The problem with Shizune

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Megumeru
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by Megumeru » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:02 am

brythain wrote:
Liminaut wrote:It seems to me that Shizune got a lot better at helping people after Hisao came into her life. My interpretation is that Hisao provided a vital supporting, "maternal", Ying aspect to her life that was missing with the absence of her mother.
That's a very interesting take on it. I was thinking along those lines myself, but you've said it very well. I would go further and suspect that it's her mother, not her father, that had the deathmatch competitive streak. Jigoro doesn't do competitive. He just asserts he's the best. I suspect Shizune's mother actually kept trying to force him to prove it.
Which is another reason why I believe Jigoro may act as a tough nut most of the time.

She reminds her too much of his late-wife, thus he doesn't want to lose her and goes all hostile to anyone that dares to venture close--but when she can't speak, he can't accept that she's not the 'exact copy' of his late wife and thus went a little...tsundere, I believe.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by Oddball » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:52 am

Atario wrote:
Oddball wrote:Shizune seems to focus on doing hard work for the sake of being able to say you did hard work.
I think she (explicitly says she) does it for the sake of the greater public good and/or happiness.
She also says she pisses Lilly off just so Lilly will have to do something and show some motivation. The fact that she'd rather have somebody pissed off and showing sort sort of drive than happy and not accomplishing things shows me more of her real drives than what she says.

She wants to accomplish things. Naturally she wants to accomplish things that make people happy but give the choice between people working and people being happy, she takes the work.
She reminds her too much of his late-wife, thus he doesn't want to lose her and goes all hostile to anyone that dares to venture close--but when she can't speak, he can't accept that she's not the 'exact copy' of his late wife and thus went a little...tsundere, I believe.
Granted we know nothing about his wife, but I thought it was fairly obvious that Shizune shares many of Jigoro's traits. Even Hisao manages to pick up on this.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by brythain » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:00 pm

Oddball wrote:... I thought it was fairly obvious that Shizune shares many of Jigoro's traits. Even Hisao manages to pick up on this.
I don't quite see it. Jigoro is dismissive of Shizune (in many ways) and very critical about appearances. About the only thing they have in common is that they don't really say anything despite much gesticulation. :D Also, hair colour.
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 dewelar » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:40 pm

brythain wrote:
Oddball wrote:... I thought it was fairly obvious that Shizune shares many of Jigoro's traits. Even Hisao manages to pick up on this.
I don't quite see it. Jigoro is dismissive of Shizune (in many ways) and very critical about appearances. About the only thing they have in common is that they don't really say anything despite much gesticulation. :D Also, hair colour.
I'm with Oddball on this one. Off the top of my head, they're both very stubborn, ambitious, and confrontational (especially with people who don't live up to their personal standards). Both also speak forcefully (once Hisao learns sign language, it becomes clear their speech has a similar tone/structure at times), and have similar body shapes :wink: (that narrow waist Jigoro has made me wonder the first time i saw him if he was supposed to be a bearded lady...*shudders*). Indeed, very little of what we see of Jigoro's personality isn't present in Shizune to some degree.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by brythain » Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:09 pm

dewelar wrote:
brythain wrote:
Oddball wrote:... I thought it was fairly obvious that Shizune shares many of Jigoro's traits. Even Hisao manages to pick up on this.
I don't quite see it. Jigoro is dismissive of Shizune (in many ways) and very critical about appearances. About the only thing they have in common is that they don't really say anything despite much gesticulation. :D Also, hair colour.
I'm with Oddball on this one. Off the top of my head, they're both very stubborn, ambitious, and confrontational (especially with people who don't live up to their personal standards). Both also speak forcefully (once Hisao learns sign language, it becomes clear their speech has a similar tone/structure at times), and have similar body shapes :wink: (that narrow waist Jigoro has made me wonder the first time i saw him if he was supposed to be a bearded lady...*shudders*). Indeed, very little of what we see of Jigoro's personality isn't present in Shizune to some degree.
Not off the top of my head, Jigoro is opinionated but not stubborn (after all, he isn't the one who has to resist); he is also conventional and a hidebound traditionalist (or at least, bound to his ideas of tradition). He's paranoid, blunt enough to tell people to shut up, and judgemental about how people use items and words. It's telling that Hisao thinks of Jigoro as a jerk but doesn't think of Shizune that way. Clearly they can't be that similar.

