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Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu – 01

「大切な場所」 (Taisetsu na Basho)
“Precious Place”

Before we begin, I’d like to advise all those interested in this show to partake in the rest of the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise that anime has to offer first. That is, watch the original 14 episodes (in broadcast order, of course), all of the second season (yes, all of Endless Eight; it’s important), and the Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi movie. You might as well watch the Haruhi-chan and Nyoron Churuya-san web series as well, to acclimate yourself to silliness. Go on, watch them now. We’ll wait.

Nah, forget waiting. The text must flow!

Even those who knew nothing about The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan prior to diving into the show will immediately notice that this is not a Kyoto Animation production—it’s Satelight this time. Sure, there’s some fancy lighting here and there (look at that lens flare! We don’t even have a lens!), but aesthetically Nagato Yuki-chan is not comparable with its predecessors. Much has changed for this spin-off. Character designs skew towards their manga versions, an entirely different staff is in charge of production, and although all of the original voice cast reprise their roles, you may not believe that the muppets they play are still the same people. The titular Nagato Yuki is now a clumsy girl who likes to sleep and likes to eat, and her backup mother best friend Asakura Ryouko is no longer only occasionally evil. Thankfully, general shapes (and sets) are still there. Tsuruya-san is still fang-licious, Mikuru is still a doormat, and Kyon, though a tamer shoujo hero, has been given more opportunities to snark compared to the manga. God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world.

The actual show itself was rather amusing, but probably only for those familiar with the original series (again, you must watch the source first). In-jokes galore! References to the episode 00 home movie (the height of the franchise, if you ask me), Asakura humming Hare Hare Yukaithis first episode of Yuki-chan took great joy in poking fun at exactly what it was not. That’s good fanservice in what is essentially a fanservice anime, but on the other hand it made me slightly disappointed to think that the only thing that Asakura will murder in this show is a daikon. The occasional flashes of flair (an improvement on the manga) only reinforces the true nature of Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu: a rom-com that approaches slice-of-life levels of mellowness. With a pleasantly soft colour palette and backed by a pleasantly carefree soundtrack, there’s little one should demand out of Yuki-chan other than general good feelings, which could be a fine thing in itself.

So, would I watch an entire cour of alternate-universe Yuki just being cute? Totally (you should have seen all the screenshots I had to cut). But on an objective level, fluffiness and self-referential humour can only carry a show for so long. There are some hints of substance: Nagato needs to lead her club, a genuine emotional connection between Kyon and Yuki needs to be developed, and there’s a certain someone who needs to re-appear to shake things up a bit (but not too roughly). Otherwise, there’s no real hurry to usher in the plot. Established fans of the franchise can easily be content just tuning in for their weekly dose of the warm, fuzzy feeling.

 

Full-length images: 24, 31.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「ありがとう、だいすき」 (Arigatou, Daisuki) by 茅原実里 (Chihara Minori)

Preview

April 4, 2015 at 8:02 am
52 comments »
  • April 4, 2015 at 9:20 amRedlotusx

    WTF lol i feel like this is not the same universe and just a world of its own.

    • April 4, 2015 at 9:28 amAmiluhur

      Yeah. It’s basically the world from Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, except not caused by space-time tampering. Essentially, a Yuki-focused version of the show where there isn’t any supernatural elements, it’s just straight forward school ensemble, romance-under-the-sakura-blossoms bullcrap you can see in millions of other titles.

      So, you know, completely pointless, because it removes all the actual interesting things that makes Haruhiverse an engrossing watch.

      • April 4, 2015 at 6:03 pmPasserby

        The ‘point’ is largely wish fulfilment. It’s fanservice for those who wish a happy ending (or something close to it) for Yuki. And it’s telling that Yuki only seems to be able to get her happy ending as an entirely different person in an alternate universe.

      • April 5, 2015 at 5:21 pmLyfe

        To the 14 people, and or anyone else thinking of upvoting Amiluhur because you believe he’s right. Please watch the series and see for yourself. It’s not pointless in any way shape or form.

    • April 4, 2015 at 4:39 pmLyfe

      This is a story in an alternate universe to that in the main Haruhi series.

  • April 4, 2015 at 9:38 amGuilty Slumber

    Seriously, the whole reason that I decided to watch this and the manga itself was because of Yuki, and now here we have her in full of her glory, I’m pretty much content. Hope the story will turn out alright after the party arc, still if its bad, I will not cared since the cuteness of Yuki will cover it all :]

    • April 6, 2015 at 5:57 pmdp

      Isn’t this series kind of like taking Harry Potter series, removing all the magic, and making Hogwarts into a normal school, then focusing on Hermione and Ron, except now instead of being a brilliant sorceress, Hermione is just a normal girl? I don’t get it.

