Last month, the second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was released on Crunchyroll, for those that hadn’t already seen it, which just so happened to include me. Some of what I’ll mention may be a bit old news, but there are also a few issues that this season brings up that I doubt have gotten too much attention, so that I can still write something interesting about it.
To get a few “general impressions” out of the way first: the second season has an odd on-edge Twilight Zone feel to it that the first season didn’t, and I love it. The show really emphasizes the trouble that Haruhi causes the rest of the SOS brigade, and the abuse that she puts them through, in a way that I don’t feel the light novels pull off nearly as well. The look of sheer existential horror on everyone’s faces when (ROT13)Funzvfra fgnegrq gnyxvat conveyed what was going on a lot better than any amount of text ever could. The Endless Eight are far, far better than they sound. This dramatically understates how amazing it actually is, because it sounds like a craptastic ploy to pay the animators less and it absolutely is not — I couldn’t resist going through the entire arc in one sitting (yes, I know that’s not the air order — don’t care). The second season also paints Haruhi in a less pleasant light overall, and if it had come first, I doubt the series would be as popular as it is.
So, about that time loop: I was originally going to write “If I were to find out tomorrow that I had been reliving some of the best two weeks of my life over and over again, I’d be ecstatic. I’d be somewhat disappointed that I kept forgetting the previous loops (not much of a chance to learn from my mistakes), but I’d still think of it as a huge opportunity to try new things without much consequence. Even without doing anything extreme or out of the ordinary, for instance, since the loops vary in their details, I could pick a random anime series by true random number and watch it each time…” whereupon it occurred to me that true random number generators usually rely on quantum events/radioactive decay, and I don’t actually need a godlike entity to rewind time in order to do this — it is, in fact, perfectly possible for me to get a giant list of anime I haven’t seen yet, pick one using HotBits, and rest secure in the knowledge that “I” was almost certainly going to watch everything on the list if many-worlds is true. (For reference, FanCruft’s current random anime script does not use true random numbers, but a simply call to the rand() function instead, which is described right in the manual as being of “dubious” actual randomness).
I’m not sure if I’ll do this or not. Nonetheless, bravo Haruhi Suzumiya, for causing a real-life quandary for me.