Nagato Yuki no shoushitsu

After over two weeks straight of not doing much of anything but work, last week-end was a welcome break full of otaku activities: anison karaoke, Nanoha the movie 1st and shopping for Okada Kou's new book Chuugakusei nikki on Saturday, followed by a Sunshine Creation full of Hideyoshi doujinshi and Suzumiya Haruhi no shoushitsu on Sunday. Nanoha in particular was pure joy, and though it took me several, erm, sittings to finish it (it's just too useable), I can also tell you that Chuugakusei nikki is spectacular.

On the other hand, the Haruhi movie (known in English as The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, or was it Vanishment instead?) was a bit of a disappointment for me. Since impression posts I've read about it seemed to range from contented to ecstatic, I might as well try and explain why. This shouldn't spoil anything if you're familiar with the Shoushitsu storyline; I haven't read the novels myself, but the adaptation was reportedly quite faithful.

I really don't have any complaint about KyoAni's work, mind you. The production values were expectedly high, the writing was sharp, with occasional witty references that didn't look forced, the pacing was brisk but easy to follow, and the whole movie was gripping enough that, for almost three hours, I could forget about the horrible placement of my seat and the long time since the guy on my left presumably last had had a shower. Technically speaking, this was a better movie than Nanoha by a significant margin. And yet, I didn't like it.

More precisely, I didn't like the story at all, and what it did with Nagato as a character. Though I may not quite register as an outright Nagato fanboy, she's by far my favorite SOS Dan member, and I like what she represents—quiet intelligence, cold cuteness, paucity of speech but not of thought, meganekko (ok, scratch that one, damn you Kyon), wisdom and strength, a good taste in SF... She's pretty much what I describe as my type of girl when people ask and I don't want them to call the police just yet. So yeah, as far as this franchise, I'm definitely a Yukiist and as such I find it hard to enjoy the movie plotline. I'd heard before that Shoushitsu was one part of the story where Nagato particularly shines, and this only made the disappointment worse.

Basically, Shoushitsu is the story of Nagato's Pinocchio complex. She wishes to turn into a “real girl” (well, she does a little more than wish) and everything goes wrong. I can accept that. I can accept that even her could go out and do something stupid and arguably selfish. Great intelligence doesn't always come with great emotional maturity (for obvious reasons in her case), though it does often come with tedious social expectations of collectedness (I'm reminded of Toradora!'s Kitamura somehow), which is why I can also accept that what she did was so shocking (I was shocked, to be honest, and refused to believe that she was the “culprit” until the actual revelation), even though one would hardly blink an eye at Haruhi doing the same. But beyond that, things get harder to swallow.

For one thing, Shoushitsu marks in some sense the triumph of Haruhiism over Yukiism canon-wise. Not only does Kyon put his sarcasms aside and actively embrace Haruhiism while showing little sympathy for Nagato (his words of gratitude and praise, “she saved my life: how can I not like her” and whatnot, all refer to her as a powerful being, not as a human-like friend and even less as a love interest), but the entire world seems to do the same. I mean, Haruhi disappears and all of a sudden, everyone's life turns bleak, people fall ill and forlorn grey clouds cover the sky? We all know what the “SO” in SOS Dan stands for, but that's a bit too literal for me.

But more importantly, I'm concerned with what it means for Nagato to become a “real girl” in this story. It is best summed up by Mature Mikuru's comment just after the world has changed. Kyon, wielding his bizarre weapon, tries to convince a terrified Alternate Nagato to put things back in order herself so he doesn't have to shoot. Mikuru tells him that it's no use. “This Nagato has no power whatsoever: she's just a normal girl.” So, there you go. True Nagato has superior intellect; Alternate Nagato is bookish but not too bright. True Nagato is terse; Alternate Nagato is just coy. True Nagato is strong; Alternate Nagato is a wimp.

Is that what it means to be a normal girl, Tanigawa? Sheepish harmlessness? So much for Haruhi's relatively ironic take on gender stereotypes. Or perhaps this Alternate Nagato, inferior in almost every way to the original (glasses being one of the few exceptions), is what True Nagato figured would suit Kyon's tastes? And by audience surrogate isomorphism, what the author figured would please his male readers? Either option is pretty aggravating.

