melancholy of haruhi suzumiya 2009 1, bamboo leaf rhapsody

I am here.

Finally! It’s almost been exactly three years (to be quasi-exact, 1,048 days) since the last episode of Haruhi Suzumiya aired. In that three years… let’s see…

– America has elected its first ever minority president.

– Apple introduced the iPhone, which is the gadget equivalent of Haruhi Suzumiya.

– LeBron James wins NBA MVP. Cristal Taylor dates Dirk Nowitzki. USA finally wins a gold medal in men’s basketball.

– Horie Yui got involved in a sex scandal. A sequel to Gunslinger Girl arrives before Haruhi Suzumiya‘s. Lulu finally penetrated by Suzaku.

– Oil spike to record prices, the economy plunged to lows not seen since the Great Depression, and the banking system is in ruins.

– Anime on My Mind became Derailed by Darry became blog好き.

– High definition goes mainstream. You’ll be talking about this to your kids the same way your grandparents talk about color TV.

– Kyonko became all the fanboy rage, not seen since Haruhi Suzumiya debuted. Kyonko’s epic surge in popularity (and growth in gelbooru) would not be equaled until Mio Akiyama.

– Kyoto has animated 113 episodes of shows not titled “Haruhi Suzumiya” including 24 Kanon, 25 Raki Suta, 48 Clannad, 9 Munto, and 7 K-On!.

Needless to say, it’s been too long.


But, finally, more Haruhi Suzumiya is here, and we’re dropped in the next sequential story, “Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody,” which serves as a re-introduction of sorts to the characters and a continuation of the SOS Brigade’s antics. I don’t need to tell you that this is more anticipated than Barack Obama’s inauguration. With a sequel, the rules of play are different. It’s not like season one where Haruhi Suzumiya, Yuki Nagato, and Mikuru Asahina were unknowns and caught us by surprise. There is no surprise now. Not only that, they will be judged (rightly or wrongly, I dunno) against their former selves. How will the show do? Will it knock our socks off like the original? Will it knock Mikuru’s socks off? Does Kyon indeed have a penis? I don’t know. But I think I know something: it’s going to be fun finding out. All. Over. Again.

(Loved how people were complaining when I ranked Haruhi #1 back in that thin slicing. One reader, Karasu, even thought Planet of the Beast King deserved #1 over Haruhi. And, yes, I feel cheated that this is airing mid-season… do I do a retroactive spring 2009 thin slicing? Or do I move Haruhi to summer 2009? Or do I just give Haruhi the Stanley Cup now and be done with it?)

(Andohbytheway, you guys don’t need to let me know that Haruhi is back. It’s not like I don’t have TT or other anime sites in my RSS feed or monitored via my iPhone. And, as I have said before, if you want me to blog something faster, nothing helps more than offering me access to private 3Mbit/s+ FTP sites. Leaving a comment in a K-On! post telling me something is available ain’t gonna cut it.)


This episode starts with, well, Haruhi and Kyon passing time in their classroom, with Haruhi wearing Cross Game‘s Aoba’s face. Or does Aoba owe Haruhi royalty payments for that face? Anyway, it’s Tanabata, which happens on July 7th. Of course, Haruhi Suzumiya 2006 14 aired on July 7th, 2006… which would have been a perfect airdate for this episode, but whatever.


But it’s good seeing the gang again. Opening up the door and see SOS Brigade club room… well… it’s like we never left. Kyoto has to be at least somewhat cognizant of how Haruhi is now embedded in the anime fanboy experience and will do the next arc justice. I’m not worried. (Secretly, I’m worried, but let’s not get into that this week.) Not only that, I’m cognizant about how my original posts about Haruhi Suzumiya put Anime on My Mind on the map. There’s no way in hell I’m going to mail in my Haruhi posts the same way I mailed in my Gundam 00 ones, let’s just say that. (Secretly, I’m going to mail in any post that doesn’t surpass K-On!‘s episode for that week.)




In 10 seconds, we just saw Itsuki with a board game, Yuki reading a book, and Mikuru wearing a meido bonnet. God’s in His Heaven; All’s right with the world.


“She always comes up with such pointless ideas. What universe does her common sense come from?”

