Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

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NelNinja
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by NelNinja » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:33 pm

I smile earnestly at my companion. "In that case, I believe you've spotted our quarry, Miss Iwakuma."
Developments Chapter 36, Hanako's last name is Ikezawa. I'm like 4 years late, but it greatly confused me.

I'm loving this story, the developments (haha, nailed it) are bringing up a lot of introspection about myself and my view on Lilly's route. Lots of good thoughts, lots of frustrating memories...

Can't wait to catch-up and finish this!
I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing
Character Impressions:
Misha>Emi=Hanako=Lilly=Shizune=Rin
I wrote things!
The Sound of Silence - Shizune one-shot
Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate - Hisao sans heart attack (On-going)

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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by dewelar » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:16 pm

Welcome to Developments :D !
NelNinja wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:33 pm
I smile earnestly at my companion. "In that case, I believe you've spotted our quarry, Miss Iwakuma."
Developments Chapter 36, Hanako's last name is Ikezawa. I'm like 4 years late, but it greatly confused me.
*looks at chapter*

Ah, I see. Lilly isn't referring to Hanako there, but calling the airport staff member guiding her by name. Too similar, maybe?
I'm loving this story, the developments (haha, nailed it) are bringing up a lot of introspection about myself and my view on Lilly's route. Lots of good thoughts, lots of frustrating memories...

Can't wait to catch-up and finish this!
Thanks very much! I'll be very interested to hear your thoughts on the whole story!
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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NelNinja
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by NelNinja » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:33 pm

Done! I can officially say this is among the best of the fics I've read on the site, though I've only read about 20 on here so take that as you may. I'm quite happy that Emi ended up being the girl he ends up with since I felt that, with how the story was going, it would have been all the wrong reasons for a Hisako relationship to happen. I'm not sure I would have been able to hold myself back like Hisao did after his mother talked about Emi that way. He's a better man than me.

I'm also happy to see Shizune's mother here as I always wondered where she was in the man KS canon. Everything just makes sense in this story and the characters progressed very in-character. I'm bad at wordifying how I feel, so I'll stop word vomiting and just say I very much enjoyed this!

Onto Sisterhood for me, I guess, since Hanako is among 'best girl' for me (Emi being the other, I was very torn at the beginning). Down the rabbit hole I go of Hanako fics. Wish me luck!
I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing
Character Impressions:
Misha>Emi=Hanako=Lilly=Shizune=Rin
I wrote things!
The Sound of Silence - Shizune one-shot
Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate - Hisao sans heart attack (On-going)

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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:59 pm

NelNinja wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:33 pm
Onto Sisterhood for me, I guess, ...
Good luck and see you around Christmas :-)
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: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by dewelar » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:12 pm

NelNinja wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:33 pm
Done! I can officially say this is among the best of the fics I've read on the site, though I've only read about 20 on here so take that as you may.
I will gladly take it as a compliment. There are a fair few excellent stories here.
I'm not sure I would have been able to hold myself back like Hisao did after his mother talked about Emi that way. He's a better man than me.
*nods* The way he reacted is meant to show both that he is a product of a somewhat old-fashioned Japanese upbringing, and that he is starting to emerge from it to the point where he can express a touch of defiance. He's grown a bit, our Hisao.
I'm also happy to see Shizune's mother here as I always wondered where she was in the man KS canon.
Prior to this story, the accepted fanon was that she was dead. I'm arrogant enough to think I may have pushed that back a tad :) .
Everything just makes sense in this story and the characters progressed very in-character.
This is a thing that I will never tire of hearing. Thank you!
Onto Sisterhood for me, I guess, since Hanako is among 'best girl' for me (Emi being the other, I was very torn at the beginning). Down the rabbit hole I go of Hanako fics. Wish me luck!
As I've mentioned, the original version of Sisterhood was one of my inspirations to write Developments and probably one of my 4-5 all-time favorite KS fanfics. The "Director's Cut" version is still an excellent work, but a good deal longer, and...well, I have opinions, which can be found elsewhere ;-) . I do think it still qualifies as the quintessential Hanako fic, though, so enjoy!
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by Chatty Wheeler » Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:30 pm

Good day to all who might be reading to this! I just finished reading Developments and there’s a lot that I want to get off my chest, so I’ve decided to try my hand at making a post. Here goes!

