Anime Review #72: The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya

Bear with me all, but I’m going to be reviewing a movie today – but not in consecutive posts like what I did last year. Fifty-one Anime Reviews earlier, I reviewed The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the anime featuring the titular manic high school girl with a penchant for world-building at whim, and her motley band of classmates, which feature a cute time-travelling girl, a stoic alien, an esper and an ordinary guy who at times wishes he had absolutely nothing to do with this group. I still consider this one of the most overrated shows out there, because of things like Endless Eight, the mundane scenarios that they go through, and not to mention, Haruhi’s excessively abusive behaviour, which is far from the God-like figure everyone espouses her to be. For an example of what the true God is like, on the other hand, how about “I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep.” (St. John 10:14-15) for starters?

But that’s beside the point. Although the series was a disappointment compared to the expectations I had, it turns out that there was a movie associated with it which I flossed over up until 29 September 2021. Unlike the series which played more on the typical high school anime playbooks, this movie takes a different approach, providing one answer to the question: “If you could do your life over again in another world where things are better than the original, would you do it?” Such is the case of today’s subject, The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya - Wikipedia
Buckle up kids, today Haruhi’s going to take you on a magical trip across… the space-time continuum (yay!!!!)

One year after The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya‘s first season, the immense popularity of the show among anime circles worldwide, most famously manifested through the phenomenon of Hare Hare Yukai dance segments, led its parent studio Kyoto Animation to begin work on a franchise movie adapted from the fourth volume of the light novel. Under the leadership of director Tatsuya Ishihara of Clannad and Inuyasha fame, it ended up being the second-longest animated film in terms of runtime, lasting 162 minutes. The reason for this absolute monstrosity of a runtime is because during production, a total of seven different manuscripts, equivalent to seven different (23-minute long) episodes were put together and bundled up into this film. Additional scenes were envisioned by Ishihara as well, to make up for all the elements of the light novel to talk about authenticity, but thankfully he balked at it, probably out of fear of initiating fans’ boredom. Through three years of storyboarding and script revisions, the film was released on 6 February 2010, a mere year after the second season’s conclusion.

The film won the Best Animation award at the Animation Kobe event that year, and singer Minori Chihara won an accolade for the performance of the film’s ending song the following year. If one were to think that was the end of the craze involving the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise, another spin-off manga focusing on Yuki Nagato and a video game for the Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable consoles that took place after the film’s events.

STORY

The SOS Brigade members prepare to celebrate Christmas in their own style

The SOS Brigade, led by the notorious Haruhi Suzumiya and featuring Kyon, Mikuru Asahina, Itsuki Koizumi and Nagato Yuki, continues its meager existence across North High School. This time, they’re preparing for the upcoming Christmas season by organizing a party. As usual, Haruhi is excited but Kyon could care less about what she has planned. From every perspective, it seems like it’s going to be an ordinary week leading up to Christmas. However, disaster strikes when, on the following day, Kyon wakes up to realize that his world has flipped upside-down. Two of the SOS Brigade’s members, Nagato and Mikuru, do not recognize him with the latter bashfully rejecting him due to his aggressive advances; Haruhi and Itsuki are absent from school and Ryoko Asakura, the psychopath AI from the first season, shows up in class to Kyon’s horror, and acts dumbfounded when the latter confronts her about her previous actions.

Kyon tries to adjust to the changes, while trying to figure out exactly how it all transpired to this. He spends his after-school days in the SOS Brigade’s clubroom, which has now returned to its lifeless state as the Literature Club with Nagato as the sole member. In the midst of his trifling, he befriends the geekier-than-normal girl, staying over for dinner at her house and stumbles upon a bookmark from his original timeline with notes from Nagato, the first clue to his way out. After learning from his friend of Haruhi’s whereabouts, he quickly dashes over to her location: the top-notch private school, Koyouen Academy, where he finally meets Haruhi and Itsuki face-to-face. As expected, initially his arrival freaks them out, but after he proves the truth that he knows them by calling himself “John Smith”, they warm up to him and agree to assist him in bringing him back to his original timeline. They successfully gather all the original SOS Brigade members to the Literature Club room, which activates a computer program that original Nagato created to help Kyon sort things out.