(No, Haruhi is a genius. Bunny girl as the main vocals for a rock band? Surpasses what Sawa-chan has done so far. Costume raping Mikuru? Surpasses what Sawa-chan has done so far. Offering to sacrifice Mikuru for a murder mystery? Surpasses what Sawa-chan has done so far.)

“I wouldn’t say that. She has her quirks, but she has a strong grasp on common sense.”

(The way Itsuki is defending Haruhi’s logic… I want wait to read his review of Code Geass R2 when he compares its brilliant and intricate storytelling to Lord of the Rings.)


Haruhi, of course, has yet another brilliant scheme: they’re going to celebrate Tanabata by invading the Chin’toka system. Here, she’s describing how they’re going to deactivate the orbital defense platforms that protect the system. Kidding. Haruhi’s actually pretty serious about celebrating Tanabata because that’s when her originally loli self met Kyon. Mikuru will eventually drag Kyon three years back in time so Kyon can complete his mission of helping Haruhi spell out her message to aliens… of course… it’s also Kyon who implants the notion of attending North High and the existence of aliens, espers, and time travelers (but not sliders).


Kyon also runs into past Yuki, who unlike present Yuki, is highly assertive and mean. A tsundere is you must. After a quick 25 episode detour, Kyon and Yuki share a very touching night after Kyon proposes to Yuki, and the two run off to Kyon’s grandparents in the north. “Mo ichido…” Kidding. Mikuru loses her time travel device, so they seek Yuki’s help in bringing them back to the present (shades of the classic TNG episode, “Time’s Arrow” where Data buries himself under San Francisco to be found by Riker a few hundred years later.). After Mikuru and Kyon returns, Kyon knows why Haruhi feels something special about Tanabata, and it’s business as normal for the SOS Brigade. Well, as normal as things between a God, an alien, an esper, a time traveler, and the God of Genderswap can be.

Alright, enough foreplay, let’s get rough and sweaty…

sos brigade awesomeness index


Haruhigasm… finally, finally, finally. Finally. *dusts off old meme*


Star Trek… for making a movie so much better than both Insurrection and Nemesis. Though in honor of having two Spocks, I will now change the meme I use for Mikuru Asahina: Mikuru (present timeline) will still be referred to as “Mikuru” while Mikuru (future timeline) will now be referred to as “Mikuru Prime” instead of “All Woman Mikuru”. And, yes, I’m very giddy at having Mikuru, Mikuru Prime, and Mio in our lives… at the same time. Enjoy it like you enjoyed watching the original 1992 Dream Team.

(Now if Mio Prime were somehow involved as well… my gosh… that would be the end of space-time-moe as we know it.)



Cowering moe mode… let’s just say that seeing Mikuru and Mio cower within 24 hours of each other is like seeing Kobe and LeBron trade shots. If my readers are already tired of cowering, well, just remove this blog from your RSS reader. There will be a plethora of cowering coming up, and I couldn’t be giddier.

(You know what, is there any better situation than being trapped alone in a bedroom with Mikuru Asahina for three years? That’s like my best case scenario, especially if there’s a dresser filled with meido uniforms, bunny costumes, and mini top hats in the bedroom as well. At the very least, if Kyon were a hot-blooded traditional male, why doesn’t he whisper to Yuki, “Before you freeze time, can you give me at least 24 hours? Pretty please with a cherry on top?”)


Tomare!… for disappointing me like K-On! 6. The song’s enjoyable, and the lyric fits (including the extremely timely “Have we forgotten the first time we met? / That was when we had our first dream” which I’m not sure refers to Haruhi and Kyon or us and Kyoto Animation)… but… come on! It’s Haruhi Suzumiya! It’s your star franchise! You can do better. Tomare! is at best an A-/B+ when nothing short of A+ is acceptable. I’m sorry. It’s just the way it is. When you’re Haruhi Suzumiya, you get a different set of standards, and it’s tough to top Hare Hare Yukai, but it’s not like it’s impossible. Don’t say that they’re lazy…


Macarena… good thing or bad thing that when Mikuru was looking for her TPDD (awesome name for a possible birth control device as well… as in “Honey, have you seen where I put my TPDD?”), I immediately thought of the Macarena? Though Kyon should have offered to pat down Mikuru. That’s the right thing to do.


