The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi

Revisiting The Haruhiism Time Capsule Project: A Retrospective

“The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.” —Andrew Brown

Today marks the ten-year anniversary of the Yahoo Time Capsule Project, which was announced in 2006 as a means of capturing a sample of digital during this time. Opened from October 10, 2006 to November 8, 2006, the project was an exercise in digital anthropology of a great scale; the original plans were to broadcast the time capsule’s contents via laser into space, with the intent of contacting extraterrestrial life. This event would have taken place in Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico, but concerned about the potential damage at a historical site, the event was moved. The world in 2006 was a rather different place: dual-core processors were commonplace, and NVIDIA had just released its GeForce 7 series of video cards. During 2006, NASA launched the New Horizons project, which aimed to put a satellite in Pluto’s orbit, and Pluto itself was reclassified as a dwarf planet. Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein was executed, and North Korea claimed to have successfully tested its first-ever atomic weapon. 2006 also saw the launch of Kyoto Animation’s anime adaptation of Nagaru Tanigawa’s The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi.

A smash hit by all definitions in Japan and overseas, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi created an internet phenomenon and, a quasi-religion, “Haruhiism”, was spawned as a result of the title character’s popularity. The coincidental timing of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi‘s release with the Yahoo Time Capsule Project meant that there were some individuals who aimed to preserve their interests in The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi through this program. Embarking on a journey to submit images containing the Haruhiism logo to the time capsule under the “Faith” category (the others include “Love”, “Anger”, “Fun”, “Sorrow”, “Beauty”, “Past”, “Now”, “Hope”, and “You”), the initiative resulted in roughly a hundred images carrying the Haruhiism logo being successfully uploaded to Yahoo’s Time Capsule before the submission deadline closed (out of around a hundred seventy thousand total submissions). While the identity of the individual who masterminded this project has been lost to time in the ten years that followed, things have changed dramatically in the time that has passed; multi-core processors are the norm now, even in mobile devices, and NVIDIA released its Pascal line of GPUs. NASA launched its OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample mission, and the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. Similarly, over the passage of time, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi no longer commands the same familiarity it once did, and one wonders: when Yahoo’s Time Capsule is opened in 2020, will anyone still recall what Haruhi, much less Haruhiism, is?

Gallery

  • I’ve known about the Haruhiism Time Capsule project for quite some time, although who initially started is something I cannot recall. This post was born out of a curiosity to determine whether or not the Haruhiism Time Capsule project captured as much interest as was claimed, and so, I set out to see for myself what sort of logistics would be involved in obtaining a hundred images for submission.

  • Thus, during a quiet Saturday back during the summer, I visited campus and took advantage of the quiet to put up the Haruhiism posters for photographing. It took around ninety minutes to capture twenty submission-ready images on my own, so I imagine that, with a small group of friends, it could conceivably be possible to reach the hundred image mark within a weekend. Despite the reach of the blog where this project was first proposed, I doubt that readers would have been motivated to contribute, so the numbers were attained by a few individuals taking a large number of photographs, rather than many viewers submitting one or two.

  • Because it was a summer morning, campus was (almost) completely deserted when I embarked on this small test. I visited some of the locales where my MCAT preparation courses happened, as well as the roof of the Arts Parkade, which bears a great deal of resemblance to the school rooftop in Madoka Magica. I note that I am not a believer of Haruhiism: most definitions state that Haruhiism is the belief that a single individual could be given corporeal form and walks amongst humanity as a god of sorts. Its followers support notions that “what will be will be”; that things happen because a Haruhi-like entity willed it and so, it should be accepted.

  • The irony here is that Haruhiism misses Nagaru Tanigawa’s actual message; he writes Kyon in as a normal being whose interactions with Haruhi cause her to reign back her schemes, scaling them back so they become more realistic to accomplish. Rather than the fatalist outlook that some Haruhiists support, the main theme in The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi is that ordinary folks have a much greater control of their environment than they might be aware of.

