Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu Review

Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu Review

Did you like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya? Are you a fan of the kuudere Nagato Yuki? If you are someone who isn't looking for some sort of a mindblowing story but just want to watch an alternate version of your favourite character, then chances are, you are going to like this spin-off.
Setup in the alternate universe from the movie The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, the series follows Nagato, who is now quite the opposite of her previous self from the original TV series, as she realises and deals with her feelings for Kyon. Now, before we go further into how the series is, I should tell you what changes you are going to notice here.

First and foremost, the studio has changed. The giant KyotoAni is no longer backing this up, instead, a relatively small studio Statelite has taken over the production. Also, the character designs have changed along with the character traits. The previously cold & calculative Nagato who was always quietly reading a book in a corner is now a shy, rather lazy, cute girl who loves playing video games and eating lots of delicious foods. The backstabbing villain Asakura now acts as Nagato's caretaker (more like a mother) at home and a wingman (or woman) in the romance between Nagato and Kyon. Kyon on the other hand is now a lot less cynical, snarky and sarcastic; he seems like your typical harem protagonist in the beginning but changes a little later. This trio of Nagato, Asakura and Kyon take up majority of the screen time.

The compulsive and hyperactive Haruhi is still there with her outrageousness but her screen time has been drastically cut down, so you won't be seeing so much of her. Same goes for the well endowed Mikuru and her pervy companion Tsuruya. Am I forgetting someone? Oh wait, Koizumi, he's just... not important at all, he is just there to agree with whatever plan Haruhi throws out at everyone else and to have an occasional chat with Kyon about how happy Haruhi has been lately. And the last change in the whole setup is that there is no SOS brigade this time. So, you can decide whether you want to watch this show or not depending on how you like the above changes.

Nagato Yuki Gif 1
Why did it have to end like this?
Now then, how is the show overall? Do these changes produce a good overall effect or not? Sadly, no. At least for the most part. We spend the first nine episodes looking at a very cliche slice of life routine with Nagato either blushing all the time or playing video games while she makes cute faces. There are quite a few references to the original series like an endless eight joke at episode 8, an episode titled "Someday in the Rain" or Asakura talking about stabbing Kyon in the back. I liked that the anime gave a nice introduction at the beginning but then didn't pick up the pace at all. The comedy had some good moments but it couldn't hold my attention for long. You think I might be comparing it to the original Haruhi series but no, I'm not. No major developments happen in the romance whatsoever until after episode 10 when something happens to Nagato. That's when the show really picks up the pace and the whole thing moves forward.

Those 3 episodes are the highlight of the whole show. The sudden change in Nagato's personality really throws the whole status quo into a chaos which is then handled very nicely by this new Nagato leading to a very pleasing conclusion. That sudden change in things could have turned out be a very entertaining part if it wasn't for that lame ending. Yes, the whole pressure that those episodes built up with that plot twist was capitalised in a frustrating ending scene which basically took the whole development in the romance back to square one. We end up watching 16 episodes of this painfully slow romance only to witness an ending without a real confession at all making the whole thing a huge waste of time. In the end, the only thing that kept me going was my love for Nagato.

On the other hand, the change in the production studio didn't have a negative impact on the overall animation of the show. The artstyle sticks to a bright cheery color palette for the most part and changes to dull dark colors once the new Nagato appears. The character designs are fluid and I really like the makeover on Nagato. (I think I should attribute that to the manga)The soundtrack did it's job by blending in the background but nothing sticks out for me to praise. Though the voice actress of Nagato, Chihara Minori deserves a mention for her diversity in the role. Tomokazu was as fabulous as ever, but I wish he had more snarky and sarcastic lines in the anime. The opening and ending are okay as well.Overall, this show could have been a lot better if it wasn't for that ending. I might be too harsh here but I would only recommend this if you're a hardcore Haruhi fan or a Slice of Life/Moe junkie. If you didn't like the original, you are not going to like this for sure. 

Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu Rating

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