「涼宮ハルヒの消失」 (Suzumiya Haruhi no Shōshitsu)
“The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya”

At this point in time, the Haruhi series needs no introduction. Unless you’re an extremely casual viewer, or have a streak of uncanny avoidances, you probably know who or what Haruhi is. You may not know that fans have been waiting for this movie for a long time, and you may not know that this is not a stand alone movie. If you have not seen the prior two seasons of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, and you wish to enjoy this movie, please do so now. For everyone else, these impressions are written with the expectation that you have seen the movie beforehand, so if you have not had the pleasure to do so, well what are you waiting for?

Clocking in at 18 minutes short of 3 hours, Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu is a pretty lengthy movie, and rightly so. The plot is based on an entire novel’s worth, specifically the fourth Haruhi light novel, and as far as I can tell, the movie doesn’t miss out on much. While the first couple of novels and the seasons adapted after them focus more on development, Shoushitsu happily specializes in reflection, forcing characters to look upon themselves, and if taken from a joking point of view, decide whether or not the plot thus far was entertaining or not. Of course, none of this is obvious in the beginning, and since we take Kyon’s point of view and his only, the problem starts off as, “where the hell is Suzumiya Haruhi?”

While character focus eventually becomes the main point of the story, the initial plot still begs to be watched, since assuming the entire audience are fans, who wouldn’t want to know what would happen if Suzumiya Haruhi never existed? As thus, that is what I believed until further into the movie, when the mystery is chipped away little by little, and the plot soon turns itself into a character study of Nagato Yuki and Kyon. As mentioned before, the movie heavily relies on the previous seasons, specifically Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, and uses past memories of season one to create much of the impact in the realization of Haruhi’s disappearance (the prologue helped too). Kyon’s desperations and emotions are executed effortlessly due to his still charming and witty narration, with nicely orchestrated music to fittingly accompany each scene. It’s rare for a movie to create momentum that gives goosebumps even once, and yet Shoushitsu manages to do that several fold. I’d have to give more props to the music for that one though.

As the movie was promoted over the years, it mainly focused on Nagato Yuki, and for good reason. Nagato had been so far developed as an unfeeling side character, despite having powers almost as strong as Haruhi’s, yet Kyon still couldn’t help but feel attached to her. With Haruhi gone, Nagato becomes a normal human, and with that came emotions, leading to a very, very, shy but cute girl (she’s kind of like a wounded puppy). The alternate world also reveals any initial feelings characters may have had without Haruhi’s intervention, such as Nagato’s growing interest in Kyon, and Koizumi’s liking for Haruhi. Sure enough, Koizumi gives parallels later at the hospital, repeating that he is envious of Kyon, which made me think back to all those times he’s said that before (yes, way back in season one), except now we know why. Nagato on the other hand, is far more complex, and it’s debatable whether or not her decision to change the world was for Kyon’s sake, or hers. Nagato doesn’t realize what’s happening to her, but over Kyon’s monologue, he explains that she has simply gained emotions, despite being an advanced AI. Personally, if I had gone through 15,532 loops of summer as an AI, I think I’d develop some serious problems too, not just emotions. As with the alternate Nagato, there’s a hint of love going on with the regular Nagato as well. She’s a “god” that can change the past, yet won’t change it without consent, leaving Kyon with the final decision of happiness. With this thought, the ending rooftop scene becomes enchantingly bittersweet, with Kyon blissfully announcing he’ll protect her (even kneeling down like a marriage proposal), unaware how that might sound to a girl who might have feelings for him. It’s a one-sided love in an impossible situation, almost tragic, and when Kyon calls out to her first name (in Japan, first name basis signifies a close relationship or intimacy), “Yuki,” she looks up as if with hope, but realizes it’s only the snow he’s referring to. With the short clip after the credits, she sees a scene that reminds her of Kyon and the library card, and holds up her book to cover what I can only assume to be a smile, confirming she has kept some emotions.

Despite Yuki going through a whole lot, Kyon’s development feels a lot more overshadowing, since all the major decisions in the movie inevitably rests in his hands. After fumbling around initially to Haruhi’s disappearance, Kyon makes the decision easily in the clubroom, not truly realizing Yuki’s feelings for all this, and hands back the club recruitment sheet without much remorse. After learning who’s actually behind all this, Kyon undergoes an enlightening reveal of a monologue, realizing Yuki’s anomaly as emotions, and even blames himself for not helping, a self-realization of one of his main traits, laziness. However, as he reaches the answer to why Yuki gave him a choice, he interprets it the other way, thinking only of Haruhi. In a fascinating blend of metaphors such as standing before a subway ticket gate, the conclusions in his head come to a climax, and the unanswered questions characterized as himself stamp in provocation, helping him reach an answer that he didn’t want to admit, but claims as “obvious.” While the main story is about Haruhi, and the hard truth is that they do like each other, one can’t help but notice Yuki standing behind him as he walks away from the ticket station. The unquestioned, the unanswered, and the unknown is Yuki, and whether or not Kyon will ever realize the other reason he was given his choice, is something only further adaptations will reveal.

You probably know my response to “is the movie good?” by now. Shoushitsu is absolutely perfect, with a hauntingly ignored Yuki that the film doesn’t just forget on accident, but concludes inconclusively, powerfully sending signals to my brain that I should loyally watch the rest of Haruhi for as long as it takes. The amount of substance this story can tell is something I’ve rarely experienced before, and it took a little discussion with a friend to realize all that was there. With Shoushitsu, I realized the depth the series was capable of, and with another mystery planted right at the climax (achieving yet another layer of time travel), I had been captivated. It is a beautiful movie, in more ways than just animation, such as Kyon brushing aside the hair of a sleeping Haruhi, affectionately tracing her lip, and while she may not be the main point of this movie (ironic right?), the scene reaffirms that this is the choice the author Tanigawa Nagaru has laid out for us. Nagaru is incredible, the dialogue is sharp, and this movie is an exemplary masterpiece of his skill in weaving such an intricate story. Kyoto Animation deserves massive props too, not just for the absolutely gorgeous animation, but scene direction, clever camera angles, and matching the intricacies of references and foreshadowing, such as showing room 1-9 when Koizumi first appears in the prologue. Yuutsu may have been light hearted, and don’t get me started on “season two,” but delightfully, Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu has finally made me a serious Haruhi fan.