Even more aggravating, however, is the fact that this all works. Alternate Nagato, for all her shortcomings as a decent human being, is so cute it hurts. Her fearfulness, her blushes, her desperate yearning for affection, the way she holds onto Kyon's sleeve—some of the most potent and irresistible forced moe in years. I certainly had the warm and fuzzy feeling, mixed with anger at falling for this imposture. And it doesn't stop there. We have to sit through Kyon's ultimate rejection of Alternate Nagato and her heartwrenching emotional breakdown. Which all comes after an Eva-like introspective dilemma where he decides for Haruhi and the red pill. Implying that we, Yukiists, would rather take the blue pill and Alternate Nagato's shallow infatuation.

It's not just the screenwriting that is Eva-like here. The whole setting is basically a reprise of what Anno did with Ayanami fifteen years ago: manufacture a female being that his audience of introverts would grow to love, and expose his bag of tricks in the end while taking sadistic pleasure in destroying his puppet in front of them. Shoushitsu has the same general structure, only worse. Here, we know that Alternate Nagato is “fake” from the get-go, she is even more of a weakly moe archetype than Ayanami was, and yet we still find her loveable. In Eva, both the setup and the “destruction” can be ascribed to Gendou's sick mind, whereas in Shoushitsu, the setup is of True Nagato's making and the destruction is carried out by audience stand-in Kyon, so that you don't even have a bad guy to blame.

That's probably what it boils down to. I didn't like the mind game that was Evangelion, and was not amused in Shoushitsu playing the same tricks and upping the ante.

26 comments for ‘Nagato Yuki no shoushitsu’.

So basically, is it like the kind of work of art (I kinda wish I could think of a better term that isn't loaded with tons of baggage, but whatevs) where it's able to manipulate your emotions in the way that it sets out to do, but that is a way that you don't want to have done to you?

At least if you're fine with putting Evangelion in that category (and I think it deserves it), it seems like a fitting description. Of course there's the catch that, implicit in the whole moe business, is a measure of willingness to have one's feelings manipulated. Just not in that way as far as I'm concerned.

This was a good review and your reasons for not "enjoying it" where well presented as well, however there is only 1 part where I think you seriously misunderstood...which also seems to be one of the main reasons you felt annoyed.

It is best summed up by Mature Mikuru's comment just after the world has changed. Kyon, wielding his bizarre weapon, tries to convince a terrified Alternate Nagato to put things back in order herself so he doesn't have to shoot. Mikuru tells him that it's no use. “This Nagato has no power whatsoever: she's just a normal girl.” So, there you go. True Nagato has superior intellect; Alternate Nagato is bookish but not too bright. True Nagato is terse; Alternate Nagato is just coy. True Nagato is strong; Alternate Nagato is a wimp.

I think you seriously misunderstood Mikuru's words at that time, Kyon asked the alternate Yuki to change things back the way they were but at that time Nagato had already deleted her own powers and changed the world completely. Mikuru was pretty much just pointing out to Kyon that no matter how much he would beg her, the new Nagato just wasn't a humanoid interface that had the ability to alter time and reality...she was much like Mikuru, Tsuruya, and pretty much every other girl out there, just a normal human girl that had no god-like powers.
It was never mentioned that the alternate Nagato was not bright, nor that she was a wimp. The alternate Nagato is exactly what Nagato would be once you remove her god-like data manipulation skills, which is a quiet, shy, bookish girl. You also have to remember that even this alternate Nagato lives on her own much like regular Nagato, so you cannot assume that she is useless.
I just thought I would share what my thoughts were on this, because even though you questioned Tanigawa on what it meant to be a little girl, you pretty much assumed that stereotype on your own from that paragraph alone.

Of course I understand what Mikuru meant literally, but I'm also willing to give some credit to the writers that key lines on the script at heavy moments in the intrigue are not just random. Both in isolation and within the context of this movie, this particular sentence sounds to me to be more meaningful than you make it out to be.

