The Mikuru Asahina Paradox

So, I really freaking love The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I’ve been hooked on it ever since I bought the first two DVDs at a now defunct giant FYE store back in 2007. I love the characters, I love the animation, and I especially love all the crazy theories that the series and it’s bizarre canon lends itself to. This series was not only delivering on awesomeness, but inspiring awesomeness from it’s fans, years before My Little Pony started doing the same thing. I don’t believe the “Melancholy of Kyon” theory, but it’s a really interesting one. I actually really enjoy the Kyonko series, and do I really need to say anything about the Churuya-chan manga?

Well, I’ve had my own theories about the show, and while most of them fizzled after a while, a much more interesting train of thought took it’s place. It’s a theory I came up with after watching The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, and I call it The Mikuru Asahina Paradox. No, it has nothing to do with the idea that Mikuru may be the adult version of Kyon’s sister, but I do greatly support that theory. It was the disappearance movie that planted the seed in my head, but I’ll have to start much earlier in order to explain it.

Mikuru Asahina is, for all intents and purposes, the Daphne of Haruhi’s group. She’s the attractive mascot whom supernatural occurrences are always targeting… At least according to Miss Suzumiya’s wacky outlook. As it turns out, she’s actually a time traveller… A visitor from the future, who’s been sent back to the past to observe the odd universe-creating being known as Haruhi Suzumiya. Unfortunately, she didn’t go back in time to tell me to post a spoiler warning in this post.

My theory started out as a innocent, tiny little question. I had just seen the adult version of Mikuru show up on screen to prove to Kyon that her time travelling claims aren’t just a fabrication. Having seen this, I asked one simple question… Where does she live? Where is Miss Asahina currently residing? Is there some home for time travellers? Is she pretending to be some sort of exchange student? Did she get taken in by foster parents? Are they in on the operation?

For one possible solution, does she live with Tsuruya-san? There’s no actual evidence of this in the show or the light novels, but in one of the later novels, it’s revealed that Tsuruya knows Mikuru well enough to tell that she’s not a normal person. So for her to know her so intimately, it is entirely possible… Though entirely unproven… That Mikuru is living in Tsuruya’s giant, luxurious estate somewhere. It would explain why the two of them are such close friends.

But even with that question out of the way, there’s another issue to be worked out here. According to freaking everybody in the story, Haruhi Suzumiya is an unwitting God, whose will and beliefs are transformed into immediate reality. This is, supposedly, how Itsuki, Yuki, and Mikuru became, respectively, an esper, an alien, and a time traveller. But what about their lives beforehand? With Itsuki, this is addressed offhand. He wasn’t an esper, then all of a sudden he had powers. But what about Yuki and Mikuru? They are identified, specifically, as a time traveller, and an alien. Leaving Yuki aside for a moment… This issue will be complicated enough without involving THAT hypercube… Let’s just examine how this affects Mikuru. If Haruhi’s will created time travellers, there are only two possible explanations for what Mikuru’s life was like before that event.

1: She was a normal girl from our timeline, and then Haruhi’s will changed her existence so she’d be from the future.

2: She was a normal girl from the future, and Haruhi’s will gave her people the ability to time travel.

If the latter is true, then the scenario is a little easier to understand. Haruhi’s will gave her people the ability to time travel, but they believe they’ve had it all along… Thanks to a little boy and a turtle, but that’s a discussion for another day… And that’s why their ‘three year’ problem exists. all of the same questions apply in relation to her living situation.

If it’s the former, then that’s a little more troubling, as you’d have to factor in the possibility that Haruhi’s will erased her entire family in order to repurpose her. That’s a bit of an extreme, but there’s also the somewhat less troubling idea that she was simply cut off from that family line. Or, hell, maybe she was an orphan all along. What a twist.

Okay, so if we accept the latter solution, the question doesn’t become as dark as you’d be expecting it to. And why wouldn’t we accept it? There’s no real proof one way or another, so why wouldn’t we just accept the easier possibility?

Well, there’s a substantial problem with both theories… and that problem is The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love that movie. i’d go as far as to call it one of the top ten best anime movies of all time. In this movie, Yuki Nagato resets time herself, creating a world where all involved character would be normal people. With Yuki Nagato, Ryoko Asakura, and Mikuru Asahina, this poses a very troubling question: How did their family lives change in order to support this? None of them have parents or families in the timeline that the story normally takes place in. Were families created for them? Were entire bloodlines created for them? Was Mikuru’s connection to the future erased in it’s entirety? Was Mikuru’s entire bloodline from the future pulled from reality in it’s entirety, and placed into the appropriate timeline like a cut-and-paste job?

Were their memories altered so that they’d simply believe they had a family, which they never see anymore because they live alone?

Or are they very briefly given back the lives they had before Haruhi threw their lives to the wind and changed them into the supernatural beings she craved?

