The Endless Eight of Haruhi Suzumiya. What a waste of potential.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. What a strange show. It's supposed to be a rom-com, I think, but it spends a fair bit of time teasing philosophical and mysterious concepts but not really paying off on them so much. Hahuhi is clearly a horrendous human who sees everyone around her as subordinates and toys. Nobody can even really stand up to her because she's god and might just destroy the world if they tell her off too harshly. Despite that I ended up enjoying the show and it's characters anyway.

One thing I cannot forgive the show for is the Endless Eight. I just don't. What were they thinking?! Eight episodes, all the same. Each one individually animated and voiced with ever so slight differences. What a colossal waste of time, effort, and money. I spent over 2 and a half hours listening to the same dialogue over and over until I could repeat it along with the characters. What was the point? Intentionally boring is still boring, and it's not a grand artistic statement to make something boring so that I can identify with the characters. I know what it's like to be bored, and it's not a big achievement to bore your audience, in fact, it'd the default failure state of bad media. Beyond that, I don't need to go through the exact same thing as a character to empathize with them. If a character loses an arm I don't need to also lose a limb so that I can feel their pain, it's enough for me to imagine it without actually experiencing it. This should have been 3 episodes at most, since they clearly had no ideas on how to make it interesting beyond the novelty of making the same episode multiple times with no changes.

Really there was no excuse for it being what it was. Out of 15 532 loops why only show us 8 within 35 loops of eachother. Show us something within the first 100, 1000, 5000 so we can see the level of deja vu increase. It would still be shocking to find out they'd been through the loop over 10 000 times even if it wasn't included in the first loop reveal. Actually it probably would have been more shocking if they showed us a couple loops early on and then made a massive jump to 5k+. Anyway, it doesn't really make sense for the deja vu to be so much more intense after a measly 34 additional loops. When did they first realize that time was looping? Was it loop 2 or did it take more repetitions for the remnant memories add up? Even if they did realize the first repeat, surely they would have had a different reaction to finding they've repeated the same 2 weeks 10 times vs repeated the same 2 weeks 15 000 times. Also, how about showing us some of the major variations? How about showing us one of the loops where they didn't go to the bon festival, or one of the other jobs they did other than hand out balloons? They could have even used it to build some false hope that things were changing. Or show us some loops from the perspectives of other characters. Show us that conversation between Mikuru and Koizume before they call Kyon. Show us more of the later activities that were glossed over.

It really did the characters no service either. It makes everybody look quite dumb and apathetic. They never try anything to break the loop. Nagato I can give a pass, because she has the personality of a toaster, but the complete inaction of everybody else was completely inexcusable. Surely, at least Kyon would have tried *something* different to break the loop, even if next episode we see him try the same thing again, because he wasn't aware he already tried it. And why the heck didn't they even try to interrogate Nagato a bit more, she remembers 15 000 loops but nobody cares to quiz her a little over what they have or have not done to try and break the loop. I wanted to see some sort of cursory effort at a solution rather than "No, I have to say *something* or we'll be stuck in the loop" ...[says nothing].

Additionally, even though I guessed it around the 3rd or 4th loop the twist didn't really make sense. It wasn't something she actually even considered so how could she have it as a regret? I've heard the light novel sets it up a bit better.

There were a thousand things they could have done to shake things up without undermining the established premise. But they were dead set on making the exact same episode 8 times for some unfathomable reason. Was it laziness? They didn't want to actually storyboard and script for 8 individual episodes? Was it some strange devotion to making some sort of artistic statement? Were they just trolling their fans out of some sort of misanthropy? I don't know.

I was actually enjoying Endless Eight for the first 3 or so episodes because I absolutely love time loop stories, but the complete and utter waste of a fantastic concept just ruined over half of the second season of the show.

I was originally just going to write a little paragraph of what I thought of the show and dump it in the Last Thing You Watched thread, but I ended up having a lot to say. So, what does everybody else think of the Endless Eight and of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya in general?

