The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 4/16!)

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Yukarin
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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by Yukarin » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:26 am

I think no one saw that coming.

This is turning out to be one of the most likable Lilly portrayals I've ever read.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by Alpacalypse » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:28 am

Soooo... that happened. I was honestly expecting some more build-up before the inevitable confession, but this works fine.

I also share Freddy's opinion; I would not have expected Misha and Hisao to be on such good terms after all that.
It does shed a new light on their conversation two chapters ago, though.

Excellent work, methinks.
I am the harbinger of your destruction... By herbivorous, mountain dwelling quadrupeds... fear me
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I also write now, apparently. Since everyone else does it, I'm putting it here
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I have also discovered that I'm a decent proofreader. Anybody with SPaG problems is free to PM me their work for a thorough analysis and/or evisceration. Depends on how I'm feeling.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by Sharp-O » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:48 am

Jaysus... That's certainly something... This is one of those times where I'm both utterly surprised and unsurprised. This story is taking an interesting turn and I'm certainly up for the ride.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by freddy753 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:21 pm

Sharp-O wrote:Jaysus... That's certainly something... This is one of those times where I'm both utterly surprised and unsurprised. This story is taking an interesting turn and I'm certainly up for the ride.
Exactly this. It caught me by surprise at first, but then I realized Shizune would be the type of person to want to have their cake and eat it too, if you know what I mean.


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Puncyclopedia
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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by Puncyclopedia » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:20 pm

First and foremost, THANK YOU ALL for the comments. I am greatly appreciative. I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that this is now easily the longest creative work I've ever written, and is probably coming up on the fifty page honors thesis I wrote to graduate from university. It's been a challenge, but one that I've greatly enjoyed and will continue to enjoy as we go past the halfway point. And now, as per usual, more detailed replies to the comments!

To make this easier, I'm going to try and categorize responses into the following key areas: Shizune x Misha Blocked by Jigoro, Lilly Satou: Emotionally Mature, and Why Isn't Hisao Mad At Formerly Drill-Wearing Girl?

Shizune x Misha Blocked by Jigoro
Mirage_GSM wrote:
With the technical stuff out of the way:
Shizune and Mishe, eh? Rejection because of Jigoro...

That's certainly something I didn't expect. Not sure what I think about it yet; will have to think more - I don't think we've seen that variant before. What I do buy, though, is her reaction afterwards and the events leading on to Hisao leaving.
I didn't quote it, but thank you for the technical feedback which I will incorporate. I never would have thought about the POV issue in a million years, but you're absolutely right.

As for the Shizune/Misha situation, and Jigoro's involvement, please hold...
azumeow wrote:Damn, son. I....didn't see that coming.

Probably couldn't have with a telescope, really.
freddy753 wrote:Like Azumeow said, I definitely couldn't see that one coming. I've even read FluffAndCrunch's collection of after-KS stories and I still didn't see it coming. Well done. With this latest chapter, I feel like a lot of the questions I've had about this story have been answered.
Yukarin wrote:I think no one saw that coming.
Okay! Now we can talk about Shizune x Misha! I'm glad this came off as a surprise - I actually read a whole bunch of Shizune x Hisao and Shizune x Misha fics to make sure this would at least be somewhat original. The idea came to me surprisingly quickly when I started plotting this story. For this chapter to work, the reader has to believe three things.

1. The viability of Shizune x Misha
2. Jigoro being a significant enough reason for Shizune not to do something she wants.
3. That Hisao and Lilly at least like each other enough to tipsily make out and worry about the details later.

#1 is largely a personal decision. I happen to like them as a couple - but I know a lot of people don't. My hope is at least that it's a feasible enough thing to get you along for the ride. #2 is where things get interesting.

Shizune is headstrong enough that, assuming she did in fact like Misha, I can't imagine anything short of something that what threaten her security being enough to stop her from accepting Misha's proposal. Jigoro being a somewhat conservative, intolerant human being isn't exactly an immense stretch given the canon. I won't say much more now, because Shizune will sign for herself on the matter before all is said and done. For all of Shizune's many faults, she is extremely self-aware about most, if not all of them.

#3 was my biggest concern, and as some of the comments reflect, it was a difficult task. I rewrote the scene way too many times, and finally settled on a two part approach, with 3-1 being where a lot of the nitty gritty gets hashed out. But I'm more than willing to take my criticism here - just wait a bit until after 3-1, and then I can discuss some of the logic behind it.

Lilly Satou: Emotionally Mature
Yukarin wrote:
This is turning out to be one of the most likable Lilly portrayals I've ever read.
Mirage_GSM wrote: And I truly love your Lilly in this chapter. Her reactions are exactly what I would expect from a Lilly who is more mature and self-confident than her highschool self.
This topic is always interesting to me, because when playing through the game, I objected to what Lilly did to Hisao a LOT less than the similarly objectionable parts of other routes. Emi and Hanako were ruined for me in large part by what they withheld, and yet both seem, on average, to be treated less poorly for it than Lilly is.

With that said: the Lilly of The Benefit of Hindsight is almost utterly alone before Hisao. She has no one to truly confide in. In her own route, she at least has her parents and Akira and Hanako - here? No one. She knows that Hanako, at least, is to some extent her own fault. She's made mistakes, and is able to recognize them. She's learned the difference between mothering people (which by nature requires a looking down upon from higher, even if in a benevolent sense) and being able to give the same sort of advice and help from an even footing.

The dirty secret of Katawa Shoujo, to me, is that Hisao needs all of the girls more than vice-versa. (After all, without a girl, he ends up having a Manly Picnic, and we all know how that ends...) By the end of the arcs, things have evened up at least a little bit, though. The goal of the Benefit of Hindsight is to create a more balanced relationship from the start. Hisao needs Lilly. Lilly needs Hisao. Together, they'll feel their way through feelings and worries and such. 1 + 1 for them will hopefully equal 3.

Other thoughts on the matter coming in the next chapter.

Why Isn't Hisao Mad At Formerly Drill-Wearing Girl?
Alpacalypse wrote:

I also share Freddy's opinion; I would not have expected Misha and Hisao to be on such good terms after all that.
It does shed a new light on their conversation two chapters ago, though.

Excellent work, methinks.
freddy753 wrote: Edit: While I was typing this out, I thought of another question that is bugging me really badly now. At what point does a person stop being dragged along for the ride and start becoming complicit in the actions of another? In KS, as we all know, a big part of Shizune's route is her dragging Misha around and treating her like a lackey instead of a real friend. At first, I sort of thought the same thing was going on here, but then I realized, there has to be some point where a person realizes they're being used. It seems like Misha knew full well what she was doing with Shizune, and she just chose to ignore Hisao, but, as you've indicated in your earlier chapters, they're still on good terms. What's going on here? Sorry if I'm rambling.
Alpacylpse's suggestion is a good one. If you have the time, go back and re-read 2-5 - it reads somewhat differently with 2-7 in mind.

As for freddy and Alpa's shared thoughts, there's a short answer and a long answer, both of which I'll answer to the extent that it doesn't give anything away

Short answer: Hisao doesn't really blame Misha. He probably should blame her a bit more than he does, but...

Long answer: Hisao feels that in a just world, Misha would have beaten him to Shizune anyway, and he wouldn't have ever even dated her to begin with. Misha was also extremely apologetic at every point in the process, which matters a lot to Hisao. In short? Misha understands that what she did was wrong. Shizune? Well, I'm sure you have thoughts on that, but the answer will be confirmed before the story ends.

There's also the fact that, in all probability, the entire thing was Shizune's idea. I can't see Misha propositioning a taken Shizune, no matter how badly she'd want to.
freddy753 wrote:
Sharp-O wrote:Jaysus... That's certainly something... This is one of those times where I'm both utterly surprised and unsurprised. This story is taking an interesting turn and I'm certainly up for the ride.
Exactly this. It caught me by surprise at first, but then I realized Shizune would be the type of person to want to have their cake and eat it too, if you know what I mean.
Oh, good. You too?
Sharp-O wrote:What's "I've got a cunning plan" in Sign? :lol:
[You promised to come to the Student Council room with us.]

Chapter 3-1 will likely be up sometime within the first ten days of March, and then we'll set a week-every two weeks pace from there. I'm also starting to storyboard out a few other ideas, so once this is over, I do expect to be writing around here for a good long while.

Cheers everyone!
Characters: Shizune > Lilly > Rin > Emi > Hanako
Routes: Lilly > Rin > Shizune > Hanako > Emi

Replaying now, so subject to flux. Except Shizune. Shizune is best.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:15 pm

For this chapter to work, the reader has to believe three things.

1. The viability of Shizune x Misha
2. Jigoro being a significant enough reason for Shizune not to do something she wants.
3. That Hisao and Lilly at least like each other enough to tipsily make out and worry about the details later.
Okay, having had time to think and read your comments let me expand on my previous post a bit...
I have no problems at all with 1. - at least hypothetically. I don't believe it would work for the Shizune in the VN, but as a Fanfiction it works.

