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Old 09-11-2016, 07:40 PM   #326
Talon87
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Let's have some fun, then! These next few examples are just some fun or silly things I noticed while reading Book 1.


One of the first things I did last year when opening up my English language Haruhi books was to see how the publisher had decided to sum up the book for the Library of Congress's book summary section. After all, every fan struggles in his or her own way with summing up Haruhi for friends. Say too little and they think it's mundane. Say too much and you give away all the fun. It can be difficult.

I found the LOC description amusing. It's not wrong! I actually love that this is the description of the book that gets to go down in the annals of American library history. It's just so amusing to me to think that somebody wrote this! Somebody was tasked with writing a library summary blurb and they got the rare pleasure of using such exotic words in such wonderful order. :3


Here's another find I found fun: "Indian style." This was a term I grew up with, something that feels completely benign to me even today because of how, when, and by whom it was used in my life. But of course today's kids no longer use this term. In fact, I fear that if I were to let a term like this slip out in a post today that we might even have some young UPNers just young enough to actually find this term racially insensitive to the point of being grossly offended. ^^; But yeah -- not only was Strato my kinsman in terms of generations/upbringings, it seems, but more generally it looks like 2007, 2008 was a time where people could still use "Indian style" and editors thought nothing of it.


Finally, the significance of this one should not go unnoticed by most Nasuverse fans -- "Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." That's right: one of the most famous tenets from Type-Moon's Fate/stay night finds its way into Tanigawa Nagaru's breakout novel. What a world, huh!? I have no idea if they pulled from the same source or if one or the other of them was making a nod to the other, or what! The first Haruhi book was published in June 2003, while the first release of Fate/stay night took place on January 30, 2004. It would seem like Haruhi's release is too late in FSN's development cycle for Nasu to borrow such a core idea for his world's operations. At the same time, it's not possible for Tanigawa to have taken inspiration from FSN -- at best, if we're to argue he was inspired by Nasu, we'd have to find this similar idea in the earlier Tsukihime game, though there I'm not sure we'd find it. It's interesting, no? I'd be quite interested to see how these two seemingly unrelated giants of anime culture managed to have the exact same quip about magic and technology in their seminal works.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:24 PM   #327
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Come on Talon, it's a famous line used in sci-fi all the time. =3=

I borrowed the first 3 books after watching the anime for the first time. I got through Book 1 and enjoyed it just as much as the anime. Even though it was the same plot, I really liked the narrative. I think it did a better job than the anime at conveying Kyon's thoughts (and his sheer annoyance). I distinctly remember that it was hard to come up with a summary for people because I read it on the subway and was asked about it several times. I was once approached by some drunk people (because you have to be drunk to talk to people on the subway) who asked, "Is that ANIME?! What's it about?" I think I told them it was about aliens and time travelers. To which one guy responded, "If you like that, I bet you'd like a show called Gantz! You should check it out!"

It's a bit embarrassing to admit that I stopped reading after Book 1. The next two have been sitting on my shelf taunting me for too long. I'm not sure what to do. Do I give up and admit failure as a Haruhi fan? Or do I hold on, hoping to discover the motivation to read the rest? This is the eternal struggle.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:41 PM   #328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Morg View Post
Come on Talon, it's a famous line used in sci-fi all the time. =3=
I haven't read much Asimov ... ¬¬ or other science-fiction, I suppose ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Morg View Post
I borrowed the first 3 books after watching the anime for the first time. I got through Book 1 and enjoyed it just as much as the anime. Even though it was the same plot, I really liked the narrative. I think it did a better job than the anime at conveying Kyon's thoughts (and his sheer annoyance). I distinctly remember that it was hard to come up with a summary for people because I read it on the subway and was asked about it several times. I was once approached by some drunk people (because you have to be drunk to talk to people on the subway) who asked, "Is that ANIME?! What's it about?" I think I told them it was about aliens and time travelers. To which one guy responded, "If you like that, I bet you'd like a show called Gantz! You should check it out!"
I've not seen Gantz, but I generally know what it's about. Enough to know that while he's not wrong to connect the sci-fi dots like that, boy oh boy would your typical Haruhi fan be in for a rude shock if they went into Gantz expecting another Haruhi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Morg View Post
It's a bit embarrassing to admit that I stopped reading after Book 1. The next two have been sitting on my shelf taunting me for too long. I'm not sure what to do. Do I give up and admit failure as a Haruhi fan? Or do I hold on, hoping to discover the motivation to read the rest? This is the eternal struggle.
It took me nine/ten years. It might take you longer, who knows. But don't give up! I didn't! True fans are true fans regardless of how long they take to read the books!
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:10 PM   #329
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Finished Boredom (Book 3), now it's on to Disappearance!

Spoiler: show


That cover.

Right from the cover, the excitement begins. Any fan who's gotten this far has surely seen S1 and with it the epic surprise of Asakura's rogue threat against Kyon's life. The duel between Ryouko and Yuki is the thing of legend, and Asakura's death provides both Kyon and the viewer some assurance that he's safe for now, at least from enemy robot threats like her.


So to have her back on the cover, it invites the question: "Whu-HUHHHHH!? " And to then have her in the teaser color pages at the front of the book, you go, "HUHHHHHHHHHH!?!?!?! "

Shit just got real. X3


Then you flip the book around and there's the back cover. "One week before Christmas Eve" ... "Kyon wakes up in an alternate dimension" ... "It's A Wonderful Life" ... That's when you know, this gonna be good.


A hrngh well hidden in plain sight. Newcomers will wonder. Returning fans will know.


The Library of Congress card catalog descriptor for this book. Again, I love it. This time, I'd also like to draw your attention to the tagging. (1 through 7 in brackets.)


Chris Pai, a.k.a. Strato, still the translator at this stage. Really cool. I'm glad for him that he got the privilege of being Disappearance's translator as it's easily one of the best books in the franchise.


Ho-hooooo ... I took a photo of this to show you guys, there's a nod here to Endless Eight even before it's shown up in the books. At the end of Book 3, Tanigawa mentions that the baseball chapter, "The Boredom of Suzumiya Haruhi," was actually the first chapter ever published. (It showed up in The Sneaker magazine before Book 1 hit store shelves.) That got me thinking here that, maybe just maybe, Endless Eight was written and printed even before Book 4 was, it's just that because it's a smaller, standalone chapter it didn't get anthologized into an anthology book until Book 5/6, wherever it shows up, whereas Book 4, which was penned later, got printed first.
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:08 PM   #330
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126 pages into Disappearance. Loving it.

