Suzumiya Haruhi 2009 – 08 (Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody)
It’s July 7th, which means that it’s Tanabata, and Haruhi wants to commemorate the event by having everyone write their wishes for 16 years and 25 years down the line. Her reasoning for those lengths is because the two stars/gods that grant the wishes are that many light years away from Earth, so wishes will take that long to reach them. She even turns this into a competition to see whose wishes will come true in 16 years, and her own two wishes are for the world to revolve around her and for the world to rotate in reverse. Kyon hears Haruhi mutter wistfully to herself afterward that 16 years is a long time, and she spends the rest of the afternoon staring out the window. During that time, Mikuru passes Kyon a note asking him to stay late, and he gets another one from Yuki as well as she leaves. He only gets to briefly glance at the latter though before Mikuru reveals that she wants him to go with her back in time to three years ago. Weak to Mikuru, especially when she looks like she’s about to cry, Kyon agrees without knowing why they’re going.
Mikuru sits Kyon down, and the next thing he knows, he’s in the park three years ago with his head on her lap. She had to knock him out because she couldn’t let him see how they time travel, but Mikuru herself then falls asleep. This is because adult Mikuru is also here in this time period, and she can’t let her younger self see her. Adult Mikuru directs Kyon to a nearby school and asks him to help someone at the gate, and she herself walks off into the distance after making him promise to keep her a secret from her younger self. When Kyon reaches the junior high school, he finds a younger Haruhi trying to climb over the gate. She immediately recruits him into helping her, and fortunately for Kyon, it’s nighttime, so Haruhi can’t see his face very well. Haruhi has prepared some chalk, and she makes Kyon draw on the field with it exactly as she directs, in the process making him realize that the strange message that Taniguchi once told him about would be written by himself.
Afterward, young Haruhi asks him if he thinks there are aliens, people from the future, espers, and sliders. Kyon says yes to all except for the final one, and he goes on to tell Haruhi that his name is John Smith and that Mikuru is his narcoleptic sister. He also surprises her by guessing that the message she had him write is for Orihime and Hikoboshi since it’s Tanabata, and Haruhi becomes interested in his high school after he mentions that he’s familiar with someone who does something similar. Haruhi then leaves, and Kyon goes to wake Mikuru up. Mikuru panics when she realizes that she’s lost a time machine-like device called a TPDD, and Kyon suspects adult Mikuru is responsible. Staring at the message that Haruhi had him write, Kyon suddenly remembers the note that Yuki had given him, and since the two match, he decides to pay a visit to Yuki’s apartment building. She lets him in after he mentions knowing Haruhi, and he and Mikuru explain everything to her and show her the note. Revealing that she’s synchronized with her future self, Yuki mentions that she’s on standby for three more years, and she notes that there is more than one way to travel through time.
Inside one of the rooms in her apartment, Yuki prepares two beds for Kyon and Mikuru and gets them to sleep. Kyon barely closes his eyes before Yuki turns the light on again, and Mikuru realizes via her watch that they’re already back in their own time period. It turns out that Yuki was able to stop time inside that room for three years, meaning that the first time Kyon came here, he and Mikuru were already in the next room. Yuki also gives Kyon the now-frayed note and explains that it’s a message saying, “I am here.” She doesn’t, however, inform him if it’s an alien language or not. Afterward, Mikuru apologizes to Kyon and tells him that she’s only following orders of her superiors, making him wonder if her superior is her older self. Kyon goes to school the following day like normal and finds Haruhi reminiscing about Tanabatas past. Later, he talks to Itsuki and Yuki about timeline continuity, and Itsuki ends things by wondering if Kyon prefers something happening instead of things remaining peaceful.
There’s no OP this week, but there was an ED. I found it to be a decent song and pretty good animation sequence, but I don’t think this is going to launch thousands of fan videos like the original Haruhi dance ED did.
It’s been three years and tons of rumors since the first series, but the time has finally come for new episodes of Suzumiya Haruhi. I don’t see why they had to keep everything so under-wraps like they did, but it certainly generated a ton of hype and speculation. Anyway, this first new episode brought back a lot of memories of what was great about the first series. I especially enjoyed seeing Kyon’s attitude again in the face of all the things that Haruhi comes up with. The story was fun as well, though a little overwhelming thanks to all the time travel. It also reminded me of the viral video that was released two years ago, and now everything in that video makes sense (at least for me who has tried to keep myself from being spoiled). And as for the animation quality, it’s about what I thought it’d be in terms of Kyoto Animation works, though certain shots of Kyon looked odd, and the broadcast quality definitely wasn’t the best.
Unfortunately, assuming they keep airing the series chronologically (a pretty same assumption at this point), the next new episodes won’t be for another four weeks. The Mysterique Sign and the Lone Island Syndrome episodes from the original series come next, and after that should be a whole slew of new episodes starting June 18th. It should be an interesting summer…