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Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody! The Tanabata Incident

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CONTENT WARNING: MODERATE LANGUAGE. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

"You know what day it is today?"

Kyon tries to figure out exactly what Haruhi's talking about. "Your birthday?"

"No."

"Asahina's birthday?"

"No!"

"Koizumi's birthday?"

"No..."

"Nagato's birthday?"

"I don't know when they are. They never tell me."

"Incidentally, my own birthday is--"

"Who gives a shit when your birthday is? Just tell me the month and the day."

"July 7. Now don't tell me! You're talking about Tanabata!"

"Bingo! And this year, the SOS Brigade celebrates its first-ever Tanabata!"


(OP: "Bouken Deshou Deshou? (cover version)" by Emma Watson)


Today's episode: "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody! The Tanabata Incident"


Kyon trudges over to the Literature Clubroom as usual. He's greeted by the sight of Mikuru, wearing a pink waitress costume. "Ah, hello."

Itsuki is also inside the room. "Hello, how are you doing?"

Kyon says, "Not very well owing to the insanity that's high school."

Kyon walks over to the chess board where Itsuki's seated. Itsuki continues, "I wouldn't say I have absolutely nothing to worry about. This is merely testing my cerebral fitness in the best way possible while taking a break from studying. Every problem solved improves the circulation within my brain. Care to join me?"

"No thanks. I'd rather not do any more thinking than is necessary."

"Suit yourself. How about the game of LIFE, or Battleship? What would you recommend next time?"

"Anything, I guess."

Yuki is also present, reading the Klingon restoration of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Maybe the older Mikuru had dropped it off at her condo earlier?

In any case, Kyon has a lot of studying to do for his upcoming English test. He just can't bring himself to do it, even in the Literature Clubroom. Mikuru, on the other hand, is hastily solving math problems on her own.

All too suddenly, the tranquility is shattered by guess who.

"Sorry I'm late! I just had to bring something important in."

That something important happens to be a bamboo tree. Kyon asks, "Why did you bring that here? You planning on making a safe box or what?"

"Just felt like bringing it here--it's been a while since I last did something like that. Plus we get to hang up our wishes, today being Tanabata."

"Where did you get that from?"

"The thicket behind the school."

"You shameless ladra."

"Who cares if that makes me a shameless thief? The roots are still under earth, so it really doesn't matter if one stalk on the surface isn't where it should be. Anyway, I'm really itchy after being bitten by mosquitos. Mikuru, some ointment, per favore."

Kyon and Itsuki turn their backs respectfully as Haruhi removes her sailor blouse and puts on the official SOS Brigade T-shirt (at least, the prototype version of such) as Mikuru applies ointment. When it's all over, she says, "All right, you two, you can look now!"

Haruhi pulls out some paper cards and lays them down. "Come on, peeps, write your wishes down!"

As she hops off the desk, she continues, "But there are conditions. Kyon, do you know just who grants wishes on Tanabata?"

"Orihime and Hikoboshi?"

"Correct! Ten points. And the stars they refer to are?"

"No clue."

Itsuki speaks up. "Vega and Altair?"

"Exactly! 85 points! Those are just the stars I was referring to! In short, we should hang the wish cards in the direction of those stars! Capisce?"

Kyon asks, "So what do the last fifteen points cover?"

Reaching into her bike shorts and pulling out a slip of paper, Haruhi says, "Allow me to explain. First, it's impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, a fact more commonly known as E=mc². Oh, and the distance from here to Vega is 25 light years, and the distance from here to Altair is 16 light years, so it's going to take some time before our wishes are granted. Make sure you write whatever you want to happen 25 or 16 years from now, and not something you want to happen by Christmas."

"Hold it right there. So you say it takes 25 years to get to Vega, and 16 to get to Altair. Shouldn't it take just as long, then, to make the return trip?"

"What do you mean?"

"I'm talking about a 50 year timeframe for our wishes to be granted by Vega, and a 32 year timeframe for our wishes to be granted by Altair, realistically speaking."

"You don't understand, Kyon! This is Vega and Altair we're talking about; I'm sure they'll work it out somehow. This only happens once a year, like a half-price summer sale."

