This game punched me in the philosophy.

A forum for general discussion of the game: Open to all punters
Ashai
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Re: This game punched me in the philosophy.

Post by Ashai » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:20 am

Oh boy... this is exactly what has happened to me. Before KS, I had started an achievement-whoring spree, but... not sure where that stands now. Might want to try more VN's. :P

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Popo
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Re: This game punched me in the philosophy.

Post by Popo » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:56 am

Weaver wrote:Thanks Popo, I really appreciate it! I've tried in the past and faltered pretty quickly but things just somehow seem different this time. I'm not sure why but I feel like this is the real deal. I was on time for work today, first time in a year. Though I'll admit the surprised glances from my co-workers were almost enough to make me burst out laughing before I got to my desk.

I just nailed this part of a song I've been trying to learn for the last two days. Sitll have a ways to go, but I fucking got at least part of it. That is mine now, no one can take that.
My fingers are sore as hell and my pinky is weak and noodly, but it feels good to conquer something, to improve.

But enough about me, you really seem like a wonderful person. I'm glad you've posted here with your story because you are a real life person and it's very encouraging to see an actual and physical human being working to improve, and garnering success. And when you talk about playing it safe and living a life immersed in fantasy... that really hits it home for me. And - as a guess - I suspect you are speaking with some experience.

Time for the gym :)
Can't have my fingers hurting alone.
That's awesome to hear. Overcoming challenges is a thrilling experience. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of confidence and resolve, to break free from the plateaus of life. Make a conscious effort to keep these changes up.

Thanks for the compliments, and I'm glad my story can inspire. :D You have me pegged, I'm almost always playing video games. I've been there, I used to be an escapist junkie. It helped me survive a tough childhood and my teenage years, but now I appreciate them more in an artistic sense.

It's funny you mention the gym, I've actually been slacking off the last month or two. :oops: I'm definitely gonna get back into it, though. Probably tomorrow. I've already lost dozens of pounds in the last 2 years or so, but I'm still fairly fat, so I gotta keep up the work. My main achievements have been in getting healthier in general, with a good diet and lots of exercise (most of the time :P), but the main thing has been working on my mindset and perspective. I haven't done anything too exciting lately, it's mostly just been a cerebral battle. Been getting over a lot of issues, mental and physical. I've become not too shabby at social situations, but I still haven't left the house all that often. I feel just about ready to really get myself out there, though.
Every day is a miracle.

viduuskamen
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Re: This game punched me in the philosophy.

Post by viduuskamen » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:39 am

Thank you for that heartfelt post Weaver, your thoughts echoed many of my own experience, and believe it not, also answered a few questions and erased a few self-doubts I had.

From moving across the world (leaving a lot of close people behind) to volatile breakups (so many things went wrong, but not all were my fault), I have only been able to handle everything through a very cold, rationalizing manner - because there was just no way for me to process the information at the time, even though I wanted to.
But as time went on and similar events built on top of each other, it just became too overwhelming and the painful memories just kept getting brushed under the rug.

I tried my best to carry on the semblance of a normal life; graduating university, pursuing a career, and even dating again. However, trust issues remained each time and became self-fulfilling. So no matter how hard I tried, everything was just... gilded - I knew I wasn't debilitated or acted withdrawn, but things just didn't feel... whole.

It is your final resolve to simply get up and do something that inspired me, and I am very glad to see someone was able to glean so much insight for growth through this game.

---

And thank you Popo, your confidence and optimism really does shine brightly in your posts. Again, your bravery and willingness to accept the risks in pursuing your goals is admirable... however, I can't help but be a bit jealous while thinking that you may have been luckier than I am.
The problem with optimism (and while I appreciate your advice), is that no matter how many times you try to maintain hope, like you said, the odds are against you. Perhaps I weren't as lucky as you or Weaver (English is not even my first language, believe it or not), and faced more failures than I was willing to subject myself to; or the fact that I feel have dragged myself this far and have yet not reached what I wanted, weighs myself down.

