So,So, it seems a bit weird to be randomly talking about Haruhi, doesn’t it? Like, there’s no new book release that I know of, and I haven’t mentioned her in a dedicated post in well over a year. Well, my mind works in odd ways sometimes, ok? I realized that for the four posts I did for Haruhi Week, I never once talked exclusively about the girl of the hour, just mentioned her.
And this was a problem, as I’m fairly passionate about her character, as my best friend Claire can tell you. I was chatting with her about Haruhi and basically just ranted about her character and realized I wanted to write about it. Also, check Claire out on my credit’s page. She’s not only the artist for the header of the site and wallpaper you can get, but also for doing most of my twitch art. She’s great.
Haruhi is a bit of a contested character. Some people like her. Some people despise her. Some people tolerate her. There are a lot of mixed opinions, as with anything, but I would say that one side is a little more in the right than others. Haruhi is absolutely terrible. Like, she’s not a nice person at all, and I don’t blame anyone that dislikes or even hates her.
The entire premise of the anime is practically just Kyon and the gang putting up with all the selfish, horrible, world-destroying adventures she forces them on. She regularly sexually harasses her friend. She frames a classmate for sexual harassment as blackmail. She only cares about herself and is incredibly selfish. Does things regardless of what other people want. And to top it all off, she’s bratty, stuck up, and generally very unlikable. As Kyon said, though it’s a tad shallow, the only thing he really likes about her is her looks. Everything about her, honestly, just sucks.
So why do I still like her? It’s fairly simple, but kind of complicated, I suppose? You can chalk it all up to I see a lot of myself in Haruhi, so I can never really hate her because it would feel like hating myself, but it’s also that I feel like I understand her on somewhat of a deep level. I understand why she does what she does, even if she does horrible things. Her personality sucks, but, you know, it can sort of be endearing, right? No, it can’t, but I still like her.
I’ve talked a lot before about characters that aren’t necessarily likable but still well written, and how people often mix those things up. In fact, I have an entire post written about just that, but I don’t think I ever posted it. I’ll have to do that soon. Basically, we like characters that are likable, funnily enough. Weak characters like Shinji from Evangelion or Shu from Guilty Crown make us mad because of how weak and generally unlikable their inaction makes them.
I have another theory that a lot of that hate comes from people projecting their own weaknesses onto those realistic characters and using that as a way of taking their frustration out, but, of course, everyone will be different. This is a discussion for another day, but the point I’m trying to make is that humans aren’t perfect, thus humanlike or real characters will not be perfect, but we often end up disliking those characters, regardless of how well-written they are. A well-written character will almost never be perfect.
Huruhi very much falls into that category. She is awful, just terrible. Still, she’s a very human character, which is a little ironic given the premise of the show. But as much as Haruhi seems to just be a selfish, delusional brat, she’s actually a selfish delusional brat, but for valid reasons. I’m not saying her reasons justify her actions. They don’t at all. Not even slightly. Her reasons can be boiled down to “she’s bored,” which isn’t worth hurting others, but I can’t say I don’t understand her.
I have this weird wish that has been in the back of my mind for years and years now that I don’t know if anyone would understand, but if I were to tell it to Haruhi, I think she’d get it, and that little connection is what makes me relate to her in such a weird way. I’ve always wanted to just see something crazy happen in the world. I’m not talking natural stuff. I want to see something borderline supernatural.
I’ve always said that I would love to see a giant kraken just rise out of the sea. Like, clearly, it would be a bad thing. It would cause widespread panic and may even be dangerous for us, depending on how hostile the kraken is or how resilient it is. It would be all-around bad news for everyone. But, I can’t deny how amazing it would be to live to see it. The same with aliens, or monsters, or demons, or ghosts. It would be so unbelievably cool to see these things, even if they resulted in my own demise. Yes, that sounds exactly like something Haruhi would say, doesn’t it? And this is a thought I’ve had years before watching the anime.
So while I can admit that Haruhi is awful for the things she does and that I would never go quite as far as her, I can’t say I don’t understand and even agree with her message of wanting the world to be a crazy, magical place, and I weirdly respect her for fighting all odds to go out and discover those things. She has persistence in spades and that is all put towards making life fun for herself, and, as a result, the people around her.
While I know Haruhi doesn’t really care about anyone much besides maybe Kyon, being her friend would never be boring. You might take a bit of abuse that isn’t cool, but life as her friend would be full of constant adventures. You would never have boredom again. You would be too busy and possibly in too much danger to ever be, and I can’t help but think it sounds kind of fun.
This is very much what Kyon struggles with throughout the whole series, and especially during the movie. The whole plot is him sick of Haruhi’s antics and wanting it to go away. Just that happens, and he almost immediately finds himself missing it. He wants to go back to Haruhi because he finds her fun. His normal life is no longer good enough for him, and I feel that I would have a very similar reaction.
Haruhi would and does annoy me constantly, but I would never be able to bring myself to hate her because, like Kyon, I just want to enjoy my life and have fun. I want my life to be one of excitement, joy, adventure, and worth living. That’s exactly what Haruhi does for everyone, even if her methods are just absolute trash. So while there’s a lot of things to dislike about Haruhi, all of which I agree with, her message of wanting to free herself from the mundane and follow her dreams, no matter who tries to stop her is something I can relate to more than I’d like to admit.
So, yeah, Haruhi sucks. But I really like her. Or at least I like what she stands for? Well, that’s not exactly the best either, is it? Meh, who says I have to like only good people, right? Variety is the spice of life, or something. Yeah, I have no idea how to end this, so I’ll just stop.
Thank you very much for reading
Uh, bye. Awkward ending is awkward.