I have fond memories of Haruhi cuz that was one of the early anime shows that was a global hit when the internet was becoming more mainstream. From what I remember of the show and some comments from people, haruhi is a bit of meta commentary on anime protagonists in general. How every situation and event is so easily handed down to the protagonist, and how they stay oblivious to the fact that everything revolves around them and the side characters are just dragged around. Kyon is supposed to be the average person/viewer who criticizes the main anime person. The endless eights thing was supposedly made that way cuz they wanted to stretch out material, so they could focus on making the movie that dealt with Nagatos feelings about what she wants in life and how that loop kinda deteriorated her mental state.

But the endless eights thing heavily backfired and fans started to burn their merch and novels as protest. The author seemed to have gotten a writers block, and didn't know where to go with the novels having Mikuru do time traveling.

I semi-never understood the appeal of that show. Especially the title the character. Too annoying and aggravating. If I want yo constantly knee bash the title character in the face, we have a problem. I'm glad the show's popularity died down, because while it's not the worst anime, I found it tedious and not all that funny.

Marik2:
I have fond memories of Haruhi cuz that was one of the early anime shows that was a global hit when the internet was becoming more mainstream. From what I remember of the show and some comments from people, haruhi is a bit of meta commentary on anime protagonists in general. How every situation and event is so easily handed down to the protagonist, and how they stay oblivious to the fact that everything revolves around them and the side characters are just dragged around. Kyon is supposed to be the average person/viewer who criticizes the main anime person. The endless eights thing was supposedly made that way cuz they wanted to stretch out material, so they could focus on making the movie that dealt with Nagatos feelings about what she wants in life and how that loop kinda deteriorated her mental state.

But the endless eights thing heavily backfired and fans started to burn their merch and novels as protest. The author seemed to have gotten a writers block, and didn't know where to go with the novels having Mikuru do time traveling.

I finally understand where your avatar was from back in the day. Once I saw the Mikuru Beam I remembered it and had to go and check with the Wayback Machine.

OT: I just watched the movie, and I didn't really think it was that great. Kyon was kind of dumb and uncharacteristically excitable. Watching him run around like a crazy person yelling questions at everybody long after it had been established the world had changed got kind of hard to watch. He usually takes all this crazy stuff in stride so it would have been nice for him to investigate with a little more tact after his initial shock. Not ask Mikuru to show him her breasts for... reasons(I don't even know what he thought that was going to prove in this situation), shoving Nagato up against a wall, and yelling at Haruhi on the street like a madman. Beyond that, the movie had a distinct lack of Haruhi, and watching the Kyon Show just isn't as much fun. Also his big decision moment was plain excessive and overwrought.

Nagato's malfunction was pretty poorly conveyed as well. So she was messed up by the 15 000 loops, but still acted perfectly fine for another couple months before snapping all of a sudden. Hmmm, actually I guess it's the same way when my toaster breaks and decides it doesn't want to toast anymore and instead wants to burn my house down. It wasn't all bad, there were some good moments and Nagato is an adorable toaster. But on the whole, I'd probably rank it my second least favorite episode of the show, after Endless Eight.

I haven't thought about this anime in a really long time. It was a fight to get a subbed version of the movie for a long time after release if I remember.

The idea of a series of almost the same episodes was neat from an artistic perspective, but the reality of being an anime fan back then meant watching a lot of torrents and therefore being kind of perplexed rather than interested. I assumed the uploader was just a smartass.

It was one of those series that was fun because it presented a few fairly novel ideas, but really meandered around with respect to what they meant here. ESPers are real. Cool, what do they do? They kind of protect the world by fighting monsters in a demiworld. Cool idea for another different anime, but what does it mean here? Not much. Aliens are real. Cool, what do they do? Well, they're an entity made of data that knows a bunch of shit and has a poorly defined ultimatel goal. Cool, what does that mean for me? Not much, they cause a couple mildly interesting conflicts and then the character decides she likes computers and reading and thats about all. Time travelers are blah blah blah...

Fundamentally it was a basic high school romance with a bunch of weird layered on top. The weird was cool enough at the time that it was accessable to people who both were and were not into high school romance, but given a step back it was startlingly by the numbers - like somebody made Dr. Who into a romcom. Add enough sonic screwdrivers and strange garbage can alien monsters and you could convince a lot of people its really cool, but once you scrape it all away there isn't a lot left.

