The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒの消失 Suzumiya Haruhi no Shōshitsu?), or The Vanishment of Haruhi Suzumiya, is an animated film based on the fourth light novel of the Haruhi Suzumiya series of the same name. It is produced by Kyoto Animation and was released in Japanese theaters on February 6, 2010 and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on December 18, 2010. The film has been licensed by Bandai Entertainment in North America and Manga Entertainment in the UK.
The story takes place from December 16 until December 24, a month after the cultural festival. The SOS Brigade, led by Haruhi Suzumiya, make plans to have a nabe party for Christmas. However, on the morning of December 18, Kyon arrives at school and finds out everything has changed. Haruhi and Itsuki Koizumi are missing, Ryoko Asakura has mysteriously returned, Mikuru Asahina does not recognize him and Yuki Nagato is an ordinary human. Only Kyon is aware that everything is different, as noone remembers anything about Haruhi or the SOS Brigade. The only clue Kyon manages to find is a bookmark left by the alien version of Yuki before everything was changed, telling him to gather 'keys' to run a program. Whilst wondering about this clue, he gets to know the new Yuki, who appears to be quite fond of him. As December 20 comes, Kyon learns from Taniguchi that Haruhi was at another high school the whole time, along with Itsuki. By revealing his identity to her as 'John Smith' (his alias when he first travelled back in time and assisted a young Haruhi), Kyon manages to convince Haruhi to believe his story. With her assistance they gather the SOS Brigade together in the club room, thus bringing the keys necessary for a program built by alien Yuki. Wanting to go back to his interesting life, Kyon activates the program and goes back in time to the Tanabata of three years ago. After meeting up with the future Mikuru, he obtains an uninstall program from the past's Yuki, which needs to be shot at the culprit right after the change in the early hours of December 18. Returning to the present, they find the culprit, Yuki, who had borrowed Haruhi's power to change everyone's memories except Kyon's, giving him the choice of which world he'd rather live in. Kyon tries to install the program into Yuki but is stabbed by Ryoko, who had retained her psychotic behaviour. Before Ryoko can finish him off, he is rescued by future counterparts of Yuki, Mikuru and himself. He wakes up a few days later in a hospital, where the world is back to normal, but almost everyone believes Kyon had been in a coma since the 18th having fallen down the stairs. When Yuki mentions to Kyon how the Data Integration Thought Entity would punish her for her actions, Kyon tells her to let them know that if they ever do, he can tell Haruhi about him being John Smith and have her alter reality so the Data Integration wouldn't exist. As December 24 comes and his everyday life returns, Kyon decides to put off going back to rescue himself so he can try Haruhi's nabe.
Production and release
On December 18, 2007, the official website of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime series, haruhi.tv, was replaced by a fake 404 error with five form input fields, a reference to the pivotal date in The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, the fourth volume in the light novel series. The story of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya did not appear in the 2009 re-airing of the anime series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which included previously un-aired episodes adapted from the second, third and fifth novels. However, at the close of the 2009 season on October 8, 2009, a 30-second teaser trailer showing Yuki Nagato was aired, revealing that The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya would actually be a film, set for a February 6, 2010 release. A one-minute promotional video was released in December 2009. The film's theme song is "Yasashii Bōkyaku" (優しい忘却?, "Tender Oblivion") by Minori Chihara, the single of which was released on February 24, 2010. The opening theme is "Bōken Desho Desho?" by Aya Hirano. The film's original soundtrack was released on January 27, 2010. The film was released on BD/DVD, in regular and limited editions on December 18, 2010 in Japan.
The film has been licensed for North America distribution by Bandai Entertainment. English-subtitled screenings began running in San Francisco's Viz Theater from May 21, 2010, and were followed by a screening at the Laemmle's Sunset theater in Hollywood on June 24, 2010 and a theatrical run in Hawaii in June 2010 through Consolidated Theatres and Artisan Gateway as part of their Spotlight Asia Films program. An English-language version will be co-produced by Bang Zoom! Entertainment and released on DVD in North America in spring 2011, while Manga Entertainment will release it in the UK in summer 2011. The film had its European premiere on October 17, 2010 at the Scotland Loves Anime event in Scotland.
Script error With the film's release on February 6, 2010 on 24 screens in Japan, it placed in the top 10 for Japanese box office sales in its first weekend, and earned an estimated 200 million yen in its first week. The film won the Best Theatrical Film award at the 2010 Animation Kobe Awards. The BD version sold over 77,000 copies in its first week, topping the Oricon charts, while placing fourth in the DVD charts with 19,667 copies sold.