  1. Truly magnificent post Kiiragi! I was enthralled the ENTIRE time I read it. On a more serious note, coming from a fellow writer, I think that your ideas are rock solid. From providing an entertaining post of the movie while discreetly interjecting your opinions here and there, the post is a really fun read. The last paragraph is good read in itself as well. The best part about reading your post was probably how you made me remember the entire movie, making my brain remember each and every damn scene. Plus you took the liberty to remind me of how “The Disappearance of Haruhi” wasn’t really a disappearance at all! Damn clever titles, using logical fallacies like equivocation and amphiboly.

    The intricate way this movie handles time traveling just makes it even more fun to watch. Sticking true to the time line and having Season 1 and 2 back it up with material; I was amazed to see how deep this time travel thing really goes. And like you said, right at the end when another future Kyon tells our Kyon to just take a nice nap – it also made me want to watch anything and everything that comes out about Haruhi related until the bitter end.

    I would try to be like Divine and say “Looks like you got the hang of this blogging thing” but seeing how you’re technically my senior at RandomC, I’ll just casually say that I really enjoyed reading your post. I think you provided the justice a movie as great as this one deserved. Can’t wait till I cover a movie – I’m probably going to be worried about trying to top this post. :p

    PS. I don’t know about you, but after watching season 2, my entire passion for Haruhi was gone. Season 1 built up such an amazing fire within my soul that season 2 somehow managed to put out pretty well. If I were to think of a creative analogy between my passion for Haruhi and what the movie did, it would probably be something along the lines of “The movie took the ashes left behind by season 2 and turned it into a grand fireplace, made out of gold, with infinite firewood, made out of gold.”

    1. Okay, I read it now. 🙂
      Brilliant post, brilliant movie. I was very pleased with this adaption. Having read the novels, I was disappointed with the negativity towards season two; not that it didn’t deserve some of it, but I was worried that Nagaru’s best volume, The Disappearance, would be scoffed at because of a poor production decision in the previous chapters. But KyoAni obviously realized “we fucked up,” and that shows in this film. They pulled out all the stops and it was handled beautifully. I hope that old Haruhi lags can now move on from E8 and enjoy all that this series has to offer.
      As for the plot, I am always interested to see how people interpret it. While most people obviously discuss Yuki, I think Kyon and his interest in Suzumiya Haruhi is actually more important in this chapter of the story. Yuki is quite simple to interpret: she has begun to gain emotions. Because she was designed to not have any, even the smallest trace of them (like the simple desire to put on a party hat or pick up a cardboard snowflake) causes her to “malfunction.” She changes the world because she desires a chance at a normal life, and perhaps a budding relationship with Kyon, but as Kyon realizes, leaves it up to him to decide. It isn’t very complex when you get down to it, but it’s heartbreaking, as Kiiragi said, when you think of Yuki’s innocent desires culminating in such a way.
      Kyon is where we see the real transformation, giving him some much needed character development. What I love about the Haruhi series is that it features a realistically flawed protagonist, which seems simple, but is surprisingly difficult to do. When we first meet Kyon, he has given up on the supernatural and faces a dejected reality to which he abides and supposedly takes confidence in. In fact, like with Haruhi, we don’t know why or what event made Kyon feel dejected in this way, but we can tell that he is lying to himself. He DOES want to seek the extraordinary, just like Haruhi. Proof? He sticks around. He stays with Haruhi and the SOS Brigade, even more so when he learns about their super abilities. This movie is where he FINALLY tries to face the fact that he’s not at all honest with himself; that he sits around and complains as a form of dancing around the fact that he “obviously” enjoys his current life.
      I believe Kyon’s decision to go back to the original world has underlying romantic implications as well. There is certainly a sense that he “chooses Haruhi” and not Yuki, and as Kiiragi says, that it is the author’s decision for him to do so. One thing I noticed when I read the novel is that he constantly mentions Haruhi in his monologues in somewhat random and unnecessary ways. The scene after he leaves Yuki’s house, when his mind should be full of Yuki and his current problem, shows him thinking of nothing but Haruhi and he comes to the realization that he actually wants to see her. Even in smaller ways, like his thought on how Haruhi would be able to barge into Kouyouen Academy and handle it beautifully, shows that Haruhi is his constant focus and that everything comes back to her. While Yuki remains a concern for Kyon, I find this movie shows that the connection he has with Haruhi is his main interest, as disheartening as that may be for Yuki if she has feelings for him.
      Anyway, I wrote wayyyy too much as usual. I liked your points on Kyon and Yuki, Kiiragi. This post was very interesting, especially how you interpreted the epilogue 🙂 I never considered that she may be hiding a smile, I just thought she might be showing the cover of her book to the audience or Kyon as she did in season 1, but I honestly have no idea.

      1. What you wrote up was probably what my deleted Haruhi paragraph was supposed to be, and I’m amazed that you wrote that much more while still remaining unique from my own. Very good stuff. People should read this as a supplement or mine to yours. 😛

      2. Thanks! Glad you liked it 😀 I think I wrote it that way since you pretty much covered all my thoughts and more on Yuki. Plus I’ve had a few years since reading the novel to brood on the story XD

      3. I believe Kyon’s decision to go back to the original world has underlying romantic implications as well. There is certainly a sense that he “chooses Haruhi” and not Yuki…..

        As much as I like Nagato. Though I must say Haruhi and Kyon are the best mixture of this series. Haruhi with her interesting spoiled self(unlike the other spoiled characters) mixes so perfectly with Kyon’s reaction and how he deals with it.

