Uguu Re-read! The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya (Light Novel)

Haruhi shouldn't make anime

Dan­ger draws near com­bat wait­ress Miku­ru!

We’re onto the sec­ond Suzu­miya Haruhi nov­el now in my series of light nov­el posts, and I’m still dying to get through all of the adapt­ed stuff so I can talk about mate­r­i­al that has yet to become an ani­me and will prob­a­bly nev­er become an ani­me (;_;).

The sec­ond nov­el is the mak­ing of the SOS Brigade’s ama­teur film, “The Adven­tures of Asahi­na Miku­ru”. You’ve prob­a­bly seen it in the ani­me, and of course, it’s not much dif­fer­ent.

Haruhi always comes up with bright ideas

We, the SOS Brigade, will be film­ing a movie!

Com­pared to the pre­vi­ous nov­el, the dan­ger Haruhi sub­con­scious­ly pos­es to the world is a lot less cat­a­stroph­ic, although it’s still pret­ty ridicu­lous. Instead of destroy­ing the cur­rent world and remak­ing a new one, the film that the SOS Brigade is pro­duc­ing for North High­’s cul­tur­al fes­ti­val caus­es Haruhi’s over­ac­tive imag­i­na­tion to run wild and… mod­i­fies the accept­ed “norms” of the world. Talk­ing cats become a thing and het­e­rochro­mia eye lasers hap­pen. Takanashi Rik­ka’s dream come true. In fact, I don’t doubt that Rik­ka and Haruhi would become the best of friends. Would this crossover ever hap­pen? Don’t think so.

The por­tion with Shamisen has to be the most bril­liant scene with­in the entire book. It’s a male cal­i­co. A male cal­i­co. Oh yeah, and it talks. God­dammit Haruhi.

The scene was faith­ful­ly repro­duced in the ani­me. It’s sim­ply amaz­ing:

What is life?

Anoth­er notable and actu­al­ly pret­ty tense moment was when Haruhi went a lit­tle too far and spiked Miku­ru’s drink with tequi­la and almost forces her to do a love scene with Koizu­mi, caus­ing Kyon to get as pissed as her as he could ever get in the series. Enough to almost punch her. When Kyoto Ani­ma­tion final­ly ani­mat­ed this scene dur­ing the ani­me’s 2009 run, more peo­ple start­ed to think of Haruhi as… well, what Kyon was think­ing in his head out of anger, “a bitch.” While I agree she went too far here, I think she does a lot more things lat­er on that out­weighs this fuck up. She’s only human, it’s not like she did­n’t feel bad about it or changes her tune lat­er, right? Of course, then again, I don’t expect a hand­ful of the audi­ence to pick up a book and read. Though I could be wrong. Or I could be wai­fu-ing hard­core. Don’t know.

In fact, the ani­me ver­sion made it seem more like Kyon was the one who went over­board if you’re famil­iar with Japan­ese drinks. I’m pret­ty sure Kyoto Ani­ma­tion changed the tequi­la to amakaze, which has such low alco­hol con­tent that even Japan­ese chil­dren are allowed to drink it.

Speak­ing of only human, in this book, Koizu­mi points out that he’s a skep­tic with­in the Agency. Despite bring­ing it up in the first vol­ume, he does­n’t believe Haruhi is actu­al­ly God. Accord­ing to him, such an omnipo­tent exist should exist out­side of what they con­sid­er real­i­ty, a being high above. Haruhi is mere­ly a high that has been grant­ed some­thing spe­cial. A human with divine pow­ers, but a human nonethe­less. Accord­ing to him, at least.

Kill the non-believ­er.

Any­ways. All three fac­tions that are con­nect­ed to the super­nat­ur­al mem­bers of the SOS Brigade (Miku­ru, the time trav­el­er, Koizu­mi, the esper, and Naga­to, the humanoid inter­face serv­ing the Data Over­mind) have dif­fer­ing opin­ions on what Haruhi exact­ly is. What­ev­er the case, god­dess or not, Haruhi def­i­nite­ly shows moments of weak­ness that God would nev­er show. We saw you try­ing to tie your hair in a pony­tail to appease Mr. Pony­tail Fetish after your lit­tle squab­ble.

Now screening at your local AMC

The movie every­one’s been talk­ing about — you’ll absolute­ly regret miss­ing this!

The var­i­ous solu­tions that the brigade mem­bers sug­gest to ground every­thing into real­i­ty is total­ly just Tani­gawa Nagaru hav­ing fun tak­ing jabs at fic­tion. Koizu­mi’s “every­thing was all a dream?” Aw man.

But what real­ly takes the cake is what Kyon even­tu­al­ly set­tles with — forc­ing Haruhi to read a “this was a work of fic­tion” dis­claimer at the end of the film.

While it’s def­i­nite­ly not as insane as the first book, from here on out, you could total­ly tell that Tani­gawa Nagaru has even more ideas up his sleeve for the SOS Brigade. The series is very…self-aware, but not in way that it tries to be the cliché com­e­dy pok­ing fun at clichés. Rather, it’s self-aware in a way that makes you think. What dri­ves our minds to cre­ate fic­tion and how pow­er­ful can our imag­i­na­tions be? This very install­ment of the light nov­el series is a fic­tion­al world about the cre­ation of a fic­tion­al world that’s becom­ing a threat that will destroy the con­cept of what is real. As meta as that may sound, there’s a good point in there some­where that the art of telling sto­ries is just our way of let­ting loose from the real­i­ty that denies what we envi­sion in our heads.

Any­ways, I know that I praised the trans­la­tion of the Eng­lish nov­els in my last post. I stand firm on that opin­ion that it’s very good, for the most part. But I do think that the char­ac­ter inter­ac­tion does miss a bit of con­text with­out the hon­orifics. I know every­one gets real­ly anal about Japan­ese hon­orifics being used in Eng­lish-lan­guage dia­logue, but at the same time, I real­ly don’t see peo­ple get­ting that antsy over peo­ple say­ing “Seor Chavez” or some­thing in an Eng­lish trans­la­tion of any­thing Span­ish. This is why I often use the term “aller­gic to Japan­ese” in ref­er­ence to Eng­lish-lan­guage ani­me fans being over­ly anal about unique Japan­ese-lan­guage con­ven­tions being includ­ed in Eng­lish trans­la­tions.

Well, onto the next nov­el, The Bore­dom of Haruhi Suzu­miya!

Suzumiya Haruhi no Tameiki

TO BE CONTINUED

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