A secret meeting room, undisclosed location, circa early 2009
A group of well dressed, business executives sit around a meeting table. Their faces don’t reveal much, but an air of apprehension hangs in the air.
A woman quietly coughs before checking her watch. Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick. It is time.
“Right, let us begin” comes a voice from the head of the table.
This particular meeting is being held with one goal in mind: to address the future of the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise. The franchise has made the executives much money, but its future direction has them worried.
“How is the movie coming along?”
“Not bad President. The staff have begun work and have made some progress. It should meet next year’s release.”
“Good, good, good….”
The President’s words hang in the air for a bit before being followed with near silence.
The group is in a bit of a difficult situation. Once the Haruhi movie gets released, they might have nothing left. There is hope of perhaps more light novel adaptations to follow, but there is no proper release schedule for the novels and no guarantee that upcoming material will be suitable for adaptation.
“A spin-off perhaps” the President quips as the Presidential chair spins a few cycles. “Any suggestions?”
“We could have a spin-off where Haruhi starts a baseball club instead of the SOS and they go to the Koshien.”
“Nah. This isn’t a sports franchise and you can’t go to the Koshien with a 5 member team.”
“How, about Mikuru wa Maid-sama?”
“Not bad, but she was a maid in every episode anyway, so not much new stuff we can go with.”
“Kyon and Koizumi talk about life and the human condition?”
“That would only appeal to KyonxKoizumi shippers who like philosophy, so it is too limited of a market. Plus, we’d have to hire intelligent writers and I don’t want to pay for all the extra coffee they’d consume at work.”
“Haruhi starts a band.”
“Haruhi starts a gang.”
“Kyon becomes an idol.”
“How about we focus on Yuki-chan” says someone in a rather mysterious, velvety soft voice.
“President, if I recall correctly, Nagato Yuki is very popular.” an executive points out.
“Is she now, could you tell me why?”
The exec starts ruffling through the papers her intern had painstakingly compiled last night.
“Well, from the research I did last night, it would appear that people like her because she is cute, intelligent, well developed, reliable and wears glasses. It would appear that many really like the relationship she has with Kyon.”
“Interesting. I had assumed as much, but could you narrow down what they like about that relationship?”
The exec, now firmly under the spotlight, starts shuffling some more. “There should be a quote from some famous blogger in here, ah, found one.” She clears her throat and starts reading.
“The Haruhi series has many fantastic relationships, and the relationship between Nagato and Kyon stands out as one of the best in the franchise. It is a relationship built atop trust, comradery and mutual benefit.
For Kyon, Nagato is his most reliable and trustworthy companion. He likes Koizumi and Asahina for sure, but he knows that despite his friendship with them, he can never trust them completely. Both Asahina and Koizumi have allegiances with the factions they belong to. Both of them have to keep secrets from Kyon and their opinions about Haruhi are generally based on the beliefs their factions carry. Nagato, on the other hand, is far more transparent and far more neutral.
Nagato is almost certainly a puppet of a supernatural species as well, but her intentions are clear, her observations are neutral and her serious actions are always necessary. It is perhaps this observational nature of her job and her lack of interest in controlling or restraining Haruhi that makes her Kyon’s number one go to problem solver and informant. It also helps that Nagato can rip apart time and space and essentially obliterate any enemy she encounters.
For Nagato as well, Kyon serves a very important role. He is the human medium through which she prefers interacting with the human world. If Nagato starts doing something that is against the conventional laws of physics, Kyon will let her know. If Nagato is unsure about what is considered moral or immoral, Kyon will her know. Kyon is Nagato’s guide to the normal human world just as she is his guide to the strange world of Haruhi Suzumiya.”
“Too long!” The president exclaims.
“Ah, sorry I should have summarized i-”
“Not the quote, but the relationship. That is a relationship that takes time and effort to build. We can’t have that. It might have worked a few years back, but the viewers of tomorrow demand instant gratification and simplicity.”
“President, you are being a bit mean to anime fans, I don’t t-”
“ANYWAY. I totally agree on making it about Nagato and her relationship with Kyon. We just need to make it a bit simpler. Like, have her fall in love because of one moment that we can flashback to constantly and frequently. That makes it simple, easy to understand and we save on budget! Now, let’s think. What does Nagato like? What are her hobbies?”
“Uh, reading books?”
“Books…, literary…, library, I GOT IT!” the President exclaims. “It is simple. She tries to sign up for a library card, but can’t and Kyon helps her out. She then falls in love with him and voila!”
“I don’t mean to oppose, but Nagato Yuki is not someone dumb enough to fail at such a task. She doesn’t talk much, but she isn’t really shy or scared of humans, either.”
“NOT A PROBLEM! We can make her so. That old version of Nagato was too stiff anyway. Make this one cute, shy and dumb. It will be perfect.”
“But the fans-”
“The fans will love it. We are combining Nagato with moe, clumsiness and a commonplace trope. It is combining something unusual with something usual! It is a winning combination.”
“The unusual with the usual…” the executives mutter out loud.
“PRESIDENT, You are a genius!”
“I know, right? Now, let us add one more good quality trait. What else do cute 2D girls like?”
“Nice! Yes, make her a gluten. Make her love food. Rice, candy, turkey, but not the country Turkey. We can’t have her be literate in geography.”
The executives furiously start writing down everything the president says. Their heads bob up and down in excitement. The President’s ideas for the romcom are perfect. Contests with love rivals, Christmas parties, admiration of the snow and much more! They are tried and true and are guaranteed to work. The execs can feel it. This is the next big thing in the Haruhi franchise!
“Jumping into an anime might be too risky, so start with a manga. We can adapt it when the movie has been forgotten and people are desperate for more.”
The President breathes a sigh of relief and looks out the window. This has been a good meeting. It is a few years away still, but that second condominium in Dubai doesn’t seem like a dream anymore.
After the meeting, one of the execs turns to a friend and asks “hey, who was it that first suggested something with Yuki anyway?”.
“Huh, I thought it was Ms.Yumi?”
“No way, she was sitting next to me playing solitaire on her laptop.”
“huh, no idea then.”
A beautiful woman exits the elevator and confidently makes her way across the lobby. The receptionist spots her and calls out, “Excuse me, ma’am. I don’t recognize you. Who are you?”.
The woman stops. She looks at the receptionist, coyly closes an eye, raises her finger to her lips and says “that’s classified information” before turning around and walking out into the night.
edit: Note: It has been brought to my attention that the movie started production after the manga was released. Please ignore all the loopholes.