Yes, another post devoted to the time loop goodness that is the Endless Eight arc of 2nd series of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. Amongst the many topics that have been an expression of personal enjoyment going against a perceived notion that the arc could be trolling or just bad in general, or my own momentary decision to call the series itself “Endless Eight” and even a joke that the arc was approaching the running time of Groundhog Day, which has already happened. After commenting that I thought the format of the arc was all wrong, but could be enjoyed anyway, I’ve decided to take a look at how this arc could have been done.
Option 1: A Single Episode
Surely not a popular option for those who like the source material, but could this have been done in one episode? In order to do that, the reveal of the situation by Koizumi and Yuki would have to be included as well as removing much of the taste of summer from the episode as well. There would probably have to be a section with a second run through of the month where Kyon could be the hero in the end and get time moving again.
I would say this option would be feasible, but I have doubts as to whether it could make sense in 20 minutes.
Option 2: Endless Eight: The Movie
Since I brought up Groundhog Day earlier, so I’ll look at this as a potential option. Nearly everything could be kept in up to this point, but how would to a viewer. Throughout the arc, the events are kept the same for the most part with very small differences. Maintaining that interest would be difficult. Also, where Groundhog Day succeeded was in making each recurrence seem different, the Endless Eight arc seems to rely on aesthetic for most of each episode and only grasping for viewer interest in the dying minutes hoping Kyon can end it.
I would say a movie could work, but it would be more interesting if Kyon was also aware of the time loop.
Option 3: The Status Quo
Time loop television serials have never really lasted all that long. Doctor Who only limited itself to 4-6 episode arcs when it visited this topic. The 2006 drama Day Break lasted six episodes with its crime-based time loop before being pulled for poor ratings. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni covers a similar length of time with its arcs, but they are spread over several episodes and each is different enough to stand on its own.
I think I already stated that the current method wasn’t the best, but I’m not going to say Kyoto Animation isn’t allowed to manage their projects in as bad a way as they like.
Option 4: An OVA
Based on current evidence it wouldn’t make enough money in sales on anecdotal evidence, but I have been wrong about fanbases before.
Option 5: It doesn’t work period.
This will probably be a popular option for a lot of people. With the story being what it is, simple summer activities repeated many times, and with time loop being written with the only aware being a character who can’t drive an episode. Clearly the producers and even the author of the novels thought this could work, but I’ll hold off on DVD sales for that perspective.
Option 6: Anything else
While there are a few other visual media I could imagine this story playing out on (Endless Eight: The Silent Movie), I’ll leave it to the imagination of any one out there who wants to think of anything else and how it would work, even if it’s ironic.