After watching episode 4 with two different friends (neither has read the novels) on two seperate occasions today, I have decided to explain the entire length of the episode for those of you who are, to put it mildly, somewhat confused right now.
According to Kyon at the start of the episode, this baseball match takes place about a month after the founding of the SOS-dan. As the episode title implies, it actually takes place in the third novel, whereas the previous episode and episode 5 that is airing next week take place during the span of the first novel. This is why Itsuki is in the club and also why a lot of the things are left unexplained. Yes, the producers are playing with your mind.
Now be warned that this is a FULL SPOILER for everything that took place in the first novel, which is essential to understanding all of the subsequent novels and events (including the one shown in episode 4). Episode 5 will pick up from where episode 3 left off, which means that all the spoilers I am about to give will eventually be covered in the anime series.
But for those of you who can’t wait till next week, read on for the explanation of episode 4.
Warning: Spoilers Beyond This Point!
So anyway, Haruhi wants to take part in a baseball competition so as to promote SOS-dan, but they need to gather more players to form a team.
Timing – 05:04
Mikuru volunteers to invite her friend (Tsuruya). Kyon reacts. “itsu doko no tomodachi da?” (“Where and when is her friend from?”) he asks himself. Mikuru replies “daijoubu desu, kono jikan…” (“Don’t worry, she’s from this era…”) and stops herself before she finishes.
Mikuru is actually from the future. She travelled to this era three years ago to investigate a time-space abnormality centered around Haruhi. Haruhi herself knows nothing about this, but everyone else, including Kyon, does.
How can you resist the Puppy Eyes ™ ?!
Timing – 07:04
Mikuru is bullied by Haruhi. Kyon tries to help. She tells Kyon not to get too close to her.
This was mentioned by the adult Mikuru in the first novel. This is related to the fate of the entire universe. I shall explain this later when I speak more about Itsuki.
Yuki ownz you
Timing – 07:43
Kyon doesn’t want to play baseball. He asks Yuki if she can make it rain on the day of the match such that it will be cancelled. She replies that she could but she does not recommend it because the effects of weather manipulation on a localized scale might trigger off chain reactions that adversely change the planet’s living conditions in the next hundred to ten thousand years. Kyon gives up.
As explained by herself in episode 3, Yuki is actually the Humanoid Interface for the Unified Information Body (情報統合思念体), a collective sentient entity consisting of pure information. Because this is a body of pure information who has no need for words to communicate, Yuki was created to act as the link between it/them and organic lifeforms (namely, human beings). Such an all-powerful being is of course able to manipulate “information” to do almost anything.
Yuki was created three years ago and sent to Earth to observe Haruhi because it was determined that Haruhi has the ability to create “information” out of nothing and the Unified Information Body is curious as to how an organic lifeform that appears to be normal in every way can achieve such a feat. It believes that Haruhi is the key to some form of evolution/whatever. Of course, Haruhi does not know that she has such an ability and she is the only one kept in the dark about Yuki’s true identity.
Uh oh. Get ready for armageddon
Timing – 15:30
Kyon lectures Haruhi, pissing her off. Immediately after that, Itsuki receives an urgent call, Mikuru receives a message through some mysterious futuristic way and Yuki senses that something is amiss with her boundless wisdom. Itsuki tells Kyon that something bad has happened. This is the scene that is probably the most confusing one to people who have not read the first novel.
Itsuki explains that a Sealed Dimension (閉鎖空間) of a previously unseen scale has appeared and is expanding rapidly in size. The blue giant of light appears on screen for the first time at this part. Itsuki also says that as long as Haruhi is not appeased, this Sealed Dimension will continue to expand in size and the giants of light will continue to appear.
Kyon immediately assumes that Haruhi is just pissed because the team is losing. (Kyon = stupid thickheaded insensitive asshat) Itsuki of course knows what Haruhi is feeling. Well, anyone can see that she’s jealous of Mikuru… which explains the event that took place at 07:04 above. Mikuru knows about Haruhi’s feelings for Kyon and therefore tries to discourage Kyon from siding with her all the time.
Itsuki also claims that Kyon was selected to be the fourth batter not by luck but because Haruhi wished for it and now she is disappointed in him. Finally, Itsuki says, “If we lose this match, that is the end of the world.” *gasp*
Itsuki is actually an ESPer. He and his “allies” gained their powers three years ago. Along with their power is a sudden realization that this power was in some way granted to them due to Haruhi’s will. They keep her under observation because they believe that she is somehow the central force of the universe. Literally. Normally Itsuki and his allies are just normal people, but when a Sealed Dimension appears all of them will be able to detect it somehow and know that they are needed.
