Hanako's Story (COMPLETED 18/08/2014)

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Bad Apple
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/02/2014)

Post by Bad Apple » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:20 pm

I've never noticed or heard of this Miki-on-Hanako business. My commonsense is telling me that it is undoubtedly nothing but crackfic, but I would be interested in the "evidence."

Well, unless you call Hanako's non-canonical love for chocolate "evidence."

Anyway, it looks like this is drawing to a close. Just a couple more chapters now, if lengthy ones at that. Do you have any idea if you'll be writing anything after this, Trivun? Either way, I'm looking forward to it.
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/02/2014)

Post by Guest Poster » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:30 am

I've never noticed or heard of this Miki-on-Hanako business.
There's no evidence of it in the VN, although several people in the VN state that Hanako never talks to anyone but Lilly. So yeah, fan theories.
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/02/2014)

Post by Solistor » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:43 pm

I think what Hanako was referring to by "certain events" was the time Miki tried to get to know her, as said in Hanako's route in the VN.

All you dirty minds jumping to conclusions... :P

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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/02/2014)

Post by bhtooefr » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:50 pm

Bad Apple wrote:Well, unless you call Hanako's non-canonical love for chocolate "evidence."
Hisao actually did give Hanako the chocolate, in her own route. Canonically.

(Check the flavor of the cake in her birthday party. IIRC, Lilly got Hanako's cake in her route.)
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/02/2014)

Post by Trivun » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:05 am

Bad Apple wrote:I've never noticed or heard of this Miki-on-Hanako business. My commonsense is telling me that it is undoubtedly nothing but crackfic, but I would be interested in the "evidence."

Well, unless you call Hanako's non-canonical love for chocolate "evidence."

Anyway, it looks like this is drawing to a close. Just a couple more chapters now, if lengthy ones at that. Do you have any idea if you'll be writing anything after this, Trivun? Either way, I'm looking forward to it.
Oh, undoubtedly it's crackfic, but I thought it was amusing enough to hint at without setting anything in stone xD. Although on that note, the chapter title kind of confirms the implication anyway. It fits the theme of the chapter anyway, but also it's a reference to the tATu song of the same name. That opens up a whole new can of worms...

As for whether I'll write more, definitely. I already have other stuff in the pipeline. Katawa Shoujo stuff? Probably not, except maybe the odd one shot here and there. Nothing major like this though, since I want to start working on my own novel afterwards which will be the main focus, but I'll be writing occasional things that aren't related to that, and some of those may be fanfic and some may be original stuff. I do have a Secret World fanfic as well on my Fanfiction.net page which needs a lot more love, not sure how many people here play that game but that's something I'll be carrying on with as well, intermittently (last two updates have been within two weeks, very short chapters of about 500 words each, the last chapter before that was half a year ago).
Solistor wrote:I think what Hanako was referring to by "certain events" was the time Miki tried to get to know her, as said in Hanako's route in the VN.

All you dirty minds jumping to conclusions... :P
That could be another option, it all depends on just how... imaginative... everyone is xD
bhtooefr wrote:
Bad Apple wrote:Well, unless you call Hanako's non-canonical love for chocolate "evidence."
Hisao actually did give Hanako the chocolate, in her own route. Canonically.

(Check the flavor of the cake in her birthday party. IIRC, Lilly got Hanako's cake in her route.)
Come now, there's no need to be so literal! It could have been strawberry... (even if it really was chocolate :P)
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/02/2014)

Post by pandaphil » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:36 pm

It seems perfectly reasonable that Miki, being the outgoing type, would try the direct approach the first time she met her, and end up scaring the poor girl into "IGOTTAGODOSOMETHING!" mode.

These sort of alternate attempts to hook the other girls up in noncanon relationships seems like a perfectly legit response to the problem of "But what happens to _____ if I choose ______ instead?" that I think we've probably all had when starting a new character arc. You want the other girls to be happy too, even though you're not there. Best alternative? Have them find happiness with someone else.
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/02/2014)

Post by Sea » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:47 am

pandaphil wrote:It seems perfectly reasonable that Miki, being the outgoing type, would try the direct approach the first time she met her, and end up scaring the poor girl into "IGOTTAGODOSOMETHING!" mode.