"You don't say…"

"All right, everyone, you all understand what I'm getting at, right? We're doing two kinds of wish cards, one going to Vega and the other to Altair. So write down what you want in 25 and 16 years."

As everyone picks up their cards, Kyon says, "I don't know what universe she's from, but I bet they're pretty unreasonable where she comes from."

Itsuki says, "You can't say that for sure. Her actions may be eccentric, but she's got just as much common sense as the average person. If her train of thought was abnormal as you speculate, things wouldn't be quite so stable. In fact, the world would become a very bizarre place governed by oddities up the wazoo."

"How can you tell?"

"Well, Suzumiya wishes for the world to be strange, and she happens to be able to reconstruct the world and make black white, up down, and short long. You should be well aware."

"Actually, I am, though I have my doubts. Of course, the world has yet to lose all sense of reason. This means her common sense always gets better of her in the end."

"Put rather childishly. Assume, for instance, that she wished for Santa Claus to exist. Common sense dictates, of course, that Santa could not possibly exist. It would not be possible for someone, let alone, Santa to sneak into highly-secured houses in the middle of the night without anyone noticing, at least here in modern Japan.

"And just how would St. Nick know what every single child in the universe, let alone the third and fourth rocks from the sun, would want for Christmas? He couldn't possibly have the time and energy to visit the homes of every single good little girl and boy in the world in one night. It's just physically impossible."

"You're absolutely right. That's enough to break anyone's belief in Santa Claus. If that's the case, of course, then why are you and Nagato and Asahina here?"

"That is why Suzumiya is growing increasingly frustrated with her own common sense, which denies her desire for a world of frequent supernatural phenomena."

"So in the end, her common sense lost out after all, huh?"

"I'm certain some unrepressed desires called myself, and Nagato, and Asahina to this place and made me an ESPer. I have no idea, though, as to what you are doing here."

"And let's keep it that way. I, for one, am perfectly content with being a perfectly normal human being."

"And I, for one, am talking about something serious here, so shut your traps, you two!"

Haruhi isn't the least bit amused by the ongoing conversation. "And you, Kyon! Whatever happened to saving the world as a Pretty Cure? Shouldn't it be an exciting prospect even for you?"

Kyon says, "Actually, it is, even if just a little bit."

Evo, who is frustrated by the lack of screen time in the previous episode, pops up out of Haruhi's bag and yells, "OH, GOOD FOR YOU! Nobody appreciates the mascot anyway. Not even the guy trying to tell the whole story!"

Kyon says, "Don't be so loud, Evo. You'll get a bigger part later on."

Evo says, "Well, I doubt you'd have said that line for real."

Kyon says, "Well, that's just the author pointing something out."

Haruhi yells, "All right, everyone! Let's see your wishes!"

Kyon is utterly dumbfounded to see Haruhi's wishes.

"I WISH FOR THE WORLD TO REVOLVE AROUND ME"

"I WISH FOR THE EARTH TO ROTATE COUNTER-CLOCKWISE"

After Haruhi hangs them on the bamboo leaf, Kyon asks, "You call those actual wishes?"

Haruhi asks, "Do I look like I'm joking?"

Mikuru's wishes are more sensible:

"I WISH TO GET BETTER AT SEWING"

"I WISH TO GET BETTER AT COOKING"

Yuki's wishes are as simple as daylight: "HARMONY" and "REFORM". Itsuki wishes for "THE WORLD AT PEACE" and "THE PEACE AND PROSPERITY OF MY FAMILY". Kyon's wishes? "ONE MILLION DOLLARS" and "A TWO-STORY HOUSE WITH A LAWN".

Haruhi is not amused. "Who do you think you are, Michael Larson? Ah, whatever. Everyone, make sure to remember whatever you wrote down; the first wish will be granted in T minus 16 years. How about we compete to see whose wish Hikoboshi will grant first, hmm?"

Mikuru timidly stammers, "Ah… yes. Yes."

Haruhi puts the bamboo outside of the window, securing it in place. The rest of the meet is uneventful, except for Mikuru giving Kyon a card reading "PLEASE WAIT IN THE CLUBROOM AFTER WE'RE FINISHED. *MIKURU*"

Finally, Haruhi says, "Well, that's it for today."

As Haruhi leaves, Itsuki says, "Until next time, then."

