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
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
This is turning out to be one of the most likable Lilly portrayals I've ever read.
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?
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.
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?
What's "I've got a cunning plan" in Sign?
[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.