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Mikuru Asahina (朝比奈 みくる Asahina Mikuru?) is a fictional character from the Haruhi Suzumiya light novel series. She is the fourth member to make an appearance, and is also the only character other than Kyon to be brought into the SOS Brigade against her will. She is defined by Kyon to be extremely cute, and often finds herself in situations of sexual harassment, which are usually forced on her by Haruhi Suzumiya. She is in fact a time traveler from the future with the purpose of observing Haruhi Suzumiya during the course of the story line. She is voiced by Yuko Goto in the Japanese anime adaption and Stephanie Sheh in the English version.

Background

In the series, Mikuru is considered one of the most beautiful girls in the school by many of the male students, and was once even described as "an untouchable flower on the mountain". Her popularity among the boys, however, doesn't detract her from being very shy and easily embarrassed. Before being forced to join the SOS Brigade, she was originally a member of the Calligraphy Club. She's best friends with Tsuruya, who is also a second-year student like Mikuru.[volume & issue needed] In addition to starring in the SOS Brigade's amateur-movie in the first episode, both Mikuru and Tsuruya were waitresses for The Acorn, a short-stop dine-in for fried soba that was run by all the girls in Mikuru's class during the school festival..[1]

Unlike Haruhi and Yuki, Mikuru has no athletic ability. She does, however, show a gift for brewing and making tea and is often praised for it by Kyon.

Mikuru is actually a time traveler, sent back to investigate a massive timequake that occurred three years prior, the cause of which is Haruhi. As a result of this event, time-travel beyond that point had become impossible. Mikuru is very knowledgeable about the science and theories of time and time-travel, and shows it when giving Kyon a brief explanation about why she is in his time plane. She refers to her presence in the past as like adding an extra picture in a flip book. Because of the dangers involved with time-travel, as well as the sensitivity of the mission, most information regarding the future, Haruhi, Yuki, Itsuki and herself are highly classified, as she states this whenever Kyon asks her questions involving such topics, leading to her famous phrase "Classified information" (禁則事項 kinsoku jikō?). In fact, it's revealed in the first light novel that before going back in time, she underwent mental preparation and hypnosis so that if she reveals anything unnecessary, information regarding time travel will be blocked off from her mind. There have been instances when she was instructed by Kyon to travel back in time in order to alter certain events relative to the Brigade. For the most part, Mikuru strictly follows standard protocol and obeys any orders given by her superiors in her organization. Additionally, she is forbidden in engaging in any romantic relationships with anyone outside of her original time span.

File:Mikuru's older self.png

Mikuru's older self.

An older, adult Mikuru from farther into the future traveled back in time to give Kyon some critical information regarding future events relative to his time span. [2] However, like her younger time-variant, she was still unable to go into much detail and was only able to provide short, rather vague pieces of information. Also, she was strictly prohibited from letting her younger self become aware of her presence in the same time and had to plan accordingly.

Yet, despite all these precautions and limitations, she accidentally lets slip a small bit regarding the star-shaped mole on her chest, which she never knew she had until Kyon told her about it, when proving that she really was Mikuru. Kyon was completely unaware of this mole until she told him it was there, despite the past fact that she didn't know about it until he told her. He later related the mole to her younger self after confirming it in some photographs, thus creating a minor paradox.[2][3]

In order to differentiate between the older and younger versions, whenever the older self is present in the same time span, Kyon refers to her older self as Asahina-san (big) and to the younger Mikuru as Asahina-san (small). Despite both names ending in -san, the differentiation is in the inclusion of (big) and (small) that is written in the light novels. When a Mikuru from eight days into the future appears in the seventh novel, The Scheme of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon gives her the alias of her twin sister Michiru to use in front of Tsuruya, referring to this Mikuru as Asahina-san (Michiru).

Personality

A shy and timid girl with a childish naïveté, Mikuru is depicted as kind, caring and thoughtful. She easily gets scared or flustered, more so in times whenever Haruhi is involved and makes her do embarrassing things. Apparently prone to daydreaming, she can also be rather clumsy at times. Nevertheless, she can be surprisingly resilient and is capable of recovering from even the most discomforting of situations as seen when Haruhi "teases" her. However, because of her gentle nature, she seems rather helpless most of the time. Kyon sees it as his duty to always watch over and protect her; although when it comes to Haruhi there is little to no rescue. However, at one point Koizumi states that Mikuru was chosen by the time-travelers for her beauty and for her ability to seduce Kyon, given that he is the only person whom Haruhi will listen to. Her helpless look when she willingly submits to Haruhi's unreasonable demands is part of her role. It's all so Kyon takes notice of her in order to control the group dynamic within the SOS Brigade.[4]

Despite being reluctant to continue after the bunny-girl incident, where she was forced to wear a bunny-girl costume and pass out fliers on school grounds, Mikuru remains loyal and dedicated to the Brigade, as well as her mission as a time-traveler.

