11th Dec2020

Opinionated: Is Haruhi Suzumiya’s Endless Eight Worth Watching?

by Xenia Grounds

In my review for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, I mentioned that there was a set of eight episodes which would need further discussing. It’s a very infamous part of the anime and something that generates a lot of debate among fans on whether it’s worth sitting through or not. We call it ‘The Endless Eight’. The reaction to it can range from calling it one of the biggest wastes of animation or something very important to experience first-hand for an eventual pay-off in the movie.

For those who don’t know, The Endless Eight takes place halfway through the series (or the second season if you choose the release order) and has our group of main characters trapped in a time loop like Groundhog Day. However, they don’t know they’re in a time loop and it shows mostly in Kyon’s narration because at the end of the two weeks, he wakes up and repeats everything again without knowing something is wrong. It’s not until Itsuki loses his powers, Mikuru loses connection with the future and Yuki calmly reveals she has been witness to hundreds of thousands of loops that they try to do something about it. Unfortunately, they mostly don’t succeed and then the loop starts again in the following episode.

What can make this frustrating to sit through is that it’s not like other stories where it changes things up to keep us entertained such as making some of it humourous with a character who is aware of the loop and becomes irritable and snarky for example. The Endless Eight rarely changes anything. There are different camera angles and new animation but what the characters say and do remains essentially the same for eight episodes straight. From a viewer standpoint, this can be boring at best and rage inducing at worst. Luckily I wasn’t watching Haruhi when it was airing on tv so I didn’t have to wait a week for a new episode but if I had, I can only imagine that the frustration I had by the time this whole time loop story was over would have been much worse because it would’ve been eight weeks of the same episode.

From what I know of the Haruhi light novel, this part was only thirty pages so taking thirty pages and getting eight episodes out of it is a little over the top. From a production perspective, it’s also really expensive because as mentioned before, they didn’t recycle animation but kept it new in every episode.

Having said all this, there is a merit that Endless Eight has going for it if you sit through the entire thing. Yes, sitting through the same thing eight times over isn’t particularly fun but be grateful that you didn’t have to go through it over 15,000 times and that you only have to experience it for twenty minutes each time instead of the full two weeks. If you had then you will know exactly what Yuki has had to go through. Yuki is basically an observer so she can’t do anything to break this loop and has to always wait for the others to catch-up every time. Since Yuki is an emotionless character, it’s hard to see if this has had any effect on her but it really has. This whole arc has a massive impact on Yuki and it’s something to keep in mind when watching the movie.

So overall, do I recommend sitting through eight episodes of extreme repetition? Yes. At least if you’re watching this series for the first time. It contributes when it comes to understanding a few character motivations in the Disappearance movie. Plus, having your own opinion and understanding of it is never a bad thing. If you’ve finished the series then feel free to skip half of these episodes (I’d say skip 2,3,5,6) because you can still get the experience without sitting through a lot of the filler.


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