It's not exactly 2. that I have problems with either. Of course Jigoro would not approve, and of course he could throw any number of wrenches in Shizune's life planning, and Shizune being as driven and ambitious as she is would probably not risk that.
Where it breaks apart a bit for me is when Shizune manages to bottle all this up for over a year without exploding. Actually Shizune is the only one of the girls who probably wouldn't be able to do that:
Lilly? She's shown that she can and will deceive people to keep important stuff from them.
Hanako? She wouldn't talk about stuff like that to anyone.
Emi? Her main problem is not being able to open up to others.
Rin? Nobody'd take her serious if she accdentally blabbed about it.
But Shizune? She's a straightforward character, and hiding her feelings from her two best friends for more than a year is something I can't see her being physically able to do.

Needless to say, 3. is hardly a stretch either considering the situation. If there's anything unbelievable about it it's that they decide NOT to have sex immediately and then stick with that decision even after Lilly climbs into bed with Hisao naked...
Might have been fun if she'd fallen asleep before they got far enough :-)

Anyway, that's mostly nitpicking. Again: Good Job with that chapter.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by freddy753 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:49 pm

I understand where you're coming from now, but I think this chapter might've been better (not that it wasn't good already) if you'd included Hisao's reasoning for not being mad at Misha.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by Yukarin » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:57 pm

I had the time, so I reread 2-5 and this caught my interest:
Misha nods her head, almost automatically. “Even when it’s unreasonable,” she agrees. “We know that best, don’t we?”

We do, Misha. We most certainly do. I don’t say it, though. I just nod my head, shifting a little uncomfortably in my seat. “Can we talk about something else, please,” I ask. “I’ve been looking forward to seeing you again. I’d rather us not focus on depressing things. Unless this is the only reason you came?”
THIS SUDDENLY MADE SO MUCH SENSE.

Before 2-7 I've been wondering what was Misha talking about here. Now that most of everything is out, suddenly most of the things that they were talking about made sense.

wow.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by TubaMirum » Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:03 pm

Caught up! Times like this are why I'm glad I can just go along for the ride most of the time, but your justifications for others' concerns seem sound.

It's kind of shocking that Misha would be able to preserve so much of her "Mishaness" even after becoming a full-time teacher. The scene in 2-5 kind of dispelled concerns I had about how effective that could be in a classroom, though I suppose she's probably one of those "Just one of the kids" types.

It's nice reading something like this though that gives new perspectives, though. Hisao as a teacher at Yamaku might be something to explore sometime.

It's probably the right style you're doing, but every time a quoted question ends in a comma I despair a bit. I'm probably the only one. :D
Gustav Mahler wrote:If you find you're boring your audience, go slower not faster.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by Dash9 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:49 pm

Hiya, I'm newly registered to these forums but I've been following this story for a while. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing it with us. IIRC you mentioned needing a break after writing the last chapter, which considering how well it turned out, makes perfect sense. I just wanted to let you know that I'm still looking forward to the rest of the story when you get back.

Also, I want to add my name into the list of people who really really like the way you portray Lilly. The one bit that has really stayed with me is When she drags Hisao to bed after his line about 'saving important decisions till tomorrow'. Almost like she's thinking 'OK let's hurry up and make it tomorrow so we can make this official!' For some reason it reminds me of the one scene from the original VN when they're walking up the hill back to school and she darts ahead of him, turns around and says, "You're different." in response to a comment Hisao made. It has the same kind of girly and impulsive tone with that hint of her being just a little bit of a tease, or at least, that's my take on it.

Anyway, thanks again for your work on this,
--Dash

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by Ommadawn » Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:34 am

I'd like to echo Dash9's comments. I'm new to the forums and KS as well, and have been roaming the forums reading the various fanfics since I finished the VN, and picked this story up at random. Needless to say, I'm very impressed with the story and quality of your writing, and I'm eagerly looking forward to more whenever you're ready to continue.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by WillDfly » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:48 am

