Is it just me, or is Hanako better off... [Hanako Spoilers]

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Radien
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Is it just me, or is Hanako better off... [Hanako Spoilers]

Post by Radien » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:15 am

...in Lilly's path than she is in her own?

(Yep, another one of these "is it just me" topics, and as you might expect, thar be spoilers ahead, from Hanako's and Lilly's paths)

I just finished Lilly's path, and I was struck by just how much progress Hanako made within the course of Lilly's story. She learned to handle social situations naturally that would have paralyzed her, earlier. She joined the newspaper club and made new friends...friends close enough to go with on a trip across Japan, mere months later. Considering how long she was glued to Lilly alone, this is pretty remarkable.

...But then there's Hanako's own path.

I was particularly unhappy and... well... shocked(?) at where Hanako's path went. I mean, she takes her clothes off as a meaningful, symbolic gesture of the revelation of all her physical scars, and Hisao, King of Boners that he is, thinks "OOOH SEX." Worse yet, his advances are totally silent on both sides, and you find out Hanako didn't really want to have sex. That may not actually be rape, but it comes really close... and it highlights some of the dangers of not communicating openly enough with your lover.

While I don't have much basis of comparison, having played through no other proper visual novels, I have one significant beef with KS: many of the paths have unavoidable scenarios where something goes very wrong because of something Hisao could have prevented if he had only been a little less of an idiot. Given, real life romance is similar in that it is never perfect...but it'd be nice to maintain the feeling that true love always gives at least the opportunity to sidestep disaster. In Hanako's path, I feel disaster could have been averted if the player were simply given the choice of whether to bed her or not. :P Yeah, the "correct" answer would lead to fewer sexytimes... but KS is surprisingly grounded for a hentai visual novel, so hey, why not?...

Anyway, I've come to the conclusion that Hanako really needed a friend much more than a lover. The relationship of the Hisao-Lilly-Hanako trio I find particularly touching, and it's a rare gift for three people to each find just the right companions whom they sorely needed in their lives.

Aw, heck... since I'm already approaching sappiness, I might as well give in to temptation and quote Lilo and Stitch:
Stitch wrote:This is my family. I found it, all on my own. It's little, and broken, but still good. ... (looks at Lilo and Nani) ... Ya... Still good. "
(For added effect, open up the Katawa Shoujo jukebox and play "Aria de l'Etoile")

There's something really touching, to me, of the idea of people with broken families joining together to maintain their own little makeshift family. Being as I'm an adult who has had to return to my family of origin, where my father has passed away and both my mother and I have acquired minor disabilities, that really strikes a chord with me. Our family isn't quite as broken as some, but come Thanksgiving and Christmas we always feel sad at the family members we're missing, either because they've passed away or have become scattered across the country. Our last Thanksgiving dinner was a real patchwork of three different families coming together as a group effort.

So... I think what Hanako needed was a much slower and steadier recovery. A group of kind, calm, regular friends, rather than one overly intense romance.

Your thoughts?...
Last edited by Radien on Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Paths completed so far (in order): Emi, Hanako, Shizune, Lilly (good endings)

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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:45 am

This discussion has already been done to the death in either Hanako's path thread or in Lilly's - maybe even in both^^°
My opinion: Hanako gets better in both paths. In her own path she additionally ends up with a boyfriend. Q.E.D.

Regarding the opportunity - or non-existance thereof - to avoid bad choices in Visual Novels... Of course you can write a VN so that the reader can always act like a perfect individual, making no mistakes at all. He'll get the girl after five minutes, and the credits roll...
Or you could tell an interesting story.
I'll go for the interesting story any day. Of course Isildur could have thrown the ring into the volcano, but then we'd be missing out on an important piece of literature.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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NoOne3
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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by NoOne3 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:35 am

And also in this thread specifically:
http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4984rpg
Last edited by NoOne3 on Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Joeshmoelb
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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by Joeshmoelb » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:41 am

The easiest thing to miss in this comparison, is the length of the story. The good ending for Hanako is actually the shortest of all the paths, where as the Lilly path is the longest of them all. So its not as though she is "Better Off", its more like there was more time shown in her development.

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txalolrn9
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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by txalolrn9 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:17 am

Yeah, the fact is we will never know how Hanako fares afterwards compared to how she is in Lilly's path at the same point on the calendar
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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by Tilting Clock » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:43 am

I believe I remember someone saying that there were different authors for the different paths, which could account for that slight alteration in tone. I saw the same thing happen going through Emi's path after Hanako's. What you see of Lily in Hanako's route is a very soft-spoken, polite girl who is very deliberate about her choice of words so that they convey meaning without creating unnecessary tension. An interaction in Emi's route shows her to poke more fun and tease, something that the previously-described persona would never do. Neither portrayal is a bad interpretation of the character, but they're incompatible and I think mainly due to different authors having a go at the same cast.

I also agree with Mirage.

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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by Genesis » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:26 pm

I think what happens after is up for interpretation.

Personally, I feel she's better off either way.

With Lilly's route, she has opened up more and is making more friends. I think after graduating she'll only open up more and meet someone she'll fall in love with.