I’m still quite new around these parts—I only discovered Katawa Shoujo a couple months back—and until today I had never posted anything to these forums. I happened to be passively scrolling through the fan works section of these forums when I spotted this story. The premise of Developments caught my interest, and unfortunately for everything else competing for my free time, the rest of the story kept me kept me so engaged that it was a struggle to put it down for much other than work, food, and sleep. I cranked through all sixty chapters in about two weeks—although I probably would have finished sooner if I hadn’t been so compelled to reread parts of the story as I read along.

Dewelar, if by chance you happen to find yourself reading this, I would like to thank you for writing this wonderfully-realized story. The nuanced and meticulously-detailed manner in which you write these characters simultaneously succeeded in remaining faithful to their personalities and backstories from the visual novel while also presenting a brilliantly constructed deconstruction of their shortcomings, their fears, and more importantly, their true desires. If there were any lingering questions or hanging plot threads that I wished to see explored after the events of the visual novel—which in the case of Lilly’s Neutral Ending, there was a lot left hanging—this story does a more-than-fine job of filling those gaps and providing fulfilling answers.

I was really pleased to see that Hisao’s central conflicts were his unwillingness to open up to others and his tendencies to passively wander through life like a “leaf” in the wind—these were his shortcomings in Lilly’s Neutral Route and they are the reason that I think that the premise of Developments works so well. Hisao is placed in a “love square” with three people he cares very much about, and in order to make it through his predicament without seriously hurting all three, he’s going to have to overcome his two glaring shortcomings: he is going to have to open up to others about his feelings and take control of his own life by making significant choices about himself, his relationships, and his future. This premise is what I believe sets Developments off on a strong start, but it quickly became clear that there would be much, much, more to sink my teeth into as the story picked up momentum.

Not only would Hisao be a main protagonist, but Emi, Hanako, and Lilly would also share the limelight. Throughout the course of the story, I would see all of their insecurities and identities laid bare, I would see their relationships and beliefs put through the wringer, and I would see all the characters emerge on the other side as more mature and well-rounded—though still not without plenty more growing to do—than when we met them in those first few chapters. But of course, I’d be remiss not to mention the wonderfully varied supporting cast of Developments. Familiar faces such as Shizune, Misha, Rin, Nurse, and Meiko were all fleshed out, making for some truly clever and touching moments—that scene with Misha and Hanako in the garden was something I didn’t know I needed.

And if I thought I couldn’t be any more impressed, the unbelievably strong lineup of OC’s and semi-OC's in Developments has me beat and then some. Yoshiro Kamisaka and Noriko Yoshimura (the two “Yoshis” as I like to call them) both stole many of the scenes they were in. Yoshi more than filled the gap left by Kenji’s absence with his witty humor and actually helpful advice. It was nice to see how Hisao interacted with normal guys—I don’t count Kenji because he isn’t exactly “normal.” On the other hand, Noriko was... well, I’ll save her for later. New appearances and developments for Akira, Miss Yumi, Nurse, Natsume, Naomi, Misaki, and Taka-Taka were welcome ones, but I don’t think anybody reading Developments for the first time was expecting the brilliant introduction and implementation of Mayoi. Not only does her presence and conflict retroactively fill in a slew of the gaps surrounding the backstory and tension that permeates through the Hakamichi family and the Satou family, but her presence in the story of the main four protagonists has a clear thematic relevance and her scenes help Shizune, Lilly, Hanako and Misha along on their journeys. I can only speculate, but I imagine it must have been a tall order to conceptualize an OC that would be so engrained into the existing lore of the visual novel while simultaneously standing as its own unique character that fits the need of the story being told by Dewelar. With this in mind, it is commendable that Mayoi sticks the landing so well and that her presence was such a highlight for so many readers. It was a little strange at first to hear the nurse being given a full name, but I realize that it probably would have been awkward to continue referring to the nurse as “Nurse,” and the name ended up growing on me.