Here’s the present, the future, and the past. Prior to this point in time… the timeline skewed into this tangent creating an alternate Haruhi Suzumiya world. Alternate only to you, but reality for everyone else.
– Itsuki Koizumi

He activates the program, which sends him back to a summer day three years prior from his original timeline – the same day when he and a young Haruhi trolled the North High schoolgrounds (season 2, episode 8) Reuniting with the adult Mikuru, they relive the scene where Kyon calls out to a young Haruhi, and then pay a visit to Nagato’s house where she reveals the source of all this dissension: a disturbance in the space-time continuum which was caused by an alternate version of none other than herself triggering a massive overhaul of things, due to her frustration over Haruhi’s extravagancies. She gifts Kyon with a device aimed at eliminating this problem, and together with adult Mikuru they travel to the early morning hours of the day prior to the switcheroo. Kyon relents to this solution, having realized that in spite of all the annoyances that Haruhi and her motley crew have inflicted upon him throughout the past events of the series, they’re to his liking and he decides that life’s better with them.

He proceeds to go with the plan only for Ryoko to near-fatally back-stab him, but in her yandere-induced delirium is overthrown by Nagato, which allows for Mikuru to rescue him and get him medical treatment. The effects of this sequence, however, means that the original timeline is maintained, and thus returns the SOS Brigade to its normal functionality. Thanking Nagato for getting things back up to speed and promising to repay her, he moves forward with his life with a renewed energy and a desire to enjoy it for what it is.

WHAT I LIKED

  • I liked how the story handled the sci-fi bits, starting things off normally as would occur in an episode, before hitting us head-on with the timeline switch and then, the “we gotta fix the timeline before it’s too late” bit which articulates like a less dystopian version of Back To The Future II. Granted, this will involve rehashing parts of the series, such as the “Take care of the John Smith who will overload the world with fun!” segment and the meeting with Nagato in her home, but everything else is given an explanation that ties up all the lost ends, which is good at least.
  • The film parlays a memorable segment where the voice of God speaks to Kyon, asking him to explain why he chose to return to his original timeline rather than stay in one that Nagato made to give him perpetual solace; Kyon responds that in spite of how much he loathed Haruhi’s ramblings, deep down he found those experiences, and the existence of the supernatural, exciting. Thus, unable to dismiss them given their big role in his life, he vows instead to make something positive out of it. It sounds somewhat like Shinji’s rejection of Instrumentality in the far-more superior End of Evangelion and the 49th episode of Digimon Adventure 02, but one can also see a moral interpreted through the words of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order: “If God causes you to suffer much, it’s a sign that He certainly intends to make you a saint.”
  • The visual contrast was sharp, easily-noticeable and altogether fitting. When Kyon’s happy, the visuals are bright, colourful and full of life, as in the opening and ending segments. And in the middle segments, when the gang is split up thanks to the sands of time, it’s dreary, depressing, and cloudy – it’s PERFECT to represent Kyon’s lamentation over things, and how he feels without Haruhi around. It reminds me of the exact same thing in Disney’s The Incredibles, between Bob’s office life to his superhero revival.
Cue his “No! Please, God, no! This can’t be happening!” moment. It’s so perfect for the occasion. (Ok no more Back To The Future II references)

