Random KS Discussion

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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by Guest Poster » Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:53 am

To be honest, I've been kind of curious about that as well.

It's one thing to occasionally hide some stealth puns in there that only a Japanese would understand, but if knowledge of the finer details of Japanese culture is required to enjoy a story to the fullest while the VN it's part of is written in English and aimed at a western audience, isn't that...like...shooting yourself in the foot since it guarantees that the vast majority of readers won't end up enjoying the route the way it was intended? If this was intentional, it may not have been the smartest idea ever.
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by AaronIsCrunchy » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:13 am

I think it's a good thing sometimes to have a situation like that where people may not initially understand a lot of the references to, as in this case Japanese culture, as should the reader be interested they can investigate various aspects brought up through external sources, which means that hopefully you take more from it than just a story. That's my two pennies anyway.
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by brythain » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:29 am

Guest Poster wrote:To be honest, I've been kind of curious about that as well.

It's one thing to occasionally hide some stealth puns in there that only a Japanese would understand, but if knowledge of the finer details of Japanese culture is required to enjoy a story to the fullest while the VN it's part of is written in English and aimed at a western audience, isn't that...like...shooting yourself in the foot since it guarantees that the vast majority of readers won't end up enjoying the route the way it was intended? If this was intentional, it may not have been the smartest idea ever.
I think a lot of literature is like that. There's a lot to be said for stretching the envelope. Casual readers don't like that, but it's OK, there's stuff for them too.

On the other hand, a writer can make it easier for the reader to get into it. Notes are heavy-handed, parenthetical observations slightly less so; yet I've noticed KS is actually a lot better written than many translations of JVNs and also many written in English. In the end, it's always going to be YMMV for Shizune, I'm afraid.
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by CoffeeDrive » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:38 am

AaronIsCrunchy wrote:I think it's a good thing sometimes to have a situation like that where people may not initially understand a lot of the references to, as in this case Japanese culture, as should the reader be interested they can investigate various aspects brought up through external sources, which means that hopefully you take more from it than just a story. That's my two pennies anyway.
I reckon 4LS threw in lots of references jsut to confuse the fuck out of us westerners.
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by Guest Poster » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:45 am

I think it's a good thing sometimes to have a situation like that where people may not initially understand a lot of the references to, as in this case Japanese culture, as should the reader be interested they can investigate various aspects brought up through external sources, which means that hopefully you take more from it than just a story. That's my two pennies anyway.
There are some problems with that though. The first one is that KS is a VN with multiple characters each having multiple endings. I think most people will play until they've reached each ending exactly once and then move on, perhaps occasionally re-reading the one or two routes they liked most. For most people, that's not going to be the route that had the least amount of impact on them during their first playthrough.

More importantly, the average reader doesn't even know those references are there, so how is he supposed to investigate them afterwards? Unless, of course, he visits the forums and reads through various discussions until he reads that further research is necessary in order to get full mileage out of Shizune's route.

As far as Japanese tropes go, Katawa Shoujo is all over the place. Yes, there's school uniforms and the Westminster Quarters theme as the school bell, but there are no shoeboxes near the entrance, handshakes are used as greetings rather than bowing and even students as formal as Lilly immediately insist on use of first names. The devs mentioned they were more interested in telling a story than accurately emulating a Japanese environment, which is understandable and even preferable to a piece of writing with honorifics everywhere, but the average reader isn't going to be wondering if he missed any subtle cultural references if the VN in itself isn't overly concerned with enforcing the more well-known ones.

In Jigoro's case, there's also the fact that his appearance is so over-the-top (compared to the rest of the cast) that the average reader also isn't going to wonder if his behavior is perhaps based on subtle cultural touches. Most likely, the average reader will assume his behavior is outragous because his appearance is outragous as well.
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by Valjean Lafitte » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:34 am

Well Jigoro is supposed to be outrageous. I doubt there are any subtle cultural references hidden in the way he acts, he just is the way he is.

The only hidden reference to Japanese cultural traditions that I'm aware of in Shizune's route is Misha cutting her hair shorter as a sign that she's lost the affections of her true love. I don't think A22 really dug any deeper into Japanese culture than that, did he?
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by Mahorfeus » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:37 pm

Well, there's looking at the subtext, and then there's squinting until you see the subsubtext which may not even actually be there. At which point you move from authorial intent to personal interpretation, which is obviously always a thing in literature. My personal takeaway is that Jigoro is written as being ridiculous for the sake of being ridiculous. Of course this begs the question of "Why is he like this?" Is it because his wife is dead? Because his wife is a lesbian? An alien? Is he just insane? And honestly... I don't think even A22 has the answer.

