Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

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sonicdahedgie
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Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by sonicdahedgie » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:28 pm

When I see people talking about Katawa Shoujo, I always see people talking about how well-written it is. Or they talk about how it's unexpectedly heart-warming/wrenching, or they talk about what an impact it's had on their life. All of those things apply to me as well. I've taken up exercise and learning japanese from playing this game, and I've decided to return to college. But what I want to really stress is how Katawa Shoujo might be the most mature romance story that I have ever read.

I grew up on romantic comedies and drama shows. I had always craved the kind of relationship they had in movies and tv shows, where there's some special person they have in their life, and they love each other no matter what, and they perfectly get each other. Arguments between them are only caused by misunderstandings involving third parties, and when these get sorted everything is great and dandy. These are not realistic depictions of relationships. In fact, these are so far from the truth that romance movies are accused of doing to relationships what porn does to sex. I would like to contrast how a romance movie would handle situations in Katawa Shoujo, with how they're actual handled in the game using scenes from story arcs as examples. I have only played two story arcs so far, having only discovered this game a week ago, so sadly I'm lower on discussion material than I would like to be, but I really want to talk about this with some people.

Emi's Story Arc
Later in the arc, Emi becomes emotionally distant. You don't understand why, and when you pressure her about it, she gets angry at you, and you tend to both start saying things you don't mean, and then she runs off angry. You then get the chance to either chase after her, or not.

Romance Movie:Chase her, you fool! She might be angry, but you just have to reaffirm how much you love her! Run her down, grab her by the shoulders and kiss her forcibly! Then she'll understand and everything will be fine.

Katawa Shoujo: Let her go. Both of you are really flustered and worked up. You should just back off for now, chill out, and calm down.




Hanako's Story Arc
There's three major things that pop out in Hanako's arc. The number one thing is that wanting to protect someone is not a healthy foundation for a relationship. I was well aware of this the entire story arc, due to prior experience. The entire arc I was dreading that ending, but much to my amazement, the writers were well aware of this and put in what might the most effective delivery of that message that I've ever seen. So many modern romance play on our desire want something to protect, it was shocking to see a romance talking about how bad it can be.

Number two, is most succinctly summed up with one of Hisao's lines in the final scene of the story arc. "I don't think I understand you at all, but that's okay." To care for someone you do not need to be able to finish each other's sentences, and know exactly when to be there when they need it. People aren't psychic, and you shouldn't expect you or your partner to be. You can still care for each other even if you misinterpret each other at times.

Three might be the most important lesson that could ever be taught to anyone, especially younger males. Your dick is not a magical healing wand of emotions. People are sometimes emotionally damaged. It's part of who they are, it made them who they are. You are not going to cure them by fucking it out of them.


The last two are major themes to the game in general. If you've played any story arc, read on.

1) Everyone has emotional baggage. You are not supposed to cure them of it. In a relationship, you are not the special person who will help them overcome it. You are the person they've chosen to support them while they deal with it. This is the same from their side as well. You also have emotional baggage. Everyone does. Accept it as part of people.

2) Sex is not magical. It's awkward, it's weird, it's not always right, and it doesn't always go as planned. This is normal.


After what I've played of this game, I would legitimately recommend giving this out to high schoolers for them to understand what a realistic relationship is like. I can't believe the game was written with the level of emotional maturity that it has. I want to give a huge shoutout to 4LS for creating the what is by far the most mature video game I have ever played. I apologize for the (probably) excessive spoilers.

End of rant.

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Potato
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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by Potato » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:01 pm

sonicdahedgie wrote:People are sometimes emotionally damaged. You are not going to cure them by fucking it out of them.
This never comes up in the game. At no point, ever, does anyone at all suggest emotional damage can be fucked into non-existence. The only one that even comes close is Shizune's arc and even then, it's a fair leap to say that was the intention behind the events.

