Posts Tagged “pic haruhi”


Recently I stopped by Kinokuniya to pick up the official English translation of the first The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya light novel, as well as Negima volumes 20 and 21 (translated by Del Rey, rather than the Chuang Yi Singapore version). Also, I picked up a not-very-good omnibus with three Hercule Poirot mysteries, and Neal Stephenson's Anathem, which garnered a "is that a book or a box?" from my father.

While looking for more frivolous items to fritter my money away on, I browsed through the stupendously immense collection of shoujo manga also on display. Most of these had been translated into Chinese; I think it's easier or perhaps cheaper to do so, compared to the licencing of manga in English by US publishers.

I'm not very good with my Chinese (especially traditional characters), so I was mostly skimming through the pages in search of something eye-catching. Now, I've always been of the opinion that, like moe bishoujo harem comedy anime and manga, the intricacies of a certain genre of shoujo manga is probably lost on the uninitiated. I assume there's a set of terms for this, since it's not like all bishoujo anime are harem comedies (Azumanga Daioh sort of leaps to mind; comedy, but not harem), and I'd certainly not want to over-generalize every shoujo manga in soft pink cover colours as the same sort of story. Rocks and glass houses, unclean crockery, so on and so forth.

Nevertheless, I did find it intriguing, or at least amusing, that there appears to be a sort of template from which the protagonists of these manga are produced. Consider the following traits:

  • Pretty, or at least cute.
  • Not particularly smart, and gets confused easily.
  • Clumsy, in that harmlessly adorable way.
  • Bullied frequently, but never lets it get her down.
  • Always tries her best at everything she does.
  • Is often in the presence of at least one blatantly handsome guy.
  • Grows up to be successful, competent, and incredibly attractive.

Now, which of the following comes to mind?

  1. A stereotypical shoujo manga heroine, of whom I read no less than thirteen of during my browsing session.
  2. Mikuru Asahina.

It is a mystery.

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The SOS Brigade in the Wild West.

While Real Life takes over most of my, well, life, I have attempted to alter the flow of feng shui around my destiny by choosing a new desktop image. One wonders if this will have the same effect as mere rearrangement of furniture.

Yes, I am superstitious. I used to scoff at such things, but then I started playing Dungeons and Dragons, and from there assorted other tabletop roleplaying games. These all have one thing in common, also shared with certain Las Vegas activities, in that fortunes may turn upon the next roll of the dice.

Desktop wallpapers (or backgrounds, or whatever you want to call them) are a particularly specific category of images. Firstly, they must be of a certain size, or at least a certain aspect ratio, and have to look at least somewhat decent when stretched to fit. Secondly, they should preferably not be too busy, with gaudy colours and attention-grabbing shades in nigh-random locales, because it's supposed to be a background, rather than the main feature.

And personally, I make it a point not to have anything too embarrassing. I'm well-known among my friends and family as an anime obsessive of the species Creepius Fanboius, so having something anime-related is a given, but occasionally little children come to visit and wish to check their Facebook or something, and pantyshots may not be appropriate.

All this is probably far too much thought to put into something that I only see when I start up and shut down my computer anyway. So it goes.

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Kuyou, Sasaki, and Kyouko.

A great deal of virtual ink, which is nothing like actual ink save when used in a metaphor, has been spilled on the popularity of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. It is fast becoming a sort of shibboleth, to identify those who have crossed the threshold to become a hardcore anime fan, by which I mean the sort to attend conventions and spend actual money on merchandise, official or otherwise. Like Neon Genesis Evangelion, whatever your feelings on the show itself, at least you have heard of it, especially if you actually do attend a convention. Also like NGE, it is probably not a very good first anime to introduce to the non-fan.

One of the many criticisms I have seen levelled at MoHS is that Haruhi is Not A Nice Person. From the viewpoint of a person watching the show for the first time, she's selfish, she's rude, she's arrogant, and her actions either border on or cross said border into anti-social personality disorder, depending on how charitable one is feeling. Yes, she gets better over time, but that does not change the truth-value of that descriptor at the beginning of the series, and from certain actions throughout.

The question is then posed: "how can you like a character like that?"

The answer I always give is "I don't." Which often requires me to clarify the differences between "don't like", "dislike", and "hate" (a matter of degree, with "don't like" meaning a mere lack of attraction). And then I am asked why I love the show when I don't like the main character, which kind of leads to a rather longer answer.

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Colour illustration from volume 8.

Fanfiction is one of those things which are forevermore shrouded in controversy, at least among fandoms. The arguments for and against are endless, and I don't really want to have to deal with them right now, so we'll just all agree to disagree, or perhaps agree to agree, as the case may be. I'm very agreeable at the moment, largely because agreeing with stuff might make them go away and stop bothering my and my headache.