These sort of alternate attempts to hook the other girls up in noncanon relationships seems like a perfectly legit response to the problem of "But what happens to _____ if I choose ______ instead?" that I think we've probably all had when starting a new character arc. You want the other girls to be happy too, even though you're not there. Best alternative? Have them find happiness with someone else.
It makes me wonder what would have come about had Miki been . . . . . less direct. Would something have come out of it?
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/02/2014)

Post by pandaphil » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:41 am

Sea wrote: It makes me wonder what would have come about had Miki been . . . . . less direct. Would something have come out of it?
Anythings possible, if the situation is just right. If Miki can be patient and gentle enough, and catches Hanako when shes feeling lonely, (during the time Lilly is away visiting her sick aunt perhaps?) I see no reason they couldn't become friends. Hey Hisao managed it.
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/02/2014)

Post by Sea » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:46 pm

pandaphil wrote:
Sea wrote: It makes me wonder what would have come about had Miki been . . . . . less direct. Would something have come out of it?
Anythings possible, if the situation is just right. If Miki can be patient and gentle enough, and catches Hanako when shes feeling lonely, (during the time Lilly is away visiting her sick aunt perhaps?) I see no reason they couldn't become friends. Hey Hisao managed it.
It's true, the amazingly inept master of romance only really acknowledged her as a person and showed her some respect and she fell for him, it makes me realize the immensity of the void between her and everybody else, and this story only outlines it all the more.
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/03/2014)

Post by Trivun » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:38 pm

I did say before that I would try and get an update out sooner, and I failed in that. I seem to fail a lot when it comes to promisin updates. Not sure if my 'Better than VG Cats' disclaimer will be able to hold up much longer. Then again, we are getting ever nearer to the Good End... :)

Act 4 – Chapter Three, Third Branch: Dreaming of Greener Pastures

I never thought, never even dared to imagine, that something like this could happen to me. That I would be able to make the kind of headway over the past few days that I have done, so soon after my... my birthday. Especially without Lilly being around to gently coax me out of my solitude again, as she has done so many times before. Perhaps being given the space I needed, as well as the support I have come to realise I can rely on from Hisao, was the catalyst for my strangely unalarming progress. I haven't spoken to Miss Yumi either for a little while, though we haven't stopped our usual sessions. I heard from Mutou-sensei however that she was very pleased with everything I'd accomplished so far, with or without help. I know I still have a long way to go before I can truly recover, assuming I ever really can, but baby steps are better than no steps at all, and tiny forays into the unknown will always hold a promise of something new, regardless of the fear and trepidation felt at first.

As I walk in town, I notice a familiar figure through an even more familiar window. Two figures, in fact, and one I've seen often enough in the library as well as here. The other I haven't spent quite as much time with over the past few days – not because of any kind of relapse (yet again) to my former depressive state, but more out of a general lack of opportunities to meet. While Lilly's been away we haven't met up for lunch as often, the two of us still here, but we've certainly spoken on occasion in class. Though, as I said, it's only been a few days since I was bedridden, and the surprise at myself is still at the front of my mind. At any rate, it's quite the coincidence to see him here in town.

I must have been standing for longer than I thought, as the (relatively few) people walking near me push past. Nobody looks at my scars, but down here I don't expect them to pay much attention. It doesn't stop my fears from taking over whenever I'm out alone, knowing that it's only the fact that they're used to Yamaku's presence that keeps them from being too interested. Or indeed, too distrusting. Then again, maybe it's because there are so few people around that I feel brave enough to venture here today, on my own, without my usual air of apprehension. As I think about this, the first figure, who I clearly recognise as Yuuko, spots me through the window and waves. I see Hisao look up, and I give a little wave back, before crossing the street and entering the Shanghai. Upon my arrival I make my way directly to where Hisao and Yuuko are sitting. It's quiet in here, so she must have plenty of free time for once to be able to sit and talk to the customers, which is nice really. She spends so much time and effort working so hard, it's good for her to have a little break sometimes.

I take a seat opposite Hisao, next to Yuuko. “H-hello...”

“Good afternoon,” Yuuko replies.

“Hi, Hanako,” says Hisao. “What's up?”

I reply truthfully, since not much really is happening. “N-nothing... just... g-going for a walk... since the weather was nice.” Maybe things aren't quite as great as I hoped, as the stammer comes out in full force. Still, I knew things wouldn't always be so easy, so it isn't much of a surprise to me. The others are both used to it as well, so no comment is passed.

“Yeah, I get what you mean,” comes the response from Hisao. “I'm glad I decided to study here instead of the library.” Despite the fact, of course, that all his usual library compatriots are right here anyway.

