It came back to haunt me…Haruhi… and her second season…EP 1

The Queen in all her terrifying glory

The Queen in all her terrifying glory

*SPOILER ALERT* (post contains MANY ep 1 spoilers… obviously)

So I can see pretty much everyone out there, each for his own reasons, waiting for the second season of Suzumiya Haruhi.   I think I saw some people actually bashing KyoAni for trolling the world with Haruhi pics but otherwise always picking different stuff to do.  So rejoice, all you masochistic individuals, the Queen is back!

--No one is above the Law... --I AM THE LAW!! (DAMNIT!)

--No one is above the Law... --I AM THE LAW!! (DAMNIT!)

For those that might not be aware of it, I’m not that much of a Haruhi fan.  I mean, sure, I like the show, it’s a cute little series with nice eye-candy, moe, comedy, some slice-of-life moments and sci-fi elements.  But the overrating and overhype is just beyond silly.  I know of at least ONE or two people who honestly claim Haruhi is God…

Leaving all that aside, I was rather pleased with this ep.  First of all, anyone who’s watched the first season would feel mostly like how.  I mean, there’s the usual gang and Haruhi is back to her usual, lunatic ideas.

You're in really, really deep trouble...

You're in really, really big trouble...

According to her wonderful theory, the planets that grant wishes on Tanabata are around 25 and 16 light years away, so a wish on the stars would take that much to reach them.

She's got it ALL figured out...

She's got it ALL figured out...

Of course, master of common sense Kyon tries to point out that it’ll take double that for the wish to go back and forth… To which of course she replies something like “the gods will do something about it…”

...

...

Kyon... Hang in there...

Kyon... Hang in there...

So ok, onward with the wishing! (Yeah, yeah, she even brought the whole bamboo thingie for that purpose…)

Mikuru... Words fail to express your magnificence.

Mikuru... Words fail to express the magnificence of your beautiful soul.

We think so much alike, Yuki... Pity you're a Rei-clone and I'm me... But we can still hang out...

We think so much alike, Yuki... Pity you're a Rei-clone and I'm me... But we can still hang out...I kinda like you. You're cool.

Too ordinary... too plain... too weird... omg! He's after Kyon!!

Too ordinary... too plain... too weird... omg! He's after Kyon!!

...And give me a home where the buffalos roam...

...And give me a home where the buffalos roam...

I suppose there's some great reason behind Haruhi's seemingly ridiculous wishes... you know... probably something like watching clouds go backwards and the sun rising from the opposite direction...

I suppose there's some great reason behind Haruhi's seemingly ridiculous wishes... you know... probably something like watching clouds go backwards and the sun rising from the opposite direction...

So yeah, the Haruhi universe seems at peace.  So I thought she was gonna say something incomprehensible again, but instead, I got this…

... a human...

... a human...

I mean sure, it’s a stupid reason, like actually considering 16 years are too far away and her wish is gonna take too long, but there’s still some semblance of humanity in there.  It WAS an astounding moment.  You only get Haruhi acting like that in 3 eps out of the whole season maybe.

So afterwards Mikuru asks Kyon to travel back 3 years ago… I’m not sure I’d want to rewatch season 1 but thankfully that’s not the case (season 1 was broadcasted around 3 years ago I think).

... I concur...

... I concur...

So Kyon ends up in a park, alone, with Mikuru…

... Kyon... You own this place... Two hot chicks dated -check.

... Kyon... You own this place... Two hot chicks dated -check.

I don't know, do you see Haruhi around?

I don't know, do you see Haruhi around?

Afterwards the whole ep feels like an eroge hint fest to me.   Mikuru falls asleep and adult Mikuru makes an appearance… It does make me wonder how an innocent, cute, ditzy girl like Mikuru turned into a hot, seemingly intelligent woman like this.

Not sure who I prefer really...

Not sure who I prefer really... I do suppose I lean towards young Mikuru though.

So then, adult Mikuru gives Kyon some directions and tells him to carry Mikuru.  Kyon replies that the whole thing sounds like a game and asks whether there’s a reward for this.

... How does it feel when your older tells someone to abuse your younger self?

... How does it feel when your older self tells someone to abuse your younger self?... Yeah, I know... TOTALLY KINKY ^^

Kyon, don't give in to the lust side! -eeh, the dark slide..- eeeeh... THAT! Wait!! I called dibs first! >_<

Kyon, don't give in to the lust side! -eeh, the dark slide..- eeeeh... THAT! Wait!! I called dibs first! >_<

Ok, so let’s move away from the eroge setting for just a bit… Or not?  Kyon does as he’s told (poor guy, but at least it’s a nice chance to feel Mikuru with the piggyback ride).  He reaches a school gate and he sees it…

Agony... thy name is... middle school Haruhi.

