I remember when I first tried to watch the series of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. After the first episode, I dropped it like a hot potato. It just wasn’t my cup of tea and seemed too stereotypical at the time. Three years later, this year, I decided to give it another go and found myself flying through the first season and the second season soon after. So it’s no surprise I was excited to watch the movie that came after, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.
If you’re a fan of the series, you know we’re no strangers to time travel and paradoxes. Disappearance takes this to a whole new level; so much so you’d think your head would be spinning from it all. But luckily, Kyon keeps us grounded, as he usually does, and we are able to travel through the story with little confusion, patiently waiting to see where the next turn will take us.
While the series was tons of fun, Disappearance is where we get the chance to see things from a different perspective. The movie title of course means something vital to the plot; it’s the disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. While I’m sure many people would rejoice over this, I oddly found myself missing Haruhi, as Kyon did.
In an attempt to not spoil much of the movie, I’ll simply say that it illustrates one particular theme: “You never know what you have until it’s gone.” This is very simple, yes, but most great stories can be built on a theme like this. Disappearance doesn’t even stop with illustrating that theme, though. What would you do if your world, that was always pushing you out of your comfort zone, suddenly changed? And what would you do if someone actually changed it for you? Changed it to normal and almost…dull world where you could live your life peacefully without interrupt of Haruhi like behavior.
I consider myself a rather boring sort of person, like a hobbit. “Never had any adventures or did anything unexpected.” Though, I do often wish for excitement in my life (preferably for it to come to me). And it just so happens I have a Haruhi like friend. Not in the sense of liking supernatural stuff necessarily, but in the sense of charging into new and exciting activities constantly and dutifully dragging me along behind her. From club activities to somewhat “kidnapping” people (I kid you not), her flamboyant and ambitious personality was never at a loss for an idea.
To my otherwise quiet and peaceful life, being dragged around like a rag doll is rather annoying. But, I must admit, it’s always fun. And that’s what hit home for me in The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Kyon had spent a majority of his time complaining about Haruhi and wishing his life hadn’t been ruined by her crazy ideas. But when he’s put into a world that would be considered safe and not crazy at all, he finally admits that truthfully, he was having fun with her and the SOS Brigade before the world had changed.
Haruhi is a great character; she takes people out of their comfort zones (except Koizumi, who is always comfortable wherever he is). I think there’s something to be said to Christians especially when it comes to being shoved out of our comfort zones. The world is a big, scary place, thus it’s really easy to stay in our safe, little bubbles forever. I lived like that for the longest time and still do to an extent. If it were not for my Haruhi friend, I wouldn’t have done a lot of the things I have. But what fun is it living in a boring world with little adventure?
Oddly enough, even when Haruhi “disappeared,” she was there when Kyon needed her. In fact, she was always there on every adventure with Kyon with a new, insane idea at the ready. She wouldn’t miss it for the world (quite literally).
In many ways, trusting God is stepping out of our comfort zones; and I’d be lying if I said that putting faith in God is not terrifying for me at times. It’s very unsettling to get pushed out of our comfort zones into a new situation and sometimes a new life. Yet, it can also be fun. Why? Because He is there with us every step of the way.
I hope this new year is filled with many fun and crazy adventures for all of us!
- Holy Week: Kaname Madoka as a Christ Figure - 03.26.2016
- 12 Days of Christmas Anime, Day 11: Shugo Chara and Hope - 12.24.2014
- Untangled: Christianity Forbids Jojo Part 3’s Tarot Cards? - 11.13.2014
19 thoughts on “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya: Stepping outside into the cold to see the snow.”
I smile when I read the part when you said you are missing Haruhi, like Kyon did, because that was how I felt too through out the movie and why I ended up loving the movie so much. The hinted feelings of Kyon towards Haruhi is quite powerful in my opinion, despite the subtlety.
anyone who knew me in real life would have agreed that i’m just like haruhi, except that I don’t have the power to literally change the world. That’s why it’s hard finding someone who is able to keep up with me. That or I get bored easily. It has been a long dream of mine to fine someone like Kyon in real life and God, I hope he’s exist.
I’m glad we have people like Haruhi in the world, otherwise everything would be very dull and boring (I shudder to think how it would be if everyone was boring like me XD). I hope you can find a good Kyon to take along with you on your adventures.
