Haruhi Episode 09 Review
Leave it running and see what happens.
Why I watched it:
How it Works:
Oh look, it's a show about nothing. Sounds familiar? Familia? Fam? It's fucking Seinfeld.
I've said before that the show is very self-aware, and that if more shows - wait, you can read this in my last review, and maybe give me some more traffic while you're at it. Already you can see this self-awareness as evident by the cinematic parallels between The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Evangelion was famous for having scenes in which absolutely fucking nothing happened, and the same is true of this episode, only worse.
(why am I reminded of the old English class task of "compare and contrast"? it's fucking horrifying how such a useful tactic, which showcases that artists learn from their forefathers and can make reference to them as a sign of respect, will be forever hated by hundreds of millions of schoolchildren because of the ineffective way which they shoved the tactics down our throats. what I'm saying is we need more anime in our schools, and to give me a job teaching it)
The show starts out by having the cameraman take a lunch break, but he left the camera running and his replacement was in the washroom at the time. As a result, we see The Gang do their typical gang things like slurping on tea and playing those novelty card games that weeaboos buy so they can associate with other weeaboos, much like prison tattoos. And the same shot is held for a solid minute, nobody talking, the sounds being as minimal as you can make it, and now you can see where I got Seinfeld from. It's a show about nothing!
Until Haruhi comes in with what's technically considered a jumpscare (and if you don't know what that is, you are a blessed soul), and demands Kyon pick up a space heater from some guy he wooed with the idea of Mikuru starring in a sequel to that awful film in what was so far the best episode of the series. Kyon has jack shit else to do, and if he refuses the club will turn into a happy little anarchy, so he does it.
And then the show alternates between cutting to shots of Kyon thinking idle thoughts in mundane situations (at the train stop. on the train. on a hill!) and Haruhi perving it up with Mikuru, which furthers my theory that either God is gay or the show creators are treating lesbians as a novelty and not as a legitimate sexuality. Not to be SJW, but I would rather you fuck Mikuru than having you fuck with her, even though it would be illegal to distribute in every country in the world thanks to moral panics suggesting that fictional artwork is on par with real-life child sexual abuse. If you missed a beat here, they're high schoolers.
In between this nonsense with Haruhi trying to profit off of Mikuru's tits, with the other Brigade members being complacent with this as part of an act to seem as generic as possible in the eyes of Haruhi (did they not read Slaughterhouse-Five?), we also have scenes with Yuki doing nothing but reading, the camera stuck in a birds-eye for minutes, with the only audio being what appears to be either a pep rally, a radio drama, or the forced happiness of an English class. I don't know enough about Japan to describe what goes on in the high school catacombs, proud that I am to know more about somewhere else.
Eventually Kyon drags his broke ass to the classroom with the heater (also meeting Mikuru's cutie-pie upperclass buddy, who is the type of person you can only see in anime because you would otherwise be put into a special needs class), and then falls asleep, causing the audience to miss out on the Mikuru changing scene. Kyon, if you wanted to watch Mikuru change, why the fuck didn't you do it? It's not like Haruhi gives a fuck, and if Mikuru calls you out on it you could just say you're gay for Itsuki. He wouldn't let you down.
It turns out that Haruhi does have a heart though, as she takes care of Kyon while he's asleep, and as such end up walking together after school ends. Could you feel the sexual tension going on, or is Kyon going to get friendzoned? Not that he would care, the bastard's stuck on Mikuru's big tits instead of Haruhi's big heart (haha), but Haruhi does stick her tougue out at him, which was such an important character moment that the most recent broadcast decides to end the series on that shot.
Personally I would feel cheated if this was the last episode, seeing as it's one where barely anything happens, and what does happen is what could have been put in the inbetweens of other episodes where nothing much happened. We already knew that Haruhi was childish, and we didn't need to confirm that fact at the tail end of a series where a relationship that never went anywhere is one we were expected to feel interested in. Though this is only episode 09 of the cool, ORIGINAL broadcast order, so the canonical fuckery is no skin off my nose's ass.
What I felt:
This episode seems like it would be filler for a visual novel, though the animators made it into a whole episode. You would think that having the privilege of twenty-two minutes of the audience's time would be incentive enough to not waste it on long shots of nothing, and yet here we are.
I don't feel my time was wasted, though - I would much have scenes where nothing happens than scenes where random shit does that eventually ends up not mattering at all. When there's nothing happening, it's quiet, and I actually have time to think about what I'm watching and how I got here. But with a bunch of stuff happening, it exhausts me, as it seems to be playing the No Man's Sky (No Man's Buy, One Man's Lie, No Man Tried, Made Sony Cry, The End is Nigh, End My Life) card of style over substance. While there are cases where there's a lot happening in a show and every event has a place in it, I find that more often a show that feels the need to shove as much as it can into a single episode instead of pacing it out over time is a show that doesn't respect its audience enough to keep watching.
So I much prefer the quieter atmosphere of this episode even if it wasn't exciting. I didn't find it a particularly good episode, as it advanced little, relied on the same jokes as we've seen in previous episodes (Mikuru is the MVP of this series), and only slightly advanced the character development, but at least it didn't try to confuse me as in episode 07 (the one with the cricket). It's my currently least liked episode, you see. It was the only episode where I couldn't think of anything to say about it even immediately after watching it.
What I learned:
I find the scene with the crew members being complacent with Haruhi's demands to be an interesting representation of the disconnect between the crew and Haruhi. While the rest of the crew know each other very well and understands that they are all well-developed characters and not the cliches that they assume that Haruhi thinks they are, only Kyon and Haruhi actually spend any respectable time with each other, and so Kyon, being the character whose eyes we see through, knows both about the crew's desires and about Haruhi as a person and not as a God they have to keep in check. This privilege that Kyon, as well the audience, has found himself given shows that Haruhi is aware that Kyon is a complicated person, having spent the most meaningful time with him, and yet hasn't made the leap of logic that the other crew members are just as complicated.
And yet, if reality bends to Haruhi's will and she can set up this whole contrived, typical anime scenario of a high school club finding themselves in coincidences that you couldn't force if you wanted to, then why aren't the crew members actually typical cliches? I can understand why the supernatural crew members are there (Yuki, Mikuru, Itsuki), as they wanted to force a scenario in which Haruhi suspected that things were going according to her plan so she didn't wish up actual cliches out of nowhere, but then why is Kyon there? If the claims of the crew members are true that Kyon is there because Haruhi willed it, then why isn't Kyon a cliche? Or are the crew members wrong, and that Kyon is there because of coincidence?
I can conclude that either Haruhi knows the gig is up and yet doesn't care because she's satisfied with it, that the crew members are wrong about Harhui's motivations for forming a club, that Kyon is critical to preventing Haruhi from destroying the world and the crew members don't want to tell him because they fear that he will blow the gambit if he would discover this, OR that it really was a coincidence and the crew members are lying to him because Haruhi would be dissatisfied with the world if he was out of her life.
Though speculation is considerably stupid seeing as the show will probably spell it out for me. SO WHY EVEN TRY? HUH? SON?
Don't get a murderboner - Froghand.
Today's page was updated on August 27, 2016!
I imagine capitalised words in Kanye West's voice.