I was going to make this thread a bit earlier when the whole comparison thing was strongest, but eh, I can be a bit of a procrastinator at times. If you didn’t know, Angel Beats co-stars the eccentric leader of a rebel group against god in the afterlife named Yurippe. She is highly criticized for being a “Haruhi clone”. However, if you took just a cursory viewing of the show, it would become clear just how different these two characters are. I’m here to set the record straight.
1. Recruitment of Underlings
First off, I just thought we should get into their different methods of recruitment. Haruhi is marked by the fact that she always demands things from others for what amounts to no particular reason. This extends to how she winds up with the four members of the SOS Brigade. It is a group of people, from Haruhi’s point of view at least, who were forced into this club for no reason except that they happened to pass by. Let me remind you that Kyon is the only member of that group that isn’t there because someone else told them to do it. Haruhi is basically the leader of a group of observers who never seemed to have an interest of actually being friends with her outside of their duty to be friends with her.
Yurippe, however, seemed to just find people who, like her, were given the short stick in life, and wanted to rebel against the idea of a god that would let that happen. First episode, Otonashi arrives in the afterlife conveniently next to Yurippe. She gives him a simple offer, he can join her group or not. He chooses not to, and she does not force him to join. Later, he finds themselves within their headquarters. It does take the guy some convincing to join, but it’s always clear that he does not need to accept. The important difference you should come out of this with is that Yurippe respects the will of other people, Haruhi does not.
2. Treatment of Underlings
Now, like my previous point stated, a slight similarity between these two girls is that they are the leaders of a group. However, the way they run these groups and the amount of respect they give their members is completely different. As I stated, Haruhi forces people to do things for her. She treats the members of the SOS Brigade as nothing but the tools to meet her end. Case in point, the baseball game, advertising for the club, movie production, outright blackmail, all coercions using people to get what she wants. I would also just like to note that she commits what is in no uncertain terms sexual assault against Mikuru on what we can only assume is a frequent basis.
Now we come to Yurippe. Yurippe has a much different leadership role than Haruhi for the fact that she actually partakes in military skirmishes on a daily basis. She commands her group not as some afterschool club, but as a battlefront in the war against what she believes to be an unjust god. Sure, Yurippe has been guilty of belittling her own people, but you can always tell that it’s in the kind of jest that someone makes between friends. Lord knows I’ve ragged on my friends and get ragged on all the time, but it’s never meant maliciously. The true extent to how she cares about her group is highlighted in the second episode. In it, along with the most intriguing example of what one is capable of when they know they can’t die, is how she reacts as those around her sacrifice themselves or fall victim to traps and die. She doesn’t blame them, she questions her own leadership. She cares about her group so much that, even though she knows they are perfectly fine, the idea that maybe she could have been better, that more could have survived, haunts her.
3. Backstory and Personality
Honestly, I don’t know if this has been explained, I only know as much as the anime goes unfortunately, but Haruhi really doesn’t have a lot of backstory. She is god, we don’t know why she just is. Even when they go back to the even three years ago there isn’t much revealed about her except for the ever prevalent fact that she is a selfish bitch. When Kyon goes back in time, he just becomes Haruhi’s bitch again and draws some lines on the ground to “attract aliens”. As for her personality, this is pretty much as biased as you can get, but if you can gather from what I’ve been saying this whole article, I have little good to say about Ms. Suzumiya’s character. She is selfish, doing what she wants however she can get it done. She’s almost one dimensional in the way that she’s just this selfish platform from which they drive the plot. How do we decide what the episodes gonna be about? Let’s have Haruhi bitch about something and then drag everyone along to get it done for her. Brilliant.
Yurippe’s biggest source of backstory was the life she led before she died. It is an incredibly depressing tale. If you haven’t watched the series, spoiler alerts from episode two, but maybe this’ll get you interested in the show then. Yurippe lived a normal life with her three sisters. As the oldest of them, she was in charge of taking care of them when her parents were gone. One night, burglars break in. When they can’t find anything valuable, they force Yurippe to look for any valuables they believe their parents hid. If she didn’t come back quickly enough, her sisters would die one by one. She fails, and all three sisters are brutally murdered. She was supposed to take care of them, but she was helpless to do anything to help them. It is also important to note how she assures Otonashi that she didn’t let the depression lead her to suicide. While she still feels the guilt, she was not overcome by it. This is the driving notion behind the idea to rebel against a god that would allow her sisters to be murdered in such a way. It explains how she can be a bit callous, but most importantly it explains her purpose. Why she fights. Why she is different from Haruhi Suzumiya.
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