Yuki closes her book and follows Haruhi and Itsuki out of the room. Mikuru gives Kyon another slip of paper with a bunch of unintelligible symbols all over. Kyon says, "I'm just about as clueless as you are."

Mikuru says, "Actually, um, there's somewhere I'd like you to come with me."

"Sure. Where are we going?"

"Um… we'd be going… back three years."

"You mean we're time traveling?"

"Yes--exactly."

"I don't really mind, of course, but why me? What are we going to do?"

"I'm sure that… you'll probably find out… when we get there."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Please! Just say you will without asking anything for now, or I'll… we'll be in big trouble."

"Uh… OK, I guess."

"Really? Thank you, Kyon!"

"So… where's the time machine?"

"We'll go from here. Yes, please sit down over there. Close your eyes, if you please. Relax yourself. Kyon… I'm sorry."


Kyon wakes up.

He finds himself lying down and feeling warm in one spot. Almost at once, he hears the voice of an angel.

"Kyon… are you awake? Please… lift your head, my legs are almost numb."

Mikuru is in her school uniform, having changed into it before Kyon regained consciousness.

"How long was I asleep? Why was I asleep in the first place?"

Mikuru's reply sounds apologetic. "I didn't wish to let you know how we time travel, because it's, um, classified. I'm sorry. Are you mad."

"No. Of course not. Just… what's the current date and time?"

"July 7, three years before the day from which we set off. Around 9:00 PM, I think."

"For real?"

"For real."

Mikuru suddenly passes out. "Asahina? Asahina…"

Suddenly, the bushes rustle, and the older Mikuru emerges. "Is she asleep? Oh! Kyon. Good evening."

As she looks at her younger self, she continues, "From here, you'd think I was a child. Was this how I looked back then? It was her job to guide you to this point. It is mine to guide from this point onward."

"May I inquire as to what's going on?"

"I'm afraid I can't give you any details, owing to classified information. I only put her to sleep; I couldn't allow her to see me."

"Why?"

"Because I didn't run into myself when I was at this point in time. Follow the train tracks down the south, and you'll find a public school, for junior high students. Could you go right away? As for the other me…

"I'm sorry, but could you carry her there with you? She shouldn't weigh too much."

"OK, if this is some role-playing game or something, what kind of item am I going to get in return?"

"What will you get in return? Let me see… personally, I can't offer you anything, I'm sorry to say. However, you can kiss the younger me, but only while she's asleep, and nothing beyond."

"That's a bit…"

"It's time. I have to go. Oh, and please don't tell her about me. Pinky swear?"

Kyon obliged. "Goodbye, Kyon. We'll meet again."

The older Mikuru departs.


  • EYECATCHES*

Kyon carries Mikuru on his back all the way from the park to the public school. What he doesn't know until later is that it'll become very important.

Before him is East Junior High.

That's right, the school Haruhi used to go to during this time.

And lo and behold, she's come to give the sports ground a new paint job. And she's already climbing that gate.

She pauses, though, to look around for anyone else present. Kyon is the only one there. "Who the hell are you? A stalker? A kidnapper? Someone who'll use the 'skirts-and-ladders' technique first chance he gets? Who are you, really?"

At once, Kyon recognizes the figure, clad in a red T-shirt, cuffed jean shorts, and sneakers. There, before his eyes, is a Haruhi Suzumiya who looks three years younger. Thinking quickly, he says, "That's funny; I was about to ask you something similar."

"Is it that obvious?" Haruhi asks.

"No."

"Let me spell it out for you, shithead: I'm trespassing. There, I said it. I've got dirty laundry, and so do you. So help me out with mine if you have the time, or I'll spill yours all over the place."

Once on the other side, Haruhi unlocks the door and lets Kyon in. Still carrying Mikuru on his back, he asks, "So why do you have the key, anyhow?"

Haruhi says, "Oh, this? I lifted it at the first opportunity. Easy as pie."

They walk all the way across the grounds, even to the field. Haruhi leads Kyon to the athletic storeroom, where he sets Mikuru down. She then goes on about the stuff lying around.

"A cart as rusted as hell, a field line marker on wheels--careful, it's old--and a few bags of lime. Insignificant by themselves, but when put together, what do you get?"

