Haruhiism

Suzumiya Haruhi

As rightly pointed out by jpmeyer’s post, the phenomenom that is Suzumiya Haruhi has exploded like mushrooms growing after a shower. From being virtually unknown to a catchphrase meme (search YouTube for Haruhi and you’ll see) , Haruhiism has captured the hearts, minds, bodies and souls of countless otaku’s across the globe, yours truly included.

Now, why does Suzumiya Haruhi have such an appeal?

It would undoubtly be the charisma of the heroine herself, Suzumiya Haruhi. As rightly stated out by Kyon, kids often have a limitless imaginative viewpoint of the world, and long for interesting and fun adventures, which no doubt being visited by aliens in UFO’s, encountering big-breasted loli time travellers from the future and ESP-pers would count as one. However, as we learn about the limits and the rules that govern this world, gradually our common sense develops and supresses our imaginations, leaning us to follow the rules of the world.

There is still the innate longing to break away from the humdrums of normal life, and what we label as the inner kid is always present inside everyone. Humans, in general, are curious lifeforms and the inaneness of normal life always drives people to have something they want to experience as “fresh”. In fact, watching anime can be included as a pastime for people to indulge in to break away from the normalcy, which is what makes anime fun in the first place.

As thus, Suzumiya Haruhi is the personification of this curiousity and “inner kid” that all humans have. She steadfastly holds on to the notions of UFO’s, aliens and time travellers, and tries with all her efforts to get in contact with them, stampeding over the barrier that is common sense & rules, ignoring the cruelty of reality and normal life. It is this quality which, no doubt, attracts people towards her, which is the desire to be like her, to break away from the rules that bind people to normal life and preventing them to do things that they want to.

Her utter lack of common sense in her ways to achieve her targets no doubt will shock people, I mean, the way she blackmailed the PC Club to get her computer and cosplaying as bunny girls to promote her club are definitely going to bring gasps to many a mouth, but secretly this appeals to us in a subconcious manner.

The members of the SOS-dan themselves are also part and parcel of the wonder that is Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. Undoubtly, Kyon plays an important role in the series, which is to be the perfect foil of Suzumiya Haruhi herself, as the cynical, rational and normal high school student, disagreeing to her conducts, yet still attracted to her at the same time, being a normal human being.

Mikuru-chan… well, she’s Mikuru-chan, and as rightly stated by Haruhi-sama herself, she provides the moé appeal for the show, being the shy, naive and innocent type. Yuki Nagato, meanwhile, lends the show an air of mystique, which is apparent after the revelation that she makes in the 3rd episode of that she and Haruhi aren’t really human beings, which establishes the show’s *raison d’etre* for Haruhi’s behaviour and the further appearance of more fascinating things to come.

Of course, when talking about the anime, other factors do come in mind when considering the rapid spread of the phenomenon that is Haruhiism. Undobtably, the fact that the animation studio was KyoAni, which is famous for its recent track record of producting top-notch quality anime, such as Fumoffu, AIR and Second Raid, helped in making people sample the anime. Brand name does play a big part in determining watchlists this season, with the absurdly large numbers of new series’ debuting. Honestly speaking, I wouldn’t have paid that much attention to Suzuharu is XEBEC or Gonzo did it.

The infamous first episode of Suzuharu undoubtbly played a big part in publicizing it, as humans tend to be more impressionable towards negative things rather than positive ones. The sheer fact that the episode consisted of a amateurly done student video, and the fact that it was being done by brand name studio instantly attracted much viewing, especially with the lack of prior information about the series itself. Of course, when episode 2 came out, many otakus watched in interest, and KyoAni blew eveyone out of the water by producing one of the greatest episodes in anime, IMHO, in recent times.

Also, any discussion of the Suzuharu anime would undoubtbly be incomplete without adressing the infamous ED dance sequence by the SOS-dan members. The upbeat music coupled with the masterfully choreographed dance sequence (instructions available here and here) has a mesmerizing effect that is hard to explain and has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon itself, amazing considering the time that it has been out (only 3 weeks or so), with the infamous Gundam parody, and more recently, the RL version of it. No doubt, the ED sequence has established itself as one of the more memorable ones of anime.

Without question, the phenomenon of Haruhiism will be here to stay and make it’s impact among the otaku fanbase. I have personally never seen such success being achieved by a show, just 3 episodes in it’s initial run. Hopefully, Haruhi’s winning spree will continue on for the rest of it’s run, and I have no doubt about it, judging from the things that I’ve heard about it.

