With the release of “Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu Volume 5.999999” the full version of the television anime has been finished on DVD. The grand total amounts to 16 DVD sets consisting of 24 DVDs and 8 CDs of content for fans.
The above picture is the “official” order of the DVDs according to the GAMERZ exclusive poster when you purchased the 5.xxxxxx volumes from that store. The only chronological change is moving the first DVD to after Tameki V (Kyon’s cover).
These are the “Limited Edition” versions of the DVDs, which include several special goodies. The types of items included differ between the sets, so I’ll point them out in the pictures below.
The 2006 DVD sets include the main disc and a limited edition CD that has the BGM (including the TV size opening from Asahina Mikuru no Bouken Episode 00) and some of the radio broadcasts from the Lantis website. They also include a postcard set with the cover art for both the limited and common editions and a sticker set for the episodes in each volume (and my set comes from Toranora which included the postcards for each set’s left).
Episode 00 didn’t come with a sticker set, but they included the storyboards for the TV Ending animation. Instead of only putting the same sticker set in every set, there were 5 variations with only one sheet per set. In addition to that randomness, there was another lucky opportunity. For the lucky people, a special sticker set containing images from Episode 00, the OP, and the ED was included in random sets. My set that I ordered had three of said sheets.
This shows the differences between the two sets. While the 2009 sets didn’t come with any stickers, they do carry over the postcards. Since I didn’t get my discs from Toranora or any Japanese anime store, I didn’t get the postcards for these sets. Instead of putting stickers, Kadokawa put coasters instead. Like the stickers, the coasters come in 5 varieties with only one in each set.
Also like the stickers, there were special coasters included randomly. I didn’t get any of them, but they go as follows: Haruhi, Mikuru, Yuki, Koizumi, Tsuruya, Kyon’s Sister, Ryoko, Kyon. Kadokawa also topped themselves by including special film bookmarks randomly in sets for those episodes. The one above is Koizumi at the night meeting in Endless Eight II.
Lastly, the set design is different. Instead of a solid plastic double case, Kadokawa put in a special sliding tray digipack. As with packaging changes, the limited edition disc changed from a CD to a DVD containing the BGM over scenes as well as footage of Minoru Shirashi travelling around Japan and speaking over “memory album” scenes from those episodes.
The Endless Eight sets also add another item to the mix. In addition to the coaster and postcard set, each E8 set had another physical extra included. The first set had the special box and postcard case. Each following set has a special clear mini file that has the art from the special prologue included on the limited edition disc on volume 5.285714. SP coasters and film bookmarks were still randomly included. The one above is Koizumi and Kyon on the rooftop in Endless Eight VI.
Once again a mixture of 06 and 09 sets. Nothing additionally was added here besides advertisements. The film bookmarks were of the family watching filming in Tameki III and Kyon on the bridge in Tameki V.
Here are the non-postcard extras for each set:
Here’s the scenes from the film bookmarks:
On each postcard set is the artwork for the limited and common edition covers with an instruction set.
As for the content on the discs, each DVD has 1-2 episodes in good-great quality. The differences between the two sets of DVDs becomes very apparent once the content starts. The 2009 episodes were animated in HD quality while the 2006 ones had to be upscaled for the re-airing, so their quality has diminished over time.
The top picture is from Yuutsu II and the bottom picture is from Sasa no Ha. There’s a little bit of structural changes that go on, but the lighting is vastly different. The backgrounds are simply more vivid and detailed in the 2009 set.
While the backgrounds are more detailed, the character designs have changed as well. As people have noticed, the quality of the designs vary depending on episode, but for the most part the new designs do work well. Here are some common themed pictures (2006 on the left, 2009 on the right):
I apologize for the readers of this blog who have not seen the series (or even the second set of episodes), but if I go into a review of each episode I’m afraid a 28 post series would follow. I ask for your forgiveness so I have something to do this summer while we wait for Disapperance.
As for the special features, each set of releases has their specific ones. The 2006 DVDs start with the original TV previews with Kyon/Haruhi speaking, the textless OP/ED (including the one from Asahina Mikuru no Bouken Episode 00), a gallery of the nekomen (a little craze the seijuu started), and various “making” clips from behind the scenes. Set 7 has the item everyone was waiting to see though: the full textless dancing ED.
For the 2009 releases, the common themes are TV spots (for the first DVD and then the series), staff location scouting, and Aya Hirano’s Super Driver PV “making of” clips. There is the textless ED/OP on the first two DVDs in that order, plus the easter egg 7/7/2007 video on the first DVD as well. These sets also have English subtitles, though the quality isn’t the best.
One consistent theme between the two sets is the fact that Kadokawa hid special wallpaper galleries on the normal discs. The 2006 edition has them in 720×405 pixels while the 2009 edition have them for 1920×1080 pixels.
So there’s my Haruhi shelf. Overall, I absolutely love these sets and feel more fulfilled than when I obtained the R1 releases in 2007, but that could also be that I appreciate the series more than at that time. If you have the funds to purchase these sets, Yahoo Japan auctions are always offering sets at varying prices.
There are two additional music DVDs (Gekisou and Gensou) that are included with the 2006 catalogue, but as I don’t (and won’t) possess Gekisou, I didn’t include it in this review.
This entry originally appeared on Cartoon Leap and has been copied faithfully (minus image locations) from the original content.