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

  • Since the film is 162 minutes long, be prepared to sit through a long one. If like me, you can’t survive sitting through something that’s the length of a single NHL or NBA game without breaks, then you’re in for a rough one. Unless you’ve got an extremely good memory or are taking notes, pausing and resuming the next day will not be helpful, since you’ll forget a lot of crucial details necessary to understand the film.
  • Do not be deceived by Haruhi’s ecumaniacal behaviour in wishing to celebrate the birthdays of Jesus Christ alongside Buddha and Muhammad during the Christmas party she’s planning. It reeks of heretical notions on ecumenism laid out in Vatican II’s Nostra Aetate, which Kyon rightfully dismisses with condescension – that being said, follow his line of thinking instead.
  • By the way, what ever happened to both Ryoko Asakura and the SOS Brigade’s Christmas party at the end? We don’t get to see what happens of those, especially in the former where the only remnant of that is otherworld Nagato resisting her brutality, and it seemed like a big plot point in the latter’s case, but is never expounded upon. Don’t tell me all this was a ruse to save a Christmas party we never get to see!
To quote a famous McDonald’s anti-drug PSA starring NBA legend Michael Jordan: stop it – get some help.

CHARACTERS

The characters, in relation to the film’s title, is pretty deceptive, since the main character of focus is not so much Haruhi Suzumiya herself, but instead it’s Kyon, Mikuru and Nagato who hog the spotlight this time around. Haruhi doesn’t even get a central role in the story’s beginning or climax; instead she’s relegated as an outfielder whose role is simply to facilitate Kyon’s travel through time; the same can be said for Itsuki. This, added to her powers basically rendered moot, made her into a useless, humanized version of herself – something I found disappointing as I was expecting more out of her like a boost in personality. However, even though that was a letdown I thought it was really minor and forgivable enough given the other three’s involvement, which was, in contrast, well-developed. Same can be said for Ryoko Asakura, the de facto main villain, who makes a come-from-behind appearance that’s about as shocking and meaningful as an M. Night Shyamalan plot twist.

While Mikuru becomes to this show what Morpheus was from The Matrix and we finally get from her that one thing which was “classified information” this whole time (trust me, that’s a huge step up for me considering her largely stale moe-moe-kyun behaviour in the episodes), Kyon and Nagato were the real stars of the show, as throughout they experienced both plenty of action and character development through their ordeals. Nagato, we learn, has started to shed her expressionless, alien form and starts to feel emotions – something which is important to kick-starting the entire time-travel shenanigans while Kyon longs for the normalcy of his after-school friendship with the SOS Brigade, and, in realizing how much they mean to him, seeks to redeem himself in the face of the world by seeking out Haruhi and sacrificing his energy to save the timeline; even at risk of his own life. He goes from the worn-out, observant and easily-complacent boy in the series to a fearless, secure man by the film’s end. Arguably, their journey and the development of their bond was worth the watch and saved this film in a way.

MUSIC

If the characters were strong, the music is the complete opposite; weak, uninspired and void of any praiseworthy elements. You know, for a movie that’s about time travel and has emphasis on how Haruhi’s world is lit, I was expecting something exhilirating, ethereal and wonderful to join along, but unfortunately what I got was a flat response of a musical accompaniment that failed to strike a chord with the overall tone. Case in point is the ending theme, Chihara Minoru’s Yasashi Boukyaku. I failed to see how this song was supposed to convey a moral lesson, or evoke an emotional response. Sure, the pentatonics was nice but the lack of a thrilling musical accompaniment or lyrics that fit the film’s context was sorely absent, ensuring that this track will never be among my favourites.

FAVOURITES

Favourite moment: Kyon’s re-encounter with Ryoko after the switch to the other-world was terrifying, yet astounding; his reaction was priceless, and best amplified the seriousness of how whack things have become for our male lead. The way that his facial expression becomes half-scared to death at the sight of a former evil arch-nemesis stepping back to his life, and the latter’s innocuousness just felt all too real and for me marked the moment where “This is the part where it gets good”.

For your viewing pleasure: Kyon chooses to live among the crazy members of his clubroom family.

Favourite quote: My top choice for this goes to Kyon’s epiphany where he submits to God’s Will and basically acknowledges the dankness of his life. Of honorable mention is Mikuru pleading with Kyon to cherish the high school memories they spent, and Haruhi proclaiming the true meaning of Christmas as the celebration of Our Lord’s Nativity.

