Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - Season 2

These episodes aired in a pretty unusual manner in Japan. There were shown alongside the original series, in chronological order, which is sort of a brand new way to look at the whole thing. I enjoyed the new content, although I can't say it was fun as the first season, mostly because there just isn't enough there. It's fourteen episodes again, but they only cover three stories, and rather infamously, eight of those episodes are basically all the same thing. If you haven't heard of Endless Eight, the main characters are stuck in a loop during the last weeks of summer vacation, and struggle to find a way out. The first episode just shows what the end of the vacation is like, but by the second, the characters start to realize that they've been doing this over and over for the equivalent of years, but unfortunately the loop restarts before they are able to stop it and they forget about it again. The plot slows to a crawl at this point, as the last six episodes are basically all the exact same thing, reanimated with new voice overs but with more or less the same script until they finally break out in the eighth episode. On one hand it's pretty ballsy to make the same episode eight times, but on the other it can get pretty irritating. A really good Star Trek: The Next Generation episode covered more or less the same plot and and wrapped it up in forty minutes. If the story only lasted like three episodes, it would have been a lot more acceptable.

The other two stories are a bit easier to like. The first is a stand alone episode involving time travel, and is pretty enjoyable. The other is a five episode arc showing the filming of the movie that the kids made for school in the first episode. I thought it would be dragging things out again, but it actually got pretty interesting, as Haruhi's powers again unwittingly causes a danger to the whole world that Kyon has to take care of. Not terribly unique, but still a fun, interesting story. It's pretty obvious that these episodes weren't meant to be the next big thing for the franchise, as a feature film was released in Japan only a few months after they aired. It's been licensed for home release here, and I'm looking forward to that happening.

No comments: