Impression after finishing all five good endings.

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UncleJellyfish
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Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by UncleJellyfish » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:37 am

SPOILER ALERT!!!
I don't like spoiler tags, they ruin the flow of things, so I'm not using any. Just a fair warning. Everything said in this post assumes that you as the reader know what the hell I'm talking about.


EDIT: Added some new stuff and fixed up/removed some other stuff.

So today, I just finished all five routes with the good endings (and Shizune's bad endings, just because it's easy to get. 95% completion, woot.) This is largely just me ranting because I want someone, anyone, to listen to my thoughts on this wonderful novel. Bare in mind that I may repeat myself, ramble on without making much sense, or something along those lines. You have been warned.

Biases
First off, I'll start by explaining my biases. I completed Shizune's route first, followed by Rin's, Emi's, Hanako's, and finally Lilly's. If I were to rank the routes in order of most favorite to least favorite, it would go as follows:

1.) Rin ♥

2.) Hanako

3.) Lilly/Shizune\
.....................> I liked them both equally. Really can't pick one over the other
4.) Lilly/Shizune/

5.) Emi

These are ranked in order of overall enjoyment. If I had to rank them in order of quality of the plot and development of the characters and story, then it would be as follows:
EDIT: Changed the order a bit.

1.) Rin

2.) Lilly

3.) Shizune

4.) Hanako

5.) Emi

Character Thoughts
Okay, now that that's out of the way, down to business. Although Katawa Shoujo was my first "real" VN, I'm no stranger to romance novels, both for adults and young adults (I also read Kami Nomi, though that doesn't help much). I really enjoyed the stories, even Emi's, even though her's was the least enjoyable because of it's lack of depth and development. (I kept yelling at my screen, "less sex, more plot development!") Of all of the characters in KS, though, the one that stood out the most was Hisao himself. I've read a bit about him having six different personalities, each one tailored to each of the routes, but I rather disagree with that assumption. I feel that Hisao has one personality, but each of the girls brings out a different side of it. Through all of the routes, I learned a bit more about Hisao over time, and by the time I finished them all, I had a very clear idea of what kind of person he was, is, and could be. That said, I find it a little odd that the main male lead is more interesting than all of the girls (let me play through as a girl now so I can win Hisao over, please). Aside from Rin, Hisao was my favorite character in the entire novel.

As you have probably guessed by now (little heart, my avatar, etc.), I love Rin. Love her. I'm a married man, and I'd probably divorce for her if she were real and closer to my age. That said, I loved Hanako's arc nearly as much as Rin's. Nearly, but not quite. Rin was interesting, and I was constantly stuck with the "but what happens next?!" mentality, and literally couldn't stop reading. I finished her's the fastest of all of them, despite it being one of the longer ones. I love her personality, love her art, love her logic (can you call it logic?), love everything about her. ♥

Hanako, my second favorite, caught my attention not because of her scarring or her past or her shyness, she won me over with that smile. Whenever Hisao (I?) did something right and she smiled at him (me?), my mind would go "D'AAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWW!" Her ending was one of my favorites, too (I'm using the final scene as my wallpaper). I never felt the need to protect her, as Hisao did, but rather, I felt an urge to understand her (I blame Rin's arc for that). I felt that by the end, I had a much better understanding of her as a person, and combined with the adorable romance, she won second place in my heart.

Lilly and Shizune were both very good, but I enjoyed each of them for very different reasons, which is why it was hard for me to rank them above. Shizune's arc was hilarious. I literally couldn't stop laughing. I enjoyed her personality a lot more than Lilly's, but I enjoyed Lilly's overall story more than Shizune's. Not much else to add about them, really. Liked Shizune as a person; liked Lilly's story.

Emi was my least favorite. Her story was cliche, it reminded me of a standard high school romance, and I felt that she had the least development. Also, I didn't like her face at all. Her sprite was okay, but in her still art, her face always bugged me. I actually found the Nurse more interesting than her, and he was likely the only reason why I kept going through her route, because I wanted to see what sorts of antics he'd do next. Also, as I said before, less sex, more development.

