Alternative titles: Nagato Yuki-chan no Shōshitsu, Moe Nagato
Manga Adaptation by Satelight
Streaming on Funimation
It’s Moe Nagato. ‘Nuff said.
Marlin’s verdict: It’s Moe as Fuck.
No two ways about it, the only reason you’d be with this past the minute mark is that you enjoy some good moe. As a former reader of the manga, I’ll admit this brought back some nice memories of college and reading this after watching the Disappearance movie. Moe Nagato is pretty up-front with its premise, a cute slice of life romance packaged in a Haruhi marketing ploy. And I love it. It might just be that Nagato was always my favorite girl in Haruhi (not like that’s much of a contest), but to see her act like a shy romcom lead is like artificial gap moe. I liked the manga for being fluff and knowing what to do with it. Its romcom story also teased itself pretty well. Giving Kyon his own monologues lets you see both sides, and keeps a bit of his humor into this different setting. As long as it remains cute and the gags remain entertaining, I’m sure a lot of people will be happy.
What happens when you remove all the Sci-Fi elements from the Haruhi series and make Nagato the main character? Apparently you get a middle-of-the-road romantic comedy with moe levels arguably higher than anything we saw in Kyoto Animation’s previous adaptations. Maybe that’s not a fair comparison as Nagato Yuki-Chan is a spinoff and not part of the main line series, but still, had this not had the Haruhi name attached no one would know or care that this existed. Aside from a few cute or funny moments, there’s really not much keeping me here. [Disclaimer: Jel is one of the few human beings on the planet that actually liked the character Haruhi Suzumiya and found Nagato super boring. We can all agree Mikuru is obnoxious though.]
I love me some Haruhi (I even wrote in defense of Endless Eight, once upon a time), so perhaps my opinion on this is somewhat biased, but I had a pretty good time with the first episode of Moe Nagato. Sure, it’s not the sequel we really want, but there’s some fantastic comic timing, lots of internal monologue from Kyon and references to the main series at every available opportunity. A great piece of fanservice, but it’s not going to do anything for you if you’re not already a fan of the base material.