In Memoriam: Looking back at the Spring 2006 anime season (part 2)
(This won't make much sense without reading part 1 first.)
If you remember the Spring season of 2006 reasonably well, you may notice a striking omission from the list of shows I'd looked at in part 1. Namely, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya aired that season but I didn't even mention it. How could I possibly write about the Spring 2006 season and not cover Haruhi?
As it happens, I have a record of my initial reaction to Haruhi's first (broadcast) episode, back in the spring of 2006:
gregory says "Have you watched The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya?"
You say "I admire the high concept of starting off the first episode as a crappy tragically bad student film. At the same time, it means that the first episode is a crappy, stereotypically bad student film."
You say "So no, effectively not."
As it went on, my friend Gregory Blake wound up loving Haruhi and he did his best to try to get me to watch it. Unfortunately, if you know Haruhi you know that it's very difficult to try to explain why it's so worth watching without actually spoiling the surprise. While he was alive, Gregory didn't spoil me and he failed to persuade me to power through that first episode of a terrible student film to get to the meat of the show.
After his death, I wound up feeling that because he'd loved Haruhi so much I should watch it basically in his memory. And once I was watching it, well, I wound up really loving it; Haruhi somewhat retroactively became one of the highlights of the Spring 2006 season for me. Call it part of Gregory's legacy. Even today my memories of Haruhi are inextricably tangled up in the circumstances under which I came to watch it.
(So yeah, Gregory was totally right about it being something I'd enjoy. And I'm even glad he didn't spoil me about it, because that definitely was a good double-take.)
Thank you, Gregory Blake, for that careful, spoiler-free, heartfelt advocacy for a show that you loved. In memoriam.
Written on 05 December 2016.