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Haruhi Suzumiya / Tropes J to N

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Haruhi Suzumiya provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Jerkass: Haruhi in the beginning of the series. Until...
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: What Haruhi eventually matures into.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: A Gambit Pileup, Stable Time Loop and Love Dodecahedron form around a Wrong Genre Savvy Ontological Mystery title character and an Unreliable Narrator protagonist who doesn't really understand what's going on (or does he?). Said narrator relays most of the background information and interpretation from a Mr. Exposition who nobody completely believes or trusts.
  • Joshikousei: In the book, Kyon wonders if the principal has a fetish for this, since male students wear blazers and ties, but girls wear the more traditional sailor uniform. Ironically, the real school North High is based on features the opposite uniform configuration, with militaresque gakuran for boys and parochial-style uniforms for girls.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: In Sigh, Kyon repeatedly suggests doing this to Haruhi to solve the problem.
    Kyon: Can't we just knock Haruhi out until the festival is over?
  • Kansai Regional Accent: Notable for its absence — the series is set in Nishinomiya, on Osaka bay, in between Osaka and Kobe, home of the Hanshin Tigers, etc. As the creator of the series was born and raised in Nishinomiya, it's not surprising he'd want to avoid the usual grossly exaggerated, stereotypical Kansai accent heard in most anime. This can also be excused by the fact that Kyon is an Unreliable Narrator; he could easily be rendering everyone's dialect (including his own) as Standard Japanese, just because.
  • Keep It Foreign: "Why?" -> "naze?"
  • Kick the Dog: Haruhi, obviously. Most famously, the blackmailing of the computer club president. Some people don't find the molestation of Mikuru very funny, either. In the novels, Haruhi actually punched Mikuru on the head several times because her contact lens didn't fly out like in stories. She nearly gets hit by one really (and understandably) upset Kyon, but Koizumi restrained him.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Where to begin? Among the popular Japanese media tropes, if it isn't lampshaded, then it was probably invoked by Haruhi.
  • Language of Magic: Sped up and backwards played SQL queries.
  • Layman's Terms: Particularly in the Drama CD. Kyon is fond of asking for his companions' Infodumps to be rendered in words he can understand, though he's generally good at getting the gist of things.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Haruhi behaves this way when they play a LAN game against the Computer Club.
  • Lemony Narrator: Kyon, especially in the novels.
  • Lighter and Softer: While the main series is relatively light in tone, The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan takes it even further — it takes the world of Disappearance (with no aliens, time travel or psychic powers) and normalises it (no threat of it being remade). It also makes Kyon less snarky and cynical, Asakura isn't a Psycho Knife Nut Psycho Lesbian, and Haruhi is pushy and abrupt rather than sociopathic. The entire series is a romantic comedy between Yuki and Kyon.
  • Light Novels: The anime is based on them and so far covers the first four of eleven and some chapters from 5 and 6.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Yuki. Eventually Kyon picks up that maybe she just likes her school uniform.
  • Little Miss Almighty: Haruhi, or maybe not.
  • Little Stowaway: Kyon's sister tries this when the SOS brigade goes on vacation, but she gets caught in an instant. In the novels, she has to stay home, but in the anime they ultimately allow her to go with them.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • There's a lot of things Haruhi doesn't know about herself and the other members of the SOS Brigade.
    • The Time Travel arcs often leave Mikuru in a similar position. Kyon, Yuki, and Future Mikuru all know what she needs to do and why, but they can't tell Mikuru 'cos of paradoxes.
    • Kyon himself seems to be left out of a lot of the secret meetings between Yuki, Itsuki, and Mikuru.
  • Locked Room Mystery:
    • "Remote Island Syndrome."
    • Done again with Where Did The Cat Go?, the murder mystery that was supposed to be the main excitement during the Snow Mountain Syndrome trip.
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: Haruhi bets Mikuru during "The Day of Sagittarius." When the Computer Club President is taken aback by this, she offers Yuki instead. And when Kyon protests her willingness to wager other people, she relents and offers herself — an offer which the Computer Club president very much rejects...
