The universe of Haruki Suzumiya: why it is appealing

My birthday was last February 23. I didn’t want to be self-serving and post simply because I was celebrating a birthday, but I did give myself a gift (or rather, a chore). I bought myself a planner (which I didn’t use much anyway); in addition, I promised myself, in the attempt to protract my life, to eat more healthily, to exercise everyday and simply to suck the marrow out of my temporal life. As a result, my decreased viewing time with regard to anime became almost infinitesimal. It didn’t really matter to me much: I had severed connections with some of my closest online buddies for quite a while (a shoutout to people like Ken, meganeshounen and koro), and I did not read other writers’ blogs (except some posts written by IKnight and Cameron).

Haruki Suzumiya
I will go gay for Mitsuuru

I don’t know if this is quite obvious, but watching anime wastes time quite well. Even with just following two series, one hour a week can be used for a lot of exercises already, or a lot of done homework. I’m not degrading anime, but being more intercalated with reality the realization simply came to me.

One thing, however, made me want to immerse myself immediately in the world of anime once again. This was the gender-reversal, or gender-bending of the characters of Haruhi Suzumiya. I know I’ve been terribly late for the party, but I found the idea to be simply marvelous. Haruki attracts me more as a character than Haruhi does simply because it feels so right: aggressiveness and impulsiveness are traits that are predominantly masculine in nature. In the movies we have John Rambo or Chuck Norris dive in nigh-impossible situations with little regard for their own safety: in anime we have Son Goku and the different Saiyans destroying worlds because of sheer impulse and aggression.

But as much as I would like to peg cynicism and acerbic wit as strengths of men as well, it would be no fun to watch Haruki and Kyon making out, would it? (It would probably be fun for the yaoi fangirls of the world, but for the most part homosexuality is looked upon as an aberration. It can be seen in the reactions of regular people watching the intimate scenes of Brokeback Mountain.)

Kyonko also brings something new to the table. Society has noticed and has transformed itself in such a way that aggression in women as well as impulsiveness is no longer viewed as something abnormal. Women have become more and more empowered over the years; some women even attest that they are better than men. Satire and vitriol, however, remains firmly dominated by men (especially in literature). From the ramblings of Celine to the House of Leaves, it has always been a man’s game. Seeing Kyonko, who is Kyon but embodied in a girl, in action, would be truly a novelty. And this, I wager, would make the alternate universe of Haruki Suzumiya, Kyonko, Asahina Mitsuuru, Nagato Yuuki and Itsuko a lot more colorful than the world of Haruhi Suzumiya.

9 Responses to “The universe of Haruki Suzumiya: why it is appealing”

  1. IKnight Says:

    Vitriol does seem to still be the preserve of men, at least in public. Certainly the comedy circuit in the UK is low on women. Though I don’t know if private and written vitriol and satire are the same, thinking of the letters and conversation of some of Austen’s characters. We’ve had some pretty acerbic and witty female writers, and also some pretty brutal newspaper columnists and commentators.

    Still, the quick-thinking, running-commentary kind of satire and cynicism that Kyon excells at feels male – perhaps because when it’s spoken it’s a competitive exercise, trying to bring someone else down a peg or two. This sense of showing off isn’t so much the case with Kyon specifically, I suppose, because a lot of his running commentary is mental rather than oral.

  2. Ryan A Says:

    I donÒ€ℒt know if this is quite obvious, but watching anime wastes time quite well.

    God yes, that is the love-hate apex of my relation to anime. Things were so much better when I didn’t have much to do in life except train hard, play unproductively on the computer, and of course enjoy a lot of anime/manga. It seems things would be so much better if I didn’t want to keep that enjoyment going, and just focus on education and productivity. Saying that makes me feel that I would be slightly suffocated inside if it was to happen.

    Haruki eh, I never found Haruhi particularly girly, nor Kyon extra-manly, but the reversal would feel so much more inverted then it seems. Intriguing, especially Kyonko. hmmm

  3. usagijen Says:

    Watching anime is a time waster, if you just watch it and nothing else. If you’re able to derive some learning or enjoyment from watching, use it to make your mind relax or stretch (especially the mind-boggling animes), then it won’t be so much of a time waster πŸ™‚ I actually think blogging makes anime watching a more respectable and productive hobby, considering how you’re able to churn out a ‘product’ out of it xD

  4. korosora Says:

    Whooo. I haven’t been on IRC for a while… Have you?

    So, about this alternate setting for SHnY; I understand your interest in a more “colorful” world as it breaks more societal conventions, however I must contest that you just made me cry.

    Haruhi with a penis? Kyon without his coarse, sarcastic face and facepalm?

    I weep. Because I know I am still in love with both of them.

    Haha. I’ve also slacked on my blogging schedule if you haven’t noticed. Been playing games and watching some old (not that old I guess) things like Blood+.

    I’ve also gone a change in viewpoint of anime, gaming, and internet culture in general. Rather than inputing, I found reading, analyzing, and responding directly, rather than creating my own topics and interests, to be much more enjoyable. Thus, the lack of updates on my part.

    Overall, maybe us both have grown tired of fanboyism. I love anime, and am pretty sure I always will. But the urge to outcry and inform has left me (in despair!). Most likely, a lot of the RL factors are effecting these changes. College admission FTL.

    Anime indeed is a time waster. It kills hours and hours of my daily life. But I find it much more rewarding than things such as “social networking” (facebook/myspace) which I have recently attempted to involve myself in.

    What are you doing Mike? Not just in your analysis of anime/culture, but what do you think about everyday? I find the last two articles you submitted to be in agreement with my own opinions (although I prefer Haruhi female… as my future bride to be) I get a tone of despondency.

    Maybe it’s just because I miss you.

    /me touches mike


  5. korosora Says:

    Wait. I now pledge my loyalty to both Haruhi and Kyonko.

    (Downloaded a few hundred megabytes of Kyonko images)

    :3 You’re right. She IS ADORABLE/CUTE/MOE.

  6. Michael Says:

    Hahahaha, koro. Hahahahaha.

    I was on IRC, but I was writing a new post since I now don’t have school to worry about. Anime is a time waster, but it’s a great one when you have loads of time. I am despondent because I know I have wasted time yet still want to. Once you love something it is difficult to let it go. It’s sad, but life’s like that.

    Good luck with your college admissions! πŸ˜€

    And … I failed to touch you, too. πŸ™ By the way, I e-mailed you already.

    For the others, thanks for the replies. I think what I’m saying to koro is also applicable to your replies. πŸ™‚

  7. Naruto Episodes Says:

    hey great article thanks for the info, i heard of a new haruhi suzumiya movie is this true??

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