Since I picked up the Professor Layton game on Sunday, I’ll be pre-occupied for a while. The only thing I can think of being excited about at the moment is Pokemon Black/White that the GameStop employee tried to get me to pre-order when I got my copy of Prof. Layton, but it doesn’t come out until next year, and I don’t need to build up excitement for ANOTHER journey of repetitive Pokemon-training. Can you tell that I haven’t beaten SoulSilver yet?
Speaking of Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, the game is pretty awesome. If you follow me on Twitter I mentioned that you get to build a machine gun from slot machine bits. That’s my favorite puzzle so far. My anticipation was matched in terms of the gameplay as of today. The animation is also improved from the previous 2 games; there are more dubbed characters as well, which is nice.
So this is why I am not really excited for anything this week. Rather, I am very turned off by what is being released on 9/14. The Season 2 DVD set of “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” from Bandai. Nothing wrong with Bandai. There is everything wrong with the 2nd season of Haruhi Suzumiya. I would like to ask, “WHY?”
I was VERY late being introduced to this anime, and actually caught it screened at Anime Expo, where I fell in love with Kyon’s tone in episode 00. For the narrating character to be so disinterested and sarcastic was very refreshing. The story was also different and made me contemplate a few things throughout the short first season. If you didn’t know already, this anime has a broadcast order and “actual, sequential order”. I suggest watching the first season in broadcast order, the story is slightly more interesting…I finished the series in 2 days’ time, and it is now one of my absolute favorites–for one reason there are no filler episodes. That is the reason I gave up watching Naruto and Bleach. I don’t want to watch 3 episodes of Sasuke deciding whether or not to fight. I don’t need to watch Ichigo question being a Shinigami for 20 minutes while Kon complains about his life. Nobody likes filler episodes. Season 1 of Haruhi Suzumiya’s boredom was a good solid 14 episodes. Within the 14 episodes, I felt everything had been explained, and I really didn’t need any more of Asahina’s high-pitched voice or whining.
Putting together the two, more Asahina and more filler, comprises the extra episodes of season 2. Some of these episodes are a weak attempt to further expand upon Haruhi’s past, while there is another set of episodes that.. serve absolutely no purpose at all and barely entertain.
These lackluster extra episodes damage what the first series had–relevance. Each episode’s events held special meaning to develop characters or the bizarre storyline, especially in the order the episodes were broadcast. The viewers didn’t need to know more than what was presented, and while the “last broadcast episode” may have left some things open to interpretation, that was something I truly cherished when I finished the series.
Second seasons of an anime series are usually a hit or miss–for example, I think Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood might be better than the first season, which didn’t adhere to the manga at all after the introduction of the homunculus. Initial D‘s second stage was definitely better than the first. I don’t care for xxxHolic’s new season. But with each new season, the series’ storyline either progresses or the characters are further developed. I am not sure what season 2 of Haruhi Suzumiya tries to accomplish, as it does neither, and attempts to reshuffle the 14 episodes from season 1.