A Sealed Dimension can cover any size and appears to be almost the same as the normal dimension (sort of like in Shakugan no Shana). Normal people cannot enter these special dimensions and only Itsuki and his allies are able to detect and enter them. Inside the Sealed Dimension, there will always be blue giant(s) of light destroying the buildings and everything else inside that dimension. The job of the ESPers (again, they just know that it is their duty, even they cannot explain why) is to destroy these giants. Once the giants are destroyed, the Sealed Dimension disappears and Itsuki and the others go back to their regular lives.
One of the beings of light in the Sealed Dimensions
Now what has that got to do with Haruhi? Well, apparently the occurence of Sealed Dimensions coincides with Haruhi’s bad moods. Haruhi is unknowingly responsible for their creation.
The ESPers’ theory is that Haruhi was actually responsible for the creation of the entire universe. She willed everything in the world to come into existence, perhaps even as recently as three years ago.
Because of her constant desire to get to meet aliens, ESPers and time travellers, Yuki, Itsuki and Mikuru were brought together in a series of what appear to be coincidences. And yet if she really created the universe, why doesn’t she just will the three of them into revealing their secret identities to her?
Itsuki’s explanation is that despite Haruhi’s fascination with the supernatural, there is a part of her deep down that accepts the fact that such things cannot and do not exist. The two parts of her are in conflict, so despite the fact that aliens, ESPers and time travellers really do exist in her own universe, she cannot bring herself to actually meet them. Deep psychological stuff huh. And of course she has no idea that she did all those things.
Anyway, because Haruhi unknowningly created the entire known universe, she also has the power to destroy it. That’s what the Sealed Dimensions are about. When Haruhi loses hope in the current universe (or when it’s that time of the month again), Sealed Dimensions appear. The more unhappy she feels about the world, the larger the Sealed Dimensions are. If the Sealed Dimensions grow too large, the world as Kyon knows it will be entirely replaced by a new universe that Haruhi unknowingly creates, one that is supposedly more to her liking. The beings of light symbolizes Haruhi’s desire to change the world while the ESPers represent the other part of her that likes the current world as it is. (Mostly because Kyon is there…) It’s a balancing act that takes place continuously both in her subconscious and in the Sealed Dimensions. The world was almost destroyed once before at the end of the first novel.
To cut it short: Keep Haruhi happy or the world gets it. I’m looking at you Kyon.
Timing – 17:20
Itsuki reminds Kyon about the last time the world was almost destroyed. He recommends for Kyon to repeat what he did the last time to stop Haruhi from forsaking their current world…
This took place at the end of the first novel. So what exactly did Kyon do to stop Haruhi from giving up on the world?
He kissed Haruhi. Of course Haruhi thought that it was all a dream and nothing came out of it.
“kinsoku jiko desu”
Timing – 17:40
Itsuki requests for Yuki to do something so that they will win the match and make Haruhi happy. She agrees. Mikuru comments that Yuki is “finally chanting an incantation”. Kyon asks her for clarification, but she replies “kinsoku jiko desu” (禁則事故です), or “I’m not allowed to reveal that.”
Yuki is the all-powerful Unified Information Body remember? Well, despite her/its/their lack of an actual physical body, the Body still exists in this universe and therefore does not wish for its destruction. Itsuki, Yuki and Mikuru are aware of each other’s identities and they often end up co-operating due to their similar objectives. “kinsoku jiko desu” is Mikuru’s most-used phrase throughout the novel. She is from the future and it is forbidden for her to reveal certain things so as to preserve the past and things like that.
Executing SQL queries…
Timing – 17:56
Flashback to a scene where Yuki still had her glasses and seemed to be chanting an incantation.
This seem came from the first novel. Yuki was fighting someone. Long story short, she broke her glasses during the fight, Kyon said that she looked cute and she kept it that way since then… As to who and why she was fighting?
She was actually fighting Ryoko Asakura, who was supposed to be her backup in case Yuki fails her mission. However, Ryoko represented the part/faction of the Unified Information Body which has grown impatient with just observing Haruhi. They wanted to provoke a reaction from Haruhi and the best way to do that is through Kyon. (Because anyone, except Kyon, can tell that Haruhi cares for him)
So anyway, Ryoko goes against her mission orders and tries to kill Kyon instead. Yuki defeats her using her superb SQL query skillz. I kid not. Her “incantations” are actually SQL queries (with SELECT statements and whatnot) that retrieve her attack moves from her (or possibly the Unified Information Body’s) information database.
Timing – 19:20
Not really a note, but don’t you think that the BGM here sounds a lot like “Touch” by Younha?
Timing – 21:23
Haruhi is happy and the world is saved. Just another day for Kyon.
The entire universe revolves around Haruhi. All hail Suzumiya-sama! And Kyon is stupid. 以上！