Art quality… three years ago, Haruhi Suzumiya destroyed the competition like Phelps in Beijing. Now, it’s just above average. Kyoto, step it up!


Myself… I thought I had more time before this aired, but I guess I’m wrong. I’ve been prepping a monster post for Haruhi-chan much like “paint it red,” but I’m not done. Worse yet… I’m out of motivation to work on it with Haruhi proper airing. Now I’ll just devote my spare blogging time to my newest long form post project: Akasaka. I hope to finish this one before Duke Nukem Forever comes out.


Carmen… ? What was the BGM they used for this scene? I thought the way Kyon and Mikuru were stationed, they would suddenly start flamenco dancing. (And, yes, let’s add “flamenco dancing with Mikuru” to my imaginary bucket list.) Picking Mikuru as the focus character to launch new episodes… brilliant. Mikuru should always be involved in launching new products, I don’t care what it is. She makes it better. In fact, I read this from the New York Times today:

In a series of experiments, Dr. Miller and other researchers found that people were more likely to expend money and effort on products and activities if they were first primed with photographs of the opposite sex or stories about dating.

(Palm, it’s not too late. You need to have at least one Mikuru lookalike in every Sprint store for the Pre launch.)


Crappy wishes… all crappy wishes. They’re as bad as Drew Carey hosting The Price Is Right. Though I’m bracing for the world’s rotation to reverse in 16 or 25 years. But, anyway, I wonder what my 16 and 25 year wishes would be… mmm…

16: I still remember who “Mio Akiyama” is.

25: I hope I’m still not writing this blog. No seriously…



Mikuru… much like how at the beginning of this NBA season, people were asking whether or not LeBron can win it all, I wonder if Mikuru can win Best Meido again. She’s up against another Best Meido winner (Maria), a strong newcomer (Matsurika), and possibly Mio (depending on if she qualifies… moe moe kyun!). Needless to say, the cowering and meido crops are abundant this year. Oh praise Oharuhi-sama for this bountiful feast.


Mikuru Prime… epic fail on Kyon’s part to not ask Mikuru Prime to prove that she is indeed Mikuru Prime. Also epic fail on Kyoto’s part to not play Van Halen’s Hot For Teacher when Mikuru Prime comes out of the woods.

(I was disappointed Kyon didn’t take the reward from Mikuru Prime’s quest…)

(And bad job for not correctly publicizing this show. I mean, every other anime has a proper announcement… sure… some shows you might use to surprise your fans, but Haruhi Suzumiya shouldn’t be one of them. Can you imagine if tomorrow we got a new, previously unmentioned Gundam airing? Or if I stumbled into Best Buy tomorrow to find a new iPhone model on sale? You want to properly milk these things. Why be so sneaky about airing it to the point that they pulled the episodes title after they’ve already been leaked? If I were Kadokawa, I’d at the very least put an airdate and time at the end of the last Haruhi-chan episode.)


Experience and time… my 2006 self would have written: “I would bid over $1,000 for the use of a Mikuru leg pillow for a night. I’m not kidding.” Sadly, my 2009 self writes: “Can’t wait for someone to shop Kyonko for Kyon thus creating an even hotter image.” Some things do not get better with time.

(And, yes, an episode about a three year time skip when it’s been three years since the last episode… mmm…)


Experience and time (continued)… my 2006 self would have ignored the John Smith line. My 2009 self writes: “I hope ‘John Smith’ shows his ‘Johnny’ to Loli Haruhi.”


Loli Haruhi… I was watching a recent episode of Hayate the Combat Butler when I wrote in my notebook that Loli Maria teamed up with Lolilaika could run the world’s most powerful loli drug syndicate. I’m going to change that. Loli Haruhi would run the cartel, Loli Maria would be the shadow boss, and Lolilaika would bring the muscle. Now that is a fearful drug cartel.

And, finally, last time I checked, it’s still Month of Mio. Enjoy.


46 Responses to “melancholy of haruhi suzumiya 2009 1, bamboo leaf rhapsody”

  1. It’s been a long time since I’ve read one of your Haruhi post and what a great way to bring back the new season. I especially liked the ups and downs that were part of the hilarity in the first posts. I think we won’t get another episode for 3 weeks though because next in the order is the mysterious symbol episode and then the lost island murder mystery… Then we should get dissapearance.

  2. It’s like special emergency Christmas. I was thinking ‘no its a troll. dattebayo’s involved this must be a troll’ but then it wasn’t. Huzza for surprise anime seasons!

  3. A fantastic return. The hints were strong (28 slots acquired for the “rerun”, the title of episode 8 leaked by Teletama, etc.) but with Kadokawa you can never be sure.
    The Internet exploded with the new Haruhi rage but don’t forget that the next new episode will be in 4 weeks because they are airing it in chronological order. In the meantime we still have meido Mio to satisfy our meido needs.

  4. You know, I was totally on board with the season 1 episode order weirdness. You want to space out the book 1 eps because they’re kinda dull when watched sequentially, what with all the highly concentrated exposition dumps and all, and it’s nice to have any callbacks to stuff that happened forever ago chronologically be referencing stuff that you actually watched just a week before. It’s weird, but I approve.

    Taking the second season, and mixing it in in the same fashion though? That’s uh… that’s just insane. I gather what’s actually going to happen here is that the whole Disappearance plot is going to drop in, sequentially, after the whole Melancholy plot is over, with all the new one-shot eps just scattered in where they make sense, but uh, seriously? We’re really doing this?

    Also, I find it kind of ironic that I’ve actually had the willpower to avoid reading any of the books and spoiling the eventual season 2 for me, with the only exceptions being book 2, since, well, I’m not seeing it getting animated, and Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody.

  5. Awesome birthday present. Just… awesome.

  6. The art quality is my only real disappointment. It’s only juuuust noticeably lower than the first season, and you can tell in less than a few seconds that they’re working on K-On at the same time.
    That said, I welcome the SOS-Dan back with open arms.

  7. Actaully, they seem to be doing all the stories in chronological order. meaning they finished Melancholy and Boredom (Baseball episode) was last week. We fully expect Book 2 (Sigh) to be animated now (should start in about five weeks) after an episode called “Endless Eight” in four weeks time.
    Disappearance (Book 4) should start in August, if the theory holds true, with the last episode in October just as the Fall season starts.

  8. I can’t tell if the episode order and (lack of) advertising for the new season is genius or insanity. Since its Haruhi, probably both!

    As for the episoide its so fantastic to see everyone back. Kyon is still his sarcastic self, Mikuru-moe, Yuki being Yuki and loli-Huruhi ……. However I think its a bad sign when my first thought on seeing all the cowering Mikuru in this episode was “Wow, Jason may have a heart-attach over this”.

    The next 3 weeks are going to seem longer than the last 3 years.

  9. hmm 3 years, for most of us, it’s been 3 years and 1 day since we last saw sos brigade club room. i can already smell 2 special eps in the making, one is 16 years from today, one is, perhaps, 25 years?
    they will feature earth spinning backwards and haruhi finally claims kyon for her self.
    there is something fishy about mikuru prime (loving the name btw) that i can’t get my finger on/in/around/under

  10. Laus Haruhi! Nos alveus interum in lux lucis suus venia! Polus operor infirmo in excito suus reverto! Erigo vestri manuum quod vox vocis in laus! Pro deus imperatrix reverto!

    Laus Haruhi! Ave Deus Imperatrix!

  11. Vomica nuto! Pallens fides! Ut subsannatio fidelis! Pro iam vadum exsisto subsannatio rursus! Pro verum ostendo sum , quod Dea iam iterum est inter nos! Vindico lemma per sanctus mucro quod purgatio incendia , pro iam fidelis quondam iterum take telum vulgo suus vox!

    Patefacio porta! Emanio vox! Dea quondam iterum ingredior inter suus secuutus! Sono laus in suus nomen , alveus in suus palma!