        Also about Kyon’s transformation here I am quite curious as how things will lead to as now it is portrayed that he has come to terms with everything and will accept the strangeness and rowdy environment as it is. This could really lead to something I would like.

        On the side note I have been semi spoiled but I think that’s okay for me since I think I’m very much hyped for that adaptation.
        I’m talking about Kyon’s past classmate.
        Or something like that…. for those non-LN readers who get pumped at this tiny bit of info I can’t blame you I’m also pumped as well.

      4. @Megalith
        Yes, the tidbit you mentioned certainly is exciting, but we unfortunately have to wait a while for it to be adapted if they are going to continue this in chronological order. That part starts in the ninth volume and supposedly continues to the tenth volume which will be released on May 25th.

        In the meantime though, there are some good short stories and one of my favorite volumes, The Scheme, will be coming up too.

        As for Kyon Show Spoiler ▼

    1. While I can understand Takaii’s POV on how the second season managed to drain away the excitement many had, I personally thought it was a very interesting and at many time hilarious experiment. The over reaction were pretty fun to read and listen to, and the show itself doing such a bold move made all the more appreciate the series.

      1. Endless Eight was as interesting of an experiment for us, as it was for lab rats to run around in slightly different maze till they die/disposed of.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a hilarious experiment for the producers (or scientists running the maze experiments), but certainly not for me and countless others.

        This is a joke at the expense of the viewers. Some may find it funny, but not everyone (including myself) does.

      2. it was a hilarious move, but when you watch the movie the perspective changes. it just shows what may have been the trigger to the disappearance, and if the ragequit feeling was what the producers wanted, then we all fell for that tactic.

        and, Show Spoiler ▼

        absolutely rocked

  2. The movie had two hurdles to overcome for me. First i had to convince me to sit through a 3-hour movie since long movies can quickly tax my patience. Second, it had to rekindle my love for Haruhi, which had been destroyed after a certain eight episode arc that I rather not talk about. This movie did both in flying colors. That’s quite an amazing feat really.

  3. Kiiragi, this post made me realize I don’t praise your writing enough. I’m bookmarking this post as an example of an excellent review. Nicely done.

    You managed to sum up my entire opinion of the movie, and I especially agree on the tragic aspect of that rooftop scene T_T it really broke my heart to see Kyon kneeling without realizing the implication of such action to Yuki.

  4. Personally, I never got why people rated this series so highly. Decent, yes, but not really special, imho (talking about the first anime season, not this specific movie, btw).

    I wouldn’t even have gotten through it if not for the Kon guy’s monologue. The Haruhi chick just tends to grate at my patience a bit too much.

    1. Trust me, for anything Kyoto Animation related this is just kind of the norm and not really surprising to see at all for me. People go absolutely ballistic for their more competent stuff and there’s little in the way of any sort of boundaries or standards to be applied in cases where the company gives an effort. You’re pretty much just going to see people calling it perfect, masterpiece and hilariously over committing themselves to praising Kyoto Animation for it.

      Myself, I thought the movie was good if somewhat cheapened a touch at key moments by flaws that seem obvious to me but are apparently invisible or completely disregarded by the regular fandom. It had great production values, had a lot of interesting character moments for Kyon and closed a few plot threads from the infamous second season in a satisfiable manner…so basically it was a functionally good film for the most part like many others, a 3/5 to 3.5/5 star movie in my book. Perfect though? Not by a long shot. The notion of perfection is to me ridiculous but not too surprising to see coming up in this case when we consider the history of the fan base making the claim. Many including myself who operate outside of the regular community have criticized the movie for dragging horrendously at parts during the beginning and end and said parts can hardly be called exciting watching by the non-die hard Haruhi viewers such as myself. Furthermore Yuki Nagato’s portrayal in the film can be argued to be an acquired taste and Kyon is pretty much a rat lost in a maze for the majority of the movie who instead of taking action to find the answers given to him is basically handed all of them through chance encounters with the regular cast that play out like slightly more sophisticated versions of a character arc in a visual novel. As such when the moment comes for him to have his big realization at the end it feels less like he has come to those obvious conclusions on his own so much as been steered toward them and this cheapens what should otherwise be a suitable climax for the film and a turning point for the character as he comes to a realization about himself.

      Masterpiece? I don’t know what the average viewers standard for a masterpiece is, but I wasn’t even considering the thought by the end of it even if it’s no surprise to see the label applied to the film by the overzealous.

      As for factors that don’t necessarily come into play in every Kyoani series discussion but nonetheless contribute to the particular bizarreness of this one, one stands out in particular, and that is the frequently voiced idea that this film is a great achievement in the history of cinema on account of making up for it’s predecessor. This is kind of the fanbases self-applied and often arbitrary standard for greatness coming into play as far as I can tell, and I mean yeah…if your standard for what constitutes greatness is a work actually being done competently in comparison to it’s much loathed mediocre predecessor then I guess the standard for masterpiece becomes a whole lot looser all of a sudden.

      Though I’m sure it’s not a sinister case like MrRei posted in saying:

      “I personally think they made a crap out of endless eight in order to make this look epic.. It’s like they lowered people’s expectations to make the movie more effective.”

      it seems like a factor that has come into play for upping the positive reaction to a movie if ever I saw one.

      Kaioshin Sama
      1. You may say what you think, but your opinion isn’t making it a bad movie even if you claim to have a more objective view on how to rate this movie than the “overzealous”.
        You may also argue with whatever reason or standart there is to judge this movie, in the end it all comes down to “how you WANT to see the it”. Don’t like it? Love it? Doesn’t matter, but please don’t say “the movies IS” …whatever. Because your opinion isn’t the rule but your personal issue. I liked the movie and think that doesn’t make it a good film for everyone but for me.
        Nothing personal, I’m just tired of people talking about how something is a masterpiece or not solely based on their (or others) opinion.

