Eye Racism in Gosick? Times We Overthink

gosick lolita_fashion takeda_hinata victorique de bloise victorica

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.

Gosick Kujo Black Reaper eye discrimination

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:

Gosick Kujo Bradly Black Reaper brown eye blue eye

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.

Gosick Kujo Black Reaper eye discrimination segregation

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:

Gosick Victorique pipe smoking detective

Of course, people are quick to point out when I over-think something:

Gosick Kujo classroom black reaper

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.”

And so…

Victorique de Bloise Victorica Gosick

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?

victorique de bloise gosick lolita fashion takeda hinata victorica bloix

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!

Side notes:

  • 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

Nice Further Readings:

On Quantum Physics, The Fourth Dimension and Magical Girls… Wait, What? – @fkeroge
Overthinking Anime – Nopy
Overthinking: Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? – MkMiku

This entry was posted in Anime/ Manga, Editorial, Gosick and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Eye Racism in Gosick? Times We Overthink

  1. Itachi says:

    The urban legends in Gosick are just way too popular. Most new arc, they introduce new legend to proceed the story. Like Victorique is called golden fairy in ep 5 and Kujo is the black reaper. Its not totally an eye racism, its more to legend. Over-thinking is not for your health…haha >.<

    • Yi says:

      Yea, I realized the huge role of urban legends in Gosick after a few episodes. But right in the beginning about five minutes in, my mind is usually all over the place.

      “Over-thinking is not for your health…haha >.<"
      Haha, maybe not. ^ ^

  2. TWWK says:

    My entire blog is overthinking things. -_-‘

    Nonetheless, I’ll try to write something up, because, well, this is a fun project! I can’t wait to read what others write!

    • Yi says:

      The difference is that you’re not too often clearly wrong. The spirituality you see in anime are nice extensions to to what we’re presented with between the lines.

      In my case, I think I was not only over-thinking, but going in a wrong direction.

  3. hoshiko says:

    I was analyzing more on why he was called The Dark Reaper more than the remark on eye colors. The first episode started quite shakily with no foundation as to why Kujo was shunned like that, which probably led to you overthinking things a little.

    By the way, love that last picture of Victorique.

    • Yi says:

      Yea, we were thrown into the situation pretty early on. I actually even though the Dark Reaper stemmed from an ignorant fear of black hair + black eyes. Of course, by the end of the episode, it was shown otherwise.

      “By the way, love that last picture of Victorique.”
      Victorique sure is lovely, right?

  4. Solaris says:

    I quote this: “Yea… I definitely over-thought things based on a single line”

    And, keep the good post going even if like this. I’m happy enough I got myself to see new awesome pics in here!! 😛

    • Yi says:

      Aww thanks!
      Hopefully, the awesome pics aren’t the only thing keeping you here. ^ ^

      • Solaris says:

        Of course not. This space of yours is a nice and neat place to look inside peculiar matters of japan animaton that I can’t find elsewhere and/or it’s not easy to speak about elsewhere cause it’s so crowded by idiots.
        Actually you are able to find very peculiar and interesting ideas to debate on that many people just let slide by. I like that very much.

        But this time, though you got an interesting hint, it was probably a wrong impression, after all.
        There’s any kind of racism in Gosick, let alone ‘eye racism’ (I lolled at that).
        Kujo is a transfer student from a very distant country, so it’s likely he’s actually a little of the cast aside there. Especially how this Saubre resembled a lot of those little and secluded countries in the Alps or something, that is to say they’d have a peculiar narrow mind there not to accept strangers easily.
        Moreover Victorique is the real secluded girl, but again it’s not racism but some kind of political or family issue there. Kujo befrends her and that sure doesn’t help in integrqation in such a cast off place like Saubre.
        But I’m digressing. That theme is just little developed in Gosick, and the thing is they wanted to point out is the bond between Vic and Kujo, pretty much unrelated to other people.

