Thoughts after having played the game

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KStempuser
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Thoughts after having played the game

Post by KStempuser » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:11 pm

This post will contain spoilers.
This post have also been posted on Reddit.
This post will contain references to explicit scenes from the game, but not explicit descriptions of its own.

Introduction

I wish to preface this post by mentioning that Katawa Shoujo is actually the first piece of written fiction I have consumed in a very, very long time. I’m not an avid reader to begin with, but add to that, that I study history in university and therefore, most of the material that I consume currently is of an academic origin. The reason why I mention this is because I fear, that my thoughts and opinions on Katawa Shoujo, might be a bit direct, as I might lack experience to really interpret the literature currently; like how much I understand references and read between the lines. I’m also not natively English-speaking so if anything, I’ve written in this post comes across as confusing, do let me know so I can elaborate.

I’d also like to mention that I don’t have a lot of experience with visual novels, so I also cannot compare my experience with Katawa Shoujo to any other media of a similar nature. It is not the first visual novel that I have read, but the ones I have read before were so long ago that I can’t remember them. Suffice it to say that they were not anything that left a lasting impression.
But Katawa Shoujo did.

I mainly make this post as an outlet to let go of some of my own thoughts on the stories the game contains. I don’t know how active the current community around it is, but my hope is also that some of you might engage me. Correct me. Argue with me. Tell me your interpretations in comparison to mine. It’s been a while since a story has stuck with me for days after reading it.

Lastly, the structure of my post will be what I assume is the typical one, where I give my interpretation of each of the routes on their own. I only played to the good ending of each, and therefore will personally only be able to refer to the material that each of those specific route conclusions provide. I have also written a page about the h-scenes, those that I experienced, before the conclusion to my post.

Approach:

I am going to write about each route in order of how strongly they sit with me or how much I like them, starting with the one that is mainly on my mind currently.

There is no real structure to how I write about the events and themes, so I hope those of you still reading this, will be kind towards what might just be rambling on my part. Lacking the non-bias to really analyse the material objectively, this post will just be my personal interpretations and thoughts.

Rin.

This might sound a bit extreme to some, but I don’t think I have ever read a story featuring a person with a mental handicap as compelling as Rin. In 2015 I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which features Christopher who is a teenager with what I seem to recall as a similar handicap. I can’t recall the specifics as it’s been a while, but I remember wondering about this character too. Rin is different compared to that though, since she is viewed from an outside perspective. I am unsure if this is a reason why I feel more drawn to her, as her condition is presented as foreign in the eyes of the reader, whereas with Christopher we are privy to the inner workings of his mind. I think one thing they share though, is that their specific conditions are both unstated within their stories.

Looking back across all the routes, I am a bit surprised that Rin is a student at Yamaku to begin with. I suppose it’s an interesting contrast that her physical limitations, which are the reason for her stay, are not actually an hinderance to her in comparison to her mental disability. I seem to recall that Lilly mentions in her own route, that Yamaku actually does not accept students based on mental disabilities. I found this surprising as Lilly was the last route I played, and I suddenly found myself wondering why in the world no one was arguing, that Rin needed help in that regard. I don’t know if this is supposed to be a cultural thing, I am aware that the view on mental disabilities in East Asia is generally different to the Western one, but I don’t know enough about what options a person of Rin’s nature might have in Japan specifically. Maybe someone with more knowledge in this regard, or just another perspective would be willing to elaborate on this?

Regardless, I think Rin’s path stuck with me the most, because I had a really hard time understanding it all as the story progressed. Maybe that’s pretty apt of the writers given that, that’s Hisao’s struggle too, I can’t help but conclude that it was at least some of the intention behind the story; to make the reader wonder about Rin and sympathise with the struggle she has getting Hisao to understand and vice versa.