At any rate, please pardon the ranting. I suck at discussing literature. :oops:
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by ogorhan » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:55 pm

So I did ask what the cultural references in shizune's were and this answers most.
Megumeru wrote:Cultural references in Shizune's route?

Wow...there's a bunch...where should I start? I think some of the obvious ones should be pretty easy to remember so let's go with that first.


let's go with the confession first: Tanabata festival.
If you're familiar with the legend, it's basically a festival that celebrates the two lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi who are separated by the milky way galaxy. They are only allowed to meet once a year (due to circumstances) on a specific day (usually July 7th). Thing is, they can't meet when it's raining.

Shitty thing is (and in my experience), it always rains in the day--not always, but it's common. Thus, the fireworks and all is held the next day instead and Hikoboshi and Orihime didn't get to meet (again) if it rained the previous year.


The festival itself is very famous as a lover's festival. Basically, if you confess to someone or invited someone to see the festival--and it doesn't rain--there's a good chance you will end up with that person or have a strong relationship way into the future.


Next, the one thing people always miss: lunchbox.

I don't know if it's something in the west, but it's pretty uncommon there with this practice I think. If you've lived in Japan (or at least watch enough anime to get a hint), you'll notice that the food--mainly lunch boxes or bento boxes--not only does it present taste, it also considers how presentable it is. Not only does it show the time and dedication you put in for someone, it shows that you really put an effort into it and thus you cared.

So, if you ever go to school in Japan and a girl offered to pack you a lunch box, you're in for a treat. Usually, preparation time could take an hour or more and as far as I know, they have to wake up earlier than usual to cook up your bento--and theirs--set it up, organize it, then wrap it. That takes dedication, patience, and strong commitment. No, giving someone a 'frozen and heated up' bento is more of an insult and thus is not even common practice. So if that bento has hamburger (the steak one, not the one with bun), ebi fry, and a few custom made (asparagus wrapped with bacon for example), remember that those are handmade and not store-bought.


Next, meeting the parents.
if you've dated any Japanese girl and she happen to take you to her home and meet her parents, it shows that she has trust you enough to introduce you to their parents--either they'll like you back in return is up to speculations (although from what I heard from my high school friends, some of them doesn't take western too well). It's basically saying 'hey, here's my boyfriend; maybe someday in the future he'll be your son-in-law' or something along that line. You won't see them if she's just having a casual relationship (this also explains another reason why Emi takes you to see her mother). Any relationship that is to be considered official is often accompanied with the approval of the parents/meeting them eye to eye--yes, this ties down to tradition so it may be an eye-shocker for most of you. And if the parents doesn't like you, they'll drive you out of the house--politely.

But if they do--despite how being such an asshole they are--they'll let you stay.


The last more familiar one: Rooftop lunch
Most local high school has a cafeteria of course, but there's another place where students usually go for lunch: the rooftop. Most of the time, however, it's off limits (since there's fear of students climbing over the fence and jumping down to commit suicide). The rooftop is mostly empty for the most part, thus not many people actually come up here at all. If you invited a friend up here (or a party; 3 people, 4 people), it's basically finding a place where you guys can relax without being disturbed. Now, if you're up in the roof as a couple, then that means she wants to spend some time with you alone and in private. High school life in Japan is the most stressful time of youth you can have, either it's because you need to start thinking of career opportunities or a university you want to get yourself into to...burn yourself even more for a better job. Private times with your lover diminishes in an instant--especially if you're the student council, and this is part of my own experience as well as the secretary a few years back.

To summarize, it's basically life=gone. It's all about studying, exams, crams, and wondering what you should do if things didn't go as planned. So, when Shizune ask Hisao to be up with her in the roof alone, then she basically asks him for some private time together as that alone worth a lot more than what it usually is when you reach this particular stage. The fact that she still planned a picnic with Misha later--and prepared it on her own--shows how much time she has to sacrifice herself. So show some respect for her, she did more than what she could bite.