  • With the situation Yahoo is in, surrounding its data breach, one wonders if they will still open their time capsule as stipulated, in March 2020. With regard to Yahoo’s use of a laser to beam the time capsule’s contents into space, there are several problems posed: a laser pulse has a low probability of hitting a planet with intelligent life, and the probability of another civilisation using the same means of decoding information as we do is even lower. I’ve posted five of my favourite images from my experiment above; these would have certainly been accepted on first try (minus the fact that they are a crisp 1920 x 1080 rather than 1024 x 768), but below are fifteen other images taken over the course of a morning.

It is projected that when the capsule is opened in 2020, Haruhiism will be an enigma to even those who had submitted images to Yahoo. The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, while initially creating a large influx of excitement, failed to continue to gain momentum because the source material, in the form of light novels, simply failed to update. The anime itself was wildly successful on account of superior execution in animation and audio-visual elements, rather than any intrinsic strengths in the light novels’ narrative or characters. Consequently, once the novelty wore off, audiences merely directed their interests towards different series. This factor accounts for why The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan remains relatively unknown, as well as why future animated adaptations of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi are very unlikely. As for the individual who spearheaded the entire initiative to promote Haruhiism, their project does not appear to have been particularly worthwhile one in retrospect — Haruhi simply does not hold the same magic it once did, and I doubt that the folks using image boards over in Japan has any interest in revitalising the old videos of Hare Hare Yukai.

Pavane for Nagato Yuki: Remarks on the musical score in The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan

“We should always remember that sensitiveness and emotion constitute the real content of a work of art.” — Maurice Ravel

Composed by Maurice Ravel in 1899 and published in 1900, Pavane for a Dead Princess is a widely-known impressionist piece for its simple, yet moving attributes that drew inspiration from the Renaissance Pavane, a form of slow dance that became popular in the 16th century. Despite its curious title, Ravel stated that, rather than any sort of dead princess, the title was merely for show, and that the song was intended to evoke imagery of and nostalgia for Spanish customs. In other words, it would be the sort of song that a young princess might dance to. Ravel disliked the song for sounding unimaginative, but the song quickly picked up in popularity, and an orchestral version was performed in 1911: the inclusion of horns led audiences to find immense beauty in the song’s simplicity. Pavane for a Dead Princess is used as Yuki’s main theme in The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan for several reasons. Viewers familiar with music would have picked it up when the first of the anime’s trailers began playing, but there has not been a satisfactory explanation as to why the decision was made to choose Pavane for a Dead Princess as Yuki’s main motif. In choosing Pavane for a Dead Princess to act as Yuki’s theme, Jun’ichi Wada and Tatsuya Kato craft a very specific atmosphere in The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan to characterise Yuki, as well as her relationships with Kyon and the others around her. Music lends substantial meaning to scenes, expressing emotions that cannot be readily illustrated through dialogue, and consequently, using Pavane for a Dead Princess entails using the emotions conveyed in the song to emphasise a particular atmosphere in the anime.

  • That this post was published on a December 18 is no coincidence: the date appears to hold some sort of significance in and out of the Haruhi universe. Today, the website was altered to display an error message, and later, a bookmark representing Kyon’s means of restoring the universe. While the novelty has long worn off, it’s not surprising to see that there still remains interest in the franchise. On that note, I will step in at some point in the future to provide my insights onto why it’s unlikely that The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi will receive a third season.

