Just a quick opinion about Shizune's route

A forum for general discussion of the game: Open to all punters
Post Reply
Mutty99
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:31 am

Just a quick opinion about Shizune's route

Post by Mutty99 » Sun May 03, 2020 11:34 am

WARNING! Spoilers ahead for all routes!

So, Shizune. Great character with an interesting personality.
Her route though; that's another deal.
I'll explain now why Shizune, in my opinion, has the worst route of the entire game.

First, the story has more complex lexical choices: not a defect, but it's far from the style of the other routes.
Also, there is a fair amount of lines, and all of them are very long.
This post states that Shizune's route has the longest amount of words (more than 90k) and the longest average word count x line, with a value around 18.
This makes the story heavier than expected: Shizune's route took me the longest time to finish, even longer than Rin's one.

Now, to the main point (personal opinions incoming): my biggest issue with this route is that there is no memorable scene, except from the endings and the only choice which determines if you get the Good or Bad ending, and the relative consequences.

Examples for every girl next.

Memorable scene/s:
-) From Emi's route? The rooftop discussion from Act 4 (Good Ending) where Emi finally stops being stubborn and opens her heart to Hisao.
-) From Lilly's route? The hug and the confession with the sunset behind, the hospital reunion in the Good ending.
-) From Hanako's route? When Hisao shows her his surgeon scar, when she does the same with the burned part of her body, and when in the Good ending they open to each other and finally become as close as they always subconsciously wanted to be.
-) From Rin's route? When she cries in front of Hisao, unable to express her true feelings towards him. And finally,
-) From Shizune's route?
Nope, not a chance.

It's more like "Eh cool, me and the blue haired gal have been dating for a while and i visited her house, then met her brother and her annoying dad" and nothing else before the only choice of the game.
That doesn't mean i dislike this route because it lacks of choices, but rather because the way the story develops doesn't convince me at all.
It's true that there is Misha's confession before the final scenes, but that just feels more like a band-aid solution to me, to put an intense emotional moment at the end of the route when the entire story lacked of scenes like that.
That's the impression i've felt. Please consider that your opinions might differ from mine.

However, i can say there has been a positive aspect from this experience: i changed completely (in better) my opinion on Shizune as a character after finishing her route, from sign-language tomboy to strong-willed and determined girl.

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3536
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: Just a quick opinion about Shizune's route

Post by brythain » Sun May 03, 2020 12:01 pm

There's a great earlier thread here which might help you out.

Of course, Megumeru, who is Japanese himself, wrote this.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

Scramblers
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 02, 2020 3:24 pm

Re: Just a quick opinion about Shizune's route

Post by Scramblers » Sun May 03, 2020 2:41 pm

It's kind of cool that we've posted dueling threads within 24 hours of each other.

Now, I certainly don't want to tread on anyone's personal preferences, so please consider this response only in the spirit of friendly competition.
no memorable scene, except from the endings
It looks like this contradicts the examples you give. You discount Shizune's ending scenes, but then mention ending scenes for three of the four other girls. For Emi, you only give her ending scene.
but rather because the way the story develops doesn't convince me at all.
I'm not sure this follows. You gave your previous argument in terms of memorable scenes, but here you're talking about whether the story was convincing or not. These are different things. In particular, I might agree that Shizune's story lacks scenes of the same ... let's say emotional intensity ... as the other routes. But I still find it the most convincing.
to put an intense emotional moment at the end of the route when the entire story lacked of scenes like that
But, again, the examples you gave for the other girls are scenes at or close to the end of their stories, so Shizune is no different in this regard. In general, the most intense parts of a story come at the climax. The rest of the story is needed to build up the necessary groundwork to justify that moment.

User avatar
Oddball
Posts: 2894
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:05 pm

Re: Just a quick opinion about Shizune's route

Post by Oddball » Mon May 04, 2020 10:26 pm

But, again, the examples you gave for the other girls are scenes at or close to the end of their stories, so Shizune is no different in this regard. In general, the most intense parts of a story come at the climax. The rest of the story is needed to build up the necessary groundwork to justify that moment.
Naturally the climax is going to come near the end, but for most of the other routes, it was built up to. Shizune's route never builds up to anything.

In Shizune's route, the big emotional moment feels more like it comes out of nowhere. It was teased at the most. Suddenly Misha is depressed. ... few scenes later, she's fine again. That's the climax.

And the resolution to it has nothing to do with Hisao or Shizune.
Not Dead Yet

Scramblers
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 02, 2020 3:24 pm

Re: Just a quick opinion about Shizune's route

Post by Scramblers » Tue May 05, 2020 1:34 pm

This is a different criticism to the one Mutty was making. That was about absence of emotional scenes; this is due to a lack of connection.

So, is Misha's wobble disconnected to the story? I don't think so.

First, her depression does not come out of nowhere. When we begin the story, Shizune and Misha's friendship is on the brink. It's not evident at first, because Hisao is ignorant of it, but it is there.

Shizune doesn't love Misha, but she does rely on her. This is Misha's poor substitute for love: She can't be loved, but at least she can be needed. For her own part, Shizune doesn't notice Misha's emotional requirements and has started to view the friendship as largely instrumental. They're locked in a corrosive co-dependent embrace.

Hisao's entrance shatters this equilibrium. He learns sign language, so Misha is no longer the only person Shizune can talk to. He crashes their visit home.

And now there's no way Misha can win. She wants Shizune to be happy, but the only way to do that is through Hisao. Go one way and she loses her best friend, go the other and she betrays her. Previously she could pretend everything was alright. Now she can't even do that.

That is where her misery comes from. What about the resolution?

This is more subtle. We're not just resolving Misha's problem, here. Because what's hurting her is not isolated – everyone has a hand in it, and everyone has a stake in it. So we resolve everyone's problem at the same time. So what happens?

Hisao and Shizune actively work to make sure Misha doesn't feel excluded. They try and they fail and they try again. In the end, though, Shizune has to take a step back to allow Misha to have some space to herself, and to realise she's her own person.

Hisao, who began the story a passive victim, becomes an active player, and even briefly takes the lead, to help his friends. Shizune, who has behaved abominably in pursuit of her ideal, is forced to confront the hurt she's caused her best friend, relax some of her controlling tendencies, and re-evaluate her own behaviour. Misha, who started off little more than an appendage to Shizune, discovers her own independence.

This is the climax. It deeply involves Misha, Hisao and Shizune through an intricate bit of storytelling that is fully grounded in everything that came before.

Mutty99
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:31 am

Re: Just a quick opinion about Shizune's route

Post by Mutty99 » Mon May 18, 2020 11:07 am

You understood pretty well what I was trying to say.
Misha's confession is the climax of a series of negative emotions: the fear of not being needed by others, of being cast apart, of solitude. That last one is even mentioned at some point in her confession to Hisao, I think.
As I was saying though, this climax imo doesn't provide enough for the lack of emotional connection overall in Shizune's route.

Maybe it doesn't pretend to be as emotional as the others...
In that case, this would be both its best quality and its worst defect.

Post Reply