- And now, something totally pointless:

Author: Hi, I'm the imaginary author.

Proofreader: Hi, I'm the imaginary proofreader.

Author: (laughing) A little more imaginary than usual this time around.

Proofreader: Give me a break. I got busy.

Author: So, let's get to it.

Proofreader: Here's the part where we pat each other on the back and say how wonderful we think we are.

Author: Cause that's what these commentary things are for, right?

Proofreader: I think we're actually supposed to do something literary.

Author: Huh?

Proofreader: I mean, because otherwise this could just be a forum post.

Author: (laughing) As opposed to those stories?

Proofreader: (laughing) Yeah, I think this commentary might actually be more entertaining.

Author: Well, okay. If you're still reading this, I'll get right to it.

Proofreader: And hopefully, the fact that we're imaginary means that this is some Haruhi-related fiction.

Author: Shhh. You're not supposed to give that away.

Proofreader: Sorry. Was that supposed to be a big secret?

Author: The only secret is why people are reading this crap.

Proofreader: People must be really really bored.

Author: Well, enough with the lame comedy routine. Let's go straight into boring people with comments.

Proofreader: But, before we do that, I should warn the readers that we will likely go off on some serious tangents.

Author: Right. This will really just be random junk that we're thinking about.

Proofreader: Random but Haruhi-related, I should add.

Author: Yeah, right.

Proofreader: Well, then. I'll ask questions and you answer.

Author: Fire away.

Proofreader: Okay. Let's just start with some general questions.

Author: Okay.

Proofreader: Do you really not know anything about Japanese naming etiquette?

Author: Oh, man. Don't start with that sh...

Proofreader: I'm just wondering, because I went back and checked it, and it seems kind of like Kyon is being an aloof ass in all these things.

Author: Okay, I tried to do an English version of that Japanese BS, but I think I was off the mark.

Proofreader: Well, you were consistently off, at least.

Author: So, just go back and substitute what he should be saying in your head.

Proofreader: I take it you never read the novels.

Author: I'm more of an anime/manga fan. This is why Imouto, who is 10-going-on-11 is described as looking 7 or 8. Because you watch the anime and you would swear that's how old she is.

Proofreader: So, do you plan on fixing any of that?

Author: Meh.

Proofreader: I really should have seen that coming.

Author: It's not like naming etiquette doesn't matter. I mean, confusing -san and -kun could get you stabbed with an umbrella-

Proofreader: If you make a habit of it.

Author: Right. But, here in America, nobody gives a sh... It's just a freaking name. Get over it.

Proofreader: Great. We've just pissed off all the otakus.

Author: That's only like what? 90% of Haruhi fans? Who needs them?

Proofreader: Well, getting back to Haruhi...

Author: Who is that?

Proofreader: You seem to like torturing Haruhi.

Author: It's fun. I highly recommend it to you aspiring writers.

Proofreader: Aren't you an aspiring writer?

Author: It's not like I didn't try, it's just... I happened to notice Dan Brown and people actually buying that crap and I thought. What the f...? Why the hell is anybody reading that and actually paying for the privilege. I wouldn't read that garbage at gun point.

Proofreader: But there's always going to be mediocre writers like that. It's in the grand tradition of Bulwer-Lytton.

Author: (laughing) It was a dark and stormy night, as I sat at the local bookstore and watched patron after patron buying Dan Brown novels, whilst I (shuddering and trembling in horror) contemplated the unending stream of boredom that awaited their anticipated opening of those wordy and verbose tomes of terror.

Proofreader: It is a bit of a slog at times.

Author: My point is that unless you write such horrible stuff as gets confused with great parody and is thereby propelled to accidental critical acclaim, you're not going to get your foot in the door.

Proofreader: It also helps if you have a good idea.

Author: No such thing, man.

Proofreader: I'd just like to say to you aspiring writers to just keep plugging away. If you have talent, you can find work. Now, getting paid for it...

Author: (laughing) Enough said.

Proofreader: Right. Next question: What's with all this Yuki stuff?

Author: Get used to it, my friend. You're going to be seeing a lot of it here, soon.

Proofreader: Oh, because of that movie? "The Disappearance of Haruhi?"

Author: You bet.

Proofreader: I just saw that camrip, by the way.

Author: About time. I saw that two months ago.

Proofreader: Thanks. I now have eye-cancer.

Author: (laughing) So, what did you think?

Proofreader: Well, the idiot shooting the thing was holding the camera and used auto-focus, so the damn thing is blurry most of the time, and the screen doesn't even-

Author: I meant, what did you think of the movie?

Proofreader: Oh... Well, it was awesome, of course. I give it my highest rating: 8 of 10.

Author: That is generous, coming from you. I give it 9 of 10, myself.

Proofreader: It was excellent writing, great animation (what I could see of it), and I love that twist at the end.

Author: You were surprised by that?

Proofreader: Honestly, yes. I didn't see it coming.

Author: Wow. Really?

Proofreader: Really. Is that hard to believe?

Author: No, not really. I guess you just have to be a die-hard Haruhi fan to think it was obvious. Well, whatever.

