#12DaysOfAnime – As December hits up, figuring out what to watch throughout the holiday is one of the common things we usually do. Something that allows us to feel that spirit of joy and warmth on a month usually characterized by cool weather and snow (though we don’t have that from where I am from). With that, one movie comes to mind – The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.
Tread lightly, young one, this is spoiler territory
The Haruhi Suzumiya franchise is one of those classic titles that is still being mentioned up to now. It surprises me how the merchandise, DVD sets and other products related to the show are still selling as if they just released. Just goes to show that this anime series has become more than just a show but a cultural phenomenon.
But scratch that, I am not here to talk about the deity, Haruhi Suzumiya, and her ever-growing influence among mankind. Rather, I came here to talk about someone that has been rarely focused on out of all the cast – Kyon.
If you have followed this series from its main episodes up to its film, you will definitely know this guy. A teenage high school student with a snarky, lazy attitude that rambles about how miserable he is under Haruhi’s command. At times, he breaks into this nihilistic and existential monologue which seems quite absurd for someone in high school to talk about with such depth like Kyon.
He is the audience’s eyes – the window to witness the mess that is Haruhi Suzumiya’s SOS Brigade which aims to befriend fictional beings like time travelers, espers, sliders and what have you. The voice of reason within this cast of wacky characters and, in a way, carries the sentiments of the audience whenever something huge or wacky starts in the plot.
Because of this “audience persona” being put on him, it seems that we tend to disregard Kyon’s growth as a character for most of the series. However, that changed when The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya film released.
What the Disappearance arc did to Kyon’s character
The main focal point of this film is the crisis that hits Kyon which is “the disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya” from his life. This creates a big dilemma for Kyon as he tries to piece together a plan in order to react to this sort of thing.
Haruhi Suzumiya – the personification of god in the series has suddenly disappearance from his life. How does he respond?
In this film, we get to see a better glimpse of how Kyon sees things in comparison to the snarking and complaints he usually dishes out in the main series. Should he be happy about this sudden turn of events? Or should he be concerned?
Kyon becomes desperate for answers and guidance.
Throughout the course of the film, he interacts with people only to realize that none of them share the same experiences that he had with them in the main series. Why is this such a big deal, you might ask?
Well, it is similar to how someone does their habitual actions throughout the day – we wake up, brush our teeth, take a bath and so on. We greet our friends, visit a certain place and the like over and over again.
To most, not doing one of those things is weird and kind of sets off someone’s mood. Like myself, I try to at least watch at least one video on the internet everyday and breaking that habit kind of ticks me off and with that, I end up watching more videos to satisfy that void inside of me of not doing that certain action.
I believe the same concept also happens within Kyon. Finishing class, going to the clubroom, hearing Haruhi’s boisterous speeches, getting kicked out at multiple occasions from aforementioned clubroom. Suddenly halting all of that activity sets off most people.
For Kyon, it sets him off for the following reasons: instead of Haruhi’s boisterous activities, he gets silence and peaceful school life. Secondly, the fact that the interactions he shared with certain people are somewhat erased ticks him off. It would seem as if their conversations and activities together held no value whatsoever and that ultimately sucks.
What does Kyon do in response to this crisis
The crisis of having a boring, normal school life – what does Kyon do? He runs off to find an answer, a solution, an end to “whatever this is.”
And he does.
As he goes through this, he realizes that his intentions are selfish. To him, a world with Haruhi, espers, time travelers and other nonsense is normal. To one, it is a prison.
Despite all of this, they reach a compromise and somehow he finally achieves what he wants – a confusing yet exciting life among fictional beings including Haruhi being the center of all that confusion. But this time, he values and treasures all of the moments he has shared with them.
Treasuring things before they are gone
Kyon’s struggle to get everything back to normal and restore other people’s interactions and moments with him sends out an important message: to treasure memories as much as you can.
A simple greeting or a in-depth conversation, a little laugh or a well-thought out joke – all of these things might seem trivial but believe me when I say that once you and your loved one, friend or family part ways, you will look back at those greetings, conversation and laughs that you have shared.
Take time to appreciate the trivial things and, as Kyon answers the question “did you have fun?” in that world, he answers (rough quoting):
“It was a pain but I had fun. People would be crazy not to think that world was fun. I enjoyed every minute of it! Of course I had fun! Don’t point out things that are so obvious!”
Thanks for reading the second entry for this year’s twelve days of anime. Be sure to check out stuff related to this ani-blogging challenge by searching #12DaysOfAnime on Twitter. Make sure to share your thoughts on this article and I will try to respond.
While I am at it, try reading some entries from my pals from OWLS. For the month of December, we are discussing about the portrayal of warmth in our favorite titles so be sure to check them out!