  12. Vomica nuto! Pallens fides! Ut subsannatio fidelis! Pro iam vadum exsisto subsannatio rursus! Pro verum ostendo sum , quod Dea iam iterum est inter nos! Vindico lemma per sanctus mucro quod purgatio incendia , pro iam fidelis quondam iterum take telum vulgo suus vox!

  13. I leave the internet for two days, and this is what I miss!
    KyoAni really needs to get a farm team going. They’ve got too many major league titles (Haruhi, Full Metal Panic!, Mio, etc) already; they need to send some of them back down to AAA for a while.
    I guess the question is, who do we want as the Pawtucket to Kyoto Animation’s Red Sox?

  14. Mio who?

    Reading back on some of your Haruhi posts, I’m more that mildly impressed that you predicted the second Haruhi “four years from now” three years ago and less than a month into its run that Haruhi = new Evangelion. The accuracy is so unnerving. Imagine what that kind of power could accomplish in world trade markets or major political campaigns. Hell, just tell me, who wins the Finals?

  15. The alien language Haruhi uses is really nice (I’m kind of a connoisseur in this area). Did she invent it or somehow tune in on an actual alien language somehow? And with Haruhi, can you really tell the difference?

    Haruhi-chu’s questioning of “John Smith” was excellent too. Wonderful deadpan answers about aliens, time travelers, and espers, and then he “hasn’t met” any sliders. Makes me wonder if he’ll meet one in the near future. Also, he claims Mikuru is his sister, which lends some credence to the “imouto = Mikuru” theory. (Though Kyon refers to her as “ore no nee-chan” – if your younger sister travels back in time and meets you after she’s aged past you, does she become your older sister?)

  16. YEAH

  17. If the new OP doesn’t have an epic dance sequence there will be mass riots.

  18. A quick look back at the spring 2006 thin slicing and I can’t help but think that this season is a much stronger season as a whole.

    I’m wondering if there’s a better way to represent this episode. It’s not the start of the second season since there’s still several episodes from the first season that need aired. It might be better to call this the first new episode of the full first season of Haruhi. And does anyone remember how everyone was angry at Kanon because it cut the length of Haruhi down to 14 episodes – maybe we’re finally getting our full season.

  19. I think DN:Forever got officially canceled and now people are getting sued.

  20. Guess there is a God after all, since the second season is here.

    Back to the church of KyoAni we go…

  21. God has returned? The second coming is upon us!

  22. WELLLL I wasnt around the first go round with Harhui I actually just watched the first season last year so my wait wasnt nearly as excruiating as the rest of you guys but this is the anime event of the year and Im very happy to see this happen

  23. Haaaaallelujah! The Second Coming of Haruhi is upon us! All praise to o-Haruhi-sama! Hers be the glory and majesty!

    Only after seeing this episode, Kyon’s sarcasm, Haruhi’s exuberance, Mikuru’s moe-moe, Yuki’s deadpan technobabble, Itsuki’s fabulousness… did I realize how much I’ve missed it all. Yes, you are here Haruhi, and we’re all glad that you are.

    And someone bring Myssa the pills.

  24. You skipped the most important moment at 18:38!

    That one scene made all the wait and bad animation worth it (assuming your a Yuki fan.)

  25. All the Kyonko, Mako-chan, and Code Geass couldn’t fully break Myssa Rei. But Haruhi…Haruhi causes a full on Latin metal breakdown in the name of the God Empress.
    So say we all?
    Haruhi isn’t a good tactical planner…but then sometimes I have doubts on Sisko as well. The plans work in the end, but at what cost? Or in Haruhi’s case, when’s Yuki going to save the situation?

  26. “an episode about a three year time skip when it’s been three years since the last episode”

    Haruhi works in mysterious ways.

    “And bad job for not correctly publicizing this show”

    They did say we’d be getting Haruhi back in Spring ’09, now didn’t they? I really like how they pulled this all off. As for how you should promote the new episode, judging by the overwhelming fan response, it looks like they chose the right route.

  27. I really doubt you’ll be blogging by 2011. Reason, death by overdose of moe and traps.

  28. Anyone else think Kyoto Animation should use the sliders angle to do a crossover à la Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle? Who wouldn’t want a canonical team up of Haruhi and Konata bullying Kotomi and Mio?

