Archive for May 6th, 2007

We want you as a new recruit!

So as was mentioned on the previous post, I was working on something that precluded working on a post for this blog. That "something" was, in fact, a story for the monthly Writer's Group meeting, which was giving me no end of trouble since I had no idea where the story would go, and I had no idea how to get the story to the place I had no idea it would go to. Or something.

But I hammered away at it (neglecting this blog), presented it at the meeting, and as though in karmic reward, I received a poster, depicting the above picture, as a gift. This is worth a hundred, nay, a thousand such stories written under the burnout of Writer's Block.

It is awesome. No amount of thanks are enough for such a boon upon this unworthy soul. There is a God, and her name is Haruhi, for what else can explain the serendipity of this presentation of an advertisement for the SOS Brigade?

The scene depicted is, quite obviously, a recruitment drive for the SOS Brigade. I'm guessing that this is sometime after the fateful events of episode 10 (episode 4 chronologically), being that Yuki lacks her glasses. In fact, this probably would be set after the events of the anime, since the events of volume one, and up to chronological episode 6, are set in the Spring of that year, and certainly (mostly) after club enrolment; the rest of the anime takes place through the rest of the year, ending with chronological episode 14 in Winter. Being that there are the very obvious cherry blossoms in the wind, it would be reasonable to assume that this recruitment drive takes place in the early Spring, during Haruhi's second year in high school and Mikuru's third.

Presumably, the events of volume 9 are either in progress, or about to be, or even in an alternate universe from this one. But that's enough about that. (I installed a spoiler-hiding plugin when I started this blog; maybe one day I'll get around to learning how to use it.)

Here we have the three girls of the SOS Brigade, with the males conspicuously absent. I have to assume that either Kyon and Koizumi found some other thing to be astonishingly busy with, or Haruhi decided that having only the girls around would be better for business, so to speak. I've noticed that Haruhi's schemes tend to focus more on attracting the Horny Young Male demographic, through much use (and abuse) of Mikuru; I don't think she's ever hatched a plan (yet) to use Koizumi to attract female attention. (I'll just leave the whole heterosexual/homosexual debate aside for now, since I want to simplify for the sake of brevity.) This, even though in her first year of high school, she was still treating males as "no different from potatoes" when it came to modesty and interest. Haruhi still had no qualms about exploiting men, I believe, what with the bunnysuit and all.

One possible reason for this would be that after Haruhi introduced Mikuru to the club, Kyon displayed what was, to her, an unhealthy amount of interest that irritated her for some reason. If Mikuru could engender such a reaction in Kyon, what would another female member in the club be able to do? And later Kyon is seen with Yuki, no less! Clearly it would be better to play it safe, and recruit people who, apart from being out of the ordinary (by being ESPers, time-travellers, aliens, or sliders), also had no romantic interest in Kyon.

I would say that Haruhi has possibly not noticed how often Koizumi invades Kyon's personal space.

In any case, Haruhi is in full Brigade Commander mode, handing out fliers, probably aggressively. Maybe she doesn't have the time or inclination to change into her bunnygirl costume, but she clearly insists that Mikuru dress as a bunnygirl, despite the cold weather. Now, usually I cannot understand schadenfreude, but after a while, the Mikuru abuse just becomes so silly that I have to chuckle. I think part of it is that it's just happened so often that by now, everyone, both in the story and here in Real Life, is more or less expecting it. This is all part of the SOS Brigade Normal Activity: Haruhi is Overbearing, Yuki is Silent, and Mikuru is Weeping.

Speaking of Yuki, here she acts as a living signpost. I can just imagine Haruhi dragging Yuki up from whatever book she was reading at the time, handing her the sign, and telling her to stand there and advertise. And so Yuki just… stands there. And advertises. By standing there.

It's just so Yuki.

This is possibly one of the best at-a-glance representations of the SOS Brigade girls I've seen. It displays their individual character traits perfectly, with Haruhi being bossy and enthusiastic, Mikuru cowering in the back but still trying her best, and Yuki standing, watching silently. I imagine honorary member Tsuruya is off to the side somewhere, laughing and taking pictures, while Koizumi is watching from a distance smiling his enigmatic smile, and Kyon just tries to stave off yet another Haruhi-induced headache.

And I have this poster.

Life is good.

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