Episode 17, "Endless Eight (Part 2)"
Synopsis: Two weeks before the end of summer break, Haruhi calls together the SOS Brigade to cram in as many activities as they can before school starts again. These events include going to the public pool, attending a festival, shooting off fireworks, cicada catching, working part time, and stargazing. However, he experiences strong deja vu. Called at night to meet with Mikuru, Itsuki, and Yuki, it's revealed that the world is in a time loop, and they've experienced the same two weeks 15,479 times, all observed by Yuki. The reason is apparently Haruhi's lingering dissatisfaction with how summer ended. Despite Kyon wracking his mind, he can't come up with a way to stop it from reoccuring.
Hm. Something about this episode seems... familar. I wonder what. Oh, yeah. It's the same as last week's. Except sorta not. Obviously, they're really pushing the "Endless Eight" short story from the fifth book, but to not even finish the story in this book? Really, I love SHnY, but this is getting a little ridiculous. To be honest, I will be fed up if this continues. I appreciate what they did here, since the plot calls for it, and they ended up doing all these alternate cuts, but the next episode has to finish this storyline.
The production values in this episode were unbelievable. Just stunning art/animation. It was a visual feast, reviewing each event from the previous round of summer events but differently and more pleasing to the eye. I was blown away at times, especially when Itsuki was talking to Kyon and Kyon going home from the meeting.
Haruhi is really something, huh? First she nearly rewrites reality because she's jealous of Mikuru, now she's put the world in an endless two weeks that only her cohorts can suss out. Sort of a petulant child-god. It's a good thing she has no idea she's doing all this, or it would be worse. No wonder Yuki looked bored, watching this all play out 15,479 times should test even a Integrated Data Entity interface's patience.
Anyway, I still can't give this a high rating, since the pay-off is still to come, but it can be a little higher than last week's, because at least the plot's moving.
3 out of 5