Disclaimer: I’ll be talking about the plot and everything that happened within the 28 episodes of the TV series (Season 1 + Season 2) as well as the movie “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya”. Thus, there will be MAJOR SPOILERS in this post. If you have not watched the entirety of the Haruhi series, you should stop reading NOW.
Honestly, at first it was nothing more than an anime with an uncanny resemblance to “The Tatami Galaxy” as I mentioned in my weekly anime round-up. The main characters monologue was fast-paced and fun to listen to. Often times, it would seem like the other characters in the cast can hear what he was thinking as well.
Their interactions between the main characters were all fun to watch as Haruhi dragged everyone around her into countless stupid or crazy situations. Haruhi was considered something like a “wasted beauty” just like the main character in Chihayafuru. However, Haruhi’s eccentric nature and wild actions far surpasses Ayase from Chihayafuru as they weren’t grounded in a singular specific goal of doing well at Kurata or anything. Haruhi simply wanted to live a fun and interesting life. Thus, she sought out the supernatural which is supposed to not exist.
Another main difference between the two would be her actual unimaginable power that she possesses. Despite seeming like your everyday eccentric cute anime girl, she’s holds powers rivaling that of the characters in Medaka Box. Basically, she has the power to change the laws of the world to her every whim.
Putting Haruhi aside for a moment, the main character seems to be Kyon. He constantly complains about being dragged around by Haruhi and made to do all the grunt work but does it nonetheless. In the movie, he’s forced to face his true feelings and accepts that he does in fact have fun with Haruhi. Honestly, if you think about it, he would not have been able to survive in the SOS Brigade for so long if he was really so unhappy.
Kyon wanted to believe that he wanted to live a normal, peaceful school life. However, the more Haruhi let him experience a bunch of crazy and wacky situations, the more he became addicted to it without realising it. Haruhi’s eccentric nature and the unexpected situations that followed became a norm for him. Something he would always look forward to. No matter how much he refuses to admit it.
Itsuki points out that there is a strong form of trust between Haruhi and Kyon. Kyon believes that Haruhi would not destroy the world no matter what and Haruhi believes that Kyon would always take her side no matter what. It’s a relationship whereby both parties have complete faith that the other would not do something detrimental to them.
Together, they get caught up in various situations and deal with them together with the others.
Now, putting both Kyon and Haruhi aside, Nagato is all too precious. Especially so in “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya” movie. Honestly, the movie made me really feel for Nagato and want to protect her. In the TV series spanning 28 episodes, Nagato was always one that was on par with Haruhi in terms of ability with the exception that she was fully aware of her powers. Nagato was constantly a magic key used to solve most situations as she had power none of the rest had.
In the movie, Kyon realised it himself and wanted to kick himself for his over-reliance on Nagato. “Nagato can fix it”, “It’s okay, Nagato will figure something out”. They kept pushing responsibility onto Nagato despite the fact that they were all going through the same things together. Is it not akin to people in group projects pushing all the work to the smarter ones and being assured everything will be fine?
Nagato’s errors which caused her to reconstruct the world were assumed to be due to her feelings of frustration of all she’s had to put up with in the SOS Brigade. She had to constantly watch over Haruhi and follow her every whim while looking out for Kyon and the rest. Nagato was constantly saving everyone whether or not they noticed it. Even for the endless summer, Nagato alone retained memories of 15,532 summer vacations. Honestly, the movie just made me realise how I’d grown so used to Nagato solving everything and made me feel bad for having gotten used to it. Even at the start of the movie when Kyon realised Haruhi was no longer in his class, my first thought was “Go look for Nagato, she can surely help”. (The following thoughts were to look for the SOS Brigade members and work together to get her back. However, unlike my preconcieved notions based on the title of the movie, Haruhi wasn’t the only one who was gone. Everyone else was gone too. By gone I mean, they weren’t the people who we knew from the 28 episodes.)
Even if she was an “alien”, she was still one of them. She went through so many things with the rest of them and should have been treated more as a member and not so much someone they go to whenever they have an unsolvable problem. As Kyon says, “There must have many times Nagato just wanted to quit and stop all of this, yet she didn’t. She wasn’t programmed to think of these sorts of things.” Honestly, hearing that just made me so sad because Nagato felt so precious. I’d honestly liked her character since the 2006 TV series but my feelings for her changed from an interesting and fun character to watch to someone who needed to be protected and cherished. KyoAni did an amazing job as usual at making their anime girls so damn adorable when they are sad. Nagato’s sad, pleading eyes in the movie were just unbearable…
Despite saying all this, I know that logically speaking, they really couldn’t have done much about certain problems without Nagato’s help. Still, it would have been better if they tried working together, even if Nagato would have carried them anyway. After all, it’s the same with the summer vacation homework, Haruhi had finished it all in three days before the last day of summer vacation yet what she really wanted to do was spend the last they with her fellow SOS brigade members doing summer homework.
Honestly, the Nagato in the movie was adorable. The one without powers was shy and reserved yet made it clear that she wanted Kyon to be in her literature club. Had kyon truly wished for a normal life, there is no way he would have turned down the opportunity to go the peaceful literature club with Nagato. I know I sure as hell would have loved for that. I guess it all comes down to Kyon’s love for more eccentric girls as was mentioned in the movie by the blue-haired class representative said.
Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say about Asahina since I’m honestly not a fan of her character. Although I did feel sorry for her during the filming of the movie when she got dumped in the water and fooled into getting drunk by Haruhi. Although, I might simply have gotten mad at Haruhi because the way the animated it and “filmed” it was in such a manner that it would take an inanimate object to not feel angry.
I must say, I actually did not really notice that Koizumi liked Haruhi until the movie. I thought he was just amused at Kyon’s actions not matching his words. Despite how much Kyon complained, he always did everything Haruhi told him to. Koizumi was jealous of Kyon as he noticed that Haruhi was particularly conscious of Kyon despite her many instances of completely ignoring his words or suggestions. In the end, during the endless eight episodes where Koizumi asked Kyon to embrace Haruhi from behind and tell her “I love you”, he always suggested it only to get rejected and get the silent treatment when asking if he should do it instead.
Looking back now, perhaps he could have been dismissing it as a joke while exhaling his disappointment that Kyon would not acknowledge his “love” for Haruhi when he was the one Haruhi especially cared for while he himself could not get that sort of attention from her.
In the end, the anime took up quite a bit of my brain power to process the timeline and time traveling but I think I kind of just accepted it in the end. I can’t say for sure whether it made sense or not but it was acceptable to me at least.
Questions to Ask Ourselves
Do we really want to live normal peaceful lives? Or does something in us desire the unexpected? If we desire the unexpected, even if we have no powers like Haruhi, should we not go forth and try to create that something that would interest us?
Perhaps we have people around us who seem unbreakable that we tend to rely on too often. If there are, we should start thinking about whether we are placing a greater burden on them than we should be. Perhaps we could start thinking about how to share the burden if necessary? After all, we never know what kind of struggles a stone-faced individual who does everything without question is facing.
Or maybe we have people who always play it cool and act like nothing bothers them while they are jealous of those around them? What can we do for these people?
If you think about it, Haruhi is all about a group of people who can’t face their true feelings and act on them because they are always busy keeping up with Haruhi’s antics.