  • April 4, 2015 at 9:51 amMAIRU

  • April 4, 2015 at 11:00 amKurisu Vi Britannia

    What is this? Where am I? Who are these people?

    • April 4, 2015 at 6:05 pmPasserby

      This show is what senility feels like.

  • April 4, 2015 at 11:37 amLyfe

    This anime is awesome, just like the manga. If you don’t watch it, you’re missing something quite special.

  • April 4, 2015 at 12:29 pmxephx

    That was pretty cool. I liked it a lot more than I expected and Yuki is frikkin adorable.
    Hopefully next time I wont have to resort to Spanish subs though.

    • April 4, 2015 at 6:07 pmPasserby

      I thought Funimation was supposed to be simulcasting this, but I’m not sure what’s up with that. I didn’t really have the luxury of waiting for them.

      • April 4, 2015 at 8:35 pmxephx

        They were, I’m not sure what happened.

  • April 4, 2015 at 4:09 pmLitho

    Is this a universe where that Haruhi chick isn’t an annoying yapper-mounth, or am I pushing my luck?

    • April 4, 2015 at 4:19 pmBROOKLYN otaku

      Hear,hear!…..I may actually be able to tolerate this universe.

    • April 5, 2015 at 6:53 amMagnus Tancred

      From what I’ve read of the manga (at least 30 chapters) Haruhi is still an annoying yapper-mouth, but nowhere to the extent that the reader wants to beat the tar out of her.

  • April 4, 2015 at 4:52 pmDafuq

  • April 4, 2015 at 5:13 pms_w

    This is the perfect show to wind down after all of the action and drama/tragedy shows on Saturday.

    My only question mark is about the art– it’s at times barren and at times death-by-Yuki-moe. It’s all over the place. I’m just not sure if the barrenness we see in a bunch of the scenes is sloppy art direction or if it’s intentional.

    One minute the shopping arcade is devoid of people, the next, it’s bustling. The clubroom is pretty barren, too. I can’t tell yet.

    But I’ve read the manga, so I’m ready for this trip. Don’t dismiss the series yet. It’s going somewhere. From this episode, it’s not very obvious where, but it’s going somewhere.

    • April 4, 2015 at 6:13 pmPasserby

      On my part I thought the barrenness was mostly intentional, but that’s up to interpretation. The clubroom (with shots like this) is barren because it really is just the Literature clubroom this time, so only has books. And a shot like this does make the shopping arcade look empty, but judging as it was a showdown at high noon, I considered it deliberate. I was almost expecting tumbleweed.

  • April 4, 2015 at 8:35 pmLuggage10

    Tomokazu Sugita being snarky is really all I need to sell me on a series. Now if only Funimation would get their start-of-season poor service sorted out, I might actually get to watch it.

  • April 5, 2015 at 12:51 amdanes256

    it pains me that haruhi did not get any sequels despite the story has already finished. i guess i’ll have to be content with the spin-off

    • April 6, 2015 at 5:28 pmZannafar

      The Story of Suzumiya Haruhi is not finished yet as far as I know (at least not officially).
      In 2011 Tanigawa stated before that “The Surprise of Suzumiya Haruhi” would not be the last novel in the series and that he was already working on the next volume.
      It has been on hiatus though since then and no one really seems to know what Tanigawa is even doing.

      This is also the reason why there won’t be a season 3 of Suzumiya Haruhi any time soon. Anime based on a light novel are usually made to promote the novel they are based on. Because Tanigawa hasn’t written another volume and the old volumes have sold/are selling well enough, the company has nothing to promote and so they don’t have a reason to create another season.

      Basically as long as Tanigawa can’t find the motivation to continue writing (lack of motivation, along with the length of the novel, was already a problem with “The Surprise of Suzumiya Haruhi”), there won’t be a third season.

      • April 8, 2015 at 2:09 pmLyfe

        I agree, I think if they do more Haruhi it’ll be a final season.

  • April 5, 2015 at 1:27 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    While the content itself isn’t bad, I just don’t know if I can get used to such a wide-eyed, clumsy, innocent Yuki. I would’ve much preferred this to have been done in Kyoto Animation style and feel the Yuki of the movie version should’ve been the way to go with this, but seeing her here the way she is now, you really get the feeling of them REALLY trying to push the moeblob; like they copied Mikuru’s brain and pasted it over Yuki’s in a remodeled body or something.

    • April 5, 2015 at 4:24 amLyfe

      I think had Kyoto Animation had this series they would have done the same way. It’s faithful to the manga material and really suits the content of the series. This isn’t meant to be a main series Haruhi story, it’s just a fun little spinoff with Yuki as a normal(ish) girl. If it was animated any differently it just wouldn’t be same.

