Anime Review: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

February 26, 2012


Well, things have turned out to be good these days, except for the fact that the DNS server used to have this site established erased the record, which meant I had to reestablish it. Anyway, I got two $5 certificates for Best Buy recently and I redeemed them for two movies. Today, I will be reviewing one of them, which is called The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Haruhi Suzumiya is a girl that is not satisfied with the mundane things that life has. She wants to be around aliens, time travelers, and espers. All of those thing are entities which people consider fiction, but she forms a club named the SOS brigade to find such entities and keep things fun. Little does she know that the members of her club all belong to those distinct groups of entities, who all think she has unimaginable power over the world around them.


In this movie, Haruhi wants to have a Christmas celebration with the club. However, on the day of the activity, Kyon, our narrator and one of the club members, notices that Haruhi has not come to school in a while and another club member does not recognize him. Now, he begins a quest to find Haruhi and set things back to the way they were before.


The movie was certainly interesting. I enjoyed how it tied things in with the television series events, so I could identify where in the storyline it belongs. Some parts were definitely funny, such as Kyon being accused of being a pervert. It was also nice to know that each of the members had a soft spot for one another. The movie showed that the members had grown close and made it obvious that it is part of the continuity, which is nice for current fans.


Even though the movie was nice there are things that were not so good. First, subtitles appeared in the video, even though I was on the English dub track. Most anime tend to have subs appear on the English track, but what makes this bad is that those usually have subs displayed for only things like signs, music, logos and paper headings, if they have any subs showing by default. The subs present here were subs for everything, which made me think the default audio track was Japanese, but listening carefully, it was still English. I may have to look into it further, since it could be how I watching it, but right now, it does not make for a good release. Second, and ties in with what I liked about it a bit, it does not seem to be friendly to new viewers. Before I started writing books, I learned that I need to make things so that new readers would know what is going on in the book, as I was not describing scenes well enough. My problem now may be the opposite, but too much is better than not enough in cases of storytelling. I will admit that most Japanese animated movies based on already existing franchises, like Haruhi Suzumiya, do not target newcomers. The characters mention what happened in the television series, but the only one that really gets shown is one scene from the rebroadcasting of the television show. My biggest problems were the fact that the movie is not for newcomers and the subtitle handling on the dub track was not handled well.

Because of the fact that one needs to know about events that only happened in the television series, not the movie, I will certainly recommend that people who are not familiar with the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise stay away from this movie, as they might get lost. The fact that the subs were improperly handled makes we want to recommend everyone else to not see it either, but the situation can be remedied by switching to the Japanese track, or making the subtitles correct in the first place via the menu. As the movie is aimed at current fans of the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise, I will certainly recommend those people to watch this movie.

What is your opinion of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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