The junkyard presents two articles about the Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan OVA episode I Cannot Let the Summer Break End...
The view from 5930 miles away:
I doubt many Haruhi fans would have ever expected to be sitting down to the 11th episode of Endless Eight, but here we are. There is no dub for this episode, so like it or not you get to experience Kyon’s little sister delivering that infamous line in the original Japanese. I don’t watch a huge amount of subtitled anime episodes, but it’s always fun to try to pick up a few words. For example, I now know that the Japanese for “Whoa! Nice timing!” is… “Whoa! Nice timing!”
I think it must be enshrined in a law somewhere that OVA episodes have lots of boobs in them, and those boobs must be showcased in close proximity so some water. We have already had the beach activity of Endless Eight, so here we get the pool instead. It’s an opportunity for the girls to gang up on Kyon, with Haruhi kicking him into the pool and Tsuruya teasing him:
“Kyon, no diving is allowed.”
Then we have some of the other Endless Eight activities that only got a mention or were only briefly featured in the series finale: bon festival, part time job, stargazing, fishing, movie hopping, karaoke and bird watching. All of that gets packed into the first half of the episode, and then we have a huge nostalgia/PTSD trip (depending on your point of view) with the picture going blurry as Haruhi leaves the cafe. Thankfully we don’t have another seven OVA episodes, so Kyon manages to get his words out, and the second episode fleshes out what was only a fleeting moment from the end of the original Endless Eight: Kyon and his friends going over to his house for a homework day. It’s gentle slice-of-life comedy and a lovely way to celebrate this group of characters who have come to mean so much to so many fans. Asakura gets to play teacher again, while Haruhi takes a look in Kyon’s forbidden area and luckily only comes up with a games console. Interestingly, she beats ultimate gamer Yuki every time. Haruhi is instantly brilliant at something she hasn’t done before as per usual, and most importantly she wins by being completely unpredictable. The clock ticking around is another nostalgia/PTSD moment, and then we have Kyon heading over to copy Yuki’s homework. Fittingly she get the final line:
“Well then, I’ll be waiting for you.”
And we’ll be waiting for them, hopefully not forever though. Only about half the Nagato books were adapted, but the remainder of the story apparently references the unadapted volumes of the Haruhi book series, so would have been difficult to turn into a second series without season three of Haruhi first. I haven’t read the Nagato books yet apart from the first one, but the series has left me intrigued enough to buy them and see what happens next. The universe of Haruhi is hard to resist. But it remains frustratingly unfinished: half the Haruhi books adapted, and the manga series itself felt like it was only half of what it could have been; half the Nagato books adapted.
As for this series, it never quite did what it said on the tin. Nominally it was Yuki’s series, but something was missing at the beginning and that was Haruhi. When she turned up she stole the series for a while, until this series’ version of Yuki went AWOL altogether. When she awoke for the last few episodes there was a noticeable shift in perspective, and the series became more about Kyon’s experience of their rom com than Yuki’s. But in the end I don’t think that mattered too much, because these 7 or 8 characters are just such fun to watch that a story or focus can be slightly off and they are still going to be providing solid entertainment. And call it wishful thinking if you like, but I don’t think this will be the last anime episode featuring Haruhi we will ever see. She is just too good a character to stay away forever, and the unadapted volumes of her manga series couldn’t fail to be amazing viewing. If My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU can return for a final series after several years, then so can Haruhi. If Fruits Basket can get a complete remake that covers all the material including the unadapted volumes, then so can Haruhi. She is a god after all. They’re hard to ignore.
We’ll be waiting…
I hope you have enjoyed our episode-by-episode look at The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan. Next time we will be looking at a very different kind of series: the acclaimed and controversial Elfen Lied. RP
The view from 6,868 miles away:
When I turned on the final episode, I realized at once, this was an OVA episode. The series may indeed have ended with Kyon’s shock and horror that he did not complete his homework but the OVA episode will wrap that up by doing the one thing I never wanted to do again: repeat what happened during the Endless Eight. To compound my initial frustration, this was not dubbed; it was in Japanese with subtitles. I tried to find a way around this, but there was none. So I was going to skip it… but something made me keep it on. Result?
I spend the first 10 minutes laughing so hard, I almost wanted to go back and watch it all again with the subs on. Oh, it’s way harder to write about because you have to pause over and over again to make little notes, or you write in a chicken scratch which you later realize requires close scrutiny or you’ll never read it again. After a few pauses, I decided to just wing it and deal with the chicken scratch.
What made the episode so utterly hilarious to me was the power behind the Japanese voice and the frustration that Kyon delivers with it. It started the moment his little sister kicked him into a pool only for his friends to reprimand him for jumping in. Then, I was actually in pain from laughing so hard when Haruhi decides to start a race, shoots the gun, then dives in to participate because Kyon’s “You’re participating too!” was so full of shock and annoyance, that I could barely breathe. In fact, nearly every scene at the pool had me in fits of laughter. He leaves his sister behind in the water because his love of “melons” is stronger than his love for his sister and when Yuki’s glasses get swallowed by the water, he just says “Adios” and moves on! I was roaring with laughter to the point where I couldn’t care less about the fact that the melons were only partially of the fruit variety! When he finally makes it to the end, he presses some button that causes a massive explosion where he was. I laughed harder in this episode than any other and it really gave me a good feeling about the overall quality of the show.
But the series ends without any sci-fi. Oh well. And the romance between Kyon and Yuki never really got anywhere. Except… well, in a way, this is “The Making of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”. We were given the hint at the end of the last episode and I took it as a bit paradoxical, but in this episode it really brings it all home. It’s not just that the group is reliving the Endless 8 one more time, but it’s when Asakura says to Kyon “there’s no tomorrow for you,” that it really struck me: this is where the Endless 8 storyline would have come from. It’s the idea, based on reality, that the literary club wrote about that created what we saw in the other series. They created the alien world that was the parent series, including the time loop, because Kyon was experiencing this endless stress all month long. (There’s even a little calendar on Yuki’s desk with a great big 8 on it as a reminder. Yes, I know August is the 8th month, but the point is no less valid!)
The “endless game” comes to an end and the story completes with Kyon realizing he really needs to finish his homework. He calls Yuki for help and goes to her house. For me, the sci-fi element was there in the end, even if it was in understanding how the other universe came to be. And for the sappy side of my nature, the romance continues with a lovely final image coupled with Yuki’s perfect words to wrap up:
Somewhere, in the future, they live happily together, writing all kinds of sci-fi stories… I’m sure of it! ML