The only good thing about the second season was the theme song.

The original Melancholy wasn't half bad IMO. I was bewildered by the Endless Eight arc more than anything else, and it's presence is all I remember from the second season.

The main reason I didn't bother with the franchise (again or otherwise) after watching the movie is because I can't really stand Aya Hirano's voice. Hell, I love Girls und Panzer, but her only good scenes were when she's having her meltdown during the first round match, so it's just as well she's just a bit-part player in it.

I really only had 2 problems with the endless 8. I get what they were trying to do, but it didn't need that much time... in that way it was like the storytelling gimmick of Memento. I get that he has anterograde amnesia... now stop reminding me he has it every 5 seconds... I DON'T have anterograde amnesia, I can remember that. TMoHS could have just shown several repeated scenes, and some of the slight differences and probably have gotten the same point across in about half the time. My other issue was the episodes were so similar... I had a problem in my streaming cue trying to tell which ones I had seen and hadn't. I probably didn't but it seemed like I may have watched a few of the episodes more than once by accident or skipped a couple.

Overall I liked the show anyway. It was a "you think that's a meta genre deconstruction... hold my beer" series I had to applaud. Even the endless 8 wound up really making its point, even if it kind of took us hostage to do so. There is such a thing as Stockholm syndrome after all.

And just an aside; is it perhaps easier to give the series or the direction it went a pass now, than it would have been before say... June. I think it does for me.

The Endless Eight gag has been done better in 2004 with Ghost in the Shell: Innocence. The only difference being that it is at the expense of the characters, and not the audience. Innocence knew when to end the joke too.

Kyrian007:
I really only had 2 problems with the endless 8. I get what they were trying to do, but it didn't need that much time... in that way it was like the storytelling gimmick of Memento. I get that he has anterograde amnesia... now stop reminding me he has it every 5 seconds... I DON'T have anterograde amnesia, I can remember that. TMoHS could have just shown several repeated scenes, and some of the slight differences and probably have gotten the same point across in about half the time.

Half, nothing. You could probably get it down to two episodes with a simple trick: Change the characters clothes between shots. Imagine this as part of a single conversation. Camera focuses on one character, they're wearing a blue shirt. Switches for a reaction shot for another character, and when it switches back to the first character they're wearing green.

Toss in subtle little inconsistencies that people would initially overlook and then assume were production errors, like the animators forgetting which seat a character was sitting in for a given scene. The first episode ends with telling you about the loops, and boom, the inconsistencies click as intentional variations of the same scene, hinting at the loop.

Asita:

Kyrian007:
I really only had 2 problems with the endless 8. I get what they were trying to do, but it didn't need that much time... in that way it was like the storytelling gimmick of Memento. I get that he has anterograde amnesia... now stop reminding me he has it every 5 seconds... I DON'T have anterograde amnesia, I can remember that. TMoHS could have just shown several repeated scenes, and some of the slight differences and probably have gotten the same point across in about half the time.

Half, nothing. You could probably get it down to two episodes with a simple trick: Change the characters clothes between shots. Imagine this as part of a single conversation. Camera focuses on one character, they're wearing a blue shirt. Switches for a reaction shot for another character, and when it switches back to the first character they're wearing green.

Toss in subtle little inconsistencies that people would initially overlook and then assume were production errors, like the animators forgetting which seat a character was sitting in for a given scene. The first episode ends with telling you about the loops, and boom, the inconsistencies click as intentional variations of the same scene, hinting at the loop.

I said half thinking an episode to establish the continuity, and an episode to resolve the arc. And bridging that would be something similar to what you are suggesting. 2 might be rushing it a little but it easily could be done in 4 or even 3.

Still, the way it played out made its point. I don't know about calling it great or brilliant, and it destroys repeat viewings (I'd wager a lot skip most of it,) but it does stand out and is memorable.

