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---
description: Literary analysis: Haruhi is not God, Kyon is
...
The real joy of reading [Gene Wolfe](!Wikipedia) is not so much for his imaginative plots^[Though it's hard to argue that works of his like _[The Fifth Head of Cerberus](!Wikipedia)_ or _[The Book of the New Sun](!Wikipedia)_ do not have fascinating stories and settings.] or for his masterly prose[^Ultan], but rather for the secret gems his stories conceal.
[^Ultan]: The reason I began reading Gene Wolfe was because I idly picked up his _[The Shadow of the Torturer](!Wikipedia)_ and began reading for half an hour. Some chapters into the book, I ran into a scene set in an ancient library (chapter 6, 'The Master of the Curators'). The librarian begins describing his wares, and the prose reaches a level I rarely see outside of such great authors as Oscar Wilde or Sir Thomas Browne:
> '...At last I realized that instead of reading it, I had been observing it as a physical object. The red I recalled came from the ribbon sewn to the headband so that I might mark my place. The texture that tickled my fingers still was that of the paper on which the book was printed. The smell in my nostrils was old leather, still bearing the traces of birch oil. It was only then, when I saw the books themselves, that I began to understand their care."
>
> His grip on my shoulder tightened. "We have books here bound in the hides of echidnes, krakens, and beasts so long extinct that those whose studies they are, are for the most part of the opinion that no trace of them survives unfossilized. We have books bound wholly in metals of unknown alloy, and books whose bindings are covered with thickset gems. We have books cased in perfumed woods shipped across the inconceivable gulf between creations - books doubly precious because no one on Urth can read them.
>
> "We have books whose papers are matted of plants from which spring curious alkaloids, so that the reader, in turning their pages, is taken unaware by bizarre fantasies and chimeric dreams. Books whose pages are not paper at all, but delicate wafers of white jade, ivory, and shell; books too whose leaves are the desiccated leaves of unknown plants. Books we have also that are not books at all to the eye: scrolls and tablets and recordings on a hundred different substances. There is a cube of crystal here - though I can no longer tell you where - no larger than the ball of your thumb that contains more books than the library itself does. Though a harlot might dangle it from one ear for an ornament, there are not volumes enough in the world to counterweight the other.
>
> All these I came to know, and I made safeguarding them my life's devotion.'
Many Wolfe stories follow the pattern of telling some remarkable story, which an ordinary reader can follow and enjoy with pleasure, and when they reach the end, they are satisfied. But a more devoted or perceptive reader will find far more than that^[Sometimes they can find *too* much; consider the many contradictory interpretations of "[Suzanne Delage]()".]. (One thinks of Shakespeare, and how his plays change on re-reading.)
One reads through [_Peace_](http://www.siriusfiction.com/PaxBorskii.html) and is amused and interested by Alden Weer's reminiscences of 1900s Midwestern life; one re-reads it, and is troubled to discover that Weer is a ghost and his anecdotes conceal murders for which he yet moulders in his grave - that far from being idyllic, _Peace_ is better described as a horror story.
One reads through the diary that is the last third of _[The Fifth Head of Cerberus](!Wikipedia)_, and one thinks about eccentric anthropologists. But perhaps on a re-read, one notices an inconsistency^[The specific clue is that the anthropologist is a crack shot and right-handed; his usurper is neither. If this seems excessively subtle to you, many would agree.] and realizes that the anthropologist was murdered and replaced halfway through. And so on.
Gene Wolfe says that he writes for an educated reader^[The irony of course being that Wolfe's allusions and discourse range so widely that one would have to be a pansophist or read the exact same books in order to follow each and every reference.]:
> "My definition of good literature is that which can be read by an educated reader, and reread with increased pleasure."^[["The Wolfe & Gaiman Show"](http://www.locusmag.com/2002/Issue09/GaimanWolfe.html), _[Locus Online](!Wikipedia)]
Regardless of where Wolfe's true greatness lies, reading him inculcates an active mindset. In normal fiction, one passively consumes the interpretations and descriptions of the narrator. With Wolfe's unreliable narrators, this is impossible. Reading normal fiction with a Wolfean mindset sometimes leads to interesting results. I'd like to show a personal example.
# _The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya_
Some time ago, in 2006, a short high school drama/comedy anime was released called _[The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya](!Wikipedia)_. (Yes, *another* one.) It was based on a popular [light novel](!Wikipedia) series of the same name, and it became the most popular anime of the year, an instant classic.
## Plot
The basic plot goes that Kyon, our skeptical but solid ordinary^[I mean this in the sense of socially-well-adjusted, and *not* nerdy or [otaku](!Wikipedia). Many high school anime have 'ordinary joes' who are actually unusual (in the same way that hardcore anime watchers are unusual). If everyone you hang out with resembles the cast of _[Genshiken](!Wikipedia)_, it can be easy to mistake what I mean by 'ordinary' in an anime context like this.] guy, has just started high school. When the members of his new class introduce themselves^[Japanese high schools are not like American high schools in this respect; classes stay together as they rotate through the subjects.], one attractive girl sitting in front of Kyon (the eponymous Haruhi) makes the declaration that she seeks interesting & unusual beings such as "aliens, time travelers, ghosts, demons, ESPers". She's a weirdo.
Kyon is interested in her anyway, and eventually offhandedly suggests that she form a club for such beings. She takes him up on it, and applying the trademark Haruhi brand of arrogance, slyness, and impetuosity, rounds up 3 members besides herself and Kyon: Mikuru, a buxom red-headed upperclassmen; Itsuki, who likes to egg on Haruhi; and Yuki, a small quiet girl who is always reading.
As they go about their random club activities dictated by Haruhi, Kyon is startled to discover that each of the other club members is such a being as Haruhi desired^[More or less; Yuki is a robot/AI, which counts as an alien; Itsuki Koizumi is an ESPer, but only in sub-dimensions that sporadically appear; and Mikuru is a time traveler, though she only seems to make 2 trips. There don't seem to be any ghosts or demons in the cast.]; and that further, the reason for this is that Haruhi is in fact the god who created and controls the universe he lives in. As she is entirely unaware of her true nature & powers, her primary focus is on having fun as a schoolgirl; the 3 uncanny beings have set their face on granting Haruhi her wish, and have enlisted Kyon in the mission.
Haruhi, though a [tsundere](!Wikipedia)^[Haruhi is one of the paradigmatic _tsundere_ characters; consider a quote from episode 1: "Feelings of love are just a temporary lapse in judgment. Like a mental illness."], begins to fall in love with Kyon, and vice versa. At the end of the season, she feels rejected by Kyon in favor of Mikuru, and begins to destroy the world in favor of a new & more satisfying one, but Kyon manages to convince her that he returns her affection and he preferred the old world.
### Sequence
One unique aspect of _Haruhi_ is that there are 2 orders in which to play the episodes. The first is the sequence in which it was broadcast, the 'Haruhi' sequence. This sequence jumps around - for example, the first episode is a indie movie made for the school's [Japanese Cultural Festival](!Wikipedia), which chronologically belongs toward the end of the series. The second is the logical, chronological order ('Kyon' order).
The reason for the Haruhi order is that the original series was 14 episodes. So the creators ([Kyoto Animation](!Wikipedia)) had to draw on material from multiple books. But each light novel is structured normally: beginning, middle, climax, end. The series would feel a little odd to have multiple arcs, cutting out in the middle. Their solution was to focus on the story arc of the first light novel, which culminates in Haruhi and Kyon's first kiss, and leave that as the *last* episode (Haruhi order). What was to be done with all the episodes that chronologically would come after the kiss? They simply stuck them into the beginning and middle!
So the Haruhi order keeps the story arc over the 14 episodes intact, which provides a real ending (a very good & rare thing; see my [Death Note Ending]()), and also accomplishes a number of neat things: it's original; it provides foreshadowing; it involves the viewer in trying to understand and piece together the plot; and it renders scenes freshly poignant or just *different* the second time around.
You can understand why I slipped into Wolfe-mode watching _Haruhi_.
## Problems
The inner story in Wolfe is manifested most often in lies, inconsistencies, or peculiarities of characters. Characters act in realistic ways, pursuing their goals in a rational fashion. They eat, defecate, sleep, and so on, in a precise timeline. Wolfe makes it a point of pride to have few accidental errors. When you notice an error or wonder why a character did something so round-about, Wolfe is gesturing toward the real story.
### Timing
The second time through, I noticed something odd about the setup. The other characters tell Kyon that they've existed and have been observing Haruhi for 3 years at that point.
Isn't there something strange about this? 3 years and they haven't made contact themselves; nor has Haruhi subconsciously forced them to take action that might interest her. For that matter, isn't it a little strange that Haruhi might create such creatures and *not know* about them? How is it interesting or fun to live in a world with time travelers and aliens and ESPers if one doesn't know of them *at all*? If they aren't even doing anything unusual or affecting daily life? Haruhi's life seems to be precisely as boring & melancholy after their creation as it was before.
A further problem is that Haruhi tells Kyon a story of [existential](!Wikipedia "existentialism") [angst](!Wikipedia) from her childhood:
> "I thought that everyone in Japan had to be packed in there. So I turned to my dad and asked him, "Do you know how many people are here right now"? He said since the stadium was full, probably fifty thousand...I was only one little person in that big crowded stadium filled with people, and there were so many people there, but it was just a handful out of the entire population. Up till then, I always thought that I was, I don't know, kind of a special person. It was fun to be with my family. I had fun with my classmates. And the school that I was going to, it had just about the most interesting people anywhere. But that night, I realized it wasn't true. All the stuff we did during class that I thought was so fun and cool, was probably happening just like that in classes in other schools all over Japan. There was nothing special about my school at all."
She then vowed to make life interesting. But this was during *middle* school. Why then does life only become interesting in *high* school, 3 years later? The timeframe seems more than a little odd.
Haruhi may've acted weird - fellow classmates note that she had a reputation even in middle school - but Yuki specifically tells Kyon that in those 3 years, nothing peculiar or godly occurred^["I have been doing this since I was born 3 years ago. In the last 3 years, no particularly unusual elements were discovered, and things were very stable. However, recently an external factor has now appeared beside Suzumiya Haruhi that cannot be ignored." Chapter 3, Book 1]. Are we to believe that Haruhi spent 3 years desperately seeking out freaks and oddballs and ESPers and sliders and anything unusual, and her powers just refused to supply anything *at all*? This when her mere whim in later years are supposedly enough to make cats talk, and when her previous desires had conjured ESPers out of nothingness?
Nothing interesting happened during those 3 years... but something interesting happened at the beginning of those 3 years. Kyon from the future appeared one Tanabata night and ran into contemporary middle-school Haruhi, and assisted her in her crop circle. This was a day noted by all the paranormal observers. Then Kyon left the timeline, returning to after 3 years in the future - which had been the point at which "Haruhi's" powers began manifesting again. An interesting set of timings, wouldn't one say? A remarkable coincidence that whatever suppressed Haruhi's powers just happened to span the same time interval as her separation from Kyon.
### Uncertain identity
> _[thinking]_ "The passing train gave me a moment to think about my response. Should I voice an opposing viewpoint? Maybe I should wax philosophical about her dilemma."
>
> _[aloud]_ "...I see."
>
> _[thinking]_ "I must be getting melancholic if that's the best I could come up with." --Kyon, episode 5
Another curious point is that the evidence of Haruhi's divine nature is so meager. The 'Data Integration Entity' (a massive AI apparently modeled after the TechnoCore from [Dan Simmons](!Wikipedia)'s _[Hyperion Cantos](!Wikipedia)_) says only that Haruhi is at the center of the anomalies^["The information sparks emitted from a certain area in the bow-shaped archipelago instantly covered the whole planet and started to spread towards outer space. And the center of all that is Suzumiya Haruhi." Chapter 3, Book 1]. Yuki also tells Kyon that "For 3 years, I have gone through all sorts of investigations on the individual known as Suzumiya Haruhi from all perspectives, but up to now I was still unable to discover her true identity."^[Chapter 3, Book 1], and that the whole 'data explosion' is 'impossible to analyze'. So Haruhi being godlike may be a good guess - but from the AI perspective, it's just a guess.
Itsuki and the ESPers are little more help. They fight various sub-dimensions whose appearances are correlated with emotional disturbances in Haruhi - but correlation is not causation.^[Particularly not here. If the ESPers can observe Haruhi's emotional distress - which they must be able to, in order to notice the correlation - so could someone else. For an outside observer, it's hard to tell the difference between a causal sequence like 'A→C', and 'A→B→C'.]
The time travelers as represented by Mikuru, are even less help. She speaks only of a barrier in time, and has little justification for believing Haruhi god.
### Minimal power
Indeed, the other characters manifest far more power than Haruhi:
- Nagato can create and break into sub-dimensions and do nearly arbitrary things there
- she has [1337](!Wikipedia "leet") hacking skill
- she can also modify ordinary objects like baseball bats to have extraordinary powers.
- Itsuki becomes a superhero in sub-dimensions, able to fly and shoot energy.
- Mikuru as a time traveler can have future selves show up and render aid (in addition to any future weaponry, which she may or may not possess).
What does Haruhi do? Well, there are the sub-dimensions filled with rampaging monsters. (But that's not clearly Haruhi's doing.) There is a mysterious shadow on the desert island as they leave. (But that's not much.) Some birds changing color are supposed to be her work. And... I am sure there are other things, but they are not quite coming to mind.
And for that matter, all the powers seem to center around someone else. For example, the mysterious shadow on the island is not spotted by Haruhi but by Kyon and Itsuki. Likewise the white birds. Shamisen the talking cat talks only to Kyon, after Haruhi has left the scene.
### The God that Failed
Haruhi is often defeated or set back:
- Founding the club, she is swiftly prevented from advertising it while wearing a [Playboy bunny](!Wikipedia) suit.
