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[Ascaloth] Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (2009), Episode 19: Endless Eight

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The Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody of three weeks ago was but a teaser to whet appetites, but this week the God Empress Herself makes an emphatic return. And how! It has been three years since the first season burst out from obscurity to capture the imagination of an entire generation of otaku, and things have changed a lot since then. The franchise is no longer the surprise cult hit it started out as; it has become the most anticipated thing in the industry. The iconic dancing ED is a thing of the past. The assorted fan-created media is not as widespread as they used to be, even though they had a good long run. It may no longer be a one-of-a-kind series; it may instead be the original that spawned an entire genre of anime in the 21st century. But though these three years have brought about a host of changes from the heady days of 2006, there are some things that remain the same. And for one, it’s still the same Haruhi we came to love 3 years ago. The SOS Brigade is back for good.

Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (2009), Episode 12 13 14 16 18 19: Endless Eight.

Coming off the events of Lone Island Syndrome, to Haruhi it is of course clear that summer vacation is the time to do all the fun stuff that is usually associated with it, and who better to enjoy summer vacation to the fullest with than with her friends? And this is but just one of the reasons she is so loved; she truly lives life to the fullest.

And first on the itinenary is a trip to the local swimming pool; which means another chance to showcase the girls in their flattering swimsuits, of course. But you know, for a studio which pioneered the trend of dressing its characters in a varied wardrobe just like real-life people, you’d think they’ll do better than to reuse the Lone Island swimsuits all over again. I mean, if they’re certainly well capable of doing so, why didn’t they try to animate the girls in new swimsuits?

Although for some reason, I feel like I’m not being fair to the KyoAni animators by complaining about that. In fact, somehow I feel as if they did do just that, even though it’s clearly not the case….oh never mind, it must be my imagination. With all of the trolling that Kadokawa has foisted on us since they first made an announcement about Disappearance, I’m probably just worrying too much.

Funny thing about what Kyon said; I felt just the same way as he did. It was almost as if I knew what Haruhi was going to say the moment she opened her mouth, too. I wonder why that is? Could it be because I’m just too familiar with the kind of girl Haruhi is at this point, and therefore I could almost predict what she’s going to spout at any time now? I mean…..oh, well. It’s probably just deja vu; these kind of things do happen.

Come to think of it, Haruhi is the type to drag lazy bums off their couches, out of their houses to really live life in the outside world; certainly a very different type of character from the kind that get love from today’s anime fans nowadays. Yet, she remains the most popular of them all even to this day despite that, and one must wonder why. Is it because it’s precisely because of her proactive attitude towards life? Are we all Kyons who secretly wish for a Haruhi to drag us out of our comfort zone to really live life?

I’ve been wondering about this since just now, but it seems I’m not the only one who thinks Yuki isn’t quite in character all this while, if Kyon’s approach is anything to go by. It’s a funny thing how one of the boundaries separating the strange from the everyday is, well….time. Pure and simple. Even Yuki being Yuki becomes normal enough given enough time, which brings us to a potentially terrifying question; what happens when Yuki, well, isn’t quite being Yuki?

Come to think of it, Haruhi is the type to drag lazy bums off their couches, out of their houses to really live life in the outside world; certainly a very different type of character from the kind that get love from today’s anime fans nowadays. Yet, she remains the most popular of them all even to this day despite that, and one must wonder why. Is it because it’s precisely because of her proactive attitude towards life? Are we all Kyons who secretly wish for a Haruhi to drag us out of our comfort zone to really live life?

I’ve been wondering about this since just now, but it seems I’m not the only one who thinks Yuki isn’t quite in character all this while, if Kyon’s approach is anything to go by. It’s a funny thing how one of the boundaries separating the strange from the everyday is, well….time. Pure and simple. Even Yuki being Yuki becomes normal enough given enough time, which brings us to a potentially terrifying question; what happens when Yuki, well, isn’t quite being Yuki?