Proofreader: I would say this really deserves a DVD release.

Author: As opposed to?

Proofreader: As opposed to that Endless Eight crap.

Author: I knew you were going to say that. What's wrong with Endless Eight?

Proofreader: Oh, come on! They take a one-episode script and drag it out to eight episodes. Eight! And it's not even a really good episode.

Author: I thought it was pretty cool. And I highly recommend buying those on DVD, too. Once they come out.

Proofreader: Yeah, some time next year. If we're lucky.

Author: So, are we just going to spam Haruhi products?

Proofreader: Okay, next question. This seems to be on the mind of "reviewers" of your previous thing.

Author: Reviews. That's funny.

Proofreader: One briefly writes that you're confusing and another briefly complains about how you aren't thorough.

Author: And yet they fail to see...

Proofreader: ...right.

Author: I will admit that I am lazy. I tend to skim a lot when I read "normal" novels, because it's mostly just atmosphere that does nothing to move the story. It's only natural that I write in a get-straight-to-the-damn-point style.

Proofreader: I use that style a lot, myself. I think it's the influence of TV.

Author: As for being confusing, well... Whatever. I don't have the patience to write in the style of Harry Potter or Stephen King novels. Those guys write like they're being paid by the number of pages. I write like I'm not getting paid. Which I'm not.

Proofreader: Well, let's get to the stories. A couple of "how to" stories?

Author: Yeah.

Proofreader: The first one was kind of... I thought you were making Kyon a little more paranoid than normal.

Author: I know. It's just a contrivance to jump into the part you like to write.

Proofreader: But you didn't even write that part.

Author: I'm kind of desperate to head off people using Mikuru-clone-Yuki as Yuki in their 'shippers.

Proofreader: Because of "Disappearance"?

Author: Yeah. In that movie, that personality works because that's obviously the personality that Yuki thought Kyon would consider the most normal.

Proofreader: This is dangerously close to spoilers.

Author: Oh, close? No, that is a spoiler. A huge spoiler.

Proofreader: Oops. Well, if you don't want the rest of the movie spoiled (which looks likely), you'd probably better skip this bit.

Author: The movie shouldn't have been called "The Disappearance of Haruhi". It should have been called "Yuki Nagato's Week Off". That would have been a bit more accurate.

Proofreader: Well, since we're spoiling the movie anyway, I'd just like to say that Kyon having that chat with Yuki at the end and telling her that he basically preferred her real personality better should probably head off all the crappy Yuki-as-Mikuru 'shippers.

Author: You would think that, but I'm guessing it won't.

Proofreader: And, as for the movie's title, I would vote for: "Haruhi Head-Butts Kyon".

Author: (laughing) Oh my God! That would have been awesome!

Proofreader: Because, honestly, I think that's the main thing that would make me see the movie more than once.

Author: That was such a huge, iconic moment in the film, too.

Proofreader: I think it beats out that moment where Kyon kisses Haruhi in the alternate space.

Author: It does tell you in a flash everything you need to know about raw, unadulterated, long-haired Haruhi.

Proofreader: Well, now that we've spoiled everything that was great about the movie-

Author: Except for the mysterious perpetrator.

Proofreader: (sarcastic) Oh, yeah. You'll never guess who it is.

Author: They really overplayed that bit.

Proofreader: Anyway, I think we should move on to the next story. How to ruin a porno. That was...

Author: Speechless with admiration?

Proofreader: I can't help but admire how open-minded Kyon is.

Author: Kyon is actually a pretty typical character. Honestly, he's a little too stereotypical, but that's his thing.

Proofreader: You mean, stereotypically Japanese?

Author: Yeah, I'm not really comfortable with the concept, but it's really easy to imagine a character like that.

Proofreader: As opposed to Yuki.

Author: Actually, I have no trouble at all writing Yuki. I have more trouble writing Haruhi.

Proofreader: Well, isn't that interesting.

Author: Hey, you asked.

Proofreader: Moving right along, let's talk about that horrible revenge story.

Author: That's basically my attempt to write a Mikuru 'shipper.

Proofreader: Just that?

Author: Well, I did feel obliged to make it funny. Since we're talking about a Mikuru 'shipper, that pretty much limits you to really dark comedy.

Proofreader: I'm kind of getting a "Penn and Teller Get Killed" vibe from it.

Author: I also shamelessly rip off "Heathers".

Proofreader: So, I guess you can blame them if you don't like this story.

Author: That's right. It was their fault.

Proofreader: That ending was weird. I mean, I kind of like the idea of a Utopia. That doesn't really feel like revenge to me.

Author: Even a Utopia where they do nothing but sing about how much they love Haruhi all the time?

Proofreader: ...

Author: Oh, and I also rip off "Twilight Zone" with that ending.

Proofreader: Speaking of "Twilight Zone" I kind of got that vibe from the glasses story.

Author: It's just another lame "and then he woke up" story.

Proofreader: Oh, yeah. And who doesn't love the prophetic dream cliche.

Author: We'll just pretend that story didn't happen.

Proofreader: Okay. About "The Koizumi Gambit"...

Author: Yes?

