The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan is set in an alternate universe for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which sees Yuki as the president of the Literature Club. The other members of the club include Kyon and Asakura. In this universe, Yuki has a crush on Kyon.
Episode Three makes Haruhi Suzumiya its major focus. It starts with Kyon and Yuki finding her collapsed in front of a park the day after Christmas. As they help Haruhi warm up and learn about her, Kyon grows to like her less and less. However, Yuki comes to the realization that Haruhi is the one she encountered in the park when she was feeling like the Literature Club was over. Yuki is grateful for the encouragement that she felt the day the two of them met. So now you have Yuki who seems to look up to Haruhi, while Kyon doesn’t appear to like her, which is shaping up to create an interesting dynamic between these three characters.
When school starts back up after the holidays, Haruhi makes a big splash by sneaking into Yuki and Kyon’s school to come to the club room. She’s also brought another student from her school with her named Itsuki Koizumi. We learn that Haruhi sees him as a mysterious transfer student, which fits in with her ambition of meeting aliens, people from the future, people from parallel universes, and people with supernatural powers. Koizumi admits to Kyon that he likes Haruhi, but is afraid she’s losing interest in him since it’s been six months since he transferred to her school.
The brash Haruhi decides that she and Koizumi will join the Literature Club, even though they’re not students at the school. She also declares that she will be the executive president of the Literature Club. At first, Asakura isn’t sure about the situation, but she softens up when Yuki says it’s okay. But I have this sneaking suspicion that at some point, Asakura could end up feeling threatened by Haruhi’s presence, since Yuki and Asakura have been friends for a while. A jealousy like this could make for an interesting plot point in a future episode.
So Haruhi has now become a force to be reckoned with in The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan. I believe that now that she and Koizumi are officially involved in the series, things will really start happening. This episode also helps to take the series to a new level with Haruhi’s hijinks. While Episode Three was still focused on exposition and trying to establish things, it wasn’t quite as boring as Episode One was.
And now that I’m three episodes in, it’s actually kind of fun to see some of the characterizations and character dynamics being the opposite of what they were in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Now that I’m able to look at this series without constantly comparing it to the other, I’m finding these different versions of the characters are enjoyable in their own right.
At this point, while I still may not entirely be sold on The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, I at least have a much better opinion of it than I did after I finished watching the first episode. I really hope that the introduction of Haruhi as a main character will give this series the momentum it needs to make the series interesting and to keep it interesting. It’s been nice to see that an overarching story seems to be developing now, and that the series isn’t relying as much on gags as it did in the very first episode.
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