While Itsuki Koizumi believes that Haruhi Suzumiya has the power to destroy and remake the universe with entirely different histories and physical laws, Mikuru Asahina believes that Haruhi can only transform the present and cannot rewrite history, recreate the universe, or alter its physical laws. Mikuru's theory suggests that supernatural phenomenon such as ESP, extraterrestrial beings, and time travel have always been possible while Koizumi believes that supernatural phenomenon are recent alterations to the universe performed by Haruhi. According to Yuki Nagato, Mikuru's theory implies that Haruhi can sense her changes to the universe but cannot discover them because of the influence of the SOS Brigade members.[4]

SOS Brigade role

Mikuru is the designated "mascot" of the SOS Brigade, serving as a way to attract interest and members by using her attractive physical qualities - her cute face, trim figure, and a noticeably large bust. She was "voluntarily arrested" by Haruhi, who deemed it necessary to have an alluring moe character in the club. [5] Her sex appeal and innocence is often exploited by Haruhi to procure resources, an example of which is the computer from the Computer Society[6]and access of the baseball field and equipment, even though the latter was already being used by the baseball team.[7] Although being the only upperclassman in the Brigade, she isn't treated as such. She gets along quite well with everyone except Yuki, whom she finds very intimidating and sometimes scary, despite the fact Yuki's presence is the reason Mikuru agreed to join the SOS Brigade. She is also very careful with Itsuki Koizumi.

Aside from being the Brigade's poster girl, Mikuru is also the club's waitress, brewing and serving tea whenever in the clubroom.[8] By Haruhi's order, she always wears a maid outfit while doing so. Apart from the maid outfit, Mikuru has been forced to wear any outfits that Haruhi buys for her. Haruhi also sees it fit that Mikuru should not be able to dress and undress by herself most times and often does it for her, to Mikuru's considerable—and vocal—distress. So far Mikuru has worn the following outfits: maid[6], waitress[9], nurse[7], frog costume[10][11], cheerleader[12], miko[volume & issue needed], and bunny girl[13].

Mikuru was cast as the leading protagonist in the amateur movie The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina, made by the Brigade for the school festival.[13] She was also the vocalist for the movie's opening theme song.[13][14] Aptly, she played a time-traveller sent back on an observation and protection mission. During filming, one of her abilities, the Mikuru Beam, became real as a result of Haruhi's subconsciously altering reality; the light novel expanded on this, as different colored contact lenses (a blue one being used for the original Mikuru Beam) gave her different abilities, all of which became dangerously real during the movie's production. Despite the convoluted plot and poor production quality of the movie, the movie was a hit during the school festival due to Mikuru's popularity among the male student body.

Like Yuki and Itsuki, her true purpose of being there is to monitor Haruhi. It's also evident that she has feelings for Kyon, becoming jealous and pinching Kyon when he compliments Haruhi when she was trying on clothes (which for some reason appears to aggravate Haruhi) in the manga, however, due to her situation as a time-traveller and the delicacy of the mission she is forbidden from expressing or receiving such.Template:Issue needed In one incident when she and Kyon got too friendly with each other, Haruhi's jealousy almost brought about the end of the universe. After this, Mikuru tries to refrain herself from getting too close to him.[3]

References

  1. Episode 12 (season 1), Live Alive
  2. 2.0 2.1 Episode 4, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Part IV
  3. 3.0 3.1 Episode 6, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Part VI
  4. 4.0 4.1 Episode 24, The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya, Part V
  5. Episode 1, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Part I
  6. 6.0 6.1 Episode 2, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Part II
  7. 7.0 7.1 Episode 7, The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya
  8. Various episodes, starting from episode 6: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Part VI
  9. Episode 1 (season 1), The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina
  10. Episodes 12-19 (2009 airing): Endless Eight
  11. Episode 9 (season 1 (broadcast order)): Someday in the Rain
  12. Boken Desho Deshou? the opening credits for the first season
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ep0
  14. Also, her seiyuu Yuko Goto is credited for singing the song

it:Mikuru Asahina zh:朝比奈實玖瑠

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