Part two of a two-part, season recap of posts. Today, I have special guest, economic expert Lawrence Craft with me. He’ll be reviewing the second season of Haruhi, purely on a technical basis.
Before we begin. I have to be honest. I don’t really consider you to be an economic expert. In fact, I have trouble understanding all the terrible decisions you make and all the unnecessary risks you take. How many times would you have been left destitute and sold into slavery if it wasn’t for Horo? I can count at least two. Why do I even have you here?
As you can see, the rise and fall, and maybe even the final salvation of Haruhi Suzumiya actually mirrors the rise and fall of the Dow Jones over the past year and a half. It’s downright uncanny. Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody obviously starts the season on an incredible wave. The market had never been higher. But with all the KyoAni and Kadokawa antics in the past, there was hesitation to dive in, as you can see by the pull back over the four weeks of reruns. But confirmation of the second season is achieved by the first Endless Eight episode, which resulted in a slight peak. Now the fans gave KyoAni a pass for the first two episodes of Endless Eight. This was a clear case where a 3-part arc made sense. Plus, seeing Haruhi, Yuki and Nagato in new swimsuits each week, along with the fun, slice of life theme made it enjoyable. It wasn’t as good as Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, but it wasn’t bad.
But then, you can see there’s a rapid descent – what we’d call a collapse – when we learned that the third episode was not the end of E8. Now the question was when would this end. The failure of the 4th episode to end it was just as tragic. That slight peak, that glimmer of hope you see in the chart, refers to the moment where you thought you’d broken the cycle, RP.
Tragically, no. As we continue across the chart, you see that the E8 arc continues the rapid decline of the second season of Haruhi, until by episode 8, when it ended, all hope for the season was lost. Market activity was actually quite low that day. I would guess that very few people actually watched the first 18 minutes of that last episode.
Indeed, there is a little rebound. There’s a slight pullback in the fourth episode, where the tide turned against Haruhi, but the Shamisen episode did provide for a nice little spike at the end. Still, if you look at it in totality, The Sigh of, may have provided about a 50% bounce from the lows of E8. However, from the high point of the season, Shamisen Speaks, is still a good 50% down from its original peak. I haven’t seen a market crash like this since me and Horo blew Amati’s mind by pulling the rug out of the pyrite market.
That’s a great question. As the show took a hit, the collateral damage was felt by all. It wasn’t just KyoAni and Kadokawa who were losing DVD sales. But the 401k’s and investments of regular Joe Schmoes like Kyon suffered as well. Here’s my take.
Haruhi: Hold. My opinion of Haruhi hasn’t changed much over the season. She is what she always was. Headstrong, brash, rude and always entertaining. You can credit her for her consistency. While she may not have made many new fans this season, I think her performance in such a downer market is admirable.
Kyon: Sell. Kyon may have took the biggest hit of all this season, only because I think his stock was almost as high-flying as Haruhi’s after season 1. He was the regular guy that everyone seemed to love. But then he made some terrible decisions, or non-decisions, along the way. 15,000+ instances of not doing anything is a complete failure. If that didn’t kill him, his inexplicably violent behavior against Haruhi in the Sigh of did. Luckily for Kyon, who was headed down the paths of non-entities like Lehman Brothers or GM, Haruhi extended a SOS-dan bailout and offered him a rope (or ponytail) for him to hang on in the final episodes.
Mikuru: Strong Sell. My opinion of Mikuru was fairly neutral before this season. However, the complete absence of any productivity throughout this season resulted in a complete devastation of her stock. Let’s take a look. Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody was the highlight of her season, only because of her future self. But, unfortunately for the rest of us, we’re stuck with present day Mikuru, who did things such as: get hit in the face by a beach ball 15,000+ times, never catch a gold fish, cry with Koizumi 15,000+ times, get abused by Haruhi, get drunk of miniscule amounts of alcohol, do a terrible job acting. There’s not one positive thing she did, post-Bamboo Leaf. She’s become what you’d call a deadweight in the Haruhi portfolio. If it was up to me, I would suggest letting her go.
Nagato: Market underperform. Ultimately, we may be able to say the E8 scandal was Nagato’s doing. While it was Kyon who needed to act, Nagato surely could’ve provided some assistance, or at least direction. For someone who claims to be an "observer", she sure does many non-observer things, like house alternate-versions of Kyon and Mikuru for three years, break through time and space to save Kyon’s life, break open an entrance to a gated pond, so Mikuru could shoot laser beams from her eyes. Her vanilla personality makes her more resistant to wild market swings, but this season was not a good run for Nagato’s stock.
Koizumi: Buy. Without Koizumi it’s likely Kyon would’ve never found out that E8 was even happening, simply because Mikuru would’ve cried herself to death eventually. Thankfully, the always fabulous Koizumi was always there to explain the situation and try to figure out what was happening. Are his motives true and pure? That’s questionable, but at the least, he is as trustworthy as Mikuru and Nagato. Moreso, because he’s one of the rare ones who can string together a full sentence.
Tsuruya: Hold. It’s hard to say anything about Tsuruya, because she did so little. However, the moments where she was on-screen were considerably brightened, so I feel strong about her performance in the future.
Kyon’s sister: Strong Buy. It’s remarkable that a character who only had two lines all season long could conceivably have rising prospects, but when one of those lines is the immortal "Kyon-kun denwa," sometimes you realize that’s it’s the little things that can create big returns.
Taniguchi and KunikawaL Hold. Kunikawa doesn’t offer much to the show. I barely understand why he exists. Taniguchi, however did have some good insights along the way. Even if they were inadvertent. Without his negativity, Kyon may never have been able to look himself in the mirror.
Thank you very much for this. I hope that the readers out there will take your advice and insights into account if they decide to invest in the Haruhi index. What are your thoughts on a possible third season?
Well, it can’t possibly be worse than the second season. But if it doesn’t happen in the next 18 months, I think that it’s unlikely to ever happen. It’s clear that KyoAni and Kadokawa treat Haruhi as more of a novelty than a franchise-building property like Gundam or Macross. I think the appetite for Haruhi is greatly decreased after the recent tumultuous events. Eventually, those investors are going to grow up, find new indexes to invest in, and never come back. The ball is undoubtedly in KyoAni and Kadokawa’s court right now.