- She is prevented by Kyon from placing skimpily-clad photos of Mikuru on the club website.^["I quickly warned her about the dangers of putting personal details on the web, and amazingly for once, Haruhi actually paid attention and listened to me seriously...She then very reluctantly allowed me to remove the images from the page." Chapter 3, Book 1]
- In episode 5, while drawing lots for wandering about the city and looking for strange events to investigate, Haruhi twice gets the wrong stick and so isn't pair off with Kyon. This deeply angers her. But what sort of god can't even influence a random draw when she really wants to?
- The one truly mysterious case the club investigates (the computer club president's disappearance) Haruhi is completely cut out of.
- In the desert island episode, episode 06, Haruhi suggests that there be a murder mystery, and in particular, that the master murder Mikuru. Kyon vetoes it. Nothing happens to Mikuru.
Indeed, in the 2 desert island episodes, Haruhi's detective skills and wishing fail. No real murders happen, and certainly not the way she suggested.
- When filming the movie for the student cultural festival, Haruhi insists that Koizumi kiss Mikuru (the two protagonists); Kyon stops it^[Chapter 6, Book 2].
## The real story
> "I used to read often. When I was in elementary school, my mom used to borrow illustrated books from the children's book section for me to read. There were all sorts of books, but I remember that all the ones I'd read were quite interesting. However, I can't remember any of their names anymore. When did I stop reading? When did reading start becoming boring for me?" --Kyon^[Chapter 4, Book 1]
So we may be convinced by now that something is going on. (Or we may not be; plausibly, each of these could be explained by something like an error, a consequence of time travel, or artistic license etc.)
But what is the real story? It could be anything, from what really happened to who characters really are. In Wolfe, though, deception tends to focus on characters and issues of identity. In _Peace_, Weer is not what you think he is. In _The Book of the New Sun_, characters like Dorcas are not who they appear to be^[Dorcas appears to be a random young woman Severian saves and sleeps with; in fact, she was resurrected by Severian. And she's his grandmother.]. So what character should we be most suspicious of?
> "This is what I think," Koizumi continued to ramble on, "Someone granted Suzumiya-san omnipotent god-like powers, yet they did not allow her to become aware of it. If there were a God, then Suzumiya-san would be the person chosen by God. But no matter how you look at it, she's just a normal person."
>
> I didn't have to think a lot on whether that girl's a normal person or not. But why did Haruhi have such omnipotent power that she's unaware of? Enough power to turn pigeon feathers white. Why? Who was behind this?
>
> "Well, I also don't know; do you?"^[Chapter 4, Book 2]
### Why Kyon?
> 'What's wrong with that? So you're saying if the movie ends in such an unresolved way, this reality would be permanently distorted and become the new reality? Haruhi must have an ending in mind, and it must be an ending that is in line with reality. This is a problem that we must consider, as Haruhi would never consider such stuff, and even if she does, it would only end in disaster. So it's still better for us to do the thinking. But why must we think of such stuff? Isn't there someone else that can carry this cursed burden for us?
>
> "If he even exists, then yes."
>
> Koizumi shrugged his shoulders, "I believe he would have appeared before us long ago if he existed. So we must find a solution as soon as possible, especially you. I look forward to seeing you work harder."'^[Chapter 5, Book 2]
If Haruhi is not the god, then who is he?
I believe the god is really Kyon. We are expected to swallow the thesis that the god of this fictional universe is ignorant of its identity, and wouldn't that describe Kyon as well as Haruhi? What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. All throughout the series, Kyon is as much of an anomaly as Haruhi. We are told this quite directly:
> "The biggest mystery would be you." --Koizumi, to Kyon
Even bigger than Haruhi, eh? As well, Kyon is one of the 2 people who has not "shown me honest proof of their identity".
Kyon *claims* to be an ordinary high school student, and the other characters constantly tell Kyon how normal he is - but he's much like Haruhi. In the introduction, he tells us that he was once obsessed with the same subjects as Haruhi - but he gave them up on entering high school (that is, 3 years ago, while in middle school).[^giving-up] He *claims* to dislike the adventures and be stressed out, and this is the public image put forth in things like his [image songs](!Wikipedia "Image song")[^image], but actions speak far louder than words; Kyon has never had to be seriously forced into club activities. His reluctance is only feigned.
[^giving-up]: Kyon; Prologue, Book 1:
> "I couldn't help but get depressed at how normal the laws of physics were. I began to stop watching for UFOs and paying attention to paranormal TV shows because I finally convinced myself it was impossible. I even reached a point where I only had a sense of nostalgia for those things.
>
> After junior high, I completely grew out of that fantasy world and became utterly grounded in reality."
[^image]: Consider ["Hare Hare Yukai Kyon"](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7bQG6LcMDY), the cynical Kyon version of "[Hare Hare Yukai](!Wikipedia)", with lyrics like
"This warped, looping collection of people
Before I know it, we're all involved, and her delusions run rampant (Someone, stop her!)
...Just set me free from this-kind-of-thing
Chase after them (By yourself!) Try catching them (By yourself!!)
Because I have no dreams & dreams (Just do what you want)
...Don't hold my hand in yours
If you're going to face anything, face it alone!"
Many of the things that seem to apply to Haruhi only, with a small shift of perspective, apply to Kyon. Consider Kyon's criticism of Haruhi-_kami_:
> "If that's true, then why hasn't Haruhi discovered that [existence of ESPers etc.] yet? In contrast, it's just you and me who know everything. Isn't that a little strange?"
>
> "You find it inconsistent? It really isn't; the real inconsistency is within Suzumiya-san's heart."
>
> Can't you say something that I can understand, please!?
>
> "In other words, she does hope for the existence of aliens, time travelers, and ESPers. Her common sense, however, is telling her that these things don't exist, and this creates cognitive dissonance. Though she may be eccentric in her actions and speech, her thinking is still no different from the ordinary person..."^[Chapter 6, Book 1]
We already know that Kyon hoped/hopes for the existence, and that he has given in to his common sense. And Kyon has already joined the SOS-dan and survived Ryouko Asakura's reality-warping assassination attempt, both eccentric actions. Notice that the criticism doesn't apply to Kyon-_kami_ - he knows perfectly well of those entities' existence!
#### _Cui bono?_
> "No, wait, I probably did realize, I just didn't want to admit it. Deep inside my heart, I still wanted those aliens, time-travelers, ghosts, monsters, ESPers and evil organizations to suddenly appear. Compared to this boring, normal life of mine, the world of those flashy shows was much more exciting; I wanted to live in that world, too!" --Kyon^[Prologue, Book 1]
Many of the otherwise peculiar events become explicable when considered from a Kyon-_[kami](!Wikipedia)_ perspective.
The curious 3 year gap? Kyon had vowed that high school would be different. TODO: find vow quote.
Nagato's observation that nothing unusual had happened during those 3 years, until high school started (and Kyon was around)? Explained, if Haruhi has no powers.
The desert island incident? Kyon didn't want there to be any *real* murders, but he was still very interested. Witness his constant conversation and thinking on the topic. He is also the one who solves the mystery, and suspected the answer from the start. Is this combination of knowing the answer, being involved, and having fun really consistent with the Haruhi-_kami_ hypothesis? The shadow at the end, one says? A gift from Kyon to a disappointed Haruhi; we never hear of anything happening on that island thereafter (an [argument from silence](!Wikipedia) which is more consistent with Kyon-_kami_ than Haruhi-_kami_).
In the universe of _Haruhi_, the answer for the [theodicy](!Wikipedia) is that God is very human and is imperfect. Further, it is capable of the usual range of emotions: every character plausibly suggested to be God can apparently evince pleasure, anger, shame, etc. Thus, it is at least possible that this god might create a creature to do what he'd be too embarrassed to do. In this light, we must ask '[cui bono](!Wikipedia)?' when it comes to Haruhi's treatment of Mikuru Asahina's body and Haruhi's own exhibitionism[^bunny]
[^bunny]: The bunny suits have been mentioned already. More pointed is one custom of Haruhi (Chapter 1, Book 1):
> "Clue #2: For PE, classes 1-5 and 1-6 would combine and take it together, with the boys and girls separated. When we changed clothes, the girls would go to the 1-5 classroom, and the boys would go to the 1-6 classroom; meaning at the end of the previous period, the guys from our class (1-5) would move to the other room to change.
>
> Unfortunately, Haruhi totally ignored the guys in our class and removed her sailor uniform before they had left.
>
> It was as if, to her, the guys were pumpkins or potato sacks, and she couldn't care less. Without any expression, she would throw her uniform onto the desk and start to get into her sweatshirt...But, seriously, Haruhi has a really great figure... argh, this isn't the time to say that kind of thing."
I contend that Haruhi does not - as she derives no gratification from it, not being a lesbian, nor does she really care about Mikuru apart from her utility^["I leaned on the corridor wall and waited for them to change. Seems like Haruhi wasn't really a born exhibitionist, just that she had no idea what effect the sight of her being half naked would have on guys. The reason she dressed herself up in a bunny costume wasn't really to show off her sexy body, but rather to attract people's attention." Chapter 2, Book 1] to the SOS Brigade (she's a lackey, a rival, or a plaything) - but there is another major character who is both greatly pleased by Haruhi's actions and shamed by his pleasure^[Kyon repeatedly enjoys Haruhi's molestations, right from the start. Consider the very first meeting with Mikuru in Chapter 2 of Book 1: "Asahina-san screamed instantly. But Haruhi was unmoved, clutching her breasts through her sailor uniform. \ "Aaaaa!" \ "She's so small, yet her breasts are larger than mine! A cute face plus large breasts is also an important factor in turning people on!" \ Oh my god, I'm about to faint.']. Haruhi's body is another issue; Kyon is quite physically attracted to her ^["I still remember how gleaming her white neck was — standing there was an astounding beauty.\"Haruhi, with her provocative eyes, scanned the class slowly, stopped to glare at me (I had my mouth wide open), and then sat down without so much as a smile." Chapter 1, Book 1], yet Haruhi herself cares little for physical beauty and uses her athleticism without a thought.
We can tie this line of thought to larger concerns: is it not true that fans enjoy anime in part because things happen in the anime that would never happen in real life (eg: [harem anime](!Wikipedia)s), or that we would ever actually do (eg: martial arts, action, and sports anime)?
For an anime, those who are gratified are the fans and creators, who stand to the anime in respect of god. The analogy for _Haruhi_ is clear.
More prosaic examples of the true beneficiary of events might include Haruhi obtaining a computer; who winds up using it and creating the SOS Brigade website? Kyon.
Or, consider one of the examples in the [Losses](#Losses) section: Haruhi wanted to be with Kyon, but on the other hand, Kyon likes Mikuru (whom he went with the first time), and had good reason to want to be alone with Nagato, who had only recently revealed her true nature to him. Under the Kyon-_kami_ interpretation, Haruhi losing the draw is expected.
##### "Endless Eight"
"Endless Eight" puts the SOS-dan in a time loop where they repeat the end of summer vacation, endlessly going through a list of stereotypical^[Perhaps more stereotypical in anime than Japanese culture in general. The anime adaptation re-animates the same episode many times, in a bizarre waste of resources; the best defense (although surely not what was intended) was that the episodes represented a ["scathing critique of otakudom"](http://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/9skki/what_superpopular_anime_titles_have_you_come/c0elcgj).] activities like the pool or a festival with fireworks. Itsuki suggests that Haruhi keeps resetting the world (and herself) because they omitted some activity and left Haruhi unsatisfied. Eventually, Kyon realizes that the missing ingredient is a group session to do homework, and time moves on.
Naturally, one assumes it's Haruhi's homework that was left undone. Japanese schools assign a lot of summer homework (unlike American schools) and it's natural to regret and fear the first day of school. Perfectly reasonable for her to reset the universe, and then procrastinate her homework in favor of having fun.
But no! Haruhi's homework is done! (The anime even shows her spending the group session playing videogames with Kyon's sister.) The person whose homework is undone is... *Kyon*.
Once again, we see the question of _cui bono_. Who benefits from the group session? Why would Haruhi regret the SOS-dan not doing homework together, of all things? To suggest that she regrets it *so* much as to reset the world is... a bit strained, I think, especially considering that if she had ever thought of it, she would have put it on the list and they would have done it (Haruhi had even allotted a spare day for such a last-minute thought). Another explanation, that Haruhi wanted *someone* to take initiative and suggest something, anything, to do is also a little odd; in >15,000 iterations no one ever suggested a single activity? I could understand Kyon not suggesting - of all things - a homework session for that many iterations, but it beggars belief that not a single SOS-dan member would suggest a single activity for 15,000 iterations. Itsuki's explanation - that Haruhi regrets the inconvenience the others will experience with undone homework - is so contradictory to what any person would expect of Haruhi (that monster of egotism) I am tempted to take it as sarcasm.
But for Kyon? No, I could understand him resorting to a reset. When has Kyon ever worked hard?
There is also an issue here of why Haruhi seems to suffer from no déjà vu whatsoever, while Kyon suffers the most - in other words, why the reset works perfectly on *Haruhi* and the world, not so well on Mikuru and Itsuki, even less on Kyon, and not at all on Yuki. This sort of consideration of 'who has power over whom?' leads directly into the next section.
#### _Cui regio?_
Perhaps you dislike pointing to Haruhi losing in small incidents. Perhaps Kyon loses, and often enough that his losses are as difficult to explain on the Kyon-_kami_ theory as on the Haruhi-_kami_ theory.
Perhaps. So we might want an alternate tack - situations in which Haruhi is treated in a way that ought to be impossible for a god. One major example come to mind that is difficult to explain away with Haruhi-_kami_.