Yuuko nods her head in agreement. “It's nice. It's just a shame that summer can't last forever.” She pauses, before remembering in a sudden rush that she works here. “Oh wait, sorry, um, would you like a drink?” Truth be told, I'm not too thirsty, and more than happy to stay and talk to Yuuko along with Hisao, rather than be in a hurry to send her on her way. I shake my head and the look of relief on her face is self-evident.

“H-how are you going with studying?” If I'm going to make an effort to fight my way out of my usual slump, as I have been doing recently, I need to force back the stammering and take the initiative. Keeping the conversation going is just one way to do it, I suppose.

“Okay...ish.” He waits a few seconds in silence. “Oh yeah, have you talked with Lilly?”

“I'm interested too,” says Yuuko. “How is she doing?” Fortunately, I have spoken to Lilly, though only briefly – it's hard to judge the time difference, and when she's not asleep while I'm awake I could well be interrupting her time with her family. That's much more important than chatting to me.

“Sh-she's enjoying it... I think.” That's all I can really say, and both my companions are savvy enough to resist pushing the question.

“Ah, it would be so nice to travel to Scotland,” says Yuuko, eyes closed in wonder. “Green fields, castles, lovely small towns, men in kilts, interesting history...” I almost think that she's focused a little more on the men in kilts than the other reasons to visit, though I can't say I blame her...

Suddenly, the door open and the bell jingles, and Yuuko is disturbed from her own reverie. Her face shows signs of panic, and I too am surprised at the sound of the door. In all the peace of being here I'd forgotten that customers do sometimes come along, and that Yuuko does still work here. She bows quickly, jumping up and running across to greet the new arrivals and perform her duties as a Shanghai hostess. As she goes, I notice Hisao looking over at the people who have just walked in, made all the more obvious by his awkward angle forcing him to crane his head to see the door clearly.

As I watch him, he turns away from the couple who have come inside, and faces me. I can't exactly hide my embarrassment any more than usual, since my hair only covers one eye and cheek, and so I turn my face away. He still makes eye contact though, before I can completely avert my own eyes, and his boldness stuns me a little. He presses on.

“I was just thinking that it's nice to have ambitions for the future. Yuuko was telling me a little about her university aspirations before.”

“Oh.” I wonder what his point is. Not that I don't want to hear about Yuuko's plans, it would certainly be a nice topic of general chatter, but it seems like an odd thing to bring up. Is he simply trying to push me into revealing more about what I want to do after Yamaku? In all honesty I can say it's not something I've ever given much thought to. I've always been more concerned with the here and now, and with the past. Especially with the past. It doesn't leave much room for future thinking.

“It's a shame,” he continues. “If she wasn't so neurotic and overworked, I think she could be a really happy person.” He breaks off, and although I'm a little suspicious of his line of conversation, almost a comment on my own state (though obviously not my workload), I get the feeling he doesn't really want to talk much any more. That's fine by me. We wait in silence for a few moments, and I'm just happy to be in Hisao's company, without the stress of having to endure people's stares and my own internal bitterness and self-loathing. Without having to discuss topics that I really don't feel like talking about. Without any pressure, but just the two of us, together.

After a short while he speaks again. “Sorry if I'm a bit distracted. I need to try and get this done, otherwise I'm going to flunk the history exams pretty hard.” He runs a hand through his hair, and I can understand the frustration he must be feeling. I should probably be getting some work done as well, especially since I don't have the excuse of missing classes this year, like usual. It's been a nice little interlude though. “I hope I have more luck with that than this. Damn.”

It seems like he's pretty stressed, but what else is on his mind, I wonder?. “W-what with?”

“Oh, uh... I was going to... write to Iwanako. Right now though, this is more important.”

Oh.

There's little I can say. At least he was honest, I guess.

I think about it, and remember the letter that he mentioned before. It's been a while since he received it, so to reply after all this time... maybe he feels as nervous about that as I do about him. I could definitely understand why.

My heart and mind are both torn down the middle, but upon reflection, he could be replying for all kinds of reasons. And besides, if he was still in love with her, surely he'd have written back as soon as possible? Then again, there could be all kinds of reasons why he would wait. Perhaps he wanted to be certain of his reply. Maybe he just didn't have time at any point to sit down and write it.

I force myself to stop, and to be logical. It's a difficult personal matter, of course it would take him so long to write back. If he still loved her, then surely he would have spoken about her more, and wouldn't have allowed the two of us to become so close. I have nothing to worry about.

That is to say, I hope I have nothing to worry about.