Personal Ideas
Something else I deeply wish was in the game are routes for three characters that I thought would be interesting to pursue, namely Misha, Miki, and Yuuko. Though I'm aware that Misha and Yuuko annoy a LOT of people, I found them quite interesting after I pieced together the fragments of their personalities and pasts from each of the different routes. I know that Misha and Yuuko don't have disabilities, but personally, I still want to be able to play their routes.

Miki herself is an interesting character in her own right, and she was shown to still be coping with the loss of her hand, which would provide a good point of interest for Hisao as someone to help her recover, as she would likewise do for him, and would maybe even explore the history of her injury and previous life before Yamaku.

Misha comes off as annoying early on, but as I learned more about her in Shizune's and Lilly's routes, I began to see her as a very different person, someone that actually had a difficult and sad past (also, she looked better with brown hair). Once she became depressed and I got to see the real side of her (especially in Shizune's bad ending route), I became quite interested in learning more about her.

Yuuko put me off at first, but behind her awkward personality I found someone that was sensitive, committed, passionate, and most of all, lonely. With her love for anthropology and the sudden loss of her only boyfriend, who she forgave anyways, I found her personality interesting and concluded that her awkward state of being is likely due to something that happened in her past, probably with the mysterious ex-boyfriend.

Overall Conclusion
All in all, Katawa Shoujo has a very special place in my heart. It is thanks to Rin that I've started writing again. It's thanks to Hisao that I can be more comfortable with myself as a person. It's thanks to Lilly and Hanako that I've gained a new aspect to my appreciation of my family. It's thanks to Emi that I can compare all of the other routes to her's to make them all seem better in comparison. :lol: I laughed my ass off in Shizune's and Emi's arcs. I nearly cried at the end of Rin's route. Hanako's route made me go "d'aaaaaaawwwwwwwwww" between the tears of joy and sadness. Lilly's arc touched me deeply with the touching romance that they shared. Even though I've finished all five routes, I still can't stop thinking about them. Literally every free moment of my time is spent thinking about what happens next after Shizune's and Rin's routes, or what Lilly's reaction is to Hanako and Hisao's relationship after she returns from Scotland, and many other "What if's" and scenarios. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love this VN. This may be my first VN, but I do believe it's ruined all other VN's for me. I doubt I could even read another romance novel or manga without comparing it in some way to the brilliance that is Katawa Shoujo. Thank you, Four Leaf Studios, for all that you've done for not only me, but for everyone that has enjoyed this wonderful novel.

Anyways, thank you for reading my rant/review/thing. My step-son showed me this VN, but he doesn't like to talk about it for some reason, and I only have one other friend that is playing through it, but he's only done one arc, so it's hard to talk about it with him...so, here I am, hoping for some discussion. Also, random stuff: Parity, Painful History, and Moment of Decision are my three favorite songs from the novel.

tl;dr - Read the damn thing, you lazy bum. If you've read or are still reading Katawa Shoujo, then this amount of text is nothing.
Last edited by UncleJellyfish on Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:44 am, edited 8 times in total.
I'm a Jellyfish that just so happens to be someone's Uncle.
Rin♥ > Hanako > Shizune/Lilly > Emi
My Katawa Shoujo Impressions.
Katawa Shoujo - Written Novel Project
I hate spoiler tags, so I will never use them in discussion. If you don't want me to spoil something for you, then don't read what I write.

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yipyapper
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Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by yipyapper » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:47 am

Well said. I would go:

1) Rin
2) Lilly
3) Emi
4) Hanako
5) Shizune

I don't have time to elaborate, I must sleep til ny next night shift. But this was an excellent sum-up.
"OH GAWD MY DRILLS"
...What? Not a real quote? Oh well, it's Yipyapper's quote now.
"Google will rule the world soon. Accept them now before it's too late."
~Yipyapper

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UncleJellyfish
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Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by UncleJellyfish » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:45 pm

Just reread my ramblings and realized I was rather coherent last night, despite the fact that my eyes were out of focus the entire time and I was only paying attention to one of the two images in front of me. Also, 200+ view and one reply? D: I R DISAPPOINT.
I'm a Jellyfish that just so happens to be someone's Uncle.
Rin♥ > Hanako > Shizune/Lilly > Emi
My Katawa Shoujo Impressions.
Katawa Shoujo - Written Novel Project
I hate spoiler tags, so I will never use them in discussion. If you don't want me to spoil something for you, then don't read what I write.