Agony... thy name is... middle school Haruhi.

Everything makes sense now.

Everything makes sense now.

Haruhi was always that sweet and lovable girl we all came to know and love.  Just look at her cutesy ways, her politeness, her wonderful smile as she inquires Kyon.

Perfectly normal reaction... I mean really... "Meh, another pervert? How boring..."

Perfectly normal reaction... I mean really...

So sweet little Haruhi puts him to draw her weird shapes on the school grounds.  Kyon, being the used Haruhi grunt he is readily does so.

No, Kyon... really... She is.

No, Kyon... really... She is.

...

... So romantic... There really is a heart underneath that condescending visage...

Long story short, Haruhi becomes interested in Kyon’s school after Kyon, who seemed to have given up on life, tells her exactly what she likes to hear (plus calling himself John Smith and getting the above sweet remark).

So Mikuru apparently lost her time machine device (TPDD whatever… is that double D… hmmm…), so Kyon ends up in Yuki’s place.  Yuki does her technobabble stuff and gets them a solution…

Yuki demands that you two starts having babies on the double, which will cause a rift in the time-space continuum, allowing you and your new family to move back to your time.

Yuki demands that you two starts having babies on the double, which will cause a rift in the time-space continuum, allowing you and your new family to move back to your time.

Yeah... I mean... damn... there's no other way... Gotta love them eroge...

Yeah... I mean... damn... there's no other way... Gotta love them eroge...

Please be gentle!

Are we having fun yet or is Mikuru just faking a cold?

Now the TRUE story is that Yuki just told them to sleep in a room while she does her thing (which is freezing time in the room for 3 years –yeah, don’t ask) and *puff* they’re back.

Mikuru, don't be sad! I'll marry you! (PS uber moe! Destroy everything that makes Mikuru sad >_< )

Mikuru, don't be sad! I'll marry you! (PS uber moe! Destroy everything that makes Mikuru sad >_< )

After getting back and leaving Yuki’s place, there’s this Mikuru monologue were she depresses over the fac that she’s practically nobody, merely a trainee being pushed around by her superiors without knowing anything about the situation and assigned into this mess.  I do kinda pity her, she’s so innocent and sweet and she ended up being a mental patient’s playdoll, and her older self actually condones the situation pretty easily (Does Mikuru grow up to be some kind of S&M weirdo…?)

And so we leave poor moe Mikuru and follow Kyon to school the next day.  Haruhi’s there, but, by the gods…

Seeing Haruhi like that almost makes me forget that she's really totally mental.

Seeing Haruhi like that almost makes me forget that she's really totally mental.

Despite her notorious fits of insanity, Haruhi WAS rather sweet in this episode.  The melacholy of someone who doesn’t get what she wants and, instead of throwing a tantrum like she usually does, feels the burden of reality and what can and cannot be done is really touching.  Well, at least personally, I can relate to THAT Haruhi and it’s that nice trait of hers that slightly surfaced in season 1, too.  Hopefully her ability to understand reality and consider how other people feel will only get better in time.

There’s a last scene with Itsuki and Kyon playing chess in which Yuki explains some time travel principles and how Mikuru’s way to time travel has noise, which probably means that it’s not as efficient as the Data Entities’ way and probably has margin for error.  The conclusion of course regarding time and (time) paradoxes is that in a game of chess, it’s really the queen that matters… Yeah I know…

So in short, what do we have here? An affirmation that Haruhi, despite her mental seizures, is indeed human, and the thing I’d REALLY want to see at one point is being sweet towards Mikuru, who’s known endless abuse in her hands.  We saw each character preserve their respective place, got a little more insight into Mikuru’s plight although we knew most of that stuff, Yuki was as mysterious as ever, yet the significance of the glasses removal as far as her character goes cannot be overlooked.  Kyon hasn’t change one bit, but then, he was likeable to begin with and he’s the main force behind the series anyway.  Itsuki… is well… Itsuki…

The animation and the artwork don’t feel THAT top notch anymore, but the details are still there, although there are some minor mistakes around (like the white tower turning black at some point) so there’s no real problem with it.  I’m not sure if there WAS music in the background, if it does, it did a pretty awesome job staying in the background, not sure whether that was that good though.  The voice acting was as good as always from what I could tell.  It didn’t feel like the seiyuu got rusty or anything, so that’s nice.