Of course, another staple Japanese summertime activity is participation in the O-bon Festival, and this is the time when the ladies bring out their yukatas to add to the festivity of the occasion. And, if anything, the girls look splendid enough in their yukatas alright….

….hold on, I’m getting something of a weird feeling here. It could be just me, but it somehow feels as if I’ve seen this scene before. I wonder why is that? I mean, O-Bon Festival scenes are not uncommon in anime as it is, and they probably don’t differ much from one another amongst different anime series, but still….bah, whatever. I must be tired. I need to get some sleep.

Is it just me, or is there something different about the way Yuki is looking at the masks? It’s a wonder as it is that she could be interested in such a thing in the first place; it must signify something to her, the question is what. A reminder of "home", perhaps? I certainly won’t blame her if, even an Humanoid Interface as she is, isn’t getting just a little homesick.

I can sympathize with Kyon, and I’ll bet most others can too. There’s always this one guy or girl who’s so good with homework, they always manage to finish off the vacation assignments very early somehow, while the rest of us have to slog through it for the entire period, with probably quite a bit of procrastination to the last day thrown in for good measure. Vacation homework is the bane of student life alright; how do these people deal with it so easily?

Is it just me, or is there something different about the way Yuki is looking at the masks? It’s a wonder as it is that she could be interested in such a thing in the first place; it must signify something to her, the question is what. A reminder of "home", perhaps? I certainly won’t blame her if, even an Humanoid Interface as she is, isn’t getting just a little homesick.

I can sympathize with Kyon, and I’ll bet most others can too. There’s always this one guy or girl who’s so good with homework, they always manage to finish off the vacation assignments very early somehow, while the rest of us have to slog through it for the entire period, with probably quite a bit of procrastination to the last day thrown in for good measure. Vacation homework is the bane of student life alright; how do these people deal with it so easily?

I caught a big-boobed loli!!!

I guess this is what is meant by ‘time flies when you are having fun"? Catching cicadas one day, working a part-time job the next, vacation sure flies by more quickly than any of us are able to keep track. Although, being stuck in those suits on a blistering hot summer day doesn’t seem like much fun to me….wait a minute. Isn’t Mikuru’s frog costume the very same one that appeared in Someday In The Rain?

As if all the summer activities Haruhi keeps dragging them around to wasn’t enough, the SOS Brigade sans Haruhi herself suddenly decides to have meeting in the dead of night, just to have a meeting regarding….

Awww Mikuru-chan, don’t cry! What’s wrong?

….excuse me, Mikuru-chan, but what the hell is classified information? Let’s ask someone else….

….ok, so where were we? Oh right, as if all the summer activities Haruhi keeps dragging them around to wasn’t enough, the SOS Brigade sans Haruhi herself suddenly decides to have meeting in the dead of night, just to have a meeting regarding….wait, what? WUUUUUUUUUUUUT.

So….the deal here is, the SOS Brigade has become stuck in an endless recursion of time, starting from the 17th of August to the 31st. And when they reach the end of this timeframe, everything resets to the "save point" of the 17th, and all the activities they’ve done so far and will do until the 31st will be repeated once again. Which means….this is not the first time that all this happened. The question is, this time round is how many times….?

….this is the 15,532nd loop?! Holy shit. I was expecting maybe 7 or 8 times, but not anywhere near 15,532! What the fuckin’ hell? How did things come to this pass? How come there was no way to stop the looping for so many damn times?! And at least deja vu was all I got out of it; poor Yuki somehow remembers each and every time. Even as a Humanoid Interface or whatever she says she is, how could she have withstood this long without going crazy….?

….okay, I need to stop panicking and calm down. Might as well do what I can do for the moment. Which is….trying to decide what episode this is again? I’d say it’s Episode 12, but if I were to follow the number of loops, this would make it more like Episode 15,544….yeah, let’s not do that. Let’s just go with a random number between 12 and 15,544. Hmmm….19 sounds good. Let’s go with that.