Most of the time, as I sit through yet another round of Hisao's visit to Shizune's home, I'm struck by the empty space triangulated by Jigoro, Shizune and Hideaki. Hisao notes resemblances between them at different times, but how could he not, since they're family and hence must share some similarities? But those similarities are surprisingly rare unless we deliberately force false equivalences on them. Shizune gets flustered easily, Jigoro will bull his way through such situations, Hideaki just keeps quiet while his robot-brain gears up to a response. All three are polite and rude in different ways. Jigoro is casually insulting and summary in his judgements; Shizune is ambiguous about her insults (except with Lilly, whom she often refers to in third person when insulting); Hideaki tries not to be rude at all, but sometimes fails. Jigoro uses a formal level of insult, Shizune's insults are relatively direct, and Hideaki's insults are accidental.

The one time Shizune sounds like Jigoro at all is when she's parodying him to Hisao. Worse, she says that Hisao sounds like her father. :D In that same scene, she talks about how she likes getting people into her life, whereas Jigoro would clearly prefer not to do such a thing. She is much, much more a people person, and she observes people; Jigoro just comments on their appearance and their general lack of concrete accomplishments.

My conclusion (and possibly yours too, after you replay the route) is that their traits are only very generally overlapping—both can be unpleasant, and both appear to be opinionated. But these things take very different forms because their motivations and other traits modify them. Jigoro and his daughter aren't completely different (again, how could a father and daughter be so?) but they really aren't very similar except in minor ways.
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 Oddball » Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:11 pm

The one time Shizune sounds like Jigoro at all is when she's parodying him to Hisao.
Go back and re-read the part where she's telling Hisao about the old student council after they get back from her house.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by brythain » Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:14 pm

Oddball wrote:
The one time Shizune sounds like Jigoro at all is when she's parodying him to Hisao.
Go back and re-read the part where she's telling Hisao about the old student council after they get back from her house.
I've read it, and re-read it. Where is the similarity?

Edit: actually, I think the reason most people think Shizune and Jigoro are alike is that they have a small amount of similarity in that the reader thinks of both of them as annoying to be with, in the sense that if they had to listen to the words Jigoro speaks and Shizune signs, they'd be similarly irritated and upset.
Last edited by brythain on Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by Oddball » Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:20 pm

If you can read a long rant from Shizune where she actually calls people useless and disgraceful for not doing things the way she wants them done and not see any hint of Jigoro, even after Hisao says that it's like Jigoro's words coming out of her then there's no use continuing this conversation.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by brythain » Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:30 pm

Oddball wrote:If you can read a long rant from Shizune where she actually calls people useless and disgraceful for not doing things the way she wants them done and not see any hint of Jigoro, even after Hisao says that it's like Jigoro's words coming out of her then there's no use continuing this conversation.
Shizune's rant stems from being in a student council where things weren't being done. Jigoro's rant is about how useless a small student council would be (or any student council, for that matter). Just because two people rant tangentially about the same general topic doesn't mean they have the same traits any more than two humans who can rant do. I'm willing to read any material you might wish to quote. There would be no use continuing only if there's no text to discuss.
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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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by ProfAllister » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:22 am

I guess I'm a little late to the party, but when it comes to talking about Shizune, the party never stops.

Reading through the discussion, I stumbled upon a couple thoughts that I think deserve a little expansion:
BMFJack wrote:The whole time I just got the feeling that they were friends with benefits, or that Hisao loved her and Shizune just kind of "went with it"
brythain wrote:Shizune's route forces you to be at times something like the side character, the protagonist's friend rather than the protagonist.
SpunkySix wrote: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.
Before I directly address those thoughts, keep them fresh in your head while I touch on a related matter - the tail end of the VN itself, specifically for the bad end.

Something that immediately jumped out at me while reviewing it is that it features an ironic echo running on an extremely short timer (it's funny how it's almost easier to spot those when there's a significant distance between the two). To wit:
Shizune wrote:And every point where I could have solved this silly situation, or prevented it from happening in the first place, keeps coming back to me.
And only moments later...
Hisao wrote:Every moment where I could have prevented this, or solved the problem, comes back to me.
Now, hopping back to those ideas I just mentioned, I'd say this additional context allows us to approach them from a different direction.

As it feels the most directly connected, let's start with brythain's observation about protagonist confusion. On a meta level, VN veterans might recognize the "I reflect on how badly I fucked things up" line as a staple of the genre, telling the player to get back in there and try to get it right this time. But there's the rub - infamously, Shizune's route only has one choice. So this VN staple is now a mocking sort of reprimand - "You had ONE job!"

