Time Travellin’ Space Potato – episode 5

May 9, 2006 on 11:51 pm | In Suzumiya Haruhi | Comments Off on Time Travellin’ Space Potato – episode 5

“The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi 3”

I’ve laid low on writing about this episode of this top secret show because I needed time for my non-existent evil plans to come to fruition.

Actually, this is really good stuff right here that even justifies the existence of Mikuru and her godawful voice, and for that I am grateful. It’s just a pity that the real world so significantly dampened my enthusiasm for this adventure.

Remember, folks: she’s not the messiah, she’s a very naughty girl.

The concept of Suzumiya Haruhi revealed at last!

Our good friend Haruhi finds a mysterious transfer student and begins a quest to discover aliens, espers and time travellers. Then everyone comes out to Kyon and reveals that they are in fact:

  • an alien;
  • an esper;
  • a time traveler.

Too bad for Kyon that he’s a normal person. Anyway, our friend Suzumiya Haruhi has the power to shape the world to her wishes. She does not know this, which is probably a good thing: can you imagine such a woman wielding such an ability with full understanding of its existence? Not a good idea, I’m afraid.

The key is three years ago, the timequake that alerted all of the mysteries of the universe to Suzumiya. This is a great relief to me, as now I can consider Mikuru in a different light: that of a time traveller. Many people don’t seem to mind Suzumiya Haruhi’s casual cruelty, molestation, and general torture of our friend Mikuru, but a select few of us have had thoughts along the lines of “what the eff is going on here?”
The scenes that show Mikuru actually, you know, smiling and laughing, suggests that she might be an actual character rather than a horrible moe ball of shrieks. I think that she puts on her “tortured” persona for the benefit of Haruhi because she seems at least semi well-adjusted. One might say that “well-adjusted” is a term not suitable for application to a girl convinced she’s a time traveller but hey, she is a time traveller.

The reason that I say that this is all an act is because The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi frequently, disgustingly and consciously panders to the modern anime fanbase. Haruhi wants to live a life that would entertain someone looking in, for whatever reason, so she ups the moe factor at every point through her wild molestations. It’s the delicate balancing point of many satirical anime: when does making fun of exploitation become exploitation itself? There’s no real answer, and because the genuine intrigue has arrived in waves it’s not really going to be further touched on; we can take some comfort in the fact that Mikuru seems to be deliberately exploiting herself, but people are going to derive perverse pleasure of her trials regardless of how they’re portrayed. Subverting the industry does not mean anything if too many people take the subversion at face value and just accept this as another inexplicable titillation.

So, we learn from all of this Asahina Mikuru no Bouken should have been subtitled “based on a true story”. The only problem with the film is that it was like making Walk the Line with Johnny Cash playing himself. He’s dead, Jim. If I’m reading the previews right, this excellently strung along first book will not be picked up again until episode nine; I look forward to it.
The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi is strong because it provokes a lot of theorising and “serious discussion”. Don’t try to stifle that; for better or for worse, this is the zeitgeist.

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