The Unoriginality of Hayuri-ppe Suzumiya

I couldn’t think of a catchier title than that.  Yes, I know.  However, the focus of this post is the point out something that’s been bugging me this entire season: the unoriginality of several characters of this season’s anime series.  I’ll start out with what I’ve noticed so far.  But let me tell you what NOT to search: “Haruhi Yuri”.  I know ‘Yuri’ is the name of the girl in Angel Beats but if you type of Haruhi Yuri on Google Images… well… enjoy?


Haruhi Suzumiya vs. Yuri (Angel Beats!)

Apart from having nearly similar-sounding names, the attitudes of both characters as well as the trade-mark stance are nearly identical.  If you’ve been looking at the hype surround Angel Beats, you’ll know that a lot of people have been criticizing it because the main heroine resembles the god-like figure (no pun intended) of Haruhi Suzumiya.  Angel Beats has been criticized to rip off many elements of Haruhi Suzumiya, including Angel vs. Nagato, the rock concert, the self-thoughts and Kyon-like outbursts from Otonashi, and the club names (SOS Brigade vs. Class SSS).  Haruhi and Yuri have mysterious pasts, leader-like personalities, ways of getting what they want, total control of situations, and have guys that follow them around that you want them to go out with.  Personally, I don’t feel that offended by this similarity.  I mean, it’s good to have another Haruhi-like figure.  I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed by the resemblance but that was nothing compared to the other resemblances I found.  Supposedly, this is the biggest disappointment this season but if I may, Spiral will shed some light on the situation…


Usui Takumi (Kaichou wa Maid-sama!) vs. Imadori Kyousuke (School Rumble)

One’s the idol of a forsaken almost-all boy’s school, and the other is a god of the female anatomy and sexual experiences.  But could you tell them apart?  I absolutely couldn’t, but the funnier thing was that Usui is supposedly younger than Imadori.  Are you kidding?  They look exactly alike… even the blank stares they have are identical.  I thought Haruhi-Yuri wasn’t that bad, but this?  C’mon, the resemblance makes it look like the character designers just literally ripped off Imadori’s artwork from School Rumble and pasted him onto a new series about a student council president being a maid.  Speaking of which, are the two series even made by the same studio?

Otonashi (Angel Beats!) vs. Shiro (Fate/Stay Night)

Yes, I know… Otonashi’s character is similar to Kyon but the appearance is almost exactly that from Shiro from Fate/Stay Night.  I’m even at the point of guessing that Otonashi was killed by Dark Saber.   Haha I’m just kidding, but seriously though, Fate/Stay Night was one of my most favorite anime and it took me ten seconds into the first episode of Angel Beats that the heroes looked exactly alike… ‘cept that Shiro can kick Otonashi’s ass anyday of the week.

Shiina (Angel Beats!) vs. Shinra (They are my noble masters!)

Yes, I know they’re a limit to being unique but this is seriously starting to get annoying.  They’re both cold, they’re both kickass, and they both have the funniest of weak-points.  I’m starting to think that Angel Beats just ripped off every single character design.  Good show as it may be compared to ‘They are my noble masters’, it still disappoints me that they couldn’t come up with their own character desigsn.

Otome Tsuduki (Mayoi Neko Overrun!) vs. Azusa Miura (Idolmaster games)

I have one of my frequent commenters Lem to thank for this after he point this out on his latest comment on my ‘Mayoi Neko Overrun first impressions’ post

“…eh? What the heck?

I’d comment more and be a bit more calm. But that one girl in the last couple sets of screenies, the blue purple haired one. What the hell? It’s Azusa Miura from the Idolm@ster games! I mean really, they look exactly the same! Even hair color, eye color, and probably bust size too! These two could practically be twins. Ah, look up ‘Azusa Miura’ if you don’t believe me.” – Lem

Yui (K-ON!) vs. Yui (K-ON!!)

I mean, this similarity is way to alike.  I am going to sue Kyoami for the blatant copy of Yui from K-ON!! to Yui from K-ON!

So what’s up with the character designs this season?  Do the ends justify the means? (The last one was a joke, if you don’t get my sense of humour).


25 Responses to “The Unoriginality of Hayuri-ppe Suzumiya”

  1. 1 deaky
    11 April 2010 at 12:49 pm

    How about the entire show, and not just characters? Every time I watch Maid-sama I can’t shake the feeling that I liked it better when it was still called Kare Kano. I’m stunned at how similar they are, but then it’s really just another shoujo about a tsundere and a robot, so I’m sure you could replace “Kare Kano” with a ton of others.

  2. 11 April 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Personally I think the Haruhi/Yuri comparison has gotten ridiculous. So any female group leader is going to get Haruhi comparisons? Just with the images you have up above you have to wonder what people are getting obsessed about. The only real similarities outside of the basics (both are girls) is the headband. Getting a couple episodes in makes clear they are different people.

    I’m not so sure about the Shiro owning Otonashi bit. Shiro goes into a self-less speech and Otonashi shoots him. Go guns!

    Really you are bound to hit some similar designs eventually. There are only so many colours you can make hair or ways they can be styled without running into complains of people making characters with ridiculous designs.

  3. 3 fangzhao
    11 April 2010 at 3:17 pm

    The Unoriginality of This Post: very, very high.

