Yes, you read that right.
KS has been a big deal for me. I started playing several months ago, and finished my last route a few weeks back (The only bad ends I've received are Shizune's, intentionally, and Rin's, incidentally). It's a world my mind returns to at least once daily, and there was a time where it was undoubtedly the thought I fell asleep to every night. A big deal.
Often I'll listen to the Enigmatic Box of Sound and there are some songs that bring back some of those feels. Obviously themes like Concord or Painful History bring it out, but so do some of the really atmospheric ones, like Everyday Fantasy. And it brings up some serious memories.
Katawa Shoujo was the first VN I ever experienced. It both came at and created a very emotionally charged time in my life, as I struggled with my depression and introversion. I'd also never quite experienced a story like KS provides, wherein I personally, through Hisao (a relatively well-written everyman), build a relationship with one of these characters. Few stories have pulled my heartstrings anywhere near the way KS did - none have matched it.
Part of me fears I'll never be able to replicate that, and to a degree, I won't. Part of me feels like I've been influenced by my more recent routes - Lilly's was the definitive experience to me, with the feels it offered. Hanako is my favourite, but her route cut off at a terrible time. I like Shizune, but I had difficulty understanding her and was half-asleep for most of it (I should replay it to gain a better appreciation). Emi is a nice girl, but I never had a real attachment to her. Rin I just fail to understand, and I truly believe she's a poorly-written character.
So I'm probably going to have to go back and replay one, two, maybe even three of these routes. To try to recapture that magic that KS put in my heart. And to close this pandora's box on a happy note before I succumb to the pressure of all the other VNs I have to go and experience, so that I may one day brush away the dust and rekindle that fire.
KS isn't a story I'll ever forget, nor are the characters within, they've made too much of an impression on my heart. But often I wish I could go back and experience it like I did that first time. I cannot. I miss those feels.