Anyone that has seen The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya knows that the series has a lot to offer. Everything seems pretty much normal, but quickly turns to being “slightly off”. In The Melancholy, the “slightly off” is explained early on and makes the entire series what it is: Great. In The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, everything seems mostly normal, then it gets actually normal, then it gets really weird, then it turns way off, and it quickly returns to mostly normal. This makes the entire series mostly boring and seem really strangely paced. It is a spin-off of from The Melancholy, so it takes place in an alternate universe, so-to-speak, but it doesn’t necessarily do the most with what it has. It is hard to review this without comparing the two, but seeing as this spun-off of The Melancholy and that most interested viewers will have already watched The Melancholy, I won’t hold back on making some comparisons.Even starting with a great cast of characters (the same cast from The Melancholy), The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan manages to make most of them less lively. If there’s anything to know about what I like to see most in anime, it is well-made, interesting characters and thoughtful, believable character development. After knowing and loving this wonderful cast, what they did with the characters was the biggest disappointment to me. Kyon lacks his distinct sarcastic sass. Haruhi is almost too hyperactive. Worst of all, Nagato is far less likable throughout most of the show for being generic and clumsy instead of a pseudo-robot. Koizumi is the only one that makes some positive changes; he just gets really weird. Offhand homosexual remarks at Kyon and general creepiness are now par-for-the-course for Koizumi, which honestly makes the show a bit funnier and less generic. The other characters are just very blandified. One of the biggest differences between the two shows is that The Melancholy is a twist on the slice of life genre whereas The Disappearance is supposed to be a twist on romance. To give it credit, there IS a twist and it could have been way more boring. That said, The Disappearance was *somewhat* boring most of the time and consisted of unanswered questions like “Will he realize he likes her?” and “Will he hold her hand?” to make up the plot; the generic stuff. Also, as the show wrapped up, I couldn’t help but think that within all 15 episodes, nothing ever really happened, which is a disappointing thought. I mentioned a twist earlier. I **love** twists and this one was executed in an interesting way. All of the changes are extremely abrupt. Part of me really enjoyed it. Part of me hated the pacing. It definitely was an uncomfortable change which I can really applaud the show for accomplishing. The only issue that I had with the changes it that they didn’t last or really even matter that much in the grand scheme of things. Character dynamics were altered, some more significantly than others, which opened the door for some great character development. But of course, nothing even became of it. All of the character dynamics went back to normal and everything was the same. So, the twist itself was executed very well, and even the events leading directly up to it were interesting. However, in the long run, it didn’t matter all that much for the endgame of the show.
While Satelight, the studio that animated it, isn’t really known for astounding visuals, the visuals are actually one of the stronger parts of the show. There is a lot of beautiful scenery and the animation is all-around good; it gets silly at all the right times. The music leaves something to be desired as it didn’t leave a lasting impression at all, but it wasn’t bad by any means. The voice actors were mostly the same as the voice actors in The Melancholy, which is strong point. It makes all of the characters seem more familiar which helps drive the romance aspect home. Another thing that is carried over from The Melancholy is the timeline. Most of the large events still occur, albeit differently. Most importantly, they even pay homage to the wonderful endless eight, in a good way. The show does play with its differences in a good way, fortunately.
I really wanted to love this show. Familiar characters with a different tone, genre, and art style are enough to make me like it. The story and development, however, left me very unsatisfied. Ultimately, The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan is by no means bad. But it is not great. That said, it was an enjoyable watch for me, just not a necessary one. For The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, I’m giving it 2 out of 5 stars. The 2 stars on my scale represent that I believe people that have enjoyed similar anime should watch this show. If you like super cute, soft-hearted romance and the world of Haruhi Suzumiya then The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan is for you. It doesn’t quite deserve 3 stars (people that like the genre should watch) as it doesn’t do a whole lot for the romance genre. Like I said before, while it has a decent twist that makes it interesting, it isn’t enough to make the show worth your time. Addison’s Rating Scale.