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On December 18, Kyon finds that several traces of the SOS Brigade have mysteriously disappeared from his life. Mikuru and Yuki do not seem to recall meeting him, and Haruhi and Itsuki do not attend North High School. In addition, all the former Brigade members have become normal people. Eventually, Kyon receives a message from Yuki's alien counterpart asking him to gather keys for a program that could return him to his own reality. This starts Kyon on a journey that eventually leads him back to the night Haruhi first became interested in meeting aliens, time travelers, and espers. Written by
The movie the series deserved, but not the one we asked for.
Version I saw: UK DVD release
Plot/script: 7/10 Photography/visual style: 6/10
Disappearance is a fine addition to the Haruhi franchise that began with Nagaru Tanigawa's novels before being adapted into two confusingly-ordered seasons of anime. It begins by depriving us of the main character, before bringing her back in a blaze of glory that reminded us how fun she had been all along. It's light-hearted fun with a surprising existential undercurrent that in no way spoils the ride. As long as you have seen enough to be familiar with the main characters, you don't even have to wade through all of the anime series that comes before, although it does help.
One wonders whether it is necessary, though. Arguably, this should just have been divided into 7 or 8 episodes and inserted into the series in place of the notorious 'Endless 8'. Some even say that it was, until someone came up with the bright idea that gave them a movie at comparatively little extra cost and effort. I'll leave that for you to decide.
For my full review, see my independent film blog on Blogspot, Cinema Inferno: http://cinemainferno-blog.blogspot.co.uk
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