Ravel lamented that performers played through Pavane for a Dead Princess much too slowly, suggesting that the song is supposed to be more nostalgic than saddening. The variant heard in The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, then, depicts Yuki as someone who’s not inclined to rush, who does things at her own pace. As the first episode begins, under the pink light of the evening sun, Yuki has dozed off when Ryouko comes to wake her for their literature club meeting. She’s very shy and hesitant around Kyon; this is mirrored in the song, which initially begins with two hand-horns in G and sounds as though the waters are being tested. As Pavane for a Dead Princess continues, flutes and oboes join in, and after the main theme is reiterated, strings and harps begin playing, as well. The song gradually transitions from pianissimo to fortissimo, becoming bolder and having a richer sound, but the tempo remains quite consistent throughout Pavane for a Dead Princess: though it is subtly forceful in parts, the song never becomes abrupt. This is mirrored in The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan: Yuki, though becoming increasingly forward in expressing her feelings for Kyon, becomes bolder, but she never pushes things too aggressively or demandingly, preferring to do things at her own pace. Consequently, Pavane for a Dead Princess is intended to illustrate the different facets of Yuki’s state of mind concerning Kyon: she’s filled with a sense of longing and wistfulness, and although over time, she becomes more comfortable with expressing these feelings, she does so slowly. So, The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan is intended to be depict a love story that progresses one step at a time, in spite of the spirited intervention from Yuki and Kyon’s friends.

  • While the section above aims to provide an reasonably detailed answer into why the choice of music is suited for The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, the remainder of this post deals with The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan OST as a whole. Following its predecessor, the soundtrack was released in an unusual fashion, mirroring the eccentricities of Haruhi. From a marketing standpoint, it makes sense, since it follows that fans of the series willing to buy physical BD volumes would also likely wish to buy the soundtrack, although it does leave out individuals who merely wish to purchase the soundtrack on its own.

There are, of course, other songs in The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan that merit discussion: the soundtrack has been included on each volume of the Blu-Ray Disks, each of which cost 6980 yen (75.73 CAD). I’ve got the track listings (plus their English translations for the songs) for the soundtracks for each volume up to and including volume five: each of the soundtracks consists of an assortment of instrumental background pieces used in the anime itself, as well as a pair of drama songs.

Volume One (Released June 26, 2015)

  1. “Naki Oujo no Tame no Pavane” (Pavane for a Dead Princess)
  2. Nagato no Omoi (Nagato’s Feelings)
  3. Koi no Kirakira (Sparkling Love)
  4. Tsuzuku Nichijou (Continuing Daily)
  5. Tsumari Sore wa (In other words, that’s it)
  6. Toritome no nai Hanashi (Rambling Story)
  7. Merry Christmas!
  8. Tsuruya-san no Shinken Shoubu (Tsuruya’s serious contest)
  9. Asakura-san no Osekkyou (Asakura’s lecture)
  10. Radio “Kitakou Bungeibu Radio Shibu”
  11. Drama “Christmas to Ieba Turkey!”

Volume Two (Released July 31, 2015)

  1. “Naki Oujo no Tame no Pavane” Kangengaku Version (Pavane for a Dead Princess, Orchestral Version)
  2. Nagato no Pinch? (Nagato’s in a pinch?)
  3. Nagato no Fuan (Nagato’s Anxiety)
  4. Dokidoki Harahara (Pounding Suspense)
  5. Kyon no Yasashisa (Kyon’s Kindness)
  6. Haruhi no Tsuyosa (Haruhi’s Strength)
  7. Sou, Sore! (So, that’s it!)
  8. Bouken no Tobira (Door of Adventure)
  9. Koi no Tobira (Door of Love)
  10. Radio “Kitakou Bungeibu Radio Shibu” ~Digest 02~
  11. Drama “Suzumiya Haruhi no Nimotsu”

Volume Three (Released August 28, 2015)

  1. “Yuki wa Odotteiru” Piano Version (Dancing in the snow)
  2. “Tsuki no Hikari” Kangengaku Version (Moonlight, orchestral version)
  3. “Yuki wa Odotteiru” Kangengaku Version (Dancing in the snow, orchestral version)
  4. “Naki Oujo no Tame no Pavane” Keiongaku Arrange Version (Pavane for a Dead Princess, light music version)
  5. Bungeibu no Nichijou (Another day at the literature club)
  6. The Haruhi
  7. Nagato no Omoi (Tsuyosa) (Nagano’s feelings, Strength)
  8. Radio “Kitakou Bungeibu Radio Shibu” ~Digest 03~
  9. Drama “Suzumiya Haruhi no Shinnyuusei Kanyuu Sakusen”

Volume Four (Released September 25, 2015)

