Last time I concluded in a question: Does Kyon feign ignorance to Haruhi's feelings? It may be or may not be, but I'll try to take that to account.
Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody is the most important episode in the series, and even the series itself recognizes this. So what's all the fuss about the Tanabata 3 years ago exactly? Taking account both god theories, it ís either:
1. Kyon going back in time three years and making Haruhi believe that supernatural exists
2. It's a simple effect of having three versions of a god (Kyon) in the same place.
Nonetheless, I am going to actually go with Haruhi-theory now, to give my own viewpoint: I see it as being possible that the reason of significance is shown, but from another angle. This is my theory, thus it may be confusing or not make any sense.
|Even Kyon is confus of this shit.|
I see it as this: Kyon was originally born 3-5 years prior to Haruhi (Making him a high schooler when Haruhi was in middle school), and in the original universe, on July 7th, stumbled to Haruhi by accident, carrying a beautiful girl that Haruhi did not believe was his sister. Kyon then proceeded to do the markings as is, and when asked his name, wanted to protect his identity (as he remarked: "If this had been the first time encountering such middle school girl, I would've thought of her as genuinely dangerous." Though it's not clear if he's actually referring to Sasaki, it's left open), and called himself John Smith. When later asked about the supernatural, he answered in a manner that he would've wanted (It's referred in the very first episode of the series), practically the same answer he gave in the series. This then activated Haruhi's powers as she probably kinda fell for him, wishing that they went to the same high school, which then changed Kyon's life in a way that he would simultaneously be there on Tanabata and the same high school as her, by time travel. This would make Kyon a slider, and Kyon as a slider is touched again in Disappearance, where instead of actually transferring to another world, the world itself changes. I'll come to that later.
Also, this would in a way explain Kyon's affection to Mikuru, because the only way to get Kyon's absolute trust required to get him to travel in time is to get his affection. And if Haruhi didn't want to meet a real time traveler, but a person who has experienced it, it makes even more sense. To make the connection to Kyon being able to be in the same high school as her while not technically being a time traveler from the future, she used the only thing he had with him as a reason, the girl. Thus was Asahina Mikuru born in the future.
The true meat of Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody is not what happened, but what it caused. It is the very reason the series' plot exists, and it's told so discreetly it's admirable. It got me to really love the series once I realized that.
Okay, onto the thing that almost all people despise in the series... Endless eight. They call it pointless, laziness of the animation department and just a waste of time. I beg to differ.
First things first. Endless eight can be seen as two things also, depending on theory:
1. Haruhi really wants the summer not to ever end because she is having so much fun
2. Kyon wants more time to get his summer homework done
|One of the only things keeping her sane?|
While both are valid in a way, the Kyon-theory falls flat. Kyon knows the pain Nagato is going through, and would still want more time? It seems too selfish to be real. Haruhi is oblivious of Nagato's pain, and thus doesn't give jack. So now to WHY KyoAni made Endless Eight as it is known today.
Endless Eight boils down to being even riskier artistic decision than Bakemonogatari's character lens. It frustrated so many fans so much, that many never watched the series again. It was a gamble of life and death, and simultaneously they succeeded and failed. I'm on the camp on who it succeeded on, as I eventually realized the reasoning behind it, but most people who saw it were just baffled. I personally even think the anime version (Eight episodes) was better than in the novel (One sole chapter).
I was one of the ones who almost quit. But still every week I came back to see if the endless eight had finally ended. And when it did, man was it glorious. But does it still deny the pain I went through waiting for something to change? For the seemingly endless misery of seeing the same things again and again? If I did my "drama" properly you might have already guessed the real reason behind the Endless Eight. It was meant for the ones who were following the series every week. If you watched the second airing of Haruhi after it was finished or after the endless eight, try to put yourself in the shoes of a watcher who watches it, and waits every week for a new episode.
|Sadly most don't even last eight|
For me, the frustration in the moment was enormous. I wanted it to end. Really, to just end. I was actually kind of desperate, because one of my favourite series of all time was airing every week yet it was in a standstill. And that was the point of it. You couldn't escape the fact that it wasn't going to change. Of course, we knew the airing would end at some point, but would the rest of the series be just this? One episode, all over again? We couldn't know. It really was annoying, but only after, when I got a tiny hint, I realized it. The god of the series, KyoAni, was torturing me deliberately, to make me feel what Nagato feels. At that point the character of Nagato changed in my mind (This was still before Disappearance) as I realized Endless Eight's ingenuity. It was made to prepare us for the fact that Nagato was going to change. It was character progression without dialogue, without any action in the whole series (Kyon's random thoughts are not counted as they differ in every loop and he forgets them nonetheless). That was one of the biggest mindfucks I've ever come across. And also one of the reasons I still adore this series.
Of course, if you watched the series afterwards, it wouldn't really make sense, would it? It's an ingenious trick, but after the first time it's useless.
So we were practically made to feel the pain of Nagato in miniature size. Of course, the difference in patience of an Android and a human is incomparable (It's even lampshadowed in Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, where Kyon said that it would require a world of patience to wait the three years Nagato has been on standby mode), but I think the risk they took was still huge. Expecting people to wait eight weeks? It's lunacy. But as we all know, ingenuity and insanity come hand in hand. Every time a person dropped the series for good during Endless Eight is comparable to Nagato committing suicide.
Think about that.