Anime

Mirrors Within The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Welcome to my first post for OWLS! In case you’re not aware of OWLS, we are group of bloggers who promote acceptance of all individuals. We emphasise the importance of respect, kindness, and tolerance through these blog tours. This month’s theme is “Mirrors”.

OWLS - Mirrors

Theme – Mirrors

“Magic mirror, on the wall—who is the fairest one of all?”

When we look in the mirror, what do we see? Do we see ourselves or someone we don’t want to be? For this month’s theme, we will be exploring some of our favourite anime and other pop culture mediums that redefine individual beauty—inside and out. Some topics we may explore are physical appearances, social expectations on gender, and the importance of self-confidence.

For this month’s tour I chose to look at The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. This series is one that I’ve only recently got into. I started watching it after seeing it mentioned on twitter and as soon as I heard the brief, it came to mind immediately.

OWLS - Mirrors

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

In case you’re not aware, within The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya “closed spaces” appear. As Itsuki Koizumi explains in the show, closed space appears when Haruhi’s emotions become unbalanced. Essentially she creates a dimension that overlaps reality. She mirrors the world to create something new, as she wants it.

Haruhi’s ability to recreate the world is one that so many of us will have wished for at one point or another. Can you honestly say you’ve never wanted to just reshape something? Whether it’s to benefit yourself or someone else there’s always a time when we wished we could have Haruhi’s power. This rings especially true for the subject of self confidence. We don’t have this power and we cannot reshape the world. We have to find the ability to adapt to the situation we’re in. From within ourselves. Our self confidence.

In one episode, Haruhi and Kyon awaken to find that they’ve been trapped in one of these realities at their school. Kyon, understandably, is anxious to return to the real world and he had to find a way to convince Haruhi to return them. Interestingly, Haruhi doesn’t find this situation too odd. She remarks something to the effect that it’s nicer not having all the other people around and questions Kyon about why he would want to return. The mysterious blue entities appear and begin to destroy the school but what stood out to me was Haruhi was happy to just be there as they destroyed things. She didn’t fear it the same way Kyon did. In the end they returned to reality but, given Haruhi’s power, Kyon doesn’t know if it was exactly the same reality or a new one shaped by Haruhi. How could he know?

OWLS - Mirrors

Self Confidence as a Barrier

Both Haruhi and Kyon showcase different elements of self confidence. Haruhi is known as the odd girl in her class but as Kyon gets to know her, he comes to understand her better. Whereas Kyon has confidence in himself to deal with situations, Haruhi appears to use her self confidence as a shield. She never lets any one get close to her and the moments that we see Haruhi vulnerable are quickly covered by her leaving the room or she deflects onto a different subject.

Haruhi appears to exude confidence and yet she also appears extremely vulnerable too, likely because her confidence is her shield. I’ve yet to finish watching this wonderful series but it resonates with me on a very personal level. I was the opposite of Haruhi while I was growing up. Yuki is the one I was closest to in terms of attitude and it’s only recently as I grow closer to my 30’s that I realise I now have some of the confidence that I yearned to have when I was younger; the confidence Haruhi seems to radiate.

No one can say they’re sincerely confident and self assured every moment of their lives. But if really you struggle believing in yourself, my advice is just to make sure you’re being true to yourself. Self confidence is something that I found came with time. It comes with looking back and realising that somewhere along the way you’re more confident than you used to be. Some moment will make you realise your self worth is so much higher than it used to be. There will still be times when you want Haruhi’s ability to reshape the world but you’ll come to realise you have the confidence to adapt to the situation you’re in.

Just keep on being you. Be proud of what you see in mirrors.


I hope you enjoyed my first OWLS blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it! Next up is Lyn on Monday. If you missed Carla’s post earlier this week, catch up now!

6 Comments

  1. This was a great post! I think that this is an aspect of self-confidence that a lot of people don’t discuss often. The conversation more often focuses on shy people or individuals who don’t have a lot of self-confidence. People who hide behind a shield of confidence are a lot easier to overlook because they seem to have everything handled. In reality, they might not. They might even feel like everyone can see through their wall and work harder to uphold it as a result, blocking themselves off even more from others around them.

    1. Thank you!

      I must admit, Haruhi’s use of confidence as a shield wasn’t something that I really noticed until I started writing this post. Suddenly her actions in some of the episodes were took on a new light and made a lot more sense.

  2. Finally got to read dear Andrea post and you did a great job for your first blog tour !! I’ve not seen this show for a long time.

    Couldnt agree more than haruhi over confident nature made it appear as a barrier. As underneath she was just as insecure and of the way she was. While This show is not a favourite of mine still I liked it ^^

    Great job Andrea !!

    1. Thanks Lita! It was so fun to write for OWLS and I’m looking forward to the August tour.

      I love how the prompts can make you find something different in the anime series – it wasn’t until I started writing I found the Haruhi over confidence angle.

  3. I have not watched the anime, but I have read the English translated light novels during my teens. I don’t know if they followed the same routes or if the anime changed some things, either way, it’s quite nostalgic reading about Haruhi Suzumiya. And indeed, Haruhi is one interesting characters. Oftentimes, I just can’t connect with her character because she just follows the beat of her own drum. But when she has these vulnerable moments underneath her overconfident facade, that’s when I empathize with her. Good read, Andrea. Keep it up. Cheers!

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