And I agree with you, the subtly of both Kyon and Haruhi’s feelings are what make the relationship dynamic so powerful. The fact that Kyon would miss Haruhi was so unbelievable until it actually happens, oddly enough.
Then, of course you can also add Yuki and Mikuru to the picture of relationship dynamics as well.
I still have yet to see the film, but the book is mind-blowing. Although, I guess if you already know what happens it’s less exciting.
Regarding that, you might be interested in seeing what blkmage had to say in the Best of 2011 CAA thread:
“On production, Disappearance outclasses every single anime this year. The soundtrack is amazing and not just because it’s good music. It made certain scenes which I was familiar with even more intense than I would’ve thought possible. And all of the lighting and reflections and the animation was just stunning. It’s like Makoto Shinkai except instead of making him work on skies, they had him work on fine details like snow collecting on peoples’ shoulders.
But the thing that sets apart Disappearance here is its direction…The two Haruhi TV anime were, for the most part, very straightforward adaptations. Usually, if you’ve read the manga or novel, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect and that was the case for…Haruhi. And I’d read Disappearance and knew what was going to happen and it still made my jaw drop.”
I regret to say I haven’t read the light novel for Disappearance (I need to go pick that up soon!), but the movie definitely has a high level of rewatch-ability. I’ll admit the mind blowing effects of each event is what impressed me the most on the first watch, but it still remains fantastic and absolutely beautiful even after the third watch.
Also, the music alone is also a good reason to give it a watch. 🙂
This movie appealed to even those who didn’t enjoy the TV series because it has an air of what the title of the series claimed: Melancholy.
How true! I didn’t realize this before you pointed it out.The series never was really melancholy (unless you count many fans’ reactions to Endless Eight, hahaaa). Thanks!
I haven’t seen Disappearance yet but I’m glad to read that you enjoyed it. I loved the series, just hadn’t gotten around to the movie. It’s not just Christians who sometimes have difficulty adapting to being out of their comfort zones but many people regardless of religious background. It can be very scary and a frightening experience.
There’s an article about the pros and cons of Haruhi Suzumiya on the Manga UK blog which I think may be of interest to you.
Lovely post! I loved this movie, and how it showed that Kyon really did enjoy Haruhi’s craziness, despite never admitting it. I also love the ending (it shows that Haruhi has a caring side!)
I also like how you mentioned trusting in God also means stepping out of our comfort zone. It’s so totally like that, but in the end, that push is what makes us do great things! It’s amazing what God has in store for us sometimes.
Late reply, I apologize!
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the movie (and my post). I find myself liking it more and more every time I see it. ^_^
I dropped the show after about the third episode lol. I couldn’t take the cursing.
TMoHS is the type of show that either grabs you and doesn’t let go, or really turns you off, and probably even more so as the years have passed. The movie, I will say, is much cleaner than the series is, but it doesn’t have the impact if you don’t get through the series first.
Hmm…going to have to check this one out. I saw the first episode and it seemed good, but I have to go back and watch. Thanks for a great review. I agree, it’s scary when God asks us to step out in faith, but I find it funny that every time we do it, He backs us up because…He asked us to do it in the first place! 🙂 Let’s not be afraid and live our life with purpose, and not be scared to step out into the cold….
[…] another great perspective on this movie, check out Goldy’s review from one of my favorite blogs, Beneath the […]
hmmm i’ll have to add this series to my “to watch list”
TMoHS is on that short list of “must watches,” I think, for anime fans. Though to be honest, I feel like the tide has turned against the series in recent years – almost universally loved as a great anime when it first arrived, people largely now view it as overrated, annoying, and a let down (in terms of the second season). I still think it’s wonderful, and the movie – which is still held in very high regard – is the icing on the cake.
I don’t know what Series I looked up at first, but it wan’t this one. I’d heard good things about it at first. The one i started to watch was about a girl who worked by day as a bunny in front of a store and it looked to be really fan servicey. it’s funny because melancholy isn’t like that at all. I think I got confused between series somewhere.
So that’s episode 00 of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. It’s confusing, because the series airs out of chronological order. I twice started on episode 00 and stopped before making it through. You would need to being with episode 01 instead (episode 00 happens chronologically after the group has their school festival, near the end of the first season).