The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games and life converge

Tag Archives: Yuuki Nagato

Nagato Yuki and the C Programming Language

Developed by Dennis Ritchie between 1969 and 1973 at AT&T Bell Labs, the C programming language is one of the most widely used programming languages. As a procedural language, it is capable of low-level access to memory, as well as mapping constructs to machine instructions, minimising the amount of run-time support needed. However, it is also a capable language for cross-platform programming. When I stumbled across a TVTropes article proudly proclaiming that some fan had reconstructed the entire program Nagato Yuki had written in the episode The Day of Sagittarius, I decided to go in and check for myself as to what was going on. Having taken a sufficient number of programming courses requiring C and C-like languages, as well as the fact that my research project involves the Objective C language, I wished to verify that such an individual had actually gone ahead and compiled Nagato’s code. Not 10 seconds on Google passed, and I had realised that no such individual had actually gone on and carried out these tests, and moreover, such tests simply could not have been carried out for logistical reasons.

  • Even at 1080p, the code still appears blurry and hard to decode. This is the first indicator that no one could have possible tested the code to the level that is being claimed.

  • If I were to capture every single image, I would be here for about the age of the universe trying to explain everything if I were to adapt the same styles as I have for other articles. For brevity, there are only eight more images after this one, and for practicality reasons, I won’t bother explaining what’s on the screens.

  • This is as close to the code as we can get. Syntax-wise, I do not notice any issues with the code. From a cursory glance, I note that there are a lot of prototypes. However, inspection of the code in the close-ups, frame-per-frame, reveals that all of the methods are only declared in prototypes: actual implementations are completely absent from these close-ups and must likely be in the far-away shots.

  • On careful inspection, it is possible to do exactly what Nagato does using  far fewer terminal windows. One would merely need a single C program that has access to networking privileges  The program would need to convince the server that it is an administrator, and from there, it is a simple matter of creating a class to mimic administrative commands, thus allowing Haruhi et al. to even out the game. 

In the context of the story, Nagato designs a remotely executed program to even the battlefield out following the discovery that their opponents, the Computer Research Society, were cheating. Nagato is seen using the command line terminal to construct her program, as well as the means of delivery, demonstrating that her ability to micro is equal to teh_pwnerer from Pure Pwnage. However, the TVTropes article draws interest, with the original lines reading as follows:

There was a fan who had knowledge of C programming and command line execution who actually took screenshots of Nagato’s code, frame by frame. The code was valid.

On closer inspection, even at 1080p, the code is blurry and can only be read to a limited extent. The code that can be read is syntactically correct, but not valid, C: running it through the compiler will produce code that does not raise any errors from the compiler, but unfortunately, there is no means of validating the code talis qualis. While the constant flurry of CMD windows does not present challenges to capturing the screenshots for inspection, the fact that the code remains  blurry precludes any possibility of inspecting it further. Thus, we are forced to conclude that, however cool it may have appeared, the code’s status is at best indeterminate. In the worst case, the code simply won’t do anything.

  • There is a scene from Lucky Star where a waitress looking like Nagato asks a customer (who happens to look like Kyon) for permission to go ahead and make the dish despite it taking 15 minutes, and the customer responds in the exact manner as does Kyon here.

  • This is the clearest we’ll get to see the screen. For the record, yes, it’s correct. The first line is to compile her program, and the second is to run it.

  • The aforementioned shout-out to Haruhi from Lucky Star is a clever one: it is partially because of the numerous references in Lucky Star that I bothered to pick up Haruhi.

  • Kyon understands Nagato’s desire to win. This marks the turning point in various spin-offs, where Nagato becomes increasingly engrossed in games to the point where gaming displaces her old hobby of reading.

  • Despite being only human, both teh_masterer and teh_pwnerer from Pure Pwnage display (respectively) superior and equal über micro. I will discuss Pure Pwnage in greater detail at an unspecified point in the future, but I would like to take this opportunity to inform readers that discussions about Pure Pwnage may soon reach this blog.

I step things up one level when I bring the contributor’s usage of “valid” into the discussion. By definition, something that is valid (in this case, Nagato’s code) will meet the customer’s specifications. Thus, we expect that, if the code is valid, it would work as we wished. Because compiling without errors is not a sufficient condition for validity, we cannot determine for certain as to whether or not Nagato’s code is valid. For good measure, verification cannot be attempted here, since there are far too many unknowns. Paired with the difficulty in actually seeing the code work, this example clearly would not hold true, and as such, has since been re-written to reflect that. Until another contributor alters my corrections, it simply reads that Nagato is seen to be using syntactically correct code and CMD commands when writing her program.

Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu Original Soundtrack- English title track listing

Released on January 24, 2010, the original soundtrack to the Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi was performed by the Eminence Symphony Orchestra and produced by Satoru Kousaki. The soundtrack caught my eye a year and a half after it was released: it was during early August 2011 when I chanced upon the Suzumiya Haruhi universe. Featuring beautiful orchestral elements, I came across the soundtrack when I was hunting down Bouken Desho Desho? on Youtube. Seemingly by fate, I came across READY? and soon, found myself pulled towards the movie. Here, I provide the internet’s sole translation for the movie’s track listing, which, for some reason, has not been put into English even after all this time following its release.

  • For what it’s worth, Yuki Nagato’s movie incarnation remains my favourite character throughout the entire series. Presented as an ordinary girl harbouring feelings for Kyon, she is a central character and addresses the question of what might have happened if Kyon’s choices were different. My own desire to see more of this alternate continuity led me to pick up The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, a hugely heartwarming series I consider to surpass the original TV series in quality.

Disc One

  1. Itsumono Fuukei Kara Hajimaru Monogatari (The story begins with the usual scenery)
  2. SOS dan Kurisumasu partei (SOS Brigade Christmas Party)
  3. Dotabata ・Taimu (Noisy Time)
  4. Nichijou no Sakini Machiukeru Mono (Everyday Things that lie ahead)
  5. Asakura Ryoko Toiu Josei (A Woman named Ryoko Asakara)
  6. Fuan Kara Kyoufu he (Fear from Anxiety)
  7. Uragirareta Kitai (Betrayed Expectations)
  8. Kodoku Sekai no Hirogari (Lonely World’s Spread)
  9. Kankyouhenka no Zehi (Pros and Cons of Environmental Changes)
  10. Suzumiya Haruhi no Tegakari (Haruhi Suzumiya’s trail)
  11. Hayaru Kokoro to Maeni Denai Ashi (Popular Spirit and Feet that won’t Leave)
  12. Tsunagatta Kioku (Bonded Memories)
  13. SOS dan Futatabi (SOS Brigade Once Again)
  14. READY?
  15. Ano Nichi no Kioku wo Oikakete (Chasing the memory of that day)
  16. Michibiku Josei no Kataru Kotoba (Having words with the Female Guide)
  17. Mirai heno Sokuseki (Footprints from the Future)
  18. Jimunopedei Dai 2 Ban (Gymnopédie no. 2)
  19. Nagato Yuki no Kokoro Niarumono (In Yuki Nagato’s Heart)
  20.  Jikoishiki no Kakunin (Awakening Self-Conciousness)
  21. Rekishi no Tenkan Ten (The turning point in history)
  22. Futatabi Deae ta Dan’in-Tachi (Meeting Brigade members once again)
  23. Itsumono Fuukei de Owaru Monogatari (The story ends with the usual scenery)

  • The soundtrack is totally pro, but there are some subtle elements that will, under conditions with a great deal of ambient noise, will be drowned out. I suggest listening to the soundtrack with Bose headphones or somewhere where the quiet, poignant elements of the soundtracks can be heard.

Disc 2

  1. Gymnopédie no. 1
  2. Gymnopédie no. 2
  3. Gymnopédie no. 3
  4. Gnossienne no. 1
  5. Gnossienne no. 2
  6. Gnossienne no. 3
  7. Je te veux (I want you)

  • If Kyoto Animation had produced a series solely about Yuki and her hitherto unbidden feelings for Kyon, and their subsequent realisation of these emotions, I would pick that up in a heartbeat. That said, I doubt such an anime will ever be produced.

The soundtrack completely blew me away; I immediately realised that this was the standard that I had been long hoping to see in an anime film. In a short time frame, I shot through the first and second seasons, including Endless Eight, to reach the movie: I would begin watching the movie on a Friday afternoon, following research and prior to a LAN party that I presently retain fond memories of (an epic thunderstorm, grill burgers and Halo Reach defined that evening). However, I am not here to reflect on that glorious August day, nor am I here to review the movie (which, incidentally, is one of the best I’ve seen: a proper review can be found on my website).

  • Kyon’s choice reflects on his own desires for a world where a lack of normal is the norm. Thus, he rejects the possibility of getting to know this shy, soft-spoken Yuki better in favour of the chaos that exists wherever Haruhi is around.

Instead, I am here to praise the soundtrack for complementing the scenes in the movie so well: each track appears to be finely crafted to accentuate the moods throughout the movie, whether it be the strings and crescendos of Haruhi Suzumiya’s trail as Kyon rushes off to Kouyouen School, having figured out where Haruhi went, or the hopeful, yet uncertain motifs in READY? prior to Kyon making his decisions. My favourite track presently is In Yuki Nagato’s Heart, a melancholic and wistful song that mirror’s Yuki’s weariness from everything that has presently occurred and her desires to lead a normal life. As a parting remark, this is the only English translation of the soundtrack: all the other sources I’ve visited have the romanised track names.

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.