The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya, part 4 – The overreaction of Kyon(-kun denwa)

What’s the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child?" The equivalent saying here would be "It takes a SOS brigade to keep Haruhi’s head on straight," or more aptly, "It takes one jealous Kyon to nearly end the whole world." Haruhi’s one of those people if you give an inch, she’ll take a mile. So it should be no surprise for any of the SOS-brigade members (or us, the viewers), if Haruhi takes her eccentricity and megalomaniacal behavior to the limits if no one bothers to stop her, much less empower her. I’ve noticed a lot of anger towards Haruhi on blog posts, on forums, but I think a lot of that anger’s misplaced. I’m not going to deny that this episode featured Haruhi at her petulant worst, but it also featured Kyon and the SOS brigade (sans Koizumi who shines) at their worst as well… since E8 at least.

Haruhi scales a fenceNagato bites Mikuru

Is Haruhi crazy for wanting to scale the fence to get into a pond that’s been cordoned off to get film a scene for her movie? Nah. Kyon needs to stop throwing a mental fit over every little thing. A trespassing sign or a fence has never been much of a deterrent for curious people. My question is what is Nagato doing opening the fence for everyone to get through? Haruhi’s shown time and time again when the group is adamant one way or the other, she’ll be flexible and listen to them. Maybe not willingly or happily, but eventually she’ll acquiesce. So why is it that Nagato is merely an observer for over 15,000 iterations of Endless Eight, where she doesn’t bother saying a fricking word, but here she actually goes out of her way to enable Haruhi’s eccentricity? Did she want to get that hot biting scene in?

Freak eyed MikuruMikuru wants to jump

In this scene, Kyon throws a mental barb at Haruhi for giving Mikuru another contact, but did it occur to any of SOS brigade members to tell Haruhi to not go with contacts in the future? I mean, a simple explanation could’ve sufficed. As Nagato’s impromptu wrestling routine shows, Haruhi’s willing to change directions if the SOS brigade members are fervent about it.

Similarly, there seems to be a lot of anger at Haruhi for throwing Mikuru into the pond. But here again, Mikuru willingly accepts it. There was a prime opportunity to object, but she doesn’t. If she’s willing to do it, and nobody’s going to make a huge fuss about it, why not? I’ve lived near a pond, and I’ve helped toss some friends in, and we weren’t even filming a movie. What’s a little mayhem amongst friends? I think this scene seems worse than it actually is, because Mikuru’s hiding behind Kyon, shivering like a retarded puppy, while Kyon stands there with an angry look on his face. Haruhi suggested it, but in her eyes, this makes perfect sense because it’s part of the movie. The SOS brigade allows this to happen, meanwhile Kyon gets angry at Haruhi for suggesting the idea. Where’s the anger at himself and the rest of SOS brigade for not saying anything? This reticence is especially prominent to me after the failures in E8. Where should the anger be directed? Does all the anger deserve to be directed at Haruhi for being Haruhi, or should some be reserved for Kyon & co., for letting her be Haruhi? A more equitable split seems warranted.

Koizumi and Mikuru's kiss sceneHaruhi bops Mikuru

We now go to the next scene, where a sauced up Mikuru and Koizumi are about to engage in a kiss until Kyon stops them in a jealous rage. Ok, let’s step back here. Now, personally, I don’t think spiking a friend’s drink with a little bit of alcohol is much worse than say, spiking a friend’s drink with a bottle of laxatives. But disregard that for a second and let’s think about what happened here.

Haruhi suggests to Tsuruya to add a little alcohol to Mikuru’s drink to loosen her up for the big romance scene. An outrageous ask? Perhaps. But it’s in line with Haruhi’s character, and based on Mikuru’s inability to blurt out a sentence without stuttering, a pretty logical suggestion.

But what happens next? Tsuru-chan’s the one who actually adds the alcohol in Mikuru’s drink. Kyon’s furious at Haruhi. The audience is furious at Haruhi. But why does Tsuru-chan skate by? Where’s her common sense?

