The best written route?

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Drummodino
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Re: The best written route?

Post by Drummodino » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:05 am

wazuzu wrote:
Drummodino wrote:I hate to be the one who raises to the bait, but... Did you leave out Hanako on purpose?
Yes, it feels much more empty than even Schizu. I said it a lot of times, but I feel Hanako opens to the world (not to Hisao) much more in Lilly's route.
I like Hanako's route, I just don't find it... satisfying. I even think of it as a hikki-bait route.

Manly picnic is well-written, but too otheworldly for the game.
Well to each their own I guess. Just seems like a controversial opinion around here :P
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wazuzu
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Re: The best written route?

Post by wazuzu » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:07 am

Drummodino wrote:Well to each their own I guess.
Exactly.

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Weird Heather
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Re: The best written route?

Post by Weird Heather » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:08 pm

I've been reading this thread since it was started, and I've been considering how I would formulate a response. Given that I have a strong educational background in literary studies, one would think that I would immediately be all over this question. However, in literature classes, we tend to spend a lot of time discussing how a piece of literature is working and how it connects with our favorite literary theories. We don't talk so much about how good something is or whether (and how) one work is better than another. It is funny that academics don't spend so much time on this obvious question.

Since I approached "Katawa Shoujo" initially in the mode of reading for pleasure, I connected to it more emotionally than I would have if I had been reading it analytically for a class or for research purposes. (However, as I got into it and found that the style and organization of the story were interesting, my analytical mind became active.) Direct comparison might be difficult since I approached some routes more analytically than others, and I read some in English and others in French, but I will try anyway.

Characterization is where "Katawa Shoujo" truly shines, and I believe the complex and realistic characterization of all five of the girls who have their own stories - and also Misha - explains how so many people have become emotionally moved by this visual novel. Since characterization is such a strong point, I think I can come up with an idea of which routes I think are "best" by equating "best" with "most interesting and/or compelling characterization." Though all of the routes are excellent in this regard, I find Rin's and Shizune's routes to be particularly interesting.

I read Shizune's route last, and in French, which is not my native language, although I can read it competently and I like to get regular practice with it so that I don't lose my ability. I didn't initially like her, probably because I tend not to like overly competitive people. However, her story brought out many elements of her history and her personality that made her come together as a complete and interesting character, and one who, by the end of the story, I liked very much. Shizune's various communication difficulties, her troubled family life (Jigoro!), the contrast between Shizune and Misha, Shizune's strong ambition and competitiveness, her troubles with Lilly, and her overall desire to make the world a better place all combined to make her a fascinating character. Misha also developed nicely as a complex character in this route; there is a lot more to her than the obnoxious, albeit adorable, loudmouth of Act 1. Seeing her become depressed and barely able to utter a "Wahaha~" just about broke my heart.

Rin's route is my favorite from the standpoint of characterization. I read it in English, and went through it rather quickly. I will probably revisit it soon in French, since reading in that language forces me to slow down a bit and pay more attention. As has been said countless times on this forum, Rin is weird. She has difficulty relating to others, and seems unsure of her own identity. (I am particularly drawn to unstable identities in literature, and my own writing often involves the destabilization of identity, so Rin is naturally the sort of character I would like.) Her weirdness and Hisao's ongoing difficulty in communicating with her are explored well in the story, and the complex array of choices in the story line helps the reader to share in Hisao's frustration. The function of her art within her life is also explored deeply. By the time that the exhibition comes around, her character is developed so fully that it makes perfect sense that she would become upset and would want to get out of the gallery and away from the people. She isn't after fame and fortune in the art world; her art is deeply personal, and she tries to gain and communicate understanding through her art, only to find that people don't "get" it.

Though I found these two most compelling, the others were excellent as well. Emi's problems with getting close to people, Hanako's extreme shyness and hidden strength, and Lilly's caring nature and family relationships were all explored well in their paths.
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Xanatos
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Re: The best written route?

Post by Xanatos » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:29 pm

wazuzu wrote:Manly picnic is well-written, but too otheworldly for the game.
What's otherworldly about a picnic that in no way involves other worlds or any otherworldly elements?
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Ritter Delorges
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Re: The best written route?