God: Deep down, you think Haruhi is annoying… If so, why did you press the button?… Nagato gave her time to making a world for you where everything was calm, but you rejected it! You’ve been complaining all this time about your shortcomings, but you didn’t ignore the program. In a world where Haruhi and Itsuki would be out of your life, Mikuru an idol-like moe girl, and Nagato a quiet bookworm… who would grow to love you. You left behind that peaceful life. Why? Do you think being dragged around with Haruhi is fun?

Kyon: Yes…yes I do! It was every bit fun. Why would I think otherwise?? Don’t ask me something stupid as that!!

God: There you have it. Only an idiot would respond to this question in the negative. Who would discount a world where aliens, time travelers, and espers exist? Not to mention, a girl with powers beyond her comprehension, and many more to come!

Kyon’s admission that life in the series was, in fact, awesome

CONCLUSION

I’m not a fan of The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya. But in regards to The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya? Though it’s a really grueling movie, which can be a turn-off to some, I think it’s a significant enhancement to the original story. For one thing, the lack of Haruhi, while lamentable, means no sights of tyrannical rage frothing from her, making her personality tolerable. Also, I think it’s worth it for the decently satisfying plot and, not to mention, the core sci-fi elements of it, such as the dimension-hopping, time-travelling parts were brilliant inserts as much as the film’s overall message of finding contentment amidst the apparent hardships of life. Anyone who enjoyed stories along the lines of Steins;Gate will find this to be a worthwhile watch, myself included; the addition of a familiarity with the first two seasons, on the other hand, is also necessary if you want to understand the deeper roots of the SOS Brigade members’ roles, which is not to be taken lightly here.

SCORE: 7.2/10

23 thoughts on “Anime Review #72: The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya

  1. I enjoyed the original series… when I was an atheist teenager. Hated it when I tried to revisit it after converting. I’m glad to hear there is something of redeeming value here, for the sake of all the people who I am sure have watched it without having His Church in their lives, but the characters and story still sound awful.
    (I still love that song and dance animation from the original series, though…)

    Really enjoy your blog. May I make a request? I’d really like if you could, at the end, just summarize any objectionable visual content? I know you sometimes mention it in the body, but I don’t think you consistently have it in the same place. I am dipping my toes back into the anime waters after many years away, but I have daughters, and overt sexual content in particular is just a complete non-starter. I’m not talking “tame, but still over the line” character designs/costumes, but things that go beyond that. I know my request might seem strange, but Japanese media is actually one of the few places to find quality at the moment, but I can’t wade through all of the garbage with four little girls in the house.

    Other than that request, I really like your format, style, and tone of writing on this blog. I’m always glad to see a post from you, even when it is something like this, that I have no interest in.

    You might like Mushi-Shi. I found it so beautiful that it hurt. Creepy, heart-wrenching, and nuanced in a way that many Western creators claim they want, but outright reject in practice… Everything I want from a series of episodic fairy stories. I think the creators of Haruhi dreamed of the show reaching a depth of weirdness and thoughtfulness that Mushi-Shi achieves, but failed completely (in my limited experience with the first season.) Truly, if you can see God in natural beauty and bittersweet truths portrayed on a screen in a fictional work, the first season will take you there (for all that it is Japanese, and likely has no Christian influences.) I haven’t seen the later seasons yet, but I’d like to see what spiritual connections you could draw from that first one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deo gratias, you found your way back to the Church – first and foremost! I have to agree, I saw nothing really redeeming in the original series and even remember thinking, “THIS is what I signed up for? 🤨” I think I even rated it far lower than the average on MyAnimeList or so.