##### _The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya_
While fairly complex due to its time travel, the plot of the 4th book can be boiled down to basically: Yuki falls in love with Kyon, and seeing his claimed distress at the SOS-dan's paranormal adventures, rewrites the world to render normal all aliens, time travelers, or ESPers, leaving intact only Kyon himself. Her power to do so, it is claimed, is stolen from Haruhi. Haruhi is rendered as powerless and normal as anyone else; she is restored to her usual self when Kyon rejects the mundanified world in favor of the old one.
There are multiple points of interest in _Disappearance_.
Firstly, Kyon's rejection of the truly normal world gives the lie to all his previous claims. We can no longer argue in good faith that Kyon dislikes paranormal phenomenon and his dislike is disproof of Kyon-_kami_.
In book 1, Kyon rejecting Haruhi's new world could be explained away as him fearing or disliking whatever extreme novelties Haruhi no doubt populated the new world with.
But this rejection cannot be so easily escaped: it's made 100% clear that Yuki's world is completely mundane, safer in that regard, and circumstances even conspire to bring the SOS-dan together - so Kyon sacrifices nothing whatsoever. The *only* reason to reject Yuki's world is if he truly does want paranormal events. This choice renders Kyon even more consistent with Kyon-_kami_.
The second major issue is: how is _Disappearance_ even possible? It's glossed over, but it's clear that Yuki has changed the entire universe, and is not merely masking things, nor is Haruhi a fake or deluded version, but a genuinely powerless high school girl. As Yuki says:
> "Therefore, the altered Suzumiya Haruhi does not possess the power to create data. In that dimension, the Integrated Data Sentient Entity is non-existent as well."
And the origin of the power?
> "Using the powers stolen from Suzumiya Haruhi, the temporal converter was able to alter data concerning past memories in the range of 365 days."
Riddle me this: how can an omnipotent god lose its powers? How can it be altered by its own powers? (Remember, Yuki never lies about important things to Kyon, and if you assume her power comes from her creators, that raises even more issues.) How can the power be restored to it?
How does _Disappearance_ make sense if Haruhi is the creator of the universe, its sustainer, and omnipotent? How does it make sense if she is only a unique data-generating organism more powerful than the IDE? How does it make sense if she is the master of dimensions and time, who can permit or forbid time-travel?
On the other hand, it's not so strange if the power is merely a gift, a loan, or stolen itself. What has been stolen once can be stolen twice. Haruhi wielded the power for a time, unconscious; little surprise if it could be stolen from its sleeping owner, and even less surprise if its new owner, Yuki, wields it far more dramatically.
##### The Club
> "That's how we first encountered each other. I solemnly swear ― I really want to believe it was just a coincidence." --Kyon^[Chapter 1, Book 1]
One thing would suggest the universe is designed for Haruhi and not Kyon. The club would seem to be the best example - doesn't it just impose on Kyon? (Let's leave aside the mystery for Haruhi-_kami_ proponents of how Kyon, who Haruhi apparently didn't love at that point, got into the club in the first place.)
It is true that Haruhi enjoys the club, but ultimately she is not the instigator and main beneficiary of events. As Koizumi points out, Kyon suggested the club, and Kyon is in love with Haruhi from the start. From the moment she stands up, he is rapt and fascinated by her. They are even seated together (despite the seats randomly changing every month^["It seems that someone decided everyone in class needed to change their seats monthly. Therefore, the class monitor, Asakura, wrote all the seat numbers onto little pieces of paper, placed them in a cookie tin, and let each of us draw from it. In the end, I got the seat in the second to last row next to the window that overlooks the courtyard. Guess who took the last seat right behind me? That's right. It was the ever-scowling Haruhi!" Book 1, Chapter 1]). If the real story is just Haruhi-_kami_, then that's some coincidence. But it makes perfect sense if we postulate Kyon-_kami_.
#### Misc. points
> "I'm normal -- right?" --Kyon^[Chapter 1, Book 1]
- Kyon is the narrator, as befits the tutelary deity of the anime. He also just goes by 'Kyon'. No last name, he's always just 'Kyon'. (Gives off a sort of Jesus vibe.)
- Kyon is also remarkably stable and consistent throughout all the events. Not only is he remarkably sanguine - far more calm than his more esoteric clubmates - he is also affected less by various dimensional and time-travel and alternate universe changes.[^rpg]
- From day one, it is Kyon who approaches Haruhi and not the other way around. In the final episode, Haruhi comes to realize she is happy with the world as it is and with her friends and Kyon. This averts the imminent Armageddon, but is it that God was pleased and changed her mind, or that God was glad that Haruhi had found a world she could be happy in, and so he refrained from changing things?
- Another way to put it is like this: if everyone and everything that is happening happens at Haruhi's wish, then how did she come to wish for Kyon when she doesn't even begin to switch from _tsun_ to _dere_ entire episodes in? Shouldn't Kyon's repeated declarations that he is utterly ordinary and hopes for a life of utter ordinariness make us suspicious? Shouldn't it bother us that Kyon obviously hopes deep down for and admits as much (episode 2)? Shouldn't it bother us that the 'melancholy' of the title could as easily be Kyon's?
- The later novels apparently focus more on the other characters, and less on Haruhi. A little strange...
- For that matter, isn't it remarkable how Kyon can order around the other club members and even Haruhi to some extent? One might not expect timid Mikuru to exert any authority over Kyon, but you would think Itsuki or Yuki would at some point brusquely order Kyon around. (Why not? He's just an ordinary with no powers...)
- Misc. notes on episode 14: Kyon precedes Haruhi to the dream world, and obviously knows a lot more about it than she. When the two are arguing, Haruhi doesn't say that she herself was bored and fed up with the old world, but claims that Kyon was, and Kyon's own narration supports this:
> 'That's right, that day we conducted our SOS Brigade activities peacefully. Nothing associated with aliens from a different dimension, time travelers from the future, blue giants, or red glowing spheres happened at that time. No one wanted to do anything special, nor did anyone know what they should have been doing. We just allowed ourselves to ride on the flow of time, living our high school life idly. Everything seemed perfectly normal.\
> Even though I was dissatisfied with such a normal life, I'd always tell myself, "Why think so much? You've got so much time." And then I would once again look forward to the next day.'^[Chapter 7, Book 1]
- There's an interesting quote early on:
> 'Taniguchi sarcastically put on an awed expression. Then Kunikida popped up from behind Taniguchi.\
> "Kyon's always gone out with strange girls."\
> Hey, don't say things that'll create a misunderstanding.\
> "It doesn't matter if Kyon likes strange girls. What I can't understand is, why Suzumiya would talk to you? I don't get it at all."'^[Book 1, Chapter 1]
- Haruhi appears disappointed that the 'mysterious transfer student' is male, and not female. Kyon, though, is pleased.
[^rpg]: An example of how Kyon seems to know what's real better than the other characters, from [Haruhi Theater, Act 1](http://webcitation.org/5hQmHtdAW); Kyon also falls into his role to a lesser extent than the others (indeed, he acts like a warrior not at all):
> 'OK, then let’s think about the current problems before defeating the demon king. “Where are we?” I asked. “What is this RPG-like world? Why are we here? Who got us here?”
>
> Koizumi smiled, showing his dazzling teeth.
>
> “To be honest I am not sure as well. Before I realized it I was already in the King’s Chamber. I’m assuming that you felt something similar. My memory of that time is very hazy. What do you remember?”
>
> I can’t remember. That’s why I feel uncomfortable. What were we doing before we showed up before the king?'
### Explaining Haruhi
> "If there's really that many people in the world, then there had to be someone who wasn't ordinary. There had to be someone who was living an interesting life. There just _had_ to be. Why wasn't I that person?" --Haruhi, episode 5
This might seem to leave Haruhi unexplained - just some random girl who acted weirdly, and whom Kyon happened to make his stalking horse. But looked at with the right eye, Kyon admits as much:
> "In a way, doesn't that make me an insider to this mysterious event? Just as I said in the beginning, I had wanted to be a bystander that got sucked into these events, content with being a mere sidekick. But as things stood, I was already the protagonist! That's right, I had really wished I was a character in a story involving aliens, but when I'd really become one, it put everything into perspective. To be honest, I'm quite troubled by it."^[[Chapter 5](http://webcitation.org/5hPv7gh1N)]
He only wanted to be a bystander, or a sidekick. But as presented, Haruhi is the protagonist. Hmm...
### Why not Kyon?
> "Just what the hell have I been doing all along?" --Kyon^[Book 1, Chapter 6]
We must of course consider evidence militating against Kyon being God.
#### The God's God
One particularly important bit of evidence is [an interview](http://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/index.php?title=Interview_with_Tanigawa_Nagaru) with the novel author. I've always respected the ability of readers to get more value, or entertainment, or moral reflection out of a work than the author had put in it - but I still feel the author is the final word on what happened in a book. So let's see what Nagaru has to say:
> "I had wanted to write novels for many years, rather than to be an author. I think it's because some 'I wanna write novels by myself' neural networks were gradually established in my brain while I read various kinds of novels in my childhood. I still don't know if I'm a writer or whatever."
That's a positive point. A literary man is naturally sympathetic to such a plot inversion as I suggest here.
> "_Q:_ When and how was the typical incompliant character, Suzumiya Haruhi, born?\
> _Nagaru:_ I can't remember at all. She already existed in my mind by the time I noticed her there. In a sleepless night at the beginning of the 21st century, the idea seemed to have come down from heaven into my head at the moment I rolled over in bed."
Oh dear. The author speaks of Haruhi in divine terms. This suggests he buys into Haruhi-_kami_.
> "_Q:_ Haruhi hates boredom most of all and seeks 'extraordinariness' in school life. And the one who is always at her beck and call is the narrator of this story, Kyon. He is an ordinary boy with no outstanding features, whose name is not even revealed. What do you think about him?\
> _Nagaru:_ Though I could give him a decent name, I thought it feels stupid and funny that he is called by that queer nickname from beginning to end. As for his featurelessness, I originally planned he would be an ESPer, but while writing the Prologue, I had subconsciously turned him into a common person. And you said he is an ordinary boy, but I think, in a sense, he is not an ordinary boy, such as his way of thinking."
Even worse; one of the central arguments for Kyon-_kami_ is his lack of apparent powers - but here he apparently *had* those powers and lost them through mere authorial oversight at the last minute! And other curious aspects, like his name, are waved away as further evidence of his anonymity and mundanity. His only unique feature is his philosophical way of thinking.
This is not a smoking gun against Kyon-_kami_ since the grand inversion or subversion could have occurred to Nagaru only after most of the elements were in place, and series can sometimes change dramatically while being written (if Nagaru had even planned out more than the initial setting or the first novel); for example, over the 10 novels there is a major shift in emphasis from Haruhi to Yuki Nagato, although someone reading the first novel would be very hard pressed to guess that Yuki would become such a focus as opposed to another female like Mikuru.
### A pox on both your houses
And let's not forget the aspects that don't seem to work for either Kyon-_kami_ or Haruhi-_kami_. Consider the making the festival film in book 2; Haruhi remarks that she wanted a local Shinto shrine stuffed with white birds instead of ugly ordinary one. Kyon is taken there the day after, and sure enough, all the birds are vividly white. Or in book 2, Haruhi's screenplay demand that Mikuru have destructive eyebeams (lasers, mini-black holes, etc.), which nearly kill Kyon several times. Neither case seems quite right; why would Kyon make the birds white the day *after*, when Haruhi will never see or know of them? Why would Kyon endue Mikuru with entirely unnecessarily destructive powers which nearly kill him, and damage Yuki whom he likes? For that matter, why would Haruhi turn the birds white only long after she needs them white for her movie; ditto for the eyebeams.
# Just another love story
> "Sometimes I get the feeling that we're all just a bunch of clowns standing on our tiptoes at the edge of a great abyss." --Itsuki, episode 5
Are you ready to go all the way down the Wolfe den? Here's the *real* story:
There once was a lonely god who lived as a human. He lived his life and eventually even he thought he was just a human in an ordinary world - because even the most extraordinary world becomes ordinary after long enough. He fell in love with an unusual girl. Still ignorant, he sought to create a world she could be happy in and where he could go on adventures and they could do all sorts of fun things together and perhaps even fall in love. The end.
Ludicrous? Consider the scenario we are asked to accept at face value: Haruhi unknowingly creates the world and all the paranormal factions, but nothing happens for 3 years, and she just so happens to run into Kyon at high school and form a club with him; and Kyon comes to be crucial and confided in by them, because simultaneously Haruhi seems to becoming fond of him.
Isn't that scenario actually *more* complex than a scenario in which Kyon-_kami_ creates a world to live in with Haruhi, and tries to let her happy by forming the SOS Brigade and creating the members necessary to carry out its functions and put her at the center of things? Kyon-_kami_ would want to know and participate in events. He couldn't enjoy the club as he did if he were in the ignorant Haruhi's position.
One asks why Kyon doesn't just give Haruhi her heart's desire; but if Haruhi knew that aliens and time travelers and ESPers weren't any more interesting than her clubmates, that would only destroy her happiness and return her melancholy. The ending of the first novel takes on additional poignancy:
> "I didn't know whether her frown had to do with today's low attendance rate, or the fact that I arrived earlier than her. I'll just have to ask her when we get to the cafe...\
> By then, I'll have many things I want to talk to her about, like where the SOS Brigade is going from now on, Asahina-san's costumes, trying to have her talk to other classmates for once, and asking her what she thinks of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis.\
> However, I need a good topic before I can start a conversation with her.
> Ah, I've already decided what to say. That's right, I've decided......\
> ......To talk about aliens, time travelers, and ESPers first, of course."
I feel this is a lovely story; it touches me. It may not be true. The story of _Haruhi_ may be just as it seems. But if it isn't true - it ought to be[^Borges].
