. . . or so I keep telling myself, in the face of Endless Eight’s endlessly endless repetitions. (That’s iteration number 15,521 up there, by the way.)
The series’ current rate of progress – or lack thereof – has forced me to downgrade its viewing priority all the way to last place. I even have a new system for fast-checking each new episode:
1) Observe how Yuki wears her mask.
2) Listen to how Koizumi says “I love you”.
3) Skip to the end and see whether Kyon finally does that thing he needs to do to break this whole cycle of uneventfulness.
Beyond that, no need to watch the episode itself unless I run out of other things to gape at that week.
Now one can try to put a positive spin on things. One might suggest that KyoAni are putting us through this mental torture in order to have us share in the building frustrations of the characters themselves, thus binding us more intimately to their situation and allowing us to be drawn more deeply into the story. A thinking man’s version of Smell-o-Vision, if you will.
Or they could simply be toying with us and thinking of nothing but the huge killing they’ll make on DVD sales.
Consider: when this series is finally released, the poor Japanese fans who are only given two or three episodes per disc will end up paying for what is essentially the same episode several times over. If there will be eight of these repeats in all, that’s about four volumes just for the Endless Eight cycle. Figure on 6,000 yen or so each for a limited-edition release, and what you get is masses of otaku starving to death on the pavements of Akihabara, their copies of Haruhi clutched tightly to their emaciated bodies.
I say we drag KyoAni off to the Hague and have them tried for genocide.
But just as the mob begins to assemble at their doorstep with knives and pitchforks in hand, out will come an entirely new episode – and we shall be reduced once more to a mass of docile, adoring Yukitards happy to get whatever scraps are thrown at us.
Masochism, thy name is Haruhi.