7 Comments

  1. Kozumura Said,

    April 22, 2006 @ 12:43 am

    “There is still the innate longing to break away from the humdrums of normal life, and what we label as the inner kid is always present inside everyone. Humans, in general, are curious lifeforms and the inaneness of normal life always drives people to have something they want to experience as “fresh”. In fact, watching anime can be included as a pastime for people to indulge in to break away from the normalcy, which is what makes anime fun in the first place.”

    What you said was very true, indeed that Haruhi has captivated many people simply because of the imaginative nature of the show. While other animes go over the top with their jokes with crazy animation and near impossible “spoken” dialogue, Haruhi does all those type of things while still being a very “down to earth” show. it’s almost as if you can relate to them yourselves. Suzumiya is probably one of the most dynamic character ever and quite frankly unpredictable.(Unlike other shows where they keep the character’s atttude consistent) You just have to know what she does next, it’s almost like an addiction.

    Haruhiism is taking over Muslims as the next big religion.

  2. madmaxy Said,

    April 22, 2006 @ 1:18 pm

    i would gladly convert to Haruhiism if given the chance, its just so much more exciting than sitting in a stuffy room for a entire morning, it may acutally be sitting in a room, but at least you get to do it with a crazy/hot chick.

  3. The Hating Blog » Blog Archive » The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi Said,

    April 23, 2006 @ 10:08 pm

    […] After reading Kurogane’s Haruhiism post, I did a quick search on YouTube and despite the large number of OP, ED and clip videos, you can find a few gems here and there. One of my favorites, hands down is the Gundam parody of the ED. Of course for every good video you stuble upon over at YouTube, there are also the train wrecks waiting in the shadows. […]

  4. “not dotq, seriously” » Blog Archive » The Big H Said,

    April 27, 2006 @ 9:30 am

    […] To start off, I’m not going to say much about the show, or provide much background info. Its title is Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu. For some more info on Haruhiism, check out the following people’s opinions on the topic: Jpmeyer’s, Kurogane’s, Kozumura’s. This post is meant to add to the discussion already out there, not reintroduce a used phenomenon. I’m also assuming that the reader of this post knows a good deal about the show, that they might have seen an episode or two or read the various posts floating about the anime blogosphere. […]

  5. Is it Hello, or just Goodbye? » April Playlist Part 2 Said,

    April 28, 2006 @ 3:47 am

    […] Girl’s school, girl’s life.. not a typical anime a guy would wanna watch. But add Yuri~ Yesh Please! lol. That’s the only interesting thing in the series so far, I’m still trying to get a grasp of the story, If there’s one. Maybe I was just expecting something more, the way each episode ended threw me off I guess. Omg what could Shizuru be hiding?! since vampires and the likes are out of the picture… maybe she’s a guy? >.>; More Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu Info : Haruhiism Character Info […]

  6. Lord Jima "Jima-san" Shootingstar Said,

    May 27, 2006 @ 3:27 am

    I’ve been wondering as well why SuzuHaru has had such a grip on my mind, body, and soul since it was first released. It has become my latest obsession, albeit the obssession that took me over the fastest. In a short span of a few days I have become a bonafide follower of Haruhiism, a surprising result if you acknowledge the fact that I’m naturally averse to anything remotely connected to a religion (or religion-like cult).

    The mystery continues, but for now I’ll just go ahead and continue my quest to promote Haruhiism, soon possibly on a global scale…

  7. Journalista » Blog Archive » Nov. 3, 2006: Alfred is a sarcastic bastard Said,

    November 3, 2006 @ 9:26 pm

    […] Nov. 3 (Tokyo, Japan): Three insanely specific doujinshi marts will take place at the Tokyo Trade Center today. First, Houno no Seisen 36 (Japanese-language homepage) will feature cosplay and doujinshi for sale based upon the popular Fire Emblem videogame, and will take place on the third floor of Hamamatsucho Hall. Next, Santo Monogatari 32 (Japanese-language homepage) will feature cosplay and doujinshi for sale based upon the also-popular Suikoden videogame, and will take place on the fourth floor of Hamamatsucho Hall. Finally, devotees of Haruhiism will have no choice but to make a pilgrimage to Suzumiya Haruhi no Saiten (Japanese-language homepage), which will feature cosplay and doujinshi for sale based upon the rapidly expanding media empire and quasi-religious community centered around Nagaru Tanigawa’s Suzumiya Haruhi light-novel series; please bring cash, prayer offerings and your solemn vow to introduce everyone to aliens, time-travellers and ESPers to the third floor of Taito Hall. (There’s a fourth event taking place at Tokyo Trade Center today as well, but I can’t suss out enough about its specific fandom kink to do anything other than refer you to MangaCast.) All events take place from 11AM-4PM, and while I can’t find an admissions fee listed for any of them, you really shouldn’t be attending these sorts of things unless you’ve got some cash to throw around. […]

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