I marathon’d Haruhi season two’s ‘Endless Eight’ arc yesterday with my sister. The first time I watched E8, it was through fansubs uploaded to Youtube, and the highlight was really just watching the comments get increasingly irate with every episode. Similarly, the highlight of watching the official DVD release was the commentary reel my sister and I provided.
Like many fans, I’m still not sure what to make of the whole endeavour. The studio, Kyoto Animation, put too much effort in the animation for this to be a mere instance of laziness, or even a deliberate lowering of expectations for the upcoming Haruhi film as a bold few have suggested. Some fans, my sister included, did enjoy noting all the differences between each episode, and E8 could be viewed as an experiment in how many different ways one could animate the same events. Using a flagship franchise like this for experimentation, though, seems like a tremendously ballsy move.
As for me, I’m quite comfortable a-sitting on a fence on this one, beyond noting that, while I appreciate KyoAni’s boldness, if that’s what it is, and greatly enjoyed the drama of a thoroughly alienated fanbase, ultimately I did not enjoy the actual show, and would place the experiment, if that’s even what it was, in the ‘noble failure’ category.