  1. Tanoshii Bungeibu (A fun literature club)
  2. Tabi no Motarasu Mono (Things to bring on the trip)
  3. Tabi no Yoru (Night of the trip)
  4. Minna, Yaru wa yo! (I do, everyone!)
  5. Joshi dake no Himitsu (The girls’ secrets)
  6. Nagato no Omoi (Yasashisa) (Nagato’s feelings, tenderness)
  7. Radio “Kitakou Bungeibu Radio Shibu” ~Digest 04~
  8. Drama “Pillow Talk”

Volume Five (Released October 30, 2015)

  1. Yozora (Night sky)
  2. Yureru Koigokoro (I love swinging)
  3. Shoushitsu (Disappearance)
  4. Katai Kuuki (Rigid atmosphere)
  5. Aru (Ushinawareta) (It’s lost)
  6. Ichizu na Koigokoro (A steady, loving heart)
  7. Kagayaku Yozora (Sparkling night sky)
  8. Radio “Kitakou Bungeibu Radio Shibu” ~Digest 05~
  9. Drama “Nagato Yuki chan no Gal Game

  • On the whole, I’m loving the soundtrack, and I’m looking forwards to listening to the remainder of the pieces, especially now that the remaining volumes will deal with the Disappearance arc and Kyon’s gradual coming to terms with his feelings for Yuki. Tomorrow, regular programming will resume.

In general, the best pieces are those with a slow orchestral component; they tie in with the more emotional moments as Yuki and Kyon struggle to properly express their feelings for one another (or look within for the means and courage to do so). There are lighter songs with a faster tempo used for comedic moments within the anime, and some variants of the songs from The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi do make a return. Together, they add a reasonable amount diversity to the soundtrack to augment the different scenes within the anime. Curiously enough, I predicted that The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan would necessitate such a soundtrack, given that the manga exuded the very sense of nostalgia and wistfulness that is captured by Pavane for a Dead Princess, and this proved to be appropriate given The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan’s intended direction, enhancing the emotional tenor of all the moments to bring to life each chapter in the manga. The soundtrack’s remained quite inaccessible for the present, although those who stray off the beaten trail in search for an opportunity to listen will not find themselves disappointed. At present, three more volumes of the soundtrack await release, and I will return at some point in the near future to provide the translations for those songs, as well.

Haruhi Woes- Is Haruhi Suzumiya’s resemblance to Yui Hirasawa still a point of contention?

I wonder if the reader still recalls those days back in June-July 2009 following the release of the second season to The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, a time frame I know best for being the buffer point between secondary and post secondary education. I would spend much of that summer preparing for the then-next great journey known as university, happily unaware of the heated discussions concerning the appearance of Suzumiya Haruhi in the second season of the anime compared to the first. I raise this topic because I’ve gotten around to watching the second season a second time, and contrary to the claims otherwise, I find that Haruhi does indeed bear a great deal of resemblance to Yui Hirasawa. Do I really mind or care? Not really.

  • If people have time to complain about the artwork in an anime, they have time to direct towards more productive things. I remind readers that I did not decide to watch Haruhi until summer 2011, two years after the Endless Eight arc aired.

In the first season, Haruhi had a straight upper lip with a curved mouth below. No teeth are visible in her expressions. Her eyes are also narrower and more angular: in her season one incarnation, Haruhi gives off a very confident, aggressive air befitting her character.

  • Season One Haruhi is loud, confident and fierce. I recall watching season one many moons ago, and will probably post some recollections as I watch some episodes yet another time. The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi represents one of the most amusing and dynamic anime out there, well-known for its obscure references to science, philosophy and popular culture. However, these are merely callbacks: the show itself is not particularly complex and as such, individuals who claim the show is profound in some way are mistaken. Below is an approximation of my reaction to these pseudo-intellectuals.

  • Season Two Haruhi has a distinctly ditzy feel to her appearance, despite being more aggressive than her season one counterpart. When coupled with the moments where she throws tantrums a la FPS Doug, the results are rather unsettling. Below is a scene from the Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi movie, which seems bring back a majority of elements from the first season.

