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Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮 ハルヒ Suzumiya Haruhi?) is the title character and focus of the Haruhi Suzumiya series created by Nagaru Tanigawa. She possesses unconscious god-like abilities to change, destroy, and reshape reality to her desires. In an interview, Tanigawa stated that the idea for the character came during a sleepless night at the beginning of the twenty-first century.[1]

A beautiful, but eccentric and headstrong high school student, Haruhi is depicted as having a great disdain for anything seen as normal or mundane and interested in only supernatural beings or mysterious occurrences. Her displeasure with the school's "normal" after-school clubs leads her to gather up several students (Kyon, Yuki Nagato, Mikuru Asahina, and Itsuki Koizumi) and found her own: the SOS Brigade. Much of the activities of the club and its members, however, become increasingly involved with incidents caused by her abilities.

Character history

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While little is revealed in the story about the details of Haruhi's origins or family, she cites a revelatory incident in her childhood when she attended a baseball game with her family.[2] While before she would think of herself and her life as being special and interesting, the sheer number of people in the stadium and she later calculates live in Japan brings her to the realization that they fit into the normal, everyday occurrences and habits of Japanese citizens and humans in general. Her belief that at least one of person in the world would have to have a truly interesting and unique life, and her desire to be said person, led her to begin her search for the extraordinary. Throughout middle school, she gained a reputation as an eccentric for incidents such as painting hieroglyphs on the school grounds and moving all desks into the hallways and accepting then dumping every boy who asked her out for being boring (the longest lasting a week, the shortest being five minutes).

Her entrance into high school is marked by her meeting her fellow student, Kyon, who proves to be the first to engage with her in serious conversation. He proves to be the inspiration for Haruhi, in despair over the lack of interesting school clubs, to create her own: the Save the World by Overloading it with Fun Haruhi Suzumiya Brigade (in the English anime, "Spreading Excitement All Over the World with Haruhi Suzumiya Brigade") (界をいに盛り上げるための宮ハルヒの団 Sekai o Ōi ni Moriageru Tame no Suzumiya Haruhi no Dan?) or the SOS Brigade.

Personality

Throughout the series, Haruhi's personality is shown as having many different facets, something that is often connected to her supernatural abilities and their use. She is noted as being very intelligent, athletic, and naturally talented at almost anything, leading her to join every activity club and then quit them just as quickly (despite pleas from club members). This is set against her front of coldness and indifference to anything she considers normal and uninteresting until her encounter with Kyon which causes her to become more open.[3]

As the leader of the SOS Brigade, Haruhi acts with what may be called determination, persistence, or resourcefulness by some and ruthlessness and hyperactivity by others. One example of this is her blackmailing of the Computer Club president to get a brand-new computer by setting up a photograph of supposed "sexual harassment" of the unaware Mikuru.[4]

Haruhi also has a very competitive personality and accepts without hesitation any challenge that crosses her, regardless of difficulty or time constraint. Her constant optimism and over-confidence makes her seem arrogant. She has very high standards and won't accept anything less than perfection from herself and her Brigade. She places a lot of trust in her Brigade members, especially Kyon, to get the task done whatever it may be. This can sometimes make her seem selfish and unkind.

She is not shy and often attracts a lot of attention to the point of not minding changing clothes in front of various people,[3] more so when her SOS Brigade is in mind. When it comes to Mikuru, she is very physically playful. She often comments on Mikuru's attractiveness and seems to find a kind of enjoyment in exploiting it to her own ends, often through forcing Mikuru into and out of various costumes such as a bunny girl costume as if she, and to a lesser extent herself, were a human dress-up doll.[4]

Haruhi also seems to hate showing signs of vulnerability to others. Following her concert performance at the school's culture festival when she and Yuki filled in for two members of the band ENOZ, Haruhi showed awkwardness towards the band members when they thanked her the following day. As Kyon pointed out, Haruhi was not used to receiving praise from others because of how mischievous she regularly acts towards others in pursuing her abnormal interests.[5]

Though many of Haruhi's efforts are devoted to finding supernatural beings, some hold that she does not actually believe in them. This is not a settled issue, however, as many interpret her character as showing evidence that she does in fact believe in supernatural beings. This is reflected, for example, by her attempts to contact aliens during the Japanese holiday of Tanabata. There's also the fact that Haruhi's encounter with alien-like beings within a dream-like sequence prompted no notable degree of shock from her, as one would expect her to display if she didn't believe that they could even possibly exist. Kyon does at one point try to tell Haruhi the truth about Mikuru, Yuki and Itsuki, but she dismisses it, saying it would be 'too easy' to be true.

