Shizune's path

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Guest » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:04 pm

Man, this path is such a snore. :(

bradpara
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by bradpara » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:38 pm

I am still going through Shizune's path, just finished the H-scene in act 3. All I'll say is that I am actually liking it so far. Though I can see how it is not everyone's cup of tea.
Shizune=Hanako>Lilly>Emi=Rin
Family Game Night A Shizune After Story Fic
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Synoptic
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Synoptic » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:06 pm

Shizune always was and still is, my favorite girl. I went for her route first, of course!
I still feel disappointed after playing her route and getting the good end.
I mean, there isn't anything wrong with her story but there isn't anything good with it either.
It's just too... normal.

Ok, I'll be frank: Anonymous22, your writing may suck but you're, oh so good, at sex fantasies!
I really liked her during the H-scenes though. She's so fucking awesome! Great job regarding that!
"...!"

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Brasse
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Brasse » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:21 pm

Shizune is my favorite character so I opted to play through her path first. I had my hope high as her ending in Act 1 was my favorite by far. Having finished it recently, my feelings regarding this path are mixed.

Act 2 was, on the whole, the best one out of the "new" chapters. I really enjoyed how Hisao got closer and closer to Shizune while gradually phasing out the dependance on Misha for communicative purposes. The ending of this act, along with the Shizune's in Act 1, are my favorite moments as of yet. As the storyline enters Act 3, however, things do get rather... awkward, I should say. After Shizune and Hisao have sex for the first time, a scene which I found peculiarly endearing, the relationship seems to be shoved aside and supplemented by Shizune's irritating family and, after getting back to Yamaku, personal problems related to Misha. Each time Hisao meets with Shizune privately, they only talk about Misha. The last two scenes, while offering a good deal of character development and some sense of closure, left me wondering if Shizune and Hisao were still together. "I love you. Do our school have one of these reunion things?" comes to mind. One or two additional "d'aw" moments in chapter 4 would have left me much more more satisfied.

Still, I admire the fact that Shizune, while developing as a character/maturing in a convincing manner, still did not turn out to be using her personality as a facade, revealing a sweet, boring and generic "true self". I always go for the more callous characters in other VNs, and in those I've tried previously they always turn out this way. For some reason, they tend to have strong masochistic streaks; not a bad thing as such, but I am very glad to see Shizune take a good deal of initiative and exercise a form of playful dominance in both sex scenes.

As for the (good) ending, I must admit that while it left me a tad skeptical at first, I must admit that it grew on me and I re-read it, leaving me satisfied but with a feeling which I think I have identified as "saudade", a good sign that I have enjoyed a work of literature, a movie or something similar while sad that I will never be able to enjoy it in the same way ever again. Somebody described the ending as bittersweet; I wholeheartedly agree. Even if the possibility exists that they break up, I like to imagine that they stay together.

While on the subject of Shizune's Path, playing it when the demo came out about 3,5 years ago accidentally pointed me towards a hobby/interest that will probably stay with me throughout the rest of my life and which as brought me much pleasure and has made me "grow as a person" (I feel awful for using such a cliche phrase) - namely Philosophy. See, Katawa Shoujo is the only VN that has forced me to consult a dictionary - it did this multiple times, no less. During Shizune's Path in Act 1, the word "stoic" appeared within Hisao's inner monologue. I went to check it up, and it gave me two results; the modern meaning, "dispassionate and emotionally restrained - indifferent to pain or distress" and, more interestingly, its traditional meaning; "of, relating to, or resembling the Stoics or their doctrines". I went to check up who the stoics were - turns out they were a group of philosophers whose doctrine, stoicism, was popular in Ancient Rome and Greece. After reading a little about them, I became interested in the school which opened the door for exploring philosophy in general. After completing my High School studies, I went on to study the subject on university level - I am just about to start my last sub-course in the introductory course to Practical Philosophy, going for the equivalent for Theoretical in February. (This archaic separation dates from the 19-th centry and is only present here in Sweden and a couple of other countries.) So thank you a thousandfold, dear KS-devs :D
Last edited by Brasse on Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I say, additional crackfics are in order.

Shizune>Lilly>Rin>Misha>Emi>Kenji>Hanako.

vytong
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by vytong » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:57 pm

This is kind of bothering me, but in the cinematics for Shizune, why does Misha smile then frowns afterwards? It's the part where Shizune gets that notepad from Hisao.

Irru

Re: Shizune's path

Post by Irru » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:27 pm

vytong wrote:This is kind of bothering me, but in the cinematics for Shizune, why does Misha smile then frowns afterwards? It's the part where Shizune gets that notepad from Hisao.
Because she's in love with Shizune. Have you not been paying attention at all?