Nonetheless, your analogy regarding the costumed fools reminded me of Hanako's story and that it also took determination to "reveal" yourself. Which then encourages me to try, until I can't anymore, regardless of optimism.

---

Much like Anatole, I tried to keep a log / reflective journal on my own reactions during the most emotional parts of the game, but I found it shocking that unlike my more... fluent posts on this forum, they were very terse and disconnected; heck, they almost seem downright pitiful.
I didn't know that's what I thought of myself until I went back and read it... which totally dispelled my own illusion of well-adjusted.

So at this point, all I left to say is that:

Yes, it feels good to be able to feel something again.
Even if those feelings don't feel good.
Everything may have been a work of fiction, but the feelings are real.

---

I do apologize if I seem like I'm hogging the board, but I really want to thank everyone for sharing your own personal lives, and thus allowing to bare a bit of myself through a little anonymity.
"It's kinda funny, I've played a bunch of VN's and for the first time I'm feeling apprehensive about going down another path. I'm thinking weird crap like how will Hanako ever be happy if someones not there for her.......If Hanako's writer reads this I want you to know that I thank you for giving me this wonderful treasure."
-Rykn

[I feel like a giant jerk for completing the game.]

Yozul
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Re: This game punched me in the philosophy.

Post by Yozul » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:55 am

Punched in the philosophy seems like a pretty good description of what this game did to me. I know it really has very little to do with the original post, but the direction the conversation has gone here makes me think that maybe this would have been a better place to post something I posted in the Emi thread. I'll copy it here for reference:
Yozul wrote:I think that I need to say something, and I don't know if this is the right place, but I can't think of anywhere better.

I'm not particularly into visual novels. I've tried them before, and the idea of them seemed really cool, but I never much liked the actual stories.

Anyway, I happened to see an article about this one somewhere, and it seemed like it might be interesting. Plus it was free. I figured I'd give it a try. I ended up with the Emi ending my first time through the game, and I couldn't shake the feeling that something was odd. It was like I really, really identified with Emi, and I couldn't figure out why. She's an outgoing, athletic, short teenage girl with PTSD, and I am exactly none of those things. I just... didn't get it.

I played some more, got the other endings. It's a good game, I liked almost all the stories. Today, I decided I wanted to replay Emi's. I got to the part where she says "So I can't rely on you. Or the nurse. Or anyone else. Just me. That's how it's got to be." and I froze. I don't know how long. I wanted to punch something. I went for a walk. It's 40 degrees out, and raining, and I didn't even put on a jacket. I just keep thinking "Am I wrong?"

Is it possible for a person to have had PTSD since before they learned to talk? I have to say something, because not saying things is what I've always done, but I don't really have anyone to say it to.

Am I wrong? I don't know. I'm not Emi. I can't just confess my tragic past and make it all better. I don't have a tragic past. I trust people. Maybe too much, even. I think most people are decent at heart. I just think they're useless. I don't believe anyone can help. Am I wrong? I like people just fine, but I refuse to need them. I hate the very word need. It's weak. It's stupid. But am I wrong? I don't know. I don't know anything right now.

Everything I am. Everything I've ever been. Am I wrong? I think that maybe I am. I just don't know. I think that maybe I need help after all, but I'm afraid, and I don't even know how to begin to find it. I just don't know right now.
Part of me is embarrassed that I would ever post such a thing. It seems weak and foolish even now. But maybe that's okay? I've always been proud of my strength and independence, but maybe that's the part that's foolish?