        • Yi says:

          Aww, thank you darling. I was just teasing, but thanks for the nice comment. ^ ^

          Anyway, the whole eye racism is definitely going off in a wrong direction based off of a single line and assumed historical context. Gosick doesn’t seem to want to address racism at all though, and the whole thing turned out to be some urban legend.

          Anyway, the whole point of this post was to be wrong, so yea. It’s kind of fun to look back on all those misfiring ideas. ^ ^

    • Yi says:

      Work those brain cells!

      • AXYPB says:

        A colleague told me that my tendency to overthink is starting to worry him after he discovered my blog. I don’t pay any heed to his complaints since I have always delighted in saying what hasn’t yet been said, even if no one else thinks it had to be. I dedicated my blog to Sonohana simply because no one else had done it before. I have to admit that I do enjoy the general reactions on and off the internet that my insights go too far at times and that reaction is a major reason I continue to write for my blog. To that end, I don’t think I’m thinking enough. I still haven’t published any of my planned character analyses because I don’t have enough information on any single character to warrant doing so. More important things keep coming up and I have to suspend my blog’s original purpose because of them. I’m sure you can understand.

        • Yi says:

          I can kind of understand the rewarding feeling that comes with seeing people’s reactions. I revel in it too, and that’s why I continue to sit down week after week to pump out those posts… Even if I sometimes struggle to force myself through laziness and business.

          “More important things keep coming up and I have to suspend my blog’s original purpose because of them.”
          Real-life can be kind of a pain at times. Have fun with all the other things you have going on. ^ ^

      • EmperorG says:

        This person needs to become a psychologist. This person’s dedication to researching the minds of lovable lesbians is quite admirable I must say. Heck, my G-Views don’t exactly benefit me economically or financially but I don’t care since it’s fun and personally rewarding. I admire the mysterious alphabetical one because deep down, this person’s reasons for posting such detailed analyses are the same as my passion for reviewing anime.

  5. VucubCaquix says:

    Over-thinking anime? We do this all the time, it’s called twitter!

    But I do believe the majority of my tumblr anime posts can be viewed as over-thinking anime. Remember my Ika Musume post and relating it to the fundamental nature of animation, and it’s advantages in many ways to the depiction of ideas compared to live-action’s depiction of events? And I remember my very first post was about existentialism in Sora no Woto, and how the themes tied into the presentation and execution of the anime itself.

    I love over-thinking this stuff, it’s why I hang out with bloggers instead of just folks on forums or 4chan. Though 4chan comes through sometimes as well.

    • Yi says:

      Haha, hence why I quoted from my tweets. ^ ^

      I remember that post on Ika Musume. I don’t really think it’s really over-thinking as much as it is just good thinking. But yea, lovely post! I need to check out your Sora no Woto post as well.

      I’m sure 4-chan and some forums are really engaging too. The only problem I have with 4-chan is that I just can’t stand a lot of its humor haha. Anyway, I like hanging out with bloggers and readers and twitter people like you. ^ ^

  6. TWWK says:

    By the way, I just want to add that’s perfectly fine and even commendable to “overthink” anime, as long as we support our assertions with evidence. In the case of the black eyes, the evidence clearly supported otherwise, but in other cases, we can definitely draw apt conclusions, even if they were CLEARLY never meant to be made. It’s just simple analysis and criticism, as we’d do with any literary work. It’s good writing. 😉

  7. gozieson says:

    Yep, it’s true that we might always overthink a few things during the intial parts of a pradicament or problem. So it is only good to see the listen to the problem completely before we can come to a conclusion about that problem.

    • Yi says:

      Yep yep. Agreed! I think I probably have the most misfires when I write a post about an unfinished series or when I tweet while watching the episode.

  8. I don’t think ^^; And I don’t remember if I overthought anything… Hmm… I’ll have to think about this for now. *stares blankly into white space*

    • Yi says:

      Haha, you might have, even if it never got released to the public. In any case, your Lily Panels inspire a lot of wild imagination about what goes on off the pages. ^ ^

  9. foshizzel says:

    What? he wasn’t related to Hei from Darker than black?! Muhahahaa

    I think its cool that you can take well Gosick and explore something with it, i haven’t watched since episode 8 or 9 sadly I haven’t had much desire to watch anymore and they have 24 episodes or so to go.