But, man, you want to talk about things growing on me, let’s talk about Noriko. I rolled my eyes when she was introduced and handed over her number to Hisao. I naïvely thought that Noriko would be nothing more than a red herring to serve as a pseudo fourth love interest for Hisao to further complicate things between Emi, Hanako and Lilly. It didn’t take but more than one conversation between Hisao and Noriko over lunch for me to be proven wrong. Dead wrong. Noriko is a truly engrossing character that addresses a type of disability not found in the visual novel—terminal illness. That in addition to her snappy dialogue and peculiar sense of humor instantly made her stick out from the rest of the cast. Noriko’s philosophy of living as much as possible was an interesting direction to take the character, and it suddenly made perfect sense to put her in scenarios with the still-mostly-passive Hisao. Hisao and Noriko make for good foils of each other: Hisao has somewhat prioritized living as long as possible, while Noriko has prioritized living as much as possible. However, the two eventually come to the conclusion that a happy medium between their two philosophies results in the healthiest lifestyle. I really enjoyed all of Noriko’s scenes, and I must admit that I got misty-eyed during that last scene with Hanako and Noriko. All I can say is that I hope Noriko is cured—she deserves more years than she has been given.

I’d like to spend some time reflecting on my personal highlights while reading Developments—I hope that those reading this can pardon the ramble-fest that I’m about to embark on.

I’ve already mentioned that I think highly of “love square” aspect of this story, but I, for one, was not expecting Emi to make up one of those corners—Emi had little to no presence in Lilly’s route of the visual novel, after all. However, all it took was witnessing one rooftop lunch, a couple of morning runs, and a healthy dosage of pirate-flavored banter for me to realize that Emi was a great candidate for Hisao’s heart, and a narratively fitting one at that. I ended up guessing correctly that Hanako would also land in one of the “love square’s” corners—hints as far back as Lilly’s route of the visual novel had suggested that Hanako may have had feelings for Hisao—and after Hisao’s and Hanako’s heart-to-heart conversation directly following Lilly’s departure, it was evident in my mind that this was going to be a close race. If all of that wasn’t enough, I read the Akira-POV chapter, shuddered at Lilly’s and Akira’s argument in the car, and realized that I might not be able to write Lilly off just yet. Lilly’s lingering regrets and the question of whether or not she would come back to rectify those regrets was a consistent source of tension for me. There were times when I genuinely thought that Lilly would stay in Scotland for good, especially after stowing away the music box, but I was quite thrilled to see her return to Yamaku. From here on, the “love square” had been formed, and this is when the story gets really good. :D

There are so many memorable moments for all of our characters that I want to mention. Karaoke with Hanako was always something that had piqued my interest since it was mentioned in passing in the visual novel, so I was delighted that Developments was able to scratch that itch for me. Hisao’s incident on the track, Emi subsequently placing the blame squarely on herself, and her tearful collapse on the track was a poignant, but all too fitting conflict for Emi, given her backstory and personality from the visual novel. Things weren’t going so well for Hanako at this time, either. The genius irony of Hanako’s increasingly shocking attempts to woo Hisao by MIMICKING Lilly was such a brilliant writing move—planting the seeds that would get the reader to start doubting Hanako.

It was around this time when we started getting more curveball chapters, starting with that neat Rin-POV chapter. Although it took some time for me to acclimate myself to Rin’s unique style of talking directly to the “audience,” I think that the chapter exhibits some of the best writing in all of Developments. Rin was dishing out some saaaaaage advice, and I really dug her conversation with Hisao in his room. “Everyone needs someone to see them,” is such a fantastic quote, and I hope that I can remember it. Maybe I should write it down somewhere on my computer, but I digress. It came across to me that Rin’s discussion with Hisao helped restore his confidence in his relationship with Emi, and gave him the drive to continue remaining patient while Emi needed time to come to terms with her feelings for Hisao.

I must say that I respect Hisao’s patience in this story; even after Emi literally told him to his face that he was “the one bothering her,” he was able to hold onto his faith in Emi. I know that I would have completely lost confidence in myself if I had been in Hisao’s situation right then, but then again, Hisao’s resilience may be a testament to the benefits of having a helpful supporting cast to give Hisao and Emi confidence boosters when needed. The confession scene between Hisao and Emi was, to put it bluntly, really freaking cute—I was grinning like an idiot the whole time. Hisao, Emi, and Rin’s romp through the city right afterward only sealed the deal that Hisao and Emi would make a lovely pair. In the end, I think that Emi was the right choice for Hisao: she made him happier, healthier, and more hopeful for the future. Not only that, but Hisao has clearly had a positive impact on Emi, and her heart-to-heart conversation with Meiko in chapter fifty-nine is proof of that. Side note: Meiko becoming engaged with Nurse was not only really sweet, but made for a clever parallel between her and Emi. You get double points for that one, Dewelar.

On the other side of the coin, Hanako had it rough in this story, and it was quite heartrending to read. I remember the slow, sad realization that Hanako’s increasingly paranoid and distrustful mindset throughout the second half of Developments would doom her chances with Hisao, all culminating in the harrowing tearoom argument between Hanako and Lilly. It’s rare to find a portrayal of Hanako like the one found in Developments, in that it’s rare to find a story—official or unofficial—that so effectively shines a light on Hanako’s negative character traits and calls her out on them. It’s easy to see Hanako as a victim in both the visual novel and Developments: a victim of her tragic past, a victim of the isolation that she feels from others, and a victim of the patronization that she feels from Lilly and everyone else whom she considers a friend. It is perhaps these apparent struggles that Hanako exhibits that can easily mask the fact that Hanako can be hypocritical, distrustful, and downright unreasonable at times. As much as Hanako criticizes Lilly for supposedly not trusting her and not treating her as an equal, it’s made clear that Hanako has serious difficulties trusting Lilly and Hisao to the extent that she’s asking from them. Hanako makes it known to Hisao that she wants their friendship to be open, that they don’t need to hide the truth from each other, and that she wants Hisao to see the “real Hanako.” However, Hanako never gets to show Hisao the “real Hanako” because she quickly begins to overwrite her sense of self by copying the mannerisms and behaviors of Lilly and Emi. Hanako starts to use the same moves on Hisao that Lilly did when Hisao and Lilly were dating, and Hanako starts to increase the pace and intensity of her moves to match those of Emi. Before we know it, Hanako is trying to present a version of herself to Hisao that isn’t genuine, and we’ll soon see that that’s not going to work forever. :cry:

What’s interesting to me is that much of these overarching mistakes and pitfalls that Hanako finds herself in are not done consciously by Hanako, and similarly, they flew over my head as well on the first read. Hanako’s inability to trust others is woven into her character from the beginning, but she never fully comprehends it until Hisao points it out, Lilly spells it out, and then Hisao holds her accountable for it when he rejects her on the rooftop. Similarly, I didn’t consciously give Hanako’s mistakes enough credence until it suddenly seemed all too obvious, and it suddenly seemed all too late for Hanako to get together with Hisao. The way that Developments hides Hanako’s shortcomings in plain sight is what made her argument with Lilly in the tearoom so effectively eye-opening, and is one of many reasons that made the rooftop rejection scene my favorite chapter in the entire story.

I adore chapter fifty-one for many reasons, chief among them being that it’s such a riveting role reversal of Misstep from Hanako’s route in the visual novel. What starts out as a mostly dialogue-less meeting between Hisao and Hanako slowly crescendos into a painful baring of the regrets and frustrations that had plagued the potential relationship between them. The dialogue was so richly constructed in this chapter, in addition to some truly brilliant uses of parallels and imagery—the sandwich that Hisao gives Hanako immediately springs to mind. When Hisao first gives Hanako the sandwich, she looks at it with frustration, feeling that Hisao is once again taking unnecessary measures to protect her, and is only able to take a few nibbles out of the sandwich. However, when she notices the sandwich again after Hisao has left the roof, she looks at it more warmly, and realizes that her friendship with Hisao has survived, that being friends means caring for each other, and begins to actually eat the sandwich. Subtleties and moments like this one help the writing in Developments stand tall.

Back to the plot, the decision to have Hisao reject Hanako was a very wise one. It was clear that Hanako’s rejection was a very humbling experience for her, and I think it was this newly humbled mindset that allowed Hanako to approach her subsequent meetings with Lilly, Hisao, and even characters like Misha with a healthier, more constructive attitude. In this sense, Hanako being rejected may have actually been good for her growth as a character. I feel kind of bad phrasing it like that, but I can’t help but think that the way the events played out in Developments resulted in the most mature Hanako I’ve seen in any Katawa Shoujo story, official or otherwise.

I may have said that Hanako had it rough in this story, but good grief. Poor Lilly. My poor, poor best girl had perhaps the most turbulent and gut-wrenching three weeks put to pen and paper... Er, keyboard and mouse. From reluctantly choosing to go to Scotland under the impression that Hisao didn’t love her as much as he did, to finding out that Akira may have accidentally discouraged Hisao from trying to ask her to stay. From trying to adjust to life with her family in Scotland, to longing to return to the family that she left at Yamaku. From coming to terms with her still-present feelings for Hisao, to realizing that both Hanako and Emi have made moves on Hisao in her absence. From returning to Japan eager to reunite with her Yamaku family and friends, to discovering a thick tension existing between herself, Hanako, and Hisao (Hanako accidentally breaking Lilly’s tea set was a clever symbolic gesture to demonstrate this point). From recognizing that Hisao doesn’t return her feelings anymore, to struggling with Hanako’s rapidly changing perception of her. From seeking solace at Aunt Mayoi’s after her fight with Hanako, to returning to Yamaku only to have an even more extreme fight with Hanako...

Lilly had an identity crisis in Developments, and I found it extremely difficult not to feel bad for her. Sometimes, I think the people around Lilly forget that she’s still a teenager with all the insecurities and hardships that come with it. In that regard, it was great to see Lilly begin to open up to herself and others towards the end of the story. Lilly was always a little too quick to hide her problems from Hanako and Hisao. Lilly’s final conversation—and hug—with Hisao and her heart-to-heart conversation with Hanako at Aunt Mayoi’s demonstrated that Lilly has come a long way in coming to terms with her feelings and placing more trust in her friends.

Okay, I’ve just about reached the end of my thoughts on the plot of Developments, but I’d like to make a special mention of the unexpected sixtieth chapter. Although I have stated that chapter fifty-one was my favorite chapter, chapter sixty may just be the best chapter in the whole story. Why? Because chapter sixty represents what I see as a thematically perfect end to Lilly’s Neutral Route. The trip to Tokyo shows us that Hisao is able to do with Emi what he never could with Lilly: open up. Hisao wasn’t able to bare his past to Lilly in her neutral route, but here, not only is Hisao baring his past to Emi, he’s bringing her to his past. Instead of Hisao passively living his easygoing life as a leaf, he makes the painful choice of actively seeking out and making amends with his old friends, his aging parents, and his former life. If this chapter isn’t proof enough of Hisao’s growth as a character, then I haven’t the slightest idea of what more proof Dewelar could conjure up to convince you otherwise.

I read Leaty’s lovely one-off, Bantamweights, before reading chapter sixty, which made Hisao’s scenes with Iwanako and Mai all the more meaningful. Like I’ve seen others mention, I was anticipating Hisao’s conversations with Iwanako and Mai to be longer, and perhaps, more dramatic. Though, after sitting back and thinking about it, the slightly awkward and uncomfortable nature of these conversations makes perfect sense. These characters are in an awkward position, they are awkward teenagers, and none of the characters are perfect-speaking, Aaron Sorkin-esque talkers. The way that Hisao interacts with Shin, Mai, and Iwanako in chapter sixty is realistic, but still quite fulfilling from a reader’s standpoint—I especially feel that the scene with Iwanako was sublime. :D

Hisao’s parents make for an interesting pair, and I could probably make a whole other post discussing them, but I’d like to make note of how their presence continues to reinforce Hisao’s growth over the course of the visual novel and Developments. Mrs. Nakai clearly holds a very biased outlook on those with disabilities, and even Mr. Nakai has a few lines of dialogue that hints that he has a little bias. For readers who have journeyed through the visual novel and read through Developments, it’s easy to feel absolutely enraged upon finding out that Mrs. Nakai disapproves of Emi because of her disability—I know I certainly did—but it’s just as easy to forget that Hisao once was similar to how his parents are. In the prologue of the visual novel, when Hisao found out that he would be transferred to Yamaku, it was pretty obvious that he wasn’t too happy with his circumstances. It was clear that he resented his disability and that he wasn’t too keen on attending a school for the disabled. Of course, Hisao got out of this mindset fairly quickly, and began to accept his new life upon settling into Yamaku and realizing that everyone else there was a person just like any other, and that there is a fulfilling future waiting for all of them. However, Hisao’s parents (Mr. Nakai less so and Mrs. Nakai especially so) are still stuck with the mindset that Hisao had before he was exposed to Yamaku. In essence, Mr. Nakai and Mrs. Nakai represent Hisao from the beginning of the visual novel, and by contrasting the matured Hisao from Developments with the considerably less mature Hisao from the prologue of the visual novel, Hisao’s growth is obvious.