I've always dealt with things on my own. That's the only way I know how, really. And I do deal with them. I can talk about every bad thing that's ever happened to me. My dad's alcoholism, my one serious girlfriend, my little brother's death, being picked on in middle school, I can recite an endless parade of facts about what's happened to me. I guess I'm just now realizing that's not the same as opening up to people though. This paragraph here in this thread helped me realize that I've never really let anyone see the real me:
Popo wrote:The thing about the masquerade is that it's very often two-sided. I thought I was really sincere when I was younger, but a lot of it was naivete, wishful thinking, and backwards-rationalization. Now I realize the truth isn't always pretty, but sometimes it needs to be said, and my confidence comes not from mere positive feelings, but a rational knowledge that I am a good person with near-boundless potential, no matter my rather rough past. I have good and bad qualities, and I know I can work on the bad ones, as well. The masquerade is almost universal among humans, due to self-preservation instincts for one's own emotions. Nobody can ever maintain it perfectly, though, and the beauty comes in the moments when two costumed fools allow each other to delicately remove pieces of each other's masks, getting peeks at the flesh it hides, until both are laid bare.
Although, now that I think about it a mask seems like a pretty poor metaphor for how I've been keeping people at arms length. I feel more like I've kept myself locked in a closet yelling at passersby and wondering why nobody could see the real me, and only just now have I realized I could open the door. I don't really know how to proceed from there, though. I think that maybe a story from my childhood might help to make it clearer.

When I was a kid, my parents really loved to go camping. We did it all the time. While we were out on one of these camping trips I burnt my hand on a propane lantern. It had a little metal pole going up through the middle that held up the wick and also was what the top attached to, so the little bolt at the top was very, very hot. I left the palm of my hand sitting on that for a rather long time (I can't sense temperature as well as most people) and so I was left with a very small, very severe burn in the center of my palm. I went into the tent where my mom was and just stood in the entrance, kind of sniffling a little. When she asked what was wrong I told her I burnt my hand. Of course it was dark out by that point, and the little lantern didn't really put out all that much light, but she inspected and bandaged it up as best she could and told me to get some sleep. It wasn't until the next morning when the sun came up and she could see everything better when she went to check my hand again that my mom realized that the patch in my palm was completely blackened. It was an area smaller than a dime, but it was so burnt that if even if you like your steaks well done it would have been overcooked.

I don't really actually remember much about all that. I really only know because my mom has told me about it. But I know myself well enough to know that the reason I was standing there in the doorway sniffling instead of screaming and crying is that I was feeling stupid and embarrassed. Partly because I had done something I shouldn't have, and partly because I didn't know what to do about it myself. But see, here's the thing: The reason I don't really remember anything about this except a few vague feelings is that it all happened when I was three.

I guess my point with all this is that I've never known how to rely on people. How does a 33 year old man learn to do something that most babies learn to do before they learn to crawl? I just feel... lost and broken and... kinda stupid.

I guess I'll just try and be open with what I'm feeling, not just what I know. And I'll try to help others and accept help myself more. I don't know if that will work or not, but I can't think of where else to start. So it's worth a shot, right?

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Popo
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Re: This game punched me in the philosophy.

Post by Popo » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:59 pm

viduuskamen wrote: And thank you Popo, your confidence and optimism really does shine brightly in your posts. Again, your bravery and willingness to accept the risks in pursuing your goals is admirable... however, I can't help but be a bit jealous while thinking that you may have been luckier than I am.
The problem with optimism (and while I appreciate your advice), is that no matter how many times you try to maintain hope, like you said, the odds are against you. Perhaps I weren't as lucky as you or Weaver (English is not even my first language, believe it or not), and faced more failures than I was willing to subject myself to; or the fact that I feel have dragged myself this far and have yet not reached what I wanted, weighs myself down.

Nonetheless, your analogy regarding the costumed fools reminded me of Hanako's story and that it also took determination to "reveal" yourself. Which then encourages me to try, until I can't anymore, regardless of optimism.

I do apologize if I seem like I'm hogging the board, but I really want to thank everyone for sharing your own personal lives, and thus allowing to bare a bit of myself through a little anonymity.
Your English skills aren't bad, I probably wouldn't have known you weren't a native speaker until you said so.