Drathnoxis:

Marik2:
I have fond memories of Haruhi cuz that was one of the early anime shows that was a global hit when the internet was becoming more mainstream. From what I remember of the show and some comments from people, haruhi is a bit of meta commentary on anime protagonists in general. How every situation and event is so easily handed down to the protagonist, and how they stay oblivious to the fact that everything revolves around them and the side characters are just dragged around. Kyon is supposed to be the average person/viewer who criticizes the main anime person. The endless eights thing was supposedly made that way cuz they wanted to stretch out material, so they could focus on making the movie that dealt with Nagatos feelings about what she wants in life and how that loop kinda deteriorated her mental state.

But the endless eights thing heavily backfired and fans started to burn their merch and novels as protest. The author seemed to have gotten a writers block, and didn't know where to go with the novels having Mikuru do time traveling.

I finally understand where your avatar was from back in the day. Once I saw the Mikuru Beam I remembered it and had to go and check with the Wayback Machine.

OT: I just watched the movie, and I didn't really think it was that great. Kyon was kind of dumb and uncharacteristically excitable. Watching him run around like a crazy person yelling questions at everybody long after it had been established the world had changed got kind of hard to watch. He usually takes all this crazy stuff in stride so it would have been nice for him to investigate with a little more tact after his initial shock. Not ask Mikuru to show him her breasts for... reasons(I don't even know what he thought that was going to prove in this situation), shoving Nagato up against a wall, and yelling at Haruhi on the street like a madman. Beyond that, the movie had a distinct lack of Haruhi, and watching the Kyon Show just isn't as much fun. Also his big decision moment was plain excessive and overwrought.

Nagato's malfunction was pretty poorly conveyed as well. So she was messed up by the 15 000 loops, but still acted perfectly fine for another couple months before snapping all of a sudden. Hmmm, actually I guess it's the same way when my toaster breaks and decides it doesn't want to toast anymore and instead wants to burn my house down. It wasn't all bad, there were some good moments and Nagato is an adorable toaster. But on the whole, I'd probably rank it my second least favorite episode of the show, after Endless Eight.

Of my memory, the movie was basically the anime version of its a wonderful life. It took Kyon a long time to accept the universe was normal, cuz he was used to complaining how abnormal his life was when he crossed paths with haruhi. He asked Mikuru to show him her chest cuz its supposed to have a mole on it, and it would have told him that he was on a different universe or something. It was fun seeing the calm cynic guy lose his composure for once.

Well, Nagato is an alien computer construct thing, so that's probably why it took awhile for her to snap and make a normal universe where she is just a normal girl with a crush for Kyon. The movie was just about them and if Kyon really wanted to accept Nagatos universe over Haruhis universe.

Marik2:
Of my memory, the movie was basically the anime version of its a wonderful life. It took Kyon a long time to accept the universe was normal, cuz he was used to complaining how abnormal his life was when he crossed paths with haruhi. He asked Mikuru to show him her chest cuz its supposed to have a mole on it, and it would have told him that he was on a different universe or something. It was fun seeing the calm cynic guy lose his composure for once.

Well, Nagato is an alien computer construct thing, so that's probably why it took awhile for her to snap and make a normal universe where she is just a normal girl with a crush for Kyon. The movie was just about them and if Kyon really wanted to accept Nagatos universe over Haruhis universe.

Frankly it gets pretty embarrassing in A Wonderful Life too. At least George has the excuse of never having been through anything like that before, and I swear it doesn't go on as long before he gets it.

I know that he was looking for the mole, but the mole in itself doesn't actually prove anything other than she's not some sort of alien wearing an imperfect Mikuru disguise or something stupid like that. Even if the mole wasn't there it doesn't prove that she's not Mikuru, since the mole could have been a result of Haruhi's influence. It doesn't prove anything and it would have been stupid to ask Mikuru to show him her breast even if the universe hadn't been shifted around. Really makes Kyon look unreasonably idiotic.

EvilRoy:
I haven't thought about this anime in a really long time. It was a fight to get a subbed version of the movie for a long time after release if I remember.

The idea of a series of almost the same episodes was neat from an artistic perspective, but the reality of being an anime fan back then meant watching a lot of torrents and therefore being kind of perplexed rather than interested. I assumed the uploader was just a smartass.

