No less crazy, but some explanations are provided.
What They Say:
No episode information provided.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This show is basically a big lump of insanity, all wrapped up in that weird Shaft visual style. The first episode showed that pretty plainly, and after that, it was hard to imagine it would move away from that theme too significantly in the immediate future. This episode proves that that assumption. However, before the opening even plays, we get some rapid-fire exposition via a report Sasami is writing for some reason, surprisingly explaining a lot of the craziness from the previous episode in ways that one would almost definitely not guess. Sasami doesn’t know quite everything, though, such as what the sisters’ story is, and some of the later events in the episode seem to contradict some of what we hear at the beginning. Interestingly considering that both the first episode and this one have Haruhi references, Sasami’s brother is in a similar situation to the character of Haruhi Suzumiya herself, or at least that’s how Sasami understands it at this point.
Most of the episode is taken up by the characters all hanging out in Sasami’s room, using some of her many computers to investigate the online game that has taken away many of the absent students from school and turned them into hikikomori, although likely not nearly as much as Sasami herself. Much of the comedy here is showing how much Sasami’s life revolves around her obsessions, from her trying to sabotage the sisters’ attempts to play the game for fear of it ceasing to exist and invalidating more hours of her life than she wants anyone to know to freaking out every time they handle her precious possessions, or get food all over her computers. Some of it may seem overly obsessive, but I can definitely relate to the perfectionist otaku mentality, as can most of the target demographic, I would assume. I feel like the series may be getting even further from any possible appeal outside of the hardcore otaku crowd, but it’s pretty obvious that this was never contradictory to what was intended.
Again, the visuals are by far the best part of the series. Many of the varied faces Sasami makes throughout the longest section of the episode are very similar to the ones seen in the Bakemonogatari anime series, and any replication of that anime’s style is a pretty welcome attribute here.
The last little bit is very similar to the first episode, as expected. However, now that we’ve seen this once before and had some of it explained, this is a very different experience than it initially was, and packs a bit less of a punch because of it. This is where things don’t seem to match up exactly with what Sasami said at the very beginning of the episode, as she seems to potentially be the more Haruhi-powered character for this particular event. It’s possible that each episode will begin with a very short segment explaining how some of the craziness of the previous episode did in fact make sense, but for the time being, it’s not clear.
We get a lot more of the same, as far as most of the episode being a whole bunch of wacky comedy followed by a ridiculously world-altering sequence, all of which is accented nicely by Shaft’s stylistic weirdness. Some explanation is given in a pretty rough form, and at least it makes things a little easier to follow, but the experience isn’t necessarily better for it. With some of the additional questions brought up, I’m at least interested to see what will be revealed next.
Streamed By: The Anime Network
Toshiba Satellite L655-S5191 PSK2CU-1C301U Notebook PC.