October 22, 2008
I'm rewatching Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. Just had a thought about it, and I'll probably have more. They'll all be spoilers so they go below the fold.more...
September 11, 2008
I was just going through my DVDs of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi taking frame grabs to use in the top rotation and got to the "giant cricket" episode. Here's a frame from that one:
That poster on the wall of three girls? I just bet it's the three seiyuu who did the voices of Yuki, Haruhi, and Mikuru.
October 10, 2007
I'm rewatching the six episodes of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. After I'm done, I'm going to go through them to grab some images for the top rotation.
Urd, Skuld, and Beldandy are based (well, a bit) on the Norns, three female demigods who guard the roots of Yggdrasill, the world tree. Urd is associated with the past, Beldandy with the present, and Skuld with the future.
In the SOS Dan, we got Haruhi, Kyon, and three strange people. It occurred to me today that Yuki is associated with the past, Itsuki with the present, and of course Mikuru with the future. More, including some spoilers, below the fold.more...
September 26, 2007
I was looking at this post, and clicked a picture of Hirano Aya holding, well, something flesh colored. From the thumbnail it didn't look like there was any clothes. The larger version proves there is, but not damned much. It's a Haruhi figure, wearing an itty-bitty teenie-weenie red string bikini.
Naturally I was curious to see who was selling it, and how ridiculously expensive it was. I also wanted to know what the deal was with the Santa Claus hat. A bigger picture was called for.
The obvious place to look was J-list. Unfortunately, it ain't there. Maybe it hasn't been released yet; it could have been a pre-prod.
Regardless, there was something on that page which was a bit disturbing. Not the hentai doujins; those are disturbing but not noteworthy. No, I'm talking about a genyouwine Asakura Ryoko figurine, complete with knife.
That's almost as weird as the fact that Hirai Yukari did quite well in this year's Saimoe contest (that Avatar has been blogging about). The reason that's strange is that Yukari dies about 30 seconds into the first episode of Shakugan no Shana.
You know, I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised to learn that someone was going to create a Yukari figurine.
July 17, 2007
"Provenance" is a cool word; it's a pleasure to find a use for it. Though it's far from being a perfect series, some of the ideas presented in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu are intriguing and have led to enormous fan speculation.
One big question is, who is Asahina Mikuru really?
Of course, there's no requirement that she be anyone in particular other than just a random person from the future who was selected as an agent by the time travelers, probably because of how she looks. But in a series like this there can be coincidences -- or things which turn out not to be coincidence. And so fans speculate that she's related to someone-or-other.
The hair color is slightly different, but that doesn't prove anything. A lot of people's hair changes color as they grow up, and in any case there is such a thing as hair dye.
The hint that proponents of this theory use is that the older version of Mikuru does a "boy am I dumb" gesture involving winking an eye and knocking a fist on her skull and sticking out her tongue, and shortly thereafter we see Kyon's imouto do exactly the same gesture.
That alone wouldn't be persuasive. However, I noticed that they have the same eyes. Mikuru and Imouto's eyes are different from LOL Fang-tan next to Imouto, but they're the same as each other.
July 16, 2007
Given how popular Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu was in its fansub incarnation, it's inevitable that hardcore otaku are going to be comparing the translations from the fansub to the Kadokawa version, and bitching about the latter. So let's get this show on the road, shall we?
I just spotted a common mistake: they translated ichinen ("first year") as "freshman". High school in Japan is 3 years, beginning with sophomore year. They made the same mistake in the translation for "Magic Users Club", but that was a long time ago when the R1 industry was a lot smaller, so it's more forgiveable. It's a strange mistake to make these days, however.
UPDATE: So just why is the series so popular? I've talked about that before, but it's always seemed to me that one reason, a subtle one that many people may not even recognize, is that the background music is brilliant. This is a series for which I'd consider getting the OST if it's released here at something like a reasonable price. I don't own very many of those. (That would be Haibane Renmei, Azumanga Daioh, and Hand Maid May. That's the lot.)
UPDATE: Points for not trying to be too clever in translating the club name.
The name in Japanese is "世界を大いに盛り上げるための涼宮ハルヒの団". Romanized, it's Sekai wo Ooini moriagerutame no Suzumiya Haruhi no dan, or "SOS dan" for short.
The fan subbers desperately wanted to fit the acronym, so they came up with this: "The Save the world by Overloading it with fun Haruhi Suzumiya's brigade". Kadokawa's translator made it: "Spreading excitement all over the world with Haruhi Suzumiya's brigade". Which also preserves the acronym, but seems to be a somewhat more accurate translation. It's certainly less clumsy.
What the Japanese actually means is "Haruhi Suzumiya's group for the purpose of massively shaking up the world."
Kadokawa's translator knew that he'd be judged on the basis of this one phrase, since it's so critical to the series, and clearly really stretched himself on it.