Post by Ritter Delorges » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:14 pm

I like how there doesn't seem to be a clear consensus. Of course such a thing is hard to quantify objevtively. It is also not a huge surprise that tastes differ, but it is still interesting to see it in such a microcosm. Everybody here has read the same routes or is at least working on it. They all share a medium, a genre, a setting, most of the characters and many themes. Nevertheless we seem to be looking for different things. I find it interesting to examine and and attempt to articulate why I prefer some routes over others (whether here or just to myself) when I notice that I disagree with someone but see their point and can't simply dismiss them.

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wazuzu
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Re: The best written route?

Post by wazuzu » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:47 am

Ritter Delorges wrote:I like how there doesn't seem to be a clear consensus.
It isn't for most of times on this forums, and that's the magnificence of Katawa Shoujo.

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Re: The best written route?

Post by Ritter Delorges » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:53 pm

Oddball wrote:[...] and Hideaki is being completly uninteresting in the most annoying way possible.
It took me a while, but I think I have found an interpretation of Hideaki that works for me. The way he is depicted reminds me of the way I might have seen a younger boy at Hisao's age. The age difference is too large for Hideaki to be considered a peer but too small for any hint of paternal instincts. Perhaps I am the only misanthrope who can identify with a teenager secretly seeing a friends' younger brother as an awkward, androgynous, somewhat annoying half-wit and not being quite sure what to do with him while not really holding it against him because he is, well, just a kid.

Loonie
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Re: The best written route?

Post by Loonie » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:31 pm

wazuzu wrote:
Ritter Delorges wrote:I like how there doesn't seem to be a clear consensus.
It isn't for most of times on this forums, and that's the magnificence of Katawa Shoujo.
Well...to be fair there have been several 'best route' and 'best girl' polls on these forums and in them the general feeling I got was: Lilly 1st, Hanako 2nd, Rin and Emi somewhere inbetween and Shizune last. Now wether or not said voters automatically thought 'best route' as in 'best written route' is up to the interpretation...but generally speaking, I'd say most people probably think of it that way.

That being said, majority consensus only plays for however much you want it to play (in my mind it doesn't play for much when it comes to art) and the people who actually regularly post replies on these forums are only a small faction of all the voters. So it's not too surprising to see this thread have no clear consensus, whereas the polls were far clearer.

As for me? I dunno, I guess it'd depend on what you consider to be 'best written.' Some people think 'most realistic' is 'best written', in that case I'd say Shizune wins hands down, with maybe Emi a contender. Others think 'most cerebral' is automatically 'best written' in which case Rin would probably take it. And yet again, most people don't really care much for either of those qualities so they'd say Lilly or Hanako win, because the tenderness in those routes brings out the most 'feels' in the majority of people.

But I guess for me it'd have to be Rin and, while I recognize the cerebral part of it, ultimately I'd say the meat and bones of why I think so has nothing to do with it. Instead it is due to unquestionably subjective reasons and, for my money, those are always the best ones (or at least better than the oft quoted and non-existent 'objective reasons').

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Xanatos
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Re: The best written route?

Post by Xanatos » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:09 pm

Best route is the one that leads to a spinoff.
<KeiichiO>: "I wonder what Misha's WAHAHA's sound like with a cock stuffed down her throat..."
<Ascension>: "I laughed, cried, vomited in my mouth a little, and even had time for marshmallows afterwards. Well played, Xanatos. Well played."
<KeiichiO>: "That's a beautiful response to chocolate."

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Mahorfeus
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Re: The best written route?

Post by Mahorfeus » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:25 pm

So the Kenji route?
"A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love." -Stendhal
The verdict is (finally) in:
Hanako > Rin > Emi > Lilly = Shizune

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hitman555z
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Re: The best written route?

Post by hitman555z » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:36 pm

mishas route is the best written. at this point, it can be anything. it can be more sad than emis bad ending, rins neutral ending, and one of the endings in hanakos and shizunes route, which i havent finished yet.
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Shail
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Re: The best written route?

