[Ascaloth] Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (2009), Episode 23: Suzumiya Haruhi no Tameiki IV

The Haruhi Express rolls ever on and on, picking up several temporary passengers in its wake as the non-entity Kunikida, "wawawa" Taniguchi, and the all-time cult favourite Tsuruya joins in on the shits and giggles, even if only for a while. But even as the Ultra Director continues to throw her weight around in the production process, she has not long left to remain oblivious of the discord her horrid behaviour has sown in her Brigade members; be it the pretty face who’s doomed to serve as her dress-up doll, or the yes-man who has to maintain his FABULOUS veneer at all costs, or even the silent follower who suffered 15,532 iterations of the same two weeks at her subconscious whim. Yet, it falls to the one who has the most emotional investment in the capricious Goddess to set Her straight, even if he denies it in vain.

Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (2009), Episode 23: Suzumiya Haruhi no Tameiki IV.

Awww, that was not nearly enough LOL from LOL-tan from me. Truth be told, Tsuruya’s laughter most definitely has a mysterious charm to it; the Mikuru 00 laughter scene that cemented her status as the dark horse favourite of the Haruhi franchise is certainly no fluke at this point. I am hoping that I’ll get to see that particular moments "behind the scenes" when the time comes, in fact. Can’t get enough of LOL-tan’s laughing. ^_^

Oooo laaaa laaaaa. Now why did this not make it into Mikuru 00? :(

Can’t get enuff lovin’, oooooh yeeeeah…..

"What did you….inject into me this time?"

….riiiiight. I get a feeling I’m going to have some wonderful dreams tonight. Anyway, let’s move on. ^_^

Sometimes, Itsuki says something that makes me wonder if his FABULOUS facade is not really as hard an act to keep up as it might appear. Since his "part-time job" is to deal with the literally giant monstrosities of Haruhi’s subconscious, perhaps he’s not entirely bullshitting whenever he says he much prefers dealing with whatever crazy shit Haruhi can cook up in the real world, or as far as they can tell. Giant-slaying missions probably aren’t all that easy even with esper powers after all, so dealing with the Brigade Chief in person might actually be a cakewalk in comparison.

"The world is too heavy for my two shoulders."

Really? Weren’t you the one who said the world sure isn’t worth much these days? ^_^

You know, it beats me why I’ve never really noticed until now, but Haruhi really comes up with a lot of bull on the spot. Does her many natural (or God-given, who knows?) talents include one for bullshitting on the fly, or does she simply get loads of inspiration from other sources, fictional or otherwise?

….hmmm. A talent for bullshitting on the fly. Fuck, that sounds like me. -_-

Considering that Haruhi has probably been at her most capricious ever in the Sighs arc, I’m surprised that it took Kyon as long as he did to start getting really pissed. Even the most apathetic minion has a boiling point though, and sometimes that boiling point is reached surprisingly quickly….

"What kind of evil do I have to do to live in this kind of house?"

I’m fairly interested in the answer to this question myself, actually. ^_^

On another note…..Tsuru-chan. Hmmm. That does have something of a nice ring to it. I wonder if it’ll catch on amidst the many nicknames that Tsuruya already has amongst her fans, however….

Back during the 2006 broadcast, a scene where the SOS Brigade gets completely smashed was left out of the Lone Island Syndrome arc, apparently due to Japanese broadcast laws about the depiction of minors and alcoholic drinks. This brought up some discussion about whether the same would happen with this scene….and while Tsuruya spiked Mikuru’s dirnk with tequila in the novel, KyoAni turned it into amazake here instead. Quite a smart way to circumvent the laws, but it just makes Mikuru look even sadder than she already is, and that’s saying a lot. Are people of the future really this intolerant of even the bit amount of alcohol that amazake does contain?

Kyon said that Koizumi was going to get a lot of death threats for this. For some reason, I felt that much the same could be said of Mikuru herself, if the fangirls at Itsuki’s rendition of Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are any indication.

