1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?
I have to say that would be Rin's. It's an emotional rollercoaster almost from beginning to the end. The Bad End scene in the rain was especially moving.
2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?
I first completed Emi's path. I didn't use any guides (there weren't any yet), but saving at each choice point, it was rather easy to tell if a choice led to the good or the bad end.
3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?
If you ask about the quality of the writing:
RIn > Emi > Hanako > Lilly > Shizune
I rank Lilly rather low, because I think her plot twist - leaving the country - was a very clichée and her starting a relationship just prior to that felt not quite like it was in Charakter for her.
While I don't dislike Shizune's path, I thought there was too much filler in it - characters like Hideaki that didn't really serve any purpose etc.
If you were asking me to rate the paths according to my enjoyment of them, it would be Emi > Hanako > Shizune > Lilly > Rin
(Rin's path is really well written and it did evoke emotions, but it wasn't good emotions...
4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?
Emi - Concern
Hanako - Respect
Lilly - Honesty
Shizune - Fidelity
Rin - Empathy
5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)
Hard to say. I was in the beta, so I probably spent as much time in the forum reporting stuff as I spent actually reading the path. Also I did lots of reloading to check out the other branches... An estimate would be about 8 hours per path, longer for Rin and Shizune.
6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.
The graveyard scene from Emi's path: I really liked how Hivemind let Emi work her way up to the great reveleation - Even if that revelation wasn't that great a surprise...
7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.
The Misha H-scene in Shizune's path: The awkwardness of the situation transferred really well to the reader.
8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?
Not really. There were a lot of situations I recognized from my own experience of past relationships, especially in Emi's and to a lesser extent Hanako's route - which may be one of the reasons I liked those routes best - but I don't know if any of the "lessons learned from KS" will be applicable for future relationships.
I think that KS has taught me a lot about people with disabilities, though, since I have next to no real life experience with those.
If you have more questions, feel free to ask. I'll be glad to help in the name of science