I don't know that I would call it luck. I spent a large part of my life in relative seclusion; I have a handful of very good, loyal friends, and I've only been in 2 relationships, but both ended pretty badly. Both times, it left me depressed for about a whole year. I know the risks, and I'm willing to take them, because I also know I've learned a lot of coping skills; little things like listening to happy music instead of sad, not wallowing in self-pity, staying active to get those happy hormones pumping, distracting yourself with fun and fulfilling things when it gets to be too much, etc. Don't feel bad about taking a while to reach your potential; the most important thing is simply reaching it, not worrying about when you do. Failures can be painful, but there's always something useful to be learned from them. It's like if you mix some paint and it doesn't come out just the right shade, you have two options: get pissed and feel ashamed that you wasted some paint, or feel happy and proud that now you know to use a little less green next time, and got to go through a learning experience.

Don't worry about it, this board is pretty open to discussing life experiences.
Yozul wrote:"Am I wrong?"
A question every sane man asks himself. First of all, being honest about your feelings isn't a sign of weakness, no matter what some people may have said or acted about it. Neither is having some self-esteem, as long as one isn't overly prideful. I consider myself fairly intelligent, but I'm keenly aware that there are many people that are several times better than I at many different skills and subjects.

To really answer your question, though...no, you're not wrong. A person has to have independence. Nobody can just come along and fix all of your problems, because the decision to change has to come from within yourself. You can sit there and just listen to somebody talk, be it a friend or a psychiatrist, and let it go in one ear and out the other, without improving at all, because you weren't willing to apply what you heard. Once you make the decision that you're going to give a serious effort toward confidence, happiness, and rationality, that's when you can truly achieve those things. Nobody else is obligated to fix your problems or help you, but yourself. That's why self-pity is so irrational.

The point of opening up to other people isn't to become dependent on them as your primary source(s) of happiness and self-esteem. The point is that in a confident, independent person's life, they are not dependent on any one person but themselves; other people serve to enrich your life, not define it. You shouldn't need people, you should simply enjoy and respect them. Flexibility is an important factor in life; one should be strong enough to survive on his own if need be, but if help and kindness is offered, accept it, without becoming dependent on it. Likewise, you should not expect anything in return for kindness and good deeds, doing it rather to improve yourself as a person, to help your confidence and ability to connect to others. It takes a lot of strength to open up to another person, so I want to do that to exercise my inner strength and help someone going through much of the same things I have, not because I need to find a person to fix me.
Every day is a miracle.

Freya
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Re: This game punched me in the philosophy.

Post by Freya » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:23 pm

hmm, well for video games i want GW2 to live up to the hype,
i see it breaking molds and doing quite well for it self, but also know it wont give all it says it will.
but in the mean time i live content.

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RedHades
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Re: This game punched me in the philosophy.

Post by RedHades » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:01 am

I also got "punched in the philosophy" and have been feeling unwell and extremely nostalgic since finishing some paths.

My experience with Katawa Shoujo was very similar to what I've been reading on this forum so far, in how it brought back hopes and regrets that I thought I had tossed out of my life. With these emotions resurfacing, I also find myself unhappy with how reclusive I have become. This realization is hopefully a good thing. And I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t figure this out sooner. But it’s probably because of how much time I spend in distracting myself with video games, in the same way some of you have described.

Ironically, it’s a video game that triggered this introspection. I’m amazed by that fact.

What I think is worth adding to this topic is how I got a bit freaked out on both Rin's and Shizune’s path, because they were similar to some painful love experience I had.

Back in college, I was studying in the pre-university arts program where I fell in love with a student artist. She was a very weird and troubled girl. She dragged me in this crazy emotional rollercoaster of attraction and rejection. And I remember we inspired each other for some of the projects we worked on. In the end, I quit the arts program and gradually stop drawing, loosing most of my artistic inspiration.

If you’ve played Rin’s path and her neutral ending, you probably get how it points to the above.

I also got involved in a nasty love triangle a few years back, quickly loosing the turbulent friendship of one paranoid/jealous girl after I spent the night with here friend. I’ve been making few friends since and picked up the bad habit of neglecting them.

I was reminded of that stuff with Shizune’s path and her bad ending, feeling not so proud of how I’ve come to avoid properly relating with people.