Spoiler: show
There's been a lot of surprises, all of them received pleasantly in this way or that. Sometimes I surprise myself at my do-no-wrong take at Disappearance, but at the end of the day the book is just. plain. fun.

I've been surprised by pacing, relative to how I remember it from the movie. For instance, there's a twenty-page prologue at the start of this book that I remember, or think I remember, taking up the first 20-30 minutes of the movie. How could something so long in film form be so short in book form? And it's funny -- because nothing feels cut nor elongated, in either medium. It's just ... the magic of what it takes to show something in words vs. what it takes to show that same something visually. KyoAni did nothing wrong, and neither did Tanigawa. They're just different media.

For another example of pacing, I was astonished to have reached the part where Kyon hits the "Enter" button on the keyboard as soon as I did. Part of it may be that I simply misremembered the movie. I don't know yet, because I'm still reading, still a good 60 or so pages away from the end of the book, I feel. (I don't want to look ahead at the page count 'cause I don't want the excitement to be tempered in any way.) But the way I had remembered it, Kyon hitting the Enter key on the keyboard had been ... around the 80% marker of the movie. The next 10% was the harrowing Asakura fight scene, and the final 10% was the epilogue. But it looks like I'm wrong! Kyon hits the Enter key what feels like midway through the book, around page 110. And what happens next is ...!

The surprise of so much forgotten material between the Enter key and the fight scene. I had completely forgotten that we come back to Tanabata three years prior. Completely forgotten. What a pleasant surprise this has been. I had likewise completely forgotten about all the lead-up to Kyon talking to Disappearance Yuki on the street before Asakura launches into her attack. I had thought that that would happen ... Surely now. Surely it can't be that far away. (And perhaps it's not!) But as of where I've put down the book to write to you, Adult Mikuru and Kyon are about to head to Yuki's apartment where they intend to confront the Yuki from three years prior. What a delight to have, like, 20% of a story re-surprise you.

There's also been the surprise of not forgotten material. By that I mean, I've gotten to be surprised by just how quick the jumps are between certain key scenes I've remembered all these years. For example, we jump fairly quickly from Kyon visiting Disappearance Yuki's apartment to Taniguchi bringing up Suzumiya Haruhi. And we go fairly quickly from Kyon finding Haruhi at her new school to Kyon telling Yuki he's sorry but he won't be joining the Lit Club. Like ... I had thought that surely there was some conversation between Kyon and Disappearance Yuki before he made that decision. But there was none. I had been expecting a bit more padding / interstitial scenes to come between the big core plot points, but there were none. It was just plot bam bam bam bam, plot point point point point. No wasting time. All excitement. Non-stop rollercoaster of highlights.

If it was pleasant to know who the culprit was while reading Remote Island Syndrome last book, then it was pleasant once more to know the culprit behind the changes the entire time while reading Disappearance. Very fun to pick out all of the subtle clues that point to the culprit being _____ rather than being other, also good candidates. A lot of these are meta clues which I can't discuss without divulging the culprit's identity, so I'll spoiler tag just in case first-time readers are reading this post:

Spoiler: show
Tanigawa will frequently have Kyon notice something is off, remark how it was back in the other world, and then provide a singular example with Nagato. There's a part I can't seem to find right now, where Kyon is providing examples to Disappearance Itsuki of something, and the one example he decides to provide is of Yuki. He could've just as easily done Mikuru, Haruhi, or a non-Brigade member, but he chooses Yuki. Wish I could find it. :\ Just spent the last ten minutes thumbing and re-thumbing through the book for it. ^^;

Or okay, how about this. Another thing Tanigawa will do is, he'll mention everyone but provide special circumstance / afford special rank to Nagato. For example:

Quote:
There was an old computer on the table ...

"The literary club room."

Where I had just been.

But Nagato wasn't there. Haruhi, Asahina, and Koizumi had also disappeared.
There's no reason to branch Nagato off like this away from the others. Nothing in the prior text, nothing in Kyon's present circumstances, should make the absence of Nagato Yuki more striking to him than the absence of any of the other Brigade members. Yet Tanigawa does this a lot. He makes it abundantly clear, through numerous subtle wordings, that Nagato Yuki is the main supporting character of this book.

{spoiler} below: Asakura Part II

Looking forward to the finale. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhmuhgod, {spoiler}. I can't wait. >w<

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Old 09-14-2016, 08:02 PM   #331
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Finished Book 4. It was good. Probably my favorite book in the series so far (of what I've seen and read), although it understandably has to stand on the shoulders of all that comes before it (and one conspicuously absent "Endless Eight" chapter that comes after it) in order to be as grand as affair as it is.

For newcomers or returning fans alike who are eager to know my thoughts on the actual content of the tale, I'll direct you to my older posts in the thread from back when we first watched the movie. I'm going over them now myself. After the links to those posts, I'll be happy to provide some updated thoughts from 2016.

thoughts on the villain and their motive (written December 20, 2010)
thoughts on what happens at 2h12m50s / page 155
thoughts on the increasing role of t.t. in the story
thoughts on the villain's power level

Responding to these old posts of mine in turn ...

Spoiler: show
I write in the first post that I think the Yuki who changes the world at 4am on December 18 is quite the villain. Maybe it's years of sympathizing with her, I don't know, but I haven't really thought of Yuki as "villainous" at all over the past six years. I see her as a victim of various circumstances. A victim of the Data Overmind not better preparing her for the stimuli she would face. A victim of Haruhi's cruel and vindictive subconscious. And a victim of Kyon "always the bridesmaid, never the bride"-ing her in favor of other girls like Mikuru, his professed crush, or Haruhi, his closet crush.

I'd say past me nails it pretty well that Yuki acted primarily out of 1) concern for Kyon and 2) love of Kyon. Concerned for his well-being (see: Haruhi), and also very much in love with him by this point in time. I think the book supports this interpretation too. I'll have to re-watch the film to see what past me's gripe with it was, but the book's choice of words when Yuki explains the glitch doesn't preclude the "glitch" from being that she fell in love with Kyon and wasn't able to stay the course. In fact, I would say that the conversation they have at the very end of the book, in the hospital, all but spells out that Yuki acted the way she did (and, more importantly, didn't act in between September and December to let Kyon know she was going to rewrite the world) specifically because she wanted to create a utopia for herself and her crush. She as much says so with,

Quote:
Even if I were to have communicated that information to you beforehand, I would have erased all corresponding memories upon malfunctioning and proceeded to alter the world. [...] There is no guarantee that I will not malfunction again. As long as I continue to exist, internal errors will continue to accumulate. The possibility remains. A significant risk.