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Aerin
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Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by Aerin » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:12 pm

UncleJellyfish wrote: Also, 200+ view and one reply? D: I R DISAPPOINT.
I'd love to reply, but I'm not eligible for this conversation yet. Still have Hanako and Lilly to play through, though I can give you my rough impression thus far.

1)Rin
2)Emi
3)Shizune

I expect Rin to remain on top, though the other two may do some shifting. We'll see how the last two ladies hit me.
I'm not sentimental
This skin and bones is a rental
And no one makes it out alive
Until I die I'll sing these songs
On the shores of Babylon
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

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UncleJellyfish
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Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by UncleJellyfish » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:41 pm

Aerin wrote:
UncleJellyfish wrote: Also, 200+ view and one reply? D: I R DISAPPOINT.
I'd love to reply, but I'm not eligible for this conversation yet. Still have Hanako and Lilly to play through, though I can give you my rough impression thus far.

1)Rin
2)Emi
3)Shizune

I expect Rin to remain on top, though the other two may do some shifting. We'll see how the last two ladies hit me.
I can understand Rin being on top, but Emi over Shizune? What is her appeal verses Shizune? Or is it just a preference of personalities? Hanako and LIlly were both very well done, I thought. I agree with a lot of people that Lilly's route is one of the best ones, but I still prefer Rin over her. Hanako was just too adorable for me to stop reading, though I felt her route was shorter than I would've liked. It'd have been nice if Hanako's arc went on a little bit longer.
I'm a Jellyfish that just so happens to be someone's Uncle.
Rin♥ > Hanako > Shizune/Lilly > Emi
My Katawa Shoujo Impressions.
Katawa Shoujo - Written Novel Project
I hate spoiler tags, so I will never use them in discussion. If you don't want me to spoil something for you, then don't read what I write.

Bagheera
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Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by Bagheera » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:50 pm

UncleJellyfish wrote:These are ranked in order of overall enjoyment. If I had to rank them in order of quality of the plot and development of the characters and story, then it would be as follows:

1.) Rin

2.) Lilly

3.) Hanako

4.) Shizune

5.) Emi
I find this baffling. I mean, I'm sort of with you on Rin, but if you're talking about plot and character development I don't see how you could possibly rank Shizune's route so low. We got a lot more of each in that route than we did in either Hanako or Lilly's routes, for example. And, while her route was pretty . . . traditional, I guess, Emi had an awful lot of complexity and character development to her (more than anyone apart from Rin IMO).

If it were me I'd rank them like so:

1.) Rin/Shizune (for different reasons)

2.) Emi

3.) Hanako

4.) Lilly

That's strictly in terms of plot/character development, mind. If we're talking personal preference that list can essentially be flipped (well, Hanako and Emi would probably be in the first spot with Lilly in the second, but whatever).
Girls: Emi = Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Shizune = Rin
Routes: Rin = Shizune > Emi > Lilly = Hanako


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UncleJellyfish
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Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by UncleJellyfish » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:13 pm

Though I agree that Shizune is quite low on there and that she did in fact have much more character development than Lilly, I found that Lilly's overall plot was much more developed (nothing to do with the number of player choices). I would put Hanako in the same boat as Shizune, wherein her plot wasn't developed too much, but her character itself changed immensely over the course of the arc. Emi, on the other hand, seemed WAAAAAAAAAAAAY too cliche for me. I read a lot of romance novels. A. LOT. Her story just didn't seem to strike me as anything special, and neither did her character. I could already see the end coming before I was finished with Act 2, and wasn't surprised to find out that my assumption was spot on after I finished. Granted, Emi's arc has the second best ending in terms of closure, with Lilly's being first, and that's only because of her epilogue.