By the second season, Haruhi’s mouth has a greater curvature and more noticeable, a visible upper set of teeth common to the character design in K-On!. Moreover, her eyes are taller and more rounded.

  • This post was motivated by my own curiosity: I was recently re-watching the Sighs of Suzumiya Haruhi and felt compelled to see whether this trend was noted online. I would soon discover that this trend had not merely been noticed, but acted as a source of contention between anime fans.

While the differences are noticeable, I did not find them to be sufficiently distracting to warrant wasting time complaining or arguing over the topic: having seen a few of the ancient forums threads and websites out there vehemently saying the series was ‘unwatchable’, how the animation had declined and so forth. Presently, to the best of my recollection, there are several anime in existence that derive similar traits from K-On! characters, including Kokoro Connect and Tamako Market. This trend is unlikely to disappear, however vocal a handful of anime fans are about the subject, as it has been subject to market forces and found itself to be successful at generating revenue. However, and perhaps fortunately, it appears that all of the commotion surrounding this topic has faded into obscurity. Most of the locations where these “discussions” occurred have since moved on to complain about new things, and this matter might as well have not existed, at least until my curiosity on the matter led me to the older corridors of the internet.

How I beat the Endless Eight

This post is pretty much endless. Skip it if you value your time.

By now, there is little doubt that the Endless Eight arc in the anime The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi is one of the more controversial, if not outright hated decisions. Thus, when I first watched Haruhi a year ago, I watched the episodes that constituted the first season, then watched two of the episodes in Endless Eight, and quietly jumped to the film making episode. This pattern was simply for efficiency, as I was dying to watch the movie at the time. However, a year later, I came across my Haruhi collection and decided to watch Endless Eight in its entirety, where Haruhi’s regrets concerning summer end up causing an infinite loop. However, like all good algorithms, there is a method to force a program to terminate prematurely: in this case, Kyon must find a mechanism to ensure that Haruhi’s regrets are dispelled.

The decision to market Endless Eight proved to be a curious social experiment testing the community’s attitude towards anime: whereas I came in knowing full well how long Endless Eight was going to last and already had access to all the episodes, individuals seeing it for the first time would have been increasingly frustrated with the reiteration over two months, causing a great deal of complaining across the internet and from what I’ve heard, some hardcore fans to destroy their Haruhi Merchandise. I do not particularly feel strongly about the Endless Eight arc, but I was compelled to check out the remaining episodes that I had skipped earlier. So, if one raises the question of how I beat Endless Eight, the answer is perhaps disappointingly simple. Unlike other Haruhi fans, I merely had a priori knowledge of how long it was going to last, and mentally steeled myself to last longer.

Endless Eight 1

  • The first episode of Endless Eight seems normal enough, with Haruhi et al. doing various traditional summer things. Naturally, fanservice ensues, but I wasn’t even mad.

  • A lower quality version of this existed on my website until I got the motivation to replace the images with shinier 720p ones.

  • I want to try fried octopus balls. For each episode, I probably won’t have much to say, other than the occasional comment about reactions elsewhere.

Kyon’s relaxing summer vacation is interrupted by a sudden phone call. It appears that Haruhi wants the SOS Brigade to join her in summer activities and unfortunately for Kyon, Haruhi has a long list of activities she wants to try out. As such, the group is taken on a whirlwind tour of summer activities, from swimming pools to summer festivals, part-time jobs, and bug hunting. Finally, having gone through Haruhi’s entire list, the last day of August arrives. Though Kyon tries to make up for his lost time by doing his neglected summer homework, he eventually gives in to distraction and goes to bed without finishing it.

Endless Eight 2

  • The administrators of blogs that documented Endless Eight declined to comment on KyoAni’s decisions.

  • Some bloggers forced themselves to sit through all eight episodes for the sake of completeness, like Random Curiosity’s Omni. I came across Random Curiosity after he departed, and I must say that I prefer Divine et al’s writing techniques over his.

