Mikuru Asahina is a fictional character from the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise. The timid beauty is forcefully enlisted into the SOS Brigade after Haruhi finds her day-dreaming in the hallways of 'North High' high school during breaks. Beyond her extreme good looks and charming personality, Mikuru is a time traveler from an unspecified period in the future, sent back in time to survey Haruhi Suzumiya, who her superiors believe to be the origin of a massive, spontaneous time-quake.
Mikuru is a second-year student at 'North High' high school and considered one of the most beautiful girls by the male student body. She is often compared to an untouchable flower, as even though she has been asked out on dates many times, she never accepted any of the requests and confessions. Very shy and timid in nature, Mikuru is easily embarrassed and often rather naïve, which is why she is often protected by her classmate Tsuruya
, whose frank and energetic personality greatly resembles that of Haruhi. Before being recruited by Haruhi to join her growing SOS Brigade, Mikuru used to be a member of the calligraphy club, which she quit on Haruhi's request.
Unbeknownst to Haruhi, Mikuru Asahina is a time traveler, sent back to the early 21 century to investigate what is believed to be a rift in the space-time continuum that occurred three years prior to the beginning of the novel and anime series. Due to that event, the future humans who had since discovered the secrets of time travel find themselves unable to venture any further into the past and upon research find at its center the inexplicable presence of a seemingly regular girl named Haruhi Suzumiya. In order to further explore the matter, Mikuru is initially deployed at 'North High' in charge of observing Haruhi from behind the scenes, but is ultimately recruited by Suzumiya with extraordinary precision, as she is subconsciously looking for a time traveler to join her newly founded club.
While we are currently unable to fully comprehend the means behind paradox-free time travel, as it is based on theories dramatically different from current technology, Mikuru compares her presence in the current time plane to Kyon, the main protagonist of the franchise, to an additional picture in a flip book. Time should thereafter not be regarded as something in continuous flow, but rather as series of still images accumulated in succession to form the illusion of continuity from our perspective, not unlike animation. Due to the inherent dangers of time travel, as well as Mikuru's lack of authorization by her superiors, most of the sensitive information regarding herself, other Brigade members or details about the future is considered 'classified information', which quickly turns into somewhat of a catch phrase as she is able to say it in a most enthralling fashion.
Aside from strictly following orders given by her superiors, often revolving around setting certain pre-determined events involving Kyon in motion, such as him traveling back in time during the Tanabata festival, Mikuru resigns to being the SOS Brigade's mascot, as she lacks outer-worldly powers. Her helpless and at time a bit clumsy nature could make her seem somewhat of a useless bystander in tight situations, however she displays an astounding resilience to Haruhi's abuse of her timid character and a great sense of duty when it comes to her mission and friends, often providing emotional support, especially to Kyon.
The series later introduces an adult version of Mikuru, who will at times provide critical assistance to Kyon, such as hinting at a way to prevent the destruction of the world at the end of the first novel, but will also assume much more important roles during a few events on the Tanabata festival three years prior. To prevent confusion, Kyon often refers to the adult Mikuru as Asahina-san (big)
while calling her younger equivalent Asahina-san (small)
, as he never calls Mikuru by her first name, respecting her official status as a senpai (older student). As is guessed by Kyon, Asahina-san (big) is very likely one of her younger self's superiors, although that fact, as well as her older self's presence in the current time plane, is unknown to her, to avoid any paradoxes occurring. At one point however, when Mikuru starts to feel completely useless due to her inability to help during an important, future-related task, Kyon vaguely hints at that possibility, trying to cheer her up.
SOS Brigade role
Mikuru's primary role in the Haruhi's SOS Brigade is that of a mascot, garnering attention to the brigade through her good looks. Haruhi literally justifies Mikuru's membership in her association's need for a 'moe' character, a popular theme in manga culture depicting female characters of innocent cuteness, often (such as in this case) sporting a sizable bust. Her enchanting sex appeal is therefore often shamelessly exploited by Haruhi in order to promote her Brigade, such as forcing Mikuru to hand out fliers wearing a bunny-girl costume or taking embarrassing pictures of her in order to publicize them on the SOS Brigade's website (although that plan was foiled by Kyon).
On regular days however, she acts as the club's maid, serving self-brewed tea to the other members while wearing an adequate costume provided by Haruhi. Over time, she developed quite an expertise and fondness of this task, brewing only the best of beverages (although, according to Kyon, even the most amateurishly prepared offerings would still taste like a gift from the heavens if coming from her hands). Aside from her maid and bunny-girl costumes, she is on occasion also forced to dress as a nurse, a cheerleader, a miko and in a frog costume.
Mikuru starred as the lead protagonist in The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00
, an amateur movie directed by Haruhi and premiered at the yearly school festival. She also provided the vocals for the opening theme song 'Koi no Mikuru Densetsu' (The Mikuru Legend of Love). Ironically, she assumes the role of a time-traveling battle waitress sent to the past on a mission to observe and protect a young man with super-natural powers, played by Itsuki Koizumi. In a dangerous turn of events, Haruhi gave the protagonist an ability called the Mikuru Beam, a laser beam that could be launched from Mikuru's eyes when using colored contacts and which became a reality when the eager director subconsciously wished for it to do so. Fortunately, serious incidents were avoided thanks to Yuki's quick intervention.
Despite its nonsensical plot and poor production values, the movie became a hit during the school festival thanks to Mikuru's following among the male student body of 'North High', as Haruhi had thoughtfully provided ample fan service all throughout. In fact, the movie proved to be so popular that although a showing was at first scheduled only in between officially sanctioned projects to satisfy Haruhi's demands, The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00 quickly replaced each and every other movie scheduled to be played. Unsurprisingly, a sequel is forthcoming.