Oh yes that scowl! I’ve waited so long to see it again! ^_^

"Director, this is a bit much for me."

Because Mikuru-chan isn’t your type, if you mean what I think you’re meaning?

Drunk Mikuru was great. Still can’t hold a candle to drunk Nagisa though. ^_^

And the capriciousness of Haruhi finally and inevitably comes to a head, as she crosses the line that snaps Kyon’s already-frayed nerves, leading to pretty much the most emotionally-intense sequence ever in the series, past or present. The girl has always been a capricious one, but this is Haruhi at her worst, at her most sociopathic, at her greatest embodiment of the dark side of her infamous personality. This, too, was Kyon at his touchiest and most critical, but it almost seems as if nothing less is required to contain Haruhi’s insatiable caprice.

Even back in 2006, it was clearly shown that the time Haruhi spent with Kyon and the SOS Brigade had softened and developed her from a near-sociopathic megalomaniac to a merely eccentric, even lovable still-a-megalomaniac; this, then, is probably the turning point for that change in her character. Come to think of it, this affords an even more powerful context to the already-sublime introspection sequence for Haruhi in Live Alive, when Kyon filled in the blanks in Haruhi’s stream of thought by mentioning that she never really Petted the Dog until that moment. This was her Kick the Dog moment that served as the most direct context to the former, so….wow.

I take my words back. Drunk Mikuru is at least as awesome as Drunk Nagisa. Now excuse me while I go have a cold shower.

I think the source of Tsuruya’s popularity is simply that there is a charm to her personality, that shines through even when she is more serious and less genki. She’s like a more tolerable version of Haruhi, and in fact, she resembles what a real-life Genki Girl would be like; you may get exhausted being dragged along with her antics, but you definitely won’t get bored.

What would I do if I gained Haruhi’s reality-warping powers for a day? Hmmm….the possibilities are endless. I could start listing the things I’ll do with that power….if not for the fact that I realized pretty quickly that I’ll never get to the end of that list. ^_^"

It’s not just Haruhi; Itsuki seems to be a pretty high-level bullshitter as well, if the fact that he can come up with one theory and then proceed to throw out a contradictory one mere months later is any indication. It makes one wonder whether Itsuki really knows a lot less about the situation than he’s letting on; out of his mouth, which is truth and which is just made-up bullshit? On the other hand, one can easily empathize with what is really a simple motivation on his part; merely to keep the world the way he remembers and loves it. If I’m not wrong, this is pretty much the one time we see more to Itsuki’s character than his usual FABULOUS veneer.

For some reason, I was thinking that with Haruhi’s powers, she should be able to make the day depressingly stormy and overcast to suit the depressive mood she’s feeling inside. It would have been pretty neat if she actually did that, that’s for sure.

Are we all Kyons, who secretly wish for a Haruhi to drag us out of our comfort zone to really live life? I brought that question up 15,532 several times during the Endless Eight arc, and now it seems as if Kyon himself has finally wised up as to why he’s made a habit of visiting the clubroom, despite seemingly always exasperated by Haruhi’s crazy stunts. It was hilarious how he wised up, not smoothly and naturally, but rather figuratively kicking and screaming, as if he didn’t want to be dragged away from his childish cynical attitude towards everything. For some reason, I feel as if that’s how most of us would actually end up maturing; kicking and screaming our way out of immaturity. :p


An inexplicably cute deredere at first….

….and then the return of that self-confident grin. Now that’s the Suzumiya Haruhi I remember. ^_^

I think I might have said the phrase "Ending the world is one thing" a couple too many times recently, but….I’ll say it again. Ending the world is one thing, but able to make the sakura bloom out of season on a mere subconscious whim….what can someone who can consciously manipulate the power do with it? What kind of world would result from a Goddess who has the power and knows about it?

