The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was a classic show but after thoroughly embracing my love for anime for a little over a year before finally picking up this series, I didn’t hear much about it. I’ve seen the character Haruhi in plenty of gifs and videos. But I went into this series almost completely blind starting off with the movie: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. By this point, I really didn’t like anime movies because they were all just so boring to me but it didn’t help that the only movies I had watched were some Naruto and Bleach movies. So, by the time I finished The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, not only did I find my single favorite anime movie of all time (shortly topped by Spirited Away) but I immediately went into the anime out of pure excitement.
I didn’t dislike the show. In fact, I thought it was pretty fun. It didn’t give me the same melancholic feel the film did to it’s irony but I still enjoyed most of it. Some short scenes were a little boring maybe because I didn’t like any of the background characters but I did enjoy most of the episodes as they were focused on the cast of characters that I do like. And I think it was mostly the concept of Haruhi actually being this divine entity without her knowing about it. It was something I found a little relatable and also intriguing.
Nonetheless, the title says that The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is the worst anime ever and I do believe that but I feel it is most appropriate to tell you why I think this in the form of a story detailing my experiences in my final moments of watching The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
At the time, I was watching anime regularly and with a friend. After I watched the movie, I had decided to watch the anime with him but he didn’t want to. So I forced him into it and it did take him awhile to get into it but eventually we both were just binge- watching episode after episode until we got to season 2.
Yes, season 2. By this point, we had believed we were sold on the anime and intended to watch it entirely. We watched episode 2 of season 2 and we understood what was going on and thought: “Hey, this is pretty cool.” so we continued onto the next episode. We had thought this was episode 3 but it was pretty much the same. I looked over to my friend and asked him if he forgot to switch over to the next episode and he checked to see if he did but this was episode 3. It is finally known as such when Kyon acknowledged that he feels he’s been through all of this before but that was about the extent of what new content that episode provided.
My friend glared confusingly at me before putting on the next episode. For the first half, it was pretty much the same episode with variations in the characters’ clothing. We were in a room with an air conditioner but my friend was sweating. That is, until the second half of the episode where we had a completely new scene detailing us exactly what is going on with this endless loop that we were not sure how long would last but we had assumed that by that time it would have ended. It didn’t. Episode 4 was exactly the same episode as the last. My friend had just about had enough and decided that it was prime time to drop the show. But I looked at him and told him that there was absolutely no way a show would waste more than 3 episodes doing exactly the same things and the narrative currently happening before us isn’t uninteresting. Let’s just keep watching, i’m sure it’ll end next episode.
Convinced, he turns on episode 5 only to find it was the exact same episode. We were believers in the name of God, but I think that was moment he became an Atheist for he could no longer believe in God. Meanwhile, i’m actually laughing my ass off because his reaction to this endless loop and the fact that it kept going was hilarious to me. Especially since by the end of it, I had to re-convince him that even though I was wrong I still didn’t believe it would go on for another episode. And it did! My friend picked up the nearest xbox controller and threw it on the ground as hard as he could. I think by this time, we were about to watch episode 6 but I had to convince him one more time because even though I was wrong about it 3 times now I still had the same thought that there was no way it could possibly go on throwing away episode after episode on literally nothing at this point.
He was done with the show obviously but I guess I am just really persuasive and we watched episode 6. To his dismay and my absolute euphoria, it was again, the same episode. We had watched basically the same episode 5 or 6 times, I had lost count in the darkness of my own laughter. My face was purple because throughout episode 6 I was laughing literally the whole time. My friend was crying a little but mostly agitated with a red face of pure anger. I think he hated me because he thought I was endorsing what was unfolding before us but after I regained some sense of control in my face, I had told him that if we watched just one more episode then we could drop the show. He reluctantly turned on the final episode of what we didn’t know was actually called: “Endless Eight”. It was basically the same episode 8 times but with a few variations and maybe 1 or 2 new scenes inbetween. This was the final episode but it started exactly the same so I did begin to laugh my ass off again. But when we finally reached the climax and entered into the final scenes which were fresh and new ones, there was a sense of relief… and anger. My friend had told me that he would no longer be watching this “wasteful heap of trash” and began to watch a different series. I had realized that there was no forgiving The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya for wasting so many episodes but I was still curious on where this show wanted to go.
In my own time, I had finished it. But I can’t say I enjoyed it with the experience of the Endless Eight arc. The fact that the Endless Eight exists just automatically made this the worst anime ever and the last episode of the series didn’t help. It was just the characters mostly sitting around. Things did happen here and there but a large portion of it was just this:
…Wow! Super engaging ending so far. Very climactic. I think by the end of the episode we had some really contrived romance scene between Kyon and Haruhi but it really didn’t matter.
I understand that some people consider this a classic but in my near decade experience in watching anime I’ve learned that time is extremely valuable, not only for the viewer but for the anime. Any anime that deliberately wastes 7 episodes is not respectable much less likable. It’s a disrespect to throw away the time given to you when there’s a whole lot of other anime that has much less to work with and I feel that the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya spits on those anime. Especially when it’s not even that interesting to begin with.
But whatever, let me know in the comments below if you really do like watching paint dry which is the equivalent of watching the Endless Eight Arc. I do think it’s weird how nobody talks about it even when Haruhi Suzumiya is brought up but let this be an invitation to the conversation. Tootles!