Post by Shail » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:11 am

I've only done Hanako, Shizune, and Rin so far. I'm not impressed with Rin tbh, alot of the things I liked about Rin faded away in her route, Shizune needs more choices(and the quality in some scenes drops noticeably, like the good vs bad ending choice, Will you comfort me? Wat?) and Hanako, while being a SERIOUS kick to the feels, really pissed me off with the ending. She cries, breaks down, the lonely "I need a hug" girl I chased for 8 hours finally gets the BF she deserves and- game over. WELL FUCK YOU TOO! Alpha was better than release but even then I sought comfort in the fan fiction to stave off the horde of feels. I like the reactions of Lilly, and I look forward to her route, but I'm saving it for last. Off the bat I knew that Hanako and Lilly would be my favorites, just by checking out their characters, best for first AND last :D. Not sure about Emi, doing that next o-o..
~I hate endings~ Fan fiction is the only way to keep KS alive!
~The only good ending is a sequel~
~Want to know why I REALLY fucking hate endings? Mirai Nikki Want to know why I love epilogues? Watch the Mirai Nikki OVA
~Mirai Nikki: A perfect example of endings I hate~
Hanako -> Rin -> Shizune -> ? -> ?

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Re: The best written route?

Post by Guest Poster » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:22 am

Hanako, while being a SERIOUS kick to the feels, really pissed me off with the ending. She cries, breaks down, the lonely "I need a hug" girl I chased for 8 hours finally gets the BF she deserves and- game over. WELL FUCK YOU TOO!
Hanako's route does end rather abruptly, but it also ends at the right moment. If KS spent several more scenes playing the "happily ever after"-trope, it'd probably start to drag. Better to end with a bang than to fizzle out slowly. And if KS wanted to show Hisao's and Hanako's relationship life (like in Emi's route), she'd need several more acts.
Sisterhood: True Edition. Hanako epilogue I wrote. Now expanded with additional chapters.

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Shail
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Re: The best written route?

Post by Shail » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:34 am

Guest Poster wrote:
Hanako, while being a SERIOUS kick to the feels, really pissed me off with the ending. She cries, breaks down, the lonely "I need a hug" girl I chased for 8 hours finally gets the BF she deserves and- game over. WELL FUCK YOU TOO!
Hanako's route does end rather abruptly, but it also ends at the right moment. If KS spent several more scenes playing the "happily ever after"-trope, it'd probably start to drag. Better to end with a bang than to fizzle out slowly. And if KS wanted to show Hisao's and Hanako's relationship life (like in Emi's route),she'd need several more acts
This. Make this happen. Do it now, please do it now o-o... It ended at a piss-poor moment, it was like "Sex, scene, QQ, kiss, end", the route had a great plot but poor pacing imo. Not that I could do any better but still, it feels rushed. When I consider the fact that the Alpha Hanako route is longer and more detailed(but appears incomplete to me?) I have to wonder.. why? BUT oh well, I don't expect 4LS to do anything else, I'm happy they made what they did, would love it if they made more though xD. As it is, it's like the VN itself is the base of things where as the fanfiction is the "magic"

To put a metaphor on it, base cake out of the oven = VN. the Icing and frosting and stuff, that's the fan fiction c:
~I hate endings~ Fan fiction is the only way to keep KS alive!
~The only good ending is a sequel~
~Want to know why I REALLY fucking hate endings? Mirai Nikki Want to know why I love epilogues? Watch the Mirai Nikki OVA
~Mirai Nikki: A perfect example of endings I hate~
Hanako -> Rin -> Shizune -> ? -> ?

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Liminaut
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Re: The best written route?

Post by Liminaut » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:40 pm

I loved Hanako's good end.

Even though it is not an H-scene and just a kiss ...

With that kiss Hanako is starting to own her body and her sexuality. In Hanako's H-scene, it's clear that sex is something she is letting Hisao do to her. It's almost a voluntary data rape. With the kiss, this is Hanako's idea and something she wants to enjoy as much as Hisao does.

I thought Hanako's ending was the most emotionally charged of all the endings, even with the minimal sexuality. Her ending evidenced the most personal growth.

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