That said, while I do find the line itself to be a pretty sad summary of my problem with the story, it's not the source of the problem. There is a degree of interpretation involved in calling Alternative Nagato “not too bright,” I agree, but “shy and quiet” is an utter understatement, and the movie is entirely explicit about her being a weakling. I mean, as you say, she lives alone, and yet Asakura has to make her dinner for fear she'll just die out of malnutrition.

We can react in different ways to the stereotype, or have different assessments of how blatantly it is presented, but refusing to see it altogether?

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

I think I found some clue hidden in this. All this time we've seen Nagato rescue Kyon, either fictionally (kamadouma incident, or maybe the vs. Ryoko rescue) or in reality (saved him from the Mikuru beam and offered him protection at the end of Melancholy). Notice that there were other times where she rescued Kyon or did something truly awesome, but they happened after Disappearance, not before.

In shoushitsu, we see her wanting to be rescued. She wants him to join the literature club, acting as the strong man that rescued her alternate self in that library.

In other words, Nagato wanted to depend on Kyon just as he depended on her earlier. And he did, successfully, when he protected her from being deleted, with only a simple threat: Saying "I'm John Smith".

An elder brother feels the burden of taking care of the younger. Maybe Nagato felt a lot of burden of taking care of Kyon, Mikuru AND Haruhi, and wanted to know how it felt to be taken care of, for a change. Maybe she just wanted to feel the physical affection of Kyon's hug. No matter how strong and powerful you are, if you have feelings, you're vulnerable to loneliness (add to that the agony of 595 years repeating the same vacations over and over, and without being able to tell the person you're fond of how you feel about the situation).

Maybe that was the whole point of Disappearance: Nagato simply felt too lonely. Maybe she really didn't want to be human, but it was the only way she found to make her feelings reach Kyon: With the IDSE lurking around, she was threatened with deletion. So the only way out of this conundrum was to become human.

This possibility is both unexpected and pleasant: She didn't merely have a pinnochio complex, but a "what about me?" feeling burned deep inside her. Maybe she represented herself as weak and vulnerable, because that's how she felt at the moment before changing the world.

I think I like this theory, as it strays from the typical "pinnochio" premise and goes right into psychology.

What do you think?

It was interesting reading a negative review of the movie after all the praise that has come out, even though I don't fully agree with you on how Yuki is presented. I think it's true that Yuki created Alt. Yuki because she assumed that's what Kyon would imagine her to be like without her alien powers. It's not necessarily what Tanigawa thinks is the appropriate "normal girl." Kyon often imagines Haruhi being a "normal girl" but that doesn't mean she has to be shy, submissive, etc., just not as outrageous as she is. Like what Game8910 said, I don't think we were shown enough of Alt. Yuki to prove that she was as bad as you say.

I think the overall message (reflected through Kyon) is that we should be glad that Yuki is starting to show sighs of human emotion, but becoming a flat-out shy, weak, introvert (Alt. Yuki) is NOT what she should be - she should simply be herself, the confident, strong humanoid interface who is very gradually becoming more human (as later novel volumes dictate). One of the key factors with her being the culprit is that she was the only one whose personality changed in Alt. form. Yuki made her Alt. form the opposite of how she is normally, but in the end, this is not what Kyon (and perhaps the audience) wants for her.

WARNING: HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD

Have you considered that Nagato obeys all of the Integrated Data Sentient Entity's order, not because she's strong, but because she practically has NO CHOICE? Think about it.

In any case, you're forgetting something. Being human means having no previous knowledge of the events to come. It means being frightened of experiences unknown to you (hey, if a person you like with is becoming menacing and maybe even life-threatening, pointing a f*k'ing gun at you, how would YOU feel? Hey, wait a minute, we've already seen that. Asakura Ryoko, in the first season). It means getting nervous because the hormones are overwhelming. It means making mistakes. It means sometimes, losing control.

The alternate world Yuki just happened to live in circumstances out of her control. How is that supposed to be bad?

Now, about her shyness: Have you perhaps considered that her estoic attitude is not a sign of strength, but of shyness? It's much easier to wear a mask around when you're feeling vulnerable, so that the person you like cannot notice or even hint at your emotions (hmm, endless eight comes to mind - remember Yuki's mask collection at the festival?)