      I’m happy to hear you enjoy my posts and the format (I try to keep consistency in my writing style haha). Regarding your request, I don’t think it’s strange. I think that’s fair and you make a good point, especially your condition (and I’m sure some of my other readers). I will see if I either can put it at the beginning when I describe the show’s origins, or like you mention at the end. W.R.T to this, I can only think of the conclusion violence, Kyon’s awkward encounter with alternate-Mikuru and Haruhi’s ecumania as the only bad thing, there’s no fanservice stuff here unlike in that other show.

      Mushi-Shi sounds interesting, it reminds me of Ghibli films like My Neighbor Totoro given its content. I’ll give it a look when I can – thank you for the consideration, and for the kind words! Looking forward to hearing more from you.

      God bless!

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      1. I actually never left the Church–I was baptized when I joined as an adult. Raised pretty much totally atheist, except for a few stories of ancient Israel.

        Mushi-Shi is definitely more Princess Mononoke or Nausicaa, with a dash of Spirited Away, than something like Howl’s Moving Castle or Totoro.

        God bless!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. On another note as well, if you’re just getting back to the anime scene after a long time, here are some flicks I recommend – not sure if you’ve seen some of these but nonetheless they include:

      – Little Witch Academia
      – Hyouka
      – Hinamatsuri
      – Nichijou
      – The Rising Of The Shield Hero
      – Your Name (a film by Makoto Shinkai)
      – From Up On Poppy Hill (a Ghibli film from 2013)
      – Summer Wars (a film by Mamoru Hosoda)

      Like

      1. I hated Little Witch Academia (I only watched one or two episodes, but it grated on my nerves.) To be frank, if the witches look like Western witches, I am pretty against getting it. KiKi’s Delivery Service is tiring enough (having to explain to the girls what real witchcraft is, how it isn’t good, etc.) If there is magic in a show that is shown in a good light, I want it to look nothing like the Western tropes, or be silly game-like, such as Bofuri has (there are some dumb costume choices/mild fan service in that show, which I am currently getting through at a snail’s pace, but it is *mostly* acceptable……)
        I have bought the Shield Hero discs, but have not watched it yet.
        I saw your Summer Wars review, and am intrigued. I liked the Digimon movie that I think you said was directed by the same guy (though I saw it as a child.)
        I’ll look at the others. Do you have a good site to buy discs for? I don’t stream, and won’t pirate unless it is unlicensed in North America.
        And if something is shorter (like Mononoke-Hime), and the unacceptable parts are mostly violence (like Mononoke) or the beauty values are high enough… I can consider things I just won’t let the girls watch *yet*. I won’t let them watch Mushi-Shi *yet*, even though the first season is literally the cleanest anime I have ever seen, sexual-content-wise (even counting Ghibli!) But if I get an anime, my expectation is I will share it with my children at some point. I don’t want to have to hide things from them.

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  2. I’m sorry if my comment is not related to the this movie you reviewed. However, I want to say that your writing give me peace knowing that watching and enjoying anime is nothing sinful as anybody would suggest ( as i do suffer from scrupulosity). Plus i like the fact that your reviews have a christian notion to it which can help me discern what anime is appropriate to watch. So thank you, please keep doing the good work.
    Speaking of anime, one of my all time favorite is mob psycho 100, the show only has two seasons as of current and the manga already end. So I was wondering if you have watch it or not, it is created by the same author of one punch man. I would be glad to know your thoughts on it

    Like

    1. Thank you for the kind words, and welcome to my blog! 😄 I’m glad that my posts were able to help clear some issues for you in some way. I hope to do the same with others as well!

