Sunday, 24 November 2013

Completed: The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya

The beginning of a story is a happy accident
The end is the fate for which it's met.

I'm not going to spoil anything that happens in this book, i will simply say that if you liked the anime or the movie you should read this series. it's a lot of fun and goes much farther then the show.

I will be talking about my own personal feelings regarding the series as a whole as well as my fan theories and eventually things i hope/hoped would happen.

but yeah... TL:dr; if you enjoy a snarky protagonist, if you like non-linear story telling, if you like well foreshadowed and hinted at plot lines and if you like trying to read between every line this series is really fun and you should give it a shot. Each book is fairly short but they tell the story they need to tell.

I was first introduced to the show in 2006. I had gone to a friends how and he put on episode 00
and my reaction was something along the lines of "what is this crap.... people watch this?"
he explained that episode 00 was different then the rest and it was supposed to look like that.
i wasn't buying it.
still, not too much later i asked him "hey... what was that show called? i am kinda curious"
and from the first episode i was hooked.
I loved the art, the animation, the story (and more importantly the way the story was told) and when it ended 13 episodes later on episode 6  i was a little sad to see it go.
However it was really popular so i figured it would get another season... i mean the book series had been going for a bit so they had to have more content right?
3 years later~
2009, almost everyone had given up hope that we would ever see more of Haruhi Suzumiya's antics but then they started talking about rebroadcasting the show in japan.
Now from my understanding.... Japan doesn't really do reruns, sometimes a show will get a second run but it's really really rare (again, i could be wrong)
so this announcement came as a shock to fans.... and the most curious part was the broadcast schedule.
they were doing the season in chronological order.... and a few episodes in there was a title that only those who read the book knew. "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody"
we were getting our second season... and it was mixed in with the rest of the series to help put it in chronological order.
there was much rejoicing until...
~Endless Eight~
1st time - wow i guess it's possible just to have an episode of them chilling... seems a little pointless but it was cute so no harm.
2nd time - isn't this pretty much the same as last time? i mean the changes are small but... i guess in the next episode they'll fix it cause... well if they go on for 8 then they are pretty stupid.
3rd time - seriously?
4th time - you're really going to drag this out?
5th time - we waited 3 years for this?
6th time - *doing research* this chapter was only 30 pages of the book and we are getting 3ish hours of this shit?
7th time - this is so stupid....
8th time - FINALLY.... and that's all you had to do?! to the person who felt this couldn't be done in 3 or less episodes... i have a few choice words for you.

the rest of the season does make up for the bullshit that was endless eight and is probably one of my fav arcs (next to disappearance, the one on the snowy mountain and all of surprise) but it was at this moment i knew that the creators pretty much hated the fans who had waited.... and that we probably would never get another season cause they would rather spend time on their moe crap.

So far I'm not wrong... we did get a movie based off the disappearance arc and it's probably one of my all time favourite anime movies ever but since there they has been nothing... i don't think anyone is asking either.
So when Kodansha publishing said they were going to publish the light novels in north America i was ecstatic.
FINALLY.... i would get to go beyond the show.
i would get to meet Sasaki and the anti-sos brigade
i would have the chance to see if some of my theories were correct.
and i wouldn't have to worry about the moe crap.

when i ordered it i was sent the manga instead.... which is good and fine but it's not what i wanted... but now i couldn't find the novel at all? had i been mistaken?
had they really just said the manga was the thing they were publishing?
so i went a few years without knowing for sure if we ever got the novel.
one time though i decided i was going to look again cause things were saying it had been published.
i went on my local book stores site and bought all the volumes that were out.
and once again i fell in love with the characters.

Now a quick aside: no matter what i'm reading/watching/playing i consider everything within the series to be canon
even if it contradicts. i figure if it contradict then it's just an alternate telling but it's still canon.... people think i'm weird but as long as the creator doesn't denounce it it's all good in my mind.

so when the book had some minor differences i was a little... confused.

the big one is that Kyon is really good at board games, he beats itsuki every time even when he doesn't really know the rules... and they are always playing games that rely on strategy more then luck. now maybe i just need to rewatch the show (which i plan to do cause i tend to do it every year or so) and be watching to see if he wins or loses but i could have sworn itsuki always beat him in the show.... but NEVER beats him in the book.

the other big difference is on the lonely island murder mystery episode... and i think this change is more censorship then anything else.
In the book Haruhi and Kyon end up plastered, despite being underage and apparently put on quite a show though neither of them remember it. in the anime Haruhi has sworn of drinking for all eternity before the incident.... cause underage kids drinking is frowned upon.

oh and again... endless eight is 30ish pages long and only described the last loop.... because that's all kyon remembers and we are in kyon's head.

other then that the two are very similar... the book just continues on into the next year.

