Shizune's path

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Rubytyr » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:32 pm

her bad ending wrenched my guts : ( never felt so terrible watching that last scene unfold~
(my saving grace is I got the good ending first)

I felt Shizune's story and theme was pretty on-the-spot, though I admit I got impatient with it at times - it kinda felt...aimless,until the issues with Misha become more obvious


Re: Shizune's path

Post by Guest » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:39 pm

So I played Shizune's bad ending for completion and didn't think I'd be affected as she's not my favourite of the girls and I thought of her as being unnecessarily bitchy at times.

I was wrong. Ow, my heart. Hope you're happy, Hisao, you cheating bastard.

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by anarki » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:02 pm

I knew that when choosing to confort misha I'd get the bad ending, but I was really hoping to end with Misha instead. In that case it wouldn't really be a bad ending though =|

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by X_Bacon » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:40 am

Fronzel wrote:
Merlyn_LeRoy wrote:You aren't fed that information, you have to observe how people act to figure some important information out.
The problem I find with this is that Hisao is the player's lens into the story. I could tell that Shizune was acting weird but Hisao didn't seem to notice anything. It ends up being the story of how unobservant and dull Hisao is because everything else is concealed.
This, oh so much. The kinda frequent time skips didn't help too.
Just when you think something is going to happen/be revealed, Hisao goes "Ehm, nevermind, I'm going to my room now", then it cuts to the next day and that's never mentioned again.

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by bradpara » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:51 am

Indeed, this is a more subtle form of storytelling than say, Emi's arc (which I am playing now) you have to pay attention to actions and reas between the lines in order truely get what is going on, esp on a emtional level, as I do belive that you can sense and affection between Shizune and Hisao if you pay attention. It's probably something that is actually more enjoyable the second time around.

That being say I loved Shizune's path and Good Ending and look foward to playing it again after I have finished the other paths.
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:21 am

I agree with bradpara.
When I first read Shizune's path, I was pretty much focussing on technical issues and pressed for time, so much of what is going on between the lines simply went past me.
Now that I've read the discussions here and on IRC and reread some of the scenes from the library, my appreciation of Shizune's path has risen considerably. Yes, it does have it's faults, and it doesn't present it's conclusions about the characters in as obvious a way as the other paths do. You have to stay focussed through at times lengthy bits of dialogue to notice the important bits, but if you do, you'll be rewarded.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Megumeru » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:30 am

Just replayed Shizune's path again...

...and the title of the last act, 'To my Other Self', caught my attention entirely. It could loosely be translated to her 'other' half which is in her context Misha OR Hisao, at which point both became a part of her implicating her 'other self'. I think there's something deeper in her path that's worth looking into, but I just feel like missing some points and that finding these little details just made her that much more interesting. It's like there's this fuzzy moments in one of the ACTs where Shizune deliberately tried to tell Hisao that she loves him, but unable to express it in words but in action either by competition or her teasing. I felt it, but I just think I missed it somewhere along the lines.

It's a more innocent and clean type of relationship compared to Emi with a lot less drama than Lilly's. If I were to describe it, it feels natural so to say. There is still that moment I seemed to miss though....hmm...

Still, hats-off to Misha for her effort playing cupid since ACT I-ACTIII. Now that I've looked into it again, I realize that's what she's doing all along...and that she's regretting it.


Re: Shizune's path

Post by Guest » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:23 am

anarki wrote:I knew that when choosing to confort misha I'd get the bad ending, but I was really hoping to end with Misha instead. In that case it wouldn't really be a bad ending though =|
I dunno about that. At that point, there wouldn't be a way for everyone to escape unhurt - Shizune would not only be upset when you break up with her, but inevitably find out you've cheated and would hate the both of you forever for it. Shizune can be a nice person but I don't think she'd be big on forgiveness with that sort of thing, and that in turn would pretty much destroy Misha inside for good.

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Althamus » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:01 pm

I finished Shizune's path either yesterday or the day before (time hazing ftl?) and almost immediately came on here and wrote quite a negative review of it. Having had a day to ruminate on the path, I'd now like to take back a large amount of what I said.

