Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

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dewelar
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Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by dewelar » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:44 pm

OK, so, I have put off my personal rerun of KS for a whole other project. I was discussing the game with a female friend of mine who is blind, and she became very interested in the concept. She has even less experience than I with games of this nature, and...well, she's a bit skittish about anything with sexual content, but eventually I found myself describing the game in some detail.

She surprised me by asking if the game was screen-reader-accessible, because she wanted to see it for herself. I told her I didn't think it was. She dropped the subject for a bit, but our conversation came back around to it eventually, and so I offered to read at least the first few scenes to her to see what she thought.

Seven hours of reading later, we are at the end of Act 2 of Emi's route, and planning for another marathon session today. At first my friend was sure she was going to have Hisao pursue Shizune, and was also intrigued by Rin, but Emi was just TOO DAMN CUUUUUUUUTE~! Feels level: off the chart. Not just for her either.

Reading the game aloud is like...a whole different level of immersion. I've done this sort of thing before for her, but mostly with fantasy/SF books that aren't available via her usual sources, and never anything with such a heavy visual component. It really gives you an appreciation for the level of detail going on, if nothing else.

Also, it's been kind of fun finding what I consider the voices of the characters. While I find it hard doing voices for the girls (my voice is pretty solidly baritone), I think I've got different-enough ones that she can at least tell them apart. I use my own voice for Hisao. Mutou comes out sounding like Jeremy Irons, the nurse is George Takei, and Kenji started out as Eddie Deezen (mainly because he reminds me a bit of Mandark from Dexter's Laboratory), but now I'm imitating a mutual friend of ours instead, because we both agreed it was somehow fitting :) .

Has anyone else ever tried this? If so, I'd be interested in how you handled it, so that I might have some ideas. If not, I cannot recommend it enough if you have the opportunity. Like I said, it's a chance at a whole new perspective on the game...like looking at it sideways while lying on a bench on the roof, perhaps ;-) .
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Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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wazuzu
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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by wazuzu » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:50 pm

I tried to read KS to my wife, but I got myself entangled inbetween words, because I had to translate it on the fly. She can't read english, and she wasn't interested in it at all, but she liked when I read it to her. Nevertheless all I got is headache, and since my wife shown no interest, we stopped.

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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by Firewind » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:10 pm

The idea doesn't sound too bad, but I don't think I can read KS to someone else. I can't make 5 (at least) different female voices :lol:
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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by dewelar » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:04 pm

Firewind wrote:The idea doesn't sound too bad, but I don't think I can read KS to someone else. I can't make 5 (at least) different female voices :lol:
Heh...it ain't easy, true. I wonder if giving each of the girls an accent would help. I haven't done it with this game, but I've done it in the past. Obviously Lilly's would be Proper English, and Rin would have to be French. Beyond that..maybe Swedish for Misha, German for Shizune when her signing is displayed as text...then give Hanako the Japanese accent, and Emi could easily be just a straight higher-pitch American voice.

Those are just off the top of my head, so YMMV.
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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by wazuzu » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:15 pm

dewelar wrote:maybe Swedish for Misha
Misha is so Russian you can't give her another voice without being WAHAHA'd.
Doing intense googling for Misha in ushanka, because I don't want to shop it myself.

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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by Firewind » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:25 pm

wazuzu wrote:
dewelar wrote:maybe Swedish for Misha
Misha is so Russian you can't give her another voice without being WAHAHA'd.
Doing intense googling for Misha in ushanka, because I don't want to shop it myself.
I guess you didn't watch the Katawa Seiyū videos from youtube? They're kinda awesome haha
Everyone hides who they are at least some of their time. Sometimes you bury that part of yourself so deeply that you have to be reminded it's there at all. And sometimes you just want to forget who you are all together.

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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by wazuzu » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:34 pm

No, I didn't.
Shizune is definitely German, because ordnung.
Rin is Dutch, because w33d.
Emi is probably British.
Lilly is Canadian / Icelandic.
Hanako is Japanese / Korean.
Misha is Russian.

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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by dewelar » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:30 pm

wazuzu wrote:No, I didn't.
Shizune is definitely German, because ordnung.
Rin is Dutch, because w33d.
Emi is probably British.
Lilly is Canadian / Icelandic.
Hanako is Japanese / Korean.
Misha is Russian.
Icelandic for Lilly is an excellent choice! I just don't have enough experience with the accent personally to pull it off. LOL at Rin being Dutch. I probably immediately went to French because (a) artist, and (b) I'm of French extraction myself, and I believe I may have mentioned once or twice how I relate :-D .
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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:54 pm

dewelar wrote:the nurse is George Takei
Image
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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by dewelar » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:02 pm

dewelar wrote:I wonder if giving each of the girls an accent would help. I haven't done it with this game...
Actually, I realized this isn't true. I used a Japanese accent when reading Iwanako's letter. It seemed appropriate.