    • April 5, 2015 at 8:40 amPasserby

      Yes, this Yuki is definitely not the Yuki; somebody is wearing her skin. It’s very hard to do goofy rom-com with just a quiet girl, so I suspect that’s why she got this way. If it makes you feel better, it’s worse in the manga. In the anime we at least have Chihara Minori trying very hard to make it work, to some degree of success.

  • April 5, 2015 at 4:33 amImpel Down Hippo

    This totally feels like a bizzaro world doesn’t it? Everyone is like one degree off kilter from their other selves…except Asahina.

    • April 5, 2015 at 11:14 pmImpel Down Hippo

      this was actually meant to be a reply to the above comment by HalfDemonInuyasha, d’oh!

  • April 5, 2015 at 4:42 amImpel Down Hippo

    This animation is just so different that it really makes this into a bizarro world. I feel like they’re in another other dimension! Having said that, good to see the gang. Bring on lil sis and Shamisen!

    Though the title, the Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, makes me feel like they’re trolling us (especially with all the in-jokes), and at the end of the season, Kyon’s gonna get some sort of clue he’s not where he’s supposed to be!

  • April 5, 2015 at 6:45 amMAIRU

    Listening to his inner dialogue kind of bring back some memories of the original where 80% part of show was about his ranting

    http://randomc.net/image/Suzumiya%20Haruhi/Nagato%20Yuki-chan%20no%20Shoushitsu%20-%2001%20-%2017.jpg

  • April 5, 2015 at 8:28 amTechim

    That is, watch the original 14 episodes (in broadcast order, of course), all of the second season (yes, all of Endless Eight; it’s important), and the Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi movie.

    I sort of disagree on this.
    Season 1 + 2 gives you a total of 28 episodes.
    Watch them in chronological order for less confusion.
    (The wikipedia page lists both broadcast & chronological order for convenience)

    When you reach Endless Eight however.
    ….recommended you just watch the first and the eight episode,
    skip 2nd to 7th…Unless you’re a masochist..
    It was a torture for Kyon and gang, its a torture for most anime viewers too I think.

    Or you could try watching all 8 at once, but that’s even more of a torture..
    https://youtu.be/bfoBy-yawxk

    • April 5, 2015 at 8:45 amPasserby

      On my part, I actually didn’t find the broadcast order confusing, perhaps because Haruhi would also pop up in the preview to tell us what’s what. I truly think that the first season of Haruhi is intended for broadcast order, because both character development and the tension flow naturally that way.

      As for Endless Eight, that’s going to take a longer rant than this one comment, but I will say that I think it was very clever in its own way. Yes, it wasn’t any fun, but it served another purpose: to get us into Nagato’s head. We really needed to experience her frustration to truly appreciate why she snaps later on.

      • April 5, 2015 at 11:24 pmImpel Down Hippo

        I really thought they missed an opportunity with the Endless Eight. I felt they should’ve had more than a little variation on each episode, maybe only 2-3 episodes repeat, then showing Kyon and company trying break out of the cycle by actually trying other options, and then slowly asking Nagato different questions which eventually leads to the break of the cycle, as opposed to Kyon mentally trying at the end of each episode to say…something! They really could’ve stuck to the original conceit without having deviated from it substantially.

        Every episode was animated a little differently, different clothes, different angles, so it’d seem like they had to put some effort (& money) into animating it, so the theory that it was a cost cutting move doesn’t necessarily add up, unless it actually doesn’t cost much to redo episodes like that

      • April 6, 2015 at 3:14 amPasserby

        @Impel Hippo Down
        I totally get where you’re coming from. But to make Endless Eight interesting, to give it a sense of progress, would be to take away from what Yuki was going through. Endless Eight was an exercise in Yuki going quietly insane, which understandably is not very entertaining for the audience, and I guess it’s hard to empathise with our fictional players when one is frustrated.

      • April 6, 2015 at 4:53 amImpel Down Hippo

        That only makes sense if the story for the movie was already planned (I dunno much about the real story behind it, just the ensuing controversy), but I like that theory, and it makes total sense from that pov. It certainly puts a new spin on that story arc.

        Full disclosure: I have that arc playing on an endless loop on my tv just to have something on in the background! Though recently I added the rest of the seasons and the movie to the loop after a while since I thought that was just sort of cruel to the characters!

      • April 6, 2015 at 5:18 amPasserby

        Before Suzumiya Haruhi was a series of anime, it was a series of light novels. The anime is an adaptation, and much of the story was already there.

