Haruhi is the bane of Kyon’s life. She’s capricious, short-tempered, impulsive and annoying. And if she doesn’t get her way she could destroy the world. So when Kyon wakes up in a world without Haruhi – where Mikuru is a normal girl in the calligraphy club, where Yuki is a shy bookworm with a crush on him, where Ryoko is alive and sane, where nobody has special powers, where his cat doesn’t talk, where the fate of the world doesn’t hang on the whim of one immature little girl – surely that makes it better, right?
Many people considered the second season of Haruhi a disappointment, especially the repetative Endless Eight arc in the middle. It had some good moments, but wasn’t what we really wanted. Well the movie doesn’t suck. In fact it returns to the brain-twisting quality of the original. It’s also extremely pretty.
It builds on the plot of both series, particularly Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody which was my favourite episode of season 2 (but if you think you’ve worked out the plot from that hint, you haven’t). It’s got a lot of plot, but feels the right length for it – three hours is long for an anime film, but it doesn’t get boring. It’s enough time to give each character room to develop (though in Mikuru’s case mostly in her adult form). It also doesn’t waste time on fanservice (apart from a brief costume scene at the beginning).
Most of what I want to say about it would be a spoiler, so I’ll sign off by saying that if you enjoyed Haruhi, watch this. It’s even worth watching the second season for.