The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzimiya (2010)

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzimiya (Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu) 2010
I really bagged on the whole "endless eight" arc during Haruhi's season 2 and thought that the producers of the show were merely trying to milk the fanbase. After watching this movie however, I take back a little bit of that sentiment (just a little bit) because of how it played out.

While the content of this movie clearly belongs in the second season, it's also much deeper and complex than any of its aired peers. I'm now convinced that the producers were right to put it off into a movie format, because I feel that it would have been nearly impossible to air this movie as an eight episode arc (hence the endless eight) due to the enormous paradigm shift that this represented. The tone of the series is drastically different - darker, more urgent, and perhaps truer to the light novel format that Haruhi was originally published in. Not understanding this myself, I was agitated and frustrated by the horribly slow pace of the movie. As I ventured deeper in though, I began to really appreciate it for its different portrayal of the Haruhi universe.

Speaking of differences, this movie really fleshed out the cast of characters. Each character was put into a different light from the regular tv series, and the results were highly enjoyable to watch. As opposed to following Haruhi around on a weird-adventure-of-the-week basis, the characters were far more outgoing about their personal feelings towards their fates. None more so than the hero, Kyon, who mirrored my personal thoughts about his role in this movie's events via a soliloquy at the end. So cool.

The story itself had me constantly guessing. I pride myself on being to pinpoint re-used plot points across the history of anime, but this one was pretty original.

kenholic rating: 8.0 out of 10 (Recommended!)