Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya- novel 6- The Melancholy of Mikuru Asahina

*MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

The Melancholy of Mikuru Asahina- the fifth (and last) short story of "The Wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya" (novel 6).

Set sometime in mid-late January.

Kyon arrives at the club room after school like usual, and knocks on the door. Theres no answer so he feels free to walk in. He's hit upon the sight of Mikuru sitting on a folding chair clutching a broom, looking spaced out. He's never seen her look this sad- ever, and calls to her. She snaps out of it and recognises his presence. Still, she appears down and he keeps an eye on her. She tentatively asks him for a favour but is interrupted by Yuki walking into the room. She quickly changes the subject and goes off to make some tea, but they are out of water. She then tells them she will get some, but Kyon stops her because it would be wrong for her to prance around school dressed as a maid. He leaves with the kettle, but she follows anyway. At the water fountain, she asks Kyon to join her this coming Sunday to shop for tea leaves. Kyon, ignoring her depressed state, fantasises over the event and considers it a date.

Sunday arrives and they meet up near the station. They travel to the shopping district and go into a small family run store with a tiny cramped cafe in the basement. This is the store that according to Mikuru sells the best tea leaves. Its cafe even brews its customers bought tea for them.

Kyon notices that Mikuru has been checking her wrist watch a little too often, but he doesn't press her about it. It's getting towards twilight outside when she suggests they should take a walk. They walk around for ages and still she constantly checks the time. Kyon hears her talking under her breath 'its not time yet'. Eventually they get to a crossing point, and are waiting for the green man to appear so they can cross when they both notice a boy shoot out into the middle of the road. Not only that but a speeding truck is racing towards him. Unconsciously, Kyon runs into the road and sweeps the boy away from the speeding truck within millimetres of being hit himself. Mikuru runs over to them and lectures the boy about not looking out for cars before running onto the road.

Mikuru makes the boy swear a pinky promise with her regarding not doing anything like this ever again before he continues running off.

Mikuru and Kyon walk off and she starts to cry. Her crying gets worse and she buries herself into Kyons sleeve. She explains that she considers herself useless because of the lack of communication she receives from her superiors about her missions. She explains that the boy they just saved will go on to be a very important person in the development of time travel, and that the person in the car that tried to run him over was a time traveller from another faction that attempted to change the future. She also explains through sobbing that she used Kyon because its against the rules for time travellers to interfere with the past, so she brought him along to stop whatever it was that was supposed to happen, not that she knew what was supposed to happen or to whom.

They go to the park and sit on the same bench as they did at the Tanabata festival 3 and a half years ago when adult Asahina made her fall asleep on his shoulder. Kyon feels her head hit his shoulder once again, only this time she's burying her head into him, quietly sobbing once again. Kyon tries to comfort her but has no idea how. He tries to explain to her just how important she is but he stumbles in his words. She realises through unspoken words that he's tied down to revealing more about her future and whats going on. During his bumbling she places her index finger to his lips, then to hers, and thanks him for making her feel better.

Back at school and the club room, Haruhi talks about a boy she knows and how he said he saw Mikuru and Kyon together on Sunday. Apparently he knows their faces from the school festival. Haruhi grins and demands Kyon to 'fess up. Both Kyon and Mikuru look like they are caught red handed. Even Yuki is interested.

---

7-10.  Mikuru has been lost deep in thought ever since her experience of traveling back in time to December 18th. Events don't add up for her. She contacts her superiors who tell her nothing. She could ask Kyon but its against her own rules if she tried to get answers from seemingly unexplainable time travel. Therefore, she spends the rest of January confused, deep in thought, and also melancholy because she feels purposely left in the dark.

The most memorable scene for me was the chat between Kyon and Mikuru on the park bench. It was just so atmospheric in the twilight in the stark dead of winter. Especially with her being as depressed as she was. She never asked Kyon to try and explain what happened on the 18th December, but in the end she didn't need too. Kyon's stuttering were enough to tell her that Kyon cannot talk to her about it, which confirms that she shouldn't worry about it, especially because he did tell her how important she is.

Up next: the prologue to The Intrigues (part 2).

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