And incidentally, running after Emi could've worked just fine if Hisao weren't pre-programmed to be an idiot in that scenario. And not everyone has baggage. Some people are apathetic by nature. :P


Also, enjoy the game. Bad and neutral (Hanako and Rin each have a third ending) ends mandatory. :mrgreen:
I love the interpretation of Pac-Man where he's a just a lowly worker retrieving golf balls left all over the course by the rich masters and the ghosts are all previous workers who got conked on the head and killed by incoming golf balls in the line of duty.

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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by bhtooefr » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:09 pm

Potato wrote:
sonicdahedgie wrote:People are sometimes emotionally damaged. You are not going to cure them by fucking it out of them.
This never comes up in the game.
Although Emi certainly tries to fuck her damage into the back of her mind...
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sonicdahedgie
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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by sonicdahedgie » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:14 pm

Potato wrote:
sonicdahedgie wrote:People are sometimes emotionally damaged. You are not going to cure them by fucking it out of them.
This never comes up in the game. At no point, ever, does anyone at all suggest emotional damage can be fucked into non-existence.
Sorry if it wasn't clear, this is what Katawa shoujo does right. I've seen many shows where girls are healed by the power of dicks. I may have to edit my post if I'm not saying that clearly enough...

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Potato
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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by Potato » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:17 pm

sonicdahedgie wrote:
Potato wrote:
sonicdahedgie wrote:People are sometimes emotionally damaged. You are not going to cure them by fucking it out of them.
This never comes up in the game. At no point, ever, does anyone at all suggest emotional damage can be fucked into non-existence.
Sorry if it wasn't clear, this is what Katawa shoujo does right. I've seen many shows where girls are healed by the power of dicks. I may have to edit my post if I'm not saying that clearly enough...
Yes, many VNs do that. KS doesn't but it's not because it has some message about your dick not being magical. It's just because it was made to tell a story, not as porn. It's not so much a theme of the game as a by-product.

Also, enjoy the fanfic and fanart threads. Great stuff there when you're done with the game...Beware spoilers.
I love the interpretation of Pac-Man where he's a just a lowly worker retrieving golf balls left all over the course by the rich masters and the ghosts are all previous workers who got conked on the head and killed by incoming golf balls in the line of duty.

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wazuzu
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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by wazuzu » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:02 am

sonicdahedgie wrote: Romance Movie:Chase her, you fool! She might be angry, but you just have to reaffirm how much you love her! Run her down, grab her by the shoulders and kiss her forcibly! Then she'll understand and everything will be fine.
Lilly's arc. For me it was full of WTF ARE YOU DOING OMG JUST GRAB ONTO HER LIKE A NEWBORN MONKEY ONTO ITS MAMA AND SAY THAT YOU WON'T LEAVE HER EVER. But you can't make a drama out of nothing, I guess.

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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by Munchenhausen » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:10 am

I gotta say, I whole-heartedly agree with you :D I love how unromanticised KS is in general, really.

When I say that, I mean how un-sugar coated everything is.
-Emi's Anal scene is a prime example of this; It's depicted as mostly awkward and painful, rather than OMG YEAH DIS IS AMAZEBALLS. A few of the sex scenes have little details in them that drive away from the idea of sex always being perfect at everything. Fantastic attention to detail, really.
-Hanako's Scars is another.
Look at her scars. They look like someone's coated half of her in charred bacon, but that's the point! Instead of prettifying the burns to make them less ugly, 4LS went for a raw, unadulterated view of burns to really drive home the point.


All in all, I love how 4LS didn't try and tiptoe around everything. At the same time, they don't go too far with the details. They managed to balance it nicely between realism and beauty to create five lovable characters.
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Steinherz
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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by Steinherz » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:32 pm

Munchenhausen wrote:I gotta say, I whole-heartedly agree with you :D I love how unromanticised KS is in general, really.