I love how the title makes more and more sense every time.
The way both Hisao and Lilly are on this fic, their personal development that allows them to go into this relationship now is having The Benefit of Hindsight from their other interactions, so they do not stumble on the same problems that made her route one of the least compelling ones for me (and others too, from what I read).
One of the reasons Mutou has for putting so much trust in his pupil is the fact he has The Benefit of Hindsight to deal with Yamaku students, specially the ones on the student council.
The reason Kenji is but a backdrop character with little development? He ignores The Benefit of Hindsight.
Reading 2-5 again after 2-7 is a must. Little things, like how Misha is just as eager to drink as Hisao, their intimacy, and phrases like "I knew that the question of Shizune would come up. It had to come up. She was the person that had brought the two of us together to begin with." take whole new meanings with The Benefit of Hindsight. She's not just a friend, a spectator of their falling out, she's an integral part of the plot (speaking of plot, someone make a doujinshi of that flashback, please, for science). One of the reasons I can see for not being mad at Misha is that Hisao understands better than anyone the gravitation exerted by Shizune. Like a shark that ends up in your pool, Misha is not at fault, but as much a victim of this Shizunado as Hisao. And I totally get going to visit the aquarium, but not wanting another tornado after that.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by Puncyclopedia » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:41 pm

It's been a long time - over a year - for a variety of reasons. School, work, a general sense of depression in my life, and worry that I wouldn't be able to finish what I started. I have high standards for my writing, and my first couple of attempts at starting Act 3 went...poorly, to the say the least. Poorly enough that I took a month break, that became two and three. And then the idea of posting again after disappearing became daunting, and months became a year.

I realized how long it'd been in February, and took from mid-February to now to write a few chapters up, so I'd have a cushion for posting. I'm working on editing now, but after a year, The Benefit of Hindsight will have new content. I apologize to everyone that I've kept waiting, and hope that I'll be able to keep up the standard that I've set so far.

Before we progress onwards, I'd like to answer comments, as is my tradition.
freddy753 wrote:I understand where you're coming from now, but I think this chapter might've been better (not that it wasn't good already) if you'd included Hisao's reasoning for not being mad at Misha.
This is an extremely important (and complex) piece of information that you're going to have to wait a while longer for. Rest assured that it's a very important part of what's to come in this story, and that it won't be forgotten. I promise.
Yukarin wrote:I had the time, so I reread 2-5 and this caught my interest:
Misha nods her head, almost automatically. “Even when it’s unreasonable,” she agrees. “We know that best, don’t we?”

We do, Misha. We most certainly do. I don’t say it, though. I just nod my head, shifting a little uncomfortably in my seat. “Can we talk about something else, please,” I ask. “I’ve been looking forward to seeing you again. I’d rather us not focus on depressing things. Unless this is the only reason you came?”
THIS SUDDENLY MADE SO MUCH SENSE.

Before 2-7 I've been wondering what was Misha talking about here. Now that most of everything is out, suddenly most of the things that they were talking about made sense.

wow.
Author's secret - 2-5, 2-6, and 2-7 were all written before I posted any of them, so I could work things like this in. I would encourage anyone with the time to re-read 2-5 after making it through 2-7. 2-5 is probably my favorite chapter so far for that reason.
TubaMirum wrote:Caught up! Times like this are why I'm glad I can just go along for the ride most of the time, but your justifications for others' concerns seem sound.

It's kind of shocking that Misha would be able to preserve so much of her "Mishaness" even after becoming a full-time teacher. The scene in 2-5 kind of dispelled concerns I had about how effective that could be in a classroom, though I suppose she's probably one of those "Just one of the kids" types.

It's nice reading something like this though that gives new perspectives, though. Hisao as a teacher at Yamaku might be something to explore sometime.

It's probably the right style you're doing, but every time a quoted question ends in a comma I despair a bit. I'm probably the only one. :D
To me, one of the keys to Misha as a character is that she's far, far more than what she wants people to believe. Exactly why this is the case is up for debate, but she's not just a carefree, bubbly, lighthearted person. I think she's extremely capable and would make an excellent teacher, especially without hours of Student Council duties cutting into her studies.

I like interacting with comments - users here know the canon work very, very well, and it's always interesting to see how certain things are perceived. I can't write exactly like KS, but I do want to include things that make the reader nostalgic for the story.
Dash9 wrote:Hiya, I'm newly registered to these forums but I've been following this story for a while. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing it with us. IIRC you mentioned needing a break after writing the last chapter, which considering how well it turned out, makes perfect sense. I just wanted to let you know that I'm still looking forward to the rest of the story when you get back.

