him finally find a way out and improve his quality of life as well as those around him. It was a good tale with some decent morals that wasn't too preachy at the same time.

Endless Eight on the other hand felt like just watching a bunch of people frolic and then frolic again for another 7 episodes to the point of indifference. Unlike Groundhog Day where the tone of the story changed even as the events stayed the same, the tone of the episodes remained the same throughout with the frolicking in bathing suits and such during the first 3/4 and then the exact same attempt at a dramatic twist for the last 1/4 with no resolution. You'd think they would realize that after the 3rd or 4th iteration of the attempted dramatic twist that it would have lost what little impact it intitially had, but nope, it just keeps plowing forward until the 8th episode with the magic ending where instead of feeling a sense of accomplishment, improvement and development in the characters actions like I did with Bill Murray's character in Groundhog Day, all I'm left with is the chance to say, "oh....so it's over then". Net result, no character development for anybody but for the small amount Yuki get's after 2/3 of a season. Never mind Comedy Network, that's what I call time well wasted. Again it comes down to the execution.


Quote:
Well, E8 is fairly important to the plot in hindsight after you figure out why Yuki would do what she does in the upcoming arc. That's all I'm saying about that.

The fact that E8 was stretched so could be because that they were planning a Disappearance movie for a while and that three storys needed to be stretched to fit one cour. BLR can't afford to be stretched, and Sigh is a short book and would probably only fit 5-6 episodes. So, there are about 8-7 episodes left and, unless they want 6-7 episodes of filler, E8- given it's story and ability to be produced multiple times because of it's story- had to be stretched.
Let's talk about the future when it comes because I'll have plenty to say then I'm sure. Either way I've seen stories get rewritten because of a movie getting greenlighted plenty of times before (i.e Gundam ZZ) without them having to stretch an arc out to absurd lengths just to make up the time. If this actually is the case though I have to say the manner in which they went about it was incredibly sloppy and it would kind of worry me if a TV series worth of plot got rerolled into a movie just like that. The final question I would ask regarding that would be whether it would it have then killed them to add another arc like the vaunted Snow Mountain Syndrome instead of such a solution as the literal Endless Eight?

I refuse to accept the movie as an excuse for a lacklustre and poor second season either way.
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Old 2009-10-15, 21:10   Link #17
Ithekro
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Basic problem with the structure. There was only a limited amount of material before what will be animated in the movie. And these three stories was all of it. There is nothing else that hasn't now been animated before the movie. Everything else takes place after the movie, and the movie's plot effects those stories...thus, the animation studio was stuck with BLR, Endless Eight, and Sigh.
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Old 2009-10-15, 21:55   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Basic problem with the structure. There was only a limited amount of material before what will be animated in the movie. And these three stories was all of it. There is nothing else that hasn't now been animated before the movie. Everything else takes place after the movie, and the movie's plot effects those stories...thus, the animation studio was stuck with BLR, Endless Eight, and Sigh.
Nothing stopped them from doing things out of order before. They could have easily continued down that path. Even continuing with that particular gimmick would have been preferrable to stretching out an arc longer than it was supposed to go and far less lazy too.
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Old 2009-10-15, 22:58   Link #19
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This will be about the 2009 episodes only.

Ah, season 2 of Haruhi-- when I recieved word that there was more Haruhi, I looked on with mild curousity. I guess Bamboo Leaf Rhaposdy was mildly amusing, but nothing spectacular and it seemed to go so fast. But not bad at all.

Oh Endless Eight; it's the dead rotting horse in the middle of the living room, but how can it not be talked about regarding this renewal of Haruhi? It seemed like they were just trying too hard here (or perhaps not as hard) but Endless Eight being eight episodes seems like a really bad joke that anything else. It just seemed pretty gimmicky and a lot of this meta-art stuff seems specific to fans of the series. For a casual viewer like myself, I just thought it silly. The 2006 incarnation just seemed to be more accessible. Now this is typical of a follow up to a series, and an advantge of the original season, but yea.

If Endless Eight did anything right, it was to show the pain that Yuki was going through. Of course, that requires the audience to care about the characters. Do I care about the cast? A little. But not enough to last the whole arc really. Was the feeling of apathy intended. Sure. It doesn't make it "good", it just means it did something it was supposed to do. But really, even though Endless Eight ended with a thud, it's hardly the catastrophe some would have you believe.

And then came Sigh. Started out incredibly boring, but Haruhi's antics grew at first amusing, but then the whole situation seemed really frightening, as if left unopposed. Mikuru's plight was reaching a point where it becomes painful to watch, and really just pushed Kyon's limits. However, Kyon finaly got it in him to do something, anything, and hope for the best because maintaining the status quo wasn't gonna cut it. Indeed, all those Endless loops had definitely installed something in Kyon. OMG it's character development. And Itsuki becomes much more than a smiling jackass, as he moves to work within his confines. And you'd realize how restricted he truly is.

One thing I liked about Sigh is that it really summarized the spirit of the series well. The series has always been about breaking away from the status quo, with its parodying and shattering of practically all imaginable cliches and that bizzare episode airing of the first season. Playing it safe would only lead to a bad end. All the factions involved in this story would like to pass the responsibility to Kyon, because taking responsibility is such a dangerous thing at times. We don't know what would happen for defying Haruhi-- none of the information is trustworthy and much is unknown. Everyone is too afraid of the unknown to act. So the question asked to Kyon and to the audience is "what do YOU think?"

And the cat, just the cat.

Overall: 6/10 Not too bad. I guess it was disappointing, but if it served as anything, it was probably a good advertisement for the movie. That's something to look forward to.

Edit: Overall for the entire series would be 7/10. My rating for the 2009 airing is still 6/10 though, since I didn't watch the reruns of the 2006.
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Old 2009-10-16, 00:02   Link #20
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Originally Posted by Kaioshin Sama
I have found a crack and I will tear at it till the thing breaks! Muahahahaha!
Alright, moving on...


I'm not fond of lengthy reviews, so... I give the series a score of 9/10 overall. Excellent, as even after all these years, you'd be hard pressed to find something to top Live A Live and The Adventures of Asahina Mikuru Ep. 00. Credit is also given to the excellent adaptation of Sighs, as it managed to make one not-so-interesting book, well, interesting. Not perfect, as because even though I enjoyed the majority of Endless Eight (E8), there were two episodes that I felt were poorly done.

All the other E8 episodes had something unique to offer (my personal favorite being E8 V) except E8 III and VI. Now if you skipped through all those episodes and are wondering what the hell I'm talking about, then I suggest you rewatch them all.

And of course, watching this series will never be as exciting and suspenseful without Kadokawa's stunts:
  • all the hype and secrecy of a second season during the few months before Clannad's premier
  • July 7, 2007 and December 18, 2007
  • gag order on TV stations regarding the rerun's episodes
  • hotel reservations and the subsequent data explosion on the night BLR aired
  • shattering all predictions with Kyon-kun denwa~ and the resulting conspiracy theories
  • LULZ-worthy magazine scan hinting at Disappearance but actually promoting the novel
  • announcement of a Disappearance movie right at the end of the last ep
Through good and bad times, in Haruhi we trust.
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