  • Lonely Bachelor Pad: Yuki Nagato has one. Kyon comments on how empty the places feels and ask himself if Yuki feels the same way as her apartment. Before the series started, Yuki spent years quietly sitting in the middle of the room waiting for something to happen.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: in the short story Charmed at First Sight LOVER, Kyon transcribes a (hilariously melodramatic) love note from an old classmate to Yuki. Unfortunately, when he's done reading it, he tosses it out the window—just as Haruhi is passing by. Or as Kyon puts it in helpful question-and-answer format:
    Q: What was written on that piece of paper?
    A: A confession of love for Nagato.
    Q: Whose handwriting was on the paper?
    A: My handwriting.
    Q: What would a stranger think if he had read this?
    A: He'll probably misunderstand.
    Q: Then what would Haruhi be thinking if she read it?
    A: I don't even want to know.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine:
    • The Alternate Universe in Disappearance seems to be like this for Kyon, but gets subverted when he goes into a panic over the one good thing it had over the real world — that is, the SOS-Dan.
    • Further played with in that a couple days without any leads finds Kyon falling back into routine, and it takes a further shock to snap him out of it.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The song "God Knows". The song is awesome, but the upbeat sound is overlayed with lyrics about a girl's love for/attempts to reach out to a man who's on the brink of despair.
  • MacGuffin Super-Person: Itsuki Koizumi plays this role in "The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina". Yuki Nagato wants to steal his hidden esper powers, and the eponymous Mikuru Asahina is charged to protect Itsuki.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Kyon on a bike with fireworks, in "Endless Eight".
  • Magical Incantation: See below.
  • Magic from Technology: Yuki's incantations in SQL.
  • Male Gaze:
    • Really confusing when used on Yuki's chest in Disappearance.
    • The pool scene in the 7th Endless Eight episode begins with Haruhi's bikini-clad butt taking up almost the whole screen.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl:
    • Haruhi is a seemingly textbook example of the manic pixie dream girl, coming into Kyon's life, unknowingly introducing him to a group of supernatural and just making his life wackier and crazier than before. Only problem is that Haruhi is terrified of living a regular, unremarkable life, and is violently determined to make sure that doesn't happen. Along with the whole thing about her being God. She goes between relentlessly perky and hyper, vaguely sociopathic and having an existential crisis throughout the first arc (thus the Artifact Title 'The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya'.) Kyon finds her behavior to be irritating and obnoxious and wishes she had left him alone to be an Ordinary High-School Student. Subverted with Kyon being the one to inspire Haruhi to begin the SOS club and draw the melancholy out of her by making her subconsciously realise living a regular life might not be so bad. Via a kiss. In a way, dull, snarky Kyon was Haruhi’s MPDG.
    • Then played straight in the Big Damn Movie, where when presented with the choice between a world without Haruhi and one with, he does everything he can for the latter, realising that he really quite likes being a part of Haruhi's crazy life. This revelation is topped with tons of Ship Tease to boot. Despite this, Haruhi is clearly far more complex than your typical dream girl, so she still dodges the trope slightly.
  • Masquerade: On just about everybody's part.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The end result of Wandering Shadow. Are the data lifeforms that inhabit animal hosts really ghosts, or yet more run-of-the-mill aliens? If so, does their Bizarre Alien Biology apply to humans, as well? In any case, Yuki's not telling.
  • Meaningful Background Event:
    • "Live Alive": Full of them in regards to Haruhi and the band ENOZ. When Kyon, Taniguchi and Kunikida are talking in the locker room at the beginning, you can see ENOZ arguing about performing at the festival and Haruhi approaching them about acting as a stand in for the singer. When they are standing in line at Mikuru's food stall, the two remaining members of ENOZ (Mizuki and Mai) can be seen running off into the distance. And when Kyon is talking to Taniguchi and Kunikida after they get out of the food stall, Haruhi and Yuki can be seen in their costumes with guitars strapped to their backs running off behind Kyon.