I’m pretty confident that I personally reached a good understanding of her in the end and after some reflection, especially of the ending. Of all the good endings, the one in Rin’s seem to be the most “up in the air” as such, in regards as to how we individually might interpret whatever possible future her and Hisao might have together. Her and Hanako seem to share, that the climax to their stories arrive at an earlier point in the Katawa Shoujo timeline, and therefore they both end up at the beginning of a romantic relationship instead of having their story end while it’s been going on already. This is obviously deliberate, but I can’t help but feel a tiny bit bitter that they don’t get more canonical elaboration. Oh well.

I felt like Rin’s route was the one where I grew to appreciate Hisao the most as a character. Hisao seems to be a bit of a different creature, between whatever girl he ends up pursuing, I almost couldn’t recognise him in Lilly’s route for example. I have read around some of the forums and while I don’t necessarily disagree that he does act selfish, I think my take on his actions is less confrontational towards his character in comparison to what I’ve seen others hold. Most of all I feel like in Rin’s route Hisao ends up the most isolated, regarding his relation to the other students at the school. This is helped by the fact that for a large part of the story, Rin is physically removed from the school altogether, which translates into Hisao almost removing himself along with her, in what at times seems to be a completely reckless pursuit of a very peculiar person. I don’t think I ended up faulting him for many of his actions though, I actually came to really appreciate him and his struggles in act 2 of Rin’s story for the first time. I felt like the conflicts he deals with are the most severe, at the earliest point, of all the stories and the conflicts he deals with are, as a comparison to Rin, actually mental rather than physical (which is a contrast to Emi’s route).

There were points in each route where I was moved to tears. Not all out crying, I wouldn’t say, but close. When Rin hugged Hisao on the roof of the school I almost bawled. That was the point at which, like I mentioned previously, I think I really felt a connection to Hisao as a character. His struggles in Rin’s route seem more personal, maybe even more relatable, because they are caused by many different things and aren’t just the result of his physical condition in off itself. It also really put a thick underline to Rin’s character, I think it was a really defining moment for both of them, at least within the Rin route.

I thought that a theme of “unreachable serenity” or what you might call it, was really well delivered in Rin’s route. Both in how Hisao told of his fascination with Rin herself and in how both characters were sort of chasing what turned out to be an unclear goal, only to end up realising that they already had the tools to find whatever they were searching for in each other. Accepting themselves to accept each other. I think the idea that you can love someone immensely, without necessarily understanding everything about them, is perhaps the most philosophically hopeful outcome of all the routes. I think maybe that his idea of “hope,” or maybe “faith,” in love itself is what makes the good ending to Rin’s route seem sort of uncertain too. With most of the other girls, besides Hanako, you get to explore the implication of a consensual romantic relationship already, therefore there is more of a foundation to base your expectations of the rest of their relationship on there.

As an end note I am considering making some fan fiction of my own, based on the Rin route and her good ending. It’s been years since I wrote fiction however and I am not all that convinced, that I could really portray Rin’s character in the same way as her original author have. It’s a thought that fills me both with excitement and hesitation. As far as I have noticed from the fanfiction recommendation posts I’ve explored, usually Rin fanfictions either take off from the neutral ending which doesn’t interest me personally, or butcher Rin’s character. Having read Sisterhood as an epilogue to Hanako’s route, of sorts, made me want one for Rin though. If anyone knows of a good attempt at that, that already exist, do let me know.

Hanako.

Hanako’s route is what I might call the route I dearly wish I could actually call my favourite. It was the second route I played after Emi’s. I had started the game with Emi in mind, having looked at the roster and read a short summary, but for some reason I found my interest more drawn to Hanako. I think a reason might be that she’s actually the only one of the girls, that outwardly and obviously seemed to suffer for her physical condition. As I were to be made aware by her, her real limitation was trauma however, so I think it was just the presentation itself, that did draw me in. I might actually have played Hanako first, as I played the first route without flowchart and made choices in her and Lilly’s direction, but as I came to learn later Emi seems to have a tendency of being many people’s first route. I would later use the flowchart to experience the other routes.
The game’s overarching point is of course, that people with disabilities are still people; with the same wants, needs and dreams as the rest of us. On the surface though, starting the game right away, it almost seemed like the disabilities were for the most part dismissed as having any real impact at all. This isn’t the case of course, as each route reveal, but just from the act 1 presentation it almost seemed to me like Hanako was the only one that struggled, like how Hisao struggled with his own situation. Maybe that was the draw for me, but I am not entirely sure.

