The problem with Shizune

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dewelar
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by dewelar » Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:17 pm

brythain wrote:
dewelar wrote:
brythain wrote:When Hisao learns that he doesn't have to chase after her success, but that (in a very ironically atypical way to a Japanese) he's the one who will get her to be her best, they'll do well. :)
It's a bit of both, really. While I agree that being complementary is the ideal, for these two it should be a complementarity that eventually at least approaches an equilibrium. Basically, the best case scenario is that Hisao will "chase" Shizune in some ways, while Shizune will "chase" Hisao in others, in order to get each other to be their best.
Ah, yes, I agree with that. Perhaps the way I put it seemed a little one-sided.
Yes and no. Sometimes providing support and/or working from behind the scenes to ensure one's partner achieves their goal (which I thought you might have been implying) is the right kind of complement for a particular person. I just don't think it's the right kind of complement for Shizune.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by minimike96 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:21 pm

dewelar wrote:Yes and no. Sometimes providing support and/or working from behind the scenes to ensure one's partner achieves their goal (which I thought you might have been implying) is the right kind of complement for a particular person. I just don't think it's the right kind of complement for Shizune.
I think Shizune needs someone who can push her and she can push back.
She needs someone to bounce off of. They help each other up and up until they both are doing their best.
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dewelar
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by dewelar » Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:26 pm

minimike96 wrote:
dewelar wrote:Yes and no. Sometimes providing support and/or working from behind the scenes to ensure one's partner achieves their goal (which I thought you might have been implying) is the right kind of complement for a particular person. I just don't think it's the right kind of complement for Shizune.
I think Shizune needs someone who can push her and she can push back.
She needs someone to bounce off of. They help each other up and up until they both are doing their best.
Exactly :D
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:09 pm

It's been a while since I played through Shizune's route, because it left such a bad taste in my mouth. I enjoyed getting to know Misha much more.

I know each girl has their strong personality quirks, and they're amplified a bit in the beginning of the game to establish them.

Speaking from personal experience, I've known a lot of people that have a bossy, confident attitude that crosses the line into cockiness very easily. I know the whole point is to break through that shell to find the beautiful person they are underneath...but at this point in my life, I've learned that the majority of people that come off like that have nothing behind that shell - it's all they are, and the amount of emotional energy you have to expend to get to the point you find that out is exhausting and disheartening. I've tried doing that with too many people and it takes a very long time to recover.

Also, of the different routes, while I'm sure Shizune and Hisao have genuine affection for each other, the relationship seems more like one of convenience than of actual need or desire. The "hole" that Hisao fills in the other girls (get your mind out of the gutter, ya pervs) didn't come across for me.

Once again, personal experience.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by SpunkySix » Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:36 pm

Eurobeatjester wrote:Also, of the different routes, while I'm sure Shizune and Hisao have genuine affection for each other, the relationship seems more like one of convenience than of actual need or desire. The "hole" that Hisao fills in the other girls (get your mind out of the gutter, ya pervs) didn't come across for me.
That's because, at least where I'm at now, there isn't a hole for him to fill. Shizune's faults are out in the open, and Hisao overcomes those pretty fast. After that, she doesn't really seem to have any issues to speak of.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by Trogdor » Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:24 am

The slogan on Shizune's route should be "Can you be a stylish accessory?"

If he comforts Misha, he obviously says no. Otherwise, lacking the nerve to play dirty, he never goes through the self-realization of the other routes and ends up as a slight upgrade of Misha. Having been on both ends of the "treated as an accessory" so-called "relationship", I'll pass, thank you very much.

He does go through development, but it's development of a specific skill rather than enlightenment. Even Misha can learn new tricks.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by brythain » Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:56 am

Trogdor wrote:The slogan on Shizune's route should be "Can you be a stylish accessory?"
As I pointed out earlier, the expectation in an experience of this kind is for the player/reader to be the centre of attention. That the player/reader is not, in the sense of having his agency apparently thwarted at every turn, is what really pisses people off.
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.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by BMFJack » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:16 am

brythain wrote:
Trogdor wrote:The slogan on Shizune's route should be "Can you be a stylish accessory?"
As I pointed out earlier, the expectation in an experience of this kind is for the player/reader to be the centre of attention. That the player/reader is not, in the sense of having his agency apparently thwarted at every turn, is what really pisses people off.
It didn't bother me that Hisao had a tertiary role in Shizune's route. What bothers me about her route is the nature of their relationship. I keep hearing people say "With Shizune it's more about what she does than what she says, actions carry more weight, etc" and sure, she does a nice thing or two for her boyfriend throughout the route. They're relatively minor, but they're there. There isn't anything in her route that suggests (to me, at least) that she cares about Hisao in the slightest. She was intrigued by him, and she wooed him. It felt no different than any other of a thousand conquests.

Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if Shizune's only motivation for getting Hisao was to try to get Misha to stop loving her. Which, in typical Shizune fashion, failed miserably. She's good at games, and she can win damn near anything, but the girl has no social tact.

It'll seem weird for me to say this, but generally speaking I like Shizune. She's intelligent, quirky, and of course beautiful. It's just the way she treats Hisao and Misha that bothers me, and since her route is all about the interactions between those three...

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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by 300BillionDegrees » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:34 am

BMFJack wrote:She's good at games, and she can win damn near anything, but the girl has no social tact.
Given that Jigoro was the primary influence in her upbringing, plus her social isolation, this isn't surprising at all.

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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by brythain » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:59 am

BMFJack wrote:There isn't anything in her route that suggests (to me, at least) that she cares about Hisao in the slightest. She was intrigued by him, and she wooed him. It felt no different than any other of a thousand conquests.
What do you think she could have done that would indicate that she cared about Hisao?
I'm going to look at Act 2 alone (because Acts 3 and 4 have even stronger evidence that she does).

SPOILERS FOLLOW (for those who have somehow got here and are still unspoiled)

Act 2:

Go through the written interaction that Shizune has with Hisao, in which she explicitly says that the stalls she showed Hisao around during the festival were the ones he had built, because... "I wanted you to be able to see and enjoy what you had done." Hisao himself says he is touched by this, but he wonders why she would go out of her way to do it, and she replies, "Because you were depressed." She then wishes him luck on the exam that is to come. Hisao then decides he wants to learn sign language because he's sad that he had to converse with her through written notes. Later, when he talks to Misha, Misha tells him, "Now that you've joined [the student council] , she [i.e. Shizune] works harder than before since she wants to make a good impression." In that same conversation, we learn that at the very least, Shizune finds Hisao interesting and was happy that he'd joined.

When they reassemble the stalls for Tanabata later, Shizune brings him an extra can of drink, and says that if he's going to be so helpful, she should look out for him too. She says she's impressed and very happy that Hisao bothered to learn sign language. During their second stall-assembly session, she makes lunch for him, and stresses that the important thing in a relationship is choice (ironic on a meta level, since our protagonist doesn't have much of that)... Lilly comes along and the two squabble, while Hisao reluctantly (and deviously) translates. Later, Shizune reveals indirectly that she can read his lips, by praising his ability to translate.

The best part of Act 2 is that at the end, when Hisao asks her if she wants to be his girlfriend, and she steps forward to him, agreeing. It's not Shizune doing the wooing; it's Hisao, and she's allowed herself to be wooed, and she is surprised by everything that's happening to her—to them.

=====

Now, I do suppose that you could want more control over the relationship, but then if you did, where's Shizune's agency in terms of showing that she cares for you? And does wooing someone automatically make the acts involved -not- acts of caring? I think that in many Asian societies, what Shizune does in Act 2 alone constitutes a fair bit of positive signalling. Misha certainly sees it as that, if you look carefully.
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.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by SpunkySix » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:47 pm

brythain wrote:
Trogdor wrote:The slogan on Shizune's route should be "Can you be a stylish accessory?"
As I pointed out earlier, the expectation in an experience of this kind is for the player/reader to be the centre of attention. That the player/reader is not, in the sense of having his agency apparently thwarted at every turn, is what really pisses people off.
It's not even that though... Hisao isn't just "not the center of attention" he's "just sort of there and not really an equal even". I'm hoping that aspect improves over the route, because right now I like it, but that aspect makes me feel like Hisao's just a pawn.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by brythain » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:05 pm