Those who hold to the view that Haruhi is a skeptic point to how Itsuki, during the first light novel, stated that Haruhi does not force himself, Yuki, or Mikuru to reveal themselves because her common sense will not let her believe that they exist. However, Itsuki has been known to posit many competing theories, so this alone is not definitive proof.

The SOS Brigade is very precious to her and has stated to Kyon that she has no intention of yielding her position as Chief to anyone else. She will go to any lengths, even by exploiting the members, to bring attention and support for her Brigade such as procuring room and materials, maintaining their website, participating in sports tournaments, organizing activities such as city-wide searches for strange phenomenon among other things. She wrote, produced, and directed the Brigade's amateur-movie The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina for the school festival.

Haruhiism

Haruhi's god-like abilities, which have led some to label the fandom Haruhiism, allow her the ability to change, destroy, or create a new reality based on her inner desires and feelings. She is described in various ways; Yuki states that she has 'the potential for auto-evolution', Mikuru believes that she is the originator of a large time-quake and finally Itsuki declares her to be 'God'. Due to this, she is the main focus of the Data Overmind, the Agency, and an organization of future humans.

Haruhi is believed to be either a crack in the space-time continuum, the first product of biological evolution capable of generating new information and surpassing previous limitations to be spontaneously born in the universe, or some sort of deity, depending on point of view. This belief stems from a massive spontaneous universal event that occurred three years prior to Haruhi meeting Kyon, of which Haruhi is said to be the cause. The event attracted the attention of three prominent groups: the Data Overmind, time travelers from a distant future, and a group of espers known as the "Agency".

Her powers which are capable of altering, creating, or destroying reality are triggered by her emotions and inner desires. It has been theorized by the espers that the current universe may be just one in a string that Haruhi had subconsciously created. In order to relieve stress whenever she becomes too emotionally unstable, patches of alternate dimension referred to as "closed space" are created and within resides gigantic blue entities that destroy the surrounding area. Despite having these powers Haruhi is completely oblivious to them or the existence of aliens, time travelers, and espers.

For whatever reason, Haruhi "chose" Kyon. This is first said by Yuki, then restated by Mikuru, and Itsuki as well. She often relies on and trusts Kyon with anything. Kyon is the only person whom she has been open with, and when she briefly created a "new world", he was the only person she had brought over from the "old world". These are all made evident in the fourth novel The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, where she remained at Kyon's side for the three days when he was in a coma due to a small accident.

Reception

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Haruhi is considered to have tsundere character traits, (alternately being harsh and loving) but is considered possibly "too energetic" to be a true tsundere.[6] Her outlook has been compared to Fox Mulder's, as both characters "want to believe".[7]

Notes and references

  1. Iishi, Chiko (2006-08-16). "Interview of Nagaru Tanigawa" (in Japanese). Yahoo Books Japan. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  2. Tanigawa, Nagaru (June 6, 2003). The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (in Japanese). Japan: Kadokawa Shoten. Chapter 6. ISBN 4-04-429201-9. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Episode 1: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Part I
  4. 4.0 4.1 Episode 2: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Part II
  5. Episode 12 (season 1): Live Alive
  6. "Where maids get slap happy...for a price". Japan Pulse. September 30, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  7. "The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya and the Haruhi Manga". Popculture Shock. June 15, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 

id:Haruhi Suzumiya (karakter) it:Haruhi Suzumiya no:Haruhi Suzumiya uk:Судзумія Харухі (персонаж) zh:涼宮春日 (角色)

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