Tomorrow, we will be kicking off the Annual Haruhi Marathon known as Endless Summer, in which fans gather over skype and watch the Haruhi Suzumiya TV series over the span of eight* days. One of the major highlights of the event is watching Endless Eight all within the course of a single weekend. While there are a lot of detractors from the Endless Eight arc, there is plenty to appreciate beyond an enjoyment standpoint, particularly from the viewpoint of creative writing in general.
As I’ve mentioned in last year’s Endless Summer writing project, restrictions breed creativity, and Endless Eight is one of the more apparent examples of that principles in action. The concept of showing the “exact same story eight times” is perhaps one of the most pressing restrictions an animation studio can place on itself; as a result of it, analyzing the variations in the presentation of the arc is actually quite astounding if you compare the finer minutiae of each episode.
Furthermore, the concept that the exact same story is shown eight times makes that comparison of minutiae remarkably easy.
It’s no secret that episodic posts have a bit of a stigma regarding how similar they are to each other; repetition of the same format over time lends to specific structural qualities that are replicated endlessly, and as a result, are easily glossed over without any further consideration. But when it comes to Endless Eight, however, those particular nuances in writing and form have the opportunity to be brought to light and analysed on a macro level, much like that of the production of the arc itself.
Hence, the Endless Eight Project. I am inviting writers in the aniblogosphere (and hell, even readers/lurkers/twitterers as well) to participate in this project. I am looking for seven other writers to write a guest post on my blog, in which a post about Endless Eight is posted daily within the span of Endless Summer. Writers will be writing about the exact same points, structure, and will even be limited by the same word restrictions.
We are going back to High School English here. I am looking for a five paragraph format. Every post written in the five-paragraph format will be written as follows:
Introduction – The first mention of the thesis goes here. The thesis is broken down into three main generalized points.
Argument 1 – An introductory sentence indicating the first argument. Evidence is provided to back up the argument.
Argument 2 – same as above, but transitioned accordingly.
Argument 3 – same as above, but transitioned accordingly.
Conclusion – The thesis is recapitulated. The three points are generalized once again, but with new context given the arguments mentioned above. Where do we go from here?
Thesis, Arguments, Points
Each post will point out the same thesis, and if you’ve paid attention to the introduction that I wrote above, then it won’t come as a surprise.
The thesis is this: Endless Eight is an exercise in variations of similar elements within a repeated work.
Furthermore, I would like for this thesis to be broken down into the following arguments supporting the above thesis
Argument 1: For variations to occur, the repeated elements must be introduced first.
You can write about:
a) how the elements of summer vacation were introduced in part 1
b) how those elements were repeated in part 2 but with new introduced elements involving the endless loop
c) how both the elements of summer vacation and endless loops were repeated in parts 3-7.
Argument 2: Variations occur in different production aspects of Endless Eight.
You can write about variance (or lack thereof, if necessary) in:
a) visual production (camera angles, scene compositon, etc.)
b) sound production (music, voice acting, etc.)
c) writing (pacing,
Argument 3: The variations in Endless Eight’s production are reinforced by the variations within the story.
You can write about:
a) Yuki’s monologue in the park and the variations of activities that occurred
b) Koizumi and Kyon’s conversation at the end of part VIII, commenting on the idea of repetition and luck
c) how both scenes reinforce the production approach to Endless Eight
The Conclusion, with a twist!
Feel free to conclude your work using any assortment of points presented in the main section and/or introduction. However, when speaking about “where to go from here,” I highly encourage you to relate the repeated and varied elements of Endless Eight to the repeated/varied elements of your own post. The main idea of this exercise is to appreciate the creativity and experimental approach taken to Endless Eight by going about a similar method in your own writing, much like KyoAni did with their controversial arc.
General Outline of this Project:
1) I want to invite a number of writers to try this exercise out, and submit their work to me to be posted on this blog. The intention is to have the “same” post written on each day of Endless Summer. If I can’t get anyone to submit entries for certain days, I will write them myself.
2) You don’t have to participate in the Endless Summer livewatch in order to participate. If you’ve watched Endless Eight already, you are more than eligible, but it’s definitely worth watching them again so that you can have a better grasp of what you’re writing about. What better opportunity to revisit the arc by watching all eight episodes on skype with your fellow Haruhiists?
3) There is no particular due date for submission, but I will be posting one entry per day from August 24 to August 31, whether it be from myself or someone else. Once an entry is posted, there will be room for less submissions going forward.
4) If you want to participate, feel free to give me a heads up by leaving a comment that you will be writing something. You may submit your entries by e-mail, my address is krizzlybear *at* gmail *dot* com.
I’m really looking forward to taking on this project, even if it means I’ll have to write half of these posts by myself. More people submitting will result in an even more interesting result, but repeated posts from myself will also achieve another similar, but still desired effect. I look forward to your response, and I look forward to seeing a bunch of you on Skype tomorrow at 8pm Eastern time. Until then, adieu!