I remember when I first tried to watch the series of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. After the first episode, I dropped it like a hot potato. It just wasn’t my cup of tea and seemed too stereotypical at the time. Three years later, this year, I decided to give it another go and found myself flying through the first season and the second season soon after. So it’s no surprise I was excited to watch the movie that came after, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.
If you’re a fan of the series, you know we’re no strangers to time travel and paradoxes. Disappearance takes this to a whole new level; so much so you’d think your head would be spinning from it all. But luckily, Kyon keeps us grounded, as he usually does, and we are able to travel through the story with little confusion, patiently waiting to see where the next turn will take us.
While the series was tons of fun, Disappearance is where we get the chance to see things from a different perspective. The movie title of course means something vital to the plot; it’s the disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. While I’m sure many people would rejoice over this, I oddly found myself missing Haruhi, as Kyon did.
In an attempt to not spoil much of the movie, I’ll simply say that it illustrates one particular theme: “You never know what you have until it’s gone.” This is very simple, yes, but most great stories can be built on a theme like this. Disappearance doesn’t even stop with illustrating that theme, though. What would you do if your world, that was always pushing you out of your comfort zone, suddenly changed? And what would you do if someone actually changed it for you? Changed it to normal and almost…dull world where you could live your life peacefully without interrupt of Haruhi like behavior.
I consider myself a rather boring sort of person, like a hobbit. “Never had any adventures or did anything unexpected.” Though, I do often wish for excitement in my life (preferably for it to come to me). And it just so happens I have a Haruhi like friend. Not in the sense of liking supernatural stuff necessarily, but in the sense of charging into new and exciting activities constantly and dutifully dragging me along behind her. From club activities to somewhat “kidnapping” people (I kid you not), her flamboyant and ambitious personality was never at a loss for an idea.
To my otherwise quiet and peaceful life, being dragged around like a rag doll is rather annoying. But, I must admit, it’s always fun. And that’s what hit home for me in The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Kyon had spent a majority of his time complaining about Haruhi and wishing his life hadn’t been ruined by her crazy ideas. But when he’s put into a world that would be considered safe and not crazy at all, he finally admits that truthfully, he was having fun with her and the SOS Brigade before the world had changed.
Haruhi is a great character; she takes people out of their comfort zones (except Koizumi, who is always comfortable wherever he is). I think there’s something to be said to Christians especially when it comes to being shoved out of our comfort zones. The world is a big, scary place, thus it’s really easy to stay in our safe, little bubbles forever. I lived like that for the longest time and still do to an extent. If it were not for my Haruhi friend, I wouldn’t have done a lot of the things I have. But what fun is it living in a boring world with little adventure?
Oddly enough, even when Haruhi “disappeared,” she was there when Kyon needed her. In fact, she was always there on every adventure with Kyon with a new, insane idea at the ready. She wouldn’t miss it for the world (quite literally).
In many ways, trusting God is stepping out of our comfort zones; and I’d be lying if I said that putting faith in God is not terrifying for me at times. It’s very unsettling to get pushed out of our comfort zones into a new situation and sometimes a new life. Yet, it can also be fun. Why? Because He is there with us every step of the way.
I hope this new year is filled with many fun and crazy adventures for all of us!