Proofreader: I'm really more interested in what happened when Koizumi gave Haruhi that script.

Author: (laughing) He probably had his fingers crossed and hoped the world wasn't going to suddenly end. Of course, I like to imagine Koizumi does that a lot.

Proofreader: I also think a "Taming of the Shrew" might not be a bad idea.

Author: Oh, well that's just the next obvious thing.

Proofreader: How do you figure?

Author: Well, Haruhi is constantly trying to get Mikuru and Koizumi together, so there's your lead characters. Knowing Haruhi, she'd make herself the Bianca character, and the rest writes itself.

Proofreader: And Koizumi calls Haruhi a bitch?

Author: A play has to have those moments. Otherwise, the audience just falls asleep. Koizumi would know that, but he would also dread it. Of course, that's the fun thing about Koizumi. He's always doing these things that he secretly loves and fears. It's kind of a cathartic thing for him.

Proofreader: Oh, right. You have Koizumi having a crush on Haruhi.

Author: That was always in the back of my mind.

Proofreader: I suppose your Yuki has a crush on Kyon?

Author: I don't know if I'd call it a crush. She's definitely jealous. I don't think Kyon realizes that that's what it is, but he's starting to see that emotion in her, bit by bit.

Proofreader: Well, the next story is my favorite.

Author: The unicorn story?

Proofreader: That one really seems to capture the true essense of Haruhi.

Author: I wasn't really shooting for all that. I just thought it might be nice to have a good poetic justice comeback at the end.

Proofreader: Poetic justice?

Author: Oh, you know. That whole thing about Haruhi having this strange and interesting experience and the others simply not being able to understand.

Proofreader: Oh, right.

Author: I just thought about it for a long time, and then I said, "Hey, you know what? Unicorns."

Proofreader: This is how the mind of a writer works.

Author: It's really the perfect thing. You take a unicorn and Haruhi encounters it with a couple reputable witnesses, and bam! No more SOS Brigade. No more need to hide anything from Haruhi.

Proofreader: No more data for the big boss or time travel for Mikuru, either.

Author: That was just a nice bonus. But then I thought, how the hell is a unicorn going to show up in the first place? That lead to me thinking about theme parks, and then I thought about how I could contrive to get her into one.

Proofreader: This is how you construct a good mystery. Just go backward.

Author: The lazy way. To do mystery or thriller. But, in this case, I had this idea. The idea needed some explanation, and that explanation needed its own explanation and so on. It was really just the natural progression.

Proofreader: All right. About that last one.

Author: "Urges", right.

Proofreader: I guess I don't need to ask what that's about.

Author: I thought I'd write a Haruhi 'shipper, as long as I've written a Mikuru 'shipper.

Proofreader: The low-hanging fruit.

Author: More like rolling-around-on-the-ground fruit. It's like writing a Futurama Leela-Fry fanfic. About as interesting a concept as going to the store to buy groceries.

Proofreader: It took you a little extra time to write that, I notice.

Author: Yeah. Well, I was conflicted over what to call it. For a while, I thought about just calling it "Booty Call" but then something told me that wasn't as clever as "Urges".

Proofreader: I think you made the right choice.

Author: But honestly, the thing about that story was that I was determined to write it in the style of Tarantino, since this was such an obvious way to go with the story. It just seemed like the natural way to write it.

Proofreader: And that's why it took so long?

Author: Yeah, because I hadn't thought seriously about what a f-ing genius Taratino is about smoothly blending fiery speeches with really convincing aerial chit-chat. It wasn't anywhere near as easy as I thought it would be, and I eventually just said, screw it. I'm just cranking this out.

Proofreader: You seemed to be hinting at some action that didn't ultimately take place.

Author: You mean, in the Taniguchi scene?

Proofreader: Yeah, that was it.

Author: That scene was really more about setting the mood. I really just wanted the reader to feel like things were already getting tricky, and it wasn't even a full day later.

Proofreader: I won't even ask what Yuki was really talking about.

Author: Yeah, you should already know. I mean, I just gave you her motivation.

Proofreader: But it is confusing.

Author: Not really. I mean, from Kyon's point of view, sure. You just have to keep in mind that Kyon has a knack for complicating things. Once you realize that, it's actually pretty damn obvious that Yuki is just flirting with him in her own weird way. Even Haruhi can see that.

Proofreader: So, we get some Taniguchi and Kunikida. No love for Tsuruya?

Author: They're all just bit players. Tsuruya especially, because she's basically Mikuru's goofy idiot sidekick. Since the story is always from Kyon's POV, that makes it really tough to include her. Honestly, I'd more likely write about Shamisen than Tsuruya.

Proofreader: Speaking of Mikuru, she doesn't show up at all in "Urges".

Author: Yeah, that was a wise move on her part.

Proofreader: I'm sure the question all the readers are wondering: What exactly happens between scene 6 and 7?

Author: (laughing) If I told you, I'd have to take down the story.

Proofreader: I guess that's enough said.

Author: The story is already riding the border of what's acceptable. That missing scene would explode it way over the line.

Proofreader: Well, on that wholesome note, I bid the reader farewell.

Author: See you later, suckers!