Spoiler: show
In the second post, I discuss the excitement of the scene in which Asakura attacks Kyon and disappointment with "anti-climax."

I guess time really does dull all wounds, 'cause I'm a lot less upset about this one than past me appears to have been, too! ^^; I agree with the points he makes, about how it would have been more exciting to witness the fight before knowing its outcome rather than after knowing it. But I still have looked forward these past six years to one day reading or witnessing that fight. I'd still love to see how Tanigawa writes himself out of this one! explores the arrival of the as-yet unmet Kyon on the scene, and why it was necessary for events to play out like that.

Spoiler: show
In my third post, I express concerns over the can of worms Tanigawa is opening by revisiting time travel so much, as well as at least one perceived plot hole.

While there are some things I had forgotten which Past Me was quite worked up about, I'll address my past self with something I had in mind all while reading this book which I'm a little surprised to see Past Me fail to mention: we don't know what happens after Kyon loses consciousness. On December 18 at 4am, Kyon loses consciousness. Before he loses consciousness, Asakura is on the attack, we still have a human Yuki, and we still have a Disappearance world. After Kyon regains consciousness, he's in a hospital bed back in the world he's used to calling home. Isn't it entirely possible, Past Me, that the answers to your concerns lie in that missing gulf of time? Isn't it possible that Tanigawa deliberately left himself that escape hatch precisely because he had realized the enormity of the plot holes weighing down on him but he hadn't yet devised a means of solving them? Isn't it also possible that he had devised the means of solving those problems, he just didn't want to explore them yet? I'm not trying to make excuses for writer's block here. I'm just saying, that unaccounted-for window of time in which Kyon loses consciousness is sort of a blessing, given your concerns. You could easily imagine a solution that satisfies most or all of your concerns that can be plugged into that hole. Now whether Tanigawa will or not, that remains to be seen, sure. But for now, let's show the man a little faith, huh?

You are right, of course, that if Tanigawa doesn't address it satisfactorily that the hitting of the Enter key poses a huge problem to the time travel narrative of the story. (Either we should have split timelines at that point, an erased timeline at that point, or it was never time travel to begin with. The latter two provide paradoxes that Tanigawa can't solve, and the former is one he at least temporarily ruled out within the very writing of Disappearance.)

Spoiler: show
In this post, we address the Pandora's Box of elevating the Data Overmind's powers to godlike.

I don't have any good rebuttals here. You're absolutely right, Past Me. What you found concerning in 2010, I now find thrilling in 2016 simply because I'm optimistic (vs. your pessimism) and am excited to see how Tanigawa writes his way out of this one. But you're absolutely, absolutely right. It's a huge problem. Indeed, perhaps insurmountable. Always a bad idea to make your villain omnipotent, quite right.

I will offer a bit of a rebuttal though, I guess. In the book, they specify that Yuki, in all her god-like power, was only able to alter the world going back 365 days from the start of the spell. That was why, when Kyon goes back in time from December 18 in the present year to July 7 three years prior, the people, places, and events of July 7 three years prior are the same ones he remembers from his last visit to this time and place. He finds himself, Asahina, Adult Asahina, middle school Haruhi, and Yuki all there precisely because the Yuki in the future (our present) who goes haywire and rewrites existence wasn't able to overwrite any of the data that far back in time.

What this should mean, then, for your worldview of the Haruhi franchise is ... Haruhi's god tier still dwarfs Yuki's. Haruhi is able to create and destroy entire worlds (in all their histories), whereas Yuki is only able to cover one solar year.

Another thing from the book for you to incorporate into your theory. In the book, it is specifically stated that Yuki didn't herself become a god -- rather, she used Haruhi as a tool. You can think of it as the difference between arguing "Lysandre became a Pokémon god of life/death" (incorrect) and "Lysandre harnessed the power of Xerneas/Yveltal to power his death laser" (correct). Sure, you still have the point that one way or another it's Yuki who is directing these energies and thus it is Yuki who is, de facto or otherwise, acting as a god with god-like powers. And sure, you even still have the point that Yuki manages to find a way to both de-god Haruhi (this is stated, in the book) as well as to make herself a real human girl. So it's not like her powers are minor. You still have a very good point about the Pandora's Box that Tanigawa has opened. It's just ... you need to understand that it's not like the Data Overmind is "guaranteed" to be as powerful as Haruhi is. I get your reasoning, Past Me. But you have to also allow for Tanigawa's writing that maybe, just maybe, Haruhi is literally a being whose powers defy the laws of physics, that the Data Overmind can at best get to within a fraction of her powers but no closer. Allow Tanigawa that wiggle room. Or else, I guess I'll chastise you, be miserable with yourself as you complain that the story is flawed while continuing to read it. ^^;
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:15 PM   #332
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My thoughts are available for your perusal, but for those who might become overwhelmed by so much text above, both 2010 text and 2016 text, I've got this C&P from Skype:

In 2010 I was pretty concerned that Tanigawa had written himself into a corner but in 2016 I'm optimistic that he left himself just enough wiggle room to write his way out of it. We'll see.

Spoiler: show
The thing is, he has to find a way to explain both how you could return the world to normal and how you would not erase Disappearance World from existing December 18 thru 20. Disappearance World has to exist, in at least some way, shape, or form, during those three days or else you introduce a temporal paradox that our Kyon visited a world which doesn't exist.

But maybe that's why the rescue squad let Asakura shank Kyon. Her reasons being her own, but they lined up with the team's goal of, "Oh shit! We can't let Kyon-kun fire the gun just yet! He'll create a paradox!"

Other things to bring up ...

Book 4 probably gives Kyon's sister the most screentime she's ever had in the books. I've been bemused by how infrequently she appears in the earlier books, compared with her frequent adorable appearances in the anime.

So many best moments in this one, but the best of the best remain for me ...

Spoiler: show
* when Kyon rushes out of the school after learning from Taniguchi that Haruhi still exists in this world. (A lot better in the movie, and buoyed up by my memory of the movie's version of the scene. But still!)

* Asakura's attack (also better in the movie, but still)

* Kyon giving Yuki back the blank literary club member application (awwww )

* Asakura's entrance on December 18 (probably the best scene where the book doesn't lose, or doesn't lose terribly badly, to the movie; might be the book's very best scene)

* the hospital scene, both the major chunk with Itsuki/Haruhi/Asahina and the smaller portion with Yuki at the end

Alright ... unless there's further discussion at this time, I guess that means it's on to Book 5 for me! Time to read me some filler chapters that cover less exciting moments from Seasons 1 and 2! :') But that's okay! I'm still gonna have fun! XP
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:26 PM   #333
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Wow. You're really blazing through these.

