Moments of 2009: Kyon Fulfills His Destiny

haruhi s2 13 kyon is onto her

The conceit I make here is how I posit Kyon as a harem lead, despite not being a bland and blank character upon which a (male) viewer can impose himself as if to imagine himself in the situations surrounded by the attractive teenage characters in the world of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. I made a similar conceit in how I posited Bakemonogatari‘s Araragi Koyomi in a similar function, as a response to a comment made by coburn in one of the posts here on WRL.

The context here is how fans of the show ‘turned’ against Haruhi during the ‘Sighs’ arc, where the height of her bullying personality was portrayed, and perhaps even exaggerated. Nonetheless, these events came before “Live Alive,” which is arguably the most winsome moment for her character.

I also pursue this line of thinking from a comment made by crusader. He made quite an awesome point:

Haruhi has always been Haruhi, I personally found that Kyon’s new found morality to parallel anyone who was suddenly disgusted. Mikuru being abused and treated like Haruhi’s toy forms a pillar for her character, and certainly Kyon and many viewers were delighted as Haruhi forced Mikuru into various cosplays only when Kyon is cut off and we are shown a near continuous barrage of abuse do people start getting a new sense of “morality.” Kyon was not pissed off that Haruhi was abusing Mikuru, he was pissed off that he was not allowed to enjoy any of it and had to watch Itsuki do all the things he wanted to do.

Pretty much every one including Mikuru arrived at a consensus that they needed to keep Haruhi happy. I don’t think Mikuru is as helpless as she seems certainly when she grows up she will have greater confidence, but there is nothing that prevents Mikuru from extricating herself. She had a mission to do and she stuck with it, even in her drunken stupor she had enough sense to tell Kyon to stop his infantile white knighting. To me the interesting thing is not so much that some people have found a new sense of morality and outrage, what I find interesting is that Kyon White Knighting was lauded as people identified with the urge to punch Haruhi. I think that is the greatest demonstration of hypocrisy having after all the while enjoying the fruits for Mikuru’s humiliation and then all of a sudden get emotional once Kyon flips out over having Itsuki steal her first kiss.

I did have a good chuckle over Kyon’s failed attempt to demonstrate his pitiful might.

Yes I quoted the comment in full [->]

haruhi s2 ownage of toy

I find this moment rather significant in that it happened in a very interesting and rather well-done episode, which contrasts sharply with the controversial stretch of sameness in ‘Endless Eight’ which preceded it. The episode felt densely eventful, and was very full with threat. Even though we know the world did not end by the end of the episode, we or at least I was rather surprised at how gripping the whole thing was.

I had read ‘Sighs’ and I hated it. I most certainly think that this episode did Sighs a great service.

But the meta aspect of the moment, involving the fan reactions that crusader commented on, was rather awesome to witness. While it is rather condescending to call Kyon and therefore the fans infantile, I can’t really disagree. And it on the whole I was rather impressed to witness the whole spectacle of it.

Further Reading

I had almost called Haruhi as an infantile goddess, but stopped short and called her a teenager instead [->]

How people used to remember love for Haruhi prior to Endless Eight (remember Haruhiism?) [->]

It’s way ahead of the parameters of the project, but this post is in support of CCY-senpai’s 12 Moments in Anime 2009 he does for the 12 days of Christmas.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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18 Responses to Moments of 2009: Kyon Fulfills His Destiny

  1. kadian1364 says:

    That moment for me was the first time I started enjoying the Sighs arc, which is quite a long time to watch an anime without satisfaction considering I stopped liking E8 since its 3rd iteration. For me there wasn’t so much the silly knee-jerk outrage to beat Haruhi (a reaction that’s still kinda “wut?” inducing), just that I was so pleased this was an occasion to sit up and take notice.

    The final episode was also pretty winsome in my book, but only exacerbated the flaws of the whole of season 2. If the studio was capable of producing the goods like that, why didn’t they do so the whole time? So frustrating.

    • What Endless Eight showed me is how I sometimes prefer things to be interesting rather than to be ‘good.’ Ideally, we get both of course. Otherwise though, all things being equal, I’ll take interesting. And this show was quite interesting to me — despite being perhaps quite terrible overall.

