I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Haruhi; I liked the TV-series, but I didn’t consider it to be THAT good. The main story was very good, but only few of the random stories didn’t bore me. Having said that though, Haruhi’s Disappearance is by far the best thing I’ve seen from the franchise.
For starters, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single anime movie that was longer than this one and I have to praise Kyoani for actually giving its story the time that it deserves. This way, it really was able to portray the characters as realistic as it did in the TV-series. The movie is slow, but very down to earth because of this and the plot flows as smooth as water. The story of the movie is also a great mystery story, starting off really slowly but delivering a ton of interesting turns during the second half.
The best part of the movie however was the cast of characters. This movie gives a ton of insight and new developments on Kyon and Yuki, and all of the other characters also receive a lot of new depth. The story does a lot of interesting things with them, and they’re used quite creatively. When everything finally comes together, it really feels like something special. The character whose development I liked the least was Haruhi, though. To delve into why would be a bit too much of a spoiler, but let’s just say that it’s a bit too theatrical.
Now, there are two things that this movie lacks, yet what I really liked in the TV-series, however. They’re mostly technical things, but I did miss them a lot here. The first is the acting: while still good, it’s not as solid as it was in the TV-series. Kyon is still witty, but at the same time his dialogue isn’t as sharp and lively as it once was, and characters tend to overact a bit during the dramatic parts.
Also, the animation is significantly different from how it was in the TV-series. On one hand, this went on a positive note, as the creators put a lot of money and attention on the inbetween frames. The animation is incredibly smooth, and there are plenty of parts in which the animation is as smooth as possible, and the animation is a lot freer and diverse than it was in the TV-series. The animation style here feels like a combination of Clannad and K-On, but at the same time I miss the restraint of the animation of the first half of the first season: the type that consistently neither moves too much or too little, that really gave the characters the sensation of being alive, which was one of the reasons why I really liked the first half of the first season.
Those are mere details through, the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya has enough to like, even for the people who didn’t really like Haruhi in the first place. This movie does a lot of things right in terms of storytelling and characters, and it definitely was a great watch.
|Storytelling:||8/10 – Great story, not as solid as the TV-series, but still wonderfully paced and told.|
|Characters:||9/10 – Excellent character development.|
|Production-Values:||9/10 – Very smooth and detailed.|
|Setting:||8/10 – Nicely plays around with events that happened in the past and the entire concept of this series.|