  • Back when Endless Eight was airing, I was preparing to enter my first year of University and awaiting the Gundam 00 Movie. My curiosity for Haruhi only began during summer 2011.

Like the previous episode, Kyon’s easy going summer vacation is interrupted as the group is taken on a whirlwind tour of summer activities. However, Kyon is wracked by a sense of déjà vu. Itsuki is likewise troubled, while Yuki seems even more detached than usual. They finally figure out that Haruhi has put the last two weeks of August into an infinite loop because she refuses to let summer end. They find out that the loop has repeated 15,498 times, but none of them can devise anything to stop the cycle from repeating. Though the repeating cycle changed during the 2391 and 11054th times when the SOS Brigade did not attend the Bon Odori festival, 437 times when they did not go goldfish catching and 9025 times when they did various part time jobs, which is divided into six different jobs. Upon their last meeting in a restaurant on August 30, Kyon calls out after Haruhi in a last-ditch attempt to stop her from leaving, but fails to think of anything he can do, and she leaves. As the last day of vacation arrives, Kyon, resigned to the loop repeating itself, goes to bed without finishing his summer homework.

Endless Eight 3

  • Apparently, the entire Endless Eight fiasco caused a great deal of trouble for the voice actors and producer Yutaka Yamamoto, with the latter apologising for the way KyoAni decided to handle things.

  • Internet controversies tend to pass rather quickly in terms of real-world time: when first released, disenchanted 2ch users sent death threats and ill-wishes to KyoAni. This behaviour represents otaku behaviours at the finest: lacking employment and any worth in reality, these individuals are the minority who hang around 2ch and cause almost all of the trouble online.

  • Here’s a curious point: Haruhi’s English voice actor, Wendee Lee, appears to have also done the voice for Naomi from MicroVolts. They certainly sound similar and also have similar characteristics. I’ve stopped playing MicroVolts for the time being owing to the bad vibes (read pre-MCAT jitters) I get from the game.

The same exact events in the previous episode once again unfold with slight variations and the gang wearing different clothes. Once again the Brigade, with the exception of Haruhi, finds out that they are trapped in an infinite loop. In this 15,499th loop, Kyon and the others once again are unable to discover how to escape the endless summer. In the same scene in the restaurant, Kyon is unable to stop Haruhi from leaving, hence dooming the world to another summer loop. Kyon again goes to sleep without finishing his homework on the last day of summer.

Endless Eight 4

  • From a critical, educated outlook, Endless Eight turned out to be a brilliant idea. While past media have dealt with the idea of a time loop, none of these other forms of media force the viewer to experience the same agony to the same intensity as in Haruhi.

  • In Endless Eight, viewers are specifically subject to what Nagato experiences living through all those repetitions and lacking the power to do anything, given her role as an observer. The audience is similarly unable to do anything until the set of episodes ends.

  • Those detractors will argue that subtle meaning is not what they’re looking for, and claim that KyoAni is merely being lazy. However, each episode contains new animation and new dialogue, reflecting on the effort that went into production. If it sounds like the social outcasts at 2ch are wrong, it’s because they are.

The previous time loop continues for the 15,513th time. This time, Kyon mentally senses an even greater familiarity with events and places from previous cycles. Once again, none of the Brigade members can devise anything to stop the cycle from repeating. On their final meeting in the restaurant, Kyon tries to call out after Haruhi but fails to do anything as visions of the loop’s events flash in his mind. As Kyon regains his senses, Haruhi has left. As the last day of vacation arrives, Kyon, resigned to the loop repeating itself, goes to bed without finishing his summer homework.

Endless Eight 5

  • As the episodes wear on, Nagato becomes increasingly tired: despite being  calm and reserved in normal circumstances, Nagato’s eyes reflect her desire to leave the time loop.

  • Kyon is totally all “I can’t believe we got zero cash out of this.”

  • Go back and watch the episodes again: in the backgrounds, Nagisa and Ritsu might be seen by the sharp-eyed observer.

