Archive for March 17th, 2012

In the run up to the Christmas period, Haruhi Suzumiya is planning the SOS Christmas party with Kyon and the rest of the members. However, on December 18th when Kyon wakes up and goes to school, he realises something unexpected has happened and that his friend doesn’t know Haruhi, in fact nobody in his class knows about her. What has happened? Has Kyon landed in a parallel world where Haruhi doesn’t exist? People he knows well in the SOS Brigade doesn’t even exist in his school anymore. Kyon sets about looking for any kind of clues as to what has taken place with his first point of call – the SOS Clubroom which isn’t the gang’s clubroom anymore but the place for the Literature Club which has only Yuki Nagato as it’s member. She’s no longer anything special, just a bookworm. Perhaps a clue in the room and even Nagato herself can help Kyon in unlocking the mystery and finding out what is going on?

I loved the original ‘The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya’ series when it came out but failed to watch the 2nd series as I’d read all sorts of negative criticism about it so I was looking forward to seeing how the movie would turn out. It’s a different beast from the series I remember – definitely not quite as manic or fun and it has a slow and deliberate pace about it. After all, this movie runs for a whopping 2 hours and 42 mins after all. However even with that long running time, the whole plot kept me engrossed and absorbed for the entire running time and I really enjoyed it even if the plot was darker and more serious than I had anticipated. I think not having watched the 2nd series there’s a couple of things by the characters that are mentioned and I had no idea what they were going on about.

I know that watching a rather long movie can test the patience of any viewer but in this movie by expanding the running time it does make sense to have a slow build up to the mystery, doesn’t rush us into any situation and it makes the impact all the better for it. The characters are wonderful as always. It was nice to see a different side to them as normal human beings in the altered world especially the shy Nagato. Kyon is the driving force in this movie and not Haruhi as we follow his despair at the world he knows no longer exists and trying desperately to find anything of note that can restore the previous timeline. In fact Haruhi’s screentime is quite small in the movie as Nagato is promoted and given a far more important role to play. KyoAni gives us their usual high standards in their animation – pretty much identical to the series. Everything looks crisp and great. The original voice actors returned to reprise their roles to deliver a memorable effort. Aya Hirano is fantastic as Haruhi.

If you’ve seen both series then this movie is certainly a must-see. As a fan of the franchise I loved it. Casual anime fans I think should check out the series first before watching it or you will be confused.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Read Full Post »