Endless Eight in Getting the Format All Wrong

Yes Kyon, you've done this before. It could also be said this would have worked in one episode too.
Yes Kyon, you've done this before. It could also be said this would have worked in one episode too.

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

Driving a truck with a groundhog at the wheel leads to Phil Connors nth death of the day.
Driving a truck with a groundhog at the wheel leads to Phil Connors nth death of the day.

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

In 1971, Doctor Who tried a time loop story line for the first time
In 1971, Doctor Who tried a time loop story line for the first time

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.

8 thoughts on “Endless Eight in Getting the Format All Wrong”

  1. Lol that was interesting. Truthfully I’d keep the status quo only with more variation on the same scenes, more in-jokes. It would be frightfully indulgent, but the show has broken so many thresholds of self-indulgence already.

  2. Two episodes was good and enough for Endless Eight… and it shouldn’t take that long since Endless Eight is only 30 pages in the light novel and Kyon could of found the solution in the second episode… not in this 6 episode madness where it wear down the fan’s loyality…

  3. My option for the arc would have been three episodes: one, where they don’t know what’s going on; two, where they figure out something’s not right, but can’t stop it; and three, where they figure out something’s not right, then figure out how to make it stop. It still gives the audience a view of the repetition without being excessive, like it is right now. The reason I don’t like option 2, especially if Kyon was aware of what was going on the entire time, is that then it would become Groundhog Day, instead of just being similar to it. There’s a reason why Groundhog Day is so highly regarded, despite the fact it’s been knocked off so many times. It’s all well and good to copy a good idea (well, not really), but you’ll never outdo the original by copying alone. There has to be something else there to make it worthwhile… some other good idea.

  4. Day Break was so awesome. A shame.

    It would definitely have worked better if Kyon remembered more than vague feelings from the previous repeats. I just wish there would be some sort of development each time other than him failing constantly.

  5. Either keep it to 3 episodes or less, or make the new season 24 episodes. but to waste 6 out of 14 episodes is sinful.

  6. The general consensus seems to be that 3 episodes at most would have been good. Also, I would agree with the point that Kyon remembering everything would make it a cheap knockoff of Groundhog Day in a way, and there’s no way it would last the hundreds of years Yuki has experienced it. So I’ll look at it another way, has anything in recent years, good or bad, raised the amount of discussion in the community as much as this arc?

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