Critic’s Log - Earthdate: February 14, 2014. Review #80: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2009)
It is February and widely considered to be the Month of Love. I honestly can’t relate to that at this time since I am actually single. If I look at a certain point of view that involves either my family or my faith. I guess I don’t have a problem with it. If we are talking about Valentine’s Day, I guess I could celebrate somehow. Come to think of it, what does Valentine’s Day have anything to do with The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya? Nothing.
On the first day of high school, a beautiful girl named Haruhi Suzumiya introduces herself as having "no interest in ordinary humans". She asks for any aliens, time travelers, or espers to join her. Watching her weird behavior is Kyon who sits in front of Haruhi and is the only person who talks to her. When Kyon comments about Haruhi's joining every club in school and then quitting he unwittingly gives Haruhi an idea to start her own club. Thereafter Kyon and several others find themselves dragged, literally, into the Spreading excitement all Over the world with Haruhi Suzumiya Brigade (the S.O.S. Brigade for short).
To be technical, this is a Kyoto Animation production and this 2009 renewal is considered by some to be a controversial move by Kyoto Animation. All the 14 episodes you’ve seen before were re-broadcasted along the new episodes that would eventually air. This means the out of order experience and chronological order are overwritten with a new chronological order that includes the old and new episodes. This re-broadcasting is a lazy way to air the new material. But I can honestly say is that the animation is just as good since 2006. The newer episodes do look slightly newer than the older episodes but it’s not really something to get all twisted over. The show is animated nicely and still looks great and that’s pretty much it.
The music by Satoru Kousaki is pretty much the same since 2006 but there are no classical pieces from the newer episode. The soundtrack still compliments the show well and it still stands out as a modern anime soundtrack. Too bad I don’t have much to say because I already covered all that in my previous Haruhi Suzumiya review. However, the newer episodes do have a new opening and closing theme. Super Driver is a catchy theme but may not hold out for those that loved the first opening. Tomare! is catchy to some extent but it is nowhere in the same level as Hare Hare Yukai. The music is still pretty good.
In regards to voice acting, it feels the same as the older episodes back in 2006. Both the Subtitled Version and The English Dub are great.
Another thing that feels the same… Haruhi is still eccentric, Kyon is still his good old self, Mikuru Asahina is still a Time Lord, Yuki Nagato is quiet as always and reading. and Koizumi is just Koizumi. All the other characters are just their usual selves. Development is still a slight issue but since this series is fun, I am not going to go too much into that...That is until the new episodes come in.
In order to get into the first “new” episode, people had to wait till the six part story “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” and the episode “The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya” was over with...That means people waited 7 episodes to get into a new one. Then of course another run of old episodes come in, those being Mysterique Sign and the 2-part story Remote Island Syndrome, then we get a batch of “new episodes” which is the most infamous story arc of the entire franchise… ENDLESS EIGHT. If you have not seen the newer episodes, you have no idea how bad Endless Eight was… The first episode is a bit boring and supposedly would be the one setting things up for later, but that was until the episodes repeated all these events 7 TIMES. That means half of the new episodes and a quarter of the entire TV series as a whole ARE A REPEAT. THAT IS NEVER OKAY. Endless Eight can be skipped and you seriously would not miss much. Many people hated this story arc and I sure as hell didn’t like it either. After 7 straight repeat episodes of that Endless Eight bullshit, we get a 5-part story arc called The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya and there is a little nice little direction technique I actually liked in the Sigh episodes. Just skip the closing credits of these episodes on the DVD/Blu-Ray disc and you’ll see what I mean. It does lead up to Mikuru Asahina Episode 00 episode and it was a nice little prequel to it. Then comes Live Alive, Day of Sagittarius, and sadly “Someday in the Rain” which was not fun at all. Before I give out my personal rating to this anime, I must point out that I am counting all 28 episodes and not just solely based on the newer episodes. So, be on your guard when I actually share my final thoughts on Haruhi Suzumiya in all 28 episodes.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (both the old and new episodes) were available by Bandai Entertainment. The older episodes were already released while the newer episodes were released separately where Bandai Entertainment called it “Season Two”. Both “Seasons” are out of print.
With all that said, the 2009 renewal of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya may be a mixed bag to some. But if no one saw it back in 2006 and jumped into the 2009 renewal. I don’t think their experience would be such a big problem. But I would probably be referring to a few. As a whole, the 28 episode chronology is still watchable. The old episodes are still great, the newer episodes are hit and miss. The Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody and Sigh episodes are the only good ones, the infamous Endless Eight episodes aren’t. A quarter of the show may be a repeat, but most of the show as a whole is still fun to watch. If you haven't saw the show yet, the 2009 renewal is most likely your best bet to really enjoy this fun series.
I give the 2009 renewal of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya an 8 out of 10, it is VERY GOOD!