When I eventually got around to playing Hanako’s route I found myself really enjoying it. I think it had many elements that made it stand out, Hisao and Hanako’s relationship for one, but also the relationship they both had with Lilly. I also think Hanako’s route is the best Shizune route, with Hanako’s panic attack in class. I feel like drawing some parallels between Hanako and Rin’s route, like I did in my Rin discussion, but I’m actually not sure how fair it is. A mental disorder and trauma are obviously not the same thing, but I felt like Hanako and Hisao’s story had similar struggles to Rin’s with how two people are furiously trying to understand each other while making mistakes along the way. I even think Hanako’s good ending route ends with them mentioning not understanding each other as well, so maybe my comparison isn’t actually farfetched.

What does set Hanako’s route apart from Rin’s are a couple of things though, namely Lilly, like I mentioned. Hisao doesn’t pursue Hanako quite to the same degree as Rin, I don’t think, but Hanako wasn’t engaged with a club either, so I don’t know if his joining Rin’s art club just appears more overt on the surface. Still, they share reading and enjoy games together. I think Hanako and Hisao’s attraction flows more naturally, even with taking Rin’s state of mind into account.

Regardless, I felt like Hanako’s good ending route actually ended on a very “even” note, if that makes sense. Hanako and Hisao both screw up in each their own way, they both struggle, but in the good ending they finally stumble into something of a mutual understanding. This understanding might not be of each other, but of what they’d like to obtain with each other as their partner. Where I called Rin’s ending the most “philosophically hopeful” I think I might call Hanako’s the most “equally hopeful,” in that I think they are on somewhat of an even footing, when it comes to their relationship and the things they share. Trusting someone is big to both of them, so I eventually decided that I felt like their pairing is the one that most has the right amount of idealistic optimism and tragic detail, for what I really appreciate in romance.

Emi.

I wrote less of Hanako than I did of Rin, I don’t know if that’s going to be a trend going forward. I don’t intend to edit my sections a whole lot, or cut any of them down, as I want what I have to share to be as… pure…? as possible.
Now we come to Emi. Both my intended and my accidental, as it would turn out, first route. My initial interest was shallow, it just seemed fun to pursue the no-legs girl. That said though, I got the impression that she was a happy and enthusiastic character, so I was also partly intrigued at how they would portray her disability.

I would come to really like Emi as a contrast to Hanako after having played both their routes. They are both defined by the accidents in their lives, but where Hanako attempts to hide herself and especially the bits that are obvious reminders to her past, Emi wears her disability openly and with pride even. Meanwhile, while Hanako’s trauma defines her at all moments of her life, Emi attempts to bury hers so that it will not actually define her.

I wonder if Emi and Hanako were written for the sake of being contrasting characters. They don’t interact a whole lot across the different routes. Thoughts?

At the end of it all I seem to remember Emi’s route as the most standard in a way. I don’t mean this as a negative critique, but I felt like the story itself was fairly predicable even if I did enjoy the deuteragonist and her relationship to Hisao. I don’t think the story ever intended to hide, that she had some leftover trauma in relationship to her dad, so I wasn’t all that taken aback by any of the developments. I also felt like Hisao was the blandest out of his various iterations here, but that might just be because it was the first route I played, and I don’t remember it entirely well. The only route I have replayed have been Hanako’s, as a refresher to the Sisterhood fanfic. Still, I think they might be the pairing that appears to be the most “level-headed” of them all, which might seem weird to those of you who prefer Lilly’s route. I just came to think of Emi and Hisao as both good influences towards each other and just as sexually curious young couple. I might get into that last comment later.

Lilly.

