Here’s some older shows I watched for the first time this year. Spoilers: I didn’t really like any of them.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya S2
Haruhi returns… to the same places, eight episodes in a row.
I only ever watched the first season of Haruhi. I think you’re supposed to watch all 28 episodes of the 2009 broadcast together, but I couldn’t be bothered. I’d already rewatched the first season a few years ago, and I didn’t love it enough to sit through another time. So I settled for watching just the new episodes.
The second season feels utterly pointless. I’m sure everything that can be said about Endless Eight has already been said. As an artistic experiment it was daring but a complete failure, and after all that waiting I was incredibly disappointed by how lame the ending was. The movie arc isn’t very good either, especially since any S1 watcher had already seen the movie itself. Except for the one episode that’s relevant for Disappearance, S2 felt like a waste of time.
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
Despite my negative experience with S2, I still went into Disappearance with positive expectations. This was supposed to be the payoff for sitting through that crap. But ultimately, I didn’t get much out of it. Sure it looks really good, but that’s not enough to carry me through 2 hours and 40 minutes of movie. Disappearance really feels its length, especially in the first half. Did we really need to see Kyon going through the same awkward motions with every single character? It starts picking up after that, but even then it was just okay.
Cute girls doing cute things in band club.
This is not my kind of show, but then again, things like Yuru Camp and A Place Further Than The Universe didn’t look like they’d be my thing either, so I was at least curious about K-On. And it was… okay. I certainly didn’t hate it. In fact, the first and last episode were actually pretty good. But the rest consisted mostly of light moe fluff, and some of the jokes got very repetitive.
Kurau – Phantom Memory
Invasion of the body snatchers.
This show is weird. The main character is an alien entity that took over a girl’s body, and even though the whole story is from her perspective there’s so many unanswered questions about her ‘species’ that it’s hard to fully relate to her struggles. It always seemed to be on the verge of getting good, but never quite got there.
A girl delivers letters from the dead to the living.
Is Shigofumi about heartwarming friendship or about the depths of human depravity? Is it serious or is it over the top crazy? It seems like it couldn’t decide and just tried to be all of the above. It was silly when it wasn’t supposed to be, and couldn’t stop itself when it should’ve been showing restraint. I liked the first episode, but then the second one shits all over everything and sets the tone for the rest of the series.
Crest of the Stars
You shall call her Lafiel.
This should’ve been right up my alley. I enjoy character-driven sci-fi, and I liked the two main characters. Jinto’s a bit of an ordinary protagonist, but Lafiel is interesting and the bond between them was believable. But then it never really went anywhere. For instance, Lafiel’s struggle to be treated as an individual rather than a princess was undercut by never putting her in situations where she was treated as such. She was only given a few opportunities to shine, and some of the situations they got themselves in were so silly it broke my suspension of disbelief (particular the time they were being chased through a theme park by soldiers who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn). It was all right, but a bit disappointing.