Five years ago, the world was introduced to THE MELANCHOLY OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA, and a cult phenomenon was born. In 2009, it's reputation was almost destroyed by the 'Endless Eight' controversy. But then, a year later, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA was made. When fans learn that it was going to be a movie, they hold their breath, hoping it would rescue HARUHI SUZUMIYA, given the fact that it was adapted from the fourth and most popular of the light novels.
When THE DISAPPEARANCE OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA came out, it was a success. For the fans, it was a miracle. And it's easy to see why. It truly is a superb film. One obvious thing about THE DISAPPEARANCE OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA is that it's one of, if not the, longest anime films made to date. Just seventeen minutes short of three hours. But when I watched the film, it didn't felt like three hours, because I was so caught up in the story, which has to be a good thing. I don't mind long films at all, as long as the story is interesting.
But what makes this film so great is that it adds more character development into two of the characters - Kyon and, my favourite, Yuki Nagato. There are some great scenes between the two. Haruhi herself doesn't have much screen time in the film, but she is still important to the overall plot of the movie. Both the art and animation is beautiful with great detail, and the music's nice, too.
The only downside I have about the film is that it's doesn't work as a stand-alone film. You've got to have seen the two seasons of the TV series and/or read the light novels to truly understand about the characters and the events that are mentioned. But if you don't want to waste three and a half hours of your life watching the 'Endless Eight' arc, just read the story in one of the light novels.
Before I finish my review, I would like to point out that there's a post-end credits sequence. I won't say what it is, but I'm pretty sure it might make you go 'Awwww'.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA is strongly recommended (To the newcomers, make sure you watch the TV series and/or read the light novels before seeing this).
Reviewer: Ben David W