[Review] Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu.

AKA – The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.

OK, so this movie has been out for a long time now but I haven’t watched it until yesterday because only the LQ (bootlegged) version has been available.

(Mazui recently released the HQ versions – DVD/BD only came out on the 18th of December; on the main date this movie was set).

So I’ll just share some thoughts (possible analysis?) on this movie from an (always) interesting/wonderful series:


Synopsis from MAL:

It is mid-december, and SOS Brigade chief Haruhi Suzumiya announces that the Brigade is going to hold a Christmas party in their clubroom, with Japanese hotpot for dinner. The brigade members Kyon, Yuki Nagato, Mikuru Asahina and Itsuki Koizumi start preparing everything for the party, such as costumes and decorations. But a couple of days later, Kyon arrives at school only to find that Haruhi is missing. Not only that, but Mikuru claims she has never known Kyon before, Koizumi is also missing, and Yuki has become the sole member of the literature club. The SOS Brigade seems to have never existed, nor has Haruhi Suzumiya. No one in the school has ever heard about her… except for Kyon.

First of all it is pretty important that if you’re planning to watch this movie you should watch season 1 and season 2.

Next.. it’s probably helpful to get the timeline/setting correctly because it can be pretty confusing – you’d know this if you’ve seen the series as the timelines vary time to time. So as stated in the synopsis, the movie takes place in mid-december – Kyon is still in first year of HS (remember that Mikuru is a second year). More specifically, this movie is occurring AFTER the school’s cultural festival (and a few events after, but they’re not as significant), forgot what that was about?

Who could forget that clip anyway? Another major “event” for the cultural festival is their (SOS Brigade’s) film. So it may help if you try chronologically allign the episodes in season 1 and 2.

Minor SPOILERS for s1 and 2.

 Ermm.. let me see..

Chronological order – with Season 1, 2 and movie combined.

  1. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya I(Season 1)
  2. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya II(Season 1)
  3. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya III(Season 1)
  4. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya IV(Season 1)
  5. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya V(Season 1)
  6. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya VI(Season 1)
  7. The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya(Season 1)
  8. Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody(Season 2)<- Important episode, movie references this one a fair bit; Kyon and Mikuru time travel back to when Haruhi is in middle school – “John Smith”
  9. Mystérique Sign(Season 1)
  10. Remote Island Syndrome I(Season 1)
  11. Remote Island Syndrome II(Season 1)
  12. Endless Eight(Season 2)<- lol starts
  13. Endless Eight(Season 2)
  14. Endless Eight(Season 2)
  15. Endless Eight(Season 2)
  16. Endless Eight(Season 2)
  17. Endless Eight(Season 2)
  18. Endless Eight(Season 2)
  19. Endless Eight(Season 2)<- lol ends
  20. The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya I(Season 2)
  21. The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya II(Season 2)
  22. The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya III(Season 2)
  23. The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya IV(Season 2)
  24. The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya V(Season 2)
  25. The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00(Season 1)<- Cultural Festival start
  26. Live Alive(Season 1) <- Cultural Festival end
  27. The Day of Sagittarius(Season 1)<- SOS Brigade vs Computer Society
  28. Someday in the Rain(Season 1)<- Getting a new heater, implied that Yuki leaves a cardigan for Kyon
  29. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya(Theatrical Film)

 source: HaruhiWiki

Time to start.

So as the movie title would suggest, the movie kind of centres around Kyon and his attempt to figure out what’s going on and fix things up as he usually (reluctantly)has to do. The movie really gives a better appreciation of season 2, especially Endless Eight. Why? Because despite the movie title, the movie is actually more focused on Yuki than it is on Haruhi.

Yuki is now the sole member of the literature club and seems to be a normal(shy) girl. This was kind of refreshing to see (almost moe-like for the Yuki fans out there :P). This film is is pretty confusing timeline-wise, it really tests what you can remember although it tries its best to jog the viewer’s memories.