If I take your points into account, I could possibly see Shizune and Hanako switching places on that list, and in fact I just may do that now that I've thought about it more (being wide awake helps with this). I still firmly stand by my decision of placing Rin and Lilly above the rest, though. Both of them were exceptionally well written.
I'm a Jellyfish that just so happens to be someone's Uncle.
Rin♥ > Hanako > Shizune/Lilly > Emi
My Katawa Shoujo Impressions.
Katawa Shoujo - Written Novel Project
I hate spoiler tags, so I will never use them in discussion. If you don't want me to spoil something for you, then don't read what I write.

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Aerin
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Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by Aerin » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:59 pm

UncleJellyfish wrote: I can understand Rin being on top, but Emi over Shizune? What is her appeal verses Shizune? Or is it just a preference of personalities?
I just liked Emi more, as a character. I agree that her story was a little more cliche, but things felt a little more... natural... with Emi. I understood Shizune more, as a human, after her route. I just didn't like her, per se. I never understood where she and Hisao stood, even less so at the end. It felt, to me, like she used him when she wanted him, ignored him when other things were more important. In the end, he's left just wanting to trail around in her wake.

Just personality preference. :)
I'm not sentimental
This skin and bones is a rental
And no one makes it out alive
Until I die I'll sing these songs
On the shores of Babylon
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

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UncleJellyfish
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Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by UncleJellyfish » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:35 pm

Though I begrudgingly agree with your point about Shizune's Alpha Female qualities (and the fact that Hisao likely enjoys following her), I still can't help but like her more than Emi. I feel that even though Shizune didn't have a dramatic, life changing event in her past like Emi, she was still much more interesting (and cuter). Perhaps I just like to be led around in her wake, too. Who knows....then again, Shizune is probably the closest heroine, personality-wise, to my wife's own personality. >.<;
I'm a Jellyfish that just so happens to be someone's Uncle.
Rin♥ > Hanako > Shizune/Lilly > Emi
My Katawa Shoujo Impressions.
Katawa Shoujo - Written Novel Project
I hate spoiler tags, so I will never use them in discussion. If you don't want me to spoil something for you, then don't read what I write.

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Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by yipyapper » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:58 pm

I don't know about you guys, but I picked

Rin because her story and character are absolutely consistent, and the story really is amazing. I can't really descibe it in words.

Lilly because she had a wonderful and mature personality, and theor relationship really is beautiful. She is caring and looks out for Hisao. The storyline was amazing, because it had a good relationship going and twisted it very well. It really deserves more than what I said, but again, lack of words.

Emi because her path had her deal with a serious issue, and demonstrated human reflex to such problems. Her character was funny (and at times serious) and showed how humans really act. Plus her face when she wants Hisao to leave her house with the large toothy and evil grin just baffled and scared me when I saw it.

Hanako's was good, and had character development and change for sure, but I didn't lile how she always had the same thing going in each scene, that she was timid but showed a nice pose at the end if the scene. Pretty close to every scene.seemed like it.

Shizune's character was annoying at times, and her storyline was kind of weird and.didn't show relationship at all save for the 2 sex scenes. Although her dad is kind of aawesome.
"OH GAWD MY DRILLS"
...What? Not a real quote? Oh well, it's Yipyapper's quote now.
"Google will rule the world soon. Accept them now before it's too late."
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UncleJellyfish
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Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by UncleJellyfish » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:34 am

Unashamed bump. I added some more to the OP, and removed a few things that are no longer relevant. This is pretty much the only topic I'm watching intently, so any discussion about KS in general is appreciated. Sorry I don't have much of a direction with this discussion. =/
I'm a Jellyfish that just so happens to be someone's Uncle.
Rin♥ > Hanako > Shizune/Lilly > Emi
My Katawa Shoujo Impressions.
Katawa Shoujo - Written Novel Project
I hate spoiler tags, so I will never use them in discussion. If you don't want me to spoil something for you, then don't read what I write.

