The Epicness of Haruhi Suzumiya (Season 2)

I guess it’s safe to say that there’s not going to be any more new episodes of Haruhi this year. Love it or hate it, you have to admit that the second season of Haruhi Suzumiya was full of epic moments – in both good and bad ways. As part of a two part wrap-up series of posts, I figured I’d focus the first part on grading the epicness and the goodness/evilness of each of the major events so far this year.

Endless Eight
The memory that keeps on giving

Epicness is graded from not epic to EPIC! Good/evil is graded from Endless Eight Evil to Great!

1. Kadokawa promises Haruhi-chan premiere, instead we get Nice Boat.
Epic score: Pretty epic. Good/evil score: Very evil.
The boat wasn’t as epic as say, Kadokawa’s balls for pulling such a stunt. And the fan reaction to it. And this was for a shitty webcast. What if they had done this for the real Haruhi? Oh wait.

2. Haruhi-chan and Churuya-san premiere.
Epic score: Not epic. Good/evil score: Neutral. 
Underwhelming is I think what you could say about the premiere. In fact the Haruhi-chan premiere was nonsensical to the point of unwatchability. The rest of the "season" turned out a little better. And ACHAKURA and Kimidori were my personal faves, but the webcast was nothing really memorable. Same goes for Churuya-san, except Churuya-san was a 4 panel gag that went on about 12 "episodes" too long. Let’s not waste any more words on Haruhi-chan and Churuya-san.

3. KyoAni hints at a second season of Haruhi by releasing a 28 episode airing schedule.
Epic score: Not epic. Good/evil score: Slightly evil.
Not really epic, because by this point, everyone had started gotten tired of KyoAni’s games and stopped biting on all the rumors. I gave it a slightly evil score, simply because the airing schedule is a concrete piece of evidence. It would raise the hopes of even the most jaded.

4. Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody Airs!
Epic score: EPIC! Good/evil score: Great!
I considered the official confirmation of a 2nd season of Haruhi to be anime’s version of the shot heard ’round the world. I still remember the day. I first saw the news on Random Curiosity. Yeah, I panicked. Twitter was abuzz. MAL was aflame. Forum trolls stopped trolling to serenade each other with catcalls of Hare Hare Yukai. My God, the goddess returns! It also helped that the episode was really good too.

5. Couple weeks of reruns after Bamboo Leaf.
Epic score: Not epic. Good/evil score: Slightly evil.
If KyoAni and Kadokawa were people, they’d be the type of people who’d show up to a party, and just when people are starting to have some fun, they’d go kick your dog, spike the punchbowl with cat urine, and then loudly complain how their antipsychotic medicine isn’t doing anything for the voices in their heads. No fun. Total buzzkills I’m telling you.

6. Endless Eight, Part 1 airs.
Epic score: Somewhat epic. Good/evil score: Neutral.
Haruhi as a slice of life. Well, that’s sort of fun. Yeah, we figured they’d stretch this one out for a few episodes…

7. Endless Eight, Part 2.
Epic score: Not epic. Good/evil score: Slightly evil.
lololololol. Good ole’ quirky KyoAni’s having their fun. La la la.

8. Endless Eight, Part 3.
Epic score: Slightly epic. Good/evil score: Moderately evil.
Ohhhh kayyyy. I personally thought this would’ve been a good time to end it. But what do I know, I’m not KyoAni. They’ll definitely end it next episode for sure.

9. Endless Eight, Part 4.
Epic score: Slightly epic. Good/evil score: Evil.
Bizarre music. Airplanes. Imagery. No resolution. The fans are getting restless. "Next arc PLEASE!" I said.

10. Endless Eight, Part 5.
Epic score: Somewhat epic. Good/evil score: Very evil.
This was the episode that I accidentally downloaded part 4 again, and watched for 8 minutes before I realized I was watching the same fucking episode I watched last week. It took me eight minutes to figure that one out! Eight minutes!

11. Endless Eight, Part 6.
Epic score: Somewhat epic. Good/evil score: Extremely evil.
Sort of a ho-hum episode. It’s like KyoAni mailed this one in. How could I say that about this episode, and not about the other seven? Because I can. However, this was the episode that pushed Hiter off the edge.

12. Endless Eight Finally Gets to Hitler.
Epic score: EPIC! Good/evil score: Great!
I just watched it again, this still cracks me up. I love the Kyon version too. The "Except you Koizumi. Fuck you." line was brilliant. This is the best damn thing that came out of the E8 arc. I want to see a version where Hitler learns that KyoAni wasn’t going to animate Disappearance, just because of E8.

13. Endless Eight, Part 7.
Epic score: Pretty epic. Good/evil score: The ire of Hitler evil.
At this point it was a battle of wills. Was KyoAni going to wuss out and stop this at episode 8. Or would they go on forever?

