As I was saying, the episodes are being shown in chronological (read: novel) order, so I have no clue when the next new episode will be. Most are assuming the next one will be "Endless Eight" which will air in 4 weeks, and that seems reasonable to me. However the only thing we know for sure is that this series will at least have "The Dissappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya" in it, which I am looking all too forward to.
One other thing to point out is that the animation quality isn't the same as the first series. It seems more "cartoony", but more vibrant, than the first series, which I was kind of disappointed in, as I really don't want to see a difference between the two series, kind of like School Rumble, whose quality is pretty mcuh consistant throughout the series. However, the changes are subtle enough where it may distract at first, but after the initial shock, is not as distracting. Its kind of like getting into a pool of water, with the shock of the water being a bit different, but your body gets used to it.
In any case, this week's episode was "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody", and I am going to review it the best I can (I watched a fan-sub of it, but it seemed legit). I will put it behind a link so those of you who want to remain unspoiled will be unspoiled.
Again, I know I just said it, but to reittorate, for those of you waiting for the "offical" sub, dub, or novel will not want to see. There are spoilers ahead!
We begin like any old episode with Haruhi talking to Kyon in class about the Tanabata festival and how the SOS Brigade will celebrate it henceforth.
Kyon goes into the club and Haruhi drags a bamboo tree in there, and everyone makes a wish. After a long-winded explaination of the theory of relativity and how wishes travel, everyone makes their wishes on a card, and Asahina gives Kyon a card saying she wants to see him alone. One by one everyone goes home, but not before Nagato hands Kyon a wish card which will be shown to us later.
Asahina tells Kyon that they need to go to three years in the past, and she makes him fall asleep so he won't find out about how time travel works. When they arrive, Kyon gets up, but Asahina falls asleep. Right after shes out, the grownup version of Asahina appears from behind the bushes, tells Kyon to follow the tracks (train tracks, perhaps?), and he will know what to do afterwards. She dissappears and Kyon is now carrying present-day Asahina on his back to whereever they are supposed to go.
He then realizes that it is three years ago when he sees a younger version of Haruhi trying to break into her school's sports field. She blackmails Kyon (but can't see him well as it is night and Kyon doesn't want her to find out who he is. Incidently, remember that in the first part of "The Melancholy" Haruhi asked Kyon if they met before) into coming in with her and doing as she asks. By now I think Kyon knows what he needs to do, as this ends up sounding like the "weird field scribbles incident" one of his friends told him about in the first episode. Haruhi commands Kyon accordingly on the field, and he makes some weird images with the linemaker.
After he is done, Haruhi asks his name, in which case he says "John Smith". Heh. She asks if he has seen aliens, time travelers, and espers, and he essentially says he has. She asks about "sliders" which Kyon denies. What exactly is a slider anyhow? Interestingly enough, I don't think she asks about "sliders" to Kyon in the future. Anyways, she can tell that he is wearing a North High school uniform and after he mentions someone he knows that scribbles like that, it seems that Haruhi has her sights set on going to North High. She leaves, and Asahina is just now waking up, but goes on about a missing thing called a TPDD.
Evidently, it is some sort of device that allows for time travel, and she lost it. Kyon surmizes that the grownup version of Asahina must have comfiscated it. He then goes to the card that Nagato wrote and goes to her apartment where she is waiting in her North High uniform. Kyon have a basic conversation about time, and wonders how she could already have a North High uniform. He gives her the card, she...er...scans it? Anyways, he and her three year counterpart in the future are now "synchronized". She tells Asahina and Kyon to sleep in the next room.
When they wake up, it is three years later, or the present. Nagato explains that she froze time in that room so that they could return to their regular space-time. Kyon then asks her if they were alseep when he visited her around the third part of the "Melancholy" series, and she nods, but does not fess up any more information.
The next day in the club room everyone but Asahina and Haruhi are there and what transpires is something I have difficulty understanding because it is all chatter about time travel theory, and it was confusing to read, let alone understand. All I know is that Koisumi puts a king (from chess) in his shirt pocket, and Kyon calls him a jerk. Don't ask me outside of that.
Then we get a new ending sequence (I am not embedding it because its going to be in a future Mega Media Monday), which is no Hare Hare Yuki, but equally as welcome (and is close to already being viral on Youtube). The song is evidently called "Tomare" which is Japanese for "stop". The song will be released in August. Nuts!
My thoughts on the episode: It was nice seeing something new, but it also explained quite a bit, but you need to rewatch or remember the subtle hints from the "Melancholy" series, as then the things will make more sense. I think it was a nice start to a fresh set of episodes that will come out over the course of the next few months. Overall, I give the episode a 9 out of 10, almost one of the best, but still doesn't quuite acheive the original feel of a few of the episodes from the first part like "The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina" and "Day of Saggitarius". Also, remember the events from this episode as they will be pertinant to the "Disappearance" episode, which again, I can't wait to see.
I have no idea whether I will be reviewing or watching any subsequent episodes of the new season (since sub are only in *shudder* torrents, and my school has a very strict "no torrents" policy), but you can bet you will probably hear more within the coming weeks.
Until next time.