Nyzer wrote:It's not uncommon for someone going through a tough time to not want to open up with all the sordid details to someone they're not all that close to. And sometimes, it can make things worse. It's less that he doesn't want anyone's help, and more that he's embarrassed, ashamed, depressed, and probably doesn't believe anyone else could help anyway.
When you put it that way, it mirrors Emi even more than my phrasing.
You can't make Hisao stay and talk to her mom unless you've made him have a completely unrelated conversation with Mutou by that point. And if I recall correctly, if he follows her, the argument eventually degenerates enough that he asks something about her father, rudely, because of course he's figured out that he's the core of her darkness. He realizes how rude it was as soon as he says it, but she is enraged about it and tells him to get out for it.
The key line was Hisao disgustedly saying that her secrets can lie in the grave for all he cares. Not directly
about her father, but close enough.
BadEmi Hisao won't even try to fight arguments she doesn't believe herself.
I'd phrase that differently: BadEmi Hisao is too hurt, confused, and lacking self-confidence to effectively try to fight arguments he doesn't fully realize she doesn't believe herself.
Especially "confused". The difference between BadEmi and GoodEmi is whether or not Hisao has someone else's perspective on the situation. When he gets that, he ends up a little less confused, and is able to cut through her shell of bull to get at what's really bothering her.
That's the trick with Emi's route. For a good end, all Hisao needs
to do is admit to himself (via Misha) that he's in over his head. On the other hand, if Hisao talks to Mutou, he takes Mutou's advice on observation and has the opportunity to get the perspectives of the Nurse, Emi's mom, and Iwanako. Arguably, there are (at least) two GoodEmi Hisaos.
Also, Emi allows Hisao to make stupid mistakes. In the other arcs, one wrong choice is an express train to Bad Ending. For Emi, you need to make two wrong choices. The second chance is an important detail.
Um, the first "choice", being talking to her mom (if you have the option), isn't Hisao making a stupid mistake. Emi just
freaked out about her father and left the table in a hurry, what did she think those two, who have nothing in common but
her, were going to discuss? The wallpaper? Though Emi does, at least, realize she went overboard when Hisao is respectful about her asking him to leave. But, no, that one isn't a stupid mistake. He literally had nothing else to do but sit at the table and say nothing in a horribly awkward silence that wouldn't help anything. If Emi's mom had left
the table... eh, maybe, but I still wouldn't say so.
The second choice isn't really a stupid mistake. See what I said before about why he might not want to discuss everything with Misha. The same thing is
a stupid mistake in Hanako's arc, but the circumstances are totally different - a close friend of both Hisao and his love interest, who seems to know them quite well, gives him advice. The option isn't whether to get her advice or not, but whether to act on it after getting it. This is not
And, IIRC, part of the reason for the "second chance" is because Emi's arc, otherwise, only had one real choice that affected the outcome. There's still Mutou's conversation which is needed to set it up, but again, it's something totally unrelated...
She doesn't "allow" him to make that one mistake (that is, confronting her about her dad in that argument), which is, in all honestly, almost trivial compared to hers. If
he manages to break through her shell, and if that's the ending setup you got, she's more than willing to be forgiving about it. Otherwise, she uses it as a good excuse to break off the relationship. She uses it as a mostly legitimate excuse - "you and I just aren't working", which is true - but, still. They're not working because she's put him into a state of ridiculous confusion and then gets upset about his attempts to make sense of what the hell is going on.
We're getting some overlap of game terms and story terms, which is probably my fault. From a game perspective, the "right" path is to talk to Mutou, then talk to Emi's mom. If you miss either of those flags, according to the "one strike" model, you're getting a Bad End, but the second chance is there, giving you a second opportunity to get it right. All the other arcs (with the possible exception of Rin's, as mentioned) follow a "one strike" model. At best, you have multiple opportunities to fail, but one failure means total failure.
From the story perspective, the "mistake" is whatever happens at dinner. If you talk to her mom, Emi feels betrayed, but things stay civil-ish. If you talk to Emi, things don't really stay civil. Either way, she uses it as an excuse to try to break things off, but gently - she won't let herself be the bad guy. She stops to listen to Hisao, even if she keeps the pressure on, and refuses to let herself lose. And she really listens. As nice as Hisao's epic speeches about determination are, they would mean nothing if Emi simply refused to listen.
Emi is conflicted, confused, and scared. She likes Hisao, she likes what they have together, and she wants it to be meaningful. But she's afraid what will happen if she opens up. Her father's death cut her deep. She doesn't want to be hurt like that again, so she refuses to let anyone get close. She really truly cares for Hisao - much more than she'd be able to admit. That's why she keeps prodding him, trying to push him away. She wants him to give up, so she can feel less guilty about her cowardice. If her fear was justified - if Hisao didn't really
care, then she wasn't a coward. She was justifiably cautious.
Which leads us to another detail: Emi sees herself as a poor pathetic cripple. She runs to prove a point to herself, that she isn't physically crippled. But, at the end of the day, she's still missing her legs. She shuts everyone else out to prove a point to herself, that she isn't emotionally crippled. But, at the end of the day, she's terrified of loving anyone as much as she loved her father. And she hates herself for it. She wants to get over it, she wants to love other people. But she can't. And that tears her up inside.