But! There's a wrinkle. It's not just Hisao saying that he wished that his desk were a time desk - Shizune's saying the same thing. Which brings us to another idiosyncrasy of Shizune's route. Most glaringly obvious following the visit to the Hakamichi residence, there's a non-negligible time skip, where Hisao observes that Misha and Shizune seem to be leaving him alone, so he reverts to his default state of reading. In my mind, this ties closely to a major trope of dating sims - you know, the games that most definitely do not include crapawa shitjo. In dating sims, you choose what to do in each game segment, balancing your schedule between romance and high school life. The romantic targets are displayed on a location map, requiring you to expend a precious portion of your day to encounter the target. With the notable exception of a few time-sensitive events (e.g., festivals), the target's story does not progress unless the player chooses to trigger the encounter. Sound familiar?

So not only is Shizune the protagonist, she's the protagonist in an entirely different genre of game! (Don't dwell on this too much - it's 70% fun, 30% insight.)

Which brings us to BMFJack's comment. I've got plenty of respect for you, Jack, but you don't simple have it wrong - you have it ass-backwards. Shizune loves Hisao, and Hisao just sort of "goes with it."

Think back to the fact that Shizune's route only has a single decision point. That wasn't an accident - A22 specifically chose to give the route one, and only one, choice. Now, if we were to give A22 the benefit of the doubt, and assume he had a specific point to make by giving the route that one single choice, the most logical interpretation (in my estimation) would be to comment on Hisao's level of agency. In short, prior to that choice, he had none; at that moment, he could choose to remain passive (i.e., continue to acquiesce to the demands/requests of the active agents (Shizune and Misha)) or he could seize the narrative himself, and put a stop to the train wreck that Shizune and Misha were orchestrating.

And so we return to that ironic echo. Shizune thinks about what she could have done better, blaming herself for failing so completely; Hisao thinks about what he could have done better, and smiles ("without amusement," but still). Shizune, from a strictly narrative standpoint, had no agency of influence on whether or not things would have worked out, but takes full responsibility; Hisao had all the agency in that one lynchpin, but absolves himself of any responsibility or agency, going so far as to blame Shizune as well ("That's the most selfish thing you could do. It's just you making another decision by yourself.")

Sadly, I don't have too much to say about SpunkySix's chess metaphor, except for a few thoughts to expand on it:

The King's movements most resemble those of the pawn, but he's the most important piece on the board.
The Queen is the most powerful unit, and often the most active, but is ultimately expendable.
When the King moves, the wise player pays attention.

And, well, one more thing real quick:
Oddball wrote:She also says she pisses Lilly off just so Lilly will have to do something and show some motivation. The fact that she'd rather have somebody pissed off and showing sort sort of drive than happy and not accomplishing things shows me more of her real drives than what she says.

She wants to accomplish things. Naturally she wants to accomplish things that make people happy but give the choice between people working and people being happy, she takes the work.
I agree with about 95% of that first part. Replace "happy" with "content" and we're good.

That second part... makes me wonder if you even bothered to read the endings (please bear with me for a moment). In her good ending:
Shizune wrote:I never wanted to be the leader, it just ends up that way.
...
I wasn't going to tell you that I don't enjoy it. I don't care about being the leader, but I don't mind. I don't care about being the best, but I don't mind. You're right, though, about me wanting responsibility.
...
I always thought being the leader meant you give orders, but it really is more. It's about having a goal. If I don't have a goal, then it's pointless. People would only be following me for my own enjoyment. It would be selfish.
and
Hisao wrote:Shizune is already happy, because if something goes well, there will always be someone else to see it and remember it. That's what makes her happy.
And in her bad ending:
Shizune wrote:I had to be the best and have the greatest one. In the end, everyone liked my poster the most of all, even the teacher. A week later, it was meaningless. I threw it in the trash.
...
I was just thinking about it; everything I do feels like I have to beat someone else. Everyone else, even. If that is how it is, then what are my relationships with people?
...
The point is that I've messed up so many people by being selfish, and now I want to be away from other people for a while.
At the end of the day, she actually is very much like Jigoro - she's terribly disappointed when people fail to live up to their potential, and does what she can to try to jolt them into caring and into applying themselves. Their biggest difference is how they go about trying to inspire people and make the world a better place.
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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by brythain » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:11 pm

ProfAllister wrote:I guess I'm a little late to the party, but when it comes to talking about Shizune, the party never stops.
...
At the end of the day, she actually is very much like Jigoro - she's terribly disappointed when people fail to live up to their potential, and does what she can to try to jolt them into caring and into applying themselves. Their biggest difference is how they go about trying to inspire people and make the world a better place.
Indeed, quite the party, and it's nice to see you joining in!

