Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Long-Ass Nap of Suzumiya Haruhi

A few days ago, Hinano posted about how the painfully long wait for the second Suzumiya Haruhi anime, not to mention the 10th novel, was making it seriously hard to care:
I freaking LOVED this show. I cosplayed Haruhi, I drew a HaruKyon doujinshi. Hell it was one of the first shows that I “completed” when I first began blogging in 2006. I read all the currently released novels but now what? Cockteasing us with stupid newtype pictures with no continuation in sight. Does KyoAni think that putting “teasers” in magazines is gonna make me give a damn months later?
It does seem like they're trying their best to kill the goose that lays golden eggs here--why throw all the momentum they had after the first season out the window with such a long break? The delay in the light novels is just baffling--the 10th light novel, "The Surprise of Suzumiya Haruhi", was scheduled to come out in summer '07, but the publisher announced it would be delayed, and a year and a half later we're still waiting with no release date in sight. Given the ninth novel had a pretty ambitious plot, with two parallel universes/stories of sorts going on, I'm a little worried the author just got in over his head and has no idea how to continue the story. Or worse, the author's at some kind of impasse with his editors, where he wants to do something drastic like kill off Mikuru but the editors are petrified that'll piss off the fans.

Why Kyoani has stalled so long on the second season of the anime is a good question too--are they really making that much more money doing Key adaptations like Kanon and Clannad? Does Clannad sell so much better than Haruhi that it makes business sense to give it four cours, while Haruhi's only had one? If you told me in 2006 that we would see Munto get a TV series before we'd see a second season of Haruhi, not to mention we'd see Kanon, Clannad, and Lucky Star in between, I'd have thought you were insane. Conventional wisdom back then was we'd get the two cours of Kanon, and then another season of Haruhi soon after. Of course, back then no one expected the CEO of General Motors to fly to D.C. on his private jet to beg for money either...

I remember someone at Kyoani mentioning at one point that they wanted Haruhi to be like the Gundam franchise for them--someone needs to go to Kyoto and tell them you don't built a franchise by just sitting on a one-cour series for years and throwing out the occasional teaser. I can't say they've killed my interest in the series, because I'm sure I'll be counting the days until the next season airs regardless of if it's in 2009 or 2039, but I'm starting to wish J.C. Staff or some other studio would do the second season just to get things moving already. I guess there's the Churuya-san anime coming, but I don't think that has a release date yet either, and it's a parody, not a real continuation.

It's hard not to think that by putting a gap of geological time proportions between seasons, that when it finally comes the true second season will get a lot less attention than it would if they had aired it closer to the first. I guess the good part is if they keep delaying, my 3-week old daughter will be in high school by the time it comes out so we can watch it together.

5 comments:

MisterEd said...

I know it was just an example, but Mikuru would seem to be the last character that could be killed off, seeing as we've been introduced to future Mikuru.

From reading the author's notes in the books, it seems like Tanigama: 1: Loves Nagato. and 2: Realizes Nagato's powers make it difficult to write around (since she can pretty much solve anything single-handedly). If Tanigawa's written something to cause Kadokawa to poop bricks, my guess is that it's killing or drastically redefining Nagato.

thenullset said...

I'm cautiously optimistic that this year is the year we get the second season of Haruhi because the director of the second season is the guy that did FMP and Lucky Star 5-24 and he's not doing Clannad or Munto right now - so what is he working on?

I think KyoAni is under a lot of pressure to top themselves during the second season and that's making it difficult for them to do the second season.

I've been wanting to read the novels but I haven't wanted to spoil the second season so I just wish they'd announce one way or the other already if they plan on doing a second season.

Brian said...

@MisterEd: True, unless Mikuru (Big) was her sister or clone or something I can't imagine a way that would work either, was probably a bad example on my part :) I can't really imagine he'd kill off any of the cast, but I can't think of a good reason why the next volume's delayed so long either...unless he wrote himself into a corner in volume nine somehow and didn't realize it until it was too late.

@thenullset:
I really hope we see it this year too--I think over a year ago they 'officially announced' a second season, but no airdate. I think you're right, given the attention the first season got they've got to be feeling a lot of pressure...and the longer the wait probably the higher the expectations that they'll do something spectacular...

Yumeka said...

I read volume 9 of the novels over a year and a half ago, and I was definitely not expecting to wait this long for volume 10, much less a second season of the anime. I agree, I can't understand why KyotoAni made a second season of Clannad and now Munto before Haruhi. From what I've heard, they want to restart the series with season 2 rather than continue off from season 1. So they're probably having a lot of trouble deciding what to do and how to make the second season just as good as the first. And I also heard that Tanigawa-san started working on another series...he's probably also having trouble figuring out how to tie up the loose ends from volume 9. But I'm optimistic that 2009 will see a release of volume 10 or a second season of the anime...hopefully one of them at least.

Brian said...

@Yumeka:
I thought I read somewhere the 2nd series would be a continuation after all, but there have been so many rumors over the years it's hard to keep them all straight...there must be a story behind why it's taken so long, but I guess we may never know all the details...
-suguru