I push it out of my mind and move on. I can let myself rest easy, and try to relax, letting myself fall back onto the soft seat cushion behind me, looking outside and watching the people stroll by. I wait for him to finish his work, and Hisao and I leave together, returning to the dormitories. We separate outside, by the steps, and go our own ways. As I return to my room to start my own work, my mind returns to Iwanako, and drifts away again.

In a way, I think this jealousy is a good sign. I can recognise it for what it is, and embrace it as a sign that maybe I can fight for the things I want. I can fight for what I once felt I didn't deserve. Time will tell if Hisao is someone I need to fight for, and my hopes are high that his response to Iwanako will be nothing more than closure. But in my own thoughts, I can reassure myself that finally, I'm becoming stronger.

I can be real. I can be me.
Last edited by Trivun on Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/03/2014)

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:07 pm

Good News: Yay! An Update!

Bad News:
“It's a shame,” he continues. “If she wasn't so neurotic and overworked, I thin she could be a really happy person.”
Should be think. However, that's the only error I spotted on my first reading.
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/03/2014)

Post by Trivun » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:44 pm

Oscar Wildecat wrote:Good News: Yay! An Update!

Bad News:
“It's a shame,” he continues. “If she wasn't so neurotic and overworked, I thin she could be a really happy person.”
Should be think. However, that's the only error I spotted on my first reading.
On my iPod right now so when I'm on my computer again I'll edit that on all versions of the chapter. My laptop keyboard is a load of crap, keeps missing out letters no matter how carefully I type, so I have to double check every single sentence even before I edit...
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/03/2014)

Post by Deadpool021 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:32 pm

I was at work, saw the update and couldn't wait to get home to read it. A little sad that its almost over though :(

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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/03/2014)

Post by Markus Ramikin » Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:55 am

One thing that kind of bothers me about the way this is entire story written is that so much space is devoted to Hanako's psychological problems being discussed explicitely. All this talk about "mah progress" is kinda self centered and circular, and it just gets old.

A character's internal problems are best shown - by how they interfere with his or her external struggles, pursuit of external goals. Hisao, for example, is trying to deal with new circumstances, meets new people, falls in love, while needing to maintain his health etc. The internal factors related to his heart issue - the bitterness, the passivity, the desire to hide the problem and pretend it doesn't exist - are shown by the way they affect how he deals with those external issues, by the things he does (or fails to do). Not that they're not discussed explicitely at all, but you seem to do a whole lot more of that with Hanako.

I am reminded of how Aragorn in LotR never actually talks about, IIRC, his internal conflicts stopping him from assuming the role of king or pursuing the woman he loves, but it's very much there through the things that he does and, for a while, refuses to do, and at the end of the book we know those internal struggles are resolved just as the external conflict is. Now any KS fanfic is going to be way more introspective than that, and I accept that, but it's a thought to consider. If you took away Hanako's shell and insecurity, what remains? What would she be doing? What does she want, what does she like and dislike, what are her goals, how does she see reality and other people?

It reminds me of those self-improvement people who keep talking about the progress they've made in vague terms, but it has no reflection on reality; there is no corresponding real-world, visible, measureable accomplishment that will set it apart from happy self-delusion and timewasting. You've become more aware of dietary and fitness issues? If you say so. Have you actually lost weight?

Similarly, a character in fiction has overcome crippling shyness? Don't have them explicitely think about how they've overcome crippling shyness. Have them think about how they managed to talk to person X whom they wouldn't dare to approach before, and it was interesting and fun and it still felt pretty awkward but they've agreed to meet again so I guess that's okay. You know what I mean? If the reader's attention is on whether the protagonist succeeds socially or gets together with X or something like that, and the reader cares about that, it makes the shyness standing in the way of that meaningful, in a way just discussing the problem in itself is not.

Hanako resents others for treating her too little as a person, and too much as a vehicle for psychological issues - but that's what you, the author of this fic, do to her too.

PS. I only wrote so much of my critical thought because I've become invested in this fic; it's a good and needed story. "If I'm mean to you, it's because I care." ;)
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 04/03/2014)

Post by brythain » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:54 pm

What I like about this is that it's essentially KS, Hanako's route, but with a voiceover from her internal monologue, with extras. It fleshes out her character a fair bit, from within. You could of course build the character from without, theoretically speaking, but that would be omniscient third-person more than very personal and heartfelt first-person. Nostalgia is the result, plus a now-being-fulfilled urge to play it through again. :)
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