On December 18, Kyon finds that several traces of the SOS Brigade have mysteriously disappeared from his life. Mikuru and Yuki do not seem to recall meeting him, and Haruhi and Itsuki do not attend North High School. In addition, all the former Brigade members have become normal people. Eventually, Kyon receives a message from Yuki's alien counterpart asking him to gather keys for a program that could return him to his own reality. This starts Kyon on a journey that eventually leads him back to the night Haruhi first became interested in meeting aliens, time travelers, and espers.Written by
Truth be told, there's little about this film that isn't impressive. I'm not specifically talking about the fact about how this film is the 2nd longest animated film of all time, the flawless animation (especially considering its runtime), or how excellent it is overall as a film and finale to a superb television series.
As giving as little information as possible, the premise revolves around the protagonist from "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya", Kyon, and involves him getting in a situation where he realizes Haruhi Suzumiya, whom his life practically revolves around, suddenly disappears, and in a place where everyone knows Haruhi for her eccentricity, has never heard of her. This leaves Kyon not only puzzled, but also looking for answers to hopefully get to the bottom of the situation and have everything return to normal. This isn't really a spoiler as this synopsis is also on the back cover of the DVD and Blu-Ray cases. Anyway, the story itself is fairly straightforward for viewers and fans of "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" anime though if you haven't seen said anime, I would not recommend you watch this film as it's almost like "Serenity" to "Firefly" as you would need to see the series first to understand context, characters, and various choices made throughout the film. Despite clocking in at 2 hours and 43 minutes in length (which shocked me when I first found that out) there was never a dull moment, in fact I believe the length is definitely a strong point of the film. I say this because a lot of animated films won't always take time to stop and smell the roses, or something similar, where this film has the excellent pacing of a well-known live action film such as "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly", "Apocalypse Now", or "Blade Runner". There was one particular element of the film towards the end where I was a bit puzzled for a particular someone and how the logic behind them being there and how they were supposed to know about the events taking place (RA).
I saw the series and the film both in the English dub, and has quite superb voice acting where I cannot imagine better English voice actors from the list of actors usually involved in Funimation/Bang-Zoom dubbing productions; and I do plan on re-watching the series and film in the Japanese audio at some point down the line. At this point in mid-2018, roughly 8 and 1/2 years after this film was released, (even though we had "The Disappearance of Yuki Nagato") the chances of another season to adapt the rest of the light novels made after "The Disappearance" seems rather slim, though perhaps this fate is better than everything being produced in the "Death Note" franchise.
In the end, this is a film truly like no other, not just because of the length, the animation quality, the excellent and intriguing premise/conflict, but it's because of all these things that this film is as excellent as it is, and hopefully will sometime soon be considered a modern day animated classic.
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