*should do the same* :V
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:57 PM   #334
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Wow. You're really blazing through these.
Not at all, not at all. Aside from how quickly I consumed Book 4, I've actually been reading fairly slowly even by my own standards. Don't forget that I resumed with Book 3 Chapter 4 when I posted a week ago. I didn't start at the top of Book 3, let alone at the top of the series. Books 1, 2, and most of 3 were all read last year (2015). Only the tail end of 3 and all of 4 have been read this week.

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*should do the same* :V
I'd love to have you along!
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:33 AM   #335
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Okay, so Book 5 has a cute format that I am really enthused by. It's divided into three sections -- "Summer", "Autumn", and "Winter." Each section gets its own story that's roughly 50 pages in length. Long enough to feel like a grand episode of the anime, short enough that you get to have multiple such slices of cake each book. That's interesting. Maybe I'm going to like this more than I feared I would. *shrug* I still think the full-length treatment is better, going off the fact that I place Books 1, 2, and 4 far ahead of 3 right now ... but I didn't dislike 3, and I'm anticipating I won't dislike 5 either. So that's nice.

Also, Book 5 surprises me with my first new story! So that's exciting. I had figured Book 5 would cover the following four TV episodes, all of which I've seen but have yet to read in book form:
  • Endless Eight (S2)
  • the episode where they play the space computer game against the PC club (S1)
  • the culture festival, with the focus on the maid cafe (S1)
  • the culture festival, with the focus on the musical number (S1)
To my surprise, the culture festival's not Book 5's territory -- apparently it will be Book 6's. :o (Did not remember that! ) So Book 5, then, is ...
  • Summer: Endless Eight
  • Autumn: the computer game episode
  • Winter: a never-before-seen story at a ski resort :o X3
Endless Eight is nice for the drama and Disappearance tie-ins. Day of Sagittarius is nice for a fun sidestory. And then the winter chapter is nice because omg new plot I'm not ready!

Currently only 14 or so pages into the book. Early thoughts on the book version of Endless Eight, but with spoilers for the entire chapter (so don't click if you don't know how Endless Eight ends) ...

Spoiler: show
I'd already been told years ago, back when Endless Eight first aired, that it was different in the book. That we didn't go through all these repetitions in the book's version of the events. I still think that what the director did has artistic merit. Yes, it's boring as sin to sit through. And yes, it's disappointing as all else when you're tuning in weekly for two months' straight and are watching your S2 of Haruhi go down the drain. But that's kind of the point. The point of the exercise is to suffer as Yuki suffered, if even only a miniscule fraction of her suffering. To convey to the viewer, "Yeah? You don't like this? Imagine living this for 500 years. "

This is a chapter that works much better in animated form. The déjŕ vu is clunky in text form. It works a lot better when you can, well, show it. Doesn't mean it shouldn't have been written. Just another tally mark in the long list of "the anime did it best" tallies I've been keeping. ^^;

The book, however, gives me a much better appreciation for how Tanigawa has closed off summer, that he's left himself absolutely no room for further summer hijinx with the SOS Brigade. Book 1 ends right before summer break, Book 2 picks up right after summer break, Book 3 covers the first four days of summer break ... and then Book 5 covers the entirety of the rest of summer break. It as much as says so. Several times, it describes how the very next day after Remote Island Syndrome Kyon went on to do this, this, or that. And then we start Endless Eight. And the "this, this, or that" are all either very specific things that leave no room for SOS Brigade antics or else are things which exclude the SOS Brigade from joining him, e.g. his two-week visit to his cousins' house in the country. So yeah ... spring is done (Book 1), summer is done (Books 3 and 5), autumn is mostly done (Books 2 and 5), and we're all the way up through Christmas (Book 4). The only wiggle room left in that calendar year, then, would be autumn (e.g. we know we still have the culture festival) and then I guess anything that happens in between the culture festival (mid-November?) and the start of Book 4 (December 17th). Other than that, it's time to move on to the new calendar year. Oh boy! :o This is exciting. Knowing we have to press on to the new calendar year by Book 6/7, it gives me hope that by the end of Book 10 we'll definitely be done with Kyon's freshman year and moving on into his second.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:35 PM   #336
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Haven't gotten to read any the last three days , but I did take the opportunity just now while eating my very late dinner to go ahead and watch the anime adaptations of Mysterique Sign and the first half of Remote Island Syndrome.

"Rose-tinted lenses," eh? I was quite shocked: while the animation in S1 Haruhi is by no means awful, it's not nearly as great as I remember it being. This wasn't the case when I last checked in on the series (last summer, 2015), so I suppose the series is finally, after enjoying ten long and happy years, starting to show its age. Here's the breakdown:
  • when the animation is 10/10 for 2006, it's anywhere from 9/10 to 10/10 for 2016. That hasn't changed. When it looks great, it looks great.
  • but whereas I thought that that was 30%+ of the time, now it feels like it's only 5-10% of the time
  • and when the animation is 7/10 for 2006 during all of the other "not important" cels, now it's only a 4/10. No longer even average.
  • and like I said, that's like 90-95% of the episode
Thankfully, the solidness of the script, voice acting, and directing are all still present. Those are as great now as they were ten years ago. But the animation ... yeah, I'd be lying to both myself and to you guys if I denied that it no longer holds up in a lot of the cels. Alas.

But "holds up" by 2016 standards, I mean! If you hold it to the standards of the time it was animated in, Haruhi S1 is still a bombshell beauty.

And maybe this only applies to these two episodes. After all, both of these episodes can be thought of as "filler" compared with the "main story" of S1. So perhaps they were afforded a much smaller budget. I already watched the Book 1 episodes last summer (and had a very positive impression of them), so I'm not about to re-watch them all right now. But I don't doubt that this could be one explanation behind what happened tonight.

Now for some spoiler thoughts ...

Mysterique Sign (S1E07 in Kyon order)

Spoiler: show
This story is really helped for the visuals. (Despite what I just had to say! ) It's nice to be able to see the cave cricket. (Though Noizi Ito's drawing in the book is pretty adorable. ) And it's nice to see Itsuki's and Yuki's attacks. Gives a much stronger impression, gives a much better reminder that they're not normal high school students.

Sugita with the vocals + the animators with Itsuki's reactions = really great chemistry. Sugita really knows how to bring Kyon to life.

Remote Island Syndrome, Pt.1 (S1E06 in Kyon order, but also spoilers for S1E08)

Spoiler: show
For a series so well known for its faithfulness to its source material, I was pretty surprised by the number of changes in this episode. None of them were strictly worse. In fact, you could argue for any of them being better, your tastes depending.