In any case, it’s all because, despite all of the activities that Haruhi has been dragging the rest of the SOS Brigade around, there still ends up something which she always never got around to doing, despite only subconsciously having any clue as to what that could be. And if she herself doesn’t consciously know, what less the rest of the Brigade….you know, Kyon has always been pretty quick to get pissed at Haruhi, but I think that if there’s actually a good reason to be so, this would be it. Heck, I’ll bet even Yuki’s patience would be tested at something like this.

You know, I’d comment on how good the two looked sleeping together like that…..but, oh whatever.

And despite looping itself over and over at the behest of the God Empress’s will, time still flies all too fast, especially when there’s still so much to do until the end of summer. And even then, who knows what unfulfiled wish in Haruhi’s heart is causing the looping? What is that one last summer activity that, out of 15,521 endless summers, is the one thing that the SOS Brigade has not managed to do?

In any case, it’s up to Kyon….

Holy…..deja vu! Stronger than anything I’ve ever felt before, this feeling that I’ve felt more than ten thousand times! How many times have I seen Haruhi’s retreating back as she’s walking out the cafe?! How many times have the SOS Brigade failed to stop their Chief here from repeating time all over again?!

This is unbearable, I can’t take much more of this….Kyon, anyone, do something, anything!

Before she leaves for good and loops another Endless Eight all over again…!

….homework? What the hell? What does homework have to do with any of this?


Baka~?

Seconded.

Erm, wow. Okay. So Kyon figures out….whatever it is that he’s figured out, and Haruhi herself wants in on it as well. That looks like a good sign, but is this really going to work….?

….it worked. What….?

….in hindsight, it actually makes a weird sort of sense. For someone as omni-gifted as our God Empress, She’s always really just wanted to do the same kind of things with her friends - the members of the SOS Brigade - as everyone else would do with their friends. Be it O-Bon, Tanabata, or even something as simple as establishing a school club, even if some of her ideas just go right around to the weird side of the spectrum. Yet, it’s the same gifts that also hinder her from fully understanding just what she wants, reducing that desire to a subconscious one eating at her like a canker….and as Kyon mentioned, blowing such an insignificant thing up to a cosmic scale, such as repeating the same two weeks. 15,532 times. Until the mere mortal she has specifically chosen - Kyon - works it out for Her. I know, that’s pretty screwy logic….but hey, screwy logic is pretty much what our Haruhi-sama is all about.

15,523 times of the same things, huh? Yet somehow, it’s kind of hard to truly grasp the scale of all that, given that I don’t really remember any of those previous times. It really is like something out of a dream, as if it’s not quite real. What exactly did I do those previous 15,522 times? What was I thinking before when I watched the unsuccessful loops all these times? Did I feel differently each and every time, or did I feel pretty much the same? It’s really hard to know, and I probably would never know….

…..no, that’s not quite right. I do remember something of those previous iterations; that’s what the deja vu moments were all about. After all, I’m at this point now because Kyon and the rest of the SOS Brigade, along with everyone else, repeated those two weeks so many times, and it’s thanks to them that they, particularly Kyon, managed to figure it out. And in a way, I also managed to learn just a little more of how Haruhi-sama, the Haruhi-sama we all know and love, really ticks. What she’s thinking, what she’s feeling, and how all that differs from what she shows on the outside. Really, if I don’t think of it that way, all that time that Haruhi-sama erased would’ve seemed such a waste,

….well, if I get to repeat this day, I’ll make sure to remember to call up Myssa Rei early for a date, before she leaves Singapore. This is Ascaloth, signing out of Endless Eight.

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10 Responses to “[Ascaloth] Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (2009), Episode 19: Endless Eight”  

  1. 1 LianYL 778 comments

    The shit is finally over. My fanaticism for the series is over as well.

  2. 2 Niker 17 comments

    Seconded.

    I still don’t know what kind of big idea KyoAni tried to pull off, but they better start giving some answers.

    Even if most of the Haruhiists are blinded people, they still can’t stomach all this.

