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The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya [DVD]

4.8 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Directors: Yasuhiro Takemoto
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Japanese
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Manga Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Nov. 2011
  • Run Time: 163 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004W7D4PA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,957 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

BASED ON THE ANIME PHENOMENON. THE FIRST HARUHI MOVIE! It is mid-december, and SOS Brigade chief Haruhi Suzumiya announces that the Brigade is going to hold a Christmas party in their clubroom, with Japanese hotpot for dinner. The brigade members Kyon, Yuki Nagato, Mikuru Asahina and Itsuki Koizumi start preparing everything for the party, such as costumes and decorations. But a couple of days later, Kyon arrives at school only to find that Haruhi is missing. Not only that, but Mikuru claims she has never known Kyon before, Koizumi is also missing, and Yuki has become the sole member of the literature club. The SOS Brigade seems to have never existed, nor has Haruhi Suzumiya. No one in the school has ever heard about her… except for Kyon.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent adaptation of 'The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya' light novel. The story isn't groundbreaking, original, deep... or anything like that, but it is a quirky time-traveling adventure that's on par with the quality of Season One. It's a perfect addition to the Haruhi Suzumiya universe. It should also be noted that the animation is absolutely gorgeous, and two of the main characters develop a little bit more by the end.

The only two problems I have with the movie are: the length, which is over 2 hours, and the fact that if you aren't familiar with Haruhi Suzumiya nor seen The Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody story arc from Season Two, then you'll be totally lost! This movie is really for the fans. It's not an anime movie I'd recommend to a casual viewer or anyone who isn't familiar with the series.
As for the running time: it's both a good and bad thing. Bad because it's only a short story based on a short novel... Good, because, as a result, it's faithfully adapted just like the rest of the series.

Recommended, but recommended only for fans of Haruhi Suzumiya!!

EDIT: Just like JediFineTricks rightly pointed out - and like I informed amazon, which they totally disregarded - this DVD contains a second disc packed with over 2 hours of extras!
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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 complaint 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.
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It may be that this will be the last part of the Haruhi Suzumiya story to be produced, given the uproar in Japan over voice actress Aya Hirano's private life. I hope not - I have truly enjoyed the series, even Endless Eight, and there are many more excellent stories in the light novel series of the same name. But if this is the end, this is a fantastic way for it to go out.

The story is paced beautifully, with the situation surrounding protagonist Kyon and his complete bewilderment at the change in his life being revealed step by careful step. I for one am glad they made the choice to have a long running time, just so the pace could be right - there have been too many instances of books being turned into films where the pacing was far too rushed, where it seemed like a breathless rush from one set piece to another. Not here. The set-up of the particular fix in which Kyon finds himself, the solution to it and the twist in the tail are all given time to develop.

What else? The characterisation is excellent, especially of Yuki Nagato and Kyon - most of the story revolves round them, with the others playing lesser roles - though Haruhi herself is very, very conspicuous by her absence for a large part of the story. The humour is gentle, the artwork fantastic and the scripting of the choice that Kyon has to make - whether to accept what the world has become or turn it back to the way it had been - is presented beautifully.

The one warning note I would sound (and I am not the first to make this point by any means) - don't watch the film if you haven't seen the preceding anime series - I counted about 10 direct references to various episodes, not to mention understanding the characters - you will end up mightily confused. But for the vast majority, if not all, of Haruhi fans, this is a winner.
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There are some books or films which you might say are good, or even great by the standards of their genre, then along comes a film like The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (DHS) which manages to transcend those standards.
Which is not to say that there aren't other great anime, great beyond their own world, but in terms of the type of anime and more importantly, the type of story DHS is, then yes it's greatness is rather surprising. The weakness of the original series The Melancholy of Haruhi was that as much fun as it could be, it never felt like it could ever transcend simply being that: fun. DHS does, effortlessly.
What separates the two and allow DHS to exist on a much more elevated story telling plain is the way the film manages its characters. In particular Kyon and Yuki Nagato. These two character are shown in different circumstance and a different light and it allows them to truly develop far beyond the single note protagonist and secondary which they had previously been. With that development the audience is allowed, for really the first time in the series, to actually care for the people we're watching. The drama is that much more intimate, there is genuine suffering and consequently both true catharsis and true bathos at the resolution of the problem the film sets before us.
Also I would be remiss in not mentioning that the pacing of the story telling in this film is amazing. The first half is slow, quiet, calm and it serves to heighten the tension quite brilliantly and so allows the far more active second half to be not only to serve as a sustained relief of that tension but act as a real goad for our feelings that the wrong choices, or decisions might be made.
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