Something was strange... I somehow got that feeling. I was half-watching an episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I was half-heartedly hoping that the story arc would end, and I somehow got the feeling I'd see a new reply to my 'Blog soon.
- "Andy, new comment."
- You don't have to tell me that...
- "You're free today right? We're checking out the new Haruhi episode today at 6. Be sure to watch!"
- I haven't even posted anything...
- "I forgot to tell you... Endless Eight is over. OVER."
Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen, at the eighth time of asking (do you see what they did there?), the Endless Eight story arc is over. Completed. Fin. And not a moment too soon.
Of course, that means sitting through all of those wonderful, fun summer events one last time - Will we one day grow to miss those moments? I wouldn't count on it. In fairness, the state of Mikuru's complete breakdown into incomprehensible babble at least brought me a smile, but perhaps that was simply for the relief of what was to come.
So what of the ending to this story arc, was it worth all of those repetitions? Jaded as we all are by this experience, I'm not sure that anyone can answer this question honestly right now, but at least it stayed true to the light novels even if it feels like a ridiculously trivial way to end something which has been going on for two months now. The trouble is, this story arc (and potentially these new episodes of the series as a whole) will forever be burdened by the weight of Endless Eight and what it was, and it will doubtless prove to be an inescapable blight upon this anime franchise as a whole. If only KyoAni had opted to make this into a triumvirate of episodes, they would have had another winner on their hands - "Setup, development, twist, conclusion" is the general rule of story writing, and there's certainly no room for a fifth step called "pointless repetition" no matter what Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei may have you believe.
But, what's done is done, and after this mammoth, near-mountainous anime viewing challenge we've finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel. Now is the time to put all the swearing, cursing, tearing out of hair and death threats to one side, and let's hope that any remaining new episodes of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya return us to the true joys that this series can most definitely bring when it gets it right.