Still Enjoying Endless Eight (Yeah I went there)

haruhi s2 06 i've been here before

This is not an endorsement of the second and currently airing season of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. It doesn’t say here that this show is good, and that anyone is missing out. Rather, I agree with Pontifus when he says [->]

All the weight/meaning in the world means nothing if you find the experience regrettable or a waste.

So I am not apologizing for the currently airing second season of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. I will entertain no such folly, never mind the delicious Macross references. What I am saying is that I have pierced the barrier of boredom with my drill of personal enjoyment, and I’ll tell you how I did it. Consider it or not at your leisure. The main problem of the Endless 8 arc is that every episode after the third one is a copy of the same show essentially. The TV format may not even be the ideal way to do it. From the archives I retreive two posts:

  1. Towards a Quantification of Love for Animu Part 1: the Rewatchability Ratio
  2. Towards a Quantification of Love for Animo Part 2: the Value of Rewatchability Through the Lens of Eternal Recurrence

Both posts by mechafetish, where he looked into our common behavior of rewatching shows we like. The first post measured a show’s subjective rewatchability ratio. Using the tools in that post, I would give this current season 2/6 (current episode count) = 0.33. This does not account for the recency bias; this ratio, as subjective as it is, may not hold over time with me, since I gave the clearly superior first season a 2/13 = .15 (the one with Lost my music, and Haruhi & Kyon’s preview leading to that episode: “LISTEN TO MY SONG! BOMBAAA!”). The second post, references the idea of eternal recurrence proposed by Friedrich Nietchzche as presented by Milan Kundera in his novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Mechafetish says,

This behavior fundamentally alters the way I derive utility from anime I watch. Generally, I tend to have fonder memories of anime that provide me with rewatchable moments simply because I generate more utility per minute due to selective rewatching. For example, I actually love Brain Powered (an anime generally agreed upon to be atrocious) because of exactly 2 moments in the later episodes that I watched more than all the episodes of the entire series combined.

Crappy anime, but with rewatchable moments. I felt that I was onto something here. There was almost this independentutility in rewatching a particular moment that is distinguished from the show, but not apart from it. The context is still decisive in appreciating such moments, but this enjoyment does influence one’s affinity for the show that made them. So this comprises the first part of the premise of my enjoying Endless 8. The second part is very much related, otou-san put it thusly,

Re-watching anime, like any visual entertainment, can give you new perspective on it just from the plain and simple value of seeing things again. We tend to see plot, character development, and visuals the first time around (and considering anime means watching with subtitles for most of us, even the visuals can be secondary at times). But that second viewing can reveal details of reference, symbolism, and detail. If you only watched The Holy Mountain or, yeah I’ll say it, FLCL just once, you missed something.

otou-san, Welcome Back or: what color are your glasses now?

While never close to insane levels of rewatching the way mechafetish does, I rewatch anime and reread manga a lot. And yes, I often feel that I discover new things every time I see the same show again.

The way I ended up enjoying Endless 8 episodes 4, 5, and 6 is that I related to them as rewatch adventures for episode 3.

haruhi s2 05 SOS dan the fun is supposed to start

But episode 3 was just a few weeks ago, it’s too soon for an appreciative (as opposed to a data-mining for articles) rewatch. Yes, that is true. It was a solid wall that would’ve stopped my enjoyment frozen. But it didn’t. It was a wall? I smashed right through it. The difference is, that there are definite, obvious, subtle and new things to discover, not only because I missed them the first time, but rather there were changes by design.

Maybe this only works because I don’t have the best short-term memory, maybe I find the episodes interesting because I skipped chunks of it. I’m not the biggest fan of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, but I like it; and I wasn’t enjoying myself at all watching the same episode over and over again. Until, I realized how often I do this for singular episodes of other shows (list does not include the constant rotation of random episodes from the Macross franchise):

  • Martian Successor Nadesico 14, where a recap episode OWNS [->]
  • Shin Mazinger Z Shougeki Hen 01, where confusion gave way to awe [->]
  • Itazura na Kiss 14, where the hueg romantic payoff happens in mid-season [->]
  • Turn A Gundam 50, the epilogue that kills me every time (featuring “Tsuki no Mayu” full version)
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann 27

Now, I’m not saying the Endless 8 recursion of the 3rd episode deserves a place on this list, but as for the episode itself – there was much to enjoy within it. It’s the recursion that bothered me, not the content it is based on. So basically, I found a way to enjoy this (and it’s not like I’m jumping up and down screaming how awesome it is, that happened in episode 02 during Kyon’s ‘Kakizaki Requiem’ with matching Itano Circus).

haruhi s2 06 enjoying repetitive circular motion

So this is how I inadvertently found myself enjoying episode 06 after I thought I’d given up after episode 05. Take this as you will. I just happen to think that ‘who enjoys, wins.’

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in analysis, fanboy, moments in anime and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Still Enjoying Endless Eight (Yeah I went there)

  1. kadian1364 says:

    Wait….

    I didn’t think good old ghostlightning had the heart to troll his readers!