14. The Kyon-Kun Denwa trend.
Epic score: EPIC! Good/evil score: Great!
It started its own twitter hashtag trend (#kyonkundenwa), it’s own ringtone, it’s own neverending video and domain name, it’s own song, and it’s own behind the music feature. Ahhh, it was the gift that kept on giving.

15. Endless Eight, Part 8 – Fin.
Epic score: Pretty epic. Good/evil score: Endlessly Eight evil.
Yep, KyoAni wussed out quicker than Kyon starring in a random harem anime. Anyway, I was pretty pissed at this point, as was pretty much everyone else. The season was ruined.

16. Uproar about K-ON-ified Haruhi art style
Epic score: Slightly epic. Good/evil score: Neutral.
While there was some backlash about Haruhi’s new, increasingly K-ON-ified art style, the fan uproar didn’t catch on too hot. Perhaps everyone was just petered out after Endless Eight. I do prefer the first season animation style, as it was more detailed and felt more sophisticated. But I actually like the new art style. I was never a fan of bug-eyed Air/Kanon/Clannad look. If they mixed in the details and environments from season 1 with the character designs from season 2, I think that’d be perfect.

17. The Sigh of, Part 1.
Epic score: Somewhat epic. Good/evil score: Slightly good.
It was sort of surreal, watching Haruhi and not seeing the familiar faces and scenes of Endless Eight. I would compare it to a crack addict going cold turkey. I was not ready for this. Even if there was still a whiff of deja vu, since we’ve all seen The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina.

18. The Sight of, Part 2.
Epic score: Not epic. Good/evil score: Neutral.
Meh. No crazy weird events. It’s just Haruhi and friends shooting a movie. It’s like a slice of life. Sort of like Endless Eight. CRAP!

19. The Sigh of, Part 3.
Epic score: Slightly epic. Good/evil score: Slightly good.
M-m-mikuru beamu! A Nagato bite scene. This is a little better.

20. The Sigh of, Part 4.
Epic score: EPIC! Good/evil score: Evil.
Otherwise known as the episode where Kyon got sand stuck in his vagina. The epic score isn’t so much for the episode as it is for the fan reaction to the episode. Everyone wanted to kill cute, helpless Haruhi. Meanwhile, I wanted to still kill Kyon for putting us through that Endless Eight pile of crap. Kyon, I haven’t forgot. I still hate you. You damn bitch.
On the plus side, we had plenty of good reactions from the otaku community: Calawain realizes the brilliance of Tsurua’s plan, animekritik compares Kyon to satan, sort of, Assessing the Anime had a particularly eloquent perspective, zilch goes off on KyoAni (multiple times actually), ascaloth notices Mikuru’s not so lush abilities, while Janette was torn between two devils, and so on and so on. Based on the reactions alone, you could definitely say this was a compelling episode. But not exactly the kind that’s going to make anyone’s top favorites list anytime soon.

21. The Sigh of, Part 5.
Epic score: Pretty epic. Good/evil score: Very good.
The long-awaited Shamisen episode! And probably the second best episode of the season behind Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody. Although that’s like saying you won second place in a two man race. We also got Kyon’s sister saying, "neko, neko, neko." She had two lines all season long, and they were brilliant. I love Sayaka Aoki’s voice. I want Miria Harvent back. She deserves her own show.

So in the end, we got 4 EPIC! moments, 3 pretty epic moments, 3 Great! moments, and 11 varying shades of evil moments. Four epic moments may not seem like a lot, but when you consider most anime seasons would garner zero, it’s actually quite impressive. The evil to good moment ratio is much less promising. And 2 of the 3 Great! moments even came from parodies to help the fanbase deal with all the evil that had been inflicted on them. That’s the type of ratio that’ll give you indigestion.

Season two was definitely a memorable season, but for all the wrong reasons. I think when people think back, the first thing they’ll remember is Endless Eight – and how much that sucked. The Sigh of, I think will fade from memory. And the euphoric moments from Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody already seemed to have fade away. That’s not a good thought.

Well, that’s as far as the chronological moments from the season go. In the next part of this season recap, I’ll have economic expert, Lawrence Craft, provide his thoughts on the roller coaster stock market ride that was Haruhi Suzumiya.

10 Replies to “The Epicness of Haruhi Suzumiya (Season 2)”

  1. I like the part where u downloaded an episode u’d already seen, and not realize it until 1/3rd of the way through. That’s when u suddenly wake up in a cold sweat, download the new episode of Haruhi, but find it was the same one u watched last time, and then fall screaming into a Twilight Zone spiral vortex of Kyon-kun denwas.

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