Serious KoizumiAngry Haruhi

Haruhi meanwhile tries to encourage Mikuru by bopping her on the head. Again here, I think KyoAni does a good job of manipulating the audience, with the BGM, scene direction, Kyon’s angry face and Mikuru’s patheticness. Because Haruhi isn’t hitting Mikuru maliciously. She’s not beating the crap out of her. She’s bopping her lightly, and the tone of her voice is more encouraging than angry or forceful. However, Kyon snaps at this and actually raises a fist at Haruhi. Seriously? Kyon spends 10,000 years being a spineless coward, unable to say the right words or mount even the most basic of counterarguments, and he goes from internal monologue angry to slap city? That’s how psycho killers start. Thank goodness for Koizumi, who’s awesome level continues to rise and rise. I need to see serious Koizumi more often.

Haruhi then in a fit of anger and shock says some things that I think everyone can agree is pretty obnoxious. And whether or not that’s really what she believes, I’d take Haruhi’s words with a grain of salt. People say things they don’t necessarily mean in the heat of the moment. If the worst thing I’d ever said during an argument was, "NO INSUBORDINATION" or "MIKURU IS MY TOY," I’d consider myself a saint.

I’m not absolving Haruhi of all wrong, although I know it sounds that way. I’m just trying to present an alternative perspective. Think about it as Haruhi:

  • You want to film a movie. Everyone’s cool with it. Kyon bitches about how the movie doesn’t make sense, but he bitches about everything, and isn’t offering any good suggestions of his own. Besides, everyone else seems to be fine with it.
  • You want Mikuru to be the star wearing skimpy clothes. Everyone except Mikuru’s cool with it, but Mikuru’s a wet blanket and the butt of all jokes, besides she agrees anyway.
  • You want Mikuru to wear contact lenses. Everyone’s cool with it. You have no idea that she can suddenly shoot laser beams out of her eyes. Kyon’s giving you a dirty look, why?
  • You want to film a scene at a gated-off area and you want everyone to climb the fence. Instead Nagato opens the fence for you. Hurray!
  • You want to throw Mikuru into the lake. Taniguchi says something, but he’s a clown and not even Kyon listens to him, so why would you? Mikuru agrees. No one objects. She gets thrown in.
  • You want to sauce up Mikuru, because you know she’s too stiff to pull off the romance scene. You suggest it to Tsuru-chan. She wholeheartedly agrees and goes and does it.
  • You want Koizumi and Mikuru to do the kiss scene, because it is the big romantic moment. Nobody objects. Until the last moment when Kyon does and then Koizumi concurs. So you relent and lose the scene.
  • You head over to Mikuru, because you can’t believe how drunk she got off so little alcohol. You lightly bop her on the head three times.
  • Your pal Kyon then flips out and raises his fist to hit you. WTF?

Maybe it’s just me (and Haruhi), but I think I’d be shocked and offended by Kyon’s random temper tantrum and threat of violence. It amuses me there’s so much hatred directed at Haruhi over her “abuse’ of Mikuru. To be honest, I think the faux-raep scene with the computer society in season 1 was much more heinous, and I don’t recall ever seeing an uproar about that.

Haruhi considers a ponytailConfident Haruhi

I really liked the subsequent scenes between Kyon and Koizumi and Kyon and Taniguchi. With Koizumi, because the talk about how Haruhi thought she could always count on Kyon’s support no matter what, peels away at Haruhi’s character. Behind her always confident facade is someone who needs the comfort of a safety net backing her up. It’s telling how the next day Haruhi is depressed, not angry.

I liked the scene with with Taniguchi, because Kyon finally realizes he’d just become a useless naysayer. At least Haruhi was trying to do something productive, something she believed in. I also really liked how Tomokazu enunciated his "kusos" as he walked to see Haruhi. Great stuff.

And of course, I loved the ponytail scene because a.) it’s a rare sighting of her deredere side (I think back to how she wore a ponytail to school the day after the kiss, and how she decided not to give Mikuru a ponytail in The Boredom of…) and b.) it shows she cares and isn’t completely off in a world of her own.

Haruhi turns fall to springThe Sigh of Itsuki Koizumi

The last scene was just pretty funny. This is the power of a happy Haruhi. She can make cherry blossoms bloom and turn fall to spring. I laughed out loud at the "perfectly timed irregular climate change." Koizumi’s reaction was priceless as well. I imagine if closed-space had been created, the monsters would’ve been dancing and pooping unicorns.

All in all, even though I think a lot of the hate and anger towards Haruhi is misplaced, this was one of the stronger episodes of the season (hard to rank them with 8 of the episodes being throwaways). I’m looking forward to the Shamisen episode, which hopefully will provide some good laughs as the probable final new episode of the season.