    • Yi says:

      Haven’t seen Darker than Black… So the reference is kind of lost on me. Hehe.

      Gosick isn’t the most exciting anime for me, but it is a lot of fun. And it’s only getting better as more things about the main leads and the various urban legends that thread the arcs are unraveled.

  10. Baka-Raptor says:

    The only time I ever overthought anything in anime:

  11. lovelyduckie says:

    hhhmmm…when it comes to anime I really don’t overthink things…but if I can remember a situation I’d love to post about it. In One Piece there might be one character I’m overthinking the significance of but time might prove me right (or wrong).

    • Yi says:

      I see I see. I tend to overthink unnecessarily, but sometimes I kind of just let the episodes pass too, and relax with the anime. I guess it all depends on the particular anime and my mood. It’s fun either way. ^ ^

  12. Janette says:

    I will participate, just be patient as erm…sinus infection. >.<

    • Yi says:

      Don’t worry too much about it. It was a spur of the moment idea.

      Anyway, I hope you feel better soon! Being sick sucks. 😦

  13. Valence says:

    Overthink things? We can gather up every single PMMM post out there into one mega post. . . .

    • Yi says:

      You can probably make even a mega blog just on Madoka alone. The number of theories, speculations, and stuff is mindblowing in and of itself.

      • AXYPB says:

        I thought of doing this, but there’s nothing I can add that hasn’t already been said.

        • Yi says:

          It’d seem like all that can be said about Madoka has been said, but the human mind is an incredible thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if new angles and ideas are found during this hiatus, after the series ends, and months later.

  14. ~xxx says:

    I always overthink…

    And many of those are speculations, as a result…
    I got a headache thinking how madoka can save the world…
    But hey, it’s sometimes called racing against a plot.

    Gosick was no exception…
    I had a going in few episodes and then, I seriously dropped my ideas because new shows pop out and It interested me better.

    And in the end it didn’t help at all… what a bother.

    • Yi says:

      It’s fun to speculate and overthink the little things, even if it does give us headaches. I’ve spent way too many hours thinking about Madoka, Homura, and Madoka and Homura. And the same with Gosick and most anime…

  15. Aya says:

    everytime I overthink on fiction :anime,manga,novel,short story,any movies I only find flaws in them -_- but this time i give point because this racism really in RL what if you are different from the others. I pretty sure this race racism really eyes color and how they insult them just symbolism.

    • Yi says:

      I don’t think Gosick intended to reference Elliott’s experiment at all. It was just a case of my faulty connections. By the way, most times when I overthink about fiction, I find flaws too. ^ ^

  16. abscissa says:

    Didn’t you just make me over think Madoka’s pseudo physics? ^^

    Well at first, I wasn’t convinced with Homura time-travelling theory. I was pro dream theory and it turned out to be wrong. And now, everybody hates and condemns Kyubey, but I still don’t find him evil at all. Perhaps I’m incorrect again, but I always stand by to what I believe until proven wrong.

    • Yi says:

      Haha yea Madoka. The comment sections of that post still make my head hurt.

      About Kyubey… I guess with two more episodes to go, the verdict is still out. So far, I’m hating that little furry thing though, but things may yet change. After all, Madoka has given us quite a few ups, downs, and surprises.

  17. Nopy says:

    I think Kujo was just discriminated against because of the legends that were going around.

    You have an interesting project proposal there, I’m going to have to take some time to go back and see where I’ve made too much out of nothing.

  18. afkeroge says:

    This would sure be fun! I’ll be sure to link back.

  19. E says:

    Eye racism? Hahaha, you’re cute!

  20. biotoxic says:

    Haha, your story reminds me of a post I made on a forum way back when I started interacting with others online in regards to anime. It was some drivel about Rosario + Vampire and school oppression. Just thinking back to it now makes me laugh at myself. The forum and post are long gone now, reading it now would probably make your head hurt.