The most obvious change is the inclusion of Kyon's sister on the trip. This I already knew. I knew because, when I read the chapter in the book, I was disappointed precisely because she was absent (except from the scene at Kyon's home with the duffel bag). Her inclusion in the episode I have always held to be a total positive, but having just recently read the book chapter I'm more 50-50 to it now. I still am glad to have her along. She's still adorable. But just as I can appreciate KyoAni's decision to squeeze her in for some more screentime, I can appreciate Tanigawa's decision as a writer to have this affair only affect the five main SOS Brigade members. No little sister, no Tsuruya, no Taniguchi, just Haruhi, Mikuru, Yuki, Itsuki, and Kyon.

The second most obvious change was the dropped alcohol. This and all the other changes that follow, I hadn't remembered / realized while reading the book chapter recently. Only after watching the episode did I get the refresher necessary to notice these differences. Well, alcohol: in the book it's there, and in the anime it's not. In the book, what happens after Nights 1 and 2 is that Haruhi and the others get intoxicated on alcoholic beverages served to them and consequently a) forget what they did that night plus b) go to bed early. It saves Tanigawa from having to write out lengthy padding that serves his main plot no purpose, and it also provides a fun little look into the characters' world. Asahina's zonked out with the lowest tolerance, Haruhi's belligerent a yammering drunk, etc. It's also got, for me as a non-drinker, a fun alcohol-free message that follows. Haruhi is so peeved by the hangovers and even more pissed off by the amnesia that she swears to Kyon she will never drink alcohol in her life ever, ever again. I thought that that was kinda cool. A small, seemingly insignificant (but possibly significant down the line) bit o' canon.

Well what does the anime do? The anime decides it can't show minors drinking alcohol, I guess. So it changes it to them drinking normal orange soft drinks ... and then doing a lot of fun activities at night that aren't in the book whatsoever. These activities include:
  • exploring the jungle portion of the island
  • lighting fireworks
  • playing the Ou-sama Game, filling a similar role in Japan to what in America we have with Truth or Dare; Haruhi orders Yuki to turn around and say "I love you", which she adorably does but not adorably enough for Haruhi apparently
  • having a pillow fight the morning of Day 3 (this replaces the scene where Haruhi swears off alcohol in the book)
I thought it was kinda cool, to be honest. I didn't much care for minors drinking alcohol but I enjoyed Haruhi's teetotaling declaration at the end of it. I lose that in the anime, but I gain in its place some adorable moments with the characters, mostly the Ou-sama game scene.

The third change the anime does to the book chapter is, it makes some minor changes to Game Night. In the book, Kyon explains that Haruhi is an amateur at mahjong and that she kept making up hands that don't exist in reality, to his frustration and the others' bemusement. They'd let her get away with it because, well, she's the spoiled princess. ^^; In the anime, this is night-and-day different. They make it seem like Haruhi is legitimately a whiz at mahjong. In both versions she "kicks Kyon's ass," but in the anime version they never correct that she's making up hands as she goes, and thus it comes across as though she's just legitimately that good.

I like both versions. The book version is nice because it shows Haruhi's egotism, her -eriority complex, etc. Haruhi's the sort of person who has a very difficult time admitting when she's wrong, accepting defeat, etc. So it naturally makes sense that if she were presented with a game she had little experience with, like mahjong, that she might childishly and brattishly proclaim "I WIN! " even when she hasn't got a legitimate winning hand. And we get to see that side of her if she's bad at the game to begin with, which Tanigawa establishes that she is. But the KyoAni version makes sense too, and I don't even mean with respect to KyoAni Haruhi. Even Tanigawa Haruhi, largely the same person, is displayed as being a wunderkind who can do it all without trying. Better than anyone on the girl's softball team, better than anyone on the track team, better than him, better than her, better at this, better at that ... Haruhi can do it all and do it all well. She's got good looks, she's got good grades, hell, she can even play the piano and a mean guitar! So it'd be kinda strange for her to suddenly not be good at something, especially when it's something competitive. KyoAni retconning her to be naturally good at mahjong ... well, it makes sense.

The fourth change has to do with the kids' arrival on the island, or (to be more general) the clues which clue Kyon and Haruhi in to what is going on here. One clue was cut from the book, and another clue was written in for TV. The cut clue is, Itsuki's introductions to everything. How he introduces Arakawa and Mori, how he calls their names, etc. But also how he takes the lead when the group is walking up the island trail from the dock to the villa. If it's really his first time here on the island, why is he taking the lead? Well, these clues are hugely pared down in the anime. Does he technically still take the lead in the anime? Well yeah -- for all of like, two seconds. I'm not even kidding, he's barely shown in the lead leading them to the house and then there they are, right in front of it. Alright, then, so what's the made-for-TV change? The made-for-TV change is, they show the host's younger brother, Yutaka, mooring the boot to the dock after they disembark. I didn't even remember this until the anime showed it. Now I remember how they're going to draw attention to it next episode. In the book chapter, which I just finished reading, I have zero memory of this being brought up. IIRC all that's mentioned about Yutaka and the boat is that he moved it from the one side of the island (where they could see it from the villa) to the other side (where they could not). That's it. And iirc that's in the anime too. But the mooring the boat part ... yeah, unless I just wildly missed that bit, or unless it's a tiny insignificant line in the book, I am pretty sure that one's made for TV.

So it's funny. None of these changes really impact the story, and few if any could be argued as being bad. Yet all of these changes were made, when none of the other episodes have had nearly so many changes. I wonder what happened in the board room when they were storyboarding this one? It's not like the changes are bad or anything. It's just that they're there, and so many, when the rest of the show has nearly none.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:45 PM   #337
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Finished reading "Endless Eight" the other night. Currently making my way through the corresponding anime episodes. Spoilers for Disappearance, and of course for Endless Eight as well.

Spoiler: show
Having read the book chapter now, I feel comfortable proclaiming that neither got it quite right. Kyoto Animation shouldn't have done eight, but Tanigawa shouldn't have done one either. "Eight"? "One"? Why, of course I'm talking about the number of run-throughs of August 17 - August 31 each medium offered audiences.