  5. The movie did what I think was impossible. It fixed the failure that was Haruhi Season 2. Seriously, I think many of us had lost hope after season 2, we were crushed and the failure that it was. The movie made up for it, and that’s saying something. Fantastic movie, with incredible animation. Thank you for reviewing it Kiiragi, and like everyone else says, excellent writing. 🙂

  6. I guess i think that this is better than the LQ i guess.

    It must be hard to put this post together.

    It was great seeing nagato gets the center of attention. true that it would really make some serious problem if you make your self conscious for many loops. i wonder how nagato felt since her feels is hard to understand(i bet only Kyon knows).
    As ever this Anime still makes my head spin since it goes here and there that i cant guarantee or predict what will happen next. It was a nice movie. (≧◡≦)

    Well, well done Kiiragi for making this post. remind me of everything when i read this.it was like “oh yeah this scene was good as well” kind of feeling. anyway good Work Kiiragi

  7. Back then, I didn’t bother to watch the movie due to several reasons. But now Im so glad I watched this. The movie itself is astounding in overall aspects, the scenes was well done that you can feel the tension building up and get tingles down your spine.

    I had fun reading your review, it sounds so convincing in a way that everyone should check out this movie, fan of the franchise or not.

  8. I respect a man who finally knows his true feelings and folllows a path because of it. Kyon’s introspection, that he truly loved yearned for the life he had with SOS Brigade made me shed manly tears.

    Introspecting like the motherfucking fist of the north star.

    Gaze of Providence
  9. Kiiragi your writing this summary was just like the movie. Absolutely f’n beautiful. The summary nails exactly what I watched and how I felt.

    I’ll admit that I was one of those who watched season 2 and just gave up on the whole anime side of it. This movie turned that around and made me a loyal follower again. I’d almost declare this movie perfect, as I can’t point out a single flaw done.

    1. When I finished the movie, my first thought was, “I have to make the post just as good as this or it’s not worthy.” I tend to do that with most posts, which stresses me out. This one in particular took several days of brooding. Glad it was good enough for some readers. :]

  10. I cried watching this movie and I went speechless. It’s like you said, layered but I have no words to describe it. I just followed Kyon’s emotions and thoughts and when he finally found her, I felt so happy for Kyon. Almost 3 hours? Didn’t feel it at all. I just want more..!

  11. It’s too bad that there is little to look forward to after this. It all depends on the contents of the 10th volume, but in the meantime, I feel that the franchise should end with this beautiful movie.

  12. right,my post got eaten. Dx Anyway, i’m not that much of haruhi fan. But this movie was really good. For some reason,it gave me chills. And dang, i agree, that rooftop scene was kinda heart-wrenching. Dx yuki… T_T

    hoorah! For long-haired haruhi though! XDD and oh, next haruhi volume comes out may next year. Ah, wait,was it march or may. I forgot. XD lastly, very nice post kiiragi. XD

  13. I haven’t even watched the second season yet due to being busy watching other animes,gaming and real-life stuff. I’m not clueless tho as I enjoy’d the Eight-Troll 😛

    Been waiting for this for ages, i’ll defo give it a download

    Kurisu Vi Britannia
    1. There are even subs out now… look at Nyaatorrents?
      As for the movie itself, it was great ride, from “WTF wheres Haruhi?”, to Kyon discovering own feelings, to Nagato being given depth, to the chilling presence of Show Spoiler ▼

      , to the final charade of an ending including Show Spoiler ▼

      BTW great post!

  14. Finally, after reading the novel before hand, I get to watch the animated movie last week. It thrills me when I get to have a glimpse of what I hardly used to imagine while reading the novel.

    On a different note, I heard that the upcoming Haruhi novel entitled “Astonishment of Haruhi” will be released on May 2011.

  15. There is a spin-off to this story: NAGATO YUKI-CHAN NO SHOUSHITSU (ongoing manga) that shows what would happen if Kyon chose to live that changed life. (kinda)

    This post is amazing. I just watched the movie a couple days and loved it 😀
    (can’t wait for the 10th volume!)

  16. Asakura Ryouko lol I knew it, almost fell for her again but I was like no NO man she’s just being a tease any moment know any moment but it didn’t come and I was like noo what have I done I should have believe…. ah there we go. Stupid B**ch, maybe that’s why you’re not a major character in the series you keep trying to kill the main!

  17. Oh wow.. I thought this was already forgotten but then….

    This movie was every single thing that’s amazing. I am so tempted to read the LNs but then again I feel as if it would kill the surprise for the anime. I expect S3 to come out in early 2012.

    If you have end of days in mind get out! I don’t believe in that nonsense.

    Everything is in alignment for another season since new material announced recently which is about to be released mid 2011 and plus there’s this upcoming surprise in Oct. 31st 2011. Though my guess is still that it’s an announcement of a new season of Haruhi.

    Quality wise this was everything I expected when I saw that camrip. As expected from the background artists of KyoAni. I’d say a little bit on top of K-ON S2’s BG. Though what I meant there was not to degrade my view on the quality but rather saying something on the lines that S2 of K-ON had fantastic background meanwhile keeping the constant quality all throughout.

    Animation wise this was also beautiful. My most favorite animation sequence was when Kyon grabbed Taniguchi’s collar when he learnt that Taniguchi knows about Haruhi. Next one to that is probably the retrospect scene of Kyon with that god awesome narration.

    With all this also reconfirms that Sugita was one of the best choices that came along when adapting Haruhi. That narration was just splendid.

    Can’t wait for the next season! and
    Show Spoiler ▼

  18. Watched this movie twice already. The time traveling aspects really made this movie as much as a mindfuck as endless 8 only on the good side. The climax with the 2nd Kyon really made me interested in the novels again, and not to mention how amazingly stunning ponytail Haruhi looks.

    Ponytails RULE!

  19. Indeed a masterpiece. After a huge disappointment (like was said above, from a certain arc of 8 episodes) came a huge relief.

    Eric Satie’s music is one of my favorite. But watching an anime themed by Satie’s music, was indeed an interesting experience. The animation is perfect by today’s standards. The plot was very exciting at many places (Kyon freezing when approaching Haruhi, just to name one). So it was a very pleasant experience for me, and I’m very glad that it lasted for more than 2 hours.