I think that one point is one of the only two points where she's indeed like Jigoro, though. They both are also not afraid to rub people the wrong way.

The major difference is that Shizune is (as far as we can tell) aware of her failings and willing to make amends. Jigoro doesn't appear very interested in self-reflection or self-correction—indeed, Hisao's repeated thoughts about him being a hypocrite highlight that. When Shizune is angry, it's dynamic and she can even get angry at herself; when Jigoro gets angry, he becomes calmer and more convinced of his correctness. That big difference you mention is in the end bigger than their degree of similarity, and one can imagine the long-term effects on people around them.

I once tried running them both through a JPI-R instrument just for fun. Yes, some clear similarities. But the overall profile also has some very clear differences.
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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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by BMFJack » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:59 pm

ProfAllister wrote:I guess I'm a little late to the party, but when it comes to talking about Shizune, the party never stops.
A party where she and Misha bug you to join the Student Council until the party is over ;)
ProfAllister wrote:I've got plenty of respect for you, Jack,
That means something, coming from one as respected as yourself. Thank you =D
ProfAllister wrote:you have it ass-backwards. Shizune loves Hisao, and Hisao just sort of "goes with it."
...and after reading what you have to say about this, you might be right. I disagree on the "Shizune loves Hisao" part; in the bad end she doesn't seem broken up about it at all and doesn't try to fight for their relationship or anything - she just ends it.
ProfAllister wrote:And so we return to that ironic echo. Shizune thinks about what she could have done better, blaming herself for failing so completely; Hisao thinks about what he could have done better, and smiles ("without amusement," but still). Shizune, from a strictly narrative standpoint, had no agency of influence on whether or not things would have worked out, but takes full responsibility; Hisao had all the agency in that one lynchpin, but absolves himself of any responsibility or agency, going so far as to blame Shizune as well ("That's the most selfish thing you could do. It's just you making another decision by yourself.")
That last line of Hisao's is what strikes me the most, because he's right. Shizune is selfish, Shizune knows and acknowledges/admits that she's selfish. She won Hisao like a prize and discarded him when it was convenient.
ProfAllister wrote:At the end of the day, she actually is very much like Jigoro - she's terribly disappointed when people fail to live up to their potential, and does what she can to try to jolt them into caring and into applying themselves. Their biggest difference is how they go about trying to inspire people and make the world a better place.
This is where I think you've touched on something deep; Shizune and Jigoro come from very similar places but the way they deal with their situations is vastly different, as has been outlined before. I think there's influence from her mother too, but she definitely got Jigoro's selfishness and arrogance.

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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by brythain » Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:14 pm

BMFJack wrote:I disagree on the "Shizune loves Hisao" part; in the bad end she doesn't seem broken up about it at all and doesn't try to fight for their relationship or anything - she just ends it.
This is true of all the girls' bad ends.
ProfAllister wrote:And so we return to that ironic echo. Shizune thinks about what she could have done better, blaming herself for failing so completely; Hisao thinks about what he could have done better, and smiles ("without amusement," but still). Shizune, from a strictly narrative standpoint, had no agency of influence on whether or not things would have worked out, but takes full responsibility; Hisao had all the agency in that one lynchpin, but absolves himself of any responsibility or agency, going so far as to blame Shizune as well ("That's the most selfish thing you could do. It's just you making another decision by yourself.")
That last line of Hisao's is what strikes me the most, because he's right. Shizune is selfish, Shizune knows and acknowledges/admits that she's selfish. She won Hisao like a prize and discarded him when it was convenient.
That whole last sentence of yours is just your opinion, Jack. Shizune castigates herself for being selfish; it doesn't mean she's right. She's a lot less selfish than Emi or Lilly, because she, at least, doesn't keep key relationship-impacting information away from Hisao. In fact, she's the one person who specifically decides to go on a philanthropic mission in life, whereas none of the others has such a vision for others. What hurts most people is that the route says, "It's not all about you, even though I tried to show you that I liked you."
ProfAllister wrote:At the end of the day, she actually is very much like Jigoro - she's terribly disappointed when people fail to live up to their potential, and does what she can to try to jolt them into caring and into applying themselves. Their biggest difference is how they go about trying to inspire people and make the world a better place.
This is where I think you've touched on something deep; Shizune and Jigoro come from very similar places but the way they deal with their situations is vastly different, as has been outlined before. I think there's influence from her mother too, but she definitely got Jigoro's selfishness and arrogance.
Yes, they both come from Saitama and Jigoro's been Shizune's only parent for a while. But how someone deals with their situation is what determines their character. And there's no textual evidence of behaviour to say she's selfish, and her reflective process certainly ensures that she'll never be as arrogant as Jigoro. The only negative difference Shizune appears to have from the other girls in terms of relationships is that her route gives the player less apparent agency in terms of clicking choices, and that's on the meta level. Basically players want to have dominant control over routes and girls; they don't like it when this gets subverted.
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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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by BMFJack » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:03 am