  29. This is unbelievable… I was like WTF is going on when I came back from work and found the animesphere were all buzzing…

  30. see jason
    i was the first to warn you
    in your other blog post
    thats right

  31. I feel sorry for KyoAni. When they first launched season one, there were no expectations. Now they have the TV equivalent of Everest of expectations to meet with the second season. That’s probably why we had to wait so long for season two.
    >> In that three years… let’s see…
    Don’t forget the Gainax Resurgence.
    @Spaniard: God is in her Brigade. All’s right with the world.

  32. The moment i finnished seeing what i saw, i instantly jumped over here to see what was being posted. Then i did some math and realized that there may be as many as 21 new episodes because 7 of the suposed 28 have aired and were reruns, going up to october.

    Move over, Mio May, Suzumiya Spring and Summer is upon us and is going to steamroll you. Unless you’re o.k. with the bottom and/or a donky punch from Haruhi.

  33. Sorry to tell you this but Duke Nukem Forever is never coming out since the company went belly up

  34. My god. Completely blindsided me. Haruhi. You’re back.

    Bad bits first:

    1) speedsubbers. The raw video (or the one DB-LE used at least) needs cleaning some more. Now afk’s departed I hope SS-Eclipse picks Haruhi up. I was expecting a more Kanon/Clannad level of art for this season, but as long as it’s above the K-On and Lucky Star tier I’m fine with it.

    2) The ed. I was expecting some epic dancing rather than the fairly standard fare we got. I mean they had 3 years to work on it!

    I don’t envy KyoAni. Like cheez-it said they have a massive amount to do to meet expectations. And also I’m now watching the series with knowledge of the novels too…

    Now the episode itself. It felt a little rushed. In the novel the trip to the past didn’t feel like quite a whistlestop tour. The meat was there, but it would have benefited from a few more of the trimmings. Since this episode is a pivotal one I’d have skipped the ed like they did the op to make space for a few more pauses. Still this particular chapter is probably one of the worst candidates for translating to a self contained 25 minute episode.

    However. The SOS dan is back in all its glory, and I couldn’t stop grinning. The way the story is told, and the accompanying imagery and audio is still great.

    Loved Kyon’s little tsundere act in reaction after Itsuki’s peace and quiet comment at the end. <3

    Finally, who’s the girl down the bottom, and why is she in my Haruhi post? :P

  35. The signs Kyon drew on the field really does look like a half-assed version of what Nagato drew on the paper. :o

  36. To quote a game:

  37. One wonders about the alien language. Does it have odd context, syntax? Can it be read in multiple ways? Does it say “I am here” one way, and “I love you” another?

  38. After reading Yuki’s wishes, one does wonder if she is one of those “beings” earthlings in Gundam 00 is awaiting to meet with…

  39. That last pic looks like Mio on top of Mako-chan…
    Chain of thoughts:
    -Who’s that? I’ve seen those hair clips somewhere…
    -Who initiated this?
    -Wait, why is Mio on top? Then again, she’s the bossy one
    -Tsumugi would be dissapointed if she knew…
    -Kana would be proud
    Wow, that one pic practically stole the show. Definitely month of Mio.

  40. !

    Can… someone translate the latin?

  41. Haruhi is back, all hail Haruhi!

    Other than the poor animation quality and ED theme, Haruhi is still tops. But is it just me or did KyoAni brought some K-ON art style into Haruhi o.o

  42. I bust gut when I spotted the book Yuki was reading: “Time Enough for Love”, By Robert A Heinlein.

    although “Door into Summer” might have been a better choice given the methods of time travel used…

  43. Well – this is gonna be a fun thirteen more episodes. Expectations to break, physics to break, and – Mikuru to break?

  44. To be fair, Planet of the Beast King’s first few episodes were fantastic and blew my expectations out of the water.

    Glad to have Haruhi back with us.

  45. Just saw the episode for the first time, and I love your blog. Worse than Drew Carey hosting The Price Is Right, that’s a good one. Though I don’t think there’s anything quite that bad.

  46. wow were we wrong “omg its going to be great more Haruhi Suzumiya” WRONG WRONG WRONG FUCK Haruhi Suzumiya FUCK IT

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