Yes, I'm saying Yuki is naturally shy. This is why she can't express her emotions to Kyon. Who knows if she REALLY cried during the Endless August, if she frowned, if she hoped for Kyon to help her, but was simply forbidden to show her emotions?

The 7th novel implies so. After she finally rescues Kyon from Asakura, she restores her other self, who asks for synchronization. "Denied.", she answers coldly.
"Why?" asks her other self.
"Because I don't want to."
Later, she tells her other self that she is free to act upon her own will. And then we see a change. A HUGE change in her. She may not smile, but she is able to talk about her feelings more openly. She gets shy in front of Kyon when she's writing her poem in the 8th novel - she constantly hides her laptop display from Kyon when he's peeking around -. Also she invites Kyon and Mikuru TO EAT.

I would say more, but I don't want to ruin the fun. The point is, that perhaps the "Moe" Yuki is her TRUE personality, and she's forbidden or restricted from showing it because of Haruhi. It should be obvious by now that she loves Kyon (confirmed in the series, listen to Asakura's spell in reverse and slowed down). And Kyon wants to see her smile again.

In other words, Vanishment is not a mere "moe-ification" of Nagato, but a very well thought character development. The culprit is her, because she wants to show Kyon a different face of herself. She wrote the hint in the bookmark because she cares for him and wants him to make his own choice. This gives us also a lot of insight in how deep she loves him. She could as well make him forget everything and force him to be with her, without making anyone suffer, but she respects him and refuses to push things this way against his will.

After the 4th novel (and the intro of the 7th novel), Yuki has definitely become my favorite character. Not because she looked cute, innocent and nerdy (which isn't a bad thing, by the way), but because her actions and attitudes give us a very deep insight into her feelings. This is a much greater character development than even the main character, Haruhi.

I agree with you on something - just staying with a moeified shy Yuki would be making her into a stereotype (no matter how much I love this stereotype in particular). But the fact is that after Kyon returned to his own timeline, he became much more respectful of Nagato. Because she showed him a lot of things inside her. For example, that she has emotions, and a will of her own. She is no longer an automaton, a heartless robot. She is a fully-fledged sentient and sensitive being - with fears and doubts. She even admits to feeling disappointment in the chapter about the football player "falling in love" with her.

The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi was the key event to Nagato sharing her own feelings. Is there anything wrong with that, at all?

I agree, I also felt that Shoushitsu offered great character development for Yuki rather than degradation.

Thanks for the interesting comments. You make many points it's probably a bit difficult to reply to them all in an organized fashion, but I'll still try to address your main remarks.

Have you considered that Nagato obeys all of the Integrated Data Sentient Entity's order, not because she's strong, but because she practically has NO CHOICE?

That's a bit of a red herring. Strength and the propensity to follow orders from a higher authority are largely independent from each other. And I don't think I've refered to the latter in this post?

The alternate world Yuki just happened to live in circumstances out of her control. How is that supposed to be bad?

It's not. What can be “bad” (though “good vs. bad” is probably not the right way to frame the question) is the way you react to such unknown circumstances. If your reaction to a semi-stranger entering your club room and disturbing your reading with questions that make no sense is to cower away, tremble and falter, then I may not go as far as thinking there's something wrong with you, but you're probably not the strongest person I've met, right?

Now, about her shyness: Have you perhaps considered that her stoic attitude is not a sign of strength, but of shyness?

It might be, but that's culturally implausible. Speaking your mind in words few but weighty is a token of Japanese figures of power.

The point is, that perhaps the "Moe" Yuki is her TRUE personality, and she's forbidden or restricted from showing it because of Haruhi.

Well, maybe, and I'm not sure how this possibility has any bearing on my criticisms. To the extent that moe can be a personality trait, which I find rather dubious, it's not one I would complain about; quite the contrary, I guess. Now if what you're trying to say is that deep down, Nagato really is, or aspires to be, a helpless little girl craving for affection, I would respectfully dissent. At any rate, that's not the Nagato I've grown to like, and if that's really what she develops into further along, you can extend my criticism to this line of development as well.