With Hanako's, she has Hasao, and I think they would stay together. At the end, Hisao even said he thinks she can change and open up, and I think that is what would happen in time.
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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by Brogurt » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:46 pm

>>>/vg/

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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by Bipolar Hernandez » Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:06 pm

I'm going to go with the Hanako A/Hanako B theory.

Hanako A=Hanako in her own path. Timid, incredibly shy, filled with survivor's guilt, takes her months to open up, even then it's a struggle, up to the point that it takes her an entire route just to fully open up to Hisao.
Hanako B=Hanako in Lilly's route. Timid and shy. Still has a bit of guilt but not as much as in her own route. Only takes half of Lilly's route for her to open up and do things like join the newspaper club.

To some, Hanako B is seen as an imperfect duplicate because of her personality change. But you can't really blame Suriko for it, considering Lilly was the main point of her own route, obviously.

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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by demonix » Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:23 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:This discussion has already been done to the death in either Hanako's path thread or in Lilly's - maybe even in both^^°
My opinion: Hanako gets better in both paths. In her own path she additionally ends up with a boyfriend. Q.E.D.
I second this and considering Hanako's path ends before Lilly returns you have to use some imagination as to what happens to Hanako after that since her personality change could've happened sooner then it did in Lilly's path.

There are hints at the end of Hanako's path that suggest that she'd already fallen in love with Hisao since I don't think a kiss would be the kind of "present" you'd give to someone who is just a friend.

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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by Radien » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:25 am

Forgive me for this outburst I'm about to make, but I have to express my frustration:

I'm a site staffer/forum admin on a different website, for a different fandom, and I've been doing it for a good while now. I know how most forums operate. However, when I join a new one, my first action isn't to go back and read the last year's worth of topics on the site. I check the first page or two of threads in the index of the appropriate subforum, and if my topic doesn't seem to be there, I create a new one.

Yes, it seems that this particular Hanako discussion has come up before, often buried within other threads. But I didn't participate in any of them, and I'm not just here to read old message board archives. I'm willing to bet there are other people here who didn't post in the earlier threads and would also like to discuss it. If you aren't one of those people, and hold no interest in this thread, then you don't have to read it.

Now, moving on to actual replies...

Mirage_GSM wrote:Regarding the opportunity - or non-existance thereof - to avoid bad choices in Visual Novels... Of course you can write a VN so that the reader can always act like a perfect individual, making no mistakes at all. He'll get the girl after five minutes, and the credits roll...
Or you could tell an interesting story.
I'll go for the interesting story any day. Of course Isildur could have thrown the ring into the volcano, but then we'd be missing out on an important piece of literature.
First of all, it's no so much avoiding all the bad choices as being given the chance to have Hisao make choices that are at least remotely like what the player would do in real life. Pressing someone into having sex is *not* something I would even come close to in real life, and yet it is a required part of the story if you want to get the "good" ending.

To say that doing it that way was necessary in order to tell a good story is a bit of a stretch. "Visual Novel" may have the world "novel" in it, but the genre gives the player choices... and it's a bit of a slap in the face if those choices are ignored or suddenly taken away.

Joeshmoelb wrote:The easiest thing to miss in this comparison, is the length of the story. The good ending for Hanako is actually the shortest of all the paths, where as the Lilly path is the longest of them all. So its not as though she is "Better Off", its more like there was more time shown in her development.
That's definitely worth mentioning, and it is something that I didn't take into account. Hanako's path was the first one I followed, and Lilly's was the most recent, so I had the chance to forget a few of the details between the two.

But when it comes right down to it, I'm mostly just disgusted with Hisao's romantic approach with Hanako. She may have needed him as a friend, but I don't think he made a very good lover.
Paths completed so far (in order): Emi, Hanako, Shizune, Lilly (good endings)

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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by Paddy » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:49 am

To the OP:

You know, I think I agree with you! She seems much happier in Lilly's route.

I'm actually not sureHisao is even sure he is a "lover"up until about the end, when they meet in the park and have the "I don't want to be protected" talk. It's more like you're just trying to get Hanako to talk to you - to be a friend to you - up until that last bit. And when they have sex, it doesn't clarify your relationship to her at all.

Hanako's route did not feel like such a good route at all.

I almost preferred the "bad" route (I think it more neutral, TBH - not the very bad route where she yells at you) to the "good" route because of how screwed up it got after she showed her scars. Almost.

But the whole "I don't want to be protected" scene in the park made up for it. Barely.

Though, yeah, I suppose we don't see as far into Hanako's future in her own route as we do in Lilly's route. I wish we did, then maybe we wouldn't feel... wanting.
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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by Radien » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:55 am

Paddy wrote:To the OP:

You know, I think I agree with you! She seems much happier in Lilly's route.

I'm actually not sureHisao is even sure he is a "lover"up until about the end, when they meet in the park and have the "I don't want to be protected" talk. It's more like you're just trying to get Hanako to talk to you - to be a friend to you - up until that last bit. And when they have sex, it doesn't clarify your relationship to her at all.

Hanako's route did not feel like such a good route at all.

