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Old 05-23-2009, 01:15 PM   #26
Vran
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CoalGuys & gg
It's summer and final exams are just around the corner.
Any happiness inside of me is probably floating around somewhere in Brazil
and it won't be coming back any time soon.
Hey, d'you know what today is?
Your birthday?
Nooope!
Asahina's birthday?
No...
Koizumi's or Nagato's birthday?
How should I know when their birthdays are?!
By the way, my birthday is--
Oh who cares about that!
You really don't know how important today is, do you?
It's just a typical blazing hot day to me.
What's today's date? C'mon, tell me.
July 7th ...
You aren't thinking of Tanabata by any chance, are you?
Of course I am! It's Tanabata! Tana-freaking-bata!
Isn't it criminal to be a Japanese person and not remember it?
Whatever.
I think this festival should be taken very seriously.
From this year on, we're going to do something big for Tanabata every year!
Here we go.


Dattebayo & Live-Evil
'Twas the midst of summer.
Final exams were around the corner.
My feelings of joy had drifted off somewhere in the vicinity of Brazil
and wouldn't be returning anytime soon.
Hey, do you know what today is?
Your birthday?
No!
Asahina-san's birthday?
No.
Koizumi or Nagato's birthday?
I don't even know when those are.
Incidentally, my birthday is-
I don't care.
You really have no idea how important today is, do you?
Call it what you want, but it's just a sweaty, hot weekday to me.
[color]Tell me[/color] what month and day it is.
July 7th.
Wait a second ... You aren't talking about Tanabata, are you?
Of course I am! It's Tanabata! Tanabata!
You'd best remember Tanabata if you want to call yourself Japanese.
I see.
I put 110% into these types of events.
Starting this year, the entire brigade will throw a huge Tanabata party every year!
And so it begins.


If it's in red, it indicates that I think the translation is poor. This can mean incorrect or it can also mean too liberal of a translation although close to what was actually said and still preserving the meaning. I'll provide what was actually said, and what I think the best translation would have been, below.

What was actually said
  • "Twas"!? Seriously!? And nowhere does Kyon imply that it's the middle of summer. He literally says three words -- Season, a particle, and Summer. NO MIDST. Wtf @ Twas, too. Sigh.
  • Dattebayo gets the line wrong when Haruhi responds to Kyon's Koizumi or Nagato comment. gg gets it right. "How should I know!?" is a much better translation of what she says than is "I don't even know."
  • When Haruhi asks Kyon to tell him what day it is, what she says is:
    "Try and tell me what month and day it is." This does sound odd in English, but it's what she says, and both groups flubbed. gg said "What's today's date?" She didn't ask that. Dattebayo got that part right: she asked him (specifically) to tell her what month and day it was. Neither group preserved the みなさい (imperative "try to").
  • When Kyon figures out what Haruhi is trying to get him to say, that's exactly the grammar he uses: 言い出す, "to get someone to say something." But gg translated it as "thinking of." Which is totally wrong. Dattebayo was closer because they at least used the verb "talking" (which fits with 言い) but again placed the focus on Haruhi rather than on Kyon, i.e. they had Haruhi talking about Tanabata rather than Haruhi trying to get Kyon to say "Tanabata." Strike for both groups.
  • When Haruhi reprimands Kyon for not thinking of Tanabata sooner, gg really fucks up. What she says is: あんたも日本人ならちゃんと覚えてないとだめじゃないの? This translates as "Isn't it bad/wrong/unacceptable for you as a true Japanese to not properly remember this?" I agree that it's a very easy sentence to read in Japanese and a very tough one to translate into English in a way that doesn't sound awkward and yet preserves the original meanings of the words that were used, so I'm not going to be too hard on Dattebayo's translation, but gg's? Total rewrite. Nowhere does she say "criminal." In no way would any Japanese person translate だめじゃないの? as "isn't it criminal?" That's just ridiculous.
  • Kyon's response was あぁ、そうっ。 A very curt "Oh, I see." But the thing is, by saying "I see," Dattebayo makes it sound like Kyon isn't being condescending/unimpressed. And he is. Very much so. They needed the "oh". gg's translation of "whatever" works too.
  • Both groups messed up what Haruhi said next. Dattebayo was closer for meaning. She tells Kyon that "these kinds of events" (kou iu EVENT) are the sort of thing she puts a lot of effort into. I think the "110%" is a peculiar way of translating that, but it works, I guess. But both groups seemed to gloss over what she says at the very end -- やることにしてんの。 The use of -に する and the present progressive んの suggest that Haruhi has not done this before and/or for very long, i.e. this is another of one her hare-brained schemes that she's just spontaneously come up with. So I think it'd be more accurate to translate it to reflect this, and not (as both groups did) as though she's always done this.
  • 始まったなぁ。 This is pretty tough to mess up. But somehow gg did. "Here we go." How about "Here we go again?" That's the English idiom which best fits this. "Here we go!" would be いくぞ ("let's go!"). What Kyon literally says is, "It's begun [again], hasn't it?" The best English fit for this is precisely what DB selected: "And so it begins."

