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.
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.
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!
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