I am a Harutard. Or Haruhi-tard? Whatever.
And I am not ashamed of it. Why? Because it’s worth the hype. Or rather, shows like this needs the hype.
I think in a lot of ways Suzumiya Haruhi is the centered, neutral approach to deal with a real 4th-wall story. Take Genshiken for example. Aside from the character drama, what draws the show in for us is its otaku references and mirroring a life too close to real for some of us. However, while that was all a lot of fun for me, what draws me is Saki; her mainstream representation and the invariable conflict which always arise from the slow and painful road she started by dating Kousaka.
What I am trying to say is that Suzumiya Haruhi no Uuutsu is doing exactly the same thing, but from the bottom-up. What if the Sasahara is the anchor, the norm, the voice of reason (as he kind of is sometimes)? What if we swap out the sick otaku references and the war against fujoshi and swap in a bit of X-Phile-ism and, well, more popular references to the mainstream? Like some classic science fiction, mainstream video games, books, and websites?
Or the pure, simple idea of a science fiction reality? Breaching the wall directly and attack escapism? It channels the feeling of a 10yo when he first watched E.T. the first time, or A New Hope. It’s innocent.
At least, that’s what it appears to be. It’s what makes Suzumiya Haruhi such a hard-to-polarize story I think. People generally react positively or negatively towards hype, and I seriously cannot find good criticism against Suzumiya Haruhi on the whole without someone talking about how hyped it is. Is that really a fault of the show?
Suzumiya Haruhi rallies. It flags the fantasy spirit under its indiscriminatory banner. It avoids the scandalous (for the most part). It sounds reasonable. It is fantastic. It fancies its viewers.
Which makes sense that I don’t think this show is over-hyped. Not so much because I have a high opinion of the show (although it would seem), but because it is a part of what the show is about.
To that end, Suzumiya Haruhi is definitely not for everyone. If you don’t care about that pure science fiction spirit, you probably won’t care for this show either. If you’ve outgrown it, you’ll find the show rather elementary and lacking that magical touch. It’s half the reason why I believe there was an episode-shuffling going on. But for anime fans, Suzumiya Haruhi hits one of the key reasons of what made us who we are in terms of what we watch, and that is what matters in the end.