  2. Baka-Raptor says:

    The episodes where Kyon fulfilled his destiny were pretty good. The episodes where Kyon didn’t fulfill his destiny were pretty bad. Unfortunately, there were more of the latter.

  3. X10A_Freedom says:

    Haruhi is definately in my “time-waster” category – something I only watched if I had the time. Unsurprisingly, I skipped 3 episodes of E8 while summer vacationing while (barely) keeping up with Bakemonogatari and TM8.0 on a 1 mbit (on a good day) connection which failed every time it rained.

    The reason behind the “time-waster” allocation? I knew from the start Haruhi was a royal dog of the female kind – although it seems a fair bit of the fandom didn’t realise until the sighs arc, and instead proclaiming Haruhi to be a “Goddess”. I shall stop here as I ventured into rough ground at Asuki where I voiced my real thoughts.

    It is Kyon which makes Haruhi watcheable (for me). His sarcasm and cynicism never fails to entertain. Although it makes me wonder what kind of positive utility is keeping Kyon at the SOS-brigade when he’s putting up with all this nonsense!

    • He’s putting up with all this nonsense because Nagato makes all of what Itsuki says believable: that pissing Haruhi off too much can destroy all existence. It’s the conceit of the series and it’s quite the clever and interesting one too.

      Furthermore, the school festival did happen, and just like that (after watching Haruhi sing and fumble with acknowledgment from ENOZ band members) she’s become sympathetic to him — as much as she became a goddess to most of her fans.

  4. animekritik says:

    Wait..what’s Kyon’s destiny? Being a harem lead?

    • Yes. He wasn’t written to be a harem lead, IMO — but he is destined to be one via the interactions with the fandom, and how he’s taken by it.

      In light of Crusader’s observations, the fans actually projected their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and reasoning onto him; or at least the parallel between his behavior and the fan’s aforementioned matters allowed the fans to project them onto him.

      So, despite having a very evident personality… Kyon was treated like a harem lead and as such he fulfills the destiny of any male lead surrounded by attractive girls who find him important in some fashion.

  5. Yumeka says:

    “The Sigh” is my least favorite of all the novels and I can see how this scene you mentioned shocked and appalled fans. But I agree with what crusader said about how Kyon and Mikuru already resigned themselves to the fact that they have to keep pleasing Haruhi no matter what. And personally, I don’t think Haruhi does any of these seemingly bullying things with any malicious intent – she sincerely believes that Kyon and the others are there to serve her (which they kind of are anyway).

    • Sighs is the last book I read in the series, and it’s put me off so thoroughly I resolved to just watch the anime.

      With regards to the malicious intent, I agree. It’s just behavior consistent to an absolute despot, who may arbitrarily value the objects she owns.

  6. 2DT says:

    That IS a wonderful point. Great read!

    But I must confess: I stopped watching Haruhi after the second Endless Eight. Shameful, I know.

  7. I think this scene would have been more of a stand out to me if I didn’t feel like they were retreaded established ground and therefore being redundant. Haruhi had already demonstrated many times in the previous season through her actions that she thought of Mikuru as nothing more than a living doll to play dress up with and to order around, the only difference is now she is saying it in her own words. However in terms of Kyon development it works a little bit better. However I felt this scene had far more impact in the novel whereas it came across as more hammy and matter of fact in the anime. A whole lot of meh for me I’m afraid to say, but then these are not my moments of 2009 so it’s no wonder.

    I’ll just add that it’s to bad what little bit of development this brings up for Kyon’s character in this franchise that all but seems to shun the very idea of character growth beyond it’s first installment will almost certainly never be brought up or made relevant at any point ever again in future installments (if they ever get made). Haruhi very much enjoys the forgive and forget style of storytelling.

    • This is not retreaded ground. It’s a ‘prequel’ more than anything, since it immediately precedes the most winsome moment for Haruhi’s character. Therein lies the point of interest, and perhaps remarkableness.

      I know you are NOT afraid to say that it’s meh for you, as you’ve never passed up an opportunity to express your opinion on your well-retreaded ground of non-impressed viewing of this, and other shows by the same studio.

      Forget about this already. Move on and wait for Gundam Unicorn.

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