“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness? — John Steinbeck
Titled “終われない夏休み” (Owarenai Natsuyasumi, which I’ve translated as “An Unfinished Summer Vacation”), The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan OAD follows Yuki, Kyon and the others in previously unseen footage of their summer vacation, including an outing to the local water park (where Haruhi and Kyon openly engage one another in a competition for summer fruits), attending a summer festival, stargazing, fishing at the river and cicada hunting. These events soon return to those covered in the manga’s fifth volume, where Kyon realises that these activities clashes with his summer assignments, which he has not started yet. After bringing this up with Haruhi, everyone agrees to help Kyon finish these assignments at his place. What starts out as a work period quickly devolves, and Kyon winds up with minimal progress, forcing him to ask for Yuki’s help (contrasting the manga, which has Yuki and Nagato spend a bit of time after they both take a quick break from studying to visit the local convenience store). This whole concept has been explored previously in the infamous “Endless Eight” arc (which was a consequence of an unexpected change in the requirements that led to The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi being adapted as a movie); in The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, this is mercifully limited to only one special episode that was released quite separately of the regular TV series.
This bonus episode was quite fun to watch because it was able to bring back all of the characters together, letting them bounce off one another over the languid period of summer vacation. Unbound by the focus that the manga had, this OAD returns to the carefree feel that was seen in The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. The end result is a more concise, smarter interpretation of Endless Eight that follows through with Kyon’s desire to get his homework done; the OAD depicts Kyon as being quite unsuccessful here, and he eventually resorts to Yuki in helping him finish before classes start again, subtly reminding the viewers that in The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, Kyon and Yuki share a much stronger, closer relationship than they did in The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. On the whole, while the bonus episode proved entertaining, it’s not particularly consequential as far as contributions to the plot present in The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, showing limited character development. So, there isn’t any further progress with respect to Kyon and Yuki’s relationship. While disappointing for some, there is a silver lining: this OAD has not done anything to spoil the manga or introduce any inconsistencies into any future adaptations.
Screenshots and Commentary
- I’m honestly not sure how this OAD even managed to get its own talk, or how I’m somehow managing to find the time to write out said talk about it: this is a full-sized post with the usual twenty images, accompanied by commentary. This one was rushed out in the space of 90 minutes.
- A glance at the archives shows that I did not have very many images of Haruhi, Yuki, Mikuru, Ryouko or Tsuruya in their swimsuits, so I suppose the first bit of justification for a full post here is to make up for that particular shortcoming in previous posts.
- I’ve gone through the mangas again to make sure, and it appears that the events in the first half of this OAD are not seen within the manga. This first half is done in the spirits of an aimless summer day, which was the focus of the infamous Endless Eight arc. However, as mentioned in one of this blog’s most-read posts, I did master Endless Eight: any anime fan worth their salt understands that watching Endless Eight is a matter of patience, and attentiveness.
- Consequently, I feel that the vitriol directed at KyoAni was unwarranted: documentation (whose links have long expired owing to the way Livedoor works) finds that the circumstances were outside of their control, and in spite of this setback, KyoAni nonetheless did their best to make each of the Endless Eight episodes slightly different to keep things as fresh as was possible. Here, Nagato, Ryouko and Tsuruya react after Kyon’s mouthing off at Haruhi earns him a swift kick to the back, knocking him into the pool.
- Haruhi’s presence definitely livens up The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan (and I freely admit I’m a fan of the view in this here screenshot), and even though she’s not the female lead, her actions and influence does help drive the plot forwards. With that being said, she’s never an overpowering presence in comparison to her Melancholy incarnation: she’s rather more similar to her Disappearance incarnation, and I liked the latter a great deal more than the former.
- When I say Endless Eight could be bested by a combination of patience and attentiveness, I refer to accepting that the arc requires eight episodes (around three hours and twelve minutes) to complete, and that each episode is subtly different from the others. Thus, knowing what’s ahead can turn Endless Eight into a fun “spot the difference” challenge for those who’ve got sufficient time to do so.
- With that being said, I don’t have the time to embark on such an endeavour owing to my schedule. I spent most of today resolving some bugs in a section of my simulation where interacting objects exhibited some unusual behaviours, and when I got home, I set about creating a new Maya .fbx required to visualise a process in said simulation. I was also asked to see if it was possible to create a standalone version of a simulation that one of the undergraduate students had built over the summer.
- Haruhi and Tsuruya pose with a mascot during a summer festival: those with an acute memory will recall that both girls are wearing the same kimonos as those seen in the finale. Thus, it’s logical to conclude that the OAD probably begins after episode fifteen and, in a narrative technique used to great effect in both Ano Natsu De Matteru and Non Non Biyori Repeat, overlaps with the events of the finale.