    This was not expected at all after the shock I received from watching the endless 8. So I’m very glad that the show had its respect back that was lost recently from many fans.

  20. I remember being surprised and enthralled by season 1 after hearing a little about it, however I never developed that kind of hardcore fanboyism Haruhi seems to attract. The show was good, but not that good. Season 2, as most have said, was a disgrace to the series.

    This movie however is quite frankly a masterpiece, it’s one of the best anime movies I’ve ever seen, although is does require you to have watched the previous seasons – which in an odd way, somewhat justifies Endless Eight ever so slightly. I can actually see where and why the fanboyism kicks in.

    It was completely worth the wait to watch. Nagato and Kyon’s little sister ♥ (not in a pedobear way…)

  21. So if you were in Kyon’s position, what would you guys choose? The normal world where Yuki is a normal girl (and the rest doesnt know you) OR the abnormal world where Yuki is an AI, Haruhi with god-like powers, Mikuru as time traveler,etc)?

    Although it is very tempting to accept the allure of the unknown such as the abnormal world that Kyon choose, and of course it is so dam interesting and fun, it doesnt come without the risks, like Kyon being put in danger (like in this movie, getting stabbed and all). While the normal world may be safe for him, it is boring especially since the people he used to know doesnt know him at all and some of them are not even close to him.

    In my opinion, I would probably choose the normal world with Yuki being a normal girl. Sure it may not be as fun as the abnormal world, but seeing Yuki smile like this:
    I would most likely stick with that world cuz it is very interesting on its own way.

    However, I find it would be even more interesting if you can make an emotionless Yuki (as an AI) gain human emotions and make her smile like she was a normal girl, now that would be a better choice.

    I’m starting to think that Yuki needs more spotlight and character development because she definitely stole the show for me, since I am more interested about mysterious characters like Yuki rather than eccentric characters like Haruhi or Moe-blob characters like Mikuru. This is further proven by this movie which I thought was definitely better than the series itself, heck I showed it to my friend who didnt watch the movie and she loved it. It’s ironic cuz she watched the two seasons after that and she thought that the movie was a better in a long shot, while agreeing with me that the movie had a far better plot, with Yuki and Kyon as opposed to the usual Haruhi and Kyon character development.

    1. I would go back to the original world in a heartbeat. The fact is, I would be the only person in the world who would know this “normal” world is “fake”. It’s essentially living a lie. The family Kyon lives with is not the family he grew up with. The friends he knows are not the friends he spent years with. All the fond memories he had are essentially worthless. I couldn’t live like that.

      Also, staying just for moe Nagato leads to some unfortunate implications. Basically, its like saying the original Nagato that Kyon spent time, befriended and grew to trust isn’t good enough. The alternate Nagato was like someone manufactured to appeal to him by Nagato herself. I’m glad Kyon chose to go back, since it meant he accepted Yuki for who she really was.

      P.S. The alternate world is NOT SAFE. See there is a certain knife-wielding cutie who is overprotective of Nagato. It makes dating her VERY dangerous. At least in the original world, Nagato can actually do something about it, while the other Nagato would just cower and cry.

      1. I definitely like what you think! It’s true that it would essentially come down to living a lie and it especially sucks since you remember a lot of memories about people who doesnt even know you at all (Mikuru, Haruhi, Tsuraya, etc.) It’s also true that it would suck to mean that Kyon choosing the “normal” world would mean he would “abandon” the real/true Yuki, Haruhi, and the others. That’s why I said that it would be even more interesting that since Kyon already made the choice of staying in the “abnormal” world that he would make the emotionless Yuki truly smile like the Yuki in the normal world, now that would be a challenge and would be worth it to see it fulfilled.

        However, I would have to argue about Asakura being very dangerous in the normal world, I’m with Kabayongtao, and that IF Asakura is indeed normal in the normal world meaning she truly is normal then I think she would be like an overprotective friend (similar to Tsuraya’s case with Mikuru beating the crap out of Kyon for scaring Mikuru), I truly doubt that she would actually stab Kyon, then the normal world would not be as dangerous. This is assuming that Kyon choose the normal world and therefore the stabbing event would not have happened and Asakura would remain normal since Yuki’s world was not rejected. I believe Asakura was only pissed off at Kyon since he rejected Yuki (she is kind of like a part of Yuki that regretted not being chosen by Kyon and instead indirectly chose Haruhi).

        So I guess we can argue about it both ways, one is what you said that Kyon choosing the abnormal world would mean him choosing to be with the real Yuki (the one he knows and most likely wants to change her personality, since he was pissed off at her boss for making her character like that). The second way can also mean that him choosing the real world means he choose Haruhi’s world than the world Yuki created for him. I thought that she might have done this both for her own personal reasons and also for Kyon’s sake since she always sees him complaining about being dragged into the abnormal and dangerous world that Haruhi created.

        @Kabayongtao: No you are not wrong, after all Asakura as Kyon said that is like a shadow of Yuki meaning she had left over memories, this was probably because Kyon rejected Yuki’s world and used the escaped program that this event had happened. Remember IF Kyon choose the normal world Yuki created, then such an event would never had to happen. Which is why I thought that my argument above would hold IF Kyon did choose the normal world.

    2. Well, I think there is something weird with Ryou Asakura being in the normal world. In this chapter, although she is portrayed as a helpful classmate, I believe that she still possesses her memory as an alien.

      I said that because when Kyon tried to restore Yuki after she just changed the world, Asakura instantly changed her personality and stabbed him. Now, why would she do that when they were supposed to be in the normal world? Does it mean that it was by Nagato’s will to recreate Asakura in the normal world along with her past memories as an Alien?

      It’s very weird though I am not sure if I am seeing it right. Correct me if I am wrong.

