The previous episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya finally gave us an opportunity to talk about a new instalment of this franchise in terms above and beyond dismay and controversy, which in itself made for a refreshing change after all the (justified) negativity of weeks past. Now, as this run of new episodes ends, so does the Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya arc (full movie screening aside).
Of course, the first item on the agenda for this episode is the origins of Shamisen the talking cat, and it probably goes without saying that there's always comic potential in talking animals, which gives us a reasonably amusing little distraction for a while.
From here, the big issue to be tackled is how to get Haruhi to understand that everything in the movie that they're filming is well and truly within the realms of fiction - A requirement that becomes ever more pressing as more and more out of place occurrences take place. However, even this state of affairs is overshadowed by disagreements which surface between the other members of the SOS Brigade as to what Haruhi actually "is", with Koizumi and Mikuru both vocal in their own understandings and beliefs about what Haruhi represents and exists as.
Regardless of such philosophical debates, as per usual it's left up to Kyon to resolve the whole mess, which he does in his usual inimitable simple yet effective style, before the end of the episode gives us an amusing little dénouement to this batch of new episodes.
So it is that we reach the conclusion of all of the episodes which make up the second season of new Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya episodes, and what more is there to say about it that we haven't already discussed to death? After the brilliance of the single episode of Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody looked ready to set the tone for a new season of wonder, so Endless Eight wore us down with its pointless and overblown repetition, wasting week upon week to irreparably scar the reputation of both this franchise and KyoAni as a whole. After that came The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya (perhaps ironically mirroring our own sighs during Endless Eight), a fleshing out of concepts we'd seen to some degree the first time around, and even this took quite a while to warm up, only truly coming to fruition for its last two episodes.
However objectively we try to look at it, Endless Eight has stained and overshadowed anything to do with this series - No doubt it'll be talked about for years to come (and certainly watching and then 'blogging about those episodes was a unique community experience all of its own) while the rest of these new episodes will be forgotten. The fact that, Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody and a few smidgens of The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya aside, the rest of these new episodes were largely forgettable in the first place certainly doesn't help, and that point probably shouldn't be ignored in the larger brouhaha surrounding those infamous eight episodes. If we're honest, this wasn't The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya at its best, and it'll be interesting to see what the fallout from this particular series will mean for the Haruhi franchise further down the line.