Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Missing Goddess: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

A recovering Kyon with two sets of the cast from the differing realities. Clockwise
from Kyon: Haruhi Suzumiya, Itsuke Koizume, Mikuru Asahina, Yuki Nagato, again
Mikuru Asahina, Yuki Nagato, Itsuke Koizume, & demented deity Haruhi Suzumiya.
Credit: Kyoto Animation
                       Missing Goddess: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya


                                                                      Jay Agan

      I swore when I started out getting anime to round out my vid collection I would never get into what I term "pedo" shows. There's a substratum in anime fandom with a bad rep & for good reason. Why anyone would be "attracted" to underaged girls (And "toons" at that!) & be so open about it is beyond me (I am not counting, of course, underaged fans. It's these "neckbeards" giving me the creeps.).

      Besides, why would I be watching ANY of these "girly" little shows? MEN! (With a capital MEN!) Are into manly things. Sci-fi, horror, action/adventure etc. What need have MEN for these "poofy" little cartoons?

      Over time I was getting & watching some of them anyway. I YouTubed some on the recommendation of others & found a few interesting.

      The Peanuts-like "straight 'n simple" approach/humor of Azumanga Daioh. The satire of Lucky Star. A sci-fi with X-Files element sendup of Stratos 4. The theological whackness of Hell Girl, Angel Beats, Serial Experiments Lain or ..... The Melancholy of  Haruhi Suzumiya.

      Which brings me to my latest aquisition: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.

      If you're familiar with the Haruhi series, you already know about the convoluted strangeness of what appears on the surface to be another of those silly schoogirl series. Interesting twists/turns & anomalies make this franchise more than fascinating. The ongoing story of an unknowingly god-like being & her four friends making sure she stays that way & the damage control following. So far, the franchise has been generally lighthearted but Disappearance takes a more noirish turn.

      Kyon, the main protagonist, wakes up one cold December day in an alternate reality. Is it the same world altered or a completely different one? He's not sure but what is sure is Haruhi (Whack goddess of all creation.) is nowhere to be found. Or is she?

      It's up to Kyon to find/figure a way out of this mess & the cause. Find them both he does. Gathering the "keys" (I'm not going to spoil it for you.) & the cause (Wish fulfillment on his part? Someone else tired/fed-up with Haruhis' chaos inducing madness?) he solves the problem only to find a new one (Caused by a "returning" menace.) which solution is delayed for a time at the conclusion of the picture. Thus opening the way for a continuation of the series/movies. I hope.

The "gang of five" back together again & some alternate protagonists sadly
exiting stage right. L-R: Haruhi Suzumiya, Mikuru Asahina, Yuki Nagato,
Itsuke Koizume, Kyon, Yuki Nagato, Itsuke Koizume, Haruhi Suzumiya.
Credit: Kyoto Animation
      Warning: This film is about two & a half hours long. Think of it as five back to back Haruhi eps. It helps if youv'e read the light novel of the same name (#4) beforehand. Or for that matter seen the series, eps 1-6 (Ep. 5, DVD order, in particular. Also ep. 8 "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody", 2009 order.).

      From the "fish out of water" first half to the sci-fi noir of the second, you'll find this both enjoyable & more than slightly mind bent.

Article copyright © 10-12-2011 Jay Agan

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  1. I'm waiting for the Catholic-flavored entries to the range: "The Assumption of Haruhi Suzumiya", followed by "The Beatification of Haruhi Suzumiya".

    The dispys will counter with "The Rapture of Haruhi Suzumiya", which title will be ganked by a fanfic writer of Victorian-era smut.

  2. Blasphemy! You make fun of "God". Not good. May you find yourself in a closed space (Without Her.) for all eternity!

    Just kidding :)

  3. may repost my blog entry if you wish.