23 Replies to “The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya, part 4 – The overreaction of Kyon(-kun denwa)”

  1. wow, Kyon just shocked me with his raising his hand! neither one in that scene walked away with their integrity intact. Also through, i do believe that overall you are missing the point as to why the SOS brigade do what Haruhi wants and you throw out the “willingness” line to freely. I thought you would get it once Kyon and Koizumi had their little chat alone.

    It’s simple, THEY HAVE TO, if they don’t the world they live in stop existing, and quite possibly they would stop existing too. Kyon, Koizumi, Nagato and Mikuru all gone and blinked out of exsitance just by a mere thought. They have no choice. Kyon obviously is in love with Mikuru, Mikuru in the past has said they can’t get together again because of what happened last time. Kyon and Mikuru getting together upsets Haruhi and bang, no world again. Kyon hates Haruhi, the kiss he gave her was unwilling, he had to do it to stop the world falling apart. He hates he has to do that and now hates the fact Haruhi thinks there’s something between them. So Kyon is trapped, frustrated beyond words. He has no life beyond serving a god who a spoilt brat. Think how that would make you.

    PS. No Spice and wolf blog this week?

    1. I think Haruhi can be reasoned with though, as Koizumi often points out, she does have common sense. I don’t see Haruhi has an almighty God, because we see how being part of the SOS brigade has changed Haruhi over time. She’s a bore girl first, possible almighty God second.

      I’d also disagree about Kyon being in love with Mikuru. Definitely infatuated by her looks and moe appeal, but “in love” is a bit strong. If anything, I think his feelings for Haruhi are far more intense – both negatively and positively.

      Sorry, late with the S&W post this week. I was waiting for the HD sub release which was delayed by a couple days, so my scheduling got all out of wack. I should have it ready by later today. 😀

    1. To be fair, I wasn’t following the ani-scene back when it first aired, so I should probably have wrote that line to say: I don’t remember reading much about it in the old blog/forum posts I read. The current uproar might seem bigger to me, because now I recognize names/profiles. Or I might’ve just missed the corners where there was backlash.

  2. Or perhaps because the watching audience is far less forgiving this time round after the E8 fiasco. I know it has tinted my view of the show this season. Maybe everyone will claim down a bit if/when season 3 comes round, willing to give it another chance if it were

    Ok “in love” is a bit strong, but they are attracted to each other, that much is obvious. They have got together in the past (or in another timeline if you will) and something went very wrong. That is why Mikuru begged Kyon not to be nice to her or it will happen again.

    1. Or perhaps because the watching audience is far less forgiving this time round after the E8 fiasco. I know it has tinted my view of the show this season. Maybe everyone will claim down a bit if/when season 3 comes round, willing to give it another chance if it were

      Great point. It’s definitely tinted my view of the show too. I blame the SOS brigade and especially Kyon for a lot of E8, which is probably why I have a lot less patience with them in this arc.

      Did Mikuru and Kyon get together in a different timeline? I remember she tells him not to get too close during the baseball game in the Boredom of, but I thought that was just in response to the events in The Melancholy of. Is there another reference that I’m forgetting?

  3. It’s subtle but of you watch season 1 again. There a couple of times when she’s asks him to stop being nice to her. There’s loads of hints throughout the show

  4. I’m a big fan of the anime and the character of Haruhi Suzumiya, and am actually not a big Kyon fan… but even I think that you’re going a bit too easy on Haruhi here.

    While I think that you do a pretty good job of explaining things from Haruhi’s perspective, I think that it’s important to realize that from Kyon’s perspective he’s witnessing one of his friends Mikuru go through almost constant abuse and mistreatment, as he sees it. Now, I think that the throw-Mikuru-into-water scene may have been blown out of proportion a bit… but Mikuru IS terrified there. The look that she gives Kyon in this episode, just before she agrees to be thrown in, is just heart-wrenching. We may not care much about the spineless moe girl, but Kyon does. If somebody you liked a lot gave you a look like Mikuru’s to Kyon’s, your heart might find it wrenching as well.

    Yes, Mikuru goes along with being thrown in the water… but only because of Haruhi’s reality altering powers, and Kyon knows that. Mikuru’s hating this with a passion, and it shows.

    Spiking somebody’s drink… well, for some people that’s no big deal, but for more conservative folks (like Mikuru clearly is) it is a big deal. And, again, Kyon probably knows that Mikuru wouldn’t want to be tricked into being drunk like this.