brythain wrote:This is true of all the girls' bad ends.
I don't think so. Many spoilers ahead for those who haven't finished all routes;

In Lilly's bad end, Hisao just doesn't chase after her. Even before that, she's having a really hard time with the whole situation and while I don't think she handled it properly, I also think that she was feeling very deep emotions that very clearly clouded her judgement. Dewelar's take on Hisao and Lilly's revealing conversation in Developements makes a lot of sense to me, and has become my headcanon.

In Emi's bad end, there's a huge fight and Emi is fucking pissed and ends it. It's easy to see how much she's feeling, how much thought and energy she put into ending it.
brythain wrote:
That last line of Hisao's is what strikes me the most, because he's right. Shizune is selfish, Shizune knows and acknowledges/admits that she's selfish. She won Hisao like a prize and discarded him when it was convenient.
That whole last sentence of yours is just your opinion, Jack. Shizune castigates herself for being selfish; it doesn't mean she's right. She's a lot less selfish than Emi or Lilly, because she, at least, doesn't keep key relationship-impacting information away from Hisao. In fact, she's the one person who specifically decides to go on a philanthropic mission in life, whereas none of the others has such a vision for others. What hurts most people is that the route says, "It's not all about you, even though I tried to show you that I liked you."
It's a given that pretty much anything I say about this is my opinion, you silly man =P
I disagree with her being less selfish than Emi OR Lilly, but that's not to say that Emi or Lilly aren't selfish, just that Shizune is much more selfish in my opinion. The way she treats Misha is just too much, compared to Emi not talking to anyone about the most painful experience of her entire life, or Lilly being terrified of telling Hisao that she might be moving to Scotland. It doesn't bother me that the route isn't really geared towards Hisao, or that the player has practically no agency. I'm a reader first, gamer second. The part that bothers me is Shizune, and how she treats others. Paraphrasing Shizune, actions speak louder than words. Her actions show me that she only cares about Hisao a little, and doesn't care about Misha at all. The only two people who have been brave enough to try to get close to her.
brythain wrote:Yes, they both come from Saitama and Jigoro's been Shizune's only parent for a while. But how someone deals with their situation is what determines their character. And there's no textual evidence of behaviour to say she's selfish, and her reflective process certainly ensures that she'll never be as arrogant as Jigoro. The only negative difference Shizune appears to have from the other girls in terms of relationships is that her route gives the player less apparent agency in terms of clicking choices, and that's on the meta level. Basically players want to have dominant control over routes and girls; they don't like it when this gets subverted.
I don't think Shizune and Jigoro are all that different, Shizune has just had to deal with Jigoro and Jigoro has never had to deal with Jigoro, so Shizune understands from experience how frustrating dealing with him can be, so she tries to take a different path. It ends up being close to the same, but at least she tries. Going back to Shizune being selfish... Misha attempted to stop being friends with Shizune, but Shizune used the leverage she has as Misha's love interest to stop her from doing that, thus trapping Misha in a vicious circle. I can't recall exactly, but I think Shizune said she did that because she didn't want to be alone. That sounds pretty selfish to me. Then to arrogance; she acts and competes like she is the best, that no one can beat her. Sure, she accepts challenges but always expects to win. Just because you're right about your own superiority doesn't mean you aren't being arrogant. She does manage to tone it down leagues below Jigoro's level, having grown up dealing with the man.

You've brought up the player agency thing over and over, but I don't see anyone really complaining about that. Sure, it sucks, but it's far from the worst thing about Shizune's route. The only disappointment it gave me was that there was less to see of Shizune. Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise anyway, so I ain't even mad.