The funny thing is, before I dissected these like this ... I actually liked gg's for more than Dattebayo's. While watching the show without pausing, Dattebayo's errors were more noticeable and annoying to me than gg's, even if they were less so errors than they were quirky choices of vocabulary ("110%," "'Twas").

But seeing as this is just the first episode, anything could happen.

Personally? I'd consider this a strike against both groups. So I'll go investigate Mazui later today.

I forgot to mention gg's Tana-freaking-bata. That ticked me off. It's also not justified. She just emphasizes Tanabata. A better approach would have been the classic spelling-it-out strategy, or having her say T-A-N-A-B-A-T-A. But that's not really appropriate either since that's normally reserved for when the character speaks one syllable at a time. Still ... "tana-freaking-bata"? Seriously? -_-; Not only is it unprofessional, but it's not even accurate in describing what Haruhi said nor how she said it.
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:27 PM   #27
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See, this is why we need that a.f.k. guy to come back.
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Old 05-23-2009, 02:55 PM   #28
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I'm near my limit as far as space goes, so I need to clear Guin Saga before I can tackle Mazui, but another group just appeared so there's plenty of antigen presentation to go around!

Regarding a.f.k.,

That person apparently left due to disputes during his subbing of Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei. The issue was fairly big two years ago, but I hated SZS and didn't really get into the series until Zoku came out. So, I'm unsure of what happened.

I think the problem was demand. SZS is the most translation-intensive anime ever. Each episode was literally filled with walls of text and obscure cultural or linguistic in-jokes, needing to be researched and translated accordingly with a.f.k.'s standards.

People complained about the slow subs - this I remember distinctly. I think a.f.k. just got pissed or burnt out, or a combo of the two.
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:03 AM   #29
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Eh, I went for Coalguys/GG. I honestly don't mind inaccuracies. As long as I get a good general understanding of what they're trying to say, I'm fine.

Anyway, not a bad start for the season~
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:48 AM   #30
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Based on what Vran says, Mazui appears to have the best translation of the lot, but don't get excited because I don't speak a word of Japanese. I just cross referenced what Vran posted for CG/gg and DB/LE with Mazui.

Mazui tended to take translations from either one of those two tribes, with very little of the redundancy one usually gets with fast translations. What Vran highlighted and commented on seemed to not be a problem with Mazui's translation.
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Old 05-24-2009, 03:01 AM   #31
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Not a bad episode.

Spoiler: show
I wonder if that sheet of paper with "I Am Here" is infinitely old due to the time loop or if Yuki just redrew it.
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Old 05-24-2009, 03:48 AM   #32
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Fudge, I want more. I know the story but am compelled to watch and enjoy anyway. FUDGE.

And I've exhausted my week's worth of anime aready.

DOUBLE FUDGE. ;;
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Old 05-24-2009, 03:46 PM   #33
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Stop the presses!

http://a.scarywater.net/afk/
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Old 05-24-2009, 03:52 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
I could kiss you. That, and I AM THERE. So, so there. Downloading NOW. CAN'T WAIT.

big bad birtha, this is the one you want to get. Trust me. Even if I am just a sleepy, grouchy kitty who has telekinetic insight into your relationship with Mr. Doppleganger. ;)
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:03 PM   #35
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Ooooh nice.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:07 AM   #36
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Despite Vran's enthusiasm for a.f.k., I find myself a bit uneasy with his fansub. I can only trust that it's accurate, but some things feel awkward reading here and there.

Something that also bothered me was that some of the terms a.f.k. coined (iirc) have been changed up. Like, "Integrated Data Sentient Entity" becoming "Data Overmind". That could be problematic later down the road...
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:08 AM   #37
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Haven't watched it yet so I can't say, but you'll be glad to know that I'll be up on my Suzumiya Haruhi terminology because I'm already four episodes through the original series -- three to four episodes sooner than expected! ^^; -- so not only should I be able to offer you some more scrutiny of the a.f.k. sub in the relatively near future (1-2 weeks) but it will also come with 14 episodes' worth of re-exposure to the original excellent translation.

By the way, does your network of information enable you to find out who the translator was for a.f.k.'s Haruhi Season 2 Episode 1 release? We are assuming it's the same guy as before but that may not be the case. It's entirely possible that the group decided to come out of hibernation without him and is resting on his laurels (or their laurels, but all due to his amazing translation) to attract fans to the a.f.k. fansub "brand name." In other words, they may have found a new TL but one who is no better than gg's or Dattebayo's.

From what I could see (again, just the first few minutes of Ep1), a.f.k. was much more accurate than either of the other two groups. Haven't tried Mazui still, so I'll be sure to let you know later. Also, I tried finding the translator's name in the opening and in the ending credits but to no avail, so if you could identify him (definitively) for me, and not just assume that it's the same guy as before or take the opinion of some 4chan bot who is doing the very same, I'd much appreciate it.

'cause if it is the original guy, then my only thought would be that perhaps Yuki really did say "Data Overmind" in the sentence you heard and did not say IDSE. Sort of like the difference between "the American people" and "the United States of America," you know? Since I just saw the episode (K3, K5) where Yuki introduces herself to Kyon as an artificial lifeform created by the IDSE, if you point me out to the exact minute and second in Episode 1 of Season 2 where she says those words ("Data Overmind"), I can compare the audio and let you know if it's a TL difference or if what Yuki is saying is actually different.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:13 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vran View Post
By the way, does your network of information enable you to find out who the translator was for a.f.k.'s Haruhi Season 2 Episode 1 release? We are assuming it's the same guy as before but that may not be the case. It's entirely possible that the group decided to come out of hibernation without him and is resting on his laurels (or their laurels, but all due to his amazing translation) to attract fans to the a.f.k. fansub "brand name." In other words, they may have found a new TL but one who is no better than gg's or Dattebayo's.
His name is Stratos, and it's the same translator from the first season. He hasn't done anything since SZS, which was two years ago, so it's possible he could be rusty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vran View Post
'cause if it is the original guy, then my only thought would be that perhaps Yuki really did say "Data Overmind" in the sentence you heard and did not say IDSE. Sort of like the difference between "the American people" and "the United States of America," you know? Since I just saw the episode (K3, K5) where Yuki introduces herself to Kyon as an artificial lifeform created by the IDSE, if you point me out to the exact minute and second in Episode 1 of Season 2 where she says those words ("Data Overmind"), I can compare the audio and let you know if it's a TL difference or if what Yuki is saying is actually different.
That is possible, and wasn't something I considered.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:48 AM   #39
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I thought you'd be pleased to see these. Two consecutive snapshots from Episode 5, when Yuki introduces herself to Kyon. Note the choice of words.

I encourage you to think of it like this:

DITE : USA :: Data Overmind : American government
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:58 AM   #40
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Ahahah! I seem to remember Yuki mentioning way back when even in the IDSE there wasn't consensus on what to do with Haruhi. Excellent find!
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:09 AM   #41
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I finished re-watching Haruhi Season 1 earlier this morning, only two days after beginning the adventure , and I just finished Season 2's first episode.

This was a good episode, but I don't know why Doppleganger suggested it was a fan favorite. It felt more like a filler episode to me. It told us some cool non-filler stuff but in the end it was just an ordinary self-contained episode with no major continuity into the next batch of episodes. In other words, it felt like one big omake. It was fun, but completely unnecessary.

Things I liked:
Spoiler: show
  • Kyon's first time doing something sci-fi with Asahina, since she was the only one of the original trio who we had yet to see any action from. All Season 1 gave us was the confirmed existence of Adult Mikuru, but we still never got to see any time traveling. Now we did ... sorta. ^^;
  • Adult Mikuru hoping that Kyon would kiss her on the night of Tanabata. It didn't occur to me until after I finished watching that when she insisted to Kyon that if he were to kiss Mikuru that he do so inconspicuously that she was effectively admitting to Kyon that she herself (as Adult Mikuru) had no memory of a kiss, if any such kiss took place at all, but that she dearly hoped that she had been kissed. In the end, we know that Kyon doesn't lay a finger on Mikuru, but the unconscious Mikuru doesn't know this, nor does she know what he did with the younger Haruhi. So for all she knows, he might have kissed her. And the thing is ... she hopes he did. Aww.
  • Meeting Yuki in the past was pretty fun.
  • It was nice to see the wishes the five main characters made for Tanabata. I really liked Itsuki's since we know so little about his backstory and so his wishes fleshed out his character more for us.
  • Lots of cute Mikuru moments and Kyon x Mikuru interplay. I liked it.


Things I didn't like:
Spoiler: show
  • the fact that Yuki was able to "download" herself from the future. Emergency or not, it seems sort of cheap and ruins the sentiment of the idea that Kyon was meeting Yuki for her first time. It begs the question both of why and of how she forgot her experiences with Kyon by the time she (re-)met him in Season 1, because there's overwhelming evidence from Season 1 that that was her first time meeting Kyon as far as she knew. (Things like waiting for him in the park on a night she should have known, as her future downloaded self, he wouldn't have shown up on.) If the argument is going to be made that, no indeed, Yuki when she met Kyon was already an overlapping copy of Future Yuki, then it imo really cheapens the best moment of Season 1, which was when Yuki came to Kyon's rescue when Asakura was attempting to kill him to generate a response from Suzumiya Haruhi.
  • the nod that Kyon was the one who did Haruhi's grunt work (even back in the day), while cute, was not worth the plot hole it introduced. There were plenty of times they weren't in total darkness (obviously!) because of the night-time lamps and because if they'd been in total darkness there's no way they could have seen what they were doing. So despite what Kyon's dialogue was, I don't buy that copout. Furthermore, it reminds me of the Batman Syndrome where people are supposed to believe that we rely so heavily on vision that things like the sound of a person's voice couldn't possibly tip us off as to his identity. In other words ... if "John Smith" had meant such a big deal to Haruhi back in the day, you'd think she'd remember his voice and freak out with mixed surprise and delight when she heard Kyon speak for the first time.
  • the light speed talk felt very uncharacteristic for Haruhi. She's the kind of girl who, as was later suggested when she mentioned the gods' ability to get back in touch with humanity really fast, you would think would believe in faster-than-light travel. It felt very abnormal to see Haruhi being so unimaginative and sci-fi and instead being so confined to what she's been taught by society
  • Kyon pouting at the end was really awkward. I couldn't tell if he was mock-imitating Haruhi (which I would prefer him to have been doing) or if he was genuinely acting impertinent like Haruhi (in which case ugh D: , no , we don't need Kyon becoming Haruhi Jr. D: ).
  • the episode had a fantastic opportunity to explain how/why Asahina recognized Yuki when she first arrived in the club room in Season 1 Episode 2, but it didn't. So we're still left hanging as to why/how Mikuru recognized Yuki on sight and decided to stay put. At least now we do have one solid piece of evidence confirming that Yuki would have recognized Mikuru and Kyon.
  • Yuki explained that the ability to do what she did was an "emergency" measure and required permission from the upper brass. What's to prevent a rogue member of the upper brass from permitting one of his underlings to do this to further their own agenda? i.e. what is to keep Asakura's boss from having allowed her (back in Season 1) to download herself from the future in order to be super-up to date with the situation at hand? This is another reason I really disliked the whole "yeah, I can download myself from the future at whim if I like" bit that this chapter introduced.
  • The first half of the episode had suggested that Haruhi was in a bad mood and so this was going to mean trouble for the gang soon. While the second half of the episode helped to explain the reason for her bad mood (i.e. she had come to North High hoping to find the interesting people "John Smith" had mentioned but had so far had no luck finding any), the episode ended without anything happening in the present regarding Haruhi's foul mood. She was in a foul mood the next day when school started, and Kyon really didn't do much of anything to help lessen it.


Thoughts about the airing:
Spoiler: show
  • Why not wait until July for this episode? lol
  • Grr! There was no sneak peek of the next week's new episode at the end of this! That really, really sucks for three reasons! One, it means we can't look forward to whatever next week has in store for us. Two, it means that we're kept in the dark as to when the next new episode will air. (Like, Naruto at least tells you the date of the next new episode's airing if they're going to skip a week or two weeks before showing it. Why couldn't they have at least done something similar for Haruhi?) Three, it means we have no reliable way of indexing the episodes until the season has completely finished airing. All this talk of "Episode 8" being the number for this episode seems pointless to me. How do they figure that? Where in the episode was it ever suggested that this was Episode 8? What proof do they have that we're going to get seven -- no more, and mo less -- episodes which precede Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody?


I'm being critical because I care. Don't get the wrong idea: I'd give the episode an 8/10 for Haruhi and a 9/10 for most anime in general. It was a fun episode. It just ... *sigh*, introduced a lot of unwanted plot holes for the sake of being a cute fun special.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:11 PM   #42
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BLR is a favourite for the Yuki-Kyon and Kyon-Mikuru interaction. Of all three members of the SOS Brigade, Kyon is perhaps most close to Yuki and he's on fairly good terms with the Integrated Data Sentient Entity.

There isn't much of this interaction in Endless Eight, the other self-contained summer episode (and likely the next new one), so it is a necessary precursor episode to the upcoming. You won't find out the importance of this episode until December rolls around.

Now, onto the points!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vran View Post
Things I liked:
Spoiler: show
  • It was nice to see the wishes the five main characters made for Tanabata. I really liked Itsuki's since we know so little about his backstory and so his wishes fleshed out his character more for us.
This was a pretty big issue, although it didn't seem like it at first. Kyon is pretty cool with Yuki and the IDSE, and doesn't really feel threatened by Mikuru's missions from the time bureau, but Itsuki's esper organization is the most dubious of the lot. Itsuki always gives an aura of being more "in the know" than Mikuru, and while Yuki is frank about the IDSE's objectives as an alien entity it is beyond the human conventions of good and evil, so it's hard to evaluate how dangerous it is. I think Kyon pretty much gives the IDSE the benefit of the doubt that the world isn't going to end because of their observations.

But as humans who became psychic humans, it seems clear that Itsuki's organization would fall into the more normal framework of villainous types. They're not trying to preserve the greater balance but themselves, so it's not a far cry for them to want more power from Haruhi as well.

Itsuki's disguises are why (IMV) Kyon really dislikes him, but if he's genuine about his Tanabata wishes that's a cue he's probably not as malicious as Kyon might dread. Where Itsuki's allegiances are will invariably be important someday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vran View Post
Things I didn't like:
Spoiler: show
  • the fact that Yuki was able to "download" herself from the future. Emergency or not, it seems sort of cheap and ruins the sentiment of the idea that Kyon was meeting Yuki for her first time. It begs the question both of why and of how she forgot her experiences with Kyon by the time she (re-)met him in Season 1, because there's overwhelming evidence from Season 1 that that was her first time meeting Kyon as far as she knew. (Things like waiting for him in the park on a night she should have known, as her future downloaded self, he wouldn't have shown up on.) If the argument is going to be made that, no indeed, Yuki when she met Kyon was already an overlapping copy of Future Yuki, then it imo really cheapens the best moment of Season 1, which was when Yuki came to Kyon's rescue when Asakura was attempting to kill him to generate a response from Suzumiya Haruhi.
The author is not entirely clear on what kind of world he's building as far as time-space is concerned - one of parallel worlds, or one of a single reality that can get altered from events outside of the time-line. What I will say is -

1. Parallel worlds exist in this world, if only by virtue of there being a slider someday. It's still up in the air if Kyon will be "that slider" but another candidate is possible as well.
2. The "past" is not set in stone. Apparently, people can make decisions differently in the past and affect the present future, so to preserve that future time-travel becomes necessary to patch up the errors.

Possible explanations for the Yuki-Kyon interaction:

1. It's not the same Yuki. There was a time-line shift as a result of Kyon becoming "John Smith" where someone else might have played the role of JS before (say, perhaps, Taniguchi was walking behind Kyon and because Kyon was helping Haruhi, Haruhi didn't get the opportunity to recruit Taniguchi) and so Yuki's past had to be altered.

2. Yuki didn't download her entire hard-drive, just a file folder with the relevant information. The glasses trait could have been thrown in by future Yuki as a way of convincing Kyon there was shared memory.

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[*]the nod that Kyon was the one who did Haruhi's grunt work (even back in the day), while cute, was not worth the plot hole it introduced. There were plenty of times they weren't in total darkness (obviously!) because of the night-time lamps and because if they'd been in total darkness there's no way they could have seen what they were doing. So despite what Kyon's dialogue was, I don't buy that copout. Furthermore, it reminds me of the Batman Syndrome where people are supposed to believe that we rely so heavily on vision that things like the sound of a person's voice couldn't possibly tip us off as to his identity. In other words ... if "John Smith" had meant such a big deal to Haruhi back in the day, you'd think she'd remember his voice and freak out with mixed surprise and delight when she heard Kyon speak for the first time.
I think you overestimate Haruhi. All she remembers from the incident was meeting a "John Smith" who helped her, and that his sister was with him. She remembers nothing else.

Even if Smith was as important to her as you say (Haruhi doesn't think too much about the incident), it would be tough to remember a face and voice for that long without references, especially if she didn't get a good, long look at his face. She never saw Mikuru at all, so it's very possible (even probable) she wouldn't recognize him immediately.

Take a recent example from my Medical Microbiology and Microbiology Lab class. My TA from ML is actually a fellow student in MM, but I didn't notice until the third week of class. This is because in the third week, he referenced something we did in MM while I was in ML, which was when I realized he was in both classes.

Even if Haruhi had driven Kyon for several days, I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't remember him three years later.

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[*]the light speed talk felt very uncharacteristic for Haruhi. She's the kind of girl who, as was later suggested when she mentioned the gods' ability to get back in touch with humanity really fast, you would think would believe in faster-than-light travel. It felt very abnormal to see Haruhi being so unimaginative and sci-fi and instead being so confined to what she's been taught by society
She's sort of a mixed bag like that I guess. I've forgotten specifics, but I remember her sometimes believing in absurd things and not believing in others. Like, "I believe in aliens/espers, but not magic".

Most people would think, "well, they're both equally absurd, so a fully informed person would believe in both if they were really unhinged like Haruhi" but depending on "how informed" she is it might not work.

I guess it's like this?

To a high school graduate, magic is impossible but science fiction possible. To a college graduate, both magic and science fiction are impossible. To a post doctoral student, both magic and science fiction become possible. xd

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[*]Kyon pouting at the end was really awkward. I couldn't tell if he was mock-imitating Haruhi (which I would prefer him to have been doing) or if he was genuinely acting impertinent like Haruhi (in which case ugh D: , no , we don't need Kyon becoming Haruhi Jr. D: ).
That bugged me too. It seemed out of character. I don't remember reading him grumbling like that.

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[*]Yuki explained that the ability to do what she did was an "emergency" measure and required permission from the upper brass. What's to prevent a rogue member of the upper brass from permitting one of his underlings to do this to further their own agenda? i.e. what is to keep Asakura's boss from having allowed her (back in Season 1) to download herself from the future in order to be super-up to date with the situation at hand? This is another reason I really disliked the whole "yeah, I can download myself from the future at whim if I like" bit that this chapter introduced.
...

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[*]The first half of the episode had suggested that Haruhi was in a bad mood and so this was going to mean trouble for the gang soon. While the second half of the episode helped to explain the reason for her bad mood (i.e. she had come to North High hoping to find the interesting people "John Smith" had mentioned but had so far had no luck finding any), the episode ended without anything happening in the present regarding Haruhi's foul mood. She was in a foul mood the next day when school started, and Kyon really didn't do much of anything to help lessen it.[/list]
The story is in chronological (plot-wise) order, not book, so it's possible some of the bad stuff from the first season followed this incident. I don't recall any though, because Endless Eight happens at the end of summer.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:45 PM   #43
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LOL, don't tell me your ellipsis is in response to the plot premise of Book 4! I've always assumed that: (Book 4 spoiler, but one which is revealed by the opening color pages to the book, so if you've seen those or worse, then read on)

Spoiler: show
when Asakura returns, it's like the Vorta in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She's a clone of herself as of (for example) hours, perhaps even mere moments before she initiated her attack on Kyon and was subsequently destroyed by Yuki. I never would have guessed, if this is indeed what you're hinting at with your silence, that Asakura 2.0 is actually Asakura 1.0 but one who, in an alternate timeline past relative to our own, had downloaded her data from the future unlike our Asakura (which didn't) and then she went ahead and somehow landed on our timeline. Or something. That would be pretty confusing and effed up. lol It would just be a whole lot simpler if Asakura's return is like Weyoun's in DS9.


About Itsuki and the esper society, I agree that they're the most suspicious, but I disagree that they're going to turn out to be full-out malevolent. If anything, I expect that all three groups will (in the end) prove to be not entirely hospitable to Kyon, and I actually have my money riding on the time travelers from the future (i.e. Mikuru's organization) being the franchise's primary villains. I agree with you that the IDSE would, were they villainous, be the most dangerous villain of all but that they're very likely not all that black or all that white and are instead very very gray (like the one senior Jedi in the first Knights of the Old Republic who you met on Kashyyyk ... what was his name, Jolee Bindo was it?). I think Itsuki's situation is something of a red herring, though not entirely! They're making it seem like Itsuki is not trustworthy when in fact he probably isn't but only ever-so-slightly. Mikuru, on the other hand, probably genuinely does love Kyon, but Adult Mikuru may or may not, and it's entirely possible that Adult Mikuru (and the organization to which she belongs) have goals which lie counter to Kyon's and even to Young Mikuru's.

I agree with you that Itsuki's organization seems to be a little selfish sometimes ... but are they really so selfish? After all, in Season 1, Itsuki comments that he is "very fond of this world" and not very fond of his own life exclusively. He voices regret that he did not get to know Kyon better when he is on the verge of extinction in Book 1. And while he could be lying, he is very open with Kyon about the limitations of his abilities, e.g. showing Kyon how he can fly and under what circumstances he can or cannot, telling the group that his power is at 10% normal capacity when he fires off the Fumoffu and Second Raid fireballs, etc. Yuki, on the other hand, reveals her cards but denies Kyon any explanation of them on most occasions, and Mikuru reveals none of her cards willingly and offers no willing explanations save for her very vague explanation of time travel when she first spills the beans to Kyon about her identity. Yuki is happy to confirm what Kyon suspects when he asks if he was in the room next door, but there are so many times when Kyon asks similar questions of Mikuru (i.e. questions where he's hit the nail right on the head with his Final Answers) and still she replies, "that's classified information." You tell me who's more suspicious, then, between Itsuki and Mikuru.

Not to mention that we've seen, time and again, that Kyon is so enamored with Mikuru that he neglects proper protocol if it means getting to be with her. Like in Season 1, when he responds to her letter despite having nearly been killed by Asakura Ryoko who had similarly given him a letter not but 24 hours earlier. Or like in Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, when he doesn't think twice about staying behind with her, doesn't freak out when she KO's him, and fully trusts in the sincerity of Adult Mikuru when the TPDD goes missing. What this means is, Asahina has Kyon on a leash, and that is far more dangerous than quasi-secretive Itsuki.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:33 PM   #44
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LOL, don't tell me your ellipsis is in response to the plot premise of Book 4! I've always assumed that: (Book 4 spoiler, but one which is revealed by the opening color pages to the book, so if you've seen those or worse, then read on)
Nay, nay. But some of your ideas are involved with a plot in the future. I won't say if it's in Book 4 or Book 7 (I'm not entirely sure if I remember!) but it's likely we'll see some of your speculation in animated form.

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Mikuru, on the other hand, probably genuinely does love Kyon, but Adult Mikuru may or may not, and it's entirely possible that Adult Mikuru (and the organization to which she belongs) have goals which lie counter to Kyon's and even to Young Mikuru's.
My impression of Adult Mikuru is of an adult Japanese woman. To explain this apparent truism, I've noticed in manga and anime that there's a common theme of idealized youth. Japanese society is structured in a way that people have the best times of their lives when they're young, and work themselves to death when they're old. Any future enjoyment of youth comes second-hand, through the watching of their children go through those better times.

Whenever I see Adult Mikuru, I don't see her as approaching Kyon as an old friend, but rather as an old boyfriend she always wanted. As a historical figure in her own idealized youth. I got this same impression in Fate/stay night during Archer's interactions with Saber and Ilya. Clearly, Archer lives in a different world from those two, but he can't help but reflect on the connection he once had with those two people, even if the connection didn't exist in the era when he was summoned.

Mikuru is clearly familiar with Kyon, but not in the "let's go drinking, honey" kind of familiar. She's not keeping distance just because she's being a professional woman, it's like a relationship should be there, but isn't for some reason.

Another hypothesis for the same kind of feeling is she's giving off a teacher vibe. Teachers are the only profession in Japan were people are not only "reliving" their idealized youth, but are active participants in the idealized youth of many other children. So the weird scenario could be Mikuru being both a teacher and a student in the School of Haruhi, with the teacher having all the answers.

Where was I going with this again...oh, right. I'm not sure about Young Mikuru's feelings for Kyon, my impression is he's just a reliable, good friend. Not "close" like with Tsuruya, but a good friend who she could ask favours from. I'm not sure if love works into it there or not. As far as Adult Mikuru goes, if she's really enamoured with her youth she might rebel against orders that we would classify as antagonistic. If she's kept distance from her past, I could see her turncoat rather easily.

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You tell me who's more suspicious, then, between Itsuki and Mikuru.

Not to mention that we've seen, time and again, that Kyon is so enamored with Mikuru that he neglects proper protocol if it means getting to be with her. Like in Season 1, when he responds to her letter despite having nearly been killed by Asakura Ryoko who had similarly given him a letter not but 24 hours earlier. Or like in Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, when he doesn't think twice about staying behind with her, doesn't freak out when she KO's him, and fully trusts in the sincerity of Adult Mikuru when the TPDD goes missing. What this means is, Asahina has Kyon on a leash, and that is far more dangerous than quasi-secretive Itsuki.
I always took that as Mikuru being at the mercy of her superiors ^^; I mean, for all we know she was just a normal future girl who was ordered to go the principal's office one day and was immediately briefed on how she would be a time enforcement agent and her commission started immediately. With absolutely no training, no idea of what could compromise her mission and no sense of the rule boundaries, and given her personality, playing it safe would be better than playing it sorry.

I think you've convinced me as to the time bureau's shady activities, since I am recalling other time travel events (BLR isn't the only one - I don't consider this a spoiler as it seems pretty self-evident given BLR's position in the story chronology) that are given without explanation. At least in this case, the effects on the past-future interaction are immediately clear. In at least one other case they are not, i.e. Kyon affects the future in a way he doesn't immediately know the consequences of what he does.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:52 PM   #45
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You mentioned that Kyon could be a slider. I think that that's the idea, or rather, that's Tanigawa's running gag. Kyon (as narrator) and Haruhi always list off four groups of sci-fi entities: aliens, time travelers, psychics (espers), and sliders. Whether it's book 1 or book 10. And yet there are no sliders.

Or are there? Recall what Itsuki tells Kyon at the very end of Book 1 (or at the very end of the last episode of Season 1):

"I must be grateful to you. It looks like I won't be out of a job just yet. Well, we can't discount the possibility that this world was newly created last night. In any case, I feel privileged to meet you and Suzumiya-san again."

And then what does Yuki tell Kyon?

"You and Suzumiya Haruhi disappeared from this world for two and a half hours."

If Itsuki's supposition is correct, then Kyon has slid from an old world (which was destroyed, and in which the old Itsuki, Mikuru, and Yuki he knew went buh-bye with the Big Crunch) and into a new world which is nigh-on identical to the world they departed. If Yuki's claim is to be taken at face value and she is correct, then instead we would believe that Kyon did return to the same world which he departed, but (and this is important!) he and Haruhi left it all the same. Not left it as in "went to a different data sector" like how Asakura and Yuki can do with Kyon when they enter closed space. But left it left it, as in Itsuki telling Kyon, (paraphrased) "This is closed space like we've never seen it before. It took all of the organization's power to get me to appear in even this humble red form, and it won't last but a few minutes." In other words ... Kyon and Haruhi slid from one dimension into another, and then re-slid back to their home dimension, and the time they spent in the one place was 2.5 hours by Yuki's watch.

To re-iterate, this has all been known (duh) since the end of Book 1. So I don't think Tanigawa is saving it for a big climactic revelation or something. I think it's just meant to be a running gag that Kyon, despite mentioning "sliders" right alongside the other three bizarro entities, keeps insisting in each subsequent book that he and Haruhi have yet to meet a slider although they're sure they will at some point. (And it's like, LOL, you are the sliders, dude! Both of you! XD)

Tanigawa will probably never bring it beyond the status of a mere inside joke because were he to do so he would be transforming Kyon from the franchise's anchor character -- as the only normal -- and into yet another weirdo. And neither he nor his fans want that for Kyon. So, despite the evidence that Kyon has slid on at least one occasion (and could therefore be defined as a "slider"), he canonically remains a normal and he will probably forever continue to make unintentionally humorous references to sliders and how Haruhi's yet to meet any.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:59 PM   #46
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Tanigawa will probably never bring it beyond the status of a mere inside joke because were he to do so he would be transforming Kyon from the franchise's anchor character -- as the only normal -- and into yet another weirdo. And neither he nor his fans want that for Kyon. So, despite the evidence that Kyon has slid on at least one occasion (and could therefore be defined as a "slider"), he canonically remains a normal and he will probably forever continue to make unintentionally humorous references to sliders and how Haruhi's yet to meet any.
He has.

Book 9 (the latest) is organized somewhat like a visual novel, told in two parts - Route A and Route B. Both follow Kyon on a normal day's activities, but IIRC he makes different decisions in both "routes". There are hints that Route A and B are "connected". I can't say more than that.