In other words, Vanishment is not a mere "moe-ification" of Nagato, but a very well thought character development. The culprit is her, because she wants to show Kyon a different face of herself.

I can't argue with that (minus, if you will, the “well thought-out” part). It's made completely clear in the movie in case anyone had doubts about it. And I still fail to see how this relates to my comments. Had it been an inconsequential moe-ification exercise, the movie would probably have been rather uninteresting, but not aggravating as it was to me.

The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi was the key event to Nagato sharing her own feelings. Is there anything wrong with that, at all?

No, of course. That is not what I found something wrong with.

Generally speaking, I don't think we disagree on a lot of factual matters here. We just seem to be talking past each other. I'm sorry if I failed to convey my criticisms clearly enough.

Thanks for your reply! Yes, I've grown fond of the "this-world" Yuki, and i'm intrigued about what her true personality really is. From the 4th novel (Kyon's response to Nagato in the end) we know that her lack of facial expressions is a consequence of the Integrated Data Sentient Entity. Whether Nagato CANNOT smile or she merely is forbidden to do, is a mystery that I'd like to be cleared up.

I also noticed that Nagato's reaction when Kyon entered the literature club like a madman was... too tolerant. Perhaps this was Disappearance's weak point: A plot hole in Nagato's personality. Maybe this particular point is what you were complaining about in the first place?

It's funny how you (the "you" is plural) come to like something so much that you dismiss the parts that don't fit. Until responding to your review/response, I hadn't bothered to consider that Tanigawa-sensei isn't perfect and that his novels may have some plot holes or parts that perhaps should be fixed. I think Kyon's first encounter with "alter!Nagato" should be rewritten to show a much more natural reaction from Nagato.

Perhaps Nagato when seeing that Kyon perhaps had a nervous breakdown (he stopped yelling and sat down, after all), just grabbed the courage to give him the invitation to join the club. Then again, some novel readers and "Haruhologists" (you can visit the SuzumiyaHaruhi section in the tvtropes website to find out more) open the possibility of Kyon being an unreliable narrator (i.e. what truly happened isn't exactly what he says that
happened). We shouldn't dismiss the narrative devices and the novel's original plot and set, either. Nagato was meant to be a cold "robot-like" character, while the moe character was, obviously, Mikuru. Giving Nagato emotions in the first novel would be simply a no-no. However, we must also put that aside and deal with the consequences of the author's writing: How to make Nagato show her emotions to Kyon without breaking continuity? Maybe disappearance was the only way.

Still, one question remains. What is Nagato's true personality? After seeing Kimidori and Asakura display emotions perfectly (even if they're not sincere), we're left wondering why the heck Nagato cannot smile. And more questions arise: Does she chuckle from inside when talking too technically to Kyon and watching him get confused (i.e. in sighs, when she described the Mikuru beam as a laser)? Does she feel the need to recline her head on Kyon's shoulder shen she's alone with him?

I'm sure this mysterious part of Nagato keeps us hooked on the novels, and I'd love to read more fanfics which deal with Nagato's emotions. Oh, btw, I wrote a fanfic of my own (it's linked above this post), if you want to read it. It's a sequel for disappearance, and it deals with Nagato showing her emotions to Kyon. You may not like it a lot, however, since I assume that Nagato's true personality is the one she had in disappearance. Your mileage may vary.

Again, thanks for your wonderful review and blog!

Another thing I forgot mentioning about Nagato - it may not be relevant to this post anymore, but I think I should share my thoughts about it.

Asakura Ryoko.

(WARNING: EVEN MORE SPOILERS AHEAD)

Have you heard the tale "Red oni, Blue oni"? The red demon likes a girl and asks a blue demon to play the bad guy so that he can rescue the girl and become the good guy.

Now think about Bamboo Leaf rhapsody. How would it be even POSSIBLE for Asakura to kill Kyon, if his future self was already sleeping in cryo in Nagato's apartment?

Ryoko most certainly knew that. So why would she kill him? My theory is that it was ALL STAGED. Nagato wanted to become the Hero who rescued Kyon, because she liked him from the beginning. From when he met her for the first time, three years ago.

This gives us more plot points to analyse: That Asakura Ryoko sacrificed herself with the hope of Nagato being happy with Kyon sometime. Certainly, Nagato and Asakura could have discussed the actual need to kill Kyon so that Haruhi would wake up.

Also, think about this other bit. Why would Nagato summon Asakura to her own world, AND PRESERVE HER MEMORIES?

That's right. The Ryoko in Nagato's alternate universe preserved her memories alright. This is shown in the 7th novel, when Kyon goes rescuing himself. When Asakura is stopped by the alien Nagato, she asks: "Why? Didn't you want this?"

This was BEFORE the world had been restored back to its status. So the question is: Why would Nagato bring Ryoko and keep her memories, if they were not very close friends? Nagato could certainly have summoned Kimidori Emiri, who was also an alien. But Nagato chose Asakura instead. Why?

And the answer is, because she trusts her. How could she trust her, if they had fought to death? Is Asakura REALLY Nagato's enemy?

My two cents.

Wow, I totally never thought of that before. I now have a new plot point to ponder, and to look for in future novels.

Yes, indeed it's an interesting point. I think I have an answer: That Asakura is the only known alien so far, and that Kimidori-san wasn't officially an alien until book 8. Keeping in mind that Disappearance was written WAY before these revelations (and even before Endless Eight!), we must assume that Tanigawa-sensei wrote the subsequent books while struggling to maintain a good continuity in the novels, i.e. that Endless Eight could have been written to EXPLAIN why Nagato rewrote the world. All this pondering makes me want to interview Tanigawa-sensei and ask him all of these questions.

Anyway, now that the novels have been written, they are canon and should be analysed with the "it's written anyway, so what does that mean for the characters" point of view.

I've only read the novels, and I've heard the plot is basically the same, but if there are huge differences feel free to completely disregard this.

I think the reason alt.Yuki is cute and weak is because that's what she thought Kyon would like. Kyon likes those traits in Mikuru, so it makes sense that Yuki would try and replicate those traits in her alternate self.

I always disagreed with Kyon's choice. I would have chosen alt.Yuki's world in a heartbeat.

Nice post there. Just wanted to add my point of view if you don't mind.

Making an Alt.Yuki, the Yuki we know was deleting Herself, almost like a suicide. She even has no knowledge of what happened in those 2 days, so where is her profit? My point being that Yuki did not do this for herself, she even didn't realy care for what happens to her alt self. She did it for Kyon only.

All the time she was near him she heard his constant "yare-yare". Yuki likes him, no point in arguing with that (may be for that "Wait for us"), and she wants to help.
Now, where to start? Every one else is fine without any special characteristics, but she had to make a New human to take her place. Now that's a problem.

Imagination. Something Yuki has very little of. She copied the behavior, interests, some of her feelings, and a edited memory of meeting with Kyon just so she would not call the police at after their first conversation. She couldn't place her personality in that form, just the basics she knew of "shy human girl with glasses" and her own true feelings.

That was not her ideal, nor a doll for Kyon to lure him to stay. That was just a replacement, her vision of herself as a human. That is why Kyon didn't like alt Yuki - the real one was better, and a very good friend he didn't want to lose.

But Nagato probably knew that her future self would be restored. At least by deduction (and using the paradox theory). Since the time-traveling adult Asahina-san was there (and she couldn't exist in the future if the world had remained altered), it could be deduced that the world would be restored somehow.

And whether Nagato can remember or not, we don't know. When she was restored by her future self, only her biology was altered. But her memories remain. How exactly the "time overwriting" works is not explained in the novels (let's also remember that IDTE interfaces are immune to time alteration as they gather all information) . I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

Also, it's Kyon who believes she's not her real self. But can consciousness cease to exist if an event in time is altered? I don't think so.

Another factor to take into account is the Escape program. Just as in Dan Simmons' HYPERION, the farcasters served a dual purpose (harvesting human processing power for the Techno core AIs), perhaps the Escape Program Nagato designed harvested her own memories, communicating with her past self just before (or after) the restoration of the world.

Whatever the mechanism, there is a way for us to know that at least, she COULD remember.

