Haruhi Suzumiya Character Analysis

-Introduction-

Thanks for visiting Anime Rants! It’s time to present my detailed character analysis of Haruhi Suzumiya. For this post, we examine Haruhi’s personality and MBTI type, as well as some additional thoughts. Ordinarily, I would include a section about Haruhi’s story, but for a more episodic anime with less action like this, it’s not necessary. That being said, I will provide at least brief explanation of this character.

Haruhi is the female protagonist of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, a well-known anime by Kyoto Animation. This strange girl assembles a club of fellow students to look for “aliens, time travelers, and psychics.” But Haruhi has no clue that her club members are exactly that. With one exception (a boy named Kyon), they are all present just to observe Haruhi. Why? Well, it seems that Haruhi is a mysterious existence with godlike powers of which she isn’t even aware. She has the power to alter reality according to her wishes. She is even capable of creating other dimensions and potentially destroying and restarting the entire world. That’s a fascinating topic, but for this post, we will focus only Haruhi’s personality as an ordinary highschool girl.


Haruhi’s Personality

“I have no interest in normal humans. If there are any aliens, time travelers, otherworlders, or psychics here, come join me.”
~Haruhi, from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzmiya episode 1

Haruhi is an energetic, bright, and unusual girl who wants things to be exciting and extraordinary. Her main faults are arrogance, temper, and a tendency to be a bully. Haruhi has a strong desire to be unique and have fun and interesting experiences. She started out fairly normal. When, in sixth grade, she realized that she was ordinary and just one among billions of people, she began to see her life as boring. In her words, “My surroundings began to lose their color.” So in order to combat that and have an interesting life, Haruhi became the eccentric girl we see today, searching for aliens, time travelers, and psychics.

This teenager isn’t remotely embarrassed about her strange quest. It’s her purpose in life to avoid normality and find abnormal people. In fact, Haruhi is so exasperated with the boring world of reality that she would restart life in another world if given the chance. This actually happens in the anime in episode 6. (However, Kyon’s actions in that case prevented the end of the world and sent himself and Haruhi back to the current world.) What about more general personality traits? Let’s look at some of her positive, neutral, and negative qualities.

Imaginative, intelligent, and confident, Haruhi seems to have endless energy. She values fun, knowledge, new experiences, and new ideas to the point of being very impractical. Despite usually being loud and rowdy, Haruhi does have good, polite communication skills on the rare instances she chooses to use them. If her ideas weren’t so unusual, she would be excellent as a motivating public speaker or coach. Another important aspect of Haruhi’s personality is that she believes in action and not waiting around. For this reason, she is quick to make decisions.

Despite being impractical and impulsive, Haruhi is quite intelligent. According to Koizumi, she excels both athletically and academically. In his inner narration, Kyon notices Haruhi’s sharp mind a number of times. She even seems to find group homework somewhat fun. On a similar note, this teenager possesses good sense and rationality. However, she choses to override it much of the time in the name of being unusual. Koizumi says the following in episode 5. “Her desire for aliens, time travelers, and espers to exist contradicts with her common sense, which says they cannot exist. She is indeed eccentric in her speech and conduct, but she is a normal person with rational reasoning.”

Haruhi has a number of negative traits that stand out. She’s immature and impatient, with a bad temper. She makes demands of others without understanding that it’s troublesome for them, and she seems to think others are beneath her. But the worst problem, in my opinion, is her tendency to be a bully. Haruhi seems to bully people with compliant personalities like Mikuru. The moment she sees that someone won’t comply with her demands, she uses manipulation, blackmail, and other underhanded methods to get her way. Clearly, Haruhi has serious issues.

This is a good time to note that Haruhi is widely considered autistic. Although that has never been stated by the creators, it’s obvious when you observe her character. I wanted to include this because it’s worth considering that her issues with social understanding and empathy are largely due to autism. Not everyone with ASD experiences problems with empathy, but there does seem to be a significant correlation. Whether or not she has ASD, Haruhi ought to be working on improving her social habits. I’m not excusing her for everything. It’s just important to point out that most of the time, she isn’t actively trying to be harmful or cruel.

By now you should have a pretty decent idea of Haruhi’s personality. Though her problems are pronounced, she is not without redeeming qualities. Even if she was a thorough anti-hero, I would still be interested in her character and consider some things about her admirable. Haruhi knows what she wants and goes after it unwaveringly. She’s lively, persistent, bright, and inspiring. In addition, this girl is unique. There’s truly no other character in anime like Haruhi Suzumiya.


Haruhi’s MBTI Type: ENFP

“Haruhi believes her values and judgement to be absolute. And it’s certain that she has no idea that other people– actually, most people– may think or feel differently. If you want to achieve faster-than-light travel, let Haruhi on your spaceship. She’ll simply ignore the laws of relativity.”
~Kyon, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya episode 20

If Haruhi had an MBTI type, it would either be ENTP or ENFP. I believe it’s the latter. Let’s go over how I determined this. Instead of using the single-letter method this time, we’ll use the cognitive functions method. To start with, we know that Haruhi is bold, original, intelligent, and loves thinking of new ideas and activities. She is much more interested in possibilities than practicality. This undoubtedly makes her intuitive. Moreover, it would have to be extroverted intuition. This would surely be one of the top functions for Haruhi.