      Therefore as for your question, I would probably return on the crazy world because if by chance that Asakura isn’t normal after all in the new world, heck who knows what she would do. Plus, Nagato wouldn’t be able to protect me (or Kyon) if something bad happens. =P

  22. LOL!

    This may be the first time I see a male Tsundere (when Kyon stayed to eat dinner and when he ‘asked’ to come to the Lit. Club room again because “He had no where to go after school”) and actually liked it!

    Though I do admit, in my drunken state, I was hoping to (spoiler ALERT!) that we’d get to see Kyon and Asahina go back in time and finish the job his past self got killed trying to achive. Maybe we’ll see that later…hopefully…(end spoiler)

  23. I did what you said, Kiiragi! Season II was pretty good! Probably because of the way I watched it. It was tedious downloading it. The numbers of the episodes are all over the place. Anywho, I’m definitely saving this page to my iPod and watching all of Shoushitsu on the way to work. (Yes, it takes multiple hours to get to work.) Seeing as I spend most of it sitting down, I can’t wait to watch it. I’m more excited about reading your review though, to be honest. :}

    p.s. Thanks for the post preview. lol I’ll comment again after I watch the movie. :]

  24. I guess I’m in the minority because I loved the endless 8 episodes in the 2nd season.
    I guess I’m able to look at what Kayoto Animation was doing and appreciate it.
    What I want to know is what else could they have done before before the movie to make sure the set everything up for it?
    The endless 8 was the reason Yuki reformed the world, and she went through those 2 weeks for hundreds of years, we just got experience a small sample of her agony (just like we waited for 3 years like Kyon and Mikuru for season 2).
    I feel that everything the did was well played as the movie ended up perfect and it’s now my favorite animated movie of all time.
    The use of color and music is certain scenes were perfect and Kyon’s VA’s work was award winning IMO.
    And one more thing about the Endless 8, at least each episode was redone and not the exact same episode over and over again, same story yes….but not the same episodes. Had they done that….I would have been upset.

    DarkRios III
  25. thanks to this movie. i have return to be the haruhi fan that i was when season 1 ended and re-watched like 20 times, man, this movie is so good in alot of things, i really want a 3rd season, but i hope kyotoani won’t make us wait 3 years please

  26. They more then made up for the Endless 8 with this movie. It was superb and I liked how Kyon came to realize (with all his bitching) that he loved his friends in the SOS Brigade and his life in general. Too much of Kyon’s character is spent being negative.

    I guess in the “alien, time traveler, slider, or esper” he would be the slider.

  27. This was simply an amazing movie. I’m so happy that they adapted this, the novel is great. I simply love how they make viewers feel all the emotions, especially Kyon’s despair. In the end it’s kind of sad that Kyon and Yuki won’t end up together, seeing as they, in my opinion, make a much better pair than Kyon and Haruhi. On that note, I’d love to see “Snow Mountain Syndrome” adapted, seeing as it once again gives Yuki some focus.

  28. This movie has very strong underlying message of looking at what you have. Your post on this movie is prompting me to make a review of this film as well. Haven’t written one since my “Sayonara Memories” single review a while ago…

  29. Here’s waiting for a season 3! And thanks for blogging this! OH MY GAH! Love this movie! especially Nagato. As much as I want Nagato for Kyon, he is the only one that can balance the scale of Haruhi.

  30. At last, I see RC too has decided to blog about what could arguably be the best anime movie of 2010. Nanoha, UBW and Bungaku Shoujo doesn’t even come close. 8)

    I actually wrote a blog movie review myself a few weeks back, having seen this in a cinema before the DVD release. As I couldn’t be arsed to repeat everything I’ve said, so here’s a shameless plug-in for anyone who’s interested 🙂


    It all boils down to this:


    Still, to add a few more points:

    Kyo-Ani has thrown everything it has in this movie to restore fans’ faith in the series after the failed artistic gamble / mindless trolling with Endless Eight ended in farcical circumstances. I cannot speak for everyone, but this movie has single-handedly rekindled my enthusiasm for Haruhiism.

    Besides all the focus on Yuki being ridiculously cute, which we have all been waiting 4 friggin long years to see animated, the best parts have to go to Kyon – his fear and despair when his world is literally turned upside down, his rekindled hope when realizing Haruhi is still in this world, and the fantastic monologue – the whole of it – explaining why he chose to come back and face Haruhi’s antics once again. The orchestral BGM for these respective scenes were equally memorable.

    (The cinema I was in literally went HNNNGGG everytime Yuki made an insanely cute expression. There is a saying “So Moe I Died”, and Yuki just ticks every box for that. 🙂 )

    Kinny Riddle
  31. I have to say that whilst I definitely enjoyed the film, I did find that the book had a lot more impact in the most crucial moments such as when Kyon first discovers that something is wrong. In the film to me he just came across as slightly mental whereas whilst reading the book I really could get a feel to the distress he must be feeling.

    Other parts I think were definitely drawn out too long; especially smaller elements during the story which should have been short to enhance the surprise and stress that Kyon was feeling. A quick example would be the whole scene when he first sees Mikuru which was probably the best example of the many instances of badly timed or just simply delayed reactions that are seen throughout.

    Also about the scene where he comes to the realization that he enjoys this world much more than its’ new counterpart: probably my favorite scene of the film, but still badly placed. The reason I say this is that just a bit earlier he pretty much convinced the audience of this fact in a much shorter way just before he pressed ENTER. As a result, the beautifully animated scene which followed lost a lot of the impact it should have had.

    Again, don’t get me wrong: it was a very good film but maybe I just had a little too high expectations for it considering how much I enjoyed reading the book.

  32. I wanted to give it an 11 on MAL.
    I think the creators were trying to make season 2 bad so we would have low expectations for the movie. That way we would be blown away and love Haruhi again. I think they succeeded 😀

  33. A very lengthy but a very good movie nonetheless, while I don’t really like the endless eight arc from S2 (I really feel that even with just 4 episodes, it would still make a good point since they reiterated that they have done it 15000+ times), the movie despite its length redeems the interest that I have once lost for Haruhi Suzumiya during that arc. Very captivating, not to mention very suspenseful, I really felt the distress of Kyon while he got lose in the alternate world. Very beautiful, fluid, detailed, and creative animation and camera angles, and BGM that only captivates me, I particularly like the scene when Kyon finally sees Haruhi in a different school, that I feel that he really likes her.