Individual sakura petals gracing the background. Now that’s the KyoAni I remember. ^_^

One of the greatest crises in the short history of the SOS Brigade have been averted, albeit not without some unforeseen circumstances. Nevertheless, now that the worst feelings of its principal members have more or less been worked out, the shoot can go on, as it always must. Now, comes the origin story of the cat which appeared with Imouto in the OP, and which "talked" in Mikuru 00 through Yuki’s inexplicable skill with ventriloquism. However, if the Mikuru Beam was "real" in a sense, is there anything else in the movie we can take for granted any more?

Ascaloth, out.

6 Responses to “[Ascaloth] Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (2009), Episode 23: Suzumiya Haruhi no Tameiki IV”

  • Awesome, AWESOME review, Ascaloth. You put a lot of thought and effort into this, and it really shows. I agree that KyoAni’s very high quality anime-making is finally back (with this episode and the one or two before it), and it’s GREAT to see. Overall, I see Haruhi very close to the way you do, after all, and both of us love the same sort of facial images for her. I like a lot of your theories on Itsuki… I don’t think that he’s figured out much at all; he’s just throwing all sorts of different ideas out there and is still trying to come to a conclusion himself. However, like yourself, I totally understand him wanting to simply save his world from being destroyed by Haruhi.

    It’s neat that you mentioned how Haruhi’s bad mood could conceivably create bad weather – that’s exactly what I had a particularly bad mood of Haruhi’s do in a fanfic I wrote with her in. So, I definitely concur with you there. One thing about Haruhi – she got great taste in aesthetics. Love the subconscious reality-altering she did in this episode; it made things more beautiful.

    By the way, thanks for reminding me of the word “capricious”. I had actually forgotten that word entirely, and I like the sound it makes as it rolls off the tongue. And I’ll never again forget the word “capricious” after reading this review, lol! ;)

    Anyway, I don’t want this to get too long, so I’ll end it there. Just wonderful observations all around!

  • Hey, I just wanted to say you’re doing a fantastic job with the reviews week in and week out. Not only do they never fail to be funny but they also always manage to contain great analysis. As far as the weather reflecting Haruhi’s bad mood goes, you have to remember what Itsuki says about Closed Space\Sealed Dimensions not appearing. It seems as if she is subconsciously holding herself back, most likely because deep down she knows that what she did was wrong. That’s my reasoning why the Sealed Dimensions aren’t appearing and the weather is remaining normal.

    Well. that was my two cents. Keep up the great work!

  • Excellent review. You found so many interesting things to discuss in just this one episode. Much better than what I can come up with in my Haruhi reviews XD

  • Oh, and I never really thought about how the fight that Kyon and Haruhi have in this episode is sort of a turning point for Haruhi’s eventual softening up later in the series. But now that I do think about it, after “The Sigh” she’s never quite as bad or as blatantly tyrannical in later stories of the novels. Another good point you brought up =)

  • Praise be to Tsuru-chan! I suspect that she went along with the toss Mikuru into the lake, and get Mikuru drunk in order to get Mikuru into her home and have a perfect excuse to keep Mikuru overnight…

    To me at least I see Haruhi-sama as a less than ideal drill instructor, sure she dishes out humiliation but in then end it won’t kill you and if you can endure that much and take it you will probably be immune to it.

    Up until the point where Kyon is forced to watch Itsuki steal Mikuru’s first kiss he went along with it and did enjoy it at times. I like how Kyon develops a new found sense of “morality” at that juncture, it under cuts his righteousness almost completely and actually beating up Haruhi would have had some interesting implications…

  • “Giant-slaying missions probably aren’t all that easy even with esper powers after all, so dealing with the Brigade Chief in person might actually be a cakewalk in comparison.”

    If that special short story of Itsuki that was attached to the Haruhi-chan 4koma manga is anything to go by, the existence of Giant-slayer hunters that kill espers who kill the Giants would pretty much make Itsuki’s preference for Haruhi’s antics an obvious and wise decision.

    After all, you are less likely to get killed by obeying Haruhi than fighting one of those monsters (Mikuru Beam aside).

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