When I say that, I mean how un-sugar coated everything is.
-Emi's Anal scene is a prime example of this; It's depicted as mostly awkward and painful, rather than OMG YEAH DIS IS AMAZEBALLS. A few of the sex scenes have little details in them that drive away from the idea of sex always being perfect at everything. Fantastic attention to detail, really.
Well that scene was like that because Emi was being Emi. As in: No prior planning.
If planning and care is taken beforehand, it's a lot easier on both parties.
Also: Enemas help a lot as well.
Munchenhausen wrote:-Hanako's Scars is another.
Look at her scars. They look like someone's coated half of her in charred bacon, but that's the point! Instead of prettifying the burns to make them less ugly, 4LS went for a raw, unadulterated view of burns to really drive home the point.
Except burn scars from eight/ten years beforehand don't really look like that? :lol:
I write take a look, would you kindly?
I also draw, kind of.
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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by Oddball » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:57 pm

Steinherz wrote: Except burn scars from eight/ten years beforehand don't really look like that? :lol:
True, but the way the skin tends to stretch, ripple, and even bubble in places would have been nearly impossible to illustrate in the style of art they were going for. While this may not have been 100% accurate, it gets the point across that her scars aren't there to make her pretty; they legitimately are unpleasant to look at.
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Potato
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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by Potato » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Steinherz wrote:Except burn scars from eight/ten years beforehand don't really look like that? :lol:
Depends on if she ever got procedures done to improve things. Either way, they'd still have to shy away from reality to keep in line with the cute anime style. :lol:
I love the interpretation of Pac-Man where he's a just a lowly worker retrieving golf balls left all over the course by the rich masters and the ghosts are all previous workers who got conked on the head and killed by incoming golf balls in the line of duty.

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Munchenhausen
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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by Munchenhausen » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:09 pm

Potato wrote:Either way, they'd still have to shy away from reality to keep in line with the cute anime style. :lol:
That is true.
If I'm right, blind people aren't known for being in full control of their eyes and it's quite common for a blind person to have misaligned eyes, especially if they're blind from birth.
As much as I'd hate to say it, I don't think I'd be able to take Lilly's route seriously if she was bog-eyed the entire time.
Like stupid, silly doodles with no point? You've come to the right place, friend :^)
I also occasionally write oneshots. Why not have a skimread?
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Potato
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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by Potato » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:09 pm

Munchenhausen wrote:
Potato wrote:Either way, they'd still have to shy away from reality to keep in line with the cute anime style. :lol:
That is true.
If I'm right, blind people aren't known for being in full control of their eyes and it's quite common for a blind person to have misaligned eyes, especially if they're blind from birth.
As much as I'd hate to say it, I don't think I'd be able to take Lilly's route seriously if she was bog-eyed the entire time.
I imagine this would be something how Lilly's eyes would look in reality. I find it interesting, myself.
I love the interpretation of Pac-Man where he's a just a lowly worker retrieving golf balls left all over the course by the rich masters and the ghosts are all previous workers who got conked on the head and killed by incoming golf balls in the line of duty.

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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by Atario » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:13 pm

Potato wrote:I imagine this would be something how Lilly's eyes would look in reality. I find it interesting, myself.
That's not that offputting at all, actually. Except that he turned what should have been a 15-second video into a two-minute one. :roll:

At any rate, Lilly is noted by Hisao to be capable of "using her face" to have an effect on those around her. Using her eyes would be a large part of that, of course. No doubt her properness-training involved plenty of activities along these lines.
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Steinherz
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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by Steinherz » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:31 am

Munchenhausen wrote:If I'm right, blind people aren't known for being in full control of their eyes and it's quite common for a blind person to have misaligned eyes, especially if they're blind from birth.
As much as I'd hate to say it, I don't think I'd be able to take Lilly's route seriously if she was bog-eyed the entire time.
So what you're saying is, Lilly should be more like this?
Image
:lol:
I write take a look, would you kindly?
I also draw, kind of.
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Re: Katawa Shoujo's Maturity

Post by Atario » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:30 am

Steinherz wrote:So what you're saying is, Lilly should be more like this?
http://shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com/image/3678.png
:lol:
Is there something wrong with me that I find that slightly cuter than if they were properly aligned?
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