After watching The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, you are introduced to a mixed variety of characters that you kind of become attached to. Not mentally, but in the way of you can feel their pain. The story didn't shine on the potential it had and kind of left it high and dry. The Vanishment of Haruhi Suzumiya really brings to light a more psychological aspect.
THE STORY IS: The story pretty much picks up right where Melancholy left off. The SOS Brigade is getting ready to throw a Christmas party. December 18 comes around and Kyon wakes up to, what seems like, a normal day. Little by little he realizes that everything is wrong. Haruhi is nowhere to be found, nobody knows who Haruhi Suzumiya is, Nagato and Mikuru have no idea who Kyon is, and the SOS Brigade doesn't exist. Kyon begins to have a major freak out sets out to find out what is going on.
Unlike the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, The Vanishment more focuses on Kyon more than anyone else. Once everything starts to happen, you kind of get the sensation of freaking out with Kyon as he tries to figure out what is happening. Once everything starts to fall into place and comes to light as to what is going on, the movie takes a psychological turn. Don't fret too much, it was easy to follow, but in a way, kind of clever. They didn't delve too much into it to the point of confusion, but had a nice medium to it. Overall the story was definitely more realized than that of Melancholy. The Vanishment had nothing to do with aliens or time travelers or espers like the series. It more so focuses on time leaping and an alternate world, but seemingly more well received in potential than the series.
THE ANIMATION was top notch. It was better than the series and the developers definitely took their time crafting this.
THE SOUND was very good. Most of it was kind of bland, but it fit the movie really well. The voice actors delivered top notch performances and the music was, more so, background noise behind the dialogue.
THE CHARACTERS were definitely different this time around. Kyon is still kind of the same except for being more scared and lonely. All the characters are practically the same as in the series, but maybe a bit different. I can't go into too much description without spoiling anything within the movie.
OVERALL The Vanishment of Haruhi Suzumiya was top notch. It had a great story and shook things up and got you thinking about what is happening/going to happen. Sure, Melancholy wasn't fantastic by any means, but it still prepared a great setup for a great movie.