It’s A Wrap: The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi Review

Mazui is awesome.

As a person who had read the light novels of Haruhi, I can say for sure that Disappearance is probably the best novel to date in the whole series, and the very fact that the novel is getting adapted into a movie is nothing short of a godsend.

The movie can easily be summarized into one phrase: simply epic. Why is that so?

Unlike the ridiculous Endless Eight that had plagued the second season of Haruhi, Kyoto Animation has displayed their animation skills superbly in the movie. Of course, one could argue that the budget for a TV anime and a movie is entirely different, but as far as the delivery of the story is concerned, Disappearance easily outclasses all the other works that Kyoto Animation had worked on before.

Putting Kyoto Animation’s own efforts aside, the Disappearance arc is, like previously mentioned, the best out of all the novels the series has. Instead of focusing on Haruhi, the novel takes a sudden turn and throws the viewer in a guessing game of who is the one behind the incidents that had happened the story.

Asakura appears to “replace” Haruhi’s position in the movie.

Disappearance’s story, like it’s name suggests, focuses on the “disappearance” of Haruhi herself. The entire movie length did not feature much of Haruhi (she’s more like a supporting character in the movie) but rather the other members of the SOS-dan, and more importantly Kyon himself. Viewers or readers of the Haruhi series would know that Kyon had always complained that his life was turned upside down by the appearance of Haruhi, and Disappearance just totally reverse the whole of it. What would happen if Haruhi was just a normal girl without those “god-like” powers that were regularly mentioned in the series? What would happen if Haruhi had never met Kyon before, and the SOS-dan was never made? What would happen if Kyon was given a chance to lead a normal life?

And so Kyon was given the chance. No one knows who is Suzumiya Haruhi. The SOS-dan members were separated, no one knows each other anymore. Koizumi’s class has disappeared entirely. A whole school which was originally an all-girls was suddenly changed into an co-ed school in a night. And the strangest of all: Nagato Yuki is nothing more than a normal girl who reads books in the literature club room.

Everything was normal. No time travelers, no esper, no aliens, no Haruhi. Nothing would endanger the world even if a certain someone was angered. There would be peace in the world. Normal life, just as the way Kyon wished for. The complete disappearance of Haruhi. But something was off.

Being thrown in such a situation, any sane person would think Kyon would love to have this kind of life. After all, haven’t he been complaining of most of the times where he had spent with Haruhi as ridiculous? But for some reasons, he couldn’t accept the “new” life that was given to him. How could the world changed all of the sudden in just one night? With Haruhi out of the picture, who else could be responsible for this?

Not a Yuki you would see in any arcs, except Disappearance.

Unable to rely on anybody, Kyon was desperate. Despite all the want of having a normal life, something was nagging him at the back of his mind. Just when he was at his wit’s ends, he was reminded that the previous Yuki had given him a chance. A chance to travel back to the source of the problem. A chance to set things back to the way it once was.

And losing whatever normal life he might experience if he takes the chance.

Does he actually prefer the new or old life?

Did he honestly, wish for a life where everything was normal?

Kyoto Animation did an extremely good job with the continuity of the story between the TV anime series and the movie. Making several references to the anime itself, fans who had watched both the movie and the anime would probably catch some hints regarding Yuki and her role in Disappearance.

The movie started off with an extremely familiar song too. A re-sung version of “Bouken Deshou, Deshou?” gives off a delightful nostalgic feeling which reminds you of the time where Haruhi was first aired, all accompanied with little silhouettes of Haruhi doing certain dance moves. The ending of the movie wasn’t as delightful though, probably because fans were expecting some kind of re-sung version of “Hare Hare Yukai”, but were instead treated to the theme song of Disappearance titled “Yasashii Boukyaku”, which is sung by Yuki’s seiyuu, Minori Chihara.

Every single piece of music in the movie conveyed the exactly feelings of Kyon. Be it Kyon running around looking for clues to what had happened or him arguing with himself in his thoughts, the music portrayed exactly what Kyon was feeling at that time, and that’s extremely good work on Kyoto Animation’s part.

Truly, while the ending of Disappearance was a satisfying to most people, there was no doubt that many would probably desired to see a little bit more of the alternate Yuki that was the “main” heroine of the show. After all, Disappearance is probably the only time where anyone could see a Yuki that actually has emotions, despite all the “fakeness” that others had mentioned here and there.

Regardless, The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi was an excellent movie from start to finish, and fans who had watched the anime series would greatly appreciate the work Kyoto Animation had done for the series. Regardless of how much damage (as others would put it) that was done to the series during the ridiculous Endless Eight, Disappearance had restored the series back to it’s former glory.

About Netto

Aspiring artist! One of these days, he might just make it... somewhere!