a little melancholy

{three things I learned from the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya}

It's kind of funny to admit that you've learned something important from a thing as simple and pointless as an anime, but I learned that 'righteous' wrath can destroy yourself from Death Note, that people are worth more than their stereotypes (yes, I did learn something valuable from an anime as off the wall as Ouran High School Host Club), and I can't even express in words what Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood taught me. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is no different. It's not an anime that I out and out recommend (Haruhi's ethics are a little off-kilter, and sometimes the plot drags...and the whole show is just a little...weird), but it was somewhat enjoyable to watch. It did take me two years to buckle down and finish it tho--and I haven't even started on the movies, either. But that's not what's important right now. Right now, I'm sharing what I've learned.

{lesson number one: ordinary people are important.}

I come from a fairly odd family. We're not your average people; we all have a unique brand of humor, we're not afraid to do/say what others aren't, and we're competitive as all get out. We joke sometimes about "why would we want 'normal' friends when we have our family to be crazy with?" In reality, it's our normal friends that help keep us from going crazy. Take my friend Sarah, for example. She, my cousin, and I have been close ever since we were 8 or so years old, so we're pretty good friends. Hannah and I can get pretty nuts, and so can Sarah, but she's always there to give us a strange look if we're getting too out of hand. She's steady and dependable, but still a lot of fun, like Kyon is to Haruhi. He may be normal and a bit boring sometimes, but he balances out her chaos. And while chaos can be a good thing, we definitely need a little bit of good old ordinary to balance out the seesaw of life.

{lesson number two: don't lose your eagerness.}

Haruhi is pretty crazy. She does some pretty bizarre and out of the ordinary things. Oddball is her middle name. However, she does all these things with a childish zeal. Have you ever watched a kid do something for the very first time? Like riding a horse, for example? I watched a four year old from my church ride a horse for the first time at camp last year, and there was no fear in her eyes at all: only joy and raw excitement. Within seconds of getting off the horse, she was clamoring for another ride. I, on the other hand, had never ridden a horse, was only doing so because my sister-in-law (whose major is in equine science and, in all kindness, is a horse nut) was horrifed that I'd never ridden one, and was deathly afraid the whole time, even though one of my childhood friends was leading the horse--a guy who goes to rodeos and such and can handle horses like a pro. I was terrified. She was overjoyed. Your perspective changes more than you can ever imagine, I guess.

{lesson number three: happy people can be sad on the inside}

Along with being crazy, temperamental, bossy, and energetic, Haruhi seems like a pretty happy teenager. She's the leader of the club of her dreams, she has four underlings (or friends, however you want to slice it) to boss around--she has everything.
But the title of the show is the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Melancholy, not happiness.
When I first started this anime, its name baffled me. Haruhi seemed like your average happy (albeit a little crazy) teenaged girl. But once I got a little deeper in the show, and Koizumi explained to Kyon what the heck was actually going on in Haruhi's head, it all made sense. Haruhi might look happy or busy or eager on the outside, but on the inside, she's torn up and searching for something. Hence, the melancholy. And if that's how an animated girl from an off-the-wall TV show feels, how about those of us who live in the real real world? How do we feel?
A little happy some days, a little melancholy on others.

At least, on my part.


  1. I love people who can learn things from anime. they are my favorite sort of people. I love learning things in everything I watch, so I love reading about how other people are doing the same! thats really cool!

    All those lessons you learned are really important. I've been learning about not losing childhood zeal. Gods been telling me about that for a while. its pretty awesome. and not something we think about often. that last lesson too, thats really deep.

    Thank you for sharing!


Post a Comment

the best way to make me smile is to comment. or to send me a basket full of kittens and dark chocolate. whatever works for you.

Popular Posts