There is one Yuki's trait you forget of. She is selfless. The disappearance story is all about Yuki having her fist wish come to life. And that wish was not to become human, or to get Haruhi's powers or take her place - she wished to give Kyon a gift of choice, a really nice one. The previous comment is about right for me.
They say: if you love someone - let him go.

And: Be carefull when you wish for something - you may just get it. Kyon looked like he whished for a normal word, well now he doesn't for sure.

Are you sure that the "Arigatou" in the end was ablout not letting her get deleted? It may also be a "thank you for choosing me".

And one last thought before I depart. That "Red oni - blue oni". Think of it this way: Nagato sincronises with her future self, learns about Asakura's atack and places Kyon in a stasis fielв in the guest room. Are you shure Asakura knew of her target being in the next room and didn't try to take it out? Well, I'm just not the fan of a "let me kill you to look good" version.

Thanks for comments, everyone.

I've heard quite a few of those "Nagato is altruistic" remarks previously, and they all fail to convince me. I mean, sacrificing the entire world as we know it to your love interest isn't exactly the least selfish thing to do, even if you “get nothing in return” as Unnamed-one says (and the connection between True Nagato and the alternate one doesn't seem quite that simple either).

Also, I don't know about the novel, but movie Kyon really fails to give any sign of being interested in Nagato (either of them) beyond the mere “clubroom buddy” level. Final roof scene notwithstanding.

I already commented on the movie, but it seemed to me when I watched it that Nagato was sick of the world and just wanted less responsibility for Haruhi and protecting Kyon. As for turning into the bookish girl that she does - perhaps this is "Default Yuki" without the influence of the Data Overmind? Certainly seems like it. Also, without the Data Overmind, what the hell is Asakura still doing around with her knife and killer instincts? Is she just like that in real life perhaps?

Especially when Yuki gives Kyon the Literature club slip it seems she's begging him subconsciously to keep the world the way she's made it rather than return it to the way it was before. I mean, she must have had a reason for changing it in the first place. I refuse to believe "errors building up over time" as a thin veiled excuse. For me, the movie was more aout revealing Original Nagato's feelings rather than new Nagato's feelings. I don't think we need to read much more into gender stereotypes and all that since Japan is rather sexist already...

(In fact, we could make a few comments on gender stereotypes from the subject matter of this very blog! Just saying...)

It's good to hear people's opinions though! Your blog is like mine used to be when I actually had opinions that weren't already said...I seem to have run out lately...

I forgot to add a very obvious plot device. Why did Kyon return to Haruhi's world?

The answer is stupidly simple. It's just the fourth novel. If Kyon doesn't return, it's game over. End of franchise, doh! (Why didn't I think of that earlier?)

We wouldn't have Lone Island Syndrome, The adventures of Asahina Mikuru, The melancholy of Asahina Mikuru, the Intrigues of Suzumiya Haruhi, etc.

We've become so used to the anime that we forget there was an order in publication. Obviously the Haruhi novels had a lot of fans, which was a very strong reason for Tanigawa-sensei to keep writing. If he gave Kyon and Yuki a happy ending, the novels would stop being Haruhi and turn into a simple love comedy.

The series HAD to go on, and therefore Kyon had to "abandon" Yuki and return to Haruhi's world. And I quote "abandon" because the greatest moment in the novel is in the end of the book:

[spoiler]When she is visiting him in the hospital and tells him about the deletion. He goes mad, he starts yelling and threatens the Integrated Thought Data Entity with THEIR deletion. "I only have to say 'I am John Smith'". Then, Yuki makes her first manifestation of emotions. She says "Thank you".[/spoiler]

In a way, it was a happy ending. Or a happy non-ending, to be more precise. And I'm glad it went that way, because we had more chances to know the improved, free-from-fate Nagato express her emotions with words, actions, and poems.

But I digress. Kyon returned to his world, not because he loved Haruhi over Yuki. But because "God" (and I mean the author) meant it to be this way. There was no other choice. Which postpones the characters' love choices until the appropriate time.

Fantastic trolling.

>first part
oh, well, its a matter of taste, if he doesnt like it, thats ok

>second part, where he admits that he is your typical ronery otaku neckbeard and is 100% biased and angry that his perfect waifu portrays a different personality
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

tl;dr you have shit taste, gtfo the internet.