I guess a big problem was that the game was labelled as a dating sim, I saw it as a way to tell teenage love stories (ie. everyone is naive, things aren't always smooth, but things turn out right in the end. Also, I started playing Shizune's arc just after finishing Emi's arc, which IMHO is a perfect example of the above.
By contrast, Shizune's arc doesn't fit that stereotype at all, and because of that I was annoyed at it.

However, what it does do is introduce you to the main 3 characters, and make them real. Emi isn't as real as Shizune or Misha in my eyes, because (certainly at first) she is too stereotyped, fits too much into a caegory. Shizune's arc has very complex characters, and touches a lot of deeper and more complex issues.

Also, I'd describe Emi's story as almost a fairytale love story, and because of that it needs a happy ending. Shizune's arc is more about a coming of age thing, realising that life isn't always easy, that you can't always fix things by just trying harder, and that sometimes, you can't fix things that're broken.
As such, I think that both of the endings fit it really well. The story isn't a story that wants to see the lead characters riding off into the sunset together, and I think that if it showed that, it would feel very false and wrong.
Also, while I'd class both Shizune and Emi's bad endings as more neutral endings, and they both made me cry inside in different ways, I think that Shizune's bad ending almost fits better than her good ending (with exception to the whole comforting Misha thing, which although very well done and showing very well the motives for them doing what they did, I didn't like on a personal level).

I'm not completely swinging the otoher way though, I still don't think it's perfect ("WHY DID HE BRING A SWORD TO SCHOOOL???????"), and I don't think it does what it says on the tin. But I do think that it is a good and complex story still, and I would like to read it through again in the future :)
Routes played: Emi (10/10), Shizune (6/10), Lilly (9/10), Hanako (9/10), Rin (7.5/10)
Emi > Hanako = Lilly > Rin > Shizune
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Shintai » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:34 pm

So far I've gone through Rin, Emi and now Shizune's paths. Now so far I've only gotten good endings, because, to be honest, I cant seem to bring myself to get the bad ones. However so far I would say Shizune's path is the weakest, but definitely not bad. The route felt like it was more about Misha and Shizune, rather than Hisao and Shizune. Now, I am not saying it's a bad thing, as I think a very strong theme in this was to basically cherish your friendships and bonds and to not take them for granted. However there were some things about the route that bugged me. For started, I felt alot of the interactions with Jigoro either didn't make sense, or were just annoying to read. Honestly, the guy really doesn't have a good reason to treat Hisao like shit when he first meets him. I understand that it's part of his personality, but it still doesn't make alot of sense. Not just that, but it felt like there were unresolved issues concerning the father. Hisao and Shizune never really talk about him, and I think that's a mistake. Her father is clearly a negative aspect in her life. He's rude to her friends, he's pompous and arrogant and is just an overall douchebag. I would have suspected there to be more conversation concerning him, and some resolution between how Hisao and Jigoro clearly dislike eachother.Now again, I understand that this route was fairly strongly rooted in the themes concerning friendship, rather than romance, but I still felt that the romance between Shizune and Hisao could have been explored a bit.

Anyways, enough ranting on my part, I did enjoy the route overall.

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by sazaland » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:12 am

Man, released. So far I've made it through Shizune first, Rin second. Against common opinion I actually enjoyed Shizune's path more I think, which also runs against my impressions from the Act 1 demo almost 3 years ago.

As an increasing number of people are noting, you have to read in more to get what's going on in Shizune's path, and it's prevalent enough that it can't be a coincidence/imagination. Personally, bittersweet endings also resonate pretty well with me, though I think a lot of people had an oddly doom and gloom interpretation of Shizune's good end. I'm finding it hard to imagine that her bad end wasn't the most depressing in the whole VN. A deaf girl deciding she can no longer be with her only friends, the only people who know how to speak to her, and now being afraid of her own abrasive nature :( There was some meandering and places which felt like cut or missed plot arcs but it was very good.

