I wonder how much Nagato really cares that time is repeating? Or is her boredom in the eye of the beholder?
Nagato, as we all know, isn’t quite human. And while she’s not completely devoid of emotions, I wonder if she experiences more minor feelings like boredom. As she mentions to Kyon, her job is to observe, not to change Haruhi’s course. Thus, like a computer loading Windows for the umpteenth time, does it really matter to Nagato whether they’ve been repeating the same two weeks 3 times or 15,498 times? In the end, she’s still doing what she’s been programmed to do. She’s obviously capable of diverging from her strict programming (evidenced by the Ryoko Asakura incident), but maybe she just wasn’t bored enough to do so.
Fun fact: If Nagato read a book a day, she would’ve needed these two weeks to repeat at least another 147,768 times to have read all the available books in the Library of Congress. So I’m thinking Nagato probably could’ve lasted quite a bit longer before she would’ve been really bored.
With that said, to repeat two weeks 15,498 is pretty wild. It’s equivalent to 594 years according to Kyon’s quick math. In contrast, Rika Furude was stuck in a repeating time sequence of about a 100 years. Of course, Haruhi’s summer days end much less violently, but six centuries is no small number.
I read this arc a year or two ago, so this is the point where I forget what happens next in the story. I’m not sure what exactly Haruhi wants to accomplish in order to feel fulfilled, but it’s somewhat amazing that she didn’t accomplish everything she wanted – even by random chance – during that time.
While all the slice of life stuff was nice to see, the switch to the dramatic/mystery angle is much appreciated. And while the story becomes much more interesting, what I might enjoy the most is the return of the somewhat-eerie, dissonant background music that accompanied the second half of the episode. This is the good stuff that makes you wonder what mysteries are right around Haruhi’s corner.
And actually, while we’re on the topic of music, I like the look of the new OP. It’s no Boken Desho Desho, but it’s impossible to live up to a legendary song. The song itself is pretty solid, but I really dig the art direction with the comic book effects and text backgrounds. The only strange thing is the sequence in which everyone’s raising their arms and shaking their heads. You don’t understand what’s going on? Well, I don’t either.
On a completely different note, my favorite ongoing gag in Haruhi is when Koizumi invades Kyon’s personal space. Considering how perceptive Koizumi is, I have to think he’s doing it on purpose to annoy Kyon. He is a true smart ass and his fabulousness cannot be denied.