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The Mikuru Beam is a fictional laser superpower associated with Mikuru Asahina, one of the supporting character portrayed in the popular fantasy anime series “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.” In the very first episode, Mikuru’s laser outburst is brought upon by the main character Haruhi, whose unconscious ability to reshape reality to her desires often brings an interesting plot twist in each episode. On YouTube, fans of the anime series began uploading video clips of Mikuru shooting laser beams as early as on the same day the episode aired in April 2006.
Background: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒ, Suzumiya Haruhi) is the general name for a series of light novels written by Nagaru Tanigawa and illustrated by Noizi Ito. The first novel was published in Japan on June 6, 2003 by Kadokawa Shoten, with nine individual novels published and a planned tenth as of April 1, 2007.
Produced by the Japanese animation studio Kyoto Animation and directed by Tatsuya Ishihara, the anime adaptation of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yūutsu) aired in Japan between April 2 and July 2, 2006.
From the very first episode entitled The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00:
Haruhi decides to make a movie, starring Mikuru. However, Haruhi begins to confuse the movie world with the real world, and the real world begins to become more like her movie. The pigeons in front of the shrine turn white, then into Passenger Pigeons, cherry trees blossom in autumn, Mikuru begins to shoot lasers out of her eyes, and the cat Shamisen begins to talk. By the efforts of Itsuki and Yuki, Kyon eventually convinces Haruhi to add a disclaimer at the end that the movie is a work of fiction. Overnight, the movie apparently edits itself, and is shown. With the disclaimer, Haruhi herself realizes it is a work of fiction, and the world reverts to normal.
(The scene can be seen from 0:52 to 0:55)
The Mikuru Beam as a deadly weapon
That first video, which has over quarter million views (as of 11/2010), reinterpreted the cute Mikuru Beam as a deadly laser beam that can destroy nearly everything, somewhat comparable to Falcon Punch.
Although the original instance never went viral in the most conventional sense, the sizable fanbase of Haruhi Suzumiya on YouTube seemed to have provided enough exposure for others to jump on the remix bandwagon and follow a pattern close to Gendowned: First, the short Japanese clip showing Mikuru firing her flashing laser beam in a manner similar to Shoop da Whoop, then the devastating result of that firepower unleashed.
The first derivative following ansii’s video is “mikuru kuso2” by Youtube user ck1300580 which would then be taken down due to copyright claims. That youtuber has then created another mikuru kuso, named mikuru kuso’’, the 16th of April 2006, gaining about 188,000 views:
He would also create a last Mikuru beam video, mikuru kuso3’, the 17th of April :
Many other videos soon followed.
Kingdom Hearts version:
Star Wars version:
Resurgence in 2009: Haruhi Suzumiya rebroadcast with a twist
A re-broadcast of the first series began in April 2009. Following a comment by Teletama, one of the broadcasting stations, that the 2009 broadcast would be 28 episodes long, there was speculation that the re-broadcast would followed by the second season, though this was not confirmed by Kadokawa at the time. The first new episode, “Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody” (笹の葉ラプソディ, Sasa no Ha Rapusodi), was aired on May 21, 2009 as the eighth episode of the re-broadcast. Unlike the original run, the re-broadcast was shown in chronological order, with new episodes intermixed with the old ones.
In the episode 22 – The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya Part III, there is a behind-the-scene moment from the filming session coming from episode 00 showing that the Mikuru Beam was, as far as the show is concerned, more lethal than expected:
There is also the full scene (embedding deactivated) available on Youtube explaining more about the Mikuru laser beam within the story.
The main plot of that series is about Haruhi Suzumiya, a high school girl who can unconsciously change reality, and her strange antics with her school club, the SOS Brigade, which she founded to investigate any mysterious happenings. Haruhi forcibly drafts her cynical classmate Kyon who narrates the series, and similarly recruits three additional members into her club: the silent bibliophile Yuki Nagato, the shy and timid Mikuru Asahina, and the friendly “mysterious exchange student” Itsuki Koizumi. These members soon reveal themselves to Kyon as the extraordinary characters Haruhi is seeking, sent by their various organizations to observe her and hold her reality warping powers in check by maintaining the illusion of a normal life.
The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00 (originally aired on April 2, 2006) can be viewed as a “prologue” regarding the broadcasting order, even though, in the true events of the novels, that episode happens after two arcs called Endless Eight (where Haruhi causes the SOS Brigade to relive the same summer several thousand times) and The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya. Those two arcs would appear chronologically in the further 2009 rebroadcast version.