Welcome to my first post for OWLS! In case you’re not aware of OWLS, we are group of bloggers who promote acceptance of all individuals. We emphasise the importance of respect, kindness, and tolerance through these blog tours. This month’s theme is “Mirrors”.
Theme – Mirrors
“Magic mirror, on the wall—who is the fairest one of all?”
When we look in the mirror, what do we see? Do we see ourselves or someone we don’t want to be? For this month’s theme, we will be exploring some of our favourite anime and other pop culture mediums that redefine individual beauty—inside and out. Some topics we may explore are physical appearances, social expectations on gender, and the importance of self-confidence.
For this month’s tour I chose to look at The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. This series is one that I’ve only recently got into. I started watching it after seeing it mentioned on twitter and as soon as I heard the brief, it came to mind immediately.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
In case you’re not aware, within The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya “closed spaces” appear. As Itsuki Koizumi explains in the show, closed space appears when Haruhi’s emotions become unbalanced. Essentially she creates a dimension that overlaps reality. She mirrors the world to create something new, as she wants it.
Haruhi’s ability to recreate the world is one that so many of us will have wished for at one point or another. Can you honestly say you’ve never wanted to just reshape something? Whether it’s to benefit yourself or someone else there’s always a time when we wished we could have Haruhi’s power. This rings especially true for the subject of self confidence. We don’t have this power and we cannot reshape the world. We have to find the ability to adapt to the situation we’re in. From within ourselves. Our self confidence.
In one episode, Haruhi and Kyon awaken to find that they’ve been trapped in one of these realities at their school. Kyon, understandably, is anxious to return to the real world and he had to find a way to convince Haruhi to return them. Interestingly, Haruhi doesn’t find this situation too odd. She remarks something to the effect that it’s nicer not having all the other people around and questions Kyon about why he would want to return. The mysterious blue entities appear and begin to destroy the school but what stood out to me was Haruhi was happy to just be there as they destroyed things. She didn’t fear it the same way Kyon did. In the end they returned to reality but, given Haruhi’s power, Kyon doesn’t know if it was exactly the same reality or a new one shaped by Haruhi. How could he know?
Self Confidence as a Barrier
Both Haruhi and Kyon showcase different elements of self confidence. Haruhi is known as the odd girl in her class but as Kyon gets to know her, he comes to understand her better. Whereas Kyon has confidence in himself to deal with situations, Haruhi appears to use her self confidence as a shield. She never lets any one get close to her and the moments that we see Haruhi vulnerable are quickly covered by her leaving the room or she deflects onto a different subject.
Haruhi appears to exude confidence and yet she also appears extremely vulnerable too, likely because her confidence is her shield. I’ve yet to finish watching this wonderful series but it resonates with me on a very personal level. I was the opposite of Haruhi while I was growing up. Yuki is the one I was closest to in terms of attitude and it’s only recently as I grow closer to my 30’s that I realise I now have some of the confidence that I yearned to have when I was younger; the confidence Haruhi seems to radiate.
No one can say they’re sincerely confident and self assured every moment of their lives. But if really you struggle believing in yourself, my advice is just to make sure you’re being true to yourself. Self confidence is something that I found came with time. It comes with looking back and realising that somewhere along the way you’re more confident than you used to be. Some moment will make you realise your self worth is so much higher than it used to be. There will still be times when you want Haruhi’s ability to reshape the world but you’ll come to realise you have the confidence to adapt to the situation you’re in.
Just keep on being you. Be proud of what you see in mirrors.