[...] premier grief envers ce film rejoint en bonne partie ce que disait mon collègue mt-i lorsqu’il a vu le film au cinéma. Pour le citer en partie : True Nagato has superior [...]

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*warning, possible spoilers below*

Nice deductions Rick, but dont forget that Kyon (or Tanigawa theyre both the same X-D) has juggling between his hands, 4 sci-fi characters viewed in a introspective manner. He has:

1.-A highly advanced being from the outside.
2.-A person from an advanced time and culture in the far future.
3.-A person with an advanced extrasensorial capabilities.
4.-A person with an almighty capability.

Aimed at the inexpert, i could resume this 4 beings as an alien, a time traveler, an esper and *gulp* a semi-god. Somehow i find it fun how Tanigawa plays with these 4 characters and the way he points at their flaws if hypothetically, they could exist and how would he react to these strange circumstances. He practically tried to invite us into a discussion where the main plot is "what if..." (this is, a "make your own hipotesis about the story") and he does it well in a manner. Bad thing of letting loose a lot the imagination of your readers is that everyone will whant to pour his opinion and feelings into his work, something that i thank him a lot since it gave me soo many thing to think of but it leaves other people with no clue of what is really happening in the story because in some of the events people will need to understand body languaje well and try not to let any detail done in the story as irrelevant.

For example, the last scene, after the credits, we can contemplate Nagato at the library, reading a book. Casually, she stares at two kids, a boy and a girl, as the girl says "thank you" to the boy while he is helping her with a library card. Nagato stares down, back at the book she is reading and then, she stares back at the kids again while trying to cover her expresion. In the movie we see Nagato giving thanks to kyon 2 times, one at her apartment explaining that she knew him before because one day at the library Kyon made a library card for her, and at the end of the movie. This can make that some of us imagine that theres a connection between those 2 events. Could it be that Nagato learned that giving thanks is a needed human protocol, and the action of "give thanks", is a complex action that means that you, as a person, acknowledged the efforts of others when they try to help you and approve them? How could she approve something and judge if it is right or wrong if theres no prupose to assign a value to an action? An Ai only serves the prupose of the programmer, and her prupose wasn't hers. But maybe a flaw could be developed if you try to make them learn from human behaviour, because human behaviour is controlled by the brain that is waaay more complex than any supercomputer in the entire universe. Human brain is programmed to achieve "balance" in the body, but it has some flaws, because we have feelings that can be corrupted by imperfections from the inside and also from the outside. Than might be misundesrtandings, altered state of consciousness cuz of drugs or just because we like to create (imagining things enters in this catherogy) in order to have something of our own that gives a sense of worth to our life. Creation envolves the action of develop new data from the data we had previously, a data that is incomplete since our senses cant perceive everythng in the universe (our senses aint so sharp to watch molecules whit no aid from microscopes) so this means that every information that humans gets can be interpreted in many ways since we, most of the time, cant see the things just like they are meaning that our feelings can deceive us (like when people use pain killers, they might make the pain calm, but they aint solving any problem outside of that because they dont heal the illness, or drugs...that can make the illusion of feeling better, but in reality youre poisoning yourself and deceiveng your own body and mind).

How can Nagato may be grateful if she didnt feel like it? How could she fulfill that protocol and still be herself? Only living beings can feel and thus they can answer to that expresing their wish. "Give thanks" = error. Because she dont have the need like the humans do and in order to feel, she needed to sense pain, need, joy, that crave for something and comprehend it. She neded to develop feelings to give thanks properly, like humans do. Cant fly like a bird, literally because youre not a bird. Maybe you could fly...but like a human and thats all the people can get (buy your plane tickets and vuala, you fly like most humans). The solution to all those impediments -> turn into a human, to start feeling and have wishes. And something so simple like giving thanks are triggered by many other aspects in human beings but we forget and get easily impressed. Just look at us, discussing over some events that never ocurred in real life, discussing over unreal characters that represent our wishes and toughts and trying to use complex symbols to communicate, aint that fun how we try to give some worth to our toughts?.

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