I've always defended KyoAni's controversial decision to do an eight-episode treatment of Endless Eight. And my defense has always been, "Because it's the best way of getting audiences to truly, personally relate to Yuki and to understand why she did what she did in Disappearance." But in having watched the first three E8 episodes recently, I now feel like that might not have been the director's primary motive. Which is unfortunate. :\ Because I now feel like what I've argued for all this time, was in fact only ever to him secondary to the cause. I feel like his true cause, his primary motivation for doing what he did with Endless Eight, was simply this: to show off his chops as a director. Selfish self-promotion. "Oh, look at me! I'm Captain Amazing Director Man! Watch as I take the same story and re-do it six different times!" (I say "six" because I'm not counting the first or the eighth episodes.) Remember how, back when Endless Eight was airing, we used to say, "Hey -- at least it's semi-palatable thanks to the animation and voice acting differences. ^^;" Well, I now think that that was probably just the director's way of showing off to his colleagues. "Yeah, I'm such a visionary. Look at me. Look at aaaaaaaaall the different ways my brain can approach the same book chapter and have it be animated, voice acted, etc." Now, I could be wrong. I sure hope I am! But yeah ... I no longer think he was doing this with getting us to sympathize with Yuki in mind.

But that doesn't mean it's still not a damn good reason to tolerate Endless Eight, the ride that doesn't stop for eight episodes. By making it be eight episodes long, you really, really get audiences to suffer -- and to reflect on the fact that their suffering is literally only one one-thousandth of what Yuki went through.

But that in turn, I've reasoned, is still not necessarily a compelling argument against paring E8 down to, say, just three or four episodes.

Which brings us to the book. Say you take it all the way to its extreme and argue, "Endless Eight should only be one pass! It should only be one episode!" Then you have the book. Because that's exactly what the book did: it introduces this idea of being caught in an infinite time loop ... and then immediately solves it in the very same chapter. That's not exciting. That's dumb. I reflected earlier today that I might not have felt this way had I read the book first and only the book. But I didn't read the book first. Or, more importantly, even if I had, I didn't stop there. I saw the anime version too. And my eyes were opened to the artistic possibilities you get from exploring the time loop multiple passes through.

Telling us we're stuck in a time loop ... and then not having the characters agonize and fail to get out, but instead only to have them very briefly agonize and then immediately get out of their predicament ... This is what Tanigawa wrote, but it doesn't achieve Endless Eight's full potential. Endless Eight's full potential is achieved by having the characters 1) be introduced to the fact that they're stuck in a time loop, 2) have them desperately try to get out, 3) have them fail, 4) have them fail again, 5) by doing so, have the audience questioning how on earth the characters are ever going to get out of this, and then finally 6) having them successfully get out. Three passes I think would be a good number. (First pass don't realize more than weak déjŕ vu; second pass realize they're in a time loop, need to get out, but fail; third pass have them desperate to get out and they succeed.) I think four would be even better, though I acknowledge it risks irking too many people. So I'm willing to compromise with three. I think we can all agree on three.

Which brings us back to the anime. While I think doing eight episodes of Endless Eight was awesome for the "experiencing art firsthand" angle, for making us suffer as Yuki suffered (and in so doing getting us to better understand her character), I have to admit now that I don't think it was the right move directorially or studioally or corporationally, you get the idea. I think the right move would've been to have done E8 over three to four episodes. E8 Episode 01? Perfect. Perfect way to introduce it. E8 Episode 02? Perfect. Perfect way to do the rising action. E8 Episode 03? The last one I've seen, and the first one that made me go, "Oh no. " Sugita is being too silly, and the director is wasting our time with shots that would ordinarily be rejected in favor of better ones. (I.e. 99% of the unique camera angles in Episode 03 are done better by another episode.) It doesn't really serve the purpose of "to know Yuki's suffering" anymore, and becomes just an exercise in dick stroking by the director (or the studio at large), saying, "Look at me/us, aren't I/we so clever?"

Hindsight bias is 20/20. I still think the eight episodes are mandatory viewing for anyone who wants to get the full experience out of Disappearance. But I also think that three/four would've been the smartest move.

Tanigawa got it wrong. Kyoto Animation got it wrong also.

Not one. Not eight. Three to four.
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:29 PM   #338
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I've been following your re-adventure but I haven't had much time for much more than a cursory review, given my own time constraints.

That said, a brief response to your post about the animation quality:

I haven't seen Haruhi proper since 2006, since it falls under my still largely-intact policy of only watching an anime once, maximizing the experience, and living off the memory. It's too distracting to go back into a title with knowledge of the future or contamination from other titles and think "Where are they now"?, like with the main cast's CVs.

That said, even back in 2006, while I could appreciate Haruhi as well animated and drawn, I never would have thought of it as astounding beyond certain action sequences, like the Nagato-Asakura fight. Even the Day of Sagittarius segment made heavy use of CGI, and I dock points for that versus traditional animation.

Animation now, versus animation then, is more an issue of complexity in three dimensions. If you watch old anime, especially TV anime, it's poorly animated and has so-so art, and must live off the strength of its novelty or narrative. Even a well animated OVA in the 1980's, like say Gunbuster which has technical milestones that dwarf most TV anime, is eclipsed by something like 2016's One Punch Man because of the complexity in OPM's shots.

Haruhi never struck me as needing good animation outside of scenes like Nagato-Asakura. Kyoani's goal was to make good looking characters, complex shots and vivid backgrounds to make a photoesque experience when reviewing it in the picturebook of memory. Those are aspects of animation least likely to be creeped by improvements in technique.

That said, it's surprising you still held a high opinion as of 2015. But I know you are on a low-calorie anime diet, eschewing number of portions for quality of taste, so perhaps that was the reason why. It's like, your VN experience is still very 2011-ish, I think, which is cool, retro, and totally not burnt out-cynical like BBB and I.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:56 PM   #339
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It's the eyes / the faces. When the characters are in your face, a zoom setting of 4 or 5 on a five-point scale where 3 is "standard distance", 1 is max zoom out and 5 is max zoom in, when they're in your face like this, a 4 or a 5, the eyes are really, really gorgeously drawn. They look deep and luxurious. It's hard for me to explain, but it's something I think we all noticed way back when.

The thing is,
  1. I thought the show had a lot more zoom setting 4's and zoom setting 5's than it actually does
  2. I thought that zoom settings 1, 2, and 3 all looked much better than they really do
Let's call the 5% or so of cels that KyoAni wants you to absorb through your eyes "alpha cels". Let's call the other 95% or so of cels "beta cels", the cels that are only there to visually support the audio but otherwise aren't meant to be taken as works of art. To my surprise, the vast majority of alpha cels in Haruhi S1 are zoom setting 5. And the vast majority of beta cells are zoom settings 2 and 3. And I had thought that zoom setting 3 cels were good, but no. Maybe for 2006 they were. (Indeed they were!) But for 2016, if we saw cels like these we'd say it looks like bad or underbudgeted animation.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:59 PM   #340
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Watched the fourth episode of Endless Eight last night. And I'm ready to offer an about-face on the previous (the Episode 03) post:

Spoiler: show
Last post, I said how I fear that E8 might be the director trying to show off instead of being about getting the audience to sympathize with the characters. I could see that with 03, but with Episode 04 I just don't see it as well anymore. I'm back to banking on art here: I'm back to thinking they had the story at heart.