[^Borges]: In this I follow the path of my master Jorge Luis Borges, in his review of Richard Hull's detective novel _Excellent Intentions_:
> "Here was my plan: to plot a detective novel of the current sort, with an indecipherable murder in the first pages, a long discussion in the middle, and a solution at the end. Then, almost in the last line, to add an ambiguous phrase - for example: 'and everyone thought the meeting of the man and the woman had been by chance' - that would indicate, or raise the suspicion, that the solution was false. The perplexed reader would go through the pertinent chapters again, and devise his own solution, the correct one. The reader of this imaginary book would be sharper than the detective...
>
> [Hull's] solution, however, is so unsurprising that I cannot free myself from the suspicion that this quite real book, published in London, is the one I imagined in Balvanera, three or four years ago. In which case, _Excellent Intentions_ hides a secret plot. Ah me, or ah Richard Hull! I can't find that secret plot anywhere."
To put it another way, supposing the Kyon-_kami_ hypothesis were true, the premise of the story (the strange life of an unwitting god) would still be correct. But then it wouldn't just be some of the characters who are unwitting, it would be *all* - even the audience wouldn't be in on the trick.
What a joke!
# External links
- I use the [Baka-Tsuki](http://www.baka-tsuki.org/) fan translations of the first 9 novels:
1. _[The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya](http://webcitation.org/5hPv7gh1N)_
2. _[The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya](http://webcitation.org/5hPv71Nrr)_
3. _[The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya](http://webcitation.org/5hPv74VrI)_
4. _[The Vanishment of Haruhi Suzumiya](http://webcitation.org/5hPv77vGj)_
5. _[The Rashness of Haruhi Suzumiya](http://webcitation.org/5hPv7BN3G)_
6. _[The Disturbance of Haruhi Suzumiya](http://webcitation.org/5hPv7El24)_
7. _[The Scheme of Haruhi Suzumiya](http://webcitation.org/5hPv7IT65)_
8. _[The Anger of Haruhi Suzumiya](http://webcitation.org/5hPv7LpU8)_
9. _[The Dissociation of Haruhi Suzumiya](http://webcitation.org/5hPxdARM8)_
- Novels 10 & 11 (_The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya_ Part 1 and Part 2) were translated by a collective and hosted [on the anime blog Polychromium](https://polychromium.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/the-surprise-of-haruhi-suzumiya-english-translation/)
- ['Wild Mass Guess Entry: It isn't really Haruhi who is unconsciously a god, but Kyon.'](http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WMG/HaruhiSuzumiya): I've searched and asked around, and apparently the Kyon-_kami_ theory is a relatively common one in the _Haruhi_ fandom; however, I've found no definitive essay or discussion of the topic. The longest discussion seems to be a subsection of the [TV Tropes](!Wikipedia) wiki, which includes a number of points from the later novels I have not analyzed yet
<!--
"There are some among us who actually hold the extremist view that Nagato-san and Asahina-san are just pitiful delusional girls who think they're an alien or a time-traveler, and that there are no such things as aliens or time-travelers,"
Boy, they sure are stubborn even at this stage. These guys should come attached with a warranty for stubbornness.
"Well, they could argue that Nagato-san's magical-like abilities and Asahina-san's ability to travel through time are all triggered by Suzumiya-san, causing them to believe they're an alien or a time-traveler......what do you think about that?"
If they can say even that, then what couldn't they deny?
"Maybe the one with omnipotent powers isn't Suzumiya-san after all, but rather someone else?"
Koizumi's probably trying to add some sarcasm to his smile, yet all I saw was his usual grin. "The eye of the storm is very calm, yet it is surrounded by calamity. Maybe there are some that decide to watch from the sidelines and see how all this unfolds. You sure have been kept busy as well, would a scriptwriter play such a tiring character himself?"
- volume_7-_the_intrigues_of_suzumiya_haruhi
"So this is how Kyon's name came about. So how do you write it out? Ah. Don't tell me first. Let
me try and predict it."
The enthusiastic Sasaki thought for a while, before laughing out loud.
"Is this how it is written?"
After saying that, she picked up her mechanical pencil and started writing on the notebook. After seeing what she wrote, I let out a gasp of surprise. Sasaki wrote my name pretty accurately.
"Can you tell me the reason why you have such a royal and imposing name?"
And so I told her the reason, which my father told me when I asked him when I was still young, verbatim.
- suzumiya_haruhi_volume_9-_the_dissociation_of_suzumiya_haruhi.pdf
> Sorry, Asakura. No need for you to come back from Canada or wherever it is you're meant to have gone. Nagato's all I need. Nagato, Haruhi, and Asahina-san. Those three are enough to fill me so full of happiness that I think I might just burst.
> So be it. I'll do whatever you like. As long as Nagato recovers, I'll make whatever food you like. In fact, if there's ever a chance for her to get better, then this is it. The kind of super-nutritional recovery food that Haruhi's likely to make could just be enough to send even an extraterrestrial organism screaming out the door. And the more disgusting, the better. But while I may have been driven almost to tears of joy by Haruhi's cooking in the past, I can't think of one occasion where I've found it unpleasant. I can say that with certainty. Sorry, oh Mother who raised and adored me, but Haruhi's cooking is better than the meals you make
> "You see? This is my personal special vegetable soup. It's got every vitamin from A to Z, perfect for stamina-building! One sip of this stuff should send all your fatigues and aches right off to Saturn's rings!"..."This is made just for Yuki."..."You see?" With a look of extraordinary satisfaction on her face, Haruhi watched over Nagato as she ate her meal...Looking up at my wild expression, Haruhi was taken aback for a moment. But then, "Stop that, Kyon! Keep it down, all right? Yuki just fell asleep." She stared at me with a scowl. "She lay back down as soon as she'd finished her meal and went straight off to sleep."...."Right, I've decided. Until Yuki gets better, I'm coming here every day to make her dinner. I don't care what anybody else says. Even if Yuki herself tells me not to, I'm still coming." It was an unnecessarily loud pronouncement, considering Haruhi was only talking to herself, but she sought approval from no one. You really are the most self-centered girl in the galaxy. And I hope you never change...."The SOS Brigade won't be meeting for a while, all right?" Looking back up at the apartment we had just left, there was irritation in Haruhi's eyes under the fading twilight. "Until Yuki comes back to school, nobody needs to go to the clubroom. We’ll come here instead. To Yuki's. Mikuru-chan, I'll be needing your help again tomorrow."
^ bizarre! When did Haruhi *ever* care this much about anyone but Kyon?
> Kuyou's brilliantly-colored lips parted. "I wanted to know about humans...No..." Though she stood at a distance, her voice came as if from right beside my ear. "No, that was not...what I wanted to know about..."
> She cocked her head to one side. The incredibly human gesture caught me off guard. "What I wanted to know about...was you..."
> What?
> "Will you join me......?"
^ nothing about Haruhi? some god!
> "Now then, Kuyou-san." Ever-cheerful, Asakura continued. "Shall we have a nice little conversation? Or would you rather fight? I don't mind. I'd rather like to see what you people can do. That's part of my job, as well."
> Kuyou stood motionless and expressionless as always, but...
> "...Release that human. Threat level extreme......Your intent to kill is genuine......" Slowly and carefully Kuyou blinked, and when her black eyes reopened they held a light that I had never seen there before. "It is not you. I have no interest in you. You are not important."
..."Move away from that human." Though she still spoke with an unnaturally unconcerned tone
considering the knife that even now stood grasped directly in front of her face...
"You are not worthy of consideration......"
...Was this the second time today that Asakura had literally saved my life? Seriously? Is there not
something wrong with this picture?
"Kuyou-san." There was an air of teasing in Asakura's voice. "What is it that you want with this
human? Do you want to kill him? Or do you want him to live?"
Kuyou's eyes regarded me as one might regard a sandbag. Her eyes were like blades themselves
as their gaze bored into me, but then they shifted to an area beside my head. That’s where, I presume,
Asakura's face is.
"......Meaning of query unclear. Define 'human'. Define 'kill'. Define 'live'." She went on, in a voice
that seemed to come from some kind of speaker somewhere rather than any actual vocal cords.
^ so Nagato is important for communications, and Kyon is important for unknown reasons, but Asakura and Haruhi aren't! Also, why is Kuyou confused by Asakura's question? She seemed to know what human was before.
> "It would seem that she was not created for the primary purpose of communicating with human
beings. In fact, I would speculate that she was most likely constructed as an interpretation platform for
communication with our own kind. Most likely even her interest in Haruhi Suzumiya-san was derived
from observation and anticipation of the movements of the Integrated Data Thought Entity."
^ if Kuyou is interested in a third party, wouldn't Kyon be just as suitable a target...
Can't you or Asakura do it instead?"
"It was Nagato-san with whom they first established contact. She is the interface with the closest proximity to Suzumiya-san. I would consider their choice to be extremely logical." Her calm, composed responses were making my head really start to hurt.
^ Nagato is even closer to Kyon
t must have been a proper miracle that
someone like Nagato was sent here and happened to be the first one of you people I met. Hell, if Asakura
and Nagato's positions had been reversed, or if it had been Kimidori-san there in the Literature Club, I
would never have made it this far. It was all thanks to Nagato. That damn word "interface" can go get lost
somewhere around the orbit of Neptune. I'm starting to feel like it wasn't just "an alien" that Haruhi
wanted in the SOS Brigade. Instead it was Yuki Nagato herself. Dominant faction, radical faction, I don't
care which, either damn one of you try showing yourselves to Haruhi. And then let her weigh you up
against Nagato. I'm sure Haruhi would have the sense to pick Nagato every time.
^ would she? would she really? Seems to me that Kyon is the one who cares that much...
"This is the Earth. It isn't some playground for aliens, all right?"
My words disappeared into a gust of the spring breeze, and Kimidori-san had already walked out
of sight. And yet...
"Such a very......entertaining joke."
chapter 4
“The once frequent Closed Space occurrences have recently become sparse, which makes me
much more at ease. Perhaps Suzumiya-san has been overly troubled by the recruitment of freshmen and,
for a short while at least, has unwittingly forgotten about the pressures facing her.”
I sighed and shook my head. Haruhi, you really are a simpleton.
“It's a bit too abstract, isn't it?” I turned my back towards Koizumi's probing smile. “What are we comparing? Each one is different. As long as you add the qualifier 'the most useful type', then the question becomes fairly easy to answer.”
“Huh? Be sure to explain your logic to me.”
You have to look at the problem closely here. Trying to answer it in one go won't work. Broadly speaking, it's got to be Nagato's type. But we don't have any idea of what Nagato and the rest of the aliens are thinking. Time-travelers from the future who can effortlessly shuttle back and forth between time periods are easily worth all the gold in the world. Unlike Koizumi's limits, they have precognition about locations and times so it's very convenient for them to realize the essence of a matter in a split second. Let's just say they all have their weaknesses. I'm only certain that I don't prefer sliders, since I have a feeling they don't possess any advantages.
That same argument can be used last year as well. If time went back to a year ago and I again had
to listen to Haruhi's self-introduction, made all the more shocking by the fact that she never uttered a
word that didn’t shock people, along with the fact that I consider my silly caprice to have been due to my
youth and energy, I think the likelihood of my striking a conversation with Haruhi again would only be
50%. I would even go as far as say that my playing a supporting role in her brigade was the result of an
accident. It seemed I could have just as easily spent my days with Haruhi Suzumiya leisurely in class 1-5
without having much to do with sidekicks like Taniguchi, and I wouldn't have been dragged by my collar
to the Literature Club room. I wouldn't have met Nagato, wouldn't have seen Nagato without her glasses,
wouldn't have seen Asahina-san's safe return from her kidnappers, Koizumi wouldn't have transferred to
our school, and no one would have taken part in the Remote Island Mystery or made that foolish film.
We would have spent our time leisurely, getting carried along by the stream. Indifferent, without any ups
and downs, seeking tranquility and inaction, I would have become a normal high school 2nd year student.
...Now please don't ask which scenario I would prefer. I don't really have the time to hesitate when
the answer is obvious.
Sasaki and I have spent enough time together to have
complete faith in each other, so I believe this type of slander wouldn't move her at all. Our relationship
was completely platonic and I didn't pay any attention to the biological differences that existed between
us. Sasaki regarded me this way too and it will remain like this forever.
...It was only now that I truly realized Sasaki really was a close friend. Even if we met ten years from
now, Sasaki would still call “Hey, Kyon” and start chatting.
...Even if Kyoko Tachibana, Fujiwara, and Kuyou began an all-out war against Koizumi, Asahina-san,
and Nagato, Sasaki still wouldn't be my enemy. She was my old friend and middle school classmate,
nothing more.
“The freshmen who have sharp observational skills towards mysterious occurrences may not
necessarily want to join the SOS Brigade. This might be what Suzumiya-san is thinking. If you don't have
the courage to show up, then don't show up at all. It would save us the hassle. That type of thing.
However, it seems that she hasn't put much effort into recruiting new students with her attention being
diverted elsewhere.”
Nagato was already like this. Haruhi was even so earnest as to call on her early in the morning to
make breakfast. Looks like she really didn't have freshmen on her mind.
"...In comparison, Nagato-san, regardless of the past, present and future, will always be a key SOS
Brigade member. One couldn't even begin to compare their relative importance in Haruhi's mind.”
I already knew these things millennia ago. The revelation that Haruhi has a special spot for
Nagato in her heart was already revealed on the winter vacation trip to the ski resort.
Summoning a memory from ages ago, I recalled the bizarre western-style house in the middle of
a snowstorm. At that time, no one was more concerned for Nagato than Haruhi. Don't kid me saying that
was only the brigade leader's sense of responsibility. Haruhi is the type of person who would never see
someone dying and not do something to help, much less when that person was a companion who she
had experienced so much with...
