Clever idea makes you the hero of a dating simulator

It’s often said that people think of themselves as the protagonists of their own lives, and it’s true that moments that seem mundane to others take on a special significance when they’re happening to us. Now, thanks to Japanese Twitter user @itopoid, there’s a way to let others view your personal narrative-quality moments through your eyes, thanks to the Main Character Lens (or “Shujinkou Lens” in Japanese).

The clever yet simple design consists of a rectangular piece of clear plastic with a border designed to look like the text box and command buttons of a dating simulator video game running on a PC. When you hold up the lens to snap a picture, if you let your camera auto-focus on the plastic frame everything behind it will blur, giving it the slightly distorted look common to background art in romance games.

Specifically, @itopoid says the Main Character Lens recreates “the moment three seconds before a female character appears,” and so the messages in the text box (40 different versions are available) often contain a greeting from an unseen character identified only as “???”.

▼ ???: “Welcome back. I’ve been waiting for you for so long.”

▼ ???: “Even if it’s an average life, I’m happy if we can spend our days together.”

Some of the lenses, though, contain environmental descriptions, which can make for some funny effects depending on where you use them, as with this photo shot in front of a public men’s restroom.

“I can hear a strange voice…yeah, I definitely don’t want to get involved with whatever’s going on.”

Unfortunately, you can’t just walk into a store and buy Main Character Lenses (which can be attached to a chain or cord to use as a key chain). To date, @itopoid has offered them for sale at the Comitia independent artists convention, priced at 300 yen (US$2.70) each. That price, though, along with the exact design customers get being random, makes them sound like a perfect fit for Japan’s capsule toy vending machines, so hopefully they’ll show up in there eventually.

Source: Jin, Twitter/@itopoid