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Old 2012-03-14, 08:19   Link #150
'Dear Elhit'
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 42
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
If a non existing person tries to get the attention of an existing person,the existing person can still choose to ignore the non existing person and everything will be alright.

If an existing person tries to get the attention of a non existing person, even if the non existing person ignores the existing person it's already too late.

Mei could have not said a word to Kouichi and not even looked at him it wouldn't have changed a thing.
Originally Posted by Skyfall View Post
All this is information that Izumi isn't aware of though, which wouldn't have been part of her decision making, thus it can't be used to justify her actions. I suppose one could argue whether Mei not being truthful about Misaki being her twin is something worth condemning, but this and Izumi's actions being justified based on what she knows are two separate issues.
A simple question would illustrate why I believe that it is the same: If the world treats you as non-existent, what does that in effect make the world to you?

The ugly truth is that the counter-measure works both ways. It is not just a matter of students ignoring the "non-existent", but also a case of the "non-existent" playing an active role not to draw attention.

Recall at the beginning how many of us speculated about the things we'd do if we were made "invisible", the pranks we'd pull just to annoy the people who chose to ignore us. We have all unwittingly assumed that being "non-existent" is a passive responsibility but, if you think carefully about it, in practice, it isn't as simple as we'd think. The one who is ignored does indeed have a responsibility to not make a nuisance of himself or herself, for example, or do things to draw attention.

It's interesting to consider why Mei, of all the people in the class, was asked to take on the responsibility. Why not Teshigawara, for example? It's very likely because people noticed that Mei, of everyone in the class, was the least social, and therefore presented the smallest risk of being a complete oaf like Teshigawara, who might inadvertently do something that would force people to acknowledge him.

Now, here's where the bold part of the above quotes comes into play, because it makes a very reasonable point: the assumption that the counter-measure fails the moment the students acknowledge the "non-existent".

It is an assumption that this is the condition for failure. I call it an assumption because of a point I already brought up: If everyone is so afraid of acknowledging the "non-existent", even by accident, then the simplest and safest thing to do would be to quarantine the individual at home. Why put up with the risk of even accidental acknowledgement by letting the "non-existent" student stay in the classroom?

It would seem, therefore, that the students, some of them at least, believe that accidental acknowledgement would not break the counter-measure. It's more likely, though, that everyone just tries as hard as they can to make it work — the occasional blooper is expected, but so long as everyone actively keeps with the programme, no harm is done. That, at least, is what they seem to believe.

In practice, it is very difficult to imagine how a student can go the whole year without at least one or two instances of someone accidentally acknowledging him or her. Even in Kouichi's case, for example, Teshigawara had technically flouted the rule by curtly apologising to him before walking away. Yet the other students didn't consider him to be at fault.

So, to come back to Mei's responsibility as the "non-existent", while she couldn't prevent Kouichi from approaching her, and is indeed not to blame that he does so, she could have simply ignored his advances and given him the cold shoulder. Imagine this: There is this cute girl in class that you try to hit on, but she keeps ignoring you. What would you eventually do? You'd most probably give up and move on.

That, at least, seems to be what Izumi and some students think, leading them to believe that Mei does indeed have partial responsibility for letting the counter-measure fail. I strongly disagree with the suggestion that Izumi is acting emotionally instead of thinking straight, because based on what we have seen of her personality and character, she isn't one who is prone to being emotional.

Rather, there are reasonable extenuating circumstances, such as those I've illustrated above, that explain how Izumi reached her conclusions in this episode. I'm not saying that she is above criticism and, admirably, neither does she. I do, on the other hand, have massive beef with those who feel that Izumi was acting irrationally in this episode when there are, in fact, sufficient grounds for her to do what she did.
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