      • April 6, 2015 at 11:53 pmImpel Down Hippo

        Gotcha, that fills in the blanks more. thanks Passerby.

      • April 7, 2015 at 11:16 pmRickyMack

        As someone that watched during the original broadcast order, I felt there was a practicality to it as well. After episode 1, I scoured the interwebs for the novels and had read up to the intrigues of haruhi book. Reason for the broadcast order was to pace the season, if they went in chronological order, they would have had mainly side stories for the second half of the season. Ending the season with the final chapter of the first book was a great way to keep the suspense and end on a high note.

      • April 10, 2015 at 3:30 pmRiktol

        Endless Eight is an excellent example of the use of repetition as a literary* device in anime.
        The problem lies in the fact that they OVER used it and as a result alienated a large number of viewers. It simply brought us too close to what Yuki Nagato was experiencing, the same events repeating over and over and over.
        Whether they did that by accident or on purpose, it was also heavily used in the first 3 episodes of Yuri Kuma Arashi. The first 3 episodes seem (in general) to be regarded negatively, compared with the rest of the season.

        *or dramatic or whatever the correct term is for talking about TV anime not books you’re forced to read for literature class.

    • April 5, 2015 at 8:46 ambelatkuro

      It was definitely a torture back then when Season 2 was airing. I remember watching it weekly and there was no end in sight to the Endless Eight. But it’s part of the franchise and it’s important to watch them to see the effort they did in making slight differences in each iteration. You’d get a medal of honor as well for getting through it.
      I would say at least add the 2nd episode if one is going to skip most of E8. The first episode didn’t have them notice anything but from 2-7 they notice it but didn’t get to solve it. Watching one failed attempt of them resolving the endless summer is enough.

    • April 5, 2015 at 4:22 pmmongoose22

      This is a case where I totally disagree. It’s really important to watch the original series in broadcast order, because it’s designed to ramp up the progression of the series based on what you’ve seen and know of the characters based on the previous episodes, not on what’s happened yet or already happened. How you perceive the present is informed by how much you know of the past or future at that point in time, and it’s supposed to be confusing initially. Show Spoiler ▼

      It’d be like trying to watch Lost where all the flashbacks are seen in order before the time on the island; sure, it’ll make sense, but it sucks away all the drama behind what the characters do in the present. IMO the DVDs do a huge disservice to the show by putting the episodes in chronological order.

  • April 5, 2015 at 11:12 pmKF

  • April 6, 2015 at 10:58 amFabio

    Yuki is adorable. :)

  • April 6, 2015 at 6:07 pmdp

    I expect this might be nice for fans of the manga or something, but as a fan of the original Haruhi series, this was pretty dire.

    All that was good about the original characters and story, all that was great about Nagato herself…all that made Haruhi such a breath of fresh air …washed away in favor of bland moe.

    On the positive side, the art was nice, and the one moment when Haruhi walked by and there was a faint stir of recognition had a certain poignancy, as if the animators themselves were wishing they could make a new season of “real” Haruhi instead of this pale pastel version.

  • April 7, 2015 at 1:02 pmU238Willy

    In these comment sections (and in every one that has to do with this show)

    We’ll see two things

    a) People who like Haruhi, liked the original, and don’t want anything that’s not strictly canon going on. These people will nitpick and criticize a show which from the outset is known to be something for the fans of ‘Yuki Nagato’ and don’t want to see an alternate universe or, unique re-telling. Expect them…some will troll, others will just ‘Negative Nancy’.

    b) People who like Yuki, liked the original, and are interested in seeing something other than canon. It’s their favorite character, drawn slightly different, acting a bit more available and cute (read: moe) and isn’t acting like some android from outer space but a girl with feelings for a canonical main character. Fan-fiction? YES! but, it’s romantic and it’s a character we like and are invested in. If you remember what it was like for Rihoko fans in Amagami SS+ to finally get a good end, then you understand us. Expect us.

    • April 8, 2015 at 2:06 pmLyfe

      Absolutely this. I love the original anime series, followed the Haruhi manga, games etc and really enjoyed the Nagato manga. This series is basically a love letter to Yuki Nagato fans. It’s basically everything the Yuki from the original Haruhi anime could be if she was a normal girl.

  • April 8, 2015 at 1:35 amArtemisthemp

    I don’t like the way Satelight have animeted this… Why didn’t KyoAni animated this?
    I am terrified when the ending screen show Haruhi face and Yuki have far to many Emotion (I could live with that if, she at less look like the Yuki I know and Love)

  • April 9, 2015 at 12:24 amIan Albert

    Aside from Miss Suzumiya’s walk-on performance, I made no connection to the “Haruhi Suzumiya” stories.