As I woke from my reverie, I once again heard Koizumi speak with the voice of someone who had
never had his feelings hurt before, “Even though I didn't plan on telling you this, let me report to you a
third thing. To put it bluntly, you've been regarding Nagato-san with too much affection. It's been
especially noticeable since the matter during the winter vacation.”
Do you have anything against it? Huh?
“I don't. For Nagato-san, who is clearly someone truly worthy of your trust, to have fallen into
illness, you must be finding it hard to accept, right? However, if you attach too much importance to
Nagato-san, you might not be able to see the whole situation clearly and instead might get an upside-
down picture.”
“I took some notice over the recent appearance and disappearance of the <Celestials>. Though it
can be explained as Suzumiya-san temporarily being too busy to divert her attention, this explanation
could also be a colossal mistake.”
So what do you want to say? The disappearance of the glowing blue giants was actually because
they went somewhere to charge up their power?
“It would be something analogous to that. I suspect the purpose of the Celestials is to conceal the
occurrence of something by diverting our efforts. This has been a hunch that's been bothering me all
along. Maybe it's only unwarranted anxiety on my part, but it's also not impossible.”
So you're saying they're gathering their power right now? How can this be? I for one don't think
those glowing blue giants have that sort of intelligence; it’s not like they're in the training chapter of a
shonen manga.
et me say that I've found a new appreciation for you, Haruhi. You really are a tough cookie,
actually boasting you were going to start a brigade when you had no idea how to organize one and
amazingly enough were able to accomplish that. Of course this also helped Koizumi win a few points in
trying to spread the belief of Haruhi having godlike powers; it's not surprising that he was able to move
me with his words.
Although embracing it was a completely different matter.
72
As far as whether I believe that or not, for someone like me who's never confessed or been
baptized in a church, sometimes I also wanted to cling to some invisible god. Occasionally, I would also
donate some money to a shrine close-by. During the Bon Festival, I would chant some scriptures. Not
knowing which school or sect the monk came from didn't matter; they all demonstrated some form of
belief.
If kowtowing and holding your palms together were all that was necessary to make everything
turn out as one wished, then it couldn't get better than that. As it turned out, no matter how much I did
those things, I still never noticed my sufferings after I joined the brigade even being slightly alleviated.
Nevertheless, I held my belief that going to see Ksitigarbha6 in the mountain wasn't a bad choice. Since
he didn't have a talent for resolving anything particularly important, he wasn't of much use to me. Seeing
the high wall in front of me brought to mind the master from More Worthy than Revenge7 who relied on
his own strength to cut through using a hoe
Furthermore, the powder keg was Nagato's illness. The situation became serious now. Before
Haruhi's outburst, I had to resolve this kind of cosmic question; that was where my duty lay.
Kyoko Tachibana said that the person who truly possessed power was actually Sasaki, not Haruhi.
Fujiwara said that it was fine whoever that person was.
Kuyou Suou said that she wasn't interested in Haruhi or me, but in setting up communication
with the Integrated Data Thought Entity.
It really was pile of muddle.
Superimposing the three views, you get a picture of yours truly. I haven't a clue why I still
consider myself to be a saint above all others. I can only say that I'm living an unusual life for a high
school student. I'm not descended from anyone particularly of note either. If it weren't for that day
Haruhi grabbed my collar and banged my head on her desk, I could have passed off as the upstanding
high school student drawing little attention anywhere I went.
What change caused me to develop this kind of morality? Where should I go and what should I
do? How long should I keep accompanying Haruhi, or should I try to change the current objective of the
brigade?
“Just let him go, Kyon. Sitting down now would be better. Though it's much like you to show a
sense of justice, I can't just sit here peacefully and watch you beat someone up. Of course that doesn't
apply just to you, but to everyone present. I think my temper is pretty good having only gotten angry
once in the past two years. Although to tell you the truth, I get scared even thinking about that time. I still
remember the last time I got angry was about two years ago and I'm still trying to extend that record. So I
beseech everyone present to not let it go down to zero today.”
^ what is Sasaki talking about? Need to figure out what happened 2 years ago in the internal chronology
Nagato was
confined to bed by illness, yet this one was actually outside, totally free and unfettered. Aside from the
four words “I can't accept this”, I couldn't think of anything else.
^ Kyon doesn't always get what he wants
The Sky Canopy Domain is easier to control than the Integrated Data Thought Entity
and accepted our proposal in a straightforward manner. While we're at it, I might tell you another thing.
This was a plan that Kyoko Tachibana agreed to as well. That is to say, all three of us knew of this plan. To
make a long story short, I'll express in words what I'm ordering you to do.”
Fujiwara looked at Kuyou for half a second. From his half-crooked mouth, he spat out the
following:
“Transfer all of Haruhi Suzumiya's powers to Sasaki. Just obediently accept. You don't have any
alternative aside from choosing 'yes'.”
Only Kyoko Tachibana agreed and nodded. Stone-gazed Kuyou stared fixedly at the wafer stuck in
the matcha tea sundae. Sasaki and I sat side-by-side staring at Fujiwara's hateful face.
“Uh huh...”
Sasaki used her index finger to poke her face.
“Fujiwara-kun, that was the idea Kyoko Tachibana-san proposed a few days ago, right? Didn't you
say at the time that you didn't care who possessed the powers? What made you change your mind in this
regard?”
“I still don't care who possesses the powers.”
Fujiwara squinted his eyes and turned away.
“The situation before is the same as the situation now. Only the appraisal of worth for each
person has changed with a new interpretation of the situation, which has led to the path to the final
outcome being changed. Only the path has changed, so even if the final outcome was the same it would
develop differently. 1x1 and 1÷1 both evaluate to 1, but the calculation methods are completely
opposite.”
“But this is only sophistry,” Sasaki spoke with firm determination. “From what I've heard that's
completely wrong, or if you’re aware of that, then you're play-acting. Suzumiya-san's powers are actually
an obstacle for you, right? Uh huh, that's right...Saying you don't care is actually a lie.”
Her slender fingers drifted to her chin and she said while thinking:
“So that way, it's fine even if I don't possess the powers. You don't care either way, but only so
long that Suzumiya doesn't possess the powers. Fujiwara-san, you really want Suzumiya-san to lose her
mystical powers, right? The reason you can't afford to let her continue like this definitely has a reason
somewhere. Even though it was by coincidence that I ended up here...”
With eyes shining and lucid, Sasaki said:
“Although some things can't be the result of mere coincidence. For example, the time in the past
when I was good friends with Kyon. Time-Traveler-san from the Future, can you say how much of this
matter is actually set in stone?”
Fujiwara's expression at this instant looked like a stiff mask, but soon reverted to a cold smile.
“It's as she said.” Fujiwara stole the opportunity to say: “We wish to see changes in the present
situation benefiting all parties present. Only Kyouko Tachibana wants Sasaki...wants you elevated to a
godlike status.”
“That's not true. It's not actually like that. We're only...”
Fujiwara completely ignored Kyouko Tachibana's refutation.
“Kuyou's real self wants to analyze Haruhi Suzumiya. But as long as the Integrated Data Thought
Entity is present, she has no way of doing that. Despite there being two...three layers of defensive
83
mechanisms, we still have a way getting in. Now that what's at stake are the mysterious powers, as long
as you transfer those powers to a third-party, the matter will be settled.”
Who can do that?
“Kuyou can do it.” Fujiwara answered offhand and continued lamentably, “Hey, c'mon, you didn't
forget everything, did you? We can do anything we want to such a person as Haruhi Suzumiya. Weren't
her powers used before by a third-party? Don't tell me you can't remember Haruhi Suzumiya's powers
being taken away causing the whole world to be changed? Clearly, you should be the last person to
forget these events when you were sent there by someone so fascinated with you.”
^ if they can do it to Haruhi like Yuki, WHY ARE THEY ASKING KYON FOR PERMISSION
Sasaki's bright eyes fully faced me and she said with a faint smile, “Kyon, changing the world
doesn't hold much interest to me. If the power isn't very user-friendly, it's very likely that I'll even
accidentally end up changing myself without being aware. Did you know that I am a part of the world and
one of its key elements? If I wanted to change the whole world, I wouldn't have a choice but to end up
changing as well. For example at this time, even if I relied on my will to change the world, the me in the
new world wouldn't be aware that I was the one who changed the world. All recollection would have
disappeared, because I myself changed along with the rest of the world. This is a real dilemma. Despite
possessing amazing powers, one wouldn't know one had used the powers...that is the real dilemma.”
“Even if Haruhi Suzumiya lost her powers and became a normal person, the SOS Brigade wouldn't
disband, right? The existing circumstances won't change for this reason. Koizumi-san will still be the
representative for the Organization, Nagato-san will still be an alien, Asahina-san will still be from the
future, and that's all there is. They won't have any misgivings about Suzumiya-san's actions. Everyone will
behave like before accompanying the brigade leader to play happily together.”
Now that would really be a group that not even fan clubs could aspire to be.
“True, that's just what I want to say. Don't you think that would be pretty good? If you still
wanted to experience supernatural events you have hitherto, we're still available. Kuyou-san is an alien
and Fujiwara-san is from the future. Even though I don't want to tell you I'm an ESPer, I guess I am one
after all. As long as you treated it as being extracurricular activities with Sasaki-san, it definitely wouldn't
be boring.”
Too stunned for words describes my situation right now. She was inviting me to organize the
second SOS Brigade, to cause the Haruhi-led SOS Brigade to lose its essence, and nominating Sasaki as
the new SOS Brigade Leader...What should I do?
^ with no special Haruhi, why would Asahina or Yuki remain? or any of the others?
“The main point is that the use of TPDD is accompanied by the risk of destroying the already
existing time period. The chiseled open holes have to be filled, much like if a dripping roof is left alone,
the house will be ruined too, or they will set off effects that cascade into the future. The main thing time-
travelers to the past must do is repair errors caused by the TPDD. But Mikuru Asahina is an exception.
She's actually responsible for a special mission, but she herself isn't aware what it is. Humph, the entire
matter is of the highest level of secrecy, so she doesn't know anything about it; it must really be toilsome
for her.”
I honestly didn't want to see it happen.
I'll use the following to elucidate my meaning. I don't want Sasaki to have any transcendent and
abnormal powers. It was best for my normal friend to continue being normal. Now since Haruhi was like
that to begin with, she can just keep being herself. In ancient mythology, all the gods were all cosmic
troublemakers even more unreasonable than humans. From this point alone, I think it was always pretty
good that we could even communicate with our god. Shrines also wouldn't just up and switch to a
different god to worship. Huh? Wait a minute, what am I thinking? Just having Koizumi speak in defense
of Haruhi was already enough. Looks like I'm much more muddle-headed than I'd imagined.
What shocked me even more was that Kuyou actually produced some response upon seeing
Taniguchi. The girl clad in a girls' school uniform slowly lifted her left hand, unfolding her palm. From her
sleeve, she revealed a pure white wrist with a fashionable wristwatch on it that had gone previously
unnoticed by me. Not in a million years did I imagine she would be wearing such a cute trinket, much less
a mechanical watch to boot.
“——thank you. I'm not planning to......return it to you.”
...“I heard that was a Christmas present from Taniguchi.” Kunikida's explanation didn't dispel my
astonishment, but instead redoubled it. A watch? Kuyou expressing thanks? Christmas? Who was
connected to what now? Was I dreaming?
...“Do you know her too? I really didn't imagine, Kunikida-san. I trust my surprise is much greater
than yours. Where did you come to know Kuyou-san?”
I wanted to know too.
“Kuyou...Do you mean Suou-san? I met her during winter vacation because of this guy...Huh?
Where did he go?”
Taniguchi? He seemed to have long ago performed something akin to the Woodpecker strategy
in the Battle of Kawanakajima that executed a surprise attack, but ended up failing and the Takeda forces
routed11. The pace he fled at was an impressive sight.
“This Taniguchi, who was just introduced to me, said that you were once his girlfriend. This is true,
right, Suou-san?”
“——yes.” Kuyou answered as if it were just like breathing. “——my memory identifies itself with
your statement ensuring its validity.”
“And it's been about a month since you've broken up?”
“——Guaranteed.”
...Was the girlfriend Taniguchi mentioned last Christmas Kuyou? Then she was the girl he broke up
with before Valentine's Day too? Wait a second.
I was greatly astonished, but had to ask, “According to this, you did something before Naga...No,
before that guy stirred up that thing, she was already...already here!?”
“——right. I didn't find any problems executing this operation.”
Was what I was feeling at the moment a feeling of dissatisfaction or uncertainty?
“...How did you end up spending time with Taniguchi?”
The response was extremely clear-cut. “——because I made a mistake.”
“What?”
“Taniguchi also said that to me. He said that was her reason for breaking up.” Kunikida also asked
in a concise manner, “When did you meet Suou-san, Kyon? Did you know her before high school?”
No, it happened recently.
Sasaki took a sidelong glance at my mouth which often produced clumsy sentences, then said
with a jesting smile, “I met Kuyou-san recently. By a little bit of fate and coincidence, Kyon got a chance
to meet her too.”
“And she's also Taniguchi's ex-girlfriend. It's truly too coincidental. If you converted it to a
percentage, what would it be...?”
...“You already arrived on Earth last December, right? Then you got close to Taniguchi.” What I
wanted to ask had accumulated into a mountain, but I thought it was good to sort things through by
starting here. “Did you take a fancy to Taniguchi in order to come in contact with Haruhi or me?”
“It was a misunderstanding——” She replied with a voice like a talking deck brush.
“What did you misunderstand?”
“——mistook him for you.”
“You...”
98
Did Kuyou begin a relationship with Taniguchi because she mistook him for me? Hey hey hey hey
hey, why did it have to be him? It just made it harder and harder for me to decide what to do.
“Your concept of the universe is that of a passing mirage, but we've also begun to sense a
surprise never before seen. A world of the past overlapping with the present world. Exclusive actions.
Some areas altered. Interesting.”