    A very good movie deserves every praises it could ever get, I believe that is one of the best anime movies I’ve ever watched during the 20+ years of being an Anime fan, for me it even rivals the finest Ghibli animation has to offer.

    Credits to the creators! Thumbs up!

    1. I agree. Was very sad when it happened. I think it was more of a case that he wanted to correct the world and get his old life back more so then he was rejecting Nagato. I could see Kyon ending up with any of the 3 girls but lean heavily towards Haruhi.

      I think she has serious feelings for him too (even tho she would never admit it). Staying with him all that time would never have happened if it was the esper that was in the hospital.

      1. Oh I TOTALLY understood he didn’t mean to reject Nagato! It doesn’t ever make it any less TORTUROUS to her! The little thing was shrinking like a violet and she could never understand the real reason Kyon had to do it, which makes it sadder.

  34. Don’t hate on me for this, but I think the movie was so good because Haruhi was hardly in it. And her alternate version was a lot better with the more believable attitude and the long hair. What I’m getting at is Haruhi is a bad character, but everything else about the series is stunning. I will admit though that the fact that she stayed by Kyon’s side in the hospital the whole time is quite redeeming.

    Also I would give anything to see Yuki smile again.

    1. For me, Haruhi has a more likable character than Kyon, I believe Haruhi is living her life at its fullest while Kyon simple sighs so much and complain too much (all those monologues he have)…

    2. I somewhat agree. The movie benefits from Haruhi’s absence because it makes her eventual return MUCH better. Once she comes back on screen, Kyon is much happier, the atmosphere becomes brighter and more fun and even the music starts getting epic.

      Also, Haruhi isn’t a “bad” character. Unlikable maybe, but thats all depends on peoples opinions. She is undeniably complex and gets alot of character development as the series progresses. Her watching over Kyon for three days straight is one of the sweetest moments of the movie.

      Say what you want about Haruhi but it doesn’t change the fact that she and Kyon pretty much carry the series. She NEEDS to be in this series. The other characters shine better because of this pairs presence, otherwise they just become bland character archetypes.

  35. Excellent work, old friend. Quite possibly the best anything you’ve ever written to date and definitely outclasses anything I’ve ever read from someone I know :] As a side note, I noticed that the film’s use of Erik Satie’s works including the trio of Gymnopedies fits extremely well with not only the actual movie but even with the story as well. I’m no music major but from what I read Erik Satie was a 19th century pianist who tended to write pieces that defied traditional concepts of music. As a result several of Saties pieces, such as the Gymnopedies, sound as if they could have been written fairly recently rather than more than a century ago. Placed next to other classical pieces of the time, these songs would likely feel out of place and even anachronistic, similarly Kyon feels out of place in the “normal” world that he is placed into and even experiences several (separate) instances of time travel into the same period of time. I’ve kind of stumbled around with my words here but I hope my point got through; the music fucking rocks.

  36. I love the review haha, it’s good to see that other people liked the story as much as I did. I haven’t even see the movie yet, I read the light novel hoping it would show up on tv during the annoying as all hell 2nd season… i’m sort of glad it didn’t though, since they seem to have probably put much more work into it as a movie…

    I figured that if they show this arc and they do it right, it would redeem the series completely after what was shown, because even as annoyed as I was with the 2nd season, when I read the disappearance I could not put it down… not matter what I did, to the point where I even started reading it in places one should not read things in…

    Show Spoiler ▼

  37. I loved this movie! The story, the animation, everything about it was fantastic! Plus, watching it on Christmas Eve filled me up with all the Christmas spirit I needed xD. I watched both seasons of Haruhi this year, I wanted to know what all the fuss was about once the new season had begun. Finally I got to see why the franchise is so popular! Each episode is just loads of fun to watch, minus the Endless Eight ones, but even they were fun in my opinion (I just found it hilarious how bold they were to go through with something like that xD). I honestly wouldn’t mind if the series would now follow the format of releasing a movie based on each novel every year, as long as they would be as great as this one. I really can’t wait for a new season!

  38. Wasn’t a Yuki fan before this movie. Thanks Alternate Yuki! You are way to adorable to not be loved. Nice job Kyon for making Haruhi sport a ponytail in long hair!

    About the movie, saw the camrip and was like “ohh neat!” Then read the book and was like WHOA and amp’d for the movie. Saw the movie in glorious HD, FLAC and a good set of AKG’s and I was blown away. The music is so perfect in everyway. Loved each and every piano/orchestra piece that plays through out the movie. Glad this part became a movie instead of a TV series.

    And thanks Kiiragi for capturing all the best Yuki screenies! Especially the smile and epic sky ones.

    1. That might be because the movies been out subbed for a few days or more. Folks are more apt to post and discuss the movie when its hot off the presses so to speak. If this review was last Sat. or Sun. then it would have hit 100 faster I think.

  39. An amazing post about quite an amazing film (still can’t beat “Spirited Away” for me though…). I gotta say, there have been many a time when I wish I was in Kyon’s shoes, with an interesting life and an entertaining high school. I definitely agree with his decision: how can you go back to a normal life and miss out on daily activities, great friends, and crazy as shit adventures?

      1. My fave of Miyazaki remains Nausicaa… a chilling, postapocalyptic vision, yet strangely heartwarming. Plus I love badass heroines, and it has two of them in the form of Nausicaa and Kushana, the latter giving a vision of Mankind retaking its lost glory.
        Still, for this year Disappearance beats even Macross F movie and Summer Wars.
        The fact it easily made fans forget their Endless Hate is telling.
        Maybe the cameral setting and focusing on the feelings of a handful of main characters is what captivated my heart.

