My summer vacation was a great festivity of laziness, video games and anime. I wasn’t wholly unproductive, but most of my nights ended around 5am either chatting with Americans or watching some Starcraft 2 stream (mostly a combination). It was during this short but sweet period I had the chance to partake in watching Endless Eight and Disappearance with a bunch of guys from twitter on Skype. Yeah, if you told me that a year ago I’d be as nonplussed as you are…
I’ve watched some random episodes with others before, but truth be told I still am not used to watching anime with other people. Anime has always been a solitary experience for me. I’ve probably spent the first three years of my anime watching life without conversing about it in real life, in real depth. It’s also very weird to see voices attached to the names and avatars you see on the internet.
But it was quite fun to see the sheer masochism of people watching Endless Eight, and the sigh of relief, lingering feelings, perhaps even a gaping hole left in our lives when it all ended. Like those unnecessarily painful events you go through as a collective where you experience a bonding moment (as everyone says “ai rabu yuu“) and everyone comes out just a little closer.
And it was quite interesting to hear some ideas float around while watching Disappearance and I even got the chance to spam one of my own findings. Carefully avoiding spoilers because some people decided to postpone watching one of the best films in animation (how could they not be immensely hyped about something I love!?). I can’t speak for others, but I’d have a tough time watching this (very thoughtful) film with other people talking. I would, but by then I had already seen the film three times so the contents were known to me.
Although I’m still lukewarm towards watching anime with others, I liked the direct and raw interaction with other fans and will definitely do more of this. Which I’m planning to do in 2012. I’ve got tickets for my first anime convention ever and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m proud sponsor of MangaKissa, even if it’s just a small amount per month (please forgive the poor college student). This non-profit manga library is always occupied by friendly people who are up for a chat.
Although my experience with the SCCSAV participants is what put this on the list, I’d like to talk a bit about Endless Eight and Disappearance themselves, why I’m so glad these series were what I watched with the others and what they mean to me.
First off, let me state that I love Endless Eight. It is the epitome of sheer guts, creativity, uncreativity, created confusion amongst the viewers and staff alike and was, to most people, very boring. I haven’t seen anything quite like it, certainly not in anime. I love it. I love analysing what it is, but I also love watching people’s reactions. Endless Eight generated a nearly infinite stream of reactions and an equally infinite source of delight for me. I’m glad to have added the reactions of the SCCSAVages to the list.
Second off, let me state that Disappearance is a straightforward adaptation, but with just enough details added in by the adaptors. It doesn’t just “animate the novel”, it adapts it. Spins the written words into a form that can call itself anime with pride. It stays true to the original while making creative use of the strengths of anime. The people at Kyoto Animation are masters of the, yes, animation. I didn’t get to hear anything mind-blowing, but I got to know some cute details about the movie I didn’t recognize in my three viewings before. I’m glad to have added the keen remarks of the SCCSAVages to the list.
Last off, Haruhi in general has left a big impact on me. I’m an unabashed fan of the series, willing to forgive it its faults. The achronological ordering, Endless Eight. Tricks they are but tricks I love. The design of the first season hasn’t aged well but the animation has still kept up. The way the second season plays around with interpreting the same thing and channelling the feeling of boredom (on purpose). The long run of a movie lasting three hours. It’s pandering me throughout all three of them, from the start to the credits and the little bit after the credits.
The Haruhi series has always impressed me to no end, I can speak in hyperboles of it. It’s series like these that make me glad to be a fan of anime.
I’m a bit saddened to say that my days of summer are long past. I cannot afford to stay up till 5am to live in American time zones. There’s another viewing tomorrow of Disappearance and you should join if you can. I cannot, unfortunately, but I hope the Christmas spirit is with them.