“What the heck? And why did your tone change again? It really looks like your personality
changed, which reminds me of yesterday's faint smile.”
“——there is no tomorrow's today——there is no today's yesterday——there is no yesterday's
tomorrow——here.”
...“——time isn't actually a one-way flow one can't run counter to. To engage in personal activity
on this planet, it is necessary to keep track of the fixed, objective time.”
Are you talking about the watch? It's just a some handicraft composed of springs and gears. What
determines time isn't actually the watch. What the watch does is provide a convenient way of keeping
track in a continuous stretch of human activity.
99
“——time is mostly randomly generated; it's hardly continuous.”
I almost cried. What was this alien trying to say?
Only it happened to stimulate Sasaki's natural curiosity. “Kuyou-san, but then how would you
explain the past and the future? Presumably not by claiming Akashic records12 really exist, right?”
“——time is limited.”
“What do you mean now? Based on the method of infinite descent13, how much time exists
between 1 second and 2 seconds?”
“No time. However, there's no danger even if you say some time does exist.”
It would seem as if Sasaki has fallen for the bait.
“Okay, Let me put it this way. Suppose parallel worlds existed. Then according to Everett14, they
can't be infinite in number?”
“——objects that cannot be observed do not exist.”
“Really?”
Sasaki's expression was like that of a young scientist who'd just discovered a new phenomenon.
“——already in the records——doubt......completely non-existent.”
chapter 5
"Come, the current members will all be outside. Yuki too! You can read outside." At this moment,
Haruhi exhibited her rarely seen leadership quality. "Girls change first. Boys come to the hallway and
change after the girls. Even though in my view, boys and girls should be treated equally, you can't argue
with physical differences. Come. Come out quickly."
I couldn't tell that she was someone who used to change so magnanimously even in front of boys
in the Year 1 Class 5 room. I won't mention it. Maybe it was a prior misconception or Haruhi's smile that
was making me muddle-headed.
"I don't think talking it over will help." Koizumi looked at the tatarian aster in full bloom beside
the flight of steps and said, "Actually I feel like I've 'become weak', how should I put it..."
From the outside, your face is still an iron mask featuring a half-open smile.
"What I mean isn't how it looks from the outside. What I mean is I'm not sure whether what I'm
currently seeing is the conscious reality or whether I'm currently in a dream world that I've imagined
which is just a virtual reality...that sort of thing. Either way, it's just a little suspicious, that's all."
You haven't messed around too much with Haruhi's mental state, have you? If you walk around
too much at night, you're bound to run into a ghost. Why don't you go see a psychiatrist? If it's just the
serotonin syndrome21 they can probably write a prescription for you.
"I will seriously consider it. If it's just a personal problem of mine, then that would be great. No, it
definitely must be that. Since Suzumiya-san is having so much fun, there won't be any reason for the
Organization to come into play anytime soon."
^ Kyon on the other hand, is still disturbed by the previous meeting with the false SOS-dan...
He followed up his question with another question. "Have you heard of the term 'Gnosticism'?"
"Not at all. I'm not very familiar with political terminology. I can't even differentiate between
communism and socialism."
Koizumi laughed bitterly and began explaining the so-called Gnosticism.
...Simply put, it's a
position considered to be heresy in countries that believe in the existence of only one god.
...
"People from ancient times thought the world was filled with mistakes. For example, if the world
was made correctly by an all-knowing and all-powerful god, then He probably wouldn't have bestowed
such a ridiculous amount of suffering among the people. After all, creating such a complete utopia would
not have been beyond His powers. However, with societal conflicts causing a spread of injustice, the
world would sometimes be in the hands of the forces of evil that bullied and humiliated the weak in
order to maximize their suffering. Why would such a god make such a cruel world, then abandon it and
take no further notice?"
Probably because he saw his game heading towards a bad ending, so he didn't want anything to
do with it anymore.
"Maybe it was like that." Koizumi tossed the ball in his hand up in the air, then caught it. "But
think about it from a different angle. The answer might be really simple. Maybe the world really wasn't
created by a benevolent god, but instead by a god-like being with malicious intent."
..."If it really did stem from malicious intent, it would make sense for god to turn a blind eye to evil
conduct, because his nature is to do evil. However, man has an intuitive understanding of the world. Not
everyone is evil and some will recognize evil deeds for the crimes they are. This proves that the human
race possesses the capability of doing good and taking a stand against evil. If the world was really so
plugged up with evil that not even water could trickle through, the concept of good would not exist."
Koizumi let the tennis ball spin on his fingertips and said, "Therefore, the ancient people firmly
believed that the world was created by a false god and that this knowledge was the strand of light
bestowed upon humanity by the God that truly existed. In other words, God doesn't exist in the world,
but stands outside protecting the human race."
"Tachibana-san's faction doesn't regard Suzumiya-san as the true god. Maybe Suzumiya-san
really is this world's creator, but she honestly does lack a bit of self-awareness and it's this unawareness
that has convinced them she wasn't the true god. If that's so, then somewhere there should exist a god
that can be sufficiently proven to be the real one according to their belief. And they've found her, but it's
also possible that they only think they've found her."
..."Closed Spaces is also an area of consideration." Koizumi said as if sharing idle gossip. "Suzumiya-
san's Closed Spaces are permeated with an impulse to destroy, which lacks the constructive nature of a
creator. It's not like she's intending to hire public employees to go in and carry out large-scale
construction."
He unexpectedly added in a corny joke that was completely senseless. "On the other hand,
Sasaki-san's Closed Spaces are reportedly quite stable much like the Steady State theory in cosmology. 26
Inside, there's almost a sense of everlasting tranquility. Maybe there are more people who want an
alternate world full of tranquility and without Celestials."
"Can you hear me out on one more thing?" Koizumi's words were as dexterous as a skylark in the
early spring. "At this very moment, our SOS Brigade is still intact and even closer than before. Whether
it's an alien life form, a time-traveler from the future Earth, or an ESPer with limited powers pledging
allegiance to Suzumiya-san, the amount of division between us is nonexistent. We hold the same
intention in our hearts, moving forward towards a common goal. The person at the heart of this matter is
Suzumiya-san..."
Koizumi dragged out his words, ending like a director giving directions in acting. With an
exaggeratedly low voice, he said, "And there's you."
...This question doesn't just concern the entire SOS Brigade, but everyone. Nagato-san and Kuyou-
san; Asahina-san and the self-named time-traveler Fujiwara; our Organization and Kuyou Tachibana's
faction; you and Sasaki-san...everyone is connected and coiled together by a single thread moving
towards the sole central point. For the time being, no matter what happens in that center, no matter
what emerges, the actions will reach some sort of conclusion. I'm afraid that soon it won't just be a
question for you alone."
"Then what should I do? Should I try to make jokes or watch from the side? Or should I record
the events as best I can to make work for future historians a little bit easier?"
"Anything is fine." Koizumi looked like a pitcher trying to decide between a two- or four-seam
fastball, fitting his fingers snugly along the seams of a baseball. "I think you'll know when the time comes
exactly what it is that you should do or rather what you have no choice but to do. As long as you follow
your heart, it will do...even to the extent of not needing to do much reflection at all. If the reasoning
ability of the human race hasn't eroded, we should be able to pick out the correct move at the most
critical juncture. Your decisions so far have all been correct. I'm half-convinced and half-looking forward
to seeing you continue this streak."
"Looks like when comparing the proliferation of choices, aliens have gone down an evolutionary
path where homogeneity is the norm."
Sasaki's voice was still as gentle as ever.
"However, aliens have apparently also realized the flip-side of the coin. I'm guessing that the
cause was the meeting between you and Haruhi Suzumiya."
"Is that so, Kyon? I'm still a normal person torn by conflicting emotions and desires and there are
still times when I think that so-and-so deserves something even worse than death. If a small idea on my
part could take away someone's life, then I'd definitely be greatly affected and be unable to forgive
myself. It's impossible to fence ideas off in my head, ideas that I'm not allowed to think of, so I can't play
Suzumiya-san's role. If her power to grant desires was as omnipotent as that of a god, then it's truly a
miracle that she's able to live a normal life in this world. One could argue that it would be reasonable to
draw an equals sign between Suzumiya-san and 'miracle'."
I felt like I was being dodged. With this, I didn't want to have a one-on-one talk with such an
intelligent person. At the very least, I wanted to look forward to some assistance from Koizumi here.
"In other words, a higher being wouldn't actually jump into a lesser being's world, humans and
gods alike. That's what I think."
Sasaki gave her hands an exaggerated wave and half-jokingly said, "Looks like Suzumiya-san is
someone who can be equated with a god and moreover, some people think I can be too. You, who are
receiving care and concern from both me and her, two godlike figures, will definitely have a bigger role to
play than watching the play unfold from the sidelines. No mistake about it, you're definitely the
kingmaker in this situation. To make the old story come to a close and for a new story to be written, this
task falls on your shoulders. Open up your eyes to clearly see yourself for who you are, Kyon! You're a
pivotal figure holding in your hands the master key to open any door you want."
Though I was the pivotal figure when Haruhi disappeared, this time I'm not so sure.
chapter 6
-10.1 The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya (First Part)
She directed her piercing gaze directly towards me, though from a slightly lower position.
Abruptly, her expression turned nostalgic, as if recalling the previous half of her life.
“After entering a new school, there are surely interesting parts; coincidental events which you
seemed to be drawn to. Because of that, you enter a new club. All of these seem to be a dream. Even if
you remain silent, these things will come to you from the other side. Isn’t that so? Everyone feels that
way towards the narrator of an interesting story. In it, there are a lot of interesting upperclassmen, and
the subject becomes very close to one of them. I had wanted to be the main character of the story...”
It seemed like I had heard of these words and thought about them before; somewhere,
sometime in the past. However, before I could even search for it within my long term memory, Yasumi
lowered her head swiftly, and bent her petite body like a spring.
“Haha not really. Actually, I just wanted to come to your room by myself. Sorry for disturbing
you. But I’m very satisfied. I won’t come again.”
As if he was playing the tragic star in a stage performance, Taniguchi looked up at the sky.
"I ran to where we were supposed to meet that day and the first thing out of her mouth was 'I
made a mistake.' She didn't repeat it. By the time I came to my senses she was gone. That's it. I can
count the number of times we've spoken since then as zero. For a little while after that I was stressing
out like an idiot, but I've come to realize that I was 100% completely dumped."
That was right before Valentine's day this February. Koizumi and I were digging for our lives on
that mountain. Then there was that situation when Asahina-san (Michiru) came from the near future.
There were the first meetings I had with Fujiwara and Kyouko Tachibana. So the winter story of
Taniguchi and Kuyou finished around that same time, huh?
While listening to Taniguchi continue on I noticed this guy kept leaving out her name.
What if Kuyou had gotten in touch with me before Haruhi's Christmas party planning session?
There would've been another issue during that incident where Haruhi disappeared and Nagato's this
and that. Thank goodness Kuyou mistook Taniguchi for me at that time. I used up all the strength I had
during that time in order to get back to the event on Tanabata four years ago. Thus I owe you a lot of
thanks for looking after her during that time Taniguchi.
It's alright if you don't exert yourself. I have confidence that nothing will happen here. I won't
change. You won't change. The world itself will remain as it is now. The only thing that will change is the
future. This is likely a big event that concerns both Fujiwara-kun and Asahina-san. We modern people
won't have any reason to worry."
I can't tell what Asahina-san (big)'s motivations are. I just know that I don't want to make my
Asahina-san cry.
"The future is whatever you want it to be Kyon."
Like a sparrow perched on an electric wire talking about tomorrow's weather, Sasaki continued.
"They consider us to be humans of the past but to us they're simply people of the future. Thusly we
need to remember what the most important detail is: we're in the present day of this world. That's our
number one advantage over time-travelers. Please remember that Kyon. You are able to do something
with that knowledge. Then after it's over..."
Sasaki let go of a suppressed giggle.
"Choose either Suzumiya-san or myself to be a normal human. Only you can decide."
..."That's true Kyon. So what? You can't help but to tell someone what the number is. Will it be
Suzumiya-san or will it be myself? You have to choose one. Thinking like that would allow you to decide.
It can't be Fujiwara-kun or Kuyou-san. They're ineligible to win. Everyone else in the world, all time-
travelers, and all extraterrestrial beings aren't allowed to win. They don't have the ability to win from
you. So Kyon, you're the one to decide it all."
chapter 7
I still remember this world tinted by this array of light colors. It's a Closed Space that Sasaki
unconsciously creates. As if competing against that Space, the other color was squirming about. Of
course, I remember it too. The Closed Space that Haruhi creates.
Sasaki and Haruhi are having mutual hostilities right here and now. Why? Up until some time
ago, I understood that there existed a world together with Sasaki. The reason Kyouko Tachibana
suddenly came to North High was to take me inside of it. But why is Haruhi's Closed Space occurring?
Haruhi should be at Nagato's apartment now...no wait, is she on her way home from school? Damn, I
don't know. But what I really don't know is why lines were flickering like geometric patterns all over the
vicinity of the world that lay before my eyes. I remember this. It looks a lot like the data operation Space
that Asakura created.
What happened to the world I was in before? Is all this weirdness being processed and mixed
together? What is it? Just what the hell is this?
" - This is the beginning. Of every possible crossroad..."
A melancholic voice reached my ears. I lifted my head and before my eyes stood a figure dressed
in an all-black blazer with strange ebony hair down to her knees.
79
More expressionless than a plaster figure from the Roman era, Kuyou Suou stood between
Fujiwara and Kyouko Tachibana. There was no feeling in her eyes, but when her pale lips moved slightly,
the air shook.
" - The past, the future, and even the present cannot exist here. Matter, quantum, waves, also
willpower. The realization of reality. The future becomes the past, the past becomes the present..."
