Written by TheBigN
I’d like to think that it’s common knowledge that as we are all separate individuals, we each have our own way of looking at the world. By extension of that, more often than not, we can see the world in a way that makes sense to us, irrespective of how things actually “are” (and how do we know what that reality is?). The idea of “I take your reality and subjugate it with my own” is a universal human trait in my reality. Because of that, as already stated, bias is inherent in humans, and it’s probably impossible to completely nullify when doing anything in life. So for some fun, I feel like rehashing observations when applying this to watching anime. As always, hopefully it makes sense to you as it (sorta) did to me. 😛
I’ve mentioned before that when watching series, I try my best to keep expectations out of it, but I also note how hard that is to do so. To make it more general, tabula rasa when I’m watching anime is impossible; I can’t block out everything that makes me me, like my life experiences, or my desires. I can take out some parts of the equation, like those pesky expectations (Or so I’d like to think; it’s my state of mind, remember? :P). But it definitely doesn’t mean that partiality is bad either; I actively look to get something out of anime, whether it’s enjoyment or edification, so bias factors in strongly there. We all have favorite series and “genres” that we prefer to watch over others, etc.
Things can get interesting when we deliberately place out bias into the viewing experience, which is where the “goggles” idea comes from for me. You know, everyone sees what they want to see, and that’s okay for the most part. I’m one of those anime fans you know that like to believe that there are couples of the female/female variety via “implicit” hints, statements, actions, etc. Like the Saya/Kirino scene in Bamboo Blade episode 24 (OMG SO HAWT)? Nanoha/Fate? Konata/Kagamin? ARIA (preferably the apparently rare Alice/Akari pairing)? Marimite? Okay, Marimite’s a given, but the point here is that I’m a loser yuri fanboy and proud of it. And there are other “goggles” that I have other than the yuri-tinted ones, but I’d like to keep those under wraps for the moment. 😛
It doesn’t mean that these goggles are on the same power at every instance. The sensitivity changes based on how “strong” I find the impetus (the goggle activators) to be. Are the characters “close” enough? Is there enough evidence there to make things work? Do I like whoever’s involved? There are people with the same eyewear who can take things too far (like the “lol lol lol yuri everywhere” fans), yet even then, they have different responses based on the situation at hand as well, and they just probably have a broader range of visibility, which is related to their own bias.
Everyone has one or several pairs of goggles/selectivity filters of different varieties based on their desires, preferences, viewpoints, etc., and I think they help make anime a more interactive experience. From things like making blog posts or writing fanfiction based on the goggles you use to arguing or complaining about people who profess a certain goggle gospel on forums and the like, of if you are one those pulpit-thumping people, anime becomes more than what you watch. With my bias, I consider becoming more active in anime a good thing (and I feel like I’m right here. Lol opinion :3). It’s not all great though, as if we’re not too careful and leave them on in our sleep, or overuse them, we could lose our ground to what really are the standards that make up reality as we know it.
This over-reliance explains at least where we get vehement reactions when opposite pairs of goggles or the same type with different visibilities meet. Then we get arguments about which character is right for Shin in True Tears, or if the anime is doing things right in our eyes (like the annoying people who claim that the Tsukihime anime doesn’t exist. Of course, their goggles contrast with mine, which are better. :P), for example. Based on how strongly you depend on them, people can clash realities, leading to people misguided and heartbroken. Or at least people who are needlessly pissed off. When it gets close to that point, it’s good to step back at those times, and realize that a.) What we’re doing is projecting our desires/wants/hopes/fears/dreams onto what actually is and b.) We don’t really need to do that to get what we want out of it. I feel that most people realize that the concept of “goggles” as a whole doesn’t really constitute enough to be considered Serious Business.
But what do I know? Will I feel the same way when a Satchii (goggles version, of course) comes and destroys my carefully selected pairs? That’s for me and my goggles to think about. I’d like to think that as long as I can continue to fantasize over pairings that will probably never happen, I’m good. Could I just sit back, goggles off, and watch anime as it is? Yeah, but then you wouldn’t have this blog to have fun with. 😉