Honestly, I don’t actually feel like I have a whole lot to say about Lilly’s route. It wasn’t boring but feeling the need to clarify that, right here at the start, almost seems like an insult in itself. I do think the route might be better than the credit, I’m willing to give it. I suspect some of my hesitation to really enjoy it on my part, stems from the liking I had from Hanako’s arc. I still really enjoyed the Hanako/Lilly dynamic, but as the story progressed, I couldn’t really put out the thought of “huh, I wonder how this scene might play out in the scenario where Hanako and Hisao are a couple.”

I think I might give Lilly a replay sometime, maybe in the winter break after my next semester, to get all the stories out of my mind. Maybe I’ll be able to give it a more honest judgement then.
When it all comes down to it, I just wasn’t all that interested in Lilly herself, which might be a pity. I don’t think that opinion will change between now and the potential replay though. If any of you are still reading and you happen to prefer, or just like Lilly, I’d like to hear why specifically and how you feel about her and Hanako’s routes in comparison to each other.

Shizune.

Shizune coming in last isn’t meant to suggest I dislike the route or Shizune herself directly. As I mentioned in my section about Hanako however, I felt like she was a better defined character outside her own story. As it stands, I couldn’t help but find Hisao and Misha oddly interesting in this route, especially in the beginning and then ending.

Shizune’s route also has the only section that I really do dislike honestly. The whole while they’re at Shizune’s house, I felt like her father and brother had been pulled from some other series and dropped into Katawa Shoujo at random. I don’t think I’m alone in this, but I think the “at Shizune’s house” section would have been more interesting if it featured both Lilly and Shizune more. I felt like Hisao showed more openness and curiosity in this route and seemed oddly independent. I think he even arrives at the conclusion of becoming a teacher on his own, but like the other routes I expect this to be the influence of the main girl of that particular route.

Misha was what really came to define the route for me, however. I’m almost sad that there isn’t a specific route to pursue her instead of Shizune, even if it would end in a rejection regardless of what choices you make. I don’t think it’s explicitly mentioned what her orientation is. The linearity of the Shizune route sort of ends up meaning, that Hisao is just “forced” to date Shizune in a way, for the sake of the story. Given how many ways you can end up with the Kenji ending, I can’t help but feel like there should have been a route for pursuing Misha like that also. Am I wrong for thinking this?

Regardless of Hisao and Misha’s relationship, her relationship to Shizune was what really came to be the climax of the Shizune route for me. That scene with her on the roof almost touched me like the Rin scene (maybe I have a thing for roof scenes?). I also felt like Hisao was a damn hero here, he didn’t even hesitate to protest when Misha mentioned her own death, it made me really happy that he didn’t have to have a long inner monologue before reacting to it.

Overall, what made Shizune’s route less enjoyable to me, really did come down to how the story was structured rather than the story elements and Shizune’s character herself. I don’t think Shizune was a bad character, but I felt like her impact on her own story was somehow less pronounced than the other girls. I think it was a route that was very much defined by Hisao and Misha.

H-scenes.

The H-scenes in this game surprised me. It’s rare that I enjoy explicit material for the support it lends to the rest of the story. Usually I either find explicit scenes awkward or arousing (sometimes both), but this time I think a lot of them were very emotionally impactful and helped underline some points towards certain characters. I think that’s impressive.

I think this sentiment is largely shared across most of the scenes, but it’s specifically Shizune, Hanako and Rin I feel they work really well with. I’ll sum up that what I did like about the two others were this: Lilly’s scenes are bold and sensual and Emi’s are exciting and exploratory; specifically youthful in nature.

While those two characters have scenes that help give some spice and edge to their associated characters, I felt like the other three main-route girls has some defining elements to theirs. I’ll go over them in the order I listed above.

For Shizune it’s a small thing. Just her voice. I still felt like that for Shizune specifically, for her character, it was one of her highlights of her route. Really though, it’s actually the attention that Hisao holds to her voice that I found sort of beautiful. I had a hard time really getting an idea, of the relationship dynamic between the two, but in that scene where Hisao pays so much attention to how his deaf girlfriend sounds, I think the curiosity that he showed in that route overall really came out to highlight what Shizune meant to him as a partner.