The last thing I’d like to talk about is the ED.  FINALLY there will be no Hare Hare lunacy going around the globe! And not only that, I actually kinda like the song, too!  I mean it’s not GREAT, but it’s rather likeable somehow.  Here it is, just in case you missed it.

Lastly, as a first ep, I was rather pleased, even if it was Haruhi.  Now hopefully the rabid fans won’t get on my nerves again, cause really, what the series needs now isn’t more lunatics, but people with at least half a brain to appreciate the show for what it is, and it’s a pretty good series, even a masterpiece AMONG ITS OWN.  IF people ever realize that, the world will be happier.

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6 responses to “It came back to haunt me…Haruhi… and her second season…EP 1

  1. Rick May 23, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Just a warning. You shouldn’t call Nagato a Rei Clone. Thousands of Yuki fans might show up at your door and do horrible things to you 😛

    Joke aside, if you read the novels, you would see that even if Nagato’s original personality was very similar to Rei’s (and given the fact that “Nagato Yuki” is actually a pun on Ayanami Rei, if you know japanese culture), in “Disappearance” Nagato’s personality evolves. And not only evolves, it quantum leaps. This is one of the reasons why we’ve been waiting for the second season, to see Yuki express her feelings for the first time.

    But to prevent you from misjudging me as just another fanboy, let me tell you that the novels are top-notch narration quality, with twice the sarcasm and fun of the series. Each scene is wonderfully detailed. The animation can’t just express every single detail in the novel.

    There are also many more time traveling adventures for Kyon and Mikuru, and I won’t mention that Nagato practically steals the show.

    So, please read the novels. You won’t regret it (there’s a translation available at baka tsuki if you don’t know japanese).

    Thank you.

  2. npal May 23, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Oh, that, I’ve heard about Yuki and her supposed evolution, and when I was reviewing the first season in another blog, I stated that I’ll believe it when I see it. As it is, from a non-novel, purely-anime-watcher, I can’t shake off the feeling that certain characters feel too stereotypical to leave them alone 😛 And since I haven’t read or plan to read the novel in the immediate future (not cause I’m against it or anything, I’m just not into novel/manga in general at least now) I guess I’ll have to wait for KyoAni to animate that part, too. But yeah, all things considered, I can’t really see Yuki as much more until her character evovles as it’s supposed to. Then again, Yuki isn’t really my favorite character anyway. I’m more concerned with whether Mikuru actually becomes something other than a moe device or whether Haruhi will eventually turn human.

    I’m also aware that certain Haruhi fans may have my head eventually cause I don’t like the show as fervently as them, but it’s not like it isn’t good. If you ask me, it’s rather well made anime at least, even thought it’s not perfect. I’m just against calling it anything more than what it’s supposed to be, it’s extremely good in its category, but I’d never call it a masterpiece in general. There are almost infinite pieces of literature as well as anime series or movies that, for good or ill, are more deserving of that title. That doesn’t mean that Haruhi isn’t fun or good, but some people seem unable to comprehend it. Of course there’s a difference between feeling it’s a masterpiece and being a fanboy trashing everyone who doesn’t think so, but unfortunately Haruhi has FAR too many people in the later category. The funny thing of course is that some of those people actually dropped Haruhi when ep 00 aired and I did not 😛

    Also, I was there when the Yuki fanboys beat Haruhi in Saimoe 😛 But it’s not like I care about what fanboys do anyway 😛

    Thanks for the comment ^^ I might consider reading the novel if the animation takes too long to come out and if I have enough free time for that.

    (Edit: Must remember the reply button next time >_<)

  3. Suzumiya Haruhi May 25, 2009 at 5:27 am

    And here I thought you didn’t like me.
    Or are you attaching to me now that Chii disappeared?

    • npal May 25, 2009 at 12:32 pm

      LOL, you think so? 😛 Well, it WAS a decent episode, it’s not like me to dig something just because.

      Nah, I know where Chii went but yeah, Chii’s not coming back nonetheless 😛 I hope the post was to your liking, but then, you’re hard to please :PPP

  4. angela June 14, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    When Haruhi was looking out the window… she was thinking about meeting Kyon 3 years ago on Tanabata… not something stupid :p

    • npal June 14, 2009 at 8:24 pm

      😛 And how should I know that? She was just talking about how she must wait for too long, why would she think about the past all of a sudden? Unless you’re talking about the last pic but I didn’t say anything about being stupid in the last pic.