Was Mikuru Asahina given back her family by Yuki, only to have it stolen from her once again, all because Kyon wasn’t happy?

See, the idea we’re working with is that Yuki created a new world where none of the characters have supernatural powers. In other words, this new world could exist in it’s own solitary bubble, where nothing that happens within has any affect on the rest of the story. I, however, disagree with this idea. It’s theorized by Kyon, but it’s actually never confirmed by Yuki. In other words, there’s no proof that this theory is accurate. Instead, isn’t it possible that Yuki just took away Haruhi’s powers, thus rendering any change she made to reality defunct?

That’s a nice theory, you say, but it’s equally unprovable. Au contraire, mon frere! I do have evidence for this, and it all comes back to one single, unexplained element… Class nine. I don’t know how Haruhi’s lack of powers influence her decision to not go to North High, and I don’t know why Koyo-en turned into a co-ed school. Hell, maybe Haruhi subconsciously turned it into an all girls school so that a mysterious transfer student would have to appear at north high. But the simple fact remains that without her wishing for Itsuki to join her at North High, and with Koyo-en being Co-ed, there was no reason for Itsuki to go to North High.

And apparently, that means there’s no reason for Class nine to exist… Which, in Yuki’s world, it doesn’t.

Seems excessive, don’t you think? Itsuki’s not going to North High, so his classroom doesn’t exist. With her powers, did Haruhi subconsciously create class nine and fill it up just enough so that there’d be one open spot left to accommodate him? Did she really change the dimensions of an entire school just to pull this off? Well, did Yuki really need to erase this classroom to get Itsuki out of the school? Or was Yuki completely unaware of the fact that Haruhi’s power created it?

Either this can be written off as lazy writing… I really don’t want to go that route… Or Yuki Nagato created a world where Haruhi’s powers never existed, which would in fact mean that the world she created is the world as it had been before Haruhi’s powers altered it. If this is done as thoroughly as getting rid of the classroom that Haruhi created for Itsuki, then by that logic, Mikuru should have been sent back to the future, and Yuki and Ryoko should have blinked out of existence. And I hate to say I told you so, but in Yuki’s world those two are still here, and Mikuru isn’t a Time Traveller.

And thus we come back to the main point of this conundrum… What exactly happened to Mikuru Asahina’s family?

  1. John Titor said:

    Class 9 wasn’t just created or deleted from existance. By making Koyoen a mixed school. More students went there, so North High didn’t get a class 9.
    I don’t think Yuki, Ryoko or Mikuru shouldn’t exist in the altered world just because they don’t have their powers. Yuki just became a normal shy girl that met Kyon at the library. Mikuru as well. Plus they have to exist in order to let Kyon choose the path by bringing them all into the clubroom.
    About her home and family, well, it’s likely that they don’t exist due to them not really being relevant. We know none of the parents of any character. It’s likely that her family is in the future though. That doesn’t mean that they got sealed there when it all changed though. But again, we know nothing.
    As for Asakura, yeeeah, she’s an odd one. I don’t think she was changed at all. She was like an “antivirus” to Yuki’s world. Watching that nobody threaten her, until Nagato herself stops her.

    • So, since Koyoen became a mixed school, North High decided not to build an extra classroom? That sounds weird.
      Anyway, whether it’s in the real world or the alternate world, each character exists. They had to have been born from someone. Mikuru in the real world is from the future, and it stands to reason that she was born from someone in that time, unless she’s some sort of disposable clone.
      Mikuru in the alternate world, if she has no knowledge of the future and has memories of growing up in the present timeline, must have also been born in order to exist.
      There are only three explanations for this.
      1: Her memories were altered, and she thinks she’s an orphan with no family.
      2: Her entire family line was shifted into the past.
      3: Her mother in the real world gave birth to her at a much older age than she did in the alternate world.

  2. Josh Taylor said:

    What’s happened to Mikuru Asahina’s family/?

    Did you read The Sigh? Did you read what kyon said comparing Mikuru and his little sister? It’s obvious that Mikuru is Kyon’s Little Sister from the future which means His last name is Asahina. What about his first name? His first name may happen to be John. John Asahina. The mystery of Kyon’s real name has been solved. Look it up in TV Tropes WMG.

    • I’ve read all the books, but not recently.

      You bring up an interesting point, though. I’ve heard people say that Mikuru is his aged little sister before, and it does make sense in a way… Unfortunately, your assertion that Kyon’s last name would be Asahina wouldn’t work, as I’m sure he would have commented on the similarity between her name and his own at some point.

      However, if she really is his little sister, going under a false name of course, it would mean that the alternate reality from the movie would NOT be the direct result of Haruhi not having any powers, but it would instead have to be a separate world where all the people Yuki knows are living under different circumstances. In this case, Mikuru would forget her true identity and name, and simply believe herself to be a natural part of that time line.

      It’s still fun to think about.

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