      Watching anime is not intrinsically sinful, you are correct. However your disposition is what matters the most, so be cautious of that beforehand so the event doesn’t suddenly transform into an occasion of sin. As Fr. Francis J. Connell, a Redemptorist priest and Catholic moral theologian, wrote in 1952, but is equally applicable today:

      “The theological solution of the problem of attendance at such films is that those to whom the picture offers a proximate occasion of sin may not see it; those to whom it offers no such danger may, per se, attend without committing sin. In other words, it is a relative occasion of sin, the solution of which depends on the moral strength and inclinations of the individual concerned…” (American Ecclessiastical Review, July 1952, page 72-73, available at https://archive.org/details/sim_american-ecclesiastical-review_1952-07_127_1)

      I have not watched Mob Psycho 100 yet; I have a good chunk of series in my backlog to go through before starting that one! 😅

      Like

    2. Hey Huyen. I suffer from scrupulosity too. If you haven’t read it I can highly recommend father Willie Doyle’s pamphlet on dealing with scrupulosity . It’s pre Vatican II (1920s) and I have found it really helpful. You can find the pdf free online on father doyle files or by just typing the name into Google. God bless

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  3. True purpose of Christmas to celebrate our lords birth? Don’t be ridicolous weeb. Everyone knows the true purpose of Christmas is to enrich Jeff Bezos and the Walt Disney corporation the future joint rulers and owners of earth. Why else would the Christmas season start in mid October. Then on the 26th of December the shops start getting ready for Easter which is a festival dedicated to buying chocolate eggs and something about rabbits . To paraphrase Kent brockman I for one welcome the new rule of our corporate overlords .They can’t offer you salvation but they can offer 3 months free Disney plus and Amazon prime . Remember don’t ask meaningless questions or get yourself bogged down in such petty things as true beauty or transcendent meaning just keep watching the mandalorian and the next season of ru Paul’s drag race. Consume Consume Consume ! All joking aside I think the message of the film to accept life and the world as it is rather than wanting to slip away into some alternate timeline or reality is really important. After studying history I often wonder why it was certain things happen and how it would have been better if it had happened another way. But when thinking about it if I could go back on time and change anything I wouldn’t. As the movie planet of the apes says destiny is the will of god. Nothing happens without at least gods tacit allowance (although he never desires or directly causes evil). It is an ultimate act of humility and trust in god to just believe that if things have happened the way they have then god must have at least allowed it and therefore even when things seem bad he must be using it to work out some good (like with Joseph and his brothers). We must therefore accept when hard times come as the result of the actions of people in the past that it is gods will that we go through it. We can create a scenario in our heads where we go back in time or create an alternative reality where these things didn’t happen and things work out for the better but we don’t have gods vision. When the great heathen army invaded and began to destroy one by one the kingdoms of the heptarchy it must have seemed to the people as if it was the end of the world. Many people probably wished for a world in which the vikings had never come. Yet from the destruction a series of events were set in motion that would lead to a unified England . It would not have been clear to people on the ground at the time but god could see. Though of course we can not escape into a different reality per say we can try to alter reality or try to numb ourselves into passivity with consumer goods or meaningless thrills. One of the things I like about anime as opposed to modern western movies is they do still like to explore themes like this and come up with interesting takes. I remember watching Mary and the witch’s flower and being very impressed with how (spoiler alert) at the end Mary decides to reject the use of magic and just accept the world as it is. Same thing in tales from earthsea in which sparrowhawk a powerful wizard decides not to use magic and just decides to plow a field and do regular manual farm work. It’s surprising how a almost completely non Christian culture often touches on profound truths. I believe St. John Henry Newman here might say something about conscience being the aboriginal vicar of the soul which is alive in these people to create these insights. When pope st Gregory the great sent the mission to the Anglo Saxons and when missionaries from Europe reached the americas and indeed Japan they were told not completely uproot the native cultures but to baptise them so to speak. Namely find that which was beautiful and true that did exist in these cultures and show them how this should truly be expressed in the church. This was St. Paul’s message in the book of acts when he disputed with the Greek philosophers. Hopefully as in the past Japan will experience a second spring of the faith which will carry on uninterrupted by the secular powers this time. It will be interesting to see the affects on anime if that does happen. St Thomas more wrote the book utopia as a kind of speculation as to how far a society could get based on natural reason alone (ie without divine revelation such as the catholic religion). They got quite far and did mimick a Christian civilisation in a lot of ways. If we can see now how catholic themes can be teased out of anime even now when it comes from a largely atheistic or pagan culture it will be interesting how great anime will be if Japan does become catholic. Perhaps pointing Japanese people and indeed all anime fans to these themes in anime and how they reflect catholic truth could end up being a powerful conversion tool. Anime crusade and apostolate now!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry that I approved this comment late! If there’s another comment that I haven’t approved let me know and I’ll get to it. My eeply:

      I always thought the true purpose of Christmas was so everyone could get a free two weeks off from school and work! 😮😆😎 All joking aside…

      I’m in full agreement with you, that’s the purpose I started this blog – to see anime and its themes from a Catholic perspective and discuss it, both good and bad. If Aquinas could bring out Greek philosophers and convert their ideas to service for the Faith, I don’t see why one can’t do the same for anime either!

      Regarding your comment about the film: you’re right and that’s also one theme I touched upon as laudable. Exactly what St. Alphonsus Liguori speaks of in his famous book, “Uniformity With God’s Will” – submission to what God desires of us is what he says the hallmark of a Christian who strives for Christ in all things. I’m glad you see the things happening in the world from a truly Catholic perspective my friend!

      Yes, let’s keep praying for the conversion of Japan to the Faith and as well as others who have lost it, or care not for it. Prayer works wonders!

      Like

  4. I connection with what huyen said I have also been struggling with my scrupulosity in regards to anime. I started watching don’t tease me miss nagatoro on Crunchyroll . I don’t find it an occasion of sin but the plot while funny and relatable does revolve around an introverted high schooler who the title character constantly flirts with and teases to stresa him out (the implication is the reason why she does this is she has a crush on him). As you can imagine with her being very flirtatious and him being an introverted hormonal teenager you can probably guess what the whole point of the show is (though I have been told it’s about a pg13 and there are no particularly gratuitous scenes). Of course h II a situation is relatable to a large extent and probably is what a large number of young men experience. I would be interested to get your opinion. I must say I dropped food wars due to the gratuitous unnecessary and often completely random nudity so I’m not above doing that if required

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re wise to drop Food Wars, I heard some uncouth things about the food tasting parts (if thats what you mean). I’m quite familiar with “Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro”, a lot of clips on Youtube for that show. I haven’t seen the full season but based on those clips IMO, it’s not something that I’d personally be keen on watching; if you find it troubling as well, it doesn’t hurt to drop it.

      If I may offer a better alternative, there’s:

      – “Teasing Master Takagi-san”; same premise but the characters are younger and the interaction is a lot more innocent than in the former.
      – “Hyouka” is also a very good show featuring a lead boy/girl friendship where the girl directs the plot
      – “Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun” apparently has the same trope as the above and is fanservice-free.

      Let me know what you think!

      Like

      1. Oh just one more thing that came into my mind. About two Sundays ago on a boruto fan page I am a member of a young woman from Algeria named melis made a post and happened to mention she was in Portugal. I commented and suggested that since she was there she should pay a visit to our lady’s shrine in Fatima. She commented back thanking me for the suggestion. I hadn’t thought about it in a while but today (possibly with the Russia consecration happening) it came back into my mind again that I should pray that she has s religious conversion (if she is Algerian I presume she is s Muslim) it then occurred to me as well considering this was at the intersection of anime and Catholicism (though of course I remember you don’t watch Naruto) that I should ask you to pray she visits the shrine and has a conversion as well. God bless and happy feast of the incarnation (which according to an old Anglo Saxon tradition was also the exact date of our lords crucifixion)

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      1. Thanks for the suggestion weeb. I have just watched the first two episodes. So far it’s great. It’s not overly melodramatic and the scenarios seem realistic to the kind of mysteries that would take place in a school. I also like the main character. He certainly isn’t very stereotypical and does have quite a unique (for an anime at least) but completely relatable motivation. Once again thanks for the suggestion

        Liked by 1 person

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