The movie is perfect, the TV series not so much.
can be a difficult show, with Haruhi's creepy tendency to sexually harass people, especially poor Mikuru, and the whole endless eight debacle in the second series (just watch the first and last episodes, you wont miss anything). However, if you can look past those issues, there is entertainment to be found.
The characters are one of the best things going for it, with our deadpan snarker
protagonist Kyon bouncing superbly off of the unpredictable and dangerous main character Haruhi, while the supporting cast all have their own amusing quirks and motives. The writing and premises are often witty, and the show keeps the viewer fairly entertained, even if it is by no means a work of genius.
After the series comes The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, a brilliant, mesmerising, and quite literally EPIC feature, with a stirring soundtrack making use of classical pieces such as Erik Satie
's Gymnopédies, amongst other tracks taken either from the original series or composed especially for the film; and when I said the film is EPIC, I mean EPIC, at just under 3 hours, it is only a minute shy of being the longest animated film ever made, which somehow does not lead to ending fatigue
. In fact, I felt the film could have benefited from being longer still.
To understand the film one must first have seen the series, which brings me into conflict. The series, while good enough in its way, is not something I would particularly recommend over other shows, particularly considering the fact that MOST PEOPLE WILL FEEL HIGHLY UNCOMFORTABLE WATCHING A SHOW CONCERNING A SCHOOLGIRL WITH A TENDENCY TO KIDNAP AND MOLEST PEOPLE; yet the sweet reward that comes at the end in the form of the best film I have ever seen cannot be forgotten...
Of course, we come to the subject of Subbing versus Dubbing
, and, in this case, I recommend the Japanese audio. The american dub is not bad, Crispin Freeman
does a sterling job as protagonist
Kyon; but the Japanese dub has Aya Hirano
as Haruhi, and her depiction of Haruhi is probably the single greatest piece of voice acting I have ever had the pleasure to experience, while Haruhi's american voice actor honestly does a rather poor job in her depiction. If you're someone who largely prefers English dubs, the american dub is good, don't worry, but otherwise, go with the Japanese.