The big impression on me though, especially after completing Rin's though is realizing how much I've changed over the past 3 years. When the Act 1 demo was released I still had severe communication issues like those Rin suffers from, and identified with her the most after playing through the whole demo, having also completed her part first since for the first shot I just answered the choices naturally according to my instincts. When the full release rolled around though, what stuck out in my mind was the fact that Shizune clearly had the best Act 1 ending, so I decided to pick that up first instead of Rin's route. What I've found after completing both is that I appreciated the direct way Shizune handles everything, especially communication. I usually hate manipulative people but when Shizune does it it's completely transparent and feels lighthearted: you are being manipulated but not really DECEIVED, which is a key difference, and the point which makes it endearing instead of off-putting. Comparatively, I was just frustrated for most of Rin's path, no longer able to identify with her wall between herself and others. While that may have been the point of the route, I think for it to work properly as a story you had to get EMOTIONALLY frustrated, not intellectually frustrated like I did. Some of the scenes meant to be the most intense flew over my head until I read some impressions in the Rin thread, and realized that these scenes were moving/soul-shattering to most readers. It's because while I *got* what was going on, I didn't truly understand what the problem was, even after the end. If I had to explain what exactly happened to allow Rin's good end, I could not. I suppose in the end I expected a concrete explanation for why she was able to come to terms with who she was, and being with Hisao, and it never happened.

In any case, I'm throwing my hat in with those who enjoyed Shizune's path, and am a bit sad to see the reception so far, all though heartened to see more reconsidering it: I am certainly going to ruminate more on Rin's path rather than discount it.

P.S. I'm also tossing my hat in with those who miss the old version of "The Student Council" theme, I really noticed the absence of Shicchan's theme :( Though I ALSO like the new theme


Re: Shizune's path

Post by Guest » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:40 pm

Rubytyr wrote:her bad ending wrenched my guts : ( never felt so terrible watching that last scene unfold
Same here. She's my second-favorite girl (half a second behind Emi), and even though I only played the bad end due to curiosity, it really hit me deep. I blame the CG. That cat.Heartbreaking.


Re: Shizune's path

Post by Lurch » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:15 pm

Megumeru wrote: ...
This is a brilliant interpretation of Shizune's route. I've sort of taken it as the 'official version, at least in my head. I'd need to read the path again to see if I believe A22 meant it that way though...

If he did and all the clues are there, waiting to be picked up by someone in their second read-through (or someone faster on the uptake than me), than kudo's to A22.

After reading other responses, and having a week to think about it, my own interpretation of the route (posted several pages back) has changed somewhat. Thinking about it, I'd say A22's characterisation of Shizune is probabally the most complex of all the characters - with the possible exception of Rins, who's route I havn't followed yet. Shizune managed to avoid being the 'control freak' cliche, and after act one, showed that there was quite a bit of depth behind the whole 'everythings a competition and I have to win' thing.

The way the story was handled though, didn't really explain their characterisation or what was going on behind the scenes as well as it could have. It is possible to let the reader know about things the main character doesn't, even in a first-person narrative, but it's exceedingly hard to do well.

I suspect A22's reach exceeded his grasp. The material he presents has a LOT of potential, but I feel it needs a lot more work before it lives up to that potential.

A lot of people have expressed their disapointment in the route - myself included. But A22 still did an incredible job. It's very easy to look at a finished work and say you can do better. In fact, it's easy to look at a finished work, then make your own better version. (such as in fanfiction). But that's because fanfiction builds on whats already there. Building something from scratch isn't as easy. Developing the characters and inter-character relationships to the depth they were, while handling constant cuts and changes with the other Devs is quite a feet. It IS a shame that the Shizune route wasn't developed to the point where it could fully show off the Shizune character in all it's brilliance, but I think A22's work is still worth congratulating.

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Merlyn_LeRoy » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:18 pm

Lurch wrote:
Megumeru wrote: ...
This is a brilliant interpretation of Shizune's route.

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by RedDesertPhoenix » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:31 pm

Merlyn_LeRoy wrote:
Lurch wrote:
Megumeru wrote: ...
This is a brilliant interpretation of Shizune's route.
Oops... :? I honestly didn't mean to do that.

I'm Lurch btw, took me a while to work out what my old username was so I could sign in.

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