"Now don't tell me--a new paint job for wherever that field line marker goes?"

"Exactly! I took all of this stuff out of the storeroom earlier this evening and hid them right here."

As she loads the bags on the cart, she continues, "Great idea, right?"

Kyon walks up to her and says, "Allow me, milady. You can take control of the line marker."


What follows is a night of painting the whole damn field under Haruhi's direction, during which Kyon notices she hasn't changed her personality in three years.

Not. One. Bit.

"Now draw them exactly where I direct you. Yes, you! I'm talking to you! I have to stand a distance away from the scene so I can supervise your line drawing to make sure you're doing the damn thing right.

"What the hell are you… HEY, THAT'S CROOKED!"

It's obvious to Kyon that Haruhi's always been Haruhi. At least, as far as three years ago had been concerned.

This goes on for half an hour.


"Mister… do you believe in aliens? Do you not? What about time travelers, do you believe in them?"

"I have every right to believe in them. Long story."

"As for ESPers?"

"All over the planet right under our noses, I guess."

"And sliders?"

"Like hell I've seen one of them."

"Ah, well. Hey, that's a nice uniform you're wearing. You from North High?"

"Yeah."

"Come te chiami?"

Kyon is somehow able to recognize the phrase from reading the Italian dictionary in the Literature Clubroom. "John Smith."

"That's a stupid name."

"But a name I like to use for myself nonetheless."

"That redhead… who is she?"

"My older sister. She seems to have sleeping beauty syndrome or something. Whatever it is, it's a chronic disease. She dozes off so suddenly, I have to carry her around."

"Hmm."

"As for those markings… just what are they supposed to mean, anyhow?"

"Can't you tell? A message!"

"Now don't tell me… it's for Orihime and Hikoboshi?"

"What the… how did you know?"

"Today's Tanabata. I just happen to remember a similar incident perpetrated by someone else."

"Well, I'd really love to meet her, whoever she is. You sure there's someone like that at North High?"

"Yep."

"I'll be going now. Mission accomplished. See you around!"

As Haruhi walks away, something's on her mind. "North High, huh?"


Knowing he couldn't stay in the year 2000 for much longer, Kyon tries to wake Mikuru up.

"Huh? Wha--!? Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-Where am I? What how when are we right now?"

Suddenly, she gasps and starts searching herself with both hands. "It's my TPDD… it's gone."

"What's a TPDD?"

"That's… classified… but in a nutshell it's more or less a time machine… I used it to bring us into this time plane… now I can' find it anywhere… so we're stuck!"

"What happened?"

"I don't know… it should've been easy to track and impossible to lose… and yet it happened."

"Maybe someone will come here to save us…"

"But what if it was predetermined that we're stuck three years in your past, and the absence of the TPDD happened to be conveniently timed?"

"If that's the case, then what's going to happen to us?"

"We're stranded on this time plane, three years in your past, without a means to return to our original time plane."

Kyon suddenly remembers as he notices the symbols from a distance. He pulls out Yuki's card. Staring long and hard at it, he says, "Why didn't I think of it before? Of course there should still be a way! And I think I know it."


"Is this where… Nagato lives?"

Kyon says, "Though I don't remember hearing any specifics as far as how long she'd been on Earth, if I'm to trust that three years ago crap she should be here."

He walks to the intercom and presses a button marked 708. "Is this the residence of Yuki Nagato?"

"Identify yourself."

"We are acquainted with Haruhi Suzumiya, a first-year at East Junior High."

"Do come in, then."

The door opens, and Kyon and Mikuru walk through and board the elevator. They get off at the seventh floor and walk to Room 708.

There, beyond the door, is Yuki Nagato.

"Yo. Shall we step inside?"

Yuki says, "Do come in."

Kyon and Mikuru remove their shoes as they step inside. Kyon tries to summarize his story, from the first day of school when he had met Haruhi, as best as he can. He ends up talking for five whole minutes.

"…And that's when I received this card from you, three years from now."

Kyon gives Yuki the card with the markings on it. She studies the symbols hard. "Understood."

"Now, I've known Nagato for a while, but three years ago… to put it in terms a perfectly normal human like myself can understand, today would have marked our first meeting, right?"

