When the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya came out back in 2006 and we got the release here afterwards, I found myself enjoying the show a lot and the quirkiness of it as well as the very appealing Kyoto Animation for the series. The character of Haruhi is one that has a lot of appeal, but it was the supposed supporting cast which became far more interesting as we had our psychic, our alien and our time traveler all working with a seemingly normal guy to keep Haruhi placated so she didn't inadvertently end up destroying the entire universe. When talk of Haruhi returning to the air, a lot of people suspected a second season. With the way the show ran both a chronological order and broadcast order, a second season following that wasn't out of the question.
What they did instead was surprisingly different and refreshing in its own way, though its execution left a whole lot to be desired. With the original airing telling the story it did, the fourteen new episodes created ended up being mixed into the original material to fill in some of the blanks with more things going on in the Haruhi-verse while what we saw before played out. There's a lot of room to play with so there's definitely a lot to like with this idea of slipping in a few side stories to the larger narrative. The opening episode of this set does just that as Mikuru ends up bringing Kyon back in time a few years to when Haruhi was a bit younger and Kyon has his first meeting with her, as well as meeting the older Mikuru who explains a bit of what's going. Time travel is fun in general so having one that sets up events for the future by making it in the past lets you play with that whole conundrum nicely. And a younger Haruhi is poitively cute to watch.
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