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yipyapper
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Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by yipyapper » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:40 am

UncleJellyfish wrote:Unashamed bump. I added some more to the OP, and removed a few things that are no longer relevant. This is pretty much the only topic I'm watching intently, so any discussion about KS in general is appreciated. Sorry I don't have much of a direction with this discussion. =/
Sounds like a plan XD

Sum up the game in one sentence. I tried, didn't work out well.
"OH GAWD MY DRILLS"
...What? Not a real quote? Oh well, it's Yipyapper's quote now.
"Google will rule the world soon. Accept them now before it's too late."
~Yipyapper

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UncleJellyfish
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Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by UncleJellyfish » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:48 am

Katawa Shoujo summed up in one sentence?

Image
I'm a Jellyfish that just so happens to be someone's Uncle.
Rin♥ > Hanako > Shizune/Lilly > Emi
My Katawa Shoujo Impressions.
Katawa Shoujo - Written Novel Project
I hate spoiler tags, so I will never use them in discussion. If you don't want me to spoil something for you, then don't read what I write.

Max

Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by Max » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:25 am

1. Lilly (best relationship, only epilogue)
2. Hanako (that's just my need to help shy girls in general)
3. Rin (very strange relationship, kinda annoyed me at times)
4. Emi (shallow character, but best sex scenes)
5. Shizune (not a big fan of the "alpha male" thing she had going on, unclear relationship)

That's just me, and I really don't get why you guys like Rin so much. The story is interesting, but the relationship is too vague for my taste. Also, sitting down next to a mural is not my idea of fun, at all. She was the last one I did, so maybe that was it. I saw Hisao evolve so differently in each one, that Rin's path just seemed forced.

LunarTriggerX

Re: Impression after finishing all five good endings.

Post by LunarTriggerX » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:07 am

I can't say what is my favorite or least favorite, simply because I liked them all rather well. However, I too- like most people, have specific thoughts and opinions on them all individually. I've read through a few posts early on, but felt more like talking than listening- considering how much reading I've been doing, it's probably because I'm too much in my head right now.

I can however say without any doubt that Lilly is the most interesting route- not so much because of who she is, or how it plays out, but because it was in that one route that Hisao's heart played it's role- I felt in the other ones it was mainly ignored, I truly expected to see more of it's effect on his new life, not him 'ok I got it.. Ok, new life time- forgets about it'. I think the most obvious culprit of that was sadly Emi, whom I actually played first- on accident, because I chased after her on the run. I liked Emi well enough, and liked her determination, her character, but the more she went on, the more frustrated she made me- not unlike Rin in a way, unable to make any forward progress without two steps backwards at every turn.

Emi was unique in her own right though, Lilly seemed to segway into a relationship but emotionally and without logically jumped into progressing it into a truly intimate relationship. Emi on the other hand was kind of bouncing back and forth in her motivation, she had said she tried not to care for Hisao, but that being said- whether it was intentional or unconscious on her end, she did essentially make most of the moves on him. However, as far as she went- once she reached the point of a legitimate relationship, which she said she hadn't wanted to let happen, I could see her wanting to stay away of anything more than a physical relationship, the good times if you will- it's her personality, she doesn't seem to deal with much of anything that isn't happiness, not unlike Misha, but different than Misha.

At least Misha doesn't snap to reach her other emotions, even when she's sad or angry, she's not incapable of being happy- she just isn't motivated to be like normal. Emi on the other hand, could only deal with happy moments, so anytime something wasn't happy- she relied on either forcing it to be happy, determined to make it happy through sheer will, or wanted to forget it, leave it behind. Emi can't be happy, and something presses too much- naturally she'd snap. But what occured to me as it ended, despite the almost unreasonably distressful thoughts of Hisao, he's as in his head as I am.. well, maybe he's the reason I'm so in my head right now.. Hisao's persona with Emi, while different than he normally is- I think that was the most annoying part; he has this innate ability to never be able to say anything, and only seems able to shove it out when it's way too emotional to do so. This was my first playthrough, but Hisao irritated me the most on this playthrough than he did.. well, mostly for the rest of the paths.

