Ah! The warmth of summer is fleeting! Summer vacation being caput, it is time for some of us to resume our academic pursuits. Whilst I, Atobe, am as much taken with athletics as that noble labor, and often find myself within the plight of occupational two-timing, our brawnless Crusader assures me that my plight is not his own. For once more leisured than his aristocratic peer, so engrossed was he within his studies, required or otherwise, that I, Atobe, am again to type a post on his behalf.
Assumption is one of those rare college where a student of philosophy and theology begins his semester with Robert Nisbet and St. Augustine, Pierre Manent and Virgil. However, my familiarity with this set is tantamount to boredom, so instead I shall delve in to Leslie's leisure reading.
First, we're going back. Way back. Over the Labor Day weekend, my compatriot devoured his first ever light novel, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The light and fluffy text, reading like a Japanese variation on your American Goosebumps, is the first of Nagaru Tanigawa's ten-volume saga on the irrepressible heroine. Bored, quixotic, and "Jenius with a J" as Leslie puts it, here is how Suzumiya-san introduces herself on the first day of high school:
I have no interest in ordinary humans. If there are any aliens, time travelers, sliders, or espers here, come join me. That is all.
(Found that pic, incidentally, when I was searching under Goosebumps. Yeah, she's that pretty.) I, Atobe, know my otaku compadre already discussed the corresponding anime, but brilliance of this intensity merits a sustained propaganda. After a few irritable weeks of trying out dull, "normal" clubs, Suzumiya's classmate Kyon suggests she start her own club. And so begins the SOS Brigade, or Save the World by Overloading it with Fun Haruhi Suzumiya Brigade. Forced to explain what the club's about, she says, To find aliens, time travelers, and espers and to have fun with them! Unbeknownst to Suzumiya-san, the three members she ropes in after Kyon are... an alien, a time traveler, and an esper, with whom she has altogether too much fun. In the manner of Cervantes's Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha and Toole's Ignatius J. Reilly, Haruhi inadvertently brings about the impossible by virtue of her very eccentricity. As the members reveal to Kyon they (and possibly the entire world with them) were created three years ago by a subconscious act of Haruhi's consciousness. As the Koizumi the esper explains, Why do you think espers such as ourselves and characters such as Mikuru Asahina [time traveler] and Yuki Nagato [alien] exist in this world? Because Suzumiya wished for it. Given her ability, Haruhi's underlings carefully conceal their powers from her, lest she comes to believe aliens, time travelers, and espers are common and the world is overrun by them, while still keeping her from giving up on the ordinary world and creating a new one in its place.
Me? Ugh! I, Atobe, have had quite enough of this Melancholy. In Japan, see, the series has sold 4.5 million copies, so it's little better than Harry Potter or Twilight amongst our teenyboppers. Still one of my intellectual caliber cannot deny the light novel's subtle Genius (with a G). When I see the American paperback cover, I cannot but paraphrase Zarathustra:
Be awed at the sight of my prowess!