With Hanako it’s a more open topic, because it’s also mentioned in dialogue after the fact. I haven’t played with the H-scene setting off, so I don’t know how much is revealed without it. Maybe someone wish to tell me? Regardless, her scene show her at her most vulnerable and she uses the interaction in an attempt to reveal herself as a woman to the man she loves. I feel like the scene is explained in detail in the game itself, so I don’t really wish to remark on it besides the fact that I think the scars for both Hisao and Hanako are used beautifully to unite them and guide them towards some sort of understanding. One of the things I really liked about their pairing was how tender and insecure it appeared, which is something I think their H-scene also portrays honestly. Not in a romantic way necessarily, but in an eerily hopeful manner almost. You can sense the insecure want in their actions I feel.

Rin. I think Rin’s h-scenes are the most impactful of all the characters. The first one in the atelier just oozes of desperation and loneliness. Isn’t that thought provoking? That two people can seem so lonely while doing such intimate acts? Loneliness mixing with the intimacy is a really remarkable blend for an explicit scene, I think. The second h-scene with Rin has the same elements at the base of it, but also seems to impart more vulnerability than desperation to me. To me it seems like both Rin and Hisao are tired of trying to understand each other and just give into lust. Lust seems to me, to be something that they can both understand and for the briefest moment it almost seems as if they finally reach that understanding they crave. Instead it helps to aid in their letting go of the need to understand each other, even as they start to reach it. They can both understand the sexual urge, and maybe that’s a part of how they come to realise, that understanding isn’t necessary to be together. Even though they both understand lust, they’re still the same people they always were. I think it’s rare that sex is used as a tool to really bring characters together like that, through uncertainty, and especially so between two scenes that impart very different tones. At the end of the route I think Rina and Hisao actually understand each one better than they think they do, they start to communicate in the fashion that the other can understand.

Conclusion, of sorts.

Looking back on what I’ve just written, after a meal break, I cannot fool myself into thinking of Hanako’s route as my favourite anymore. Just by the amount I’ve written and how I describe it, I think it’s pretty evident that Rin ended up surprising me and being my favourite route. The only thing I’m unsure about in the Rin good ending route is the state of mind that it leaves Hisao in. Reflecting on the structure of the different routes I’m still pretty sure he’ll be fine, however. I mentioned earlier how I interpret the timeline for the different routes as taking place at different points of the year. This mostly comes from the way Hanako’s story carry on in Lilly’s, even after the point she and Hisao would have become a couple. Emi also share some of her events in the Rin story. This does make me want to conclude that, at least in the good endings, Hisao always ends up becoming interested in a future of teaching and science.

Given that I’ve only replayed Hanako however, I’d love it if someone knows if there’s an old thread that cover the different timelines, given the age of the game I was hoping this might have been a previous topic on the various boards. I am considering replaying Rin, emotional as her story was for me.

I was considering talking about Hisao a bit as well, but I feel like I’ve covered enough about my views of him in each section of the routes themselves. It’s obvious that he changes depending on his romantic interest, but in some stories, I can’t help but feel like he seems as an entirely different character. Do anyone have any points to make about him, that might tie up the way he’s developed a bit for me? I am a bit curious as to how the forums view him overall. From the few posts I flicked through; I got the impression that the readers are sort of harsh towards him.

Still after typing out my current thoughts on the routes, I don’t feel any closer to having digested the stories in this visual novel.
I do apologise if anyone thinks I’m being overly dramatic, but I’d prefer to stress my impressions rather than hold them back. It would be interesting to hear, how other users felt about Katawai Shoujo, in comparison to the experience, that I have hopefully expressed to a satisfactory degree.

And if anyone should be curious about the potential fanfic I might do and have some suggestions in regards to Rin and her good ending, I’d love to hear those as well.

IPlayVisualNovels86
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Re: Thoughts after having played the game

Post by IPlayVisualNovels86 » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:49 am

I really liked how the game was really optimistic, a lot of the characters have struggles, but they learn to live with or overcome them.

