Haruhi Suzumiya is the title character of the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise, which originated in a series of novels and has since expanded into a highly popular anime series, manga, drama CDs, several video games and beyond. She is depicted as a rather frank, upbeat and energetic girl who pursues her often eccentric goals with utter determination, at times with no respect to the feelings of others. This is especially the case when it comes to publicizing her SOS Brigade, a club she founded to find and socialize with aliens, time travelers and espers.
Although she appears to be a regular high school student to outsiders (as well as to herself), Haruhi has the power to subconsciously alter the world to her liking. Her inexplicable powers are attributed to a life-changing event three years prior to her high school days, when she attended a baseball game with her family. Upon seeing the masses of people inside the stadium, she developed a crushing sense of insignificance as her everyday life began to feel mundane and ordinary. Instead of giving in however, she thought that there had to be at least one person living an interesting, extraordinary existence and decided to try to be that person.
Haruhi Suzumiya is a freshman at North High High School where, during her introduction, she openly announces her disinterest in regular humans and instead invites any alien, time traveler, dimensional slider or esper to join her. To her disappointment, no one with those qualities approaches her and she spends the first weeks of high school isolating herself from the rest of the class. During that period, many of her eccentric character traits can be observed such as her temporarily joining many of the school's club activities only to quit immediately, despite her natural talent. Other oddities from her middle school days are reported by class mate Taniguchi, such as her painting a giant symbol on the school grounds using a chalk machine.
Haruhi only starts to open up to others after Kyon, the student in the seat in front of her, attempts to engage in a conversation and, to his surprise, is given a relatively serious response. During one of their subsequent conversations, he gives Haruhi the idea to found her own club since the existing ones don't satisfy her. Enthusiastically dragging him out of the class room, she forces Kyon to help her build the “SOS Brigade”, an unsanctioned association with Haruhi at the helm, built for the sole purpose of finding aliens, time travellers and espers and having fun with them. As is subsequently revealed, Haruhi possesses inexplicable powers to change the world, although she herself is completely unaware of these powers or the changes they perform. Her powers are often directly linked to Haruhi's mood and whenever she becomes mentally unstable due to frustrations, she begins to create “closed space”, areas of alternate dimensions in which blue giants vent her frustrations by destroying everything inside. At one point in the storyline, her frustration with the current world reaches a level at which she is willing to completely destroy reality and rebuild a world closer to her liking. To prevent any severe incidents, her friends are constantly tasked to raise her spirits and prevent her from being bored, however due to Haruhi's competitive nature and zero tolerance for failure, the odds are often against them.
Due to her powers, she is secretly observed by three distinct parties and their agents:
- The Integrated Data Entity, a being born in the universe's “sea of data”, sees within Haruhi's ability to create data from nothing a potential for its auto-evolution as it is stuck in an evolutionary dead-end after absorbing all the data in the universe. Due to its non-corporeal form, the Entity lacks the means to directly interact with lower species such as humans and instead installed several humanoid interfaces on Earth to closely observe Haruhi.
- The humans from an unspecified time the future, who have since discovered the secrets of time travel, found themselves unable to venture into a past beyond three years prior to Haruhi's high school years. Upon closer inspection, they discovered a rift in the space-time continuum at the center of which they found Haruhi Suzumiya. As they are quite puzzled how a single girl could conflict with the flow of time, they send a time traveler to investigate the matter.
- The “Organization” is a group of seemingly randomly selected people who three years ago discovered supernatural powers within them at the source of which they felt the presence of Haruhi Suzumiya. Her ability to shape the world to her liking makes them think of her as a Goddess and some members even theorize that the world might not only have been altered three years ago, but was in fact created at that time. Their main goal is to maintain the state of the world in its current form by keeping her spirits up.
Haruhi is the founder and self-declared chief of the SOS Brigade ( Spreading Excitement All Over the World with Haruhi Suzumiya Brigade), which she built by invading the literature club's club room and recruiting their sole member, Yuki Nagato. After Kyon and Yuki, the third member to be enlisted is Mikuru Asahina, who Haruhi caught day-dreaming in the hallway and forcedly joins the club because Haruhi insists on the brigade's need for a moe character, a female of adorable cuteness prominent in manga culture. The final member to be recruited is Itsuki Koizumi, a transfer student whose late transfer is reason enough for Haruhi to have him as a member. Technically, the SOS Brigade is never officially sanctioned, however due to Haruhi's notorious mannerisms, the student council prefers to ignore their activities if possible.
Ironically, while the brigade was founded to find aliens, time travelers and espers, Haruhi is completely oblivious to the fact that each of her recruited members (with the exception of Kyon) belongs to one of these parties. The bibliophilic Yuki is in reality an artificial human serving as an observer to the Integrated Data Entity, Mikuru reveals herself to be a time traveler and Itsuki confesses to Kyon to be an esper. The subliminal precision in which Haruhi had so quickly gathered these parties is the first strong indicator to what extent she is able to manipulate reality according to her will. However, when Kyon tells Haruhi about the origins of her other companions, she ridicules his statement, arguing that they wouldn't just show up but had to be searched for.
Although Haruhi is often cold or indifferent about others, often treating them more like objects than people, she cares deeply for her brigade and its members. She puts a great amount of effort into promoting her association such as handing out flyers in a bunny girl costume or the filming of a student movie for school festival. Her enthusiasm and lack of proper judgement however often ends in humiliation and suffering for her members, especially Mikuru, who she often abuses as a dress-up doll in order to attract an audience. Still, she is very concerned with the well-being of her friends, particularly Kyon, which is especially evident when she stays by his side for three days after he fell into a coma due to an accident.