    Haruhi’s line about Mikuru being her toy… that’s an absolutely awful thing to say at face value. It’s possible that Haruhi just got caught up in the heat of the moment and said something that she wouldn’t have otherwise said,… but by the same token, I don’t think that you can blame Kyon for getting so upset with it since he’s in the heat of the moment too.

    So, all of this adds up to Kyon finally losing his patience with Haruhi, and finally getting incensed over Mikuru being constantly mistreated, and then Kyon snaps a bit.

    Basically, I can see where Haruhi is coming from, but I can also see where Kyon is coming from. Haruhi went a bit too far… but, yeah, Kyon needs to learn to let some of the smaller stuff roll.

    I do agree with you, though, that the other characters don’t get involved/take blame enough. Tsuruya is just as guilty as Haruhi is over the spiked drink, and it would be nice to see someone other than Kyon try to reason with Haruhi for change.

    A couple things to keep in mind, though.

    1. Japanese society is different than ours. It’s a much more lawful and formal society, from what I’ve read. Trespassing like Haruhi’s may seem like no big deal to us, but to the average Japanese person, it might seem really bad.

    2. In the Sigh novel, Haruhi was presented as hitting Mikuru really hard on the back of the head with her palm as opposed to just bopping her on the head with her megaphone. The anime evidently chose to downplay Haruhi’s physical violence. So in the novel, at least, you could argue that Kyon’s physical violence is roughly on par with Haruhi’s.

    Also, in the Sigh novel, the alcoholic beverage given to Mikuru was a lot stronger than what they altered it into for the anime. It was tequila, IIRC.
    .-= Triple_R´s last blog ..My Take on Kyon X Haruhi. =-.

    1. My biggest issue with Kyon is that his complaints and frustration is completely internalized. If Mikuru shivering was truely heart-wrenching, he should’ve said something. Whether or not Koizumi shook his head no, Kyon had the opportunity to say something, anything. That’s probably the most obvious moment where he could’ve spoken up, but there were plenty of smaller opportunities for him to have steered the treatment of Mikuru differently. Now, if he had spoken up, and was completely blown off by Haruhi repeatedly, I’d be much more forgiving of Kyon’s freak-out.

      I definitely took it easy on Haruhi, but what I’ve noticed in this season is that Kyon blames Haruhi for everything. As fed up as Kyon was with Haruhi, I was fed up with his constant negativity and resentment towards Haruhi, a lot of which I felt was either unjustified, or unfair for him to keep to his internal monologue. But it seems like Taniguchi may have accidentally snapped Kyon out of that phase. Hopefully.

      Re: #1: good point, the cultural difference is something I hadn’t considered
      Re: #2: the tequila I remember, the open palm smack, I don’t. If it was animated that way, it might’ve made Kyon’s reaction a little more justified

      1. Yeah, Kyon’s far too negative, and it’s even worse in the Sigh novel, IIRC. He’s really a bit of an uptight guy at times, and needs to learn to unclench. He also needs to speak his mind more often.

        I do like how you pointed out how Kyon’s internal complaints and frustrations are not things that Haruhi could reasonably be expected to be aware of.

        I just don’t think that Kyon was a monster for taking that swing, and I do think that Haruhi went a bit too far. She probably didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of a punch, though.
        .-= Triple_R´s last blog ..My Take on Kyon X Haruhi. =-.

      2. I think you’re missing the point Kyon is an ordinary human being who doesn’t want to have to please a god and kiss their ass constantly and be a yes man so they don’t get childishly anger of baby-cry sad and blow up the earth. He never asked to do this, plus She’s not interested in ordinary human being so why does she care so much about him. He kind of has a right to complain, wouldn’t you. I don’t agree with him raising his fist, but him having enough of a bratty god does what she pleases, I can understand. If any of you honestly don’t like Kyon, it’s really sad because he basically representing any human in that situation and yes that means every single one of you. Honestly would any of you keep your cool forever or enjoy practically acting like a clown or idiot for an annoying god to keep them happy? You’re all judging Kyon because your just looking him as a negative anime who complains a lot, but honestly look at his point of view….. Doesn’t he shockingly seem to be just like you.

  5. I totally agree with you that Kyon is being a jerk in this episode. In fact he’s been portrayed pretty badly ever since the E8 fiasco. However I have to say…

    “Now, personally, I don’t think spiking a friend’s drink with a little bit of alcohol is much worse than say, spiking a friend’s drink with a bottle of laxatives.”