      2. Nausicaa is my second favorite 😀 But Spirited Away was my first Ghibli film, and I was the same age as the protagonist so it really struck a cord. Have you read the Nausicaa manga? Crazy stuff.
        And I really wish more people would actually WATCH the Disappearance, but as you can see on MAL, not nearly as many people are doing that. I guess Endless Eight kind of weeded out the light fans, leaving only the more serious fans…

      1. I just find it amazing how consistently awesome Miyazaki is at everything: his films and his manga. But I must agree with your and Ewok’s statements: Haruhi wins this year for best movie (even though I have yet to see the Gundam 00 one)

  40. This certainely makes up for the crappy season 2. Great movie. I however cant forgive the fans who said that the last episode of endless 8 made season 2 worth it. Your standards are so low it breaks its neck hitting the ground.

  41. “Absolutely Breathtaking”

    No words can better express my reaction to the movie I was anticipating the most for 2010. Kudos to both Tanigawa Nagaru and Kyoto Animation for a job well done.

    And a great job to you too Kiiragi for the snapshot were not the only ones that made this an amazing post but your thoughts as well. Love how you pointed out the foreshadowing by the way because it was definitely deserved a mention.

    Totally worth waiting 10 months for!

  42. Best Movie Ever!!! Btw, endless eight really is an actual arc in the novel, Im reading it… So not all of the fault should be put on the anime. Although I dont understand why endless eight was eight episodes long, but the anime isn’t 100% at fault

  43. There were some lengths at the beginning and in the middle parts and I really didn’t like how Kyon acted like a jerk (he didn’t even apologize) when Taniguchi mentioned Haruhi, but the last 30 mins or so were great. Didn’t expect Asakura to show up again. 😀
    When his future self told him that “they would deal with it from here on”, does that mean that it was either Asahina or Yuki who pushed him down the stairs? Did they do that to avoid all those things from happening and that’s why his wound from the Asakura incident disappeared?
    Are there answers to all those questions in the next novels?

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

  44. I think this is one of the few times that a movie surpasses the book, but that might just be bad tranlating on the book’s part. The first half of the movie, I had to keep pausing it because I knew what was going to happen and it seemed to almost drag on. However, once the second half started I was practicaly glued to the screen. This was an amazing movie, in the end that’s all that needs be said even if it might be an understatement.

    Yuki had always been my favorite character in this series, and I’m glad that she got what she deserved in this movie.

  45. So I watched it again in glorious bluray. I just noticed how Kyon’s jacket acted as a “wedding veil”. Accompanied with him constantly holding her hands making these promises to retrieve/protect her in his on way. On another note, Kyon tracing Haruhi’s lips. Just admit it already Kyon! haha

    1. Oh it would make more sense if you watch it. I recommend watching season 1 and 2 then watch the movie again. Show Spoiler ▼

      Kyo-ani really did a great job considering how you enjoyed the movie without watching the anime.

  46. I’m frankly surprised it took this long to get a blog post about The movie. But then, I cannot fault the writers for that. Not everyone gets to see this in theaters so I understand. The movie was awesome and the Blu Ray is epic. If anyone has a BD that allows Japans region I STRONGLY suggest getting the movie. Good blog post as usual and keep up the good work!

  47. I ended up after the new years ball drop watching this movie, and I have to say just like with all haruhi things in general I was not disappointed at all. Great way to waste a few hours of my life and I would not mind if the rest of the haruhi novels were animated into movies like this once every year or few because it still keeps you interested unlike the endless 8 crap that happened. As long as that never happens again haruhi in general will be fine to animate for another season or for more movies. Please don’t let this be the end of the crazy god bitch

  48. I also enjoyed the movie.

    I also liked how they tie together virtually every seemingly random thing that occurred throughout the series with the time traveling bit.

  49. I really liked the premise of the alternate world in which they became who they were suppose to be if Haruhi was not god. But perhaps what I liked most about that world is that it reflected somewhat of their inner desires, namely Koizumi and Nagato, but especially Nagato. How she gradually developed emotions and feelings toward Kyon, and thus unknowingly desired it so much to the point where she overpowered Haruhi and created that alternate world in accordance to Kyon’s complaints and her longing. That made it much more heartbreaking when Kyon rejected her club application and again on the rooftop. I think many people would choose a world with supernatural events because it is definitely more exciting, even I would want to live in a world like that of this anime. But I think a world with a smiling Nagato is just as interesting. Gaahh my heart aches for Nagato~! But totally loved the character development of Kyon and Nagato.

  50. Truly a masterpiece in works of art.

    I agree this made me love the whole Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu series deeper and deeper. And more than that, this movie opened my eyes for Yuki, the one had never stood out in my opinion, because she had done many things in background.

    It’s really a heartbreaking scene for me when Kyon let go Yuki’s hand on the “gate”. I totally in love with this version of Yuki, the smiling Yuki is so much priceless.

    For the animation, this is what Kyoto Animation is all about. Fantastic, Perfect! Nothing else I could say besides that. I always love the works of Kyoto Animation.

  51. I like this movie! Since I was curious about this movie, I want to know what’s this all about. Now i have watched, I don’t deny that I want to watch it many times… Yuki-chan is so very cute!!! 私はゆきちゃんが大好き!

    Kyon Nagato
    1. I think that’s a detail the creators left for the imagination of the viewer. Personally I think it was something along the line of his future, or an unrequited love maybe? Just don’t think about it too much since this happens in anime pretty often.

  52. wish i could watch this without subs. processing what you just read and trying to make sense of the scene plus the whole time travel gig was just too overwhelming, for me anyways. what’s the deal with “going back to the past” bit that kyon kept mentioning? did i miss anything during the explanation of yuki or mikuru on what he has to do? and who was that guy standing by him as he was bleeding out? and im assuming that nagato was injected by that reprograming thingy coz everything went back to normal, right? did she do it her self? can hardly tell if that needle gun thingy was actually activated just from looking at it.

    would all these questions be answered just by re-watching it or reading a certain volume of the ln?


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