SpunkySix wrote:
brythain wrote:
Trogdor wrote:The slogan on Shizune's route should be "Can you be a stylish accessory?"
As I pointed out earlier, the expectation in an experience of this kind is for the player/reader to be the centre of attention. That the player/reader is not, in the sense of having his agency apparently thwarted at every turn, is what really pisses people off.
It's not even that though... Hisao isn't just "not the center of attention" he's "just sort of there and not really an equal even". I'm hoping that aspect improves over the route, because right now I like it, but that aspect makes me feel like Hisao's just a pawn.
Perhaps a good experiment to try would be this: don't think of the VN authors as 'making you do things' but think of Hisao as choosing to do the things he does in the VN. He isn't manipulated into learning sign language. He stands up to Jigoro on his own. He does a lot of things that are positive, but -he- does them, not you in his place. This is what makes some people upset. It's hard to think of a VN as a game you can win when you don't really do anything. But that's the 'novel' part of it, surely. The irony is that people who despise Shizune for game-playing and manipulation quite often would like more opportunities to 'play the game' and manipulate her.
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.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by Liminaut » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:29 pm

dewelar wrote:
minimike96 wrote:
dewelar wrote:Yes and no. Sometimes providing support and/or working from behind the scenes to ensure one's partner achieves their goal (which I thought you might have been implying) is the right kind of complement for a particular person. I just don't think it's the right kind of complement for Shizune.
I think Shizune needs someone who can push her and she can push back.
She needs someone to bounce off of. They help each other up and up until they both are doing their best.
Exactly :D
At the point of her life the VN happens, Shizune needs someone who can support her unconditionally and she can be a romantic partner with. Misha only served the first half of the order (poor Misha!). I think in a few years she'll want someone who can challenge and inspire her, and drive her the way she can drive others. Sorry about that, Hisao.

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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by SpunkySix » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:21 pm

brythain wrote:Perhaps a good experiment to try would be this: don't think of the VN authors as 'making you do things' but think of Hisao as choosing to do the things he does in the VN. He isn't manipulated into learning sign language. He stands up to Jigoro on his own. He does a lot of things that are positive, but -he- does them, not you in his place. This is what makes some people upset. It's hard to think of a VN as a game you can win when you don't really do anything. But that's the 'novel' part of it, surely. The irony is that people who despise Shizune for game-playing and manipulation quite often would like more opportunities to 'play the game' and manipulate her.
Yeah, I can see that. I don't think you can really equivocate Shizune "playing games and manipulating" people who are actually real in her universe with the reader "playing games and manipulating" a protagonist that is in a VN, but I see the idea.

EDIT ADDITION: My problem was more about Hisao clearly being the inferior force in the relationship itself though, and not on player agency. He makes decisions, but none of them really involve what happens in the relationship as far as decision making goes. He learns sign language and stands up to Jigoro, but that's independent of Shizune. When she's around, it seems like Hisao is basically her tool, which doesn't always mean treating him coldly, mind you- in fact, she can be very kind and thoughtful/considerate of him- but it seems like that's because it works for what she wants. When what she wants and what Hisao wants contradict, Shizune seems to win and that's that.

That isn't healthy.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by brythain » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:18 pm

SpunkySix wrote:When what she wants and what Hisao wants contradict, Shizune seems to win and that's that.

That isn't healthy.
I'd agree it isn't healthy, but I think you have little evidence for that. I've just replayed Act 2. For example, in the infamous rock-paper-scissors event, Hisao does the tie breaking by splitting the reward. Shizune feels that she hasn't earned it and indicates so. Earlier, in the Kenji-package event, Shizune loses and she takes it honourably. She does negotiate with Hisao, and she's willing to take a fair loss. Perhaps what you sense is that Hisao actually doesn't have as much direction as she has, or thinks he hasn't. He admires her, but he also admits the problems of attempting to psychoanalyse her. His fascination for her is possibly rivalled by her fascination for him.

But here's one MAJOR problem—unlike the other girls, she's faraway the least able to express herself (Rin comes close in some ways, but you can try to work with her, and she isn't as opaque as Shizune can seem). The others can if they want to, but don't always do so; in that regard, Lilly can be even more frustrating because it's hard to tell what goes on in her head—the snarl-at-Kenji episode was quite a shocker, and so is her biting wit on the occasion when she encounters Hisao and Shizune at the stall reassembly session.

In the end, Shizune seems to think that she has lost, whether in the good or bad ending. The difference is that in the good ending, she picks herself up after acknowledging how her friends have played a part in this; in the bad ending, she blames herself for being a bad friend.

I suspect that what you're thinking is this: if you had a relationship with a girl like Shizune, you would feel as if you were in an unbalanced and unfair relationship in which she gained more from you than you from her. But perhaps that's the 'lesson' here and in Rin's route—with someone who has serious communication problems, the relationship will always be a little unbalanced; can you be a better person and complement the other? Or is it too much a sacrifice for your own sense of self? In the end, it might be unbalanced, but not constantly so—it's a dynamic imbalance, not a constant inferiority.
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)

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