The only time he grew near as irritating was during Rin's path- don't get me wrong, I love Rin's path; but it was like having two Hisao's both from Emi's path trying to get along. Rin's actually probably my favorite character in terms of persona, but what threw me off about her path was simply that she herself, though growing- her growth always felt somewhat.. shallow. Hisao thought about growing, and I'll admit- the Iwanako letter was for once the least troublesome thing. The both of them did the least actual changing in that path, their changes weren't too profound, the only changes they really came threw in the end was to accept themselves, and somewhat eachother, and even that is a little vague. Hisao thinks he will be better, but he's clearly at his worst through out the exams than in any other story, he doesn't really improve at all either; even to the ending, he continuing to dwell in his head about things out of his control, I think of all the characters mixed with that lingering desire to get closer to people he gets in all the arcs, I've never seen someone think the same thing every day as if it were news. Don't get me wrong, I can see why- each time he thinks he makes ground, he suddenly takes something too seriously or too lightly and gives himself the same doubts. That's one aspect of Rin's I disliked, and Rin herself confused me a lot- as she should I suppose, but what really confused me most was her finale so to speak. With her emotions closed off on the outside, it's pretty clear that we wouldn't be privy to herself so to speak, but half the time she seems to acknowledge her feelings for Hisao while the other half she seems to more accurately acknowledge that she has no idea what she really feels. Her explanations are lacking as expected, but it never felt to me like she had any doubt about her feelings for him, but just doubted if she wanted to act or experience them, like it was too much of a bother. Even their ending reflected this conclusion. I agreed somewhat, that it is momentary, all the relationships in this VN were somewhat momentary in a manner, the only one that seemed like it could linger, and ended like it would really linger was Lilly's ending, and to some extent Emi's ending. Hanako's ending was sweet, but it didn't really trace the future, I think in fact it was one that ended really early in the actual perceptual year of that school semester, before Lilly even returned. Hanako's romance would likely have gotten a lot more complex if they had faced graduation, perhaps more so than Hanako would've been able to completely handle- maybe that's why. But Shizune's, despite seemed to acknowledge their relationship, didn't really make things certain either. The ending clearly depicts that it was the end of their relationship, or acknowledges rather that it was the end of the story- but Hisao doesn't really acknowledge it ever, as neither does Shizune, it's more like she's speaking to Misha about meeting up again, though her wording implies that she and Hisao will part as well. Maybe it's nothing- but I think that Shizune realistically had the least actual emotional reaction to her relationship with Hisao. She seemed happier, but the emotional parts for her were not really Hisao, but Misha. Hisao only seems to be along for the ride with her, following her the entire time, and just going along with her decision that their end ends with their education in highschool. Even her intimacy is somewhere between momentary indulgence, and something of a competition, or game. It's what we should do as a couple, so alright. Every bit of her intimacy felt more obligated and unnatural. Emi was like that somewhat, but more along the lines of "here, you can have this- now shut up". Lilly's sadly was the most elegant as far as intimacy goes, though her mature atmosphere and her forward motions in that department also make it feel like she was just trying to indulge in that moment, knowing already that she would possibly be leaving the country, but when she admitted her feelings, she felt like she had to explore the relationship as quickly as she could, which she admittedly did quite well; but there are some gaps, like her frustration with Kenji pulling her down- though that one could be attributed to the stress of her decision, I instead read more into it that perhaps it was her decision to return home- that perhaps she was truly capable of functioning without being a hinderance, a blind liability- when Kenji's accident reminded her that she was still so much at a disadvantage, but it's hard to say. I would assume that would lead her to think that perhaps she shouldn't return home, but it's clear that either it's THAT incident that becomes the turning point, where she suddenly seems to be trying to hide the fact that she is going to be leaving. I've been ranting on this for a while, so maybe I should consolidate this mess into something a bit more followable.
  • Emi's path was very uneasy, from the way she either unconsciously, or willingly pursued Hisao only to want to limit it to pretty much a purely physical relationship. The snap of her emotional reluctance though was kind of brushed under the rug- I think that there should've been more to her arc, let her explore actually opening up- not just a single instance to satisfy Hisao's curiousity and then moving on. The only real redeeming quality was her final words really, which leads me to believe that the storm has passed somewhat.

