The Journey of a Side Character around Japan

For the 2009 Limited Edition releases of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kadokawa decided to include skits featuring a minor character in the show whose seijyu had become very popular. They previously featured him dressing up as his character in The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan, Oniguchi, to promote those DVDs in commercials and an autograph signing, but this would be the first time he was used in a bonus feature for the main series. Since they were going to use new footage in the BD-Box, Kadokawa decided to release the skits on a separate DVD a month before the Box hit. This was originally released on September 24th, 2010. Now, let’s go on a journey to find mysterious wonders with Taniguchi!



Taniguchi ga Iku is a skit that involves Minoru Shirashi (the voice of Taniguchi) going around to various places in Japan in search of mysteries. He is joined by Producer Atsushi Itou, Assistant Producer Makoto Chiba, and Cameraman Satoshi Yamazaki on his travels. Included on this disc are all 8 episodes featured on the bonus discs. They do not feature the exact footage from all 8 discs (that would be too much) but they include some footage that was cut previously.

 

Here are the locations that Taniguchi traveled to:

1. The crew planned a trip to Hashima Island, but rain prevented them from going on the island itself. In the corner was footage from the previous day where they rode around it. Instead, they went sightseeing in Nagasaki.

2. In the corner footage are various shots of Kurobe Dam while the main feature focuses on Shiraishi et all going rafting down the Kurobe River.

3. The main feature is a trip to Kinomiya Shrine, which is thought to have mystical energy around it. There is a funny moment where Shiraishi is stopped from progressing further by a mystical barrier (added in post-production). The next day Shiraishi loses a fishing battle and has to buy juice for the rest of the staff.

4. This feature took place in Hyougo Prefecture. The main view is Shiraishi’s birthday celebration at the Arima Onsen as they watch a fireworks festival similar to the one shown in Endless Eight I. In the corner is a tour of the famous Himeji Castle. The end features Shiraishi accepting the Network Award at the 14th Kobe Animation Awards for The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan (as Oniguchi of course).

5. The trip this time is to Nara where they visit the Ryuuketsu Shrine. In addition, Shiraishi visits the Kyoto Animation shop as well as main studios. He gets a glimpse at the storyboards for The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movie and talks with director Sakamoto. (No customers come by when he’s in front of the shop.)

6. The mysterious location this time is the Ryuu Mountain Trail (and nearby caves). About 3 minutes into the feature the trip goes into the small window and Oniguchi + the Blue Demon (from the Haruhi-chan bonus footage) find and fight with a kappa (disguised staff member). Afterwards Shiraishi, Itou, and Chiba have a eating contest at the Azumaya restaurant.

7. For the first half of this segment, the crew goes to the JAXA Tsukuba Space Center where Shiraishi gets into a space suit and bounces around. The second half is the first kart race between the staff at Apple Forumla Land track. This segment is the beginning of the Lucky Racer spin-off.

8. For the first half, they travel to The Springs of Mt. Fuji and the Narasawa Ice Caves. The second half is another cart race at a small track near the Fuji Speedway. It’s raining this time and the carts tend to spin around more. The final scene has the four walking away from the camera towards the Yamanashi Highway.

Each segment lasts around ten minutes (give or take a minute or two) for a grand total of 80 minutes long. The bonus feature is a small 6 minute additional segment where the crew goes to Iyasinomori and fishes. As usual Shiraishi only catches a fish when it accidentally gets caught by its tale fin. There’s some additional footage (that gets letterboxed) that was not included on the original segments.

Since this is in the Common Edition line of the 2009 Haruhi DVDs, this gets a white toll case and includes a 4 page booklet that sums up the general plot. Basically it goes “Shiraishi travels to places with this crew” as well as explaining that this could be considered a “director’s cut” version.

Overall, Shiraishi is such an enjoyable character. Seeing him travel again was hilarious and I greatly enjoyed it. While I wish Bandai would bring this over to share with others, I understand that it’s a very very very very niche group of people that would enjoy it. It’s a lot of things I’ve seen before, but I think it was worth importing again. Additional screencaptures are in this Photobucket Album.

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2 thoughts on “The Journey of a Side Character around Japan

  1. Hah, that picture there.
    Must be off Shiraishi in Lucky Star when he gets exiled from Lucky Channel.
    I’m not sure why none of my friends want to see Lucky Star…it’s pretty interesting-ish and funny.

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