    Cheers;
    Nick

  3. 3 OnyxSyaoran 19 comments

    I jusr watched the first 2 and the last 6 min of this one lol KyoAni ruined it with ir finishing in the 4th episode it would had been beareable ~_~

  4. 4 SinistaCansa 1 comment

    I wholeheartedly sympathize with all of those who had to wait a week in between episodes that unfolded pretty much the same way for eight weeks, but I hadn’t even watched Haruhi until a couple weeks ago, so I was able to watch seven out of eight all at once, leaving episode 19 (wherein the time loop ends) to await with baited breath.

    The bottom line is, I believe KyoAni actually succeeded in attempting to portray how the same two weeks can be repeated 15,322 times. In the first season, this show did not hold back in terms of how it wanted to tell the story, and this story is no different. This is by far the longest time-loop storyline I have ever seen, be it in animation or not: the nearest I can think of is the Star Trek: TNG episode where the Enterprise keeps blowing up time after time until characters get wise to the fact that something is causing infinite recursion, and that action is needed to end it favorably.

    I salute KyoAni for trusting its loyal and sizable audience to “bear with them” as they try what I believed to be a totally successful and amazing journey through the humdrum, boring, infinite repetition of the last two weeks of summer. I was born in the summertime, and Summer is by far my favorite season. At no other time in the year is the sky as blue or the sun as bright. Every year I was in school, I wished that summer would never end. This series of episodes enlightened me as to why a neverending summer would soon descend into a hell of repetition, boredom, apathy, and nihilism. I also held off my work - usually summer reading - until the last possible second - like Kyon did 15,322 times.

    I was fairly certain the loop would have to be broken by another confession by Kyon of his love for Haruhi, as was joked about in every episode, and how the Melancholy Pt. 6 was ended and a new world begun - with a kiss. Haruhi chose Kyon because she loves him. His role is to love her back. Time could not go on without this. The day Haruhi “set aside” to rest was actually a day she wanted to spend with Kyon…and in the end, she did. Its beautiful. KyoAni was gutsy and took a great risk in using so much of the audience’s time to really make the audience feel the same helplessness and despair that befalls Kyon as he continually realizes that time won’t move forward until action is taken. They did something I have never seen in anime - or in television entertainment in general - and for that, they have my thanks.

    Now, please…LET’S MOVE THE F*** ON.

  5. 5 AK 31 comments

    Yeah, okay. Whatever it is, it’s over now. Successful troll was successful. Time to move on. I’ve waited for Disappearance long enough.

  6. 6 risingstar3110 6 comments

    The ending was epic. Even if it does not worth eight episodes, still it’s freaking epic :D

  7. 7 Nya~n 19 comments

    WHY? KYOANI? WHY DIDN’T YOU MAKE THE ENDLESS EIGHT ARC 15, 544 EPISODES? YOU SUCK AS A TROLL, KYOANI!

  8. 8 Mr. Black 1 comment

    Nice with the repeating paragraphs.

  9. 9 Hypernova 22 comments

    @SinistaCansa: I kinda agree with your third paragraph.

    I am one of the people who watch every episode of Endless Eight as it “airs” (by that I mean I downloaded them). I think I understand why people complain so much, and I would have done this differently if I were in charge, but I do give praise to whoever respond for these eight episodes for actually brave enough to pull it off. People think KyoAni/Kadokawa is LOL while trolling the fans, but I don’t think so. They are in this to make money, and some of them maybe fans just like us. They won’t rune it on purpose. I cannot say it’s purely artistic decision, but I do think that there is some artistic in this decision. A quite hard one at that.

    In the end of the day, this will forever remember, I think, in otaku fandom, and maybe beyond, like non-chronological order or Hare Hare Yukai dance. Maybe not with all praise like those two, but it will be there nonetheless. That is an accomphishment I gave them praise for.

  1. 1 Download Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu – Episode 19: Endless Eight Anime | Hot Download


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