Shizune's route has a vary good theme of anti-pessimism and hard workaholicism; which i felt is quit good as a lot of entertianment today such as movies, video games, etc; are too pessimistic. over all the best visual novel of all time :D .

Also check out the katawa shoujo wiki, lots of useful info there. https://katawashoujo.fandom.com/wiki/Katawa_Shoujo_Wiki.
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Oddball
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Re: Thoughts after having played the game

Post by Oddball » Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:27 pm

Of all the good endings, the one in Rin’s seem to be the most “up in the air” as such, in regards as to how we individually might interpret whatever possible future her and Hisao might have together.
I actually thought Shizune was the most up in the air. With Hisao and Rin they had finally reached something of an understanding. They might not really get each other, but that's okay. They're fine with that, and they're ready to accept each other.
Hisao seems to be a bit of a different creature, between whatever girl he ends up pursuing,
This I'm going to disagree with. It's brought up a lot, but Hisao is very much the same person regardless of which route he takes. Introspective, slightly snarky, helpful, a bit depressed and confused, and generally a nice guy. Now it's true he takes on different mannerisms depending on who he befriends, but that's true of anyone. The core of the character remains the same. In Rin's route, much like Hanako's he's forced to be the one to lead the relationship and he'd not much of a leader. He's far more comfortable being a follower, such as in Lilly's and Shizune's (perhaps too comfortable.)
As an end note I am considering making some fan fiction of my own, based on the Rin route and her good ending. It’s been years since I wrote fiction however and I am not all that convinced, that I could really portray Rin’s character in the same way as her original author have.
Rin can be a very hard character to write, and it's often said only half jokingly that perhaps even the original author never fully understood Rin. if you want to write though, by all means, write.
I also think Hanako’s route is the best Shizune route, with Hanako’s panic attack in class.
I would agree with you here. I think Shizune comes off much better in other people's routes than she does in her own.
I felt like Hanako and Hisao’s story had similar struggles to Rin’s with how two people are furiously trying to understand each other while making mistakes along the way. I even think Hanako’s good ending route ends with them mentioning not understanding each other as well, so maybe my comparison isn’t actually farfetched.
There are some strong similarities. However in Rin's route he's trying to understand Rin, while in Hanako's route, he's more focused on trying to help Hanako. I feel that makes a rather huge difference.
I think Hanako and Hisao’s attraction flows more naturally, even with taking Rin’s state of mind into account.
I think out of all the cast members, Hanako is the one that's most similar to Hisao.

For Emi's, I don't have any particular comments on anything you've had to say, but I do feel the route and character is the most basic one. It's fun and energetic, but not particularly deep.
I suspect some of my hesitation to really enjoy it on my part, stems from the liking I had from Hanako’s arc. I still really enjoyed the Hanako/Lilly dynamic, but as the story progressed, I couldn’t really put out the thought of “huh, I wonder how this scene might play out in the scenario where Hanako and Hisao are a couple.”
That's a basic problem a lot of people have talked about. They feel that choosing another girl feels like "cheating" on the character they really liked and it's more apparent with Hanako and Lilly than any of the others, as the characters are so close and many of the events in Hanako's route are also shown in Lilly's.

Lilly was actually the last route I played. It's not because I didn't like her, it's because I played with no flow characters or forums knowledge and went through the game not even knowing she had a route. I thought she was just a Hanako supporting character until I started going back through all the choices and found that if you tried to find Lilly in town, you actually would.
Shizune coming in last isn’t meant to suggest I dislike the route or Shizune herself directly.
I dislike it!
The whole while they’re at Shizune’s house, I felt like her father and brother had been pulled from some other series and dropped into Katawa Shoujo at random.
Jigoro and Hideaki really do ruin the mood of every scene they're in. In Jigoro's route, it's a shame, because he really does have a good point most of the time. It's just that he's so cartoonish and over the top it's hard to take it seriously.