    • "Day of Sagittarius": As the SOS Brigade walks home together after accepting the challenge, the scene focuses on Kyon and Itsuki's talk. Just in front of them, Yuki is already reading the game's instruction manual (we learn later that she and Itsuki were the only ones to thoroughly study it). During the Brigade's Training Montage, every day ends with a shot of the members slumped at their laptops after another defeat, all except Yuki who is still typing away and getting faster and faster each time. She starts out doing hunt-and-peck on the first day, but by the end of the fifth day Kyon finally notices that her fingers are now flying across the keyboard.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • According to Wikipedia, Kyon's nickname might come from κύων (kyôn), Ancient Greek for "dog", from where the word "cynic" may come from. Another possibility: Haruhi in the novels loves the story of Tanabata, involving a romance between a man and a woman separated and only allowed to meet once a year; the Korean name for the man can be romanized as 'Kyonu'.
    • Yuki's name as written means "has hope", which arguably fits with her later Character Development. Written in another way, it can also mean "snow", leading to several snow motifs. The 8th novel suggests that "snow" meaning was why she chose this name for herself as a metaphor, because as the Entity is formless and unified, like a mass of water, or a cloud, she is individual, and material, like a snowflake originating from that water. Additionally, the kanji in her surname name can translate to "gate manager" (or "master", in that context), which makes sense since she's essentially managing a "gate" to the Data Overmind.
    • Another probably intentional one — 'Mikuru' written a certain way in kanji can mean 'future'.
  • Meaningless Meaningful Words: Played with in The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina when Itsuki and Yuki, to fill Haruhi's messed-up script, improvise a dialogue and manage to talk for a full minute without saying anything that makes the tiniest sense!
  • Meta Guy: Kyon, Genre Savvy Deadpan Snarker that he is.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Koizumi has a bad case of this; he just can't stop gesticulating whenever he talks, especially when he's lecturing Kyon on something.
  • Mind Screw: If you haven't been spoiled, watching the series from the start in its original out-of-chronological-order order, will mess you up.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The paperback editions of the English-language novels.
  • Miracle Rally: Played with in "The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya". Yuki cheats and modifies the attribute data of the baseball bat the team uses ('Homing Mode'). Kyon asks her to disable it afterwards, and the team go right back to sucking again... but they still win. And then forfeit, because Haruhi's had her fun. And then Kyon sells the other team the bat.
  • Mistaken Message: Ryoko's anonymous note on Kyon's Inside Shoes locker.
  • Mood Dissonance: The episode "Sometime in the Rain" has Haruhi share an umbrella with Kyon, and act like she cares about him, as they walk home together. There's a sense of them almost being friends, honestly. It's a noticeable difference from where Haruhi was at the beginning of the show, and definite character development. It was a little hard to take at face value though, considering that Haruhi had spent the day forcibly dressing Mikuru up and filming her, after sending Kyon off on an errand so he wouldn't interfere. Of course, her sending Kyon off so he wouldn't interfere counts as character development. She never worried about what anyone thought early on.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Ryoko's conversation alone with Kyon at first sounds like a heartfelt confession of love... then it starts making no sense ("the higher-ups are all sticks-in-the-muds who can't keep up with change, but I can't afford such complacency out in the field")... and then she says she's going to kill him, pulls out a big Rambo knife and lunges at him.
    • The movie ends on a rather light note—basically, Kyon states he chose this world. It's way more fun here. I have to go back in time and make sure I don't screw up foiling Nagato's plan at some point, but whatever, time for some Christmas hot pot. Cut to the credits and an a capella song called "Gentle Oblivion". Especially sad when you realize that it's a character song for Yuki.
    • Watch the cheery first episode of "Endless Eight," then watch the following ones.
    • Kyon's confrontation with Haruhi in Sigh leads to a sudden change of the mood. And to a dark, overcast, rainy, musicless day.
  • Morality Chain: The only reason Haruhi got any nicer is Kyon. And we don't wanna know what would happen if he should die. But Ryoko Asakura does.