- After exhausting all the possibilities with the aforementioned project, it turns out that the project was built in a fashion that resulted in it missing some dependencies that preclude Unreal Engine from compiling a standalone version of it. I’ll have to report back with this failure, but also note that one of the results of my experimentation was that I created a more compact, faster-running version of the project that requires only 2.5 GB (as opposed to 8 GB) of storage space for use in the Unreal Editor.
- A well-traveled reader informed me that the cafe Haruhi and the others frequent is called the Dream Coffee Shop (Hyogo-ken Nishinomiya-shi Koufuuen). Those looking to visit it can reach it from the Hankyu Nishinomiya Kita-guchi Station (of the Hankyu Kobe Line and Hankyu Imazu Line). Although the cafe itself is still there, the surroundings are said to have changed from the scenes present within the anime.
- That’s a Gregorian telescope owing to the eyepiece’s placement: a Newtonian telescope of that size would require a ladder to reach the eyepiece. As the summer activities progress, Kyon becomes increasingly listless.
- I haven’t been fishing since 2006, when I went to the West Coast on a class trip. I was unable to catch anything, but some of my classmates were a shade more skillful and caught some fish that we later fried for fish and chips. I was later assigned with helping clean out crabs for a crab bake, and though nine years have elapsed, I still recall the taste of crab fresh from the ocean.
- In contrast with the remainder of The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, Kyon and Yuki hardly spend any time alone with one another in this OAD, so this screenshot represents one of the rare scenes where they are afforded such a moment. A week ago was the federal election: after casting my vote, I went out with my family to try Swiss Chalet’s rotisserie-style beef dinner, which was tender and juicy. It suddenly strikes me as to how quickly the week, and by extension, this month has elapsed.
- As the others enjoy their cafe outing, Kyon recoils at the prospect of having to deal with his homework. At present, I’ve made reasonable progress on my work, but curiously enough, are suffering from a bit of withdrawal now that the Star Wars Battlefront beta is over. To offset some of these symptoms, I’ve dug out my old GameCube and a copy of Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader and began playing through some of the missions again. I may drop in during Christmas to review the whole game or some of the missions if time permits.
- Kyon realises it’s now or never, and behaving exactly as he did in Endless Eight, he confronts Haruhi and asks her to set aside some time so he can get his work done. My friends say I’ve got the opposite problem in that it’s tougher for me to find time to break, so over the past weekend, I set aside to visit the Calgary Zoo’s Illuminasia lantern festival with my family. It was my first time going to the Zoo by nightfall, and the lanterns were absolutely beautiful. The evening was quite chilly, heralding the arrival of autumn in full force, and so, we stopped for a hot cocoa before the event closed for the night.
- Ever-eagle to play the role of a mature student, Ryouko is in attendance and is smartly dressed. She sets out a well-defined schedule for Kyon, and this image appears to capture everyone’s attitudes towards learning: both Itsuki and Yuki are excited, while Haruhi (who knows her ass is not on the line here) relaxes with a manga, and Kyon’s aversion to coursework is reflected in his slumped posture and bored expression.
- Ryouko’s methods at motivating Kyon are a watered-down variant of her psychotic tendencies from The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi and consequently, become hilarious, rather than intimidating to watch.
- Surprisingly, for all her prowess in video games, Yuki is
spanked defeated by Haruhi in a fighting game. I think Street Fighter V is going to come out somewhere in Spring 2016, although it’s probably smarter to wait for an Ultra Super Turbo HD Anniversary Remix edition (or equivalent, or DLC) rather than buying the first iteration at launch.
- Kyon’s sister offers everyone some refreshments during their “study” session. I’m not quite sure why, but The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan‘s incarnation of Kyon’s sister is infinitely more agreeable than any other version in my books.
- It’s probably reasonable to say that after Ryouko asks about Kyon’s homework at The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan‘s finale, Yuki ultimately bails him out. That’s pretty much it for this talk: the English-translated version of The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan‘s eighth volume will be available in my AO on November 17, so I’ll probably drop by the bookstore to pick up a copy. The ninth volume releases a fair bit into the future: March 22, 2016.
Earlier, I caught wind of unverified rumours that claimed The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan OVA would have a runtime of 45 minutes. However, what we have here is the OVA that was to be bundled with the ninth manga volume: it’s merely been rebranded as an OAD here, which means we’re done with The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan for the present. In the meantime, it appears that excitement about this OADs has been quite minimal amongst the audience. While The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan was not quite the same spectacle as The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi and The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi, I nonetheless find that The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan manga had its own unique charm that led me to continue following it, such that I might see how Kyon and Yuki’s relationship turns out. I found the anime to be a satisfactory adaptation for the manga, with the bonus of adding a soundtrack that genuinely captures the emotional tenor that the manga was aiming to portray. Consequently, while there might be little interest elsewhere as to what The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan‘s fate will be, I will continue to follow any developments in this relatively unappreciated, but heartwarming series.