It’s time for another review.
Last week was my series review of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), and this week it’s time for my review of the movie Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya).
After this I will be going through Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu (The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan), a spin-off of this movie in which Kyon makes a different choice, resulting in a different outcome. At least that’s what I’ve gathered from the synopsis. I’ve never seen it, so I’m excited to give it a watch.
But first, the movie itself.
This post will contain spoilers!
Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu is a movie that takes place directly after episode 9 of the Haruhi anime. Or at least, it takes place after that episode. In December, to be precise.
Haruhi gathers the SOS Brigade together in order to brainstorm ideas for a Christmas Eve party in the clubroom. We get the usual hijinks, but Kyon in particular is looking very gloomy. Almost as if he is just tired of it all. Noticeably tired, as several other characters express concern. And so, Kyon wakes up the next morning – and Haruhi is gone. Along with her, everyone’s memory of her. All of his memories, all the time spent, gone.
This movie serves as the answer to the question – what would things be like if Kyon had never met Haruhi, or she never even went to his school in the first place?
Perhaps the single most satisfying aspect of the Haruhi movie is the way in which it simultaneously answers the question of what things would be like without Haruhi, but also ties that question into the plot itself. Through the magic of time travel, what we are presented with is one of the most interesting stories I’ve ever seen involving time travel.
And in this plot, Kyon is posed with the question – do you choose the normal, or the supernatural? The character who was once proud of being a skeptic, holding onto normalcy, now has to come to terms with the fact that the abnormal has become his new normal. Despite all of his sighs, gripes and groans, when faced with a true normal life, is that really what Kyon wants?
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, despite it’s name, is not about Haruhi at all. It’s about Kyon embracing change, and accepting that he himself, has changed. But that’s not all it’s about, because Kyon isn’t the only one who goes through such an experience.
Nagato Yuki, the girl who at first seemed completely robotic, but over time, began exhibiting more and more human-like behaviour. Through exposure to the SOS Brigade, and Kyon, Yuki has changed. And it all comes to a climax with Yuki developing human emotions. The catalyst behind everything, Yuki changes the world in a way that would cause her to become a normal, human girl. Capable of emotions, and capable of feeling love.
If Kyon experiences the challenge of accepting himself, Yuki experiences the challenge of understanding herself. Are the changes she has undergone for better, or for worse? Not able to answer that question, Yuki passes it on to Kyon to answer. Which is why she leaves Kyon with the option of fixing everything through an emergency exit protocol.
One thing I’d like to mention about Yuki, despite how much I love her, is just how her character can change so much and yet still feel so much like Yuki. As a human, she’s quiet, and likes to read books. But she’s also very shy, easily embarrassed, but also assertive when she has to be. It’s so odd to me that a character can change so much, and yet feel like she hasn’t really changed at all. Human Yuki feels like just another side of the coin that is Nagato Yuki.
Such an amazing character. I felt genuinely sad when Kyon handed the club application form back to her, like she didn’t deserve to be turned down because she’s just so sweet and cute.
An Outstanding Conclusion
Ending a series / story with a movie alone is amazing, but to end it with a movie on this level is more than I could have asked for, or even dreamed of. Not only does The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya tie in so much of what we’ve experienced throughout the series, but it does so in the most interesting and exciting way possible.
From start to finish, this movie is an absolute roller coaster ride of excitement. And there are so many interesting themes, ideas thrown around that honestly I was blown away by it all. I thought that the anime episodes did a great job with time travel, but then this movie came along and exceeded even that.
Yuki as a human is an absolute sweetheart, and it was a lot of fun to watch Kyon react to a completely new environment. One where cats didn’t talk, where aliens, time travelers, and espers didn’t exist. This movie put me at a loss for words, it really is that good.
I don’t know what else to say, this movie is a masterpiece.
I’m giving Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu a 9.5 / 10.
Without a doubt, a must-watch if you’ve seen the anime. And the anime is definitely a requirement before going into this, or else it won’t deliver the same experience.
And so, the next and final step in this Haruhi journey is to watch the Yuki spin-off, where I believe Kyon decided to NOT execute the emergency protocol. Where the literature club still exists, as well as human Yuki. I don’t know the specifics, but I’m sure it’ll be interesting enough.
I’ll try not to get my hopes up too much though, considering it’s really hard for anything to compare to this movie.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading!