The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya
Okay, let's see what Mikuru is doing. She's pouring tea and offering Kyon some, which he gratefully accepts. He blows on it and takes a sip. Mikuru looks worried, but when he says it's really good, she seems pleased. She offers some to Itsuki, which he, too, accepts. Yuki is reading — no glasses, this time — when Mikuru simply places the cup beside her. Kyon tells us that it's been a month since the club was formed. He relates that since that time, he was involved in something that was like the world got a sudden case of leg cramps. Haruhi bursts through the door and cheerily announces that they're entering a baseball tournament.
Since that day, nothing odd has happened, and they've been trying to enjoy the brief moment of peace and boredom as much as they could. (There's a book called "Master of Space" here. All I can find on Wikipedia is "Master of Space and Time". ...WHOA. The brief description of that is eerily appropriate.) And it was brief, because when she smiles like that, Kyon's the one who finds himself completely exhausted. Apparently, Kyon and Itsuki have been playing a tabletop baseball game themselves.
("Bouken desho desho?")
Kyon asks what she said they're going to do. Haruhi hands him a flyer for the 9th All-City Baseball Tournament. Kyon asks who's going to enter. Haruhi says "us". Kyon wonders if that means everyone in the room, including him. Haruhi says they need to find at least four more people. Kyon asks if Haruhi knows the rules. She does; she got a rundown of the basics when she tried out, but it wasn't fun for her, so she hurried and went home. Kyon puts to her the obvious question: why does she want to enter? Publicity, sounds like. She asks Mikuru if it isn't a great idea. When Mikuru stammers, Haruhi embraces her and asks if baseball isn't great. She says they're going to aim for the championship. They can't afford to lose one game, as she hates losing. She nibbles Mikuru's ear, distressing her even more. Itsuki thinks it would be all right. Kyon thinks he should try disagreeing with her once in a while, but Itsuki thinks it's at least more sensible than searching the city for aliens and suchlike. Kyon asks for the tournament's date. Haruhi drags Mikuru over and says it's this Sunday, which Kyon realizes is the day after tomorrow, and therefore probably way too soon. Haruhi drops Mikuru and says she already turned in the application. She even made sure to call their team the S.O.S. Brigade. Kyon asks where the other four players might be coming from. Haruhi figures she'll try the "found a bored person" method. Kyon remarks to us that she really intends to do that. Kyon suggests Taniguchi and Kunikida, which Haruhi says will do. From the floor, Mikuru suggests a friend whose name I guess we'll find out later. Kyon has a realization: where and when will this friend be from? Although he merely asks in his head, she responds that her friend is from this time period before stopping herself and saying she's a friend from class. Itsuki has an acquaintance who's been curious about their activities. Haruhi says it's time for some intensive training. Kyon asks if she means now. Well, on the one hand, you do have only two days, but on the other... don't the non-present potential teammates need training, as well? She does mean now. Kyon asks where. Haruhi points outside, apparently to...
...the field. There's a game going on, looks like. Kyon tells us they got roped into the tournament. The reason? Haruhi was bored. Oh joy, Haruhi's going to interact with the players. She asks for use of the field and equipment. Since they need some rush practice, she asks them to get lost. In what would normally be a wise decision, the... captain, I guess, refuses. With Haruhi involved, though, I'm not so sure. She assures them it'll only be a little while, and turns to Mikuru. ...I hope she knows better than to be anywhere around when Haruhi might have to "negotiate" the use of something. Oh well, at least she just pulled her in front of herself and didn't force anyone to touch her inappropriately.
Haruhi figures they'll start practice by catching a thousand grounders. Mikuru doesn't even have her glove on when one whizzes by her ear. She gets out of the way of another, goes to her knees and holds her head. Six of the actual players slide past third to get a look. Haruhi says the future of the SOS Brigade rides on that ball. Kyon tells us it's the first time he'd heard of their futures riding on a tiny ball. Itsuki manages to catch one and throw it back. Yuki stands motionless unless a ball will impact her, in which case, she catches it and drops it. The boys watch her. Haruhi tells Mikuru that one more volley's coming. She's all the way bent over. Two balls miss, and one more bounces off her side, which she says hurts. Kyon goes to see if she's all right, but she's worried about something that'll happen if he's too nice to her. He leads her off the field over the protests of Haruhi. Kyon points out that she's injured. Haruhi lets it go, in that case. Then she practices with the actual team. Itsuki is surprised that she really did hit one thousand exactly. Kyon is more surprised that he counted. If she hit, on average, one per second, that would be 16 minutes 40 seconds of batting.
Yuki starts to leave. Kyon asks if she can make it rain the day of the tournament so that it'd be delayed. Yuki says it's possible, but inadvisable, as the aftereffects on the ecosystem could be devastating in several hundred to ten thousand years. In that case, we're not doing that. Haruhi pitches to a catcher.
And the day comes. There's some laughter. A girl, apparently Mikuru's friend, is meeting Kyon for the first time, and has heard a lot about him. She gives him a good look. Mikuru introduces her as Tsuruya-san. Tanaguchi-san arrives and moves Kyon out of the way to introduces himself. Kunikida walks up and introduces himself. Kyon is called over by Haruhi because she thinks he's making something like his little sister play baseball. Kyon thinks it's rude that Haruhi called her a "something". Haruhi says she called herself as 10-year-old 5th grader, and that she's so sweet, that she can hardly believe that she and Kyon are related. That aside, she points out that it's not a little league, but open to the general public. Kyon tells us that's why he brought her, since they have no realistic chance of winning. But then, it's Haruhi doing it, so they might just win by accident. With a 5th grader among them, they're sure to lose. Haruhi decides it'll be a good handicap, to keep their wins from being too decisive.
Some players are practicing throwing to each other. The SOS Brigade team is hanging out in the bleachers. Kyon brings up that they need a batting order and positions. She's figured on deciding it with that game with parallel lines with lines running between them. One is for batting order, and the other is for position. Haruhi has already selected pitcher and first batter. Kyon remarks that all she decided was how to decide. Haruhi brings up the lots used for elections in ancient Greece. Though Kyon goes through with it, he doesn't think the two are comparable. Besides which, Haruhi is the only one who got to choose. Kyon figures it all the more reason to go home early.
- Haruhi Suzumiya
- Kyon's sister
- Miss Tsuruya
- Pitcher: Haruhi
- Catcher: Koizumi
- 1st: Kunikida
- 2nd: Kyon
- 3rd: Tsuruya
- Shortstop: Taniguchi
- Right: Mikuru
- Center: Yuki
- Left: Kyon's sister
Their first opponents is a team of college students: the Kamigahara Pirates. They're the favorites, it seems. Also, if one team leads by 10 runs, the game is called, so Kyon thinks it's not too early to pack up to go home.
Haruhi steps up to the plate, and the game begins. She hits it way out there and gets to second before mocking the pitch.
Mikuru's up, and she begins to say she'll try to do her best, but is interrupted by a fastball. Kyon is pretty sure that if he hits her with the ball, he go out and deck him. After a second strike, Haruhi tries yelling some advice, but it doesn't take, and Mikuru has struck out. Haruhi yells at her for not swinging. Yuki also doesn't swing.
Kyon's up. I have a feeling he'll at least make the attempt, even though he doesn't know what Haruhi expects from someone picked by lottery. He strikes out, but at least he was trying.
Haruhi strikes out one pitcher. Another gets a foul, then a homer. The problem is that Haruhi was throwing pitches straight through the strike zone, so of course, they exploited this predictability. Kyon's sister runs for one, but trips. They don't have good defense. Tsuruya catches one, as does Tanaguchi! Kyon takes the other team's two runs as a sign that their goddess of victory is running late.
The top of the 2nd went by quickly, while the bottom saw the other team gaining 5 runs. Kyon figures the next inning will see them going home.
Tsuruya gives a nice-sounding
hit... that is caught by the catcher
. She remarks that it's all she can do to hit the ball. Haruhi figures she's going to need "it" after all. She drags Mikuru along and calls a time-out. She changes them into cheerleader outfits. Kunikida thinks she looks good. Kyon's sister seems impressed, and Tsuruya wants to take pictures. Haruhi considers putting Mikuru's hair into a ponytail, but decides against it, and wants her to cheer. Mikuru isn't sure how. Haruhi takes her by the wrists and moves her arms, and tells her to yell as loud as she can. She makes the attempt.
Despite Taniguchi's assertation that he'll knock it out, he, too, strikes out. Haruhi's okay with that, as she wasn't counting on him. She steps up to the plate, still in the cheerleader's outfit. It's distracting the catcher, and the pitcher. He makes a bad pitch, and she slides into first, safe.
Now it's Mikuru's turn, and she's also in her outfit. Strike one. Haruhi tries demonstrating, but it looks to Kyon like she's trying to reduce the pitcher's MP. Itsuki think she's signaling for a squeeze play. Kyon wonders about her signaling for a three-bunt-squeeze when they have two outs, as even a coach who's gone senile would make a better decision than that. Itsuki explains that since Mikuru extremely unlikely to hit the ball, catching the opposing team off-guard with a crazy play might work in their favor. However, this doesn't work. Haruhi calls her over for some pain. She stretches Mikuru's cheeks for a bit before Kyon taps Haruhi on the head and blames her for giving confusing signals, and suggests that she might've tried for a steal.
Itsuki gets a call. Apparently, something's got Mikuru and Yuki's attention. Itsuki says things aren't looking good anymore. While Kyon doesn't want to hear it, he says to go ahead. Itsuki explains that an enclosed space of previously-unseen size is starting to form, and is spreading at an alarming rate.
Some kind of enormous freaky humanoid thing, transparent, outlined in blue, and filled with electricity is standing near a ferris wheel. Apparently, they're destroying things, and will keep growing until Haruhi's mood improves. Kyon wonders if it's happening because they're losing. Itsuki points out that although he speaks as though he's not involved, he is involved, and it has to do with the batting order lottery. As it turns out, Kyon was fourth because Haruhi wanted it, but because he's not performing like a cleanup batter, she's disappointed. So, they should do their best to keep the game from being called that inning, and it'll be the equivalent of this world ending. In other words, no more than two runs for the other side.
Here's the situation: two outs, men on 1st and 2nd. If the other team gains even one point, they win. The guy at bat hits it in Mikuru's general area, but Kyon abandons 2nd and goes for it. He dives... and catches it!
Itsuki gets back to their chat. He starts talking about the other day when he went to another world with Haruhi. Since this is the broadcast order, I guess I'm waiting to see that take place. Itsuki wonders how she and Kyon got out of it. Kyon didn't want to be reminded of that. Itsuki suggests doing whatever it was that got him out to make this situation better, but Kyon refuses. Itsuki figured he'd say that, so their alternative is to win the game, especially as "she" shares their concerns. The camera is indicating Yuki. Itsuki and Yuki talk. Mikuru says that Yuki is finally doing something, which Mikuru identifies as possibly casting a spell. Mikuru thinks a bit before saying it's classified.
I guess this is a flashback, since we're seeing Yuki, wearing glasses and her school uniform, facing another girl in uniform, and Kyon standing behing in his. There's a weird orange-yellow background, which goes all pink and stuff with patterns when we get a close-up of Yuki's face.
Yuki's at bat. This time, she hits a homer, then hands off the bat to Kyon, saying she changed the elemental boost information. It's on homing mode. Now they're all
hitting it out of the park. Kyon says there's a limit as to how random things can get. They get 11 runs. Kyon is concerned about things getting ugly, so she has Yuki disengage the homing mode. It turns out the first round has a 90-minute time limit. So they just need to keep them from scoring. Kyon asks Itsuki if it's all right for them to win; Itsuki says it's necessary, as through their efforts, the expansion has stopped. Kyon is concerned about them making a comeback and probably ruining her mood. Itsuki has a plan, though, which he says out of our earshot. Kyon wonders if he's serious; he is.
Yuki's in the catcher's position now. And Kyon's pitching. He pitches a ball. Haruhi is steamed about it, and says he's buying them lunch if they lose. He has bigger consequences to worry about, though, as the world is worth little enough that its fate rests on his pitching. This time, he pitches a "Mysterious Ball", which is the name he gave it, he believes the annihilation of the world will be held off. Indeed, the next seven pitches sees the ball defying physics to make strikes. The last one, however, is an error, requiring Yuki to pick up the ball and throw it. She doesn't hurry. She does, however, throw the ball extra fast to Haruhi. It goes out of her ungloved hand and is caught by Itsuki, who tags the runner out. He apologizes to the runner, saying that they aren't the typical athletes that they're used to facing.
The game is called, and thanks to Yuki's magical cheating, they won. Itsuki wonders what they'll do for the next round. Kyon'll feel bad for the Pirates if they win like this again. Itsuki needs to help out his colleagues soon. Kyon suggests they forfeit, which sounds like a good idea to Itsuki, who also decides it's a bad thing with Haruhi is bored.
Kyon explains the situation to Haruhi, including his aching appendages. After a few seconds of smiling at her, she smiles, too, but not the scary one. She relents, since he's all right with it. She suggests lunch.
One of the other players is thanking Kyon for the forfeit, I guess. He mentions the bat for some reason.
At Wolks, the players are eating and talking: Taniguchi realizing a knack for baseball; Tsuruya talking to Yuki; Mikuru watching Kyon's sister; Haruhi announcing that the bill is on Kyon, which he doesn't mind, as he got some money out of the venture. In his thoughts, he wishes the Pirates luck.
Back at the room, Mikuru is pouring tea, the boys are playing some kind of game, and Yuki is reading. Haruhi bursts in and cheerily apologizes for being late. She wants them to try one of the two footballs: Association (called soccer in America) or American. She asks how many they need to play each. (I'd choose association football, myself, just because of who's going to be playing.) Mikuru makes a worried noise. Haruhi asks if the number they had last time is going to be enough. (No, you need two more, regardless of which one you settle on. I'd suggest Asakura, for one, and that's if you bring in Kyon's sister. Kyon tries to figure out which sport requires fewer people. He suggests bowling in the dub, or gateball
in the sub.
Next time: Back to disc 1 with The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya III!