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Merlyn_LeRoy
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Merlyn_LeRoy » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:06 pm

After doing Rin's route and Hanako's route, both of which have H-scenes that are integral to plot and character development, Shizune's H-scenes do feel tacked on. Even if, as someone has suggested, Shizune is the type to be OK with just being around Hisao at council meetings instead of going on dates, the reader needs Hisao to realize it in an internal monologue or something.

There's a possible stylistic explanation I've thought of, though: at one point, Hisao reflects that much of Shizune's conversations with people consists of words without many emotional cues -- short sentences on a pad, or Hisao's rudimentary sign language -- and that's one reason Shizune seems to stare intently at people. She's trying to detect the emotional component of the conversation by closely observing what the other person is doing.

Maybe the Hisao-Shizune relationship is written in that way on purpose -- little internal emotional dialog by Hisao, to give the reader a similar "emotionless" description of their relationship -- so the reader needs to "figure out" the emotional component by observing what they do.

I'll try to keep that in mind on my second play-through, but I'm probably just overthinking it.

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by HeMeido » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:27 am

Some thoughts I had while killing rakghouls. This is the path thread, so I'm not going to bother with spoilers.

Jigoro

Jigoro isn't as much of an asshole as people make him out to be. He's obviously glad that Shizune brought over a friend that isn't Misha - he's happy they used his fishing equipment and he cooks for Hisao. He also follows Hisao's advice about connecting with Shizune later on. It's just that by that point, Shizune hasn't learned that she can't always just do things her way. As insane as his ramblings are, they're mostly accurate. Even his remarks about how the student council is insignificant and how the room has too many tables and chairs for how many people there are in it can be taken to mean that Shizune shouldn't have driven away the people who could have been her friends over something as petty as a student government. Really, Jigoro's just massively tsundere towards his children.

Misha

My God, Misha. You think being Misha is suffering now? Think about this for a second.

Her sole comfort - her time alone with Shizune during student council work - is intruded upon by Hisao. But that's not even the worst part. The worst part is that, up until the point where Hisao starts communicating with Shizune in sign language, Misha has to witness and mediate the relationship that she desperately wants, but will never have. After that, she becomes the third wheel and finds every excuse she can to get out of their way so that she doesn't have to watch Shizune fall in love with someone else.

Shizune

Shizune manages to have it worse than Misha. She just handles it better.

Misha loves her. Hisao loves her. She loves Hisao. She knows this is causing problems... and there is absolutely no one she can talk to about it. The only people who understand her and who hang out with her are both part of the problem and she's driven away everyone else. She doesn't want to spend too much time with Hisao because she knows how much it would hurt Misha. She doesn't want to spend too much time with Misha because she wants to be a good girlfriend to Hisao. So, she focuses on the one thing the three of them can do together: student council work. If there's no student council work, she sends them both away to avoid showing favouritism. It doesn't help that she doesn't want to do couple things just for the sake of doing couple things anyway. Working with Hisao is more meaningful to her.

When Shizune goes to visit her family, she knows she has to bring Hisao along. She knows this will cut down on Misha's quality time with her. She sets Hisao up with Hideaki to make sure he doesn't get bored and spends most of her time with Misha to avoid making her feel left out. She buys some clothes for Hisao to show that she is thinking about him. When she realizes that this isn't enough, she decides to have sex with him to get closer to him and to show how much she really does love him.

Then Misha decides to stop hanging out with them. Shizune feels incredibly guilty at having driven away her best friend and the only friend she had for about a year, but Shizune doesn't mope. She tries to fix the situation the only way she knows how by doing things to draw Misha back to her. That doesn't work, Hisao comes up with a less overbearing approach. With her relationship with Misha smoothed out and her work with the student council done, Shizune can focus on being Hisao's girlfriend for a bit and they have sex again.

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sporkaganza
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by sporkaganza » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:35 am

HeMeido wrote:Misha

My God, Misha. You think being Misha is suffering now? Think about this for a second.

Her sole comfort - her time alone with Shizune during student council work - is intruded upon by Hisao. But that's not even the worst part. The worst part is that, up until the point where Hisao starts communicating with Shizune in sign language, Misha has to witness and mediate the relationship that she desperately wants, but will never have. After that, she becomes the third wheel and finds every excuse she can to get out of their way so that she doesn't have to watch Shizune fall in love with someone else.
Gosh, this so much. I was surprised when I came in here and I saw a few people going "God Misha was annoying in this route!" After playing it all the way through, how can you think that? How can you not want to do anything except give the poor girl a hug? I mean, seriously, I felt so bad for her when she finally revealed that.
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Getchman
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Getchman » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:39 am

HeMeido, that's almost exactly what i was thinking as well, and I completely agree with you. Not sure how i missed all that conflict because i went through that route pretty slow and read everything.