    Hanako's path was pretty straight forward, realistically it was one of the more interesting ones in terms of character development. Hanako stays true to her character right up until the end, not wanting to be a burden on anyone, and wanting to change to be useful even if it wasn't what she wished for. She elaborates more on this through her plot, but you can see it in other plots as well. She faces Shizune in chess, noticing that it isn't she likes chess, but she likes playing with Lilly, and so on. In her Arc she plays chess with you, and she strives to improve as if you'll like her more- she doesn't seem particularly interested in Chess otherwise, just like the pool table. She's pretty clearly good, but she has that focus that's pointed to in more than that scene- the focus of just interacting with someone without needing to speak. All I could really wish for with Hanako is a bit more to go on, their relationship is pretty clear at the end, but likewise- unlike 'most' of the others, it isn't explored beyond the beginning. She shares an ending something like Rin, in that their together we assume- but for how long? Or what problems will they face with this change?

    Lilly is one of my favorites in this story, but as I said above- she's contradictory as well. Clearly upset that she's still fragile because of her impairment, she decides to return to her family- that left because they didn't know how to deal with her blindness. She's by far the most wise character, and yet she proves to be the most foolish in her own decisions. She's always careful, yet recklessly gets involved with Hisao, continuously seeking to further their relationship despite not knowing if she'd even stay- and once deciding that she wasn't, despite acting distant at times, otherwise tries to continue right up until the very last day as if it's all ok? She showed no signs of preparing or seeking to even tell Hisao, I can only wonder if she intended to simply vanish.. It doesn't seem like her, but a lot of things didn't seem like her as it came to a head.. From what I understand, she seemed to want Hisao to stop her I guess, but at the same time.. maybe she was afraid he wouldn't? Reasonably since he didn't until it was decisively too late.. I would say almost too late, but it's kind of obvious that, since he had a heart attack, that realistically for him- he should've missed her if it wasn't already decided he wouldn't reach her in time. I figured as soon as it happened that he'd wake up and she'd be there, that much was obvious when he woke up- otherwise he could've easily died there; as clearly when he woke up, he had lost all motivation to return to life again.

    Rin was an interesting one indeed- but as I stated above, she's also one of the most annoying acts in the entire novel. I know it was intended to be the most challenging for Hisao probably, but I think they over did it a bit. She's pretty much unattainable in the sense that even with all the perfect conditions, Hisao's constantly reminding himself that it's going to end sooner or later. There are loves like that in life, I don't doubt that what so ever- and I believe that you should live truly, not assuming you'll have more time, but just the same- I don't think that you should commit to a relationship that you aren't willing to press for, and it seemed like in the end, he'd come to the conclusion that it wasn't worth fighting for, just if she wanted him now- he'd be there, and when she flew away, he'd say goodbye rather than even bother to join her, or chase her even. Rin's personality calls for it to some degree, but at the same time- I think his uncertainty towards his feelings for her, despite thinking it's love, never committing to saying it, and more specifically, not committing his heart to it, is what will inevitably make them separate. She said she loved him, but wasn't exactly sure how it worked it seemed- I imagine part of that is because he, despite scolding her for it, is just as distant, the only difference with him is that his expressions give him away, in reality- he is about as successful as her at conveying his thoughts. He never tells her directly without making it somewhat cold- he'll randomly go into what he's thinking, hoping she'll respond. Even when he confesses he likes her, he does it in such a way that it's more like he's just throwing a subject up- knowing she's got her motivations at the time, he still feels hurt that she refuses? Furthermore, her wording didn't feel like No even then, it sounded more like 'I can't deal wiht that right now..'. All in hall, Hisao's thoughts and actions in this arc were by far the biggest obstacle in his pursuit, and remained up to and including in the ending- that chasm he refers to all the time is only long to him because he can't breach his own head to convey himself either. He acknowledges it a bit at the end at least, but even then- he still doesn't really give effort towards trying to get it out in the slightest, just hoping eachother can read minds.. at least Rin continued trying to explain, knowing it was important to really be with someone, even if she was only just learning what that meant.