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Re: The problem with Shizune

Post by brythain » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:59 am

BMFJack wrote:The part that bothers me is Shizune, and how she treats others. Paraphrasing Shizune, actions speak louder than words. Her actions show me that she only cares about Hisao a little, and doesn't care about Misha at all. The only two people who have been brave enough to try to get close to her.
BMFJack wrote:I don't think Shizune and Jigoro are all that different, Shizune has just had to deal with Jigoro and Jigoro has never had to deal with Jigoro, so Shizune understands from experience how frustrating dealing with him can be, so she tries to take a different path. It ends up being close to the same, but at least she tries. Going back to Shizune being selfish... Misha attempted to stop being friends with Shizune, but Shizune used the leverage she has as Misha's love interest to stop her from doing that, thus trapping Misha in a vicious circle. I can't recall exactly, but I think Shizune said she did that because she didn't want to be alone. That sounds pretty selfish to me. Then to arrogance; she acts and competes like she is the best, that no one can beat her. Sure, she accepts challenges but always expects to win. Just because you're right about your own superiority doesn't mean you aren't being arrogant. She does manage to tone it down leagues below Jigoro's level, having grown up dealing with the man.
I'll just quote a slab of text from the good ending, which to me defines Shizune's context relative to what you're saying. After this we'll handle the bad ending.
Here is the scene in Act 4 where she discusses Student Council history with Hisao and how sad she is for what she's done:

S: [Like Lilly, for instance. She was the first person to join when I started trying to recruit people again after everyone else left, because they couldn't stand me, I guess.] (looks happy) [We managed to put together the last festival, and even ran a booth together at the last minute.] (frowns) [But I didn't like her because I thought she was selfish, always holding us up in order to tend to one friend of hers or another, and leaving Misha and I alone to sort out things involving the whole school by ourselves. If there were any problem she was going through, she would leave us high and dry while she panicked over it, and wouldn't come back until it was solved. She would focus on it one hundred percent, and be too preoccupied to focus on any student council work! That was the worst, to me, that she could be so nice and still take so many people for granted. Why even join the Student Council, then? It seemed so shortsighted and selfish, don't you think?]

S: [But, it's actually me who's that way. Like Misha said, always trying to pull people close to me and then shutting them out.] (sad) [That is how I've treated her, which makes me a bad friend. And it feels like I did the same thing to you, then, so I guess I'm a bad girlfriend, too, even if Misha says that you might as well replace her. I'm angry that I screwed things up enough for it to get this out of hand. All I wanted was to… Make people happy, I think. (smiles, melancholic?) [Even though that seems like a simple way to put it.]

As she rests her head against her hand, Shizune's bangs fall delicately across her eyes, hidden behind those polished glasses reflecting just the tiniest bit of light. It may be wrong to think so, but right now, she seems especially beautiful. Like a more complete person. It feels like this is my first chance to respond to her outpouring of emotions. Replacing Misha as Shizune's interpreter? Misha must be joking.It took all my energy to keep up with her just now, her signing filled with gestures that I've never seen before. Likely, they're habits picked up from Misha, and developed from years of them being together. I could never replace someone so close to her.

H: [I like you because I like you, not because I got tricked into it by you.]


Subsequent to this, she resolves to make Misha happy, and shows up at Hisao's doorstep the next day with a picnic basket. Is this what Jigoro would do? I doubt Jigoro would even entertain any of the thoughts that Shizune has in her head!

*****

However, in the bad ending, Shizune blames herself even more and decides she's a failure and that all the things she's done are really mistakes. She decides that whatever it is, she's just been jerking people around (Misha for two years, Hisao for a few months). She doesn't want to be like that to Hisao any more, so she doesn't want to be with him for a while. But Hisao is merciless and says, yeah that's the most selfish thing of all. Everyone is negative about themselves, whether or not it's justified. The only 'evidence' of Shizune being a hardcore selfish type is her own self-loathing, with Hisao pointing out that if she's right about herself, that's really selfish, yes. He doesn't bother with correcting her with the obvious counterclaim.

*****

So after reviewing the evidence, who's right? Well, Shizune is nothing like Jigoro. He appears to have no self-loathing at all, not even a trace. She wants to do things for others, he wants others to do things. Of course, both would prefer others did things for themselves. Shizune seems to have spent the time in between scenes really pondering about whether she's been a good person or not. The tragedy of the bad end is that she comes to the wrong conclusion. The triumph of the good end is that she works out what she can do with the rest of her life.
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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