Thinking about all this has given me trouble sleeping. And I found I have not finishing eating any of my meals today. I’m not sure if I’m over-thinking this, but it certainly puts me in an uneasy mood. I strictly don’t believe that people can change. But I definitely believe that one can change his own habits, which is what I’m eager to attempt bit by bit.

I’m thinking of starting quickly with a thorough cleanup of my whole place and getting a much needed haircut. Then I might also go out and get a library membership. That’s a nice public place to hang out at, which is another thing Katawa Shoujo made me think of. And a big step would be getting back into drawing. Hopefully these ideas are a good start, and I have a few other churning.

Weaver
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Re: This game punched me in the philosophy.

Post by Weaver » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:33 am

RedHades wrote:I also got "punched in the philosophy" and have been feeling unwell and extremely nostalgic since finishing some paths.

My experience with Katawa Shoujo was very similar to what I've been reading on this forum so far, in how it brought back hopes and regrets that I thought I had tossed out of my life. With these emotions resurfacing, I also find myself unhappy with how reclusive I have become. This realization is hopefully a good thing. And I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t figure this out sooner. But it’s probably because of how much time I spend in distracting myself with video games, in the same way some of you have described.

Ironically, it’s a video game that triggered this introspection. I’m amazed by that fact.

What I think is worth adding to this topic is how I got a bit freaked out on both Rin's and Shizune’s path, because they were similar to some painful love experience I had.

Back in college, I was studying in the pre-university arts program where I fell in love with a student artist. She was a very weird and troubled girl. She dragged me in this crazy emotional rollercoaster of attraction and rejection. And I remember we inspired each other for some of the projects we worked on. In the end, I quit the arts program and gradually stop drawing, loosing most of my artistic inspiration.

If you’ve played Rin’s path and her neutral ending, you probably get how it points to the above.

I also got involved in a nasty love triangle a few years back, quickly loosing the turbulent friendship of one paranoid/jealous girl after I spent the night with here friend. I’ve been making few friends since and picked up the bad habit of neglecting them.

I was reminded of that stuff with Shizune’s path and her bad ending, feeling not so proud of how I’ve come to avoid properly relating with people.

Thinking about all this has given me trouble sleeping. And I found I have not finishing eating any of my meals today. I’m not sure if I’m over-thinking this, but it certainly puts me in an uneasy mood. I strictly don’t believe that people can change. But I definitely believe that one can change his own habits, which is what I’m eager to attempt bit by bit.

I’m thinking of starting quickly with a thorough cleanup of my whole place and getting a much needed haircut. Then I might also go out and get a library membership. That’s a nice public place to hang out at, which is another thing Katawa Shoujo made me think of. And a big step would be getting back into drawing. Hopefully these ideas are a good start, and I have a few other churning.
I'm glad the game made you think and feel. I really believe that's art at its most powerful.

I also had trouble sleeping and barely ate anything the day after my Emi & Hanako marathon. I really think what's happening is you're simply thinking introspectively. Maybe without realizing it you're wondering what really means what to you in life? I'm not too sure, because I'm not you.

But I can tell you what helped me in hopes it will help you. The talk about cleaning your place, getting a haircut and getting a library membership? Just start doing it.
For example maybe you think it's getting a bit late, and you'll just get a haircut tomorrow. No, don't listen to your own mind. You'll find how quickly you're brain gives up on making excuses once you have your shoes and coat on and are out the door.

Another example in relating to cleaning. I don't actually mind most cleaning (I must inherit it from my mother) but I hate two very specific things in regards to it: putting away clothes and hand washing dishes.
I find if I just start doing it I keep going. Put on some music, just try to make it a nice experience. I love the feeling of a clean place.

Finally I recommend loading things on only one or two at a time. Go to the library, see how you like it and see how it fits into your schedule. I have about ten zillion hobbies but I found I've had to focus on a select few at the moment. I often ran into the "unfinished project" problem because I would switch over almost every few days on things I whatever it was I thought I wanted to do. Maybe I'll think I should really paint some unfinished models and I feel a bit guilty for spending money on them and not finishing; but oh well. For now I'm practising guitar and I've committed that to myself so it feels fine. It's almost liberating.