The previous time loop continues for the 15,521st time. The scene prior to Haruhi’s dismissal of group activities is repeated, showing the same event happening in this loop, and the next two loops. As the last day of vacation arrives, Kyon once again goes to bed without finishing his summer homework.

Endless Eight 6

  • If each mask costs 800 yen, and there are a total of 15532 loops, Kyon and Nagato will have spent 12425600 yen on masks in total. This is around 155000 Canadian dollars at the time of writing, and would be sufficient to make a down-payment on a house. Casually note that in different episodes, either Nagato or Kyon buys the masks, and that the masks are different every time.

  • I’ve actually tried to diversify some of the screenshots to liven this page up a little. I think it works.

  • Truthfully, I watch episodes I enjoy repeatedly for old times’ sake. I imagine many people do that: for instance, the Assault on Memento Mori from Gundam 00 Season 2 is something I watch every now and then to relive the awesome that was presented.

The previous time loop continues for the 15,524th time. Kyon rides his bike and approaches Yuki. In that moment, he speculates his reason for doing so and simply lets her leave without conversation. Kyon goes to bed without finishing his summer homework once again.

Endless Eight 7

  • By July 30, 2009, all anime fans were totally worn out and too tired to even complain. This is the advantage  of being a casual anime fan: I can choose what I wish to watch and decide whether or not I should blog it.

  • The power of choice means that I’m generally happier about anime since I only watch what I like, and blog about the stuff I really like. If I didn’t like it, I didn’t watch it and therefore didn’t know enough about it to blog it.

  • Now, if Endless Eight were released during the school year, it’d be a simple matter of doing homework and skipping anime.

The loop continues for the 15,527th time. The scene where Kyon answers Haruhi’s call loops twice, the scene in which Kyon notices Yuki at the pool loops twice, and the scene where Haruhi says she left the last day of summer open just in case also loops twice. Kyon once again goes to bed without finishing his summer homework.

Endless Eight 8

  • The Endless Eight arc ended on August 6, 2009, a few days after I aged a little more. While I look upon Endless Eight with a neutral, almost dismissive attitude, I’m almost certain I would have considered the conclusion a reasonable gift for having aged another year were I to have been following this series back in 2009.

  • I’m going to deviate from my normal manner of speaking and say it outright: Haruhi is remarkably cute when she’s mad.

  • The entire moral of Endless Eight is summarised as follows: do your f#&*king homework. I’ve found that studying as a team is remarkably effective, and did so for two of the most challenging courses I’d faced in University in my second year. Similarly, I studied with several friends for verbal reasoning during the previous summer. The idea is that one is able to study more effectively, as they are able to both answer other people’s questions and get their own questions answered.

The loop continues for the 15,532nd time, but as Haruhi leaves on August 30, Kyon beckons the SOS Brigade to finish their summer homework together, thus breaking the endless loop of summer. Irritated, Haruhi berates him, but decides to come anyway even though she has already finished her homework. Kyon wakes up on September 1 to embrace a new school term.

End Game Opinion

While Endless Eight induced rage in countless reviews (of note is one reviewer who tried to justify his decision to not review it and ended up doing so anyways, and one attempts to convince all ‘worthy anime fans’ to complain about it as loudly and obnoxiously as they could), I personally have no qualms about Endless Eight. Recall my decision earlier to watch only two of the eight episodes and its motivations for efficiency more than anything else. Armed with a bit of time, I resolved to watch one episode per week since the beginning of August in my spare time until the remaining five were done.  Thus, it was fun to rewatch more or less the same episode repeatedly gradually, given I had full knowledge of what was to happen. Perhaps I would have dropped Haruhi if I had been watching it on a weekly basis back in 2009, but most parties by now have moved onwards with their lives. For parties interested in watching this, I would recommend the first two and last episodes for the sake of efficiency.