However, I've noticed that there's at least a significant contingent of people for whom fanfiction is not the Spawn of Slaanesh, and yet it holds no particular attraction of any sort. One of the most common refrains heard is: "I haven't read any fanfics I liked."

Cue the inevitable deluge of fanfic recommendations, of which this post is one. So it goes.

Trying to recommend fanfics to another person is extremely difficult, if only because due to its nature as entertainment, it is subject to personal opinions and tastes, which are, well, personal. Just because I like the idea of, say, crossing over Card Captor Sakura and Star Wars doesn't mean that anyone else would, and it is in these tiny details which readers are converted or cast away.

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To the great disappointment of at least one part of fandom.

So one of the myriad problems I have been facing for the past week or so is what seems to be a persistent illness which bears the symptoms of influenza, except not at the same time. In fact, I seem to be getting about a third to half of them at any one time: runny nose, aching muscles, fever, general feelings of discomfort, so on and so forth. I have yet to have all these strike me at once, which may or may not be considered small blessings.

The net result of this is that I have not been able to get much restful sleep. Yes, I know, world's smallest stringed instrument and all that. However, it has interfered with my usual plans for posting anything other than Random Pictures, of which I keep forgetting if I have posted them before. And so, I'm going to try seeing if I can post as a more stream-of-consciousness deal for a while.

This means that I will probably not be posting anything of actual interest for a while, at least until I get several nights' worth of sleep. (Or days. It's the usual geek lament of not keeping sane hours.) You may interpret that as you wish.

Anyway. My continuing obsession with the gender-swap project as applied to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has not abated. It has, however, as with organisms under tremendous stress, mutated.

I should probably explain the situation as it stands in the AnimeSuki thread at the moment, although I must warn all interested parties that said situation is very fluid, and what may be the Truth now may not be the Truth when I wake up tomorrow, and it may well be a small rubber duck instead. (Or something.) To recap no, there is too much; to summarize, we have Suzumiya Haruki no Seitenkan, which translates more or less to "The Genderbending of Haruki Suzumiya" ("Haruki" is not a typo, and is indeed the name of the male version of Haruhi, achieved by thread consensus), and it is the Main Project towards which our efforts are bent, aha.

And then, rising from the murks of What If, we now also have something tentatively labelled Suzumiya Haruhi no Tsuji, which allegedly translates into "The Crossroads of Haruhi Suzumiya".

The premise of SHnT (which I am choosing for the convenient acronym, since it looks better than CoHS, which reminds me too much of my MMORPG of choice) is that due to some uncertain cause, possibly quantum, the setting involves the canon characters, and their genderswapped twins. In other words, imagine a SOS Brigade headed by both Haruhi and Haruki Suzumiya, countered by the Dual Snark Action of Kyon and Kyonko.

Since doubling the world's population would be out of the question, the thread's consensus appears to be to leave most of the characters as their canon gender, and twin the characters who have received an image song CD of their own, plus Taniguchi and Kunikida, presumably for being themselves. This works out to be eleven extra characters to work in, which is no mean task.

Opinions are split on whether the SOS Brigade are aware that This Should Not Be, and how both Kyons will handle the realization that they are now kinda-sorta siblings, except much more complicated. An especially vocal contingent wishes to turn this into the script for a H-manga, whereby the solution to the problem of colliding worlds is for the Kyons to do the dirty.

It's porn. It doesn't have to make sense.

Since the SHnT project is somewhat splintered at the moment, I'm considering taking up the banner of what has been called the GuruGuruMawaru faction, after the lyrics for the opening theme of the first season of School Rumble, which takes love polygons to relatively absurd levels that nevertheless make some variety of sense if you start from the very beginning. This will be decidedly non-H, and the premise is that everyone has been twins from the beginning (whether this is Haruhi-influenced is undecided, but the important thing is that Kyon and Kyonko are unaware of this), although it will probably be rather confusing, if only for the huge cast of characters.

I'm in the middle of a draft of such a story even now. Kyonko takes the role of the viewpoint character, if only because, freed from the constraints of sticking so closely to the text of the original novels, I can let loose my impression of what a snarky female narrator might be. It will not be a pleasant experience for the targets of her barbs.

We have descended deep into the pits of fanfictional fantasy, and only time will tell whether any of us will be able to claw our way back out, changed by our experiences, in whatever direction.

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New Year's Greetings from the SOS Brigade.

And so, on the last day of the year Two Thousand And Seven of our lord and saviour Sephiroth the Pretty Kefka the Disturbing, I have once again engaged in Deep Dental Diving and ingested my daily dose of painkillers, hopefully for the last time, if only because I have a limited supply of brain cells teeth.

Being that I am mentally unsound to provide a post of actual value, I shall instead provide you with one picture from what I believe to be Comp H's 2007 calendar, one year late.

If it helps, imagine the female three-fifths of the SOS Brigade giving the year a send-off, instead of welcoming it in.

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