The movie initially offers two possibilities: 1. Kyon entered a parallel universe, 2. The timeline/plane has been altered somehow.

In this world they use Windows 95!

The movie does a good job at exploring the characters of Yuki and Kyon as we get to see different sides of them. For Yuki, this is a side of her having emotions; almost serving as a “what-if”. For Kyon, we get to understand his feelings and personality a bit better – his panic, dispair, and ultimate appreciation of everything that’s going on. The movie is still narrated by him, so the sarcastic and snarky remarks are still there which is good.

In a way, this movie served as a good puzzle piece to tie everything together, although it’s currently at the end of the chronological list (see above), it actually gives you a better appreciation of everything that’s happened. Especially the “one-episode arcs” which I just realised is a very important point, why?

Let’s take a look at the chronological list with the one-episoders ONLY:

  1. The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya(Season 1)
  2. Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody(Season 2)
  3. Mystérique Sign(Season 1)
  4. The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00(Season 1)
  5. Live Alive(Season 1)
  6. The Day of Sagittarius(Season 1)
  7. Someday in the Rain(Season 1)

Does anyone else notice that these episodes are based on Yuki? Well not so much “based”, but Yuki plays a pretty large role in all of these. This becomes quite important because the movie revolves around Yuki developing emotions due to the piled up load and “frustration” from Haruhi. As Kyon mentions, she’s “saved” them countless times. How so? Referring back to the list, 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 – 1. Yuki modifies the baseball bat to help Haruhi’s team win, 2. Yuki helps Kyon and Mikuru travel back to the present when they get stuck in the past, 3. Yuki saves them from the giant cave cricket, 5. Yuki helps Haruhi with her music performance – well kiiinda, 6. Yuki discovers that the Computer Society is cheating and manages to deactive this + with superior micromanagement skills, allows the SOS Brigade to win.

As for 4 and 7, 4 is not so much Yuki-focused as it’s the screening of their (lol)film. As for 7, which is just before the movie, we get the impression that Yuki is somewhat developing care/concern for Kyon as it is heavily implied that the second cardigan left on Kyon when he fell asleep was hers.

The story itself was really good and it was well executed. Although at times there were hints to the viewers as to who the culprit is (as Haruhi was ruled out pretty fast), it still keeps you guessing until near the end – I always enjoy a story like this. The story keeps you engaged and focused because there is a lot to take in at a pretty fast pace.

But what I really like about this story is that it really opens up Yuki as a character. It leaves room for a lot of imagination and thoughts – what if Kyon chose the altered world?

What if?

You can’t help but to feel for Yuki as she really has been through a lot (e.g. Endless Eight). So perhaps her personality and actions were understandable. I wonder if this means we’d be able to see more development for her throughout the stories to come (please keep making the anime :().

But like I said, the way the time travelling works is very confusing to me sometimes. As it’s commonly stated, if one was to time travel and alter something, then the future would be changed too. It would seem that a lot of Japanese anime get around this (e.g. Natsu no Arashi!) by saying these “time travelling” events are predetermined into history, i.e. they were SUPPOSE to go back in time.

OK.. if that’s the case then which version of the characters is “real” and which are we suppose to “follow”? For example.. in the episode Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody when Kyon (post-Summer(?))travels back in time to meet the middle school Haruhi and help her draw the weird symbols on the school oval, he also directly influences her to become interested in the supernatural – which is why she is the way she is in the present. Harrr… then he calls out to her when she’s walking away, but the person who called out to her was another “present” Kyon which was even further into the future (December version (winter)).

I remember the adult Mikuru stating that she couldn’t come in contact with her present self as it would cause problems – but in the movie this seemed to be void (near the end).

But overall it was a very enjoyable film that I was so glad I was finally to watch. The long wait for the HQ version was definitely worth it.

Needed more Mikuru hahaha :P.

I just hope that they continue to keep releasing/producing the anime as there are still so many stories left in the light novel..


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