    • ghostlightning says:

      Troll? No wai, the same way I don’t think The Execution of Haruhi Suzumiya (Endless 8) is a troll. I’m just finding new ways to enjoy Haruhi. Remember, ‘who enjoys, wins.’

  2. lelangir says:

    I actually really enjoy these episodes for s’life value. Weird? Maybe.

  3. kimaguresan says:

    clever…how’s that working out for you?

    😄

  4. otou-san says:

    never expected this… but I guess in a world where endless eight is happening, the foot is on the other hand!

    • ghostlightning says:

      It’s mostly harmless. I find it funny (not in a derogatory way) how some fans feel soooo betrayed by how Endless Eight is done. Considering that most people aren’t exactly lining the creators’ pockets while they watch their digital fansubs, they can just enjoy a bad idea done bad.

  5. Seinime says:

    Hmm, maybe people should look at Haruhi at a new light. It all depends whether you find it enjoyable or not, not just the episode itself.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Yes, it’s a matter too of modifying expectations. A lot of the people who are upset are those with an interest to insist that the Haruhi anime is a classic and perhaps one of the best works ever made. Truthfully I like Lucky Star a lot more, but that’s me.

  6. bluemist says:

    You better do this as many times as the number of E8 episodes.

  7. sadakups says:

    Well played.

  8. gloval says:

    Ahh, just what I expected from you. And the use of the earlier discussion on Rewatchability was a simple but effective touch.

    I assume you do know the OMGWTFBBQWIN!!11 significance of Kyon doing his Itano Circus on a bike using toy rockets, right? And the Macross Frontier and Gundam 00 references are evidence that the time loop happened in the August of 2008, ohohoho. My only gripe is why the Macross references have to be in an infamous arc.

    By the way, what are your thoughts on the showing of TMoHS in TV5?

  9. Pingback: Haruhi Suzumiya: Feeling SHAFTed yet? @ Mega Megane Moé

  10. kaiserpingvin says:

    Like ∞8? you and me both bro.

    I never found endless eight anything but entertaining, though it’s entertaining wholly of meta reasons. The threads on MAL are hilarity. I have no idea why I never thought of the rewatch angle though, clever ghost is clever.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Entertaining for meta reasons… to think that it took me weeks and weeks to nail the idea down. You found the phrase that would’ve taken away the need to write this post (and the one before it lol). Sometimes it isn’t necessity that drives invention, it’s categorical ineptness, or rather ineptness in categorizing!

      So yes, it is very entertaining for meta reasons, and this post series is an expression of such meta inter-text (self-pleasuring) entertainment. More to come (in perhaps a more appropriate blog)!

  11. T.V. says:

    lol 😄
    KyoAni should’ve trolled the viewer by making Endless Eight really 8 episodes long…

    I actually haven’t bothered with Haruhi S2 yet, and probably won’t based on the mixed reactions sofar. At least not in the near future, but perhaps when the season is finished I’ll do.
    Having the entire season available can be a luxury over 1 ep a week, because only then can you truly FFWD at leisure, which could impact the experience a great deal. 😉

    Speaking about viewing experience, you’ve taken a nice angle for exploring the rewatchability of anime (or any other media). Almost too good to pass up. 😉

    • ghostlightning says:

      Thanks, credit mechafetish who wrote the posts I linked to. The FFWD option is priceless. I think I watched episode 04 and 05 in a batch, and I FFWD liberally. The ‘epiphany’ arrived in episode 06, where I thought there must be a way to enjoy this beyond meta reasons.

    • sadakups says:

      No, if they want this to be realistic, KyoAni should replay Endless Eight until August.

  12. I was already to WTF at this, but you manage to paint a smart and clear distinction between enjoyment and praise, something I can just barely get behind when it comes to this whole season. It is after all quite possible to enjoy something but recognize that in one’s own mind it may not be up to snuff. Like say….suffering through reality TV which I find to be the shallowest expression of commercial and corporate culture being impressed on the average joe (and thus just one big long advertisement/brainwashing stunt that just keeps becoming more so with each new season and series) but enjoying spending my time with my parents who do enjoy it and thus in the end enjoying myself and by extension the experience of watching it.

    Unfortunately I have nobody else to watch Haruhi with like you do with Mechafetish and the wife so my chances of actually working things out and tricking myself into enjoying the experience have become slim to none, which is why I haven’t bothered with last weeks episode yet.

    • ghostlightning says:

      You gave a good example with regards to enjoying reality tv. The thing in itself may lack merit, but the context in how we experience it can make a galaxy of difference.

  13. daisekihan says:

    May I ask what you’re smoking and where I could get some? I wouldn’t mind some “enjoyment” myself.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Regular filtered tobacco (lights) (I’d like to get my hands on some Gitanes like this guy though [->]). But if you’re serious about my appreciation methodology, I refer you to this post [->]

  14. ghostlightning says:

    I MUST SHARE THIS HERE:

    c/o ST. CCY of the Book (whatever the fuck Nagato is reading)

    ENDLESS EIGHT FINALLY GETS TO HITLER

    I fucking lol’d

  15. Pingback: Endless Eight? More like Endless Pedophilia | Baka-Raptor

  16. Pingback: Final Thoughts on Endless Eight « Hard Work and Guts: An Anime Blog

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