In 2010, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya was released and then now in 2022 the The Quintessential Quintuplets' movie will be released. The thing is each is a sequel to the 2 seasons of anime that already and recently aired.
- I think it's reasonable to ask 'How are people gonna understand what's going on if they haven't watched the prior stuff?' Question 1: So what's up with that? Why don't they just do a season 3 instead of a movie? Or, Hell, why bother making a TV series instead of just a movie series, like why not do 3 movies instead of 3 seasons or 2 seasons + 1 movie?
Well, for the The Quintessential Quintuplets' movie, ok probably it will be mostly self-contained, we'll see, but as for Disappearance, well, admittedly I don't really remember the specifics of the movie, but I do remember some things from the series were pretty relevant, like
Asakura, Endless Eight and closed space
. I don't think I would've understood the movie without having seen the series prior. But I remember reading recently many youtube comments that say they watched the movie before watching the series.
Question 2: Was Disappearance really possible to understand without the series?
- Guess: Well maybe someone, without having watched the series prior, would interpret the movie as like 'Guy wakes up 1 day and finds classmate is missing, and no one seems to remember this classmate.'
Other anime: The above 2 examples are in contrast to say for, the, Death Note live movies, or even the Death Note animated recap movies, which are really adapting the Death Note manga from scratch. Similar for the Attack on Titan live movies (or animated recap movies) or the Code Geass animated movies.
Other anime: As for anime like say Yu-Gi-Oh! or Pokémon, I figure their movies are like MCU or superhero movies in general where they don't really expect the audience to have seen the previous movies to understand what's going on (with maybe some notable exceptions like Avengers Endgame).
- Edit: Actually, I had no idea, but apparently even anime films for Yu-Gi-Oh! or Pokémon may be criticised for this: 'Criticism likened it to the Pokémon films in that it was only appropriate for fans of the franchise.' --> from wikipedia page for Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light.
Non-anime: The only non-anime examples I can think of right now are Veronica Mars and Hey Arnold! (both of the HA! movies). In either case, yeah, I think those movies are pretty self-contained. But, I remember the series were mostly episode by episode with only a few overarching plots. And more importantly, they were revivals (except for the 1st HA! movie). The movies for Haruhi and TQQ are really direct sequels to the series, each of which finished airing just a year before the movie, like the opposite kind of sequel as a revival. Or, what, do we think of these movies the same way we think of 'revivals' ?
(Edit) Anime: I don't watch that much anime in general compared to the seasoned veterans in stackexchange or reddit, soooo Haruhi and TQQ are pretty much the only ones I know, but I guess there are a lot more examples like Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai (see here) and Psycho-Pass (see here).
More examples like Veronica Mars and Hey Arnold!:
- Liar Game The Final Stage - sort of series finale after once again two seasons. --> Also self-contained.