I almost preferred the "bad" route (I think it more neutral, TBH - not the very bad route where she yells at you) to the "good" route because of how screwed up it got after she showed her scars. Almost.

But the whole "I don't want to be protected" scene in the park made up for it. Barely.

Though, yeah, I suppose we don't see as far into Hanako's future in her own route as we do in Lilly's route. I wish we did, then maybe we wouldn't feel... wanting.
Your diligence in marking your spoilers is impressive. :) I'm afraid I haven't been quite so careful, because the thread is sure to be littered with Hanako spoilers... and when I think of other members, it wouldn't make much sense to read a Hanako thread when you haven't done Hanako's path and not to expect spoilers.

That said, amidst my vague references to the story there are bound to be a few small spoilers here and there. I'm not really sure what to mark, so I'm just giving this general warning again. Anyway...

I'm not sure about the dividing line between their relationship being a subtle, chaste romance (up until that point) and being a simple friendship. I haven't truly dated someone that withdrawn before. For that matter, the whole "relationship bursting out of nowhere in one big confession" thing tends to be a lot more common in anime and VNs than in real life. I agree that the sex scene didn't clarify much of anything, though. That's one of the reasons I feel it was wayyy premature.

Hmmmm... your comments about the "bad" and "neutral" endings remind me that I need to go through KS once or twice more after I've finished each "main" relationship path, to see all the bad/neutral endings (so far I haven't seen any of the bad endings, though I know the exact point where Shizune's splits...it's not difficult to tell). To be honest, if Hisao's behavior in the "good" Hanako path doesn't get her angry, I don't know what player choice WOULD anger her. :P I'm sure I'll figure it out, though. The game rarely gives you more than two choices at a time, after all.
Paths completed so far (in order): Emi, Hanako, Shizune, Lilly (good endings)

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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by Althamus » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:27 am

My personal take on things was that Hisao's prescence helped Hanako, even if he wasn't actually dating her. After all, in both Lilly and Hanako's paths, Hisao is a good friend to Hanako (last bit of Hanako's path potentially withstanding), and in my view, that takes her from "There is only one person in the world who cares about me" to "omg, I have friends plural. It's not that I can only befriend blind chicks, other people can be my friend and accept me for who I am as well", which leads her to become more confident and outgoing.


Also, from the encounter at the end of Hanako's good path... my take on it again was that Hanako knew that Hisao was white knighting her, and knew that he was just taking care of her. That's all well and good for then, but what happens in the future when he wants a girlfriend, or wants his own life without Hanako tailing along behind him? The 'best' case scenario I can see for that {As per neutral Hanako ending} is Hisao having a wife and kids, and Hanako living in a box room in his attic.

Hanako wanted to become more equal in eyes, and to give him a reason to stick around and not get bored with her and leave her behind. She figured the best way to do that would be to become his girlfriend, and so decided to bring him to her room and seduce him. In my view, that's what her motives behind doing what she did. Yes, Hisao liked her as well, and yes, what Hanako did was unecessary. But she's not perfect and makes mistakes. But this also doesn't make what Hisao did come anywhere close to rape IMHO (if both parties are willing and consensual, it's fine. It doesn't matter if one party is willing and consensual for a dumb reason). Yes, Hisao should've been a mindreader and spotted that things weren't as they should be, but he's not perfect either.
If anything, I would say that Hanako pressed Hisao into having sex. Once he was in her room IMHO his two options were to GTFO or have sex.
Routes played: Emi (10/10), Shizune (6/10), Lilly (9/10), Hanako (9/10), Rin (7.5/10)
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Re: Is it just me, or is Hanako better off...

Post by Daitengu » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:28 am

For spoilers, I'd just say throw a (Spoilers) tag in the title. Then we won't have to spoiler tag everything.

As for my understanding of Hanako in Lilly's route and her own route:

1. Time, as been said is a large factor. Hanako's being 6 weeks(end in May). Lilly's route, up to the airport chase, is 10 to 12 weeks (end of June to early July-ish). Hanako only started the newspaper club somewhere in June in Lilly's route.
2. Lilly and Hisao dote on Hanako more on Hanako's route. In Lilly's route, because Hisao and Lilly hooked up, they gave Hanako more breathing room.
3. Hanako may have felt that she was losing her anchors in Lilly's route. Forcing her to seek new friends. She could also just have grown more confident since Lily and Hisao didn't try to hide their relationship from Hanako and acted more as equals to each other in that respect.

Could be a combination of the three.

Lilly's route never addresses Hanako's issue of believing that she can't ever have a boyfriend/significant other. Friend acceptance and love are different than romantic acceptance and love after all. Thus she could actually be worse off in Lilly's route. Since that kind of doubt eats away at ones soul more as time goes on. I know that feeling. Because I've been there. Hell, I'm still there at 30 yrs old.



I think the characters act different in different routes, aside from different writers, because they have a different relationship and understanding of Hisao. Considering Hisao is also different in each route, that understandable. Lilly is playful with Hisao in Emi's route, because she could feel that he doesn't need babying. It could even be that she understands Emi's personality a bit, and figures if Hisao can put up with Emi, he can stand a little teasing.

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