ETA: Just finished my reading of Emi's arc. Both of us were breaking down at the end. Just...craziness. And, as if that's not enough, Hanako is next. Give me strength...lol...
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by Sea » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:53 pm

I think reading it provides a new level of immersion. I have experienced something like it, I traveled to my grandmother's house for a family meet up and got roped into telling a bedtime story to by 6 younger cousins. I scrambled for ideas and eventually had one of them be hisao (calling his characterone of their names) one of my female cousins actually, and ended up filling in all the characters with their names. Over 1 week I had my 'misao' go through the Hanako plot line, who was a male in my story and came to the good ending. I didn't get it all right, but the core of it was there and they all loved it and demanded I do the cousin who was rin's character next year. I have a new respect for people who invent plot lines, it's hard work, but I feel much closer to the story after reselling it by memory. It was a fun experience, and I hope I didn't distort their minds to badly, but now my biggest fear is that they might find KS and realize I'm not the next Shakespeare.
Ah well, I hope everybody finds their own ways to enjoy KS more, it's much deeper than you think.
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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by CFC Kyle » Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:47 pm

dewelar wrote:OK, so, I have put off my personal rerun of KS for a whole other project. I was discussing the game with a female friend of mine who is blind, and she became very interested in the concept. She has even less experience than I with games of this nature, and...well, she's a bit skittish about anything with sexual content, but eventually I found myself describing the game in some detail.

She surprised me by asking if the game was screen-reader-accessible, because she wanted to see it for herself. I told her I didn't think it was. She dropped the subject for a bit, but our conversation came back around to it eventually, and so I offered to read at least the first few scenes to her to see what she thought.

Seven hours of reading later, we are at the end of Act 2 of Emi's route, and planning for another marathon session today. At first my friend was sure she was going to have Hisao pursue Shizune, and was also intrigued by Rin, but Emi was just TOO DAMN CUUUUUUUUTE~! Feels level: off the chart. Not just for her either.

Reading the game aloud is like...a whole different level of immersion. I've done this sort of thing before for her, but mostly with fantasy/SF books that aren't available via her usual sources, and never anything with such a heavy visual component. It really gives you an appreciation for the level of detail going on, if nothing else.

Also, it's been kind of fun finding what I consider the voices of the characters. While I find it hard doing voices for the girls (my voice is pretty solidly baritone), I think I've got different-enough ones that she can at least tell them apart. I use my own voice for Hisao. Mutou comes out sounding like Jeremy Irons, the nurse is George Takei, and Kenji started out as Eddie Deezen (mainly because he reminds me a bit of Mandark from Dexter's Laboratory), but now I'm imitating a mutual friend of ours instead, because we both agreed it was somehow fitting :) .

Has anyone else ever tried this? If so, I'd be interested in how you handled it, so that I might have some ideas. If not, I cannot recommend it enough if you have the opportunity. Like I said, it's a chance at a whole new perspective on the game...like looking at it sideways while lying on a bench on the roof, perhaps ;-) .
You should have taken the Lilly route.
And I don't mean in Katawa Shoujo.
*snigger*
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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by Loonie » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:16 pm

Yap. Not to someone else, mind you - no need to do that and our family simply doesn't have any small children to read to...not that I think I'd want to read this kind of thing to small children anyway, teens yes, but small children? What am I even saying?! Er...anyway. :P

But I did read it out loud to myself on my second full playthrough (though at the time I did it because it greatly helped me be aware of and catch any typoes or grammar issues for my review/criticism) and yap...it's funny the voices you come up with for the different characters and you start to ask yourself: "Okay...who the heck am I trying to sound like here and why?" My vocalized Emi, for example, always sounds sorta-like Blossom from PPG (found it a bit more appropriate than Buttercup for some reason, probably because of the positivity she tries to instill in others). Reading Shizune's signage out loud is particularly weird, because you know that she shouldn't be making any sounds and yet you're vocalizing her as if she is. :shock: But she wound up sounding very matter-of-fact precisely because of that additional mindboggle and I would not be surprised if that contributed greatly to me really starting to like her path a lot more in my 2nd playthrough. And Misha I don't think I made sound like anyone else in particular, especially since in Shizune's path you get to hear her backstory and it reveals a girl that's a lot more than just bubbly and ditzy.

I can't help but make Hanako sound like Fluttershy from MLP, I just...can't!!! I mean sheesh, the stuttering, the sweetness, the fear it's just...yeah, tbh I'm not that proud of this one at all, but apparently that's just how it is for me. :roll: Lilly hahah...I'm sorry to say I've been quite mean to Lilly, and I do honestly mean sorry. I just couldn't help but make her sound either overtly-polite most of the time, to the point where I sounded to myself as if I were deliberately trying to troll someone through PR bullshit, or overtly-dramaticized in the more emotional parts of her arc to the point where I sometimes absolutely disgusted myself. And really, it's my fault entirely because it reflected the simple fact that I liked her arc and personality the least out of all the girls.

