Sunday, June 1, 2008

My take on Haruhism

"Yeah, right… What's a cubit?" – Noah to God in a Bill Cosby sketch

I've always had a fascination with religion. Now, I'm not a really religious person, I've just been a bit too skeptical for that, but I don't fault anyone who is. In fact, I tend to find it more a failing with me, rather than a failing with other people.

But it's lead to me finding religion (in particular Christianity) really interesting and by extension various images of God (or Gods) in anime interesting. Now, I'll freely admit I'm not a theologian, and I definitely don't necessarily understand all of the finer points of all religions, but that hasn't stopped me before.

So anyways, I started thinking about this topic while I was watching Haruhi, so I thought I'd offer my take on that first. (Obligatory Spoiler warning.)

On the Nature of the SOS Brigade

Haruhi is God, right? I mean that's what the show pretty much lays out there from the start. Now what I finding interesting about Haruhi as God is that she's almost completely unaware that she is God. In fact, her actions might have somewhat disastrous results, but she's never the victim of them. In fact, there's an active conspiracy to keep the truth away from her because who knows what would happen if she ACTUALLY knew that she was God.

What makes this interesting is that almost every person in the SOS Brigade is a direct creation of Haruhi or at the very least is drawn to her. Now it could be said that they're just scientists hoping to examine the phenomenon that is Haruhi. But from a religious standpoint, they seem more like worshippers. At least one point or another, they all actively work to try to appease her. (Thankfully, they stop short of sacrificing virgins.)

Except for Kyon.

Now when I first started thinking about Kyon and his role, I thought maybe he was a prophet. Kind of like Noah in the Bill Cosby sketch, he was a skeptical prophet, but a prophet nonetheless. But, he just doesn't seem to have the right amount of religious fear. In fact, even though he knows the truth about Haruhi, he rarely acts on it; sometimes he actually aggravates the problem.

Let's face it, Kyon might be a lot of things, but he's definitely not a disciple in the church of Haruhi.

Which left me thinking about how does Kyon fit into this mythology? And more fundamentally, why did Haruhi choose him?

On the Nature of Kyon in the church of Haruhi

One of the things that bothered me the more I thought about this was that even though Haruhi is the one with all of the power, Kyon is the one with all of the knowledge. Like I said, there's an active conspiracy to keep the truth away from her. So she's all powerful, but she's completely ignorant.

On the other hand, Kyon knows what's going on, and the only one who can really act on it. It could be said that he's omniscient (in a sense), but is completely powerless. But he's also the only one who actively opposes Haruhi when she goes too far.

So I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, even though everyone says Haruhi chose Kyon, Kyon also chose Haruhi. It was his actions that lead to the creation of the SOS Brigade. It was his actions that stopped the world from being swallowed up in closed space. And he's the only one who can rein Haruhi in. In the end, Kyon plays the Superego to Haruhi's inexhaustible Id. In fact, it shouldn't so much be the church of Haruhi as the church of Haruhi and Kyon.

Because in Haruhi, I fear. But in Kyon, I trust.

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