I saw an aggressive light in Koizumi's eyes that I had never seen before.
"Little by little, I've also come to understand things thanks to the uproar that these alien folks
have caused. The ability that Suzumiya-san possesses...the power to transform reality is not permanent.
It's not that it will decrease when it's used, but it's not something she will continuously possess either. It
will disappear someday. Am I wrong?"
"Well..." While Asahina-san was trying to evade the proof in this,
"It doesn't mean that you're drawing nearer to a decision on that matter. If you think of the
aliens as troublesome people, then they're just as much controlling you and manipulating Suzumiya-san
as well. It is indeed possible for her power to be migrated to another person. Since Nagato-san did such
a thing before, then these alien beings should be able to do it, too."
"Wait!" The one who emitted that acute voice was Asahina-san. "There's no positive proof that
that's the real Suzumiya-san out there. It might be an illusion. Kyon-kun, it may be some visual trick to
press you into making a decision."
"No, that's not true." Koizumi came to a conclusion. "If it is a trick, it will not get past me. That’s
because I am a being who is, so to speak, an embodiment of Suzumiya-san's unconsciousness. The
Sleeping Beauty over there is not an illusion or a clone. She's 100% genuine Suzumiya-san. She's my...our
lovable brigade chief."
"The opaque closed space of Sasaki's that occurred seemed like it would last forever. How did
Haruhi's closed space end it?"
I remember that spectacle of mixed colorful and gray space.
"That's not that difficult to answer. Suzumiya-san intentionally made Sasaki-san's end. That is
the reason I was summoned and why the <Celestial> appeared as well."
How strange. At that time, how did Haruhi take her and I to a place outside the school if she
wasn't aware of her surroundings?
"She was perfectly aware of things if you think about it."
Koizumi smiled like an upset cram school lecturer. It like the student is being put through four
kinds of torture when the obvious answer is right before their eyes.
"At that place and time was there anyone else there? The only ones that intruded were similar
groups. Despite the fact that it was only aliens and time travelers there to begin with, the ESPers also
came along and suddenly we had all gathered at that place. Perhaps being the ones to win over her, you
and I were summoned. Well, both of us from the α space time that is."
By Yasumi Watahashi. Just what is she?
Koizumi easily answered that question. "That girl truly is Suzumiya-san. Suzumiya-san created
another person from herself to come forth."
Tell me what you know if that's true. When did you notice it?
"Weren't you instructed of it from the very beginning? It's really simple. Here, lend me a pen
and paper if you'd like to know how."
As I looked on, he moved the pen gracefully across the page and formed the words "Yasumi
Watahashi".
"It's a simple anagram. One that could be solved with no hints whatsoever since no clues were
given to us. Here, take a look at the name as it is now and it should be easily solvable."
Stop chatting and move on with your point!
The character for "Yasumi" is just a smokescreen. If we pronounce it as it should be, "Yasumizu",
and add her last name of "Watahashi", we get "Watahashi Yasumizu." Let's write it in roman letters:
-wa-ta-ha-shi ya-su-mi-zu
117
"If we convert this as an anagram we get...
-wa-ta-shi-ha su-zu-mi-ya.
I am Suzumiya.
Koizumi put away the mechanical pencil. "Suzumiya-san used her power unconsciously. She split
the world for the sake of guarding against an attack. One world would have been our future and then
there was the other one that was formed against it. Despite being unaware that girl was able to sense
the danger ahead. That's why Suzumiya-san protected this world. If she hadn't, there was the chance
that you would've been overwhelmed by our enemy's power. Thus that girl acted to save you and
Nagato-san."
...I saw that Koizumi's face was engulfed in fear.
"Yasumi Watahashi is Suzumiya-san's unconsciousness brought to life. Literally a deed that was
carried out unconsciously when she called out to save you and Nagato-san. While she may not know it,
Yasumi Watahashi disappeared when the worlds were united. It's like a dream fading the instant you
wake up. Well really all of that might have been just a dream. We may all be illusions in a dreamlike
world to Suzumiya. In the worst-case scenario this may just be an unreal world we live in."
Don't start that again. Just what are you talking about in regards to Haruhi?
"An astonished feeling. Though I may regard Suzumiya-san in some respects to be like a god,
there may be necessary alterations to the tenets."
That guy won't stop giving off that feeling of worship towards her will he?
"When I said that Suzumiya-san may be gradually losing her power that might not have been
wrong. As she matures, there is the potential that she may be able to control it emotionally. That would
explain the intellectual actions of the <Celestials>. Since she's been able to unconsciously control it up to
now, her power has been fierce. For example, if you take a keyboard and write some gibberish
sentences on it the likelihood of it coming true would be practically zero percent. But that action would
be easy to do. Eventually you'd be able to write without thinking about it. Disregarding perfect statistics,
you'd be able to cross over one day and become a god if you kept typing truths."
If that's true, why hasn't she gained control of her power?
"It's just a guess but after looking at her psychological state her power would be considered the
leftovers. Despite that her power resembles one similar to a god's there's still much left over that she
can't control. Just look at legends from humans past. Gods' powers and words were strangely fickle and
at times irrational. One can't say that they always treat humankind kindly. Occasionally they had to
remind our faulty human race things they should be doing. But gods are only what human myths
produced, thus the appearance of gods on earth are shaped wherever those legends are."
"Ah, one more thing. This isn't such an important matter, but it's good to let you know about it. I
sent a picture of that flower that Yasumi brought to decorate the clubroom for analysis. It's come back
as a completely new variety. The Latin species classifier is the only thing left to be decided. That girl
certainly fulfilled her promise. Such a faithful person to follow her orders and bring such an interesting
thing for the SOS Brigade trials. It may have been Suzumiya's powers that created it via her inner child.
Ah, please forgive me for rambling on. I hope to one day encounter it again."
But now I think about it.
What if, that time...What would happen if I had chosen Sasaki? Haruhi's power would be
transferred to Sasaki and the fake SOS Brigade would be formed. Instead of Koizumi I'd have Kyouko
Tachibana, substituting for Nagato would be Kuyou Suou, tossing away Asahina, we'd have Fujiwara, and
in the middle we'd all be around Sasaki.
And then the possibility lies that I would be targeted to be killed. Likely by none other than
Ryouko Asakura. They say the third time's the charm. Kimidori probably wouldn't stop her this time and
I have no idea what Nagato would do after that.
Would Nagato revolt against the Integrated Data Thought Entity? Maybe I'm over-thinking
things.
Long ago I was thrown into the SOS Brigade. It was like I had been placed in the deepest portion
of a swamp without any scuba equipment and I couldn't get to the shore. Therefore I had to reach a
sandbar to save myself. I had gotten tired of being with my comrades that were just gazing from the
shoreline of a vast beach and began searching for a unspecified someone to change things. It was like I
was someone else at that time.
While my insides were still feeling like jelly, Sasaki said something that broke that stagnant
feeling. Yes, it was a shocking new revelation.
"Suzumiya-san and I went to the same elementary school. While we were always in different
classes, I could always see how that girl lit up the school with a light like she was the sun. Even in a
different class I could feel that light coming from her."
This has got to be a trick. Haruhi and Sasaki met before that time when we met together?
"I had wanted to be in the same class as her, but alas it was never to be. Then when she went to
a different middle school it got to be too complex. I was a bit lonely and a bit relieved at the same time.
Oh, I see she still stares at your eyes with the intensity of the sun. You know that when we part with the
light, we get a little bit colder right? But that's not too bad. Do you understand what I mean Kyon?"
Somehow I do.
"Due to family issues my surname changed when I went to middle school. Therefore Suzumiya-
san wouldn't have recognized the name Sasaki. My appearance is a bit stranger as well. Suzumiya-san
also changed by cutting that long hair that I admired but it still looks nice. I was a little bit nervous and
thus I didn't mention anything about our past. I think that would have been something like a confession
to me."
"What kind of person do you think I am? I'd like to hear if you think I'm a good person."
"What? Is something wrong? Tell me about it and I'll give you my thoughts."
"Well, it's just that you're always frank about things. I get the impression that all I can get from
Koizumi and Nagato are ambiguous jokes. I'd like to hear the truth for once. "
Tsuruya-san again began her cackles of laughter "But you never miss your step while going down
your path. I have faith in you. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Mikuru-chan. In this high school
you live a life of fun events every day."
I highly doubt anyone could say that the events of the SOS Brigade would be considered normal.
"I wonder about that."
There was a light shining in both of Tsuruya-san's eyes. "If you don't think they're ordinary, who
would? Haruhi would. So would Mikuru-chan. I'm sure Nagato-chi would think so. Koizumi-kun also
would agree. Again, isn't this something you wished for?"
My immediate reply: not really. This event with our new member soured me.
"Nyahahahaha. So that's it."
"Kyon, as I see it Suzumiya-san and yourself resemble each other. It's like you have the same +
symbol. By all rights, I would instantly assume that you two would repel each other away and that would
be the downfall of your relationship. I still agree with that impression today; I just can't shake it off.
That's how things go in nature. But for some reason Suzumiya-san and yourself came together and can't
be separated. As Dr. Yukawa proposed, there must be some atomic force that unites the two of you
together. Some type of power like flicking off protons doesn't seem likely to me. But of course we've
only found four types of powers in this world and no more since then. Strong, Weak, Electromagnetic,
and Gravity. Is there another type of power that we've not discovered?"
Umm, what you said.
"But I don't know of such a thing. Perhaps it's a new power we can term the 'fifth element.' Ah,
that would be a scientific dream though. You could think about human relations, well more specifically
the relations between Kyon and Suzumiya-san, as well as other people's existence in that realm for a
while. What parts do Koizumi-kun, Asahina-san, and Nagato-san play in there...well that would be
irresponsible for me to ponder about. I have a feeling the SOS Brigade is structured like a nucleus. A
giant structure that wants to sticks together even when separated. The separate portions come together
to unite for one common goal. If that stability is destroyed, then each member will unite to bring down
the culprit. I don't think a person exists in the world who could do that though. The only person I could
think who could come close would be Tsuruya-san, though I don't think she'd choose that option."
Final Chapter
-10.2 The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya (Second Part)
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13:21 < Charuru> gwern: there is circumstantial evidence for kyon is god
13:22 < Charuru> i prefer not to think so, because it would be a m. night shamalyan plot twist
13:23 < gwern> as opposed to the stereotypical dull 'defrosting the ice queen Yuki' plot that's going now?
13:24 < Charuru> i read the book before i watched the movie
13:24 < Charuru> the book was much better IMO
13:24 < Charuru> it might just be that if I'm in a section i don't like in the book my eyes can just glaze over quickly
13:25 < Charuru> but gwern i disagree that's the plot of that arc, it's about kyon becoming more confident
13:25 < Charuru> Yuki hardly changes
13:25 < Charuru> her character is supposed to be like that, there's a checkbox she fills :P
13:26 < gwern> the overall arc of the books is a massive shift from haruhi to Yuki
13:26 < gwern> haruhi is basically irrelevant to the released excerpt of the latest book!
13:26 < gwern> it's all Yuki
13:26 < Charuru> oh OK, you don't mean the movie you mean the later books
13:27 < gwern> oh poor Yuki she's ill for the sake of the IDE! let's all feel moe for her
13:27 < Charuru> well i read the later books quite a while ago, so i can't remember clearly, but as i said earlier i kinda became lost as to what the point was at some point
13:27 < Charuru> so you think that would all make sense if kyon was god?
13:28 < gwern> it'd make more sense
13:29 < gwern> as I thought I'd shown
13:29 * gwern doesn't like Yuki in part because I got sick and tired of the character back when she was named 'Rei Ayanami'
13:29 < Charuru> gwern: why does Koizumi exist as a male?
13:30 < gwern> because it'd be awkward if kyon were the only guy?
13:30 < Charuru> why does Kyon's website suck?
13:30 < gwern> because he didn't want to make it
13:31 < Charuru> those excuses are about the same level as i would make to counter the points you make in the essay
13:33 < gwern> but I have a lot more
13:33 < Charuru> OK, you want to go into a full fledged discussion about this?
13:33 < gwern> you're going to have a very tough time explaining away some of the points I have
13:33 < gwern> like the former haruhi
13:34 < Charuru> first of all i want to say that I'm open to adopting your theory
13:34 < Charuru> let's start from the beginning
13:34 < Charuru> She then vowed to make life interesting. But this was during middle school. Why then does life only become interesting in high school, three years later? The timeframe seems more than a little odd.
13:34 < Tetsuo55> the problem is, what is worth remembering at all
13:35 < Charuru> because this is the way that normal people think, they divide their experiences into separate parts and tell themselves that the next part will be better than the previous
13:35 < Charuru> i remember telling myself college will be more fun than middle school, or that my next date will go better than the current date
13:35 < Charuru> *high school lol
13:35 < gwern> college was more fun than high school for me
13:36 < Charuru> exactly, i don't think it's any odd or great evidence
13:36 < gwern> Tetsuo55: whatever takes >5minutes to look up over 20 years, or that you just want to know
13:37 < Tetsuo55> Charuru: as an aside, i never thought in the way your explaining, but i see other people doing it all the time
13:37 < gwern> Charuru: a 3 year time lag? what else does haruhi do that has that kind of lag? Mikuru's eyebeams or the white doves didn't take 3 years
13:37 < Tetsuo55> gwern: on average, i take far less than 5 minutes to google things, but that also means being behind a computer in the first place
13:37 < Charuru> Tetsuo55: was that really directed at me?
13:37 < Tetsuo55> it could take hours to actually get to a computer, so then the 5 minute rule would always be in favor
13:38 < Tetsuo55> Charuru: yes, i don't see my next thing as " better " or " more fun "
13:38 < gwern> Tetsuo55: cumulative, the 5 minute rule is
13:38 < Charuru> gwern: that doesn't make the time lag from middle to highschool inconsistent
13:39 < Charuru> remember it's a relatively big shift in 'life', and once haruhi was 'ready' to experience odd things as a 'highschooler' then she's more likely to wish for it more fully
13:39 < gwern> ready? and john smith?