04 doesn't serve as a stand-alone episode. Rather, it can't. It's missing too much from the book chapter (which can be found in just Ep 01, just Eps 02 and 03, or all three). It goes way too fast through certain scenes. Lots of cut dialogue. It's clear -- they have to go fast because they need more time for the nighttime meeting in front of the train station and for the daytime meeting inside the cafe.

Watching 04, it's clear -- you're meant to watch 04 only after watching 03 (which you watch only after watching 02, which you watch only after watching 01). Sugita's variations on certain lines of Kyon's. Mikuru's increasingly incoherent words out of her mouth when Kyon arrives to the nightly meeting. It isn't just that you can't substitute 04 for any of the others that came before -- it's that 04 itself is clearly made to be watched after 01, 02, and 03.

In essence, I see evidence that Kyoto Animation was sincerely trying to entertain audiences whilst trapping them in the seemingly never-ending hell.

There's a really strange animation phenomenon in this and probably most of the other S2 episodes. The character designs jump between S1's designs and S2's K-On! designs. It appears to be the trend that the more zoomed in we are on someone's face the more likely they are to have an S1 face. Let's use a five-point scale to describe zoom. We'll say 5 is most zoomed in, 1 is most zoomed out, 3 is "standard distance." The 5 setting, then, is the S1 faces. The 3 setting is the K-On! faces. The 4 setting ... is a strange hybrid. And the 1 and 2 settings are just "too zoomed out to be very detailed one way or another; as much an S1 property as an S2 one, really belonging to both and neither."

Remind me to bring up the counter when I finish the arc.
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:43 PM   #341
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Remote Island Syndrome, Pt.1 (S1E06 in Kyon order, but also spoilers for S1E08
I was waiting to hear your remarks on the conclusion to this arc, but since you seem to have skipped over it I'll ask out of curiosity: What'd you think about the differences in the characters' deductive reasoning abilities? As I recall the credit for solving the crime was spread out in an alternate manner between Haruhi and Kyon (although I don't remember exactly to what degree).
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:09 AM   #342
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilbluecorsola View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Remote Island Syndrome, Pt.1 (S1E06 in Kyon order, but also spoilers for S1E08)[/spoiler]
I was waiting to hear your remarks on the conclusion to this arc, but since you seem to have skipped over it I'll ask out of curiosity: What'd you think about the differences in the characters' deductive reasoning abilities? As I recall the credit for solving the crime was spread out in an alternate manner between Haruhi and Kyon (although I don't remember exactly to what degree).
I could've sworn I'd discussed it already. Guess not. Guess I kept all the thoughts to myself. °w°

Remote Island Syndrome, Pt.2 (S1E08 in Kyon order)

Spoiler: show
The most striking difference here between the anime and the book is the degree to which Haruhi is involved with the solving of the mystery. I should probably back this up a step and say, "the solving of the mystery in general," but it's honestly Haruhi's involvement, specifically, which I find so particularly striking.

In the book, famously very very noticeably, Haruhi isn't privy to Itsuki spilling the beans and explaining what was done, how it was done, and why it was done. In fact, no one is around for that conversation except Itsuki and Kyon. It's their conversation, and they're the only two there for it. Itsuki tells Kyon (and readers by proxy) of the Agency's plans for the next chapters of the murder mystery, how things were planned to escalate/further develop, etc. They're somewhat specific plans, too, though I can't be bothered to look them up right this minute. :p Apologies. Kyon threatens(? Is "threatens" really the right word here?) Itsuki to confess the truth to Haruhi, to call off the weekend murder mystery now rather than trying to keep her in the dark about it for the remainder of the weekend. Itsuki agrees, and off camera(? Again, right word? ^^;; ) tells Haruhi what's going on.

In the anime, it's so very different! Haruhi and Kyon jointly catch Itsuki with his pants down. There's a bizarre made-for-TV scene where Kyon acts like a homocidal maniac and "kills" Itsuki? And then he and Haruhi go to Kei'ichi's room, where they mutter something about stabbing the body to make it look like something something something. As they make to stab Kei'ichi, Kei'ichi understandably freaks out and blows his cover. And then they reveal that that was precisely what they wanted him to do. And then we cut to the dining room-turned-courtroom where Haruhi (Phoenix) matches wits with Itsuki (Edgeworth), dissecting the murder mystery bit by bit. Kyon thinks to himself, "I did that! -_-;" at a number of points in Haruhi's oration, which now that I've read the book I realize is as much a reference to the book's version of events (where Kyon, not Haruhi, is the one to say these things to Itsuki) as it is a reference to the events as they really happened in both media.

Also, I may not be remembering it right -- entirely possible! Not going to pull the book out right this second to find out -- but I was surprised when Haruhi's incorrect realization (that Kyon, Itsuki, and Arakawa killed Kei'ichi by knocking the door down) took place during the cave scene. Actually, I don't even remember a cave scene in the book. I remember them looking for the boat and going around a cliffside part of the island, sure, but then that's it. I don't remember anyone falling or anyone taking refuge in a cave. Furthermore, even if they did take refuge in a cave in the book, I remember Haruhi's realization (that Kyon et al did it) taking place inside the villa. That, upset by what she's realized, she walks off (either into a bedroom or else out of the hallway). And then Itsuki explains to Kyon what it is that she's realized. (And then Kyon reveals to Itsuki that this can't be right and that he's figured out the truth.)

Basically:
  • anime version: Kyon and Haruhi share the credit for solving the mystery
  • book version: Kyon solves the mystery correctly; Haruhi solves it incorrectly, and is only later informed by Itsuki of what really happened (because Kyon made Itsuki do so, cutting the murder mystery weekend short)
I'm not sure which version I like better. I've flip-flopped three or four times just sitting here thinking of what to write in this space. So I'm just going to report that to you and then say, "I don't know which one I like better" one more time and leave it at that.

