Haruhi Episode 08 Review
Featuring an immediate surprise.
Why I watched it:
If you find yourself in a hole, it's in your best interest to stop digging. Trouble is, this hole is digging itself, and trying to get out of it would get my fingernails dirty. I can't stand that. I believe I'll just sit down and wait and see if the hole gets smaller, until such time as I find myself able to jump out of it.
How it works:
The exciting conclusion to the epic murder duology is afoot. It turns out there was no murder. Oh no! Also, if you're reading this review before you watch the show, I believe you should be aware that the only way to properly judge art is to judge it in its entirety, without the notion of "spoilers" or any such self-censorship, because judging arbitrary portions of a work leads to an incomplete opinion of it, and as such is incomplete. This isn't to say that the reviewer is obliged to go over the work in exhaustive detail, but must express to the user the entirety of the work which allowed him to come to that opinion.
The Gang reacts to the villa owner's murder, trying to solve it, as you do. The words of the day are "Closed circle", an event where the only people who can affect a situation are the people in the situation themselves. God can't save you now, not that He would, that lazy cunt. Oh wait, Haruhi is God. It turns out she does save them, as she uncovers the ruse cruise that the entire murder was an act put on by the manors in order for a bit of entertainment. So nobody dies - we wouldn't want that to happen in our good Christian anime.
But wait - she was bamboozled! It turns out that Itsuki, who is now turning out to be more vital to the anime than God, set her up the bomb and used his agency to set up the murder, placating her yet again. Despite this, she seems to be truly worried about the idea that somebody would have actually been killed. I guess she isn't a complete monster, but this line of reasoning is like "Your dad yells at his wife for six hours straight, but they never hit each other, so they aren't an abusive couple". You're still a twat, Haruhi, and I'm not giving you credit for what you're supposed to feel when somebody fucking dies.
What I felt:
Interesting though that I still feel some interest in her and Kyon as people, as I find it endlessly fascinating how he deals with her. The scene where they go out in the storm, hold hands to avoid getting lost, then end up in a cave as they talk about the murder implies just how close they've gotten to each other. That's a closed-finger hand-hold. Not wrists, not palms, but fingers intertwined. And Haruhi was the one who initiated it. I have my doubts this relationship will go anywhere romantic, but the anime sure as SIN is implying it.
This scene is one of the best examples of camera work I've seen in the anime, seeing as it carries the mood of the scene more than the words ever would. The dialogue is simple, them just deducing how the murder could have happened, and the sounds are just ambiance. But it's the camerawork, focusing on the intimate parts of the two characters (legs, midriff, back), just trying to dry their clothes off in this warm, monochrome, cave, that expresses how close the two have become. You'll often hear the phrase, "show, don't tell" thrown around in art circles, and this scene is one of the best examples of that. The two are separated by a rock, not even nude, not talking about anything sexual or anything about themselves, and yet through sheer visuals, you could tell that they would have only ever gotten into this situation if they cared about each other, and despite the separation of the two (in many ways), they're still closer to each other than almost anybody else in the series.
I want to say I'll be disappointed, given the shows tendency to get excited and blow all the subtle details out of the water, it still has excellent directing in both the over-the-top scenes and the quiet ones - the quiet ones especially. Character interactions is perhaps this anime's strongest suit, even above the metafictional toying around, as everybody is natural with each other despite being cliches. That's fucking incredible. An anime about cliches have characters who are their own personalities and don't have to be typecast into them. If all art had this level of self-awareness, we would have a cultural climate that would make even a normie justify its existence.
What I learned:
It's possible to care about a character who has more negative traits than positive, so long as they use the positive traits more than the negative. Haruhi's immoral acts aren't constant, and so long as she's respectful and not treating mere humans like dirt, it is easy to forgive. Similarly, Kyon's ego and apathy towards things can be annoying, though his quick-wittedness and lawful goodness makes him a man that a lot of men can't go wrong to want to emulate.
Worrying about time wasted is a legitimate issue, though as the famous saying goes, "This too shall pass". It's far easier to remember a good event or a bad even than it is to remember a mediocre one, as was the case with the last two episodes (07 and 06). The highs are higher than the lows in the case of this show, and I suppose that justifies watching it.
Yes, I will go so far as to say that single scenes justify watching a show or playing a game. I didn't like Undertale (as you know, and I won't ever stop bringing it up the cunt that I am)... but the very first scene with the flower, the entire world with the skeleton brothers, and the Mettaton boss fight being one of the greatest fights in video games I have ever had the pleasure of playing (oh, yes...), I wouldn't even call you out on it if you forgive the awful level design, nonsensical plot, and awareness of video game tropes without giving them the proper respect they deserve. It's a lot like a dinner - the whole first section may be horrible, but when you get some green tea ice cream that tastes like nothing you've ever tasted before, it justifies the entire expense of both time and money.
Don't get a murderboner - Froghand.
Today's page was updated on August 26, 2016!
I didn't even mention the Phoenix Wright bit.