Also, I want to add my name into the list of people who really really like the way you portray Lilly. The one bit that has really stayed with me is When she drags Hisao to bed after his line about 'saving important decisions till tomorrow'. Almost like she's thinking 'OK let's hurry up and make it tomorrow so we can make this official!' For some reason it reminds me of the one scene from the original VN when they're walking up the hill back to school and she darts ahead of him, turns around and says, "You're different." in response to a comment Hisao made. It has the same kind of girly and impulsive tone with that hint of her being just a little bit of a tease, or at least, that's my take on it.

Anyway, thanks again for your work on this,
--Dash
Thank you, and a much belated welcome to the forums!

Lilly is, to me, an extremely interesting character to write because there are so many facets to her. Someone like Shizune or Rin is hard to write because the original VN gives them such a tour de force portrayal that living up to it is nigh impossible. With someone like Lilly, you have little facets and reveals and things that are interesting to play with when writing a post-KS fic. The words "healthy adolescent sex drive" popped up in my head when I wrote that part. She knows exactly what she's doing, both here and in the original VN, which makes her even more fun to write.

I like Lilly's route (and Shizune's, for that matter) way more than most people, but writing about that would take way more space; I should probably find a place to do it at some point though.
Ommadawn wrote:I'd like to echo Dash9's comments. I'm new to the forums and KS as well, and have been roaming the forums reading the various fanfics since I finished the VN, and picked this story up at random. Needless to say, I'm very impressed with the story and quality of your writing, and I'm eagerly looking forward to more whenever you're ready to continue.
Thank you, and another much belated welcome to the forums! Here's hoping you enjoy what's to come!
WillDfly wrote:I love how the title makes more and more sense every time.
The way both Hisao and Lilly are on this fic, their personal development that allows them to go into this relationship now is having The Benefit of Hindsight from their other interactions, so they do not stumble on the same problems that made her route one of the least compelling ones for me (and others too, from what I read).
One of the reasons Mutou has for putting so much trust in his pupil is the fact he has The Benefit of Hindsight to deal with Yamaku students, specially the ones on the student council.
The reason Kenji is but a backdrop character with little development? He ignores The Benefit of Hindsight.
Reading 2-5 again after 2-7 is a must. Little things, like how Misha is just as eager to drink as Hisao, their intimacy, and phrases like "I knew that the question of Shizune would come up. It had to come up. She was the person that had brought the two of us together to begin with." take whole new meanings with The Benefit of Hindsight. She's not just a friend, a spectator of their falling out, she's an integral part of the plot (speaking of plot, someone make a doujinshi of that flashback, please, for science). One of the reasons I can see for not being mad at Misha is that Hisao understands better than anyone the gravitation exerted by Shizune. Like a shark that ends up in your pool, Misha is not at fault, but as much a victim of this Shizunado as Hisao. And I totally get going to visit the aquarium, but not wanting another tornado after that.
The Benefit of Hindsight as a title, when I first came up with it, was based on exactly the premise you lead with - "How could Hisao and Lilly end up having a successful relationship in a post-Shizune world?" It requires them both to change - and they both indeed have the benefit of hindsight (Hisao due to dating Shizune, Lilly due to her falling out with Hanako) that they lacked in the story.

That's an interesting point about Mutou - one of the title tie-ins I didn't really think about in too much detail.

As much as I hate spoilers, here's one - Kenji's role in the story concludes in a coming chapter. I agree with your assessment - ultimately, I agree with most people's assessment of him in the fic so far. Ideally once this is finished, everyone will at least understand (if not agree with) why he was in it to begin with.

As far as the flashback? It may or may not be written, one day. I would be lying if I said I didn't have a skeleton for it on my computer, but ultimately, this is going to take priority. After? Who knows.

Misha is an important character and likely to get only more important as the story goes on. I love the Shizunado analogy - I'll have to keep that in mind for the future. Why Hisao's not mad at Misha will come up, and it will be important. It may just be a liiiittle while before I get to it.

3-1 coming tomorrow.
Characters: Shizune > Lilly > Rin > Emi > Hanako
Routes: Lilly > Rin > Shizune > Hanako > Emi

Replaying now, so subject to flux. Except Shizune. Shizune is best.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 2/22!)

Post by Texaboose » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:19 pm

Firstly, no need to apologize. You give to us your time, your energy, and the brilliance of your writings, freely and without asking for compensation. It is us, the reader, who are lucky to be on the receiving end of that.

Secondly, I look forward to continuing this story.
Currently reading (and being thoroughly depressed by): After the Dream by brythain
Also currently reading (sans depression):
The Benefit of Hindsight by Puncyclopedia
Learning to Fly by Eurobeatjester
Flutter by Sharp-O

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