Jobriq wrote:Shizune's act 4 is titled "To my other self" and based on the plot I thought "other self" was supposed to be Misha, but the cover art for the act has Shizune holding hands with a younger version of herself. Am I missing something?
Chancing a guess, based on what I know from reading the story over a few times, the 4th act is delving into the origin of Shizune's personality. Helping Misha get back on track leads Shizune to reevaluate herself, and that in turn results in her bringing up things about her past to Hisao to help explain why she is the way she is--her competitiveness, the compartmentalization of her relationships, and the distance she places between herself and her closest friends.
Essentially, she's expressing where she came from and trying to figure out where to go from there. It's sort of an existential crisis, but a lot of it gets relegated to internalization until she starts feeling more comfortable with both Hisao, and Misha's situation. Unfortunately, a lot of it gets truncated into a few short scenes, and the narrative instead gets dominated by Misha worries, Student Council duties, and graduation preparations.
This is just speculation, mind you, based on little more than my own interpretation of the available story. It's entirely possible the Act 4 title for Shizune's route has more to do with Hisao's slow realization about his own past relative to the future, but that would be more speculation.
Out of this, I've realized a question: In both of Shizune's endings, it seems as though the story leaves the reader to wonder whether the primary cast (Hisao, Misha, and Shizune) are really even friends at the end. The bad
end seems to resolve with an obvious rift between them, but the good
end has the earmarks of an eventual--if involuntary--separation of the three, which is a unique situation among the routes. Was leaving the story with that much uncertainty something intentional that was planned before writing the route, or was it simply how the story developed in production?