This series always resonated with me... especially kyon, snarky.... stubborn, not as bright as everyone around him (though his brain sure does like to use complex theories from all over the world in every language to make sense of things) Never believes in things like Santa but desperately wishes there were more adventurous things out there like aliens, time travellers and espers... i was totally like that when i was little... so he, as a characters, always hit really close to home and thats probably why he's my favourite male character (tied with natsume, don't make me choose)
so a show that deal with a 'normal' guy going on adventures was just so much fun. a lot of people felt it was stupid and shallow but i promise you nothing that is mentioned in the show is mentioned without being brought up or used later.
not a single thing
even some things you forgot about
they ALL get brought back and used as crucial plot points. 
and i just adore that amount of foreshadowing.
GRANTED.... this is a show i like
and when i like things i have found i have the tendency to.... over analyse...

SO it's time for fan theories... i will keep the spoilers to a minimum but yeah.... i can't keep them out.

1. my first fan theory is that Kyon is actually god.
Haruhi has the godlike powers but Kyon is the one that gives them to her.
There is no Santa.... i a world where time travellers, espers and aliens play there is no santa... i am inclined to believe that haruhi would want there to be a fat man delivering presents one day a year but it is certain that he doesn't exist.... because Kyon doesn't believe he exists.... the only things that ever come into reality are the things haruhi and kyon agree on.
all the incidents during filming... haruhi jokes about things the entire shooting process but things like lazer beams out of mikuru's eyes doesn't happen until kyon says "you can't shoot stuff out of your eyes mikuru? can you?" the very instant that he thinks it's possible that haruhi's right she starts firing deadly beams out of her eye.
half the shit in the series is made to entertain kyon.... not haruhi.
big ass cricket in another dimension? haruhi gets bored and figures the problem will fix itself before the adventure even starts despite this being their first case.
the disappearance arc is done solely to make kyon choose... not haurhi.
The lonely island mystery is solved by kyon, not haruhi (though she takes all the credit)
this next piece of evidence is a bit a spoiler.
Sasaki is a candidate for power similar to haruhi... sasaki is kyon's old friend and depending on which he chooses they would have these god like powers...
but if kyon is normal... why would his choice matter?
i, and many others think it's cause he's not normal.
'some' character outright say Haruhi is not god... some characters hint throughout the series that everything focuses on kyon... not her.
and the silliest evidence but hey... it works.
Kyon doesn't have a name
okay he does... but no one knows it. well except Haruhi and Sasaki
Kyon's sister also doesn't have a name
so yeah... next~

2. we, the reader/watcher are the slider.
i think it can be argued that a certain character is the slider BUT i don't think so... i think they were more of a catalyst to split the timeline....
I've also seen it argued that kyon is the slider cause he goes through so many different things while retaining memories but again, (and this is why i mentioned my everything is canon theory) in endless eights novel version he only goes through the last loop... that is all he remembers, a slider would remember all the loops.... however in the show where we aren't so much in his head and more of a 3rd party spectator we remember all the loops... we remember everything he goes through no matter what time or place.
also the order of the shows original airing, as a slider slipping into the episodes in a different order wouldnt' be too hard... the show could essentially be watched in any order at that point...

there is no REAL evidence to back me up on this... i just like my idea that we are a character in the book in a sense that we are observing it. but yeah unlike the thing above i don't actually believe it... just a fun thought experiment.

OK.... spoilers time... sorry..

Things i wish/hoped/hoping would happen in surprise.

i wish i were officially right or wrong... i took is as being proved right but it's not outright said so... still a theory.
i wish he had mentioned his name.....
then i wish he had mentioned his other name (more on this in a second)
i wanna know what that ancient thing he dug up was...

so what i think happened at a certain time in the book is that he gave her the thingy and in the card simply wrote "I am john smith"
but we wont know what he gave her
and we wont know whats in the card (aside from what the others wrote).
but this is what i want to think it was.

also i love her reaction to [too big a spoiler] and it's just like "okay kyon... only you woul be crazy enough to do something like that"

I want a sequel... we see a bit of something and i would love to see that story... but it'll never happen... which is fine... i like having all my little theories.

I am really sad that it's all over... but in the end it's not over at all so that's nice... humans have the power of imagination...
I plan to use it.

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