There was one thing I have a clear preference on, though. And that's the cute scene with Yuki and the locked door. I like the book's version better -- because in the book's version, Kyon's effect on Yuki comes across a lot better than I feel it does in the anime. In the anime the delivery's a little rushed, or something. There was something off about it. In rare form, Sugita's delivery didn't quite match the words coming out of his mouth. But in the book, I thought it was simultaneously touching and baby powerful when Kyon says to Yuki:
  • first, that it's alright now. He's not saying anything new, but whether consciously or subconsciously he is aware that his words might have a greater effect on Nagato than Haruhi's or anyone else's
  • second, that he's overruling Haruhi. This is the simultaneous "d'aww " + "whoa O_O" moment. With Haruhi standing right there, Kyon says "I'm overruling Haruhi. Your new orders are," and tells Yuki to open the door. And she promptly does. Why? Because Kyon is her goshujin-sama, that's why.
In the book, at least, I got a much clearer mental picture of a Haruhi who was at once surprised, exasperated, and curious as to why Yuki would take an order from Kyon to be higher level than an order from her. I also got a much clearer message from Tanigawa that this is how Nagato Yuki operates at this point -- that, canonically, Haruhi's commands are one tier lower than Kyon's. Is it because she loves him? Is it because she respects him more? Is it because Kyon is more important than we realize, that he might actually be the one Yuki's been sent to Earth to observe and that Haruhi's just a decoy, a red herring? Who knows. Perhaps we shall see. But for now, as it stands it's an adorable scene that I think, in a rare occurrence, the book did a better job with than the anime did.
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Old 09-22-2016, 05:46 AM   #343
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The cave scene was added for T.V. Bc FANSERVICE/stripshiptease. ;O
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:43 PM   #344
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Haven't made much progress on Rampage (Book 5). I'm a few delightful pages into the second chapter, "Day of Saggitarius", the one where they square off against the Computer Club with the space fleet video game.

But I have made extensive progress with the anime. Watched all of Endless Eight. Then watched all of Sigh (Book 2), the making of the student film. Then watched KyoAni's take on the actual student film. That leaves me with just three anime episodes remaining (Culture Festival Part I, Culture Festival Part II, and Kyon Buys A Heater) and the highly-anticipated Disappearance movie.

Endless Eight:

Spoiler: show
This wasn't nearly as bad to re-watch as it was to watch the first time in 2009. I think much of this can be attributed to the fact that in 2009 we were three years starved for Haruhi and it was such a tease to watch eight weeks, eight episodes go by and only tell two and a half episodes' worth of story. Coming at it with foresight in 2016, you're not anxious about lost airtime opportunities ('CAUSE IT'S ALREADY HAPPENED!), you're not anxious about when this ride is gonna end ('cause you know exactly how long the ride is), and you can watch the episodes at your leisure (instead of being asked to wait one week in between morsels).

That stated, it's still Endless Eight. It's still a waste of one's time. ^^;

But as I've said too many times already, that's sort of the point. If you're not suffering, you're not Endless Eighting correctly. This is just a drop of water in the ocean of suffering Yuki had to go through.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

In the book, they're on the 15,498th cycle when they finally break free. It's also the only cycle we get to see.

In the anime, the second pass (the first pass where they powwow at night to discuss matters) is the 15,498th. From there, the counter goes up. The last pass is the 15,532nd.

As a fan of preserving canon, I'm not thrilled with the studio's decision to start us off with the book's counter and then go up from there. I would have rather seen it done where, after a number of failed attempts to escape, they escape on the 15,498th. That would be in keeping with the book's canon.

Of course, they likely did this to keep book readers in suspense. If you got to the halfway point in the episode and Yuki blabbed that this was not the 15,498th pass yet but instead some other, earlier pass, then as a book reader you'd lose all hope right then and there. Endless Eight is much easier to swallow when you're kept in a state of suspense right on up until the very end (where Kyon fails to stop Haruhi and then comments on his homework alone in his bedroom).

Animation: The animation is much, much improved in Season 2 over Season 1. All of the 10/10's are still there, but the 4/10s I spoke of earlier are replaced with 7's and 8's. Haruhi S2 basically looks and feels as good as I remember Haruhi S1 looking. If S1's finally passed the peak, S2 has yet to crest. Which is nice. For an anime that's already seven years old, Haruhi S2 looking as good as it does is a testimony to how much effort the studio put into adapting this property to television.

Sigh:

Spoiler: show
I read the book last year, but I don't recall watching the episodes back then, so I went ahead and watched them now. Sort of a mini-refresher. I mean, I still remember the details very well. But it was nice to see how KyoAni interpreted various scenes.

My biggest compliment for Sigh's anime adaptation is how nice it is to see everything visualized. The voice actors breathe life into every line of dialogue from the book and the animators do a great job of taking Tanigawa's sometimes sparse descriptions of places and people and really making them come alive.

My biggest criticism for Sigh's anime adaptation is the editing -- or, more specifically, how every episode ends. Just about every single one of the four Sigh episodes that ends before we're done with the story (Sigh is a five-parter) ends in a really abrupt fashion that doesn't feel natural. Some more so than others, sure, but all of them feel awkward and ... "jagged", like a piece of paper torn crudely in half with jagged edges instead of a nice, smooth seam. Then the next episode dumps you in unceremoniously, in just as abrupt and jagged a fashion. It's gross. It feels really bad. What it actually feels like, honestly ... is like they made a Sigh movie and then just took a knife and brought it down at every 22-minute mark. "Gotta make a cut here, we're out of time ..." "Gotta make one here, here's where today's episode has to end, sayeth the clock ..." It's like they forgot to make episodes for television. If they had wanted to make Sigh a movie, then they should've made Sigh a movie. (Disappearance certainly proves that the format, at least artistically, works perfectly!) In fact, it's all the more upsetting that they didn't, given that the only justification for not making Sigh a movie was "We gotta show Tanabata and Endless Eight!" ............................ and instead of those being three good episodes and six needless fillers, we could've easily done with a Tanabata OAV (just a single 30-min episode) and then an Endless Eight mini-movie (just a single 60-to-75-minute OAV).

Haruhi is still a bitch. If Melancholy didn't make this clear, Sigh does. Man. What a bitch.

Oh, one last thing I forgot to mention: I don't understand why they saved the prologue of Book 2 for the end of Book 2's anime adaptation. It's the scene where Kyon takes Haruhi to the cafe and spills the beans about the SOS Brigade members. In the books, this happens exactly where Book 1 ends and Book 2 begins. In the anime, they have Kyon reference it (in the first Sigh episode) ... but then don't show it until the very end of the arc. And they make it seem like it's happening now, the present, rather than making it clear that it's a flashback to several months ago. Weird.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:21 AM   #345
Lady Kuno
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Happy birthday haruhi

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