UPDATE: Actually, the translator's name is "Rika Takahashi", which I think is a female name. Apologies for being an MCP.
UPDATE: One thing we lost when Kadokawa reordered the series was the fun voiceovers on the next-ep teasers where Haruhi and Kyon would argue over which episode number was next. Damned shame. The next-ep teaser at the end of ep 2 is just Yuki saying the name of the episode, and "Watch it".
It must be said: Haruhi does look good dressed up as a baanigaaru.
By the way, there's actually a reason beyond fanservice, and reinforcing that Haruhi is out of control, why this sequence was included in the series.
They don't emphasize it, and you can't tell the shape, but it's there.
UPDATE: Waaaaaait a minute. Ep 4, Yuki replaces Kyon and plays Othello against Mikuru. They included some material in there which wasn't in the broadcast version that got fansubbed here. That's interesting.
July 04, 2007
There's a magical moment during the awakening process when it seems like anything is possible. I often have strange thoughts during that magical time -- most of which make no sense at all. But sometimes they do, even though they are probably not profound.
Here's one from my most recent nap: I bet you cannot whisper Chinese and be understood. How would you represent "tones"?
UPDATE: Speaking of strange thoughts, I really like this page. It's an attempt at perverse retconning of various series, some of which are anime. One of the most interesting is that the characters on Gilligan's Island represent the 7 Deadly Sins. And Gilligan himself is the Devil; the island is Hell, where he is punishing the others.
One time J mentioned his idea for an alternate retcon for Hand Maid May: that "Cyber X" was a villainous guy attempting a hostile retroactive takeover of Cyberdyne. It'd fit right in on that page.
By the way, some of the theories are not so perverse. The first one for Haibane Renmei agrees with what I think about the series. And it whould be pointed out that the whole page is loaded to the gills with spoilers.
UPDATE: Getting down to the section on Haruhi, the first entry is an old friend: it's really Kyon that's God, and Haruhi is just a physical manifestation of Kyon's power.
But the second speculation is a more interesting one. It has to do with Mikuru; who is she, really? Spoilers, ho:
If so, she must be using an assumed name. We never hear what Kyon's sister is named, but presumably she's got one. I think it would cause comment.
Of course, if this whole thing is Kyon's solipsistic fantasy, then perhaps his sister doesn't have a name. And maybe he himself doesn't, either. Who says a solipsistic fantasy has to be complete?
Anyway, if Mikuru really is Kyon's younger sister, it adds an entire fetish element to the whole thing, don't it? Siscon, anyone? And it does lead to the question of just how time-travel technology became so common so soon. My idea of Mikuru as Kyon's daughter at least provides a bit longer for that to get developed. (But adds its own fetish which may be even creepier. Eeew.)
If you feel the urge to write spoilers in comments, please remember how to form the spoiler tag: (spoiler)your text(/spoiler) except use square brackets instead of parenthesis. Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted.
June 01, 2007
So I'm rewatching a few of the episodes of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu and just got to ep 3 (broadcast order). There are a lot of small peculiarities about this series. Here's one: Kyon's little sister (who is always referred to by everyone in the series as imouto i.e. "little sister") calls her older brother "Kyon-kun".
That is bizarre. No 'nii-chan? That's what I would have expected.
It's not unknown in anime for charaters to use names for older siblings. Megumi calls Keiichi Kei-chan in Ah! My Goddess! But she's only one year younger than he is. Kyon is first year highschool, probably 16, and his sister looks to be 8 if she isn't even younger than that. I wouldn't expect an anime sister that young to be using her older brother's name, even his nickname.
Another peculiarity: we never learn what Kyon's real name is. Neither his given name nor his surname; everyone (including even his little sister) calls him "Kyon". It does make you wonder, doesn't it? Does he actually have a name? Maybe he himself doesn't know what it is, and doesn't realize that.
Haruhi's quest is for space aliens, time travellers, sliders, and espers. The Japanese terms for the first two are uchuujin and miraijin which literally mean "people from space" and "people from the future" respectively. She stops talking about sliders early on, but does keep talking about espers. I've been trying to figure out what word they're using, but it's long and they say it so fast that I can't hear it all, and my guesses haven't been turning up anything in the dictionary. Ah, well...
[No spoilers please.] (I think maybe I'll look into changing the comment entry template to include "No Spoilers" in big bold letters.)
UPDATE: Here's something we hear Mikuru say a lot: 機密事項 kimitsujikou.
UPDATE: Only I'm wrong. That's not what she's saying. I wonder what it is? It sounds like keisotsu jikou desu but that can't be right. It doesn't make any sense.
Greg Dean shows us an instance from real life as proof of what a wonderful lady he married.
If she really did recommend the Haruhi bunny-girl figurine over a Beldandy figurine, then I gotta say he's right; his wife is pretty special.more...
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