  • More than Three Dimensions: Mikuru Asahina describes Time Travel as moving in a four-dimensional direction across a series of stills, as in an animation.
  • The Movie: An adaptation of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, to be exact.
    • Big Damn Movie: Naturally, since Disappearance is one of the more epic stories in the series.
  • Mr. Exposition: The show hangs a lampshade on this with Kyon constantly telling Itsuki, aka Mr Exposition, that he talks too much.
  • Mr. Imagination: Haruhi, naturally.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Haruhi starts out as a jerkass Genki Girl and eventually becomes, well, a selfish jerk who means well and values her friends more than making the world exciting.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Mikuru again. Haruhi herself has a few moments.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Invoked by Kyon during Disappearance (when Koizumi and Haruhi, who attend a different school in the altered reality, try to sneak into North High), but averted with them using Kyon's P.E. uniforms instead. Though Haruhi naturally thinks this trope is an equally good idea.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: And how. At least part of the massive popularity of Haruhi Suzumiya has something to do with the fact that it combines light high school drama, sitcom-like comedy, sci-fi and something resembling a love story or an unconscious Unwanted Harem, along with dashes of mystery, musical, maths and physics fanservice and wacky misadventures, with a strong-willed (and cute) female lead opposite an affable and extremely relatable male lead. Its' appeal spreads across all genders.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Kyon using Hot Blood to plan a day of homework and BREAK THE TIME LOOP in the anime version of "Endless Eight". It even had epic music to accompany it, and was preceded by the coolest and most dramatic "Oh, Crap! Haruhi's about to leave the restaurant" sequence of all eight episodes (or maybe a bad acid-trip). This was a moment when the viewers were celebrating too.
    • That five minute scene that climaxes in Kyon stomping on himself with his decision to go back to the world he knew in the Disappearance movie.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Ryoko's motivation for stabbing Kyon in Disappearance. Probably also a secondary motivation when she initially tries to kill him in Melancholy.
  • Musical Pastiche: Soundtrack during the baseball match pastiches the theme to the Touch (1981) anime.
  • Myself, My Avatar: The Data Overmind/Heavenly Canopy Domain "Agents".
  • Mysterious Backer: The Data Entity.
  • Necktie Leash: Mostly just in the anime. In the novels she leads him arm in arm. It shows character development for Haruhi when she stops dragging Kyon along by the tie and takes him by the hand instead.
  • Necro Cam: Subverted. When Haruhi and Kyon are trying to solve a murder, their suppositions are Art Shifted. Haruhi's is in low-res red-filtered live-action (possibly a Cultural Cross-Reference to CSI). Meanwhile, Kyon's is simple crayon sketches. We don't get to see how the actual murder happened.
  • Neutral Female: Mikuru. She even knows that she won't be a combatant or competent.
  • Newspaper Dating: Kyon in the novel of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot:
    • Episode 00 "The Adventures Of Mikuru Asahina", Mikuru's and Yuki's characters.
    • Kyon's suggestion for the cultural festival: "Let's combine everything and do a fortune-telling survey play cafe."
  • Next Sunday A.D.: It's implied in Disappearance that Kyon's freshman year in high school started in April, 2010. (He mentions that the date, July 7, is a lucky date — 7/7/07.)
  • No Communities Were Harmed:
    • The series' setting is described/rendered in sufficient detail (in both novels and anime) to be readily identifiable as the author's hometown of Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, but it's never referred to by name in-series. Most likely, unwillingness to come out and say it is to avoid invoking a different trope based on the dialect of the region. Nevertheless, there are a few dead giveaways in the series, such as scenes directly in front of (a circa-2006) Osaka Station in "Melancholy III" and an establishing shot in "Endless Eight" that is unmistakably the waterfront of Kobe. (Perhaps the series' attention to detail is also its own undoing.)
    • The American DVD release of Season 2 includes extra videos where some of the crew walk around the town visiting the real-life locations that served as the models for many of the scenes.