But, as I said, this is just a technique I found that's been working for me in the last couple of days, hopefully it works for you!

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DaMan65
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Re: This game punched me in the philosophy.

Post by DaMan65 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:49 am

After walking a mile in Hiaso's shoes I do feel more content with myself.

Rin, Hanako, and Shizune's paths all taught me something. (Not so much the other two, even though I enjoyed playing them all.)

I think many of the people drawn to KS in the first place relate with Hiaso in some ways, a boy ripped out of his life into a Cripple Wonderland, with a broken heart to boot. Which is why it affects us so.

Artists may use lies to tell the truth but because we believed it even for just a moment we found something true about ourselves and the world in general.
By reading this you have given me temporary control of you mind

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RedHades
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Re: This game punched me in the philosophy.

Post by RedHades » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:02 am

Thanks for the positive words Weaver. I appreciate.
The talk about cleaning your place, getting a haircut and getting a library membership? Just start doing it.
For example maybe you think it's getting a bit late, and you'll just get a haircut tomorrow. No, don't listen to your own mind. You'll find how quickly you're brain gives up on making excuses once you have your shoes.
You're totally right about this stuff. But sadly it is actual late for a haircut and cleaning the place. Was like 11pm when I can up with it.

And NO, (for those who wrote of this in some other topic) that mundane stuff is not really any plan to get my life on track. It's just some immediate solution to clear my head.

Just to give some context here. I've been in vacation for almost three weeks now. Took some extra time this holiday season.
But since the start of my vacation, I've been hiding in my flat doing almost nothing but playing video games day-in day-out, and I was on my way to keep doing that until I got back to works next week falling back in the same old routine.
But then I played KS and got all messed up inside and I got like four days of vacations left. So yeah, getting my head out away from monitors and start doing normal life shit sounds good to me.
There's no way I could commit to any sort of long term solution to my sucking if I can't even jump onto proper daily chores by blowing stupids excuses out of my mind.

As for long term plans, I really need to treat my seclusive tendencies exactly like an serious addiction. It's not something that's just gonna go away.
I know these tendencies are part of me and pretty much there to stay. I need to build a routine and some surroundings that are going to help me fight my desire for loneliness.

Library membership is just one tool. Cooking classes would be something that interest me. I got the means to pay for these sort of thing, so that one less obstacle.

Starting to draw again is something that I know is going to be hard but not impossible. I'm really going to need to dig into myself to find inspiration and patience.
I don't plan on addressing my lack of creativity straight away. But just copying other drawings sounds like a good start just to get back the feel of it at least.

On top of all that. I've got a good friend who left the country in December and I completely ignored him and never saw him off. I'm going to write him a proper apology and tell him that I've been a huge dick and that I want to know what he's been up to.

Ry74
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Re: This game punched me in the philosophy.

Post by Ry74 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:35 pm

I've had some time to noodle on this, and it really comes down to something else.

I'm a big fan of Sakura Wars V, the only one in the series that made it into English. I came to the game for the giant robots and the alt-history, but it was something else that made me stick with it. my favorite parts of the game were the parts that had really nothing to do with the giant robot fighting, but those bits where you're just shooting the breeze with your teammates in 1920's New York City getting up to shenanigans and whatever all else folks happened to do. It was a nice way to delve into the characters of that game, even if they were a bit broadly drawn. I guess that the reason that this game managed to snag me is that I was curious about a game that was really nothing but those points in-between. What ended up hitting me, though, is that placing such concerns front and center really created a game that was about the act of being human, and I hadn't played anything before that really had such a thing up front, but rather in the service of some other story. Other games would skim along the edges of it, but never truly dive in.

The second thing is that this game subverted a number of typical archetypes in VNs and anime without either degenerating into ridiculous farce or darker than black cynicism, still remaining an upbeat story about the human condition- something I wish that the creators of other subversions or deconstructions would observe more often.

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