And Rin sounded like...well...a good friend I know and let's just leave it at that. :)

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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by wazuzu » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:17 am

About the voices, I think it'd be this way:
Emi's is high-pitched and ringing, but not loud or annoying. I feel her voice as wooden. When she's quiet (e.g. in the moment of confession on the cemetery), the voice is childish and soft, like carved from a softer wood.
Rin's voice is deep, childish and fluffy, like a deep male baritone pitch-shifted one octave up. Her voice is like warm wax, warm, heavy and enveloping. Her "Helloooo" tells me that.
Hanako's voice is quiet and edgy, sometimes spiking up in volume occasionally. It feels like very dry hay, when you walk on it bare-footed. Fluttershy is g-good example.
Lilly has a deep, but not low-pitched wannabe-adult voice. It feels like glazed clay human sculpture, hard, yet smooth and nice to feel, when you run the palm of your hand around the curves.
Shizune "has" a high-pitched melodic voice, that sounds strict, like stereotypical teacher's voice. Imagine it like a crystal vase standing on a very edge of a windowsill. It stands there fine, but you can push it with your elbow accidentally, or a cat running by can accidentally push it too... Well, don't walk on the smithers, they are sharp and dangerous.
Misha's voice is just like a GIANT cotton candy lollipop. It's big, loud, and soft on touch, but is annoyingly sweet, you can't eat that much, and it envelops you. Just like a crossbreed between loud Emi and a loud nightingale.

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Re: Reading Katawa Shoujo to someone else

Post by dewelar » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:33 am

wazuzu wrote:About the voices, I think it'd be this way:
Emi's is high-pitched and ringing, but not loud or annoying. I feel her voice as wooden. When she's quiet (e.g. in the moment of confession on the cemetery), the voice is childish and soft, like carved from a softer wood.
Rin's voice is deep, childish and fluffy, like a deep male baritone pitch-shifted one octave up. Her voice is like warm wax, warm, heavy and enveloping. Her "Helloooo" tells me that.
Hanako's voice is quiet and edgy, sometimes spiking up in volume occasionally. It feels like very dry hay, when you walk on it bare-footed. Fluttershy is g-good example.
Lilly has a deep, but not low-pitched wannabe-adult voice. It feels like glazed clay human sculpture, hard, yet smooth and nice to feel, when you run the palm of your hand around the curves.
Shizune "has" a high-pitched melodic voice, that sounds strict, like stereotypical teacher's voice. Imagine it like a crystal vase standing on a very edge of a windowsill. It stands there fine, but you can push it with your elbow accidentally, or a cat running by can accidentally push it too... Well, don't walk on the smithers, they are sharp and dangerous.
Misha's voice is just like a GIANT cotton candy lollipop. It's big, loud, and soft on touch, but is annoyingly sweet, you can't eat that much, and it envelops you. Just like a crossbreed between loud Emi and a loud nightingale.
You hit the voice I use for Emi on the head. We haven't done much with Rin yet, but I like your description of that as well. Pitch-wise, she's essentially Daria, but the timbre is exactly not that. It's much smoother and melodic sometimes -- I think especially of the moment as you leave the art room, and she calls out "I heard that!" -- and at other times she speaks entire conversations in flat-what mode. I'm really going to enjoy doing her voice during her arc, even though I'm dreading the arc itself a bit.

When I read out Hanako's route yesterday (wow, I didn't realize the first time I experienced it just how long it ran -- we went well into the wee hours with it, because you just can't STOP with that), I started out fairly well like you describe, but with a slow and steady strengthening as the arc progressed. When she finally broke all the way through in the final scene, she was sounding like...well, my friend compared her to the English dub of Hotaru from Sailor Moon, so I'll go with that, because I wasn't really doing it intentionally, just...doing what I felt like that voice would have sounded before it started sounding like it did.

Believe it or not, Misha's voice winds up being a lot more complicated to do than the others. When she's in no-volume-control mode, for me her voice comes out a bit like a female version of The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy from Dave the Barbarian. If you can imagine taking that template and overlaying it onto an actual human speech cadence, that's how she sounds in her "normal" moments, like when you're talking to her alone in the Student Council room while "collating".

For me...the best way I can describe the voice I'm using for Lilly is that I take the voice of the stereotypical American "southern belle" -- a bit breathy, a bit sultry, but overall very...measured -- and then strip the southern accent off of it. Miki, on the other hand, has a full-on southern accent, specifically from the state of Georgia.

ETA: Forgot to mention that, since we haven't done Shizune's arc yet (it's next on the agenda, whenever we have time), she has no "voice" yet. What she does have, as of Hanako's arc, is...well, "sound effects" you might say. During Emi's arc, I started out trying to describe her facial expressions, but that got too difficult at some point, so I just added a pause when she signed. However, during Hanako's arc, I got the idea to subvocalize an appropriate emotion at each instance of her signing and...well, it worked surprisingly well.
CFC Kyle wrote:You should have taken the Lilly route.
And I don't mean in Katawa Shoujo.
*snigger*
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