There is significant debate over whether Haruhi is a feeling type or a thinking type. It’s tough because Haruhi is sometimes very logical and rarely considers the emotions or needs of others. I think solid arguments can be made for both, but I personally consider her slightly more of a feeler. This is mostly due to the fact that Haruhi often makes decisions based on her emotions and personal values rather than the more detached, analytical logic seen with thinkers.

A prime example of feeling tendency is Haruhi’s continued attachment to the idea of nonhumans existing. Even when her rational mind acknowledges that their existence would make no sense, she follows her “heart” and keeps searching. Being unusual can sort of be considered a personal value system for Haruhi. In that sense, feeling would be a huge part of this character’s personality type. Her feeling function revolves around personal beliefs and emotions, rather than being directed outward to care for others and consider their interests. This strongly suggests introverted feeling (Fi) for Haruhi’s next function.

By finding out the two prominent functions, it’s already pretty easy to see Haruhi’s type. It must be either ENFP or INFP. It’s easy to tell which of these is correct when you consider that Haruhi’s extroverted intuition is the strongest part of her. Also, the next function after Fi should be thinking. Sure enough, in the ENFP, extroverted thinking is third. The functions for ENFP are Ne, Fi, Te, Si. This seems like the best type for Haruhi. However, I can also see arguments for the ENTP if my ideas about her feeling nature are wrong.

The ENFP is sometimes called the champion or the inspirer. People of this type tend to be energetic, cheerful, and very excited over new ideas and things they feel strongly about. In addition, the ENFP often has trouble with controlling their very emotional nature. In Haruhi’s case, this would be her anger. ENFPs are usually more caring than Haruhi, but there is significant variation of personality within the same type. Thus, this character is an ENFP that’s more logical than the typical example of her type.


Additional Thoughts

This section may be expanded in the future depending on my rewatches of the anime. For now, there are just three other things I’d like to mention about Haruhi. First, we’ll go over the idea that Haruhi changes in the anime. Second, we’ll take a look at her sexual orientation. Finally, Haruhi’s attraction to Kyon will be discussed.

It’s important to realize that although it happens slowly, Haruhi begins to change over the course of the series. If you expect large improvements in Haruhi by the end of the series, you’ll be let down; but if you started with the assumption that she probably won’t improve at all, you’ll be surprised. Thanks to the help of her friends, Haruhi is learning how to have fun in a “normal” fashion. There are still hiccups, like that movie-making arc, but Haruhi eventually calms down from that thanks to Kyon. I don’t know if there’s any significant progress on the social understanding front, since Haruhi is still a bully who doesn’t understand normal empathy. But I think that she’s learning slowly, with Kyon’s help.

This may seem trivial at first, but sexual orientation is part of identity, and is thus relevant to a character study. In the first episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the titular character is asked to explain why she never turns down guys who ask her out. (She instead dumps them after a few days.) Haruhi’s explanation is that she won’t be happy with anyone who is a normal human. However, if there were a human or alien with special powers, she would date them whether they were “boys, girls, or whatever.” She proclaims this without any hesitation, which isn’t done much in the largely homophobic Japan. I believe this is evidence that Haruhi is bisexual or pansexual.

I suspect the reason Haruhi hasn’t gone out with a girl is because none in her school have asked her out. That makes sense. Another piece of evidence for Haruhi’s unusual sexuality is the way she interacts with Mikuru. I don’t think Haruhi is bullying Mikuru to be cruel on purpose. I think her behavior is largely an inappropriate way of expressing her attraction to Mikuru. Naturally, this is speculation. And whether or not Haruhi is physically attracted to Mikuru, she is more interested in Kyon in Kyon as a person. That much is clear.

While we’re on this topic, it’s certain that Haruhi likes Kyon. There are numerous examples in the series, but I don’t have time to get into them now. Sometimes you have anime characters who don’t realize that their own romantic interests. However, I suspect that Haruhi knows she likes Kyon. Why doesn’t she ever act on it, though? Well, in one of the earlier episodes, she explains that in her view, love is like a mental illness. It’s a lapse in judgment due to biology. Haruhi says that she will never take on the weight of a serious relationship because of something so illogical. This is just another interesting side to the character.


-Closing-

Today we looked at the personality and MBTI type for Haruhi Suzumiya, together with a few extra notes. We learned a lot about her. I think I covered all my points, so this concludes the character analysis. Thank you immensely for reading. I deeply appreciate it. Please take care, and I’ll see you next time!


PATREON

2 comments

  1. Oh I do agree she is a bully. Remember the computer group president, she blackmailed him, the funny thing is she knew how to read a pc spec even though she gave off the vibe she had no knowledge of.

    I wouldn’t say autistic, more like lacks any sense of social ques or reading the room. That’s just my op. Pretty good read 😃

    Liked by 1 person

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