The Head Trip of Haruhi Suzumiya, Pt. 1

The "gang of five" with Kyon having a Maalox moment.

The Head Trip of Haruhi Suzumiya, Pt. 1

by

Jay Agan

When The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya first came out, I paid no mind. On the surface it looked like another of those countless moe/schoolgirl shows giving anime a bad name. I’m not into this type of sub-genre & the only Moe I’m a fan of is a one Mr. Howard of an ancient comedy trio you young-uns hardly know about. Not caring for any of that rule 34/jailbait fodder, I gave it a pass (I like my women real & of legal age. Some of you folks make me wonder.)

I figured it was also a Scooby Doo rip-off: Out of control little control freak forms an after school club investigating psychic phenomena & weird happenings. Ho-hum. Later, in passing, I read that three of the four she “forcibly” inducts into the club, are the very people she’s looking for. An esper, a time traveler, & an alien. A Scooby Doo rip-off with a twist. More ho-hum.

Leafing through a copy of Anime Rough Guide, I read a more concise brief about this show on p.227. Seems the title character is (unknowingly)……GOD! Oh? And it’s up to her four “friends” to see she doesn’t get bored &/or disturbed overmuch. Otherwise existance gets wiped & replaced with something else (Some theorize that “something else” was Lucky Star.). Attention Deficit Disorder was also mentioned. O….K….

As an ex-divinity student (I’m not a people person.), I got interested. If a story has a subject I find intrigueing I’m willing to let some things slide. I filed the show in the back of my mind & went my rollicking way. A few weeks later found me at the VGMX on Smokey Row in Columbus stoogeing around for flix (They actually had some Mexican horror films!). In the anime section I found the ep 00-03 disc of the first season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. 9.95 used, I snapped it up.

On viewing, I was pleasantly surprised to find not only is it a satire on theology & metaphysics, but also a multilevel elbow jab at:

1. Anime in general.

2. Various types of anime sub-genres/fans/”fetishes”.

3. Itself. (It is an anime, after all.)

A review of the principal “cast” pretty much sums up the plot as much as anything else.

Irritating, laid back esper, Itsuke Koizumi: Some in his organisation believes the title character to be God. Or at least someone with god-like powers. Main task is to undo/prevent some of the “damage” when Haruhi goes off the deep end.

Dead pan alien, Yuki Nagato: Humanoid interface/physical extension of the Integrated Data Entity observing this galaxy. Powers similar to Haruhis’ but can only manipulate data/reality already existant (Haruhi can create it out of nothing.). Believes Haruhi to be possible key to her/its own “evolution”. Also does “damage control”. Lots of it!

Nervous time traveler, Traci Lords……er, uh,….. Mikuru Asahina: Sent by her group to find out why they can’t go beyond a point three years in the past. Believe Haruhi to be the cause.

Put-upon Kyon: The poor slob who pays & pays for the mistake of putting a bug in Haruhis’ ear about her getting more pro-active in her life. And unfortunately, his & everyone elses’ as well.

Oblivious diety, Haruhi Suzumiya, (aka Goddess Dingbat): Literal center of the universe. Doesn’t know she’s God, but thats never stopped her.

I would like to conclude this first part, with a caveat. Some scenes in eps 01-03 are inappropriate for children. Wether Haruhi swings both ways or is just testing Kyon (He intervenes.), sexual harrassment, no matter who does it, is not a laughing matter. At first, I thought I was going to have to toss this. As not much is shown & Kyon mans up & intervenes, I let this slide. (In later eps. the title character just seems to regard Mikuru as a very unwilling dress-up doll. Then again what’s up with that ear bite in ep. 07? Some wranglers do that to control horses.)

Next installment will be a listing of the little “head trips” I found in this series. “See” you then……

Article copyright © 10-1-2010 Jay Agan

This article first appeared on jaysteevee.blogspot.com

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