  • No Name Given:
    • Kyon, the Computer Club President, and Kyon's sister — Kyon bemoans his stupid nickname but never says his real name (his school introduction is cut off). Even his sister's image song had to be titled as "Kyon no Imouto-san" or "Kyon's Little Sister". When someone is about to say the president's name, it is covered up by a sudden cut-off to a random cat meowing.
    • The novels tease us by saying that Kyon's actual name is "hard to spell" and "regal sounding."
    • At the beginning of "Melancholy", the introductions were alternately boy/girl, with boys and girls each being alphabetically ordered. After Kyon, Haruhi Suzumiya introduces herself, then Taniguchi. So Kyon's name likely starts with "Su," "Se," "So," or "Ta." Among the resulting possibilities are "Nagaru Tanigawa" and "John Smith" (Jon Sumisu), although in Disappearance Kyon makes it explicit that John Smith is not his real name.
    • Haruhi introduces Asahina to Kyon, but then fails to introduce Kyon to Asahina, a fact that doesn't escape Kyon's attention. And a few days later, when Koizumi is introducing himself to the Kyon, Haruhi interrupts Kyon's self introduction with "That's Kyon!"
  • Non-Indicative First Episode: First episode, which parodies most of the Japanese Media Tropes and many others in The Catalogue.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: Yuki's messages to Kyon at the beginning of book 10 suddenly become completely unintelligible before she passes out. Not Played for Laughs.
    yuki.n> i will not allow them to harm you or haruhi suzumiya
    yuki.n> this is one of my duti□□□□□□□□□ata integrati□□□□□□□ciousnes□□□□□□ttempt□□□□□□□municat□□□□□□□□□□□□□□anopy doma
    yuki.n> my operat?????æ–‡å —å????OE–ã‘ã??§ã™????文å??? —åOE????–ã‘ã§???
    yuki.n> ????????ã“ã‚OEã?????‚‚æ–‡å??? —å??OE–ã‘ã???•ã“ã‚???OEもæ?????????????–‡å —åOE–ã‘ã•??
    yuki.n> need to sleep
  • Noodle Incident: Only Kyon's "dream" is shown in Snow Mountain Syndrome, the other "dreams" sound interesting.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Koizumi, to Kyon's constant annoyance and the fangirls' constant delight. Asakura does so too with Kyon, though this is less noticeable since she is only present in a few episodes. In both cases it is unclear whether they are aware of how uncomfortable Kyon is.
  • No Such Thing as Wizard Jesus: There are alien data creatures, life forms that are based around physical bodies, but their data can live without their silicon-based bodies. Wait! Doesn't it mean that maybe if humans are also like this, it could be proven that there is life after death for our non-physical part, call it data, mind or soul? The trope is averted, as Kyon does ask this question as soon as he can, and Nagato knows the answer but it is classified information
  • Not Actually the Ultimate Question: Haruhi asks Kyon what's the most important thing to have when making a movie. He answers a unique vision and the passion to bring it to life. The answer she was looking for was "a camera".
  • Not a Date:
    • Kyon and Mikuru. Aww.
    • If you're talking about Haruhi's insistence in III, there's an even bigger one in the later novels. Mikuru actually asks Kyon out at one point, but it's under orders, and all so Kyon can stop a kid from being hit by a truck.
    • In a subversion, Kyon flashes back to one of these in when Haruhi forces him write a romantic story for the required Literature Club publication. His sisters friend Miyoko wanted to see a scary movie that she was to young for. Since she's Younger Than They Look (Kyon mentions she looks to be closer to his age than his sisters), she asks her best friends brother to take her; since it looks like a date, no one will question them.
  • Not So Stoic: There's definite traces of actual emotion under Yuki Nagato's Extreme Doormat Emotionless Girl facade. She's still pretty hard to read though.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • When Kyon picks up Nagato from the floor and Taniguchi comes in.
    • Likewise the time Haruhi wrestles Kyon to the ground, sits on top of him, and tries to strip off his jacket. She just wants the paper in his pocket, but the scene is enough to traumatize Mikuru when she walks in.