I’ve been waiting for talking Shamisen ever since I knew The Sigh of… was being animated. And the long-awaited return of talking Shamisen was only the beginning of what may be my favorite episode of the season.
The scene in which Shamisen is talking to Kyon while simultaneously trying to hang onto Nagato’s shoulders was the best scene of the season – equally cute, funny, weird and endearing – which is the Haruhi style I enjoy. Only Haruhi would create not only a talking cat, but a talking cat with an interest in philosophy and perhaps anarchic intents to destroy the very foundations of human speech. It’s a shame Haruhi misses all the good stuff.
The other major development in this episode, was the different viewpoints the Koizumi, Mikuru and Nagato factions seem to have.
Koizumi believes Haruhi created the world and has the ability to change the way the world works. If she wants all pigeons to be white, she can make it so. If she wants all cats to talk, she can make it so.
Mikuru believes that while Haruhi has the ability to change the present, all the anomalies existed before Haruhi, and that she can’t change the way the whole world works. So making Shamisen talk, doesn’t necessarily mean all cats will start talking.
Nagato meanwhile says there’s no guarantees that anything Koizumi or Asahina say is actually true, and that Kyon can’t prove either of them or even Nagato true, because Nagato herself may not be telling the truth… Gee, way to obfuscate the picture Nagato.
I, personally, am in the Koizumi camp. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of incentive for Koizumi to lie about becoming an esper three years ago. If that wasn’t the case, it’d be just as easy for him to adopt Mikuru’s way of thinking. Also, since Mikuru has no way of explaining what happened three years earlier due to the time earthquake, I’m less inclined to believe her until she has a reasonable explanation for the strange rift or gap in time. Not to mention, until I see any evidence of competence from Mikuru, I wouldn’t trust a word out of her moe blob mouth.
Either way, these were interesting scenes, but I don’t recall the difference in factions playing a major part in the subsequent stories.
Other than that, we see additional Nagato biting scenes, more Haruhi bopping (sans the Kyon melodrama) and the finale to the movie. Kyon’s method of reverting the world back to normal? Well, if you saw the Adventures of Asahina Mikuru, you’d probably recall the disclaimer that Kyon forces Haruhi to say at the end of the movie. Yup, there’s nothing like a little legalese to knock you out of your fantasy world and back into reality.
And the episode ends with a potential date!? Well… not quite. But the Kyon x Haruhi shippers do get tossed a bone. I think they’d be an interesting couple, but it’s clear the level-headed and grounded Haruhi would have difficulty dealing with Kyon’s flighty fantasies of their friends being espers, aliens and time travelers. HA! If it were only that easy… I do wish we got to see more Kyon and Haruhi scenes. You rarely see just the two of them actually talking to each other or doing things together. Usually, it’s just Kyon talking to himself, or reacting to Haruhi doing things to other people.
Anyway, this is it for an otherwise lackluster second season of Haruhi. I’m convinced that I might’ve thought this season to be typical Haruhi brilliant if they’d replaced Endless Eight with an arc that fans actually cared about (whether or not it was Disappearance, there’s plenty of other arcs I would’ve liked to see animated), but E8 changed everything. Either way, I’ll hold my thoughts on the season for my recap post, which’ll come once I see that the next episode is indeed a rerun.