It was one of those series that was fun because it presented a few fairly novel ideas, but really meandered around with respect to what they meant here. ESPers are real. Cool, what do they do? They kind of protect the world by fighting monsters in a demiworld. Cool idea for another different anime, but what does it mean here? Not much. Aliens are real. Cool, what do they do? Well, they're an entity made of data that knows a bunch of shit and has a poorly defined ultimatel goal. Cool, what does that mean for me? Not much, they cause a couple mildly interesting conflicts and then the character decides she likes computers and reading and thats about all. Time travelers are blah blah blah...

Fundamentally it was a basic high school romance with a bunch of weird layered on top. The weird was cool enough at the time that it was accessable to people who both were and were not into high school romance, but given a step back it was startlingly by the numbers - like somebody made Dr. Who into a romcom. Add enough sonic screwdrivers and strange garbage can alien monsters and you could convince a lot of people its really cool, but once you scrape it all away there isn't a lot left.

Really, this.

I liked the show, but I was expecting a lot more from it. The reason I watched it was because a couple years ago I read that it had Groundhog's Day loops and the main character was a god. Sounded interesting, but Haruhi being god may as well not even be in the plot. She doesn't know, has no control over her powers, and never notices anything weird. It may as well be that crazy stuff happens 'just cuz'.

Also, a question I was hoping to find the answer to and never did, is what is the meaning and context behind this picture:

image

It was Amnestic's avatar and it always caught my eye. A Google image search told me it was Haruhi Suzumiya, but nothing in the show relates to it directly. Is it from the light novels? Or a meme?

Edit: This is the origin. Apparently it's a take on some art made about Andre the Giant.

Drathnoxis:
Also, a question I was hoping to find the answer to and never did, is what is the meaning and context behind this picture:

image

It was Amnestic's avatar and it always caught my eye. A Google image search told me it was Haruhi Suzumiya, but nothing in the show relates to it directly. Is it from the light novels? Or a meme?

Having never seen that particular image before, it makes some sense as a meme to me. After all Haruhi is the central figure which the entire universe revolves around, better to obey and survive than resist and endanger all of existence.

Drathnoxis:

EvilRoy:
I haven't thought about this anime in a really long time. It was a fight to get a subbed version of the movie for a long time after release if I remember.

The idea of a series of almost the same episodes was neat from an artistic perspective, but the reality of being an anime fan back then meant watching a lot of torrents and therefore being kind of perplexed rather than interested. I assumed the uploader was just a smartass.

It was one of those series that was fun because it presented a few fairly novel ideas, but really meandered around with respect to what they meant here. ESPers are real. Cool, what do they do? They kind of protect the world by fighting monsters in a demiworld. Cool idea for another different anime, but what does it mean here? Not much. Aliens are real. Cool, what do they do? Well, they're an entity made of data that knows a bunch of shit and has a poorly defined ultimatel goal. Cool, what does that mean for me? Not much, they cause a couple mildly interesting conflicts and then the character decides she likes computers and reading and thats about all. Time travelers are blah blah blah...

Fundamentally it was a basic high school romance with a bunch of weird layered on top. The weird was cool enough at the time that it was accessable to people who both were and were not into high school romance, but given a step back it was startlingly by the numbers - like somebody made Dr. Who into a romcom. Add enough sonic screwdrivers and strange garbage can alien monsters and you could convince a lot of people its really cool, but once you scrape it all away there isn't a lot left.

Really, this.

I liked the show, but I was expecting a lot more from it. The reason I watched it was because a couple years ago I read that it had Groundhog's Day loops and the main character was a god. Sounded interesting, but Haruhi being god may as well not even be in the plot. She doesn't know, has no control over her powers, and never notices anything weird. It may as well be that crazy stuff happens 'just cuz'.

Why are you obsessed with groundhog day?

Marik2:

Why are you obsessed with groundhog day?

I guess I've always kind of wished I could be in a time loop. I guess I hate the fact that you never get to re-experience the same moment again once it's gone by, so the concept really appeals to me. The past is safe and known, while the future is unknown and certain to hold more and more tragedy the more of it that I experience. In fact, when I was 5 years old I remember wishing that I could go back in time and re-live what it was like to be 3, so I guess it's a very firmly ingrained fascination.

 

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