13:39 < Tetsuo55> gwern: hmm your right, so every time i google, even if it only takes 30 seconds, 10 searches will have already reached that limit
13:40 < Charuru> that one experience was enough to tell her that she wasn't ready :P
13:40 < gwern> Tetsuo55: pretty much. and the 5 minute rule is conservative. one day I'd like to ask the Anki folk what their stats say the average card actually requires
13:40 < gwern> Charuru: that's pretty ad hoc -_-
13:41 < Charuru> like i said, it's about the same level of excuses you had
13:41 < Charuru> why did kyon make Koizumi seem so intelligent / male / clearly in love with haruhi?
13:41 < gwern> you seriously think a bad website is a problem with my theory on par with a 3 time year timelag/timeline that makes no sense?
13:42 < gwern> Koizumi is a decent problem for kyon-kami, but the website is barely a problem at all
13:42 < Charuru> haruhi is perfect at everything she does
13:42 < Charuru> kyon is not
13:42 < gwern> and yet, it's kyon who gets the real prizes
13:43 < gwern> some imperfect. may we all be so cursed
13:43 < Charuru> 'real prizes' unconvincing
13:44 < gwern> he says he was really interested in that stuff and is regretful he gave up his dreams! what more do you want?
13:44 < Charuru> but why would he make the girl excel at everything but him mediocre?
13:45 < Charuru> i mean that part supports your theory, yes kyon gets to experience the SOS too, but so does haruhi
13:45 < gwern> haruhi misses out on most of the SOS. the giant cricket?
13:46 < Charuru> well that's a fair point
13:46 < Charuru> kyon does experience the SOS more
13:47 < Kiba> Kyon is...God
13:47 < Charuru> but it's possible that's an unintentional side effect of haruhi creating the SOS brigade rather than an intentional effect of kyon being god
13:47 < Charuru> Occam's razor etc
13:47 < gwern> Charuru: that her creations specifically scheme to keep her ignorant despite her best efforts? quite a flawed god
13:48 < gwern> Charuru: and again, there's the other SOS to grapple with for any Haruhi-kami theory...
13:48 < Charuru> but Kyon's ignorant too in your version
13:48 < Kiba> how about we gender-bend the SOS club?
13:48 < gwern> well, someone has to be ignorant. there's some god, and no one thinks they are god. so it logically follows that the god is ignorant
13:49 < Charuru> so you can't use that argument *against haruhi because the same argument applies vs kyon
13:49 < Charuru> the other SOS i frankly can't remember that well
13:50 < Charuru> i remember the enemy time traveler is male?
13:50 < gwern> Charuru: it's not the same thing. kyon-kami is less ignorant in the kyon-kami scenario than haruhi-kami is in the haruhi-kami scenario
13:50 < Charuru> OK but only in degree
13:51 < gwern> Kiba: yeah, that was it. dunno why, but some protagonists get gender-bent a lot. Shinji Ikari from Evangelion, Naruto from Naruto, kyon...
13:51 < Charuru> and not of a degree that's conclusive IMO
13:51 < Charuru> you wouldn't hang your hat on just this point so maybe we should go onto some of ur other points
13:52 < gwern> Charuru: it is a slight advantage for kyon-kami, IMO. there won't be any smoking guns until the series ends, so all I can really do is offer a litany of points that work better for kyon-kami (in however small a degree) than for haruhi-kami
13:52 < Kiba> didn't Eliezer written a Haruhi fanfiction?
13:53 < Charuru> i would say it's more likely that it would be an advantage for kyon-kami than haruhi-kami but i still think it's more likely that the point doesn't really matter
13:54 < gwern> Kiba: yes
13:54 < Charuru> OK MINIMAL POWER easily explained
13:55 < Charuru> 1. she has all the power that her common sense allows, she's great at all sports, school, is sexy and charismatic
13:55 < Charuru> she doesn't think of herself as alien and so doesn't give herself special powers, but obviously aliens need special powers
13:56 < Charuru> her losses are also easily explained, she didn't actually want those things to happen
13:56 < Charuru> so they're not real losses to her
13:58 < Charuru> gwern: TBH i think this is one of ur best points: Kyon claims to be an ordinary high school student, and the other characters constantly tell Kyon how normal he is - but he's much like Haruhi.
13:58 < Charuru> something stressed as much as it is is more likely to be false?
14:00 < gwern> Charuru: it's an obvious novelistic technique - Chekhov's gun
14:00 < Charuru> you didn't say anything in response to minimal power?
14:01 < Charuru> anyway moving on haruhi molesting Mikuru?
14:01 < drethelin> so you're saying most of the time Quirrel is NOT under Voldemort's control?
14:01 < gwern> why say it so much unless there's some point to it? the point may not be ironic, but there's some point. (eg. the 'ordinary' character in sayonara Zetsubou-sensei)
14:02 < gwern> Charuru: she's not perfect, incidentally. if she was, she could just make the website herself; there's no obvious reason she'd delegate it to kyon
14:02 < Charuru> gwern: reading experience leads me to suspect that it might be a Chekhov's gun, which is fair, but it could also just be a meme, or a way to ground the reader
14:02 < Charuru> in ordinary, thus making the extraordinary seem more interesting
14:02 < Kiba> well
14:03 < Kiba> you got a whole generation of trained wizard soldiers
14:03 < Kiba> might be useful in taking over the Muggle world
14:03 < Charuru> she's perfect in everything she cares about, maybe she finds making websites too nerdy to want to be good at it
14:03 < Charuru> OK moving on: haruhi molesting Mikuru
14:03 < Kiba> Voldemort wants a competent society to rule over
14:04 < Charuru> maybe this is for the benefit of boys, but you don't need to be god to make it happen :P
14:04 < Charuru> The desert island incident? Kyon didn't want there to be any real murders, but he was still very interested.
14:04 < Charuru> everyone was very interested
14:05 < Charuru> He is also the one who solves the mystery, and suspected the answer from the start
14:06 < Charuru> if Kyon was god why would he make the mystery so easy then? wouldn't he want something he doesn't already see from the beginning?
14:06 < gwern> he solved it just in time to not ruin the vacation, and it's more fun if you have an idea, as opposed to groping the dark
14:06 < Charuru> you might say no... but the point is that the point has a clear alternative and the idea that kyon found the mystery easy doesn't necessarily support the idea of a kyon-kami
14:07 < Charuru> fair enough, but haruhi also enjoyed it. and we might even say that haruhi was more immersed in it
14:08 < Charuru> which was the stated point as far as what the reader is supposed to think
14:09 < Charuru> gwern: "Endless Eight" undone homework I'm going to presume that this is not the first time kyon has ever not had completed homework. if kyon really cared about school and homework to the extent of resetting the world, he wouldn't be such a mediocre student. he would be like haruhi
14:10 < gwern> mm. it might. we don't know either way
14:10 < Charuru> i consider that point against kyon-kami, thinking about it
14:11 < gwern> but again, the case is even harder for haruhi. she leaves more or less satisfied at the end of every episode. you complain about kyon resetting the world for undone homework? then complain about haruhi resetting the world for a tiny vague unease at missing some summer activity!
14:12 < Charuru> perfectly in character for a tsundere
14:13 < gwern> -_-
14:13 < Charuru> i mean it's weird for that sort of thing to happen
14:13 < Charuru> i think it fits haruhi more than kyon though
14:13 < Charuru> you disagree?
14:13 < Charuru> but come on, kyon resetting the world for HOMEWORK? really?
14:14 < Charuru> haruhi at least had an emotional issue going on
14:14 < gwern> Charuru: kyon has a bigger problem! he knows what he failed to do as he falls asleep. haruhi doesn't even know if shes missing something
14:15 < Charuru> so you think Kyon's homework issue matters more to kyon than Haruhi's emotional issue which i can't even recall clearly right now
14:16 < Charuru> Haruhi's emotional issue matters to haruhi
14:16 < Charuru> we'll agree to disagree so we can move on
14:17 < Charuru> Firstly, Kyon's rejection of the truly normal world gives the lie to all his previous claims. We can no longer argue in good faith that Kyon dislikes paranormal phenomenon and his dislike is disproof of Kyon-kami.
14:17 < Charuru> <caps>Ok, true</caps>
14:17 < Charuru> this is in the The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya section
14:18 < Charuru> 'But this rejection cannot be so easily escaped: it's made 100% clear that Yuki's world is completely mundane, safer in that regard, and circumstances even conspire to bring the SOS-dan together - so Kyon sacrifices nothing whatsoever.'
14:18 < Charuru> OK no, clearly not true lol, he sacrifices the SOS dan
14:19 < Charuru> you say The only reason to reject Yuki's world is if he truly does want paranormal events.
14:19 < Charuru> but what about friends etc?
14:19 < gwern> Charuru: ...who does he meet and pull together in the movie? the mundane haruhi greatly enjoyed his stories, IIRC
14:20 < Charuru> alright true
14:20 < Charuru> but still a loss considering relative social positions
14:20 < Charuru> eg haruhi and Koizumi goes to elite school while he goes to ordinary
14:21 < Charuru> and it seems like Koizumi and haruhi are together? at least very close
14:21 < Charuru> there's clearly no way he can be as close to the former SOS dan if they went to different schools, i think the loss there is pretty big
14:22 < Charuru> The second major issue is: how is Disappearance even possible?
14:22 < Charuru> you need to explain why kyon wants disappearance to happen if he was god
14:23 < gwern> I think I did
14:23 < Charuru> must've missed it, do it again
14:24 < Charuru> The second major issue is: how is Disappearance even possible?
14:24 < Charuru> it's possible because Yuki could be wrong, not out of malice but of ignorance
14:24 < Charuru> assuming haruhi is god
14:24 < Charuru> there's also the possibility that haruhi is not omnipotent, but that doesn't mean kyon is either
14:26 < Charuru> gwern: i feel like I'm putting much more effort into this conversation than you
14:26 < gwern> Charuru: I feel like I have put way more effort into the topic than you have - and you're not reading what I wrote
14:27 < Charuru> gwern: i assure you i am, this would be the second time
14:28 < gwern> because I'm pretty sure I explicitly laid out how I thought disappearance was possible on a kyon-kami theory, but made no sense in a haruhi-kami
14:29 < Charuru> that's not how an argument works, you laid out your points, i countered, now you need to go again
14:30 < Charuru> http://pastie.org/1773013
14:30 < Charuru> where does this talk about Kyon's desires for disappearance to happen?
14:31 < gwern> Charuru: I never said he desired for it to happen; but what makes you think Yuki is wrong about something like the IDE not existing?
14:31 < gwern> Yuki is something of an expert on the topic...
14:31 < Charuru> you need to explain why kyon wants disappearance to happen if he was god
14:31 < Charuru> 2:23 PM gwern. I think I did
14:32 < Charuru> Yuki could be wrong haruhi being powerless, haruhi could just be letting Yuki borrow her powers
14:33 < Charuru> but still be omnipotent
14:33 < Charuru> we don't know, but you can't say otherwise
14:33 < gwern> ...and there may be a teapot in orbit around mercury. WE DON'T KNOW!
14:34 < Charuru> no no, you're the one with the theory and has to prove it
14:35 < ahbritto> Charuru: A point might be valid, even if someone can't prove it.
14:35 < Charuru> yeah. but he's saying something is true, we don't know whether or not it's true, he can't demonstrate that it's true, and the only reason to suppose it might be true is because it supports his main theory
14:38 < gwern> no, to me Charuru is just coming up with elaborate epicycles to explain away things. haruhi letting Yuki borrow her powers? is there the slightest iota of evidence for that?
14:39 < Charuru> do you remember your essay?
14:39 < Charuru> you're the one who wrote that
14:39 < Charuru> And the origin of the power?
14:39 < Charuru> "Using the powers stolen from Suzumiya Haruhi, the temporal converter was able to alter data concerning past memories in the range of 365 days."
14:41 < gwern> stolen. not letting be borrowed
14:41 < Charuru> well in which case that's what i meant then :P
14:42 < gwern> 'A. no wait, did I say A? I meant ~A.'
14:43 < Charuru> give me a break, it stole her power and created the world, it borrowed her power and recreated the world
14:44 < Charuru> there is a big difference, i was WRONG when i said that it borrowed her power
14:45 < Charuru> borrowed would be a epicycle, stolen is from the book
14:45 < Charuru> Yuki could be wrong haruhi being powerless, haruhi could just be letting Yuki steal her powers
14:49 < Charuru> gwern: you know what the really funny thing about haruhi-kami vs kyon-kami is
14:49 < Charuru> it mirrors real life theological discussions pretty well
14:49 < Charuru> I'm open to the idea of a kyon-kami as you are, it would fit, but so would haruhi-kami
14:50 < Charuru> i don't think kyon fits more than haruhi, and i support haruhi because of Occam's razor
14:50 < Charuru> but that's the issue in real life too, there are many theological scenarios that would fit
14:51 < gwern> I think kyon-kami fits the later books much much better than haruhi-sama. you haven't even addressed the other SOS-dan
14:52 < Charuru> it's not in your essay though
14:53 < gwern> yeah, haven't worked it in. some quotes after the external links
14:53 < Charuru> i don't know what to think, i would be interested in hearing someone explain why kyon likes having an antagonist SOS
14:54 < Charuru> i don't think haruhi that's the kind of thing Haruhi's into but also not sure if that's the kind of thing kyon is into
14:54 < Charuru> the real god could be something totally different, we can find out that in book ten they're actually in the matrix or Kyon's in a coma
14:54 < gwern> kyon is old friends with the other SOS-dan...
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