Gotta find ’em all! should be the catchphrase for the campaign attached to the new The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya animated video. Even though it’s the first new Haruhi animation in four years, its creators aren’t just screening it for free–they’re making fans actually work to see it! That said, the campaign is actually more like a treasure hunt than anything else. Introducing “Haruhi Hunting,” in which the residents of Japan must work together to unlock the new promotional video. 

Do YOU have what takes to find all 707 missing frames of the animation?

For the uninitiated, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱) was THE hit sci-fi comedic anime of 2006. Based on a series of popular light novels, it follows the (mis)adventures of the titular character and members of her high school club, the SOS Brigade, in their quest to track down supernatural phenomena. The anime was noted for its unusual approach of airing the 14 episodes out of chronological order. A rebroadcast of the series was aired in 2009, in which a new season of 14 episodes was interspersed among the original ones. A theatrical film, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, was also released in 2010. 

The original series’ ending theme also gained a cult following and inspired flash dance mobs around the world. Does the song ring a bell?

▼”Hare Hare Yukai”

Fans of the anime series now have reason to celebrate, because the first original Haruhi animation in four years has been released–well, sort of! Actually, Haruhi needs YOUR help to make the video fully available for public viewing!

The short animation is part of a campaign called “Haruhi Hunting: The Hunt for Memories Lost” to promote Sankyo’s upcoming pachinko game Fever: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The video is set to the song “Lost my music” from the school festival scene of the original TV animated series. All the characters from the SOS Brigade make an appearance…or will, once they’ve been rounded up!

So what exactly is “Haruhi Hunting,” you ask? In short, it’s a collaborative effort to restore Haruhi’s missing “memories” (the animated frames of the video) which is open for participation to anyone who resides in Japan. Exactly 707 frames of the animated clip have been scattered across different locations throughout Japan–on outdoor advertisements, in convenience stores, magazines, and on websites. When a participant finds one of the frames, he or she must take a screenshot and upload it to the official Haruhi Hunting website, where it will be added to the appropriate place in the video.

▼The very cool announcement for “Haruhi Hunting”!

▼Here are the released images of frames 358 and 363 from the new animation:



Ironically, 707 is just shy of the total number of Pokémon that have ever been released…maybe all the Pokémon masters out there can lend their expertise?

You can check the progress of the campaign since the official website is being updated in real time as fans upload the frames. The site also automatically plays the footage of the video that has been completed as of that time.

As of this writing, 148 of the frames have been “hunted” down, and a good chunk of the middle part of the video is viewable. If you happen to stumble across one on your late night konbini run, why not do your part and upload a snapshot of it?

Sources/Images: Haruhi Hunting, Mantan Web