    This would be why I don’t go to parties with people like you… Of course I would smell the alcohol and probably either A) leave the party or B) Throw the drink in the face of the persons inolved and then leave the party.

    But anyways, yes the recent episodes have been unusualy “Anti-Kyon”. What’s the deal? Why is KyoAni hating on their lead character?

    1. I think you’re missing the point Kyon is an ordinary human being who doesn’t want to have to please a god and kiss their ass constantly and be a yes man so they don’t get childishly anger of baby-cry sad and blow up the earth. He never asked to do this, plus She’s not interested in ordinary human being so why does she care so much about him. He kind of has a right to complain, wouldn’t you. I don’t agree with him raising his fist, but him having enough of a bratty god does what she pleases, I can understand. If any of you honestly don’t like Kyon, it’s really sad because he basically representing any human in that situation and yes that means every single one of you. Honestly would any of you keep your cool forever or enjoy practically acting like a clown or idiot for an annoying god to keep them happy? You’re all judging Kyon because your just looking him as a negative anime who complains a lot, but honestly look at his point of view….. Doesn’t he shockingly seem to be just like you.

  6. I could’nt help but raise my eyebrow over what you said. Kyon’s a “useless naysayer” for opposing Haruhi’s behavior? For finally voicing his opinion?? I call it realistic and sane on his part. Here in New York, I live in a neighborhood where people would have little to no tolerance for crap that Haruhi does(in fact they usually have “accidents”). I know of I had known a dumb bitch like that I would have opposed her without batting an eye, and if she got worse I would have done what Kyon attempted to do, except nobody’s stopping me. I’ve learned in my growing up that you should’nt hit a woman, but there are times when you NEED to go upside a bitch’s head! Haruhi’s just lucky she didn’t end up living in Roanapur. Half the entire cast would have killed her on first contact–even Rock:lol: !

  7. I agree. People think haruhi is all to blame but its not her fault, besides she’s god so who cares? And when kyon was about to punch haruhi i was like “Bitch you punch god and you will die” I wounder what would have happened though, the company should make a game over video about it. I think what koizumi said about asahina trying to get his attention might be true. She only starts crying when she see’s him.

  8. Well then, you should try to look at things from the point of view from a man who likes a girl who is constantly being bullied by the person who he can’t offend lest he destroys the entire world. I don’t know about you, but have you seen the way Haruhi treats Mikuru? And I think you’re way too biased to Haruhi. At least try to think from the perspective of Mikuru. This may sound dramatic but putting aside the fact that this is an occasionally comedic anime, Haruhi is very evidently bullying Mikuru. If you’ve kept up with the season from the start, Mikuru has been sexually harassed since the day Haruhi took her into the club. Think of Mikuru as a normal human girl. She got her breasts touched by a random guy just so Haruhi could get what she wants. She has to put on extremely revealing clothes because Haruhi wants her too. Now, don’t you think that’s very asshole-like? Those scenes may be used for comedic purposes but when you rewatch it a few times, you really start to notice that Mikuru is at her whim, and if they weren’t supernatural beings, Koizumi would be considered a bastard for not stepping in to help Mikuru. Kyon has always wanted to stop Haruhi but he knows the consequences of his actions – he has witnessed what Haruhi is capable of doing and he wouldn’t be stupid enough to let her create another closed space.

    And honestly, getting a girl drunk without her knowledge? That’s called manipulation. No matter how you put it. Because if you remove these characters’ names, you’d finally see the difference and that Mikuru is being bullied, no matter how you try to side with Haruhi.

  9. I think you’re missing the point Kyon is an ordinary human being who doesn’t want to have to please a god and kiss their ass constantly and be a yes man so they don’t get childishly anger of baby-cry sad and blow up the earth. He never asked to do this, plus She’s not interested in ordinary human being so why does she care so much about him. He kind of has a right to complain, wouldn’t you. I don’t agree with him raising his fist, but him having enough of a bratty god does what she pleases, I can understand. If any of you honestly don’t like Kyon, it’s really sad because he basically representing any human in that situation and yes that means every single one of you. Honestly would any of you keep your cool forever or enjoy practically acting like a clown or idiot for an annoying god to keep them happy? You’re all judging Kyon because your just looking him as a negative anime who complains a lot, but honestly look at his point of view….. Doesn’t he shockingly seem to be just like you.

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