"Yes. Requesting permission to access the memory corresponding to my time-divergent variant. Reversible border regression data downloaded."

"What are you talking about?"

"The me three years from now, and the me at this time, are the same person."

"But of course. That doesn't mean the two of you would be able to share memories."

"We do now; we have synchronised."

Yuki removes her glasses. Kyon definitely recognizes her face. "Why are you wearing the North High uniform? Or have you already enrolled?"

"I am merely in standby mode. I have not yet enrolled at North High."

"Three whole years of standby? That's just bullshit! Have you got some Siberian beachfront property to sell me? Because if you're really going to be in standby for three years, that's going to take a shitload of patience!"

"That is my role. There is more than one method of time travel. The TPDD is merely a device with which you can control time. So uncivilised, very unreliable, and thoroughly primitive. There are a number of theories concerning the process of movement through the time continuum."

Asahina stammers, "Um… what exactly do you mean?"

"When the TPDD is used for the transportation of organic life forms, there may be noise. We believe such an uncivilised method to be imperfect."

"The TPDD… imperfect? I never knew..."

Kyon continues, "So let me get this straight: you're capable of perfect time travel?"

"It matters not the process; the transfer of identical data should suffice."

"Going from the present to the past or the future, huh? That's nice and all. Right now, of course, we need to know how to get me and Asahina back over to three years from now."

"It is possible."

Yuki opens the door to a Japanese-style room, complete with tatami flooring. She enters and places two futons. Kyon says, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you telling us to sleep here?"

"Yes. Sleep. Just… sleep."

Kyon and Mikuru have no choice but to settle in for the night. Yuki turns off the light, mutters something, and closes the door. The room's inhabitants are frozen for exactly three years.

Three years later, the light is turned back on. Everything is just the way it had been three years before, except Mikuru's watch had moved forward by three years in the interim.

Kyon notices the shocked look on her face and says, "Don't tell me that's the TPDD you're wearing…"

"It isn't," Mikuru tells him. "This is just an atomic watch."

"In other words, it synchronizes with the atomic clock via radio waves, huh? Now I get it…"

"It's so wonderful… we're back. It's just past 9PM, on July 7, 2003. I'm so relieved... just how did you do it?"

Yuki explains, "I froze liquefied data within the selected space time and unfroze the same upon the arrival of a corresponding point from an already known space time continuum… which would be now."

"You couldn't have… that's impossible… how could you?"

Kyon asks, "What do you mean?"

"Nagato… she stopped time for us, maybe even the whole room we were in, for three whole years. And then, three years later at this time, she unfroze us?"

Yuki has one word to say about it. "Yes."

"That's unbelievable. She stopped time…"

Mikuru comes close to fainting upon hearing the news. Kyon says, "So let me get this straight: while I was stopping by to hear your crazy spiel, another me had been sleeping in the next room all along?"

Same word, same simplicity. "Yes."

"So in other words, you already knew everything three years ago… about me… about what happened today?"

"Yes."

"I knew you were capable of so much, but to be able to stop time… you've got to be invincible, right?"

"Not exactly. This was a special case, an exception. I simply deployed my emergency mode. Rarely engaged, unless drastic measures are required. And you and Mikuru Asahina both found yourselves in a situation that warranted such drastic measures."

"Thanks, Nagato."

"No need for thanks."

"One more thing: can you read what the writing on the card says exactly?"

"It says, 'I AM HERE.'"

"Now don't tell me! Those pictographs or symbols or whatever are actually part of some alien language from beyond the Solar System? The Vega system? Maybe even the Altair system?"

Yuki remains silent.


The next day (July 8, 2003), Kyon returns to the classroom and notices that Haruhi is in a contemplative mood. "What's wrong? It seems you've been somewhat melancholy since yesterday. What did you do, eat some cookies past the expiration date?"

Sighing, Haruhi says, "Not really. I'm just remembering something. The Tanabata season holds some precious memories for me."

"Really…"


(ED: "Hare Hare Yukai (cover version)" by Emma Watson)


Next episode: "Il segno misterioso! SOS in a Panic". Guardalo.

Voice actorsEdit

JapaneseEdit

English (Bang Zoom)Edit

English (Texas A)Edit

English (Texas B)Edit

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