I think there's still a few more loitering around, but I can't explain them in great detail. I'm still a bit busy at the moment, so I'll get back on this later.
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by Comrade » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:01 pm

Truely sheds a new light. fascinating!
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by Zarys » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:24 pm

Megumeru wrote:

Next, meeting the parents.
if you've dated any Japanese girl and she happen to take you to her home and meet her parents, it shows that she has trust you enough to introduce you to their parents--either they'll like you back in return is up to speculations (although from what I heard from my high school friends, some of them doesn't take western too well). It's basically saying 'hey, here's my boyfriend; maybe someday in the future he'll be your son-in-law' or something along that line. You won't see them if she's just having a casual relationship (this also explains another reason why Emi takes you to see her mother). Any relationship that is to be considered official is often accompanied with the approval of the parents/meeting them eye to eye--yes, this ties down to tradition so it may be an eye-shocker for most of you. And if the parents doesn't like you, they'll drive you out of the house--politely.

But if they do--despite how being such an asshole they are--they'll let you stay.
It's not against Human Rights ? :? (The part about the rights of woman like autonomy, liberty in marriage,ect..)
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by Comrade » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:28 pm

Is it such a strange concept for westerners that parents would like to approve of their childrens' partners?
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by CoffeeDrive » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:31 pm

Zarys wrote:
Megumeru wrote:

Next, meeting the parents.
if you've dated any Japanese girl and she happen to take you to her home and meet her parents, it shows that she has trust you enough to introduce you to their parents--either they'll like you back in return is up to speculations (although from what I heard from my high school friends, some of them doesn't take western too well). It's basically saying 'hey, here's my boyfriend; maybe someday in the future he'll be your son-in-law' or something along that line. You won't see them if she's just having a casual relationship (this also explains another reason why Emi takes you to see her mother). Any relationship that is to be considered official is often accompanied with the approval of the parents/meeting them eye to eye--yes, this ties down to tradition so it may be an eye-shocker for most of you. And if the parents doesn't like you, they'll drive you out of the house--politely.

But if they do--despite how being such an asshole they are--they'll let you stay.
It's not against Human Rights ? :? (The part about the rights of woman like autonomy, liberty in marriage,ect..)
Im sorry what? Sure they can marry anyone they want too, buy they can be disowned in the process. And thats not just Japan, that happens worldwide. Theres nothing legally (Aslong as they are both 18+) stopping two people of opposite genders (Or same sex where thats legal) getting married, even the parents cannot stop that. But annoying the shit out of your parents in Japan by dating someone they dont like is huge. But its not against your human rights for your parents to say "I dont want you to get into a relationship with that person"
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by Comrade » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:35 pm

CoffeeDrive wrote:
Zarys wrote:
Megumeru wrote:

Next, meeting the parents.
if you've dated any Japanese girl and she happen to take you to her home and meet her parents, it shows that she has trust you enough to introduce you to their parents--either they'll like you back in return is up to speculations (although from what I heard from my high school friends, some of them doesn't take western too well). It's basically saying 'hey, here's my boyfriend; maybe someday in the future he'll be your son-in-law' or something along that line. You won't see them if she's just having a casual relationship (this also explains another reason why Emi takes you to see her mother). Any relationship that is to be considered official is often accompanied with the approval of the parents/meeting them eye to eye--yes, this ties down to tradition so it may be an eye-shocker for most of you. And if the parents doesn't like you, they'll drive you out of the house--politely.

But if they do--despite how being such an asshole they are--they'll let you stay.
It's not against Human Rights ? :? (The part about the rights of woman like autonomy, liberty in marriage,ect..)
(Aslong as they are both 18+)
That is only in the western world. In tribal and Islamic culture it is common to get married earlier.
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by Zarys » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:39 pm

Yes why more women than men so it is not a remnant of a time where women were less free and able to decide for themselves because they belongs to their father :? (When it's the mens are free to woo who they want , if a non-married girl still "belongs" to his father)

And what's going on in that mentality when parents are just wrong or crazy ? you must sacrifice your whole life for them ? :?

Comrade wrote:
That is only in the western world. In tribal and Islamic culture it is common to get married earlier.
You are conscious it's not a good example since these marriages are arranged, (and in general, the woman have no rights here) right ?
Last edited by Zarys on Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Random KS Discussion

Post by Comrade » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:42 pm

Welcome to the real world son, full of hardship and problems.
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