This story was the first since Snow Mountain Syndrome to really get me excited, but unfortunately the second part is Book 10, which was in limbo due to the second season anime licensing rights and whatnot.

Hopefully, with the second season airing we'll finally get the conclusion.
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:03 PM   #47
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Speaking of fun fan observations that aren't really up for debate but are still fun to discuss , I wanted to talk about the affinity the characters all have towards Kyon and why that probably is so.

Why = Haruhi wanted to live in a world where the man she wanted would be hers but she would have to defeat loads of competitors to get him, and they included women more beautiful than herself, more intelligent, more considerate, etc. And not just women, either! XD

Manifestation = because Haruhi wishes for such a man, it follows that the people who exist in Kyon's and Haruhi's circle of friends/acquaintances will be attracted towards him and thereby offer Haruhi competition. Hence Mikuru, Yuki, and the oft-joked about Itsuki all crushing on Kyon. If Itsuki is gay for Kyon, it's not because he just so happens to be gay and Kyon just so happens to be Itsuki's type of guy, but rather because Haruhi willed Itsuki to be such a person who would harbor such feelings. Ditto for Yuki. Ditto for Mikuru.

This introduces the humorous fan observation that ...
Spoiler: show
theoretically even Asakura should be attracted to Kyon, and hence the Churuya-san 4koma series' jokes about Achakura's feelings towards Kyon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-1Z2brrHWU (halfway)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f88gbq-7KGU (one-third of the way)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExwR7PTjdbs (halfway)

The last one lacks English subs, but what she says to Kyon is, "Kyon-kun? Do you choose the handmade boxed lunch? or do you choose me?" He then says "I choose the obentou." To which she shakes and says, "Shimatta," meaning "Now I've done it," as in "dang it!"


So I actually wanted to ask you, do you know if in Book 4 they actually do confirm this Yes or No? Don't say which way they confirm it! :o Just let me know if there's clear evidence one way or another that either [A] does or does not [verb] [B].
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:08 PM   #48
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He has.

Book 9 (the latest) is organized somewhat like a visual novel, told in two parts - Route A and Route B. Both follow Kyon on a normal day's activities, but IIRC he makes different decisions in both "routes". There are hints that Route A and B are "connected". I can't say more than that.
Doesn't sound much different from that Gwyneth Paltrow and Clive Owen film from a decade ago. The first event (the one in which the two Gwyneths diverge) is boarding the subway train. Gwyneth A does, and Gwyneth B does not. Without spoiling the film too terribly, I will say that one of the two Gwyneths meets up with the only Clive Owen in that universe (shared between both of their realms) and falls in love with him, only to be separated from him. The movie ends with the other Gwyneth hooking up with Clive Owen's character.

To use the Haruhi example, it would be as if on path A, Kyon kisses Haruhi so they become boyfriend and girlfriend both on path B he does not kiss her and so they stay the same as before. Then, on path A, Kyon winds up dying. Haruhi, as a result of Kyon A's death, encounters Kyon B, and the two of them then hook up.

It was a silly movie, but my point is that it disappoints me to learn that Tanigawa's written something (which I own! XD) which is so unoriginal.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:12 AM   #49
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So I actually wanted to ask you, do you know if in Book 4 they actually do confirm this Yes or No? Don't say which way they confirm it! :o Just let me know if there's clear evidence one way or another that either [A] does or does not [verb] [B].
I don't know the extent of your Book 4 knowledge, nor do I remember everything as vividly as the day I read it (two years past) but IIRC Asakura flirts with him. I'm going to hush hush about anything more than that, you'll have to be patient. :O

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Doesn't sound much different from that Gwyneth Paltrow and Clive Owen film from a decade ago. The first event (the one in which the two Gwyneths diverge) is boarding the subway train. Gwyneth A does, and Gwyneth B does not. Without spoiling the film too terribly, I will say that one of the two Gwyneths meets up with the only Clive Owen in that universe (shared between both of their realms) and falls in love with him, only to be separated from him. The movie ends with the other Gwyneth hooking up with Clive Owen's character.

To use the Haruhi example, it would be as if on path A, Kyon kisses Haruhi so they become boyfriend and girlfriend both on path B he does not kiss her and so they stay the same as before. Then, on path A, Kyon winds up dying. Haruhi, as a result of Kyon A's death, encounters Kyon B, and the two of them then hook up.

It was a silly movie, but my point is that it disappoints me to learn that Tanigawa's written something (which I own! XD) which is so unoriginal.
There's never a case of two Kyon in the same world at the same time. Route A is basically "Kyon's bad day" were a lot of horrible things happen, although I don't remember all the details. Route B is what happens if Kyon took Arnold (from The Magic Schoolbus) advice and "stayed home that day", leading to nothing bad happening.

Something is common between both Routes, but again the resolution is not yet complete, so I don't know how it'll turn out.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:21 AM   #50
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A lot of books borrow something from other books. >_>;;

It's everywhere. And if you think something is original, that just means you haven't read enough books.
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