    Haruhi vs. Yuri is goin’ round the community like wildfire, and the rest of these comparisons are to characters so obscure that it feels like the comparisons are just there to fill up space after Haruhi vs. Yuri is done. Seriously? Angel Beats copying off of They Are My Noble Masters? Those characters have only two things in common: their gender and their hair. That doesn’t mean they have the same character design! D:

    (Seriously, the eye shape, eye color… hell, even the hair shape is different!)

    – fangzhao, cynic, sadist, and self-proclaimed awesome blogger

  4. 11 April 2010 at 4:16 pm

    The character designs of Yuri looks like Haruhi. This is true

    The character designs are very unoriginal: This is true

    Each character in themselves are copies of all other characters: Bullshit

  5. 11 Kikuri
    11 April 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Well, as for me, the creators of all these characters have done an extensive research on types of characters that appeal to the mass. Apparently, these characters are born based on the result of the findings. We can’t really accuse them (the creators) of copying them, it just happens! Sore dake…

  6. 12 Lem
    11 April 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Ah, isn’t there a TV Tropes for these? Well, for most of them, I’m pretty sure they’re just Expys, similarities but not exactly a carbon-copy. (Well, except for the one I pointed out—*bricked*) Though yeah, everyone is bound to see unoriginal characters anyway.

    Ah well, life goes on and all that.

  7. 12 April 2010 at 7:08 am

    I do think there are some similarities to Haruhi and Yuri. But I think once someone watches enough anime they will start comparing characters and situations. There are only so many different ways one can characterize a fictional characters. Sooner or later there will be someone very similar to a past character in a different show.

    Not that that is a bad thing. People are drawn to familiar things so at times it helps to make similar characters/situation. Now is Yuri was EXACTLY like Haruhi that would be a negative thing. But since they only share some common factors it’s a way to draw the Haruhi fans in and hopefully they stay for the differences.

  8. 12 April 2010 at 7:47 am

    I can definitely see the Haruhi and Yuri comparison, but it’s really not that big a deal. You can find tons of characters with similar looks and personalities in many anime. With so many thousands of anime titles out there, and more thousands of characters, you’re bound to have a number of them that are similar to each other. As long as there’s something original about them, and if you enjoy them regardless, it shouldn’t matter.

  9. 12 April 2010 at 9:38 am

    I care more about similarities in personality than other aspects. Yuri and Haruhi are more than different in that department. Yes for about two minutes at the beginning of episode 1 i thought this might be some kind of sick parody but honestly as I have said several times that Yuri is a hundred times more empathetic and caring towards her subordinates and is also very self aware of her limitations. I loved TMOHS but Haruhi’s lack of self-awareness and limitations was rather ridiculous and there is nothing like that her, Yuri earns her respect.

    Attacking physical similarities for their own sake does have some merit though and could be critiqued as lazy, “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t necessarily mean to plagiarize.

    As for someone who mentioned TK, I find him very annoying but he is very unique, someone over at SeaSlugs posted this very interesting link that shows TK is pretty much a hit back at home: http://www.tulip-tv.co.jp/research/index.html?TID_DT03=20100409104230

  10. 12 April 2010 at 7:47 pm

    ROFL at googling “Haruhi Yuri” (Safe search off).
    Yuri may well be a deeper character, given here past… but I doubt it. I think the secret lies with Angel.

  11. 20 Poro
    13 April 2010 at 5:41 am

    I would like to steal Darkmirage’s theory that all anime can be described through a simple equation of other anime. My own theory is just that most female characters can be described in such an equation. For example,
    Yurippe = Haruhi – famous headband -eccentric things + any protagonistic girl from Higurashi no koro ni + gunz xD
    There we go.
    That is why I believe that although this similarity is becoming more and more an issue as time goes on and there is more and more anime to compare and contrast in the future. Who cares. Like come on this happens all the time. Democracy isn’t original. Carl Marx’s idea of communism isn’t totally original either. Just a few tweaks there and there Wala! “a new idea”
    There have been too many people who have not existed on this Earth for one to not have thought of your idea first. It is only our human internal perception of the world that is ultimately unique. Since words are very restraint in versatality -in comparison to the human mind of course. So do character designs and such. Really I think that we should take account and move on. If you sick and tired of seeing the same character designs, then my advice is to quit anime all together for a long long time.

    • 21 SPIRAL
      13 April 2010 at 4:43 pm

      I think that post was addressed to the more fanatic fans of anime. I’m fine with it… just a bit annoyed that I can spot the difference so easily

  12. 22 anon
    5 May 2010 at 7:34 pm

    To be fair the SSS thing reminds one more of nazis than of haruhi.

  13. 23 sara
    25 May 2010 at 9:43 am

    esta super este anime

  14. 24 Suri
    21 July 2010 at 2:36 am

    …Personally..I don’t really care about the similarities. I looked at the story of Angel Beats. And Otonashi merely has the same personality as other KEY main characters. That said, Kyon has similar traits to them as well. Maybe that was KEY’s reason? To throw in a bunch of character models into a sentimental comedy? Y’never what KEY can come up. Inspirational bastards. =~=

  15. 25 HeartClover
    22 March 2011 at 2:47 pm

    i agree that there are only so many different ways to go with a character design, so you’re bound to run into similar-looking characters eventually.

    i believe the main problem is that haruhi is such a famous character, and that’s why everyone is making a big deal out of this.

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