Saturday, August 14, 2010

Every Haruhi Has Her Day

In just a matter of a few days, one of the most anticipated North American releases is about to hit the shelves. No I'm not talking about a DVD release of the next Twilight movie. I'm talking about The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - Season 2.

This release comes with much fan-fare and applaud amongst the peers of both anime and manga, as it marks another triumph of a franchise. The ultimate fate of Haruhi was so set in the balances, that at one point the North American fan-base had doubts that a license by Bandai Entertainment would even transpire; let alone a full English dub.

Much to everyone's excitement, the 14 episode continuation had earned enough steam to warrant a complete release, English dub, and the nifty inclusion of a bonus CD for those that purchase it on the 17th of this month — just a few days away.

The only real drag about this release, is that for those of us that suffer from even the mildest forms of collection compulsion and retentiveness, and who purchased the single volumes of the first 14 episodes, will want to claw at their eyes, and tear at their faces when confronted by the idea of placing a bulky snap-dragon case in amongst the thin singles.

It might be just me, but it sort of clashes with the inner peace and beauty of my collection. Not to mention that those of us that can work their way around the "Endless Eight" episodes—appropriately shown in an arc of eight—will have some mild twitching and or convulsing at the slapping of that damned "Second Season" label right there under the title of the series.

I might not be the absolute know-all end-all expert on Haruhi Suzumiya; but there is no way in the world that this is a second season. First of all, the episodes are in-between the other episodes, and are more like restored cut-scenes to the series. Second of all, no where in Japan that I know of was it ever labelled as a second season, but simply as Haruhi Suzumiya (2009), or as "Rebroadcast".

This brings me to a final point that I hope I won't have to rant about later. But it seems interesting that the series is allowed to be distributed in a non-chronological format, considering the previous 14 episodes were shown in their correct order sans that "Adventures of Mikuru Asahina" episode.

So fans who either aren't Haruhi experts, or at least a little more than a casual fan; will have a hard time following the apparent leap-frogging that will happen after they view "Someday In The Rain" and immediately begin on "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody". Not to mention that the entire "Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya" arc is before "The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina"!

So this leaves me with my rant ready notes all set for when Bandai does later on next year, what they should have already made available now. That is, the entire chronological series.

For those of us that have taken the time to learn the where, and placement of the episodes it might not matter so much, but for the casual fans, seriously, it will be a confusing mess. Half of the younger inductees into the fandom of Haruhi are still trying to figure out where Kyon and his sister got a cat from, when they didn't have it in the earlier episodes.

Aside from these technical beefs, I really am excited — like I hope everyone else is — at the thought of finally getting more Haruhi, and finally on DVD. Chances are the sales made from this release will help to stabilize the rocky wobbling of Bang Zoom, and help bolster Bandai's confidence in further dub work State Side.

Now all I have to do is tap my heel on the floor, and strum my fingers on my desk until The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya finally gets its release. But I'll save that for another blog post.