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sporkaganza
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by sporkaganza » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:44 am

Oh, but I have to disagree with you on Jigoro. Yes, he does have a point, but I think the reason people dislike him is the sheer arrogance and presumptuousness of this guy. He claims to know everything yet he hasn't even learned how to communicate with his own daughter properly? He immediately assumes things about Hisao and then scolds Hisao for assuming things about him. I thought it was no wonder Hisao hated the guy. At the same time, obviously he really does care for his kids. Even the harshest parents usually care for their children, and I'd agree that in some ways he isn't that harsh in the end. Still, though, I think he does deserve to be disliked for his attitude.
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ultrarare

Re: Shizune's path

Post by ultrarare » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:04 am

Am I the only one that expected Shizune's problem to be related to her father? Seems like he was rather glossed over.

Rivinhal

Re: Shizune's path

Post by Rivinhal » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:50 am

Brasse wrote:left me wondering if Shizune and Hisao were still together. "I love you. Do our school have one of these reunion things?" comes to mind. Somebody described the ending as bittersweet; I wholeheartedly agree. Even if the possibility exists that they break up, I like to imagine that they stay together.
That was my biggest issue too.. I loved the path as a whole, though it was lacking in conlict a tad, and wasn't as emotional as the others.. I simply don't like uncertainty like that too much... I personally think they stayed together: A) because it makes me happy.. I mean it IS the good ending after all.. and B) it may allude to other things (though I take most of those statements as directed at Misha, as she was both of their friend too, and they weren't going to see her anytime soon), because there is no direct statements.. I mean he says he will keep "chasing her".. I just think they may seperate (not romantically, just physically) for a time, as they are graduating and not going to be living so close anymore.. And I thought, "they are obviously happy together, even if a bit detatched.. But that's how life is sometimes.." they will adjust.. Am I the only one that feels that way? (or had to convince themselves to feel that way lol?)

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by t3hj0j0 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:57 am

Just finished playing through my final route (Rin... by god, if it wasn't for me hearing about the route a bit before starting it, I would have reset thinking I had the bad end so many damn times...) but even after all of them, Shizune is still my favorite. The main complain I see is that there wasn't enough relationship in their relationship, since most of the scenes were focused almost solely on moving the plot directly along (or Hisao getting bitched at by the manliest man of them all, or confused by the womanly...ist... man of them all). Most of their relationship is almost implied in side comments. Mentioning bubble gum blowing contests and another little events that we don't see. You have to assume that their relationship is their, because Shizune trusts you enough (and you prod enough [both meanings intended]) that she lets you in on the problem, same with Misha (without the second meaning of prod... because by god, I read the bad endings script... I never want to play that... ever).

On the first sex scene. The first thing that popped into my head (...well, second after "O.o bondage in the parents house... kinky!") was that besides limiting his movements... they stop them from really communicating. It made it really sweet to think that that was Shizune's way of the typical "Shhh, don't talk" that is over bloody used in that form. It changed the scene from random sex into a really kind of sweet moment. And for those complaining about how abrupt it is, while the timing is kind of weird, it's almost an apology for Jiggy-Wiggys behavior, as well as the fact that, 1) they are dating and 2) it's kind of like a spring break for them, can't go ff with your girlfriend for a few days and not expect SOMETHING to happen at some point, whether it be "in a hard wooden chair hands tied behind my back really adorable sex" to 6 hour shopping sprees.

As for the ending, it really makes sense if you look back to how Hisao acted when he was learning sign language. He doesn't want to show Shizune until he has gotten it down. The only reason Shizune learns is because Misha tells her. Hisao wants to be certain that he can do what he wants to do at his best before he does it (in regards to dealing with Shizune and a future life), so it makes sense that there isn't an immediate end, since none of the acts have any kind of "5/10/20/4287 years later" (I'm pretty sure that Shizune's !!ALMOST AN ALL ROUTE SPOILER BUT NOT REALLY!!goes the farthest in time actually). Hisao has to become a teacher, just like Shizune has to conquer to world... or become a philanthropist before they sit down and get married and have armies of blue haired babies. While there is room for "meh, just ain't working out anymore", with all the trouble they went through, it isn't likely they would give up (and neither of them give up easily in the first place).

