If you like anime you might have heard of the series this Spring called Kiznaiver.
If not, the basic principal (at its basic level) is that a group of people have been forced to feel each other’s physical and (slightly spoiler-y I guess if you haven’t seen the last episode but something you should have guessed was coming) emotional pain. Its a experiment being carried out to bring, allegedly, peace to the world.
In the anime they weren’t given a choice but for this discussion you have the choice.
So, to better understand people, would YOU agree to share someone’s pain?
As I said its not really the same as what the kids in Kiznaiver are going through as they had no choice.
They basically have a group of very different people all bonded by a scar on their wrist. A boy who no longer feels any pain physically or mentally, a girl who feels all his pain because she’s in love with him, a masochist, someone who is a bit of a bully but also just does silly things and so on and so forth. They all have their own pain in some form or the other. The experiment at its simplest seems to be that they represent different facets of society but everything they knew about each other was purely superficial. Nico is weird and believes in fairies? Well actually no she’s rich and smart and didn’t want people to think she was a snob so pretends to be weird so people won’t judge her (though she is a bit weird.) The most popular kid in their class obviously has no problems, he’s good looking and everyone loves him. Actually he works fucking hard to be that weight because he was over weight as a kid and was completely ashamed of it… Slowly, though also not that slowly as they keep getting thrown into situations to force them to bond, they are learning that the labels they put on people mean nothing.
The idea of the experiment is a really interesting one, its not terribly well done at times in the show, but its one that fascinates me.
I think one reason it does is because I suffer from anxiety and the like and when you try to explain to people how it hurts not just mentally but physically they don’t understand. If there was a way to link someone to me for just a day it would change so many people’s perception on mental illness that it might save more people’s lives.
Would you want too though?
Even if, unlike the anime, you had a choice over who you are connected too would you WANT to share their pain?
Would someone WANT to be joined to me after knowing that I wake up struggling to breath, any time I leave the house my breathing restricts painfully leaving me with a pain in my chest and a constant stitch in my side all day? How about my migraines which I get nearly daily due to the stress of having to leave the house? Then there are the ups and downs of depression and anxiety, you might be feeling fine and then suddenly be in tears. It’ll be new to you, unfortunately it happens to me on a daily basis.
For any guys reading this would you WANT to spend a month connected to a woman? Would you be willing to go through the pain of having a period to better understand your partner, mother, sisters, friends etc?
Not being able to FEEL exactly how other people feel is a big barrier in society. You can’t imagine it therefore you try to connect it to something you have felt yourself and then weigh up on your personal bias whether you think it will or won’t be as painful. Some people don’t configure in that other people just hurt differently then others. My sister never had a painful period in her life up until she gave birth, the first time she had one after that she apologised to me for calling me a wimp for years.
Another question would be this…
I believe, though I get very confused at times with the amount of explaining they actually do in the show, that by sharing you basically take on a percentage of that pain. So for example the main character managed to survive basically a suicide attempt as the pain of jumping off a bridge was shared by all of the characters. (That scene wasn’t quite as bad as it sounds…. It was worse in different ways and way too funny when you realised what was going on.)
So if you could share someone’s pain would you? If it meant they might hurt a little less would you take on that pain? Would you then learn more about that person?
The point kind of feels like “you don’t know what someone is going through until you walk a mile in their shoes” and with the Kizna experiment in this anime the characters have been forced to bond with each other.
As I said their pain is shared in differing ways and they’ve been forced to look at people they wouldn’t usually look at and look beyond their exteriors. They themselves represent the “modern” deadly sins (Muscle Head Thug, High and Mighty, Imbecile, Immoral, Cunning Normal, Eccentric Headcase, Annoyingly Self-Righteous) so seeing past what they represent they are being used to find out if sharing other people’s pain will stop people from wanting to harm each other.
Its a interesting concept. I’m not sure if I’d recommend the anime itself, I love it but I’m well aware that I have a horrible sense of humour.
Regardless of whether you’ve seen it or not the question still remains. Would you?