Hideaki though, he just brings every scene he's in to a crashing halt... unless Akira is there, but then the scene plays more to Akira's strengths than his.
Misha was what really came to define the route for me, however. I’m almost sad that there isn’t a specific route to pursue her instead of Shizune, even if it would end in a rejection regardless of what choices you make. I don’t think it’s explicitly mentioned what her orientation is. The linearity of the Shizune route sort of ends up meaning, that Hisao is just “forced” to date Shizune in a way, for the sake of the story. Given how many ways you can end up with the Kenji ending, I can’t help but feel like there should have been a route for pursuing Misha like that also. Am I wrong for thinking this?
There are a TON of people that would have loved a Misha route.

I think the way she's used in Shizune's story, while interesting does serve as a problem for both her and Shizune's stories. The emmotional weight in Shizune's story isn't Shizune. It's Misha. And it never gets resolved. Misha gets depressed and there's talk about her changing and talk about how Shizune liked the old Misha better and then ... Misha just keeps acting the same way she always did and everything is suddenly fine.
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KStempuser
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Re: Thoughts after having played the game

Post by KStempuser » Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:38 pm

Thanks for the detailed reply. I'm glad to still see some activity on this forum!
Oddball wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:27 pm
This I'm going to disagree with. It's brought up a lot, but Hisao is very much the same person regardless of which route he takes. Introspective, slightly snarky, helpful, a bit depressed and confused, and generally a nice guy. Now it's true he takes on different mannerisms depending on who he befriends, but that's true of anyone. The core of the character remains the same. In Rin's route, much like Hanako's he's forced to be the one to lead the relationship and he'd not much of a leader. He's far more comfortable being a follower, such as in Lilly's and Shizune's (perhaps too comfortable.)
Hm, I'm not entirely convinced. I feel like act 1 sort of works as an Hisao.exe installation, where you assemble his mindset before heading into whatever act 2 you get. That's not to say all those traits aren't still with him, but I just felt like the Hisao that ends up in art club is noticeably more gloomy than the Hisao that ends up going down to the track to run with Emi each morning.
Oddball wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:27 pm
Rin can be a very hard character to write, and it's often said only half jokingly that perhaps even the original author never fully understood Rin. if you want to write though, by all means, write.
Well, thanks for the permission mate! Since making this post I've actually written about 23000 words across 5 chapters. I might not publish the thing in the end, I find it sind of satisfying to just write it, but I've got a beta reader helping me out with it, so if I'm satisfied it might appear eventually.
Oddball wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:27 pm
There are some strong similarities. However in Rin's route he's trying to understand Rin, while in Hanako's route, he's more focused on trying to help Hanako. I feel that makes a rather huge difference.
Yeah, I get that. Still, I feel like part of Hanako's route does contain the element of understanding her, in order to help her. It's more of a story element rather than a objective onto itself though.
Oddball wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:27 pm
That's a basic problem a lot of people have talked about. They feel that choosing another girl feels like "cheating" on the character they really liked and it's more apparent with Hanako and Lilly than any of the others, as the characters are so close and many of the events in Hanako's route are also shown in Lilly's.
I'm not sure I ever felt like it was like cheating exactly, but I can't really describe it all that well either. I think it's just a few different things that made it noticeable for me in that specific case, like the relationship between the two girls like you mentioned. Part of it is also just that Hanako was the character that intrigued me the most, in my original act 1 playthrough, and Lilly was the one that intrigued me the least.
Oddball wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:27 pm
There are a TON of people that would have loved a Misha route.

I think the way she's used in Shizune's story, while interesting does serve as a problem for both her and Shizune's stories. The emmotional weight in Shizune's story isn't Shizune. It's Misha. And it never gets resolved. Misha gets depressed and there's talk about her changing and talk about how Shizune liked the old Misha better and then ... Misha just keeps acting the same way she always did and everything is suddenly fine.
Right, I remember not really being sure of what to make of the ending the first time I played through her route.

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Oddball
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Re: Thoughts after having played the game

Post by Oddball » Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:02 pm

That's not to say all those traits aren't still with him, but I just felt like the Hisao that ends up in art club is noticeably more gloomy than the Hisao that ends up going down to the track to run with Emi each morning.
Of course he is.

Rin is a lot worse at cheering people up than Emi is.
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