I would write more, and I probably will later, but I must go to sleep and get over Rins route... O GAWD MY DAW MUSCLES AND MY BRAIN MUSCLES... THEY BOTH ARE HURTING.

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by NoLoveForFrank » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:50 am

I'm sorry, but for me Jigoro will forever be a complete ass. I could forgive a lot of what he says, cause within all the pompous jackassery there are snippets of truth to be found. However in Act 3, Confrontation, when Hisao really starts to push back at him, and he said for 12 years Shizune did not even talk to me, even though I hired multiple tutors and interpreters of all sorts for her to try and become normal. in that incredibly haughty, egotistical, and overbearing tone of his...that was it. So he basically puts her through the ringer, and subjects her to all that simply because she doesn't meet his criteria of what is "normal". From what I can tell he never even bothered to learn sign language, so in a sense he never really even bothered to learn to communicate with his daughter. If he spent just 5 minutes in actual, authentic self-introspection he'd maybe realize that his children would be a lot more adjusted and probably more positive towards him if he didn't continually sacrifice them on the altar of his own egotistical self-aggrandizement.

It addresses one of the disagreements I have with some of the interpretations I've read here, in that Shizune is normal and doesn't need to be fixed. To my mind she is absolutely damaged/flawed, more so than Misha because it is so difficult for her to even come to grips with being flawed, much less deciding if/how to address it. The signs are there all throughout act 1 and 2, and it's in the first H-scene that it's pretty much sealed. In fact, the first H-scene to my mind is the starkest sign of it. It happened the way it did because for her (and for the way she was) it was really the only way it could happen. The reason Hisao was tied up, to my mind, was that Shizune has severe control issues. Both Hisao and Misha make remarks about it throughout the story, and when you look at most of the events in her path you can see the hallmarks of it. The way it went down was really the only way it could....it was in it's own way tender and loving but it also let Shizune be in complete control of the situation. Which to my mind is a snapshot of her character at that time, tender and loving in her own way, but with a need to be in control of the world (and to a certain extent the people) around her. I give a lot of credit to the writers for keeping consistent with her character with that aspect of her. It would have been a violation of that which makes Shizune, well, Shizune. Instead, it takes a long time for her to recognize the problem, and when she finally does begin to admit it she goes about trying to figure out on her own what to do about it. When she needs help she asks for it but she fully realizes I think that being her "problem", any solution has to come from her and not from anyone else. Other people can help, but they can't do it for you. The second H scene then becomes vital, in that it is a way to categorize her progress in dealing with her issues. We see that it is a lot more interactive between the two, more collaborative, and more equal than the first pairing. She's trusting enough of Hisao, and I think it's clear evidence of how she's grown as a person that she can be that way.

To tie it back to Jigoro...consider that her one good friend (Misha) was in love with her and she couldn't return the feelings. Her other friend (Lilly) abandoned her (generalizing a bit on that one). Then of course add in that her communication with the outside world must be filtered through another person, and that just happens to be the person who is dealing with unrequited love for her. Where she should expect some kind of solace, comfort, support....she has none. For all intents and purposes Jigoro emotionally abandoned her at an incredibly young age. When you put all that together, it's an incredible amount of turmoil for anyone, much less a young deaf girl to have to shoulder. There's no one she can honestly completely rely on to support her unconditionally, so no wonder she is very guarded about her "true self" (so to speak). Very high walls they are, and not something that can come down in so short a time. It's also why the "love saves all" trap/trope would have failed miserably, and why I'm glad the author avoided it.

One of the troubles I think with evaluating Shizune's path is that it is quite subtle. Unlike some of the paths, it's not about the big payoff at the end but watching the slow progress of people trying to navigate some very complex and mature issues in a complex and mature way. When I first finished the path I felt the disappointment others did at the lack of a real "conclusion" or conflict, however given time and reflection upon the events I found my feelings changed. If one can look below the surface, there is a surprising amount of emotional growth happening to most of the characters, and finally seeing just how Shizune changed (especially without having to change or compromise who she was) was rather profound. It also I believe explains why she never actually said "I love you" to Hisao. It's not that she doesn't....Hisao in the latter part of the arc realizes that for Shizune every word carries an emotional weight to it. Even for two completely normal people honestly saying I love you is an incredibly and emotionally powerful thing. Were she to say it, that would be the ultimate ceding of that iron grip of control...not just ro Hisao, but to fate. She wasn't ready to do that, and I think she's still not there yet. But there is always hope.

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