I originally had something else planned for today, but due to various reasons, I have decided to put that off until next post. Instead, this will be a quick post on a time I overcomplicated things, as well propose a fun idea.
Set in 1920′s Europe, Gosick is a beautiful anime about a blonde little girl, Victorique, and a Japanese overseas student, Kujo. Together, this detective duo solve murders and unravel mysteries. In Kujo’s introductory scene, Kujo walks down a hallway while other visibly scared students gossip about him: ”Look at those pitch black eyes that swallow up the darkness! I’m sure he’s black-hearted too!”
I tweeted my thoughts as I watched this scene:
Watching Gosick… A little bit of racism against black eyes to start the anime off.—
Yi (@yihsieh321) January 13, 2011
Kujo’s situation reminds me a lot of a social experiment conducted by Jane Elliott following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In her famous “blue-eyed, brown-eyed” exercise, Elliott separated her first-grade class based on eye color, and designated the blue-eyed children as the superior group. In the days that followed, she reinforced this discrimination through segregating the children, having kids wear labels to mark them, and giving pseudo-scientific explanations for the inferiority of black-eyes. Within hours, the children suffered massive change in personality and failing academic performance. It is really quite a fascinating experiment.
Furthermore, Europe in the 1920s saw the beginning of the rise of scientific racism, Eugenics, and Social Darwinism, all of which have had significant impact on the immediate decades to come.
Thus, I was convinced that Kujo’s experience paralleled the Elliot’s eye-discrimination exercise as smaller scaled reflection on real-world racism based on skin color and ethnicity:
Of course, people are quick to point out when I over-think something:
I was also soon told that the students feared Kujo’s black eyes not because of racial ignorance, but because of the urban legend surrounding “Black Reaper.”
Indeed this sort of experience probably happens to most anime bloggers as well as any anime fan. I am sure we have all at one time or another unnecessarily complicated a scene, a plot point, a character, or something. I know I certainly have had my fair share of mistaken ideas and overreaching thought processes, published or not.
Still, as long as we are actively thinking and engaging with anime, right?
Fun Project – Overthinking Anime
So here is the fun proposal. If you have a blog or a site, write about a time you made too much out of something on flimsy basis, and was later shown to be clearly wrong. And, post the link in the comments. If you do not have a blog, feel free to just write in the comments.
Let us gather all those pretentious claims!
- If you decide to participate in Overthinking Anime, it would be great if you could link back to this post! ^ ^
- To start things off on the project, here is a post by 2DT that I remembered as I wrote this post.
- Twitter is a pretty good way to fire-off quick discussions on anime. Feel free to follow me @yihsieh321.
- Gosick Review