Nishinomiya, Hyogo: Home of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi

The events of Suzumiya Haruhi are set in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo, Japan. This city is where Kwansei Gakuin University is located; Nagaru Tanigawa (the author) graduated from this university. As such, the anime series’ locale is set directly in this region; the scenery is immediately recognisable to residents living in the area, although a few semantics have been altered in the anime. Such alterations include:

  • The Kitaguchi Station seen in the anime which is actually the Hankyu Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi Station
  • The Kōyōen Station (光陽園駅, Kōyōen Station) is named after the real Hankyu Kōyōen Station (甲陽園駅, Kōyōen Station) : it only differs in the kanji
  • Similarly, the baseball team Kamigahara Pirates (上ヶ原パイレーツ, Kamigahara Pirates), has the same name of its real life counterpart, Uegahara Pirates of the Kwansei Gakuin University and only differs in its first kanji (上).
  • North High School where Kyon, Haruhi, and the rest of the SOS Brigade members attend is the real life location of Nishinomiya Kita High School.
Anime Location Real-world equivalent

The similarities become clear upon inspection of these images. I’ve also included another set of images that further illustrate other locations that inspired the anime locations.

  • Nagato Yuki’s apartment is located near Hankyu Kouyou Line Kouyouen station, which is in Kouyouen-Honjou-cho, Nishinomiya-shi (Hyogo prefecture). As mentioned earlier, the station in the anime uses different kanji.

  • There is a small park outside of the Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi Station; this is where the SOS brigade convened during their weekend excusion for paranormal activity.

  • Shukugawa Park is where Mikuru explains her role as a time traveller to Kyon during the morning session of their first SOS-brigade outing. The park lines both banks of the Shukugawa river in Nishinomiya-shi (Hyogo prefecture) and is particuarly well-known its cherry blossoms in spring.

  • One of the side streets near the Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi station that Haruhi,  Koizumi and Mikuru travel down during the afternoon session of their weekend excursion.

  • The Nishinomiya-shi Central Library is located in Kawazoe-cho, Nishinomiya-shi, (Hyogo prefecture). Kyon brings Yuki here during the afternoon session to kill time, and is reprimanded by Haruhi in the most amusing way possible.

  • Haruhi discusses her past to Kyon at this railroad crossing, revealing that her desire to be unique stemmed from her realisation that she was but one in a faceless crowd during a baseball game her father took her to.

  • Koizumi brings Kyon to Osaka Station to demonstrate to the latter his capabilities and responsibilities as an esper. They stop in the middle of this crosswalk and prepare to enter closed space from here.

  • The Nankai ferry route facilitates travel between Wakayama-kou (Wakayama prefecture) and Tokushima-kou (Tokushima prefecture). One way trips require about 2 hours on average. The particular ferry depicted in the anime is named “Kumano”: this is the upper deck where Koizumi converses with Kyon.

  • The interior of the Kumano’s middle deck. The vending machines seen in the right side of the image are the same vending machines where Kyon purchases refreshments for everyone after he gets dominated in a card game.

  • The anime replicates the details on the ferry almost down to the pixel, although being anime, the main difference is that the real world settings feel distinctly gritter compared to the clean textures present in the anime.

  • Shukugawa Shopping Street is inspired by the Chuou Shopping Street and Sanwa Hondoori Shopping Street in Amagasaki-shi (Hyogo prefecture), just outside the Hanshin Amagasaki Rail Station. These two streets are designed such that they converge in a shape similar to a crossbow: Sanwa Hondoori Shopping Street forms the bow, while Chuou Shopping Street forms the arrow. The SOS-brigade come here to purchase supplies for their film, and also make a short commerical here for one of the camera shop owners as gratitude for assisting them.

  • Ginsui Bridge is located near Nishinomiya North High School (the real world equivalent of North High). The high school itself is found in Kurakuen-bancho, Nishinomiya-shi (Hyogo prefecture)and is roughly 2 km uphill from the nearest train station, Hankyu Kouyou Line Kouyouen Station.

Nagaru Tanigawa described his hometown of Nishinomiya in great detail within his novels, the setting of all of the events in Haruhi Suzumiya. These novels formed the basis for the anime: the animators at KyoAni merely needed to spend a few weekends designing the locations, given that Nishinomiya is only an hour from Kyoto by train.