    Shizune was utterly unsatisfying as a romance, it was more like you walked into her life- watched her life, a couple intimate rewards for watching thus far, and then watched her ending with Misha. I watched the Sad End of this one.. and truthfully, it wasn't really much better, I thought it might be- I thought she might be more acknowledging of her feelings towards Hisao, considering to get it you sleep with Misha, but just like if your refuse, it's presumably never brought up. You think it might be, but Misha doesn't acknowledge it even if you do sleep with her, and it's just like Shizune, instead of recovering after Misha and her rekindle their friendship, instead just decides to push everyone away. Maybe Misha did say that you slept together with her, but it really didn't feel that way, it just felt like Shizune all over again, not really there- just going through the motions. Even her agreement to go out was more like "Okay, I've got nothing better in mind right now..", and the length of your relationship was obligation it seemed like. "You should be entertained." "You should come on a date with me." "You should have sex with me." "It's what we're supposed to do right?" I can't help but think those things if I were to imagine her thoughts through the major points in your relationship. Once you hit Misha's point though, it's like you and her stop being in a relationship other than having sex once, otherwise you might as well be a student council member and little more, a soldier of hers.

    While I saw the sad ending coming when I hit it- I couldn't help but be a little unsatisfied by it. You receive this ending if you managed to not connect with anyone of the five above options, in which you end up falling to your death- but really? Yeah- later one, in almost all the Arcs, you seem to have cultivated a somewhat friendship with Kenji, but early on- you find him utterly annoying, I can't see going with him; even as absolutely miserable as you are if you receive this ending, I couldn't see subjecting yourself to him as a solution to feeling alone. I personally would've liked to have seen some other death endings with some creativity. I could realistically see a death ending in Lilly's arc, a bit dramatic but it could definitely be there. Emi's too, but only if they actually used the heart condition a bit- I swear it was more like a passing note in this arc. Yes, I agree him exercising his heart so much would make it stronger, but that being said, in Lilly's Arc, he walks infinitely more than he does in Hanako's Arc, or in Rin's Arc even(despite her abnormally long walks to random secret places', yet in Lilly's, every little thing will send him to a near death state- and damn near kills him? Meanwhile getting screaming mad doesn't give him the slightest fit in Rin's, taking advantage of Hanako without the slightest murmer, hell in Lilly's Arc, he has a flutter from sitting there stressed out- and not NEARLY as stressed as he gets through out that arc, let alone through other arcs along the way. He barely plays at the heart condition for Shizune, Rin knows early on, but he doesn't actually involve it until the end pretty much, Hanako knows of it of course, but I don't recall an instance where it showed up- I might be forgetting one, but off the top of my head, I don't think Hanako had to deal with it at all. The only ones that really had to deal with it at all was Emi at first, Lilly every other scene, and Shizune a little bit periodically. For someone who understands that, while he's able to live a relatively normal life above some of the deformed students he is opposite from, he is also one of the few there that will genuinely die prematurely because of his condition. I really can't see why it was played down so much, and then over sensitized for Lilly. I understand the reader's perspective, Lilly is one that genuinely would be the most sensitive to the matter, being unable to ever help or even know it's happening, but from a logical standpoint; I think they kind of muted the basis of Hisao when they almost forgot his heart condition in most of the stories. The only one that makes half of a sense is Emi's, whom they seemed to focus on his heart as a bettering condition because of the exercise, instead of focusing on Emi's role outside of the jogging buddy. I really wanted to be able to run with Emi, and persue someone else- but if you "Give it your all" on the track, it seems like you automatically start loving Emi from that point on, at least it seems that way. Everyone else's path has you say "Take it easy", which makes Hisao stop running with Emi completely. It's kind of rediculous.

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