    Since then I tend not to over think things in anime, or at least not post about them. Maybe that takes some of the fun out of watching and satisfaction noticing something others don’t.

    Also not having twitter at my finger tips to spout whatever I’m thinking at the time helps. 😆

    • AXYPB says:

      Perhaps I should get one myself to keep shorthand notes on character traits when I’m not at home.

    • Yi says:

      Must have been quite a post you made in the forum. Now I’m really curious. ^ ^

      I don’t think it takes the fun out of watching anime when we just let the episodes pass. After all, I do that all the time, especially when I’m looking to relax.

      Anyway, I probably tweet a bit too much. I usually tweet whatever comes to my mind as I watch anime, and so I’ve had to delete quite a few silly tweets over the months.

  21. lvlln says:

    See, I don’t think you were overthinking it at all. Though there IS a non-race based explanation for the Black Reaper nickname, the anime did not present it. Thus, for all intents and purposes, for the viewer, that explanation doesn’t exist. Then, left to our own devices, it is only natural to conclude that the nickname and comments about eye color are based on race, given the protagonist’s situation as the only Asian in a European school.

    That’s not overthinking. That’s coming to a logical conclusion based on information available to you. It’s a failure of the show that it didn’t present it in the proper context.

    • Yi says:

      When you put it like that, I feel much more justified in making that claim even now knowing what Black Reaper refers to. ^ ^
      The fact that Kujo’s the only Asian in the school (and possibly in miles) is also pretty significant. I’m a bit surprised Gosick doesn’t really touch on that at all other than a “Chinaman” from a side character in one of the episodes.

      p.s. Thanks for the tweets!

  22. Accelerator says:

    These antics never end, do they? Well, on a side note-Victorique(French Spelling) Victorica(Pronounciation and proper English conversion) is indeed pretty, you cant go wrong with a petite cute kuuder with a mysterious past that sits in a high botanical garden all day playing detective with her “fountain of wisdom”

    Well, in any case, this anime plays things out in a very special style. The imaginary country, the spinoff cases and real-based folklore, and its way of making suspense and comedy moments transition perfectly. What I enjoy about the series though (Obviously containing mystery) is to pay close attention to the scenes and beat the characters to the conclusion of the case, everything is pretty obvious, but the cases requiring specific knowledge on local and in story (fictional) facts are the impossible ones to solve. Hence, it would be required for you to actually know the history surrounding something (which is virtually impossible having a fictional setting and, well, to put blandly, being a FICTIONAL story ~depending on if it is the anime and not the light novels, the correct term would be simply “anime”~)
    I digress, im rambling again. Back to the topic though.

    Gosick is somewhat ingenious with its connection to real life and folklore and adapting it to fit the story. The eyes, the hair, the springtime reaper, all examples of this, though many anime have allready done the same, in a different sense. Arent we clever?

    • Yi says:

      Early on, it is possible to play detective like Victorique, and beat her to solving the murders. For example, the first episode has a very simple locked room mystery. However, recent arcs have strayed away from the puzzle-type mysteries to ones based on in-story folklore, and require context to solve. I actually like this more, because the earlier ones are kind of insulting to our intelligence. Further, the more recent arcs build better suspense. The urban legends and back stories also thread arcs together better than the puzzle-murders.

      Anyway, agreed about the folklore and the loli. Loving them!

  23. Pingback: On Quantum Physics, The Fourth Dimension and Magical Girls… Wait, What? | Ambivalence , or is it ambiguity?

  24. Have I ever overthought something like that? Er…now I have to sit and actually think about it. I don’t know that I have, because when I watch anime I usually try not to think too hard unless the plot really is as complicated as all hell. Hmm…

    • Yi says:

      I guess it kind of depends on the anime a lot too. Something like Madoka easily makes the audience think, while something like K-On!, I just want to chill to it without giving it too much thought.

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  26. Pingback: Overthinking: Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? | Mind of Miku

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