I’m pleased that you opted to end the story the way you did. Rather than rigidly tying up everything up in a neat little bow, you left in more than a few loose threads that I felt were an appropriate way to give the reader takeaways that enforced the central messages of the story. We get to see Hanako and Lilly make amends, but we don’t get to see their relationship heal back to the point where it was at chapter one. We get to see Emi open up to Hisao about her past in a way that she never could with Hajime, but we don’t get to see Emi bring Hisao to her father’s graveyard and fully reveal the grief that followed his death. We get to see Hisao return to Tokyo with hopes of trying to make things right with his old friends and family, but Hisao finds that everyone has changed, he finds that his mother is unable to accept Emi, and he never even finds or talks to Takumi. I’d like to think that indeed, Lilly and Hanako are able to build a relationship stronger than their relationship in chapter one, that Emi eventually brings Hisao to the graveyard and explains the meaning of the “anniversary,” that Hisao stays in touch with his old friends and is able to prove to his mother that he and Emi can have a thriving relationship despite their disabilities, but even though we don’t see these events occur in Developments, I felt that by the end of the epilogue (which was lovely, by the way), the characters had, without a doubt, seen enough growth to assure the reader that these events would happen. Even if I don’t get to see Hanako and Lilly fully heal their relationship, I know that they will, and knowing is enough for me to be happy that the story ended where it did.

It’s a shame that I hadn’t been exposed to Katawa Shoujo and its community back when this story had still been receiving new chapters. It looks like there were a lot of interesting discussions had by readers in the weeks between new chapters being posted. I would certainly have gotten a kick out of discussing my predictions for Hisao’s eventual romantic pairing with other readers. I must admit that I flip-flopped between allegiances quite a bit; I went from favoring Hanako, to Emi, to Hanako, to Lilly, back to Hanako, to Emi again, and perhaps at some point—if only for a few seconds—Noriko. :wink:

Good grief! I didn’t realize I was writing an essay, here. Sorry folks. I guess I got carried away. Once again, my hat is off to Dewelar for writing this excellent story, in addition to Leaty, Crimson Harmony, and all of the folks who contributed their talents and ideas towards the story!
Last edited by Chatty Wheeler on Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by Oddball » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:12 pm

Good grief! I didn’t realize I was writing an essay, here. Sorry folks. I guess I got carried away. Once again, my hat is off to Dewelar for writing this excellent story, in addition to Leaty, Crimson Harmony, and all of the folks who contributed their talents and ideas towards the story!
There is no need to apologize at all. Your "essay" made for an enjoyable read by itself. It's really nice to see new blood in the fandom, especially ones that are as enthusiastic about it as you.

The forum might be a little (well, okay a LOT) slower these days than it was back in it's heyday, but if you want to discuss anything, go right ahead and make a topic. There's still people that visit and would enjoy a hearing a fresher perspective.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by brythain » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:57 pm

Good grief! I didn’t realize I was writing an essay, here. Sorry folks. I guess I got carried away. Once again, my hat is off to Dewelar for writing this excellent story, in addition to Leaty, Crimson Harmony, and all of the folks who contributed their talents and ideas towards the story!
This was a fascinating, enjoyable review. When we were making comments and having discussions in between posts, we had a lot of leisure to speculate and engage with dewelar. It was a lot of fun. Although you've come late to the party, as it were, you've caught up nicely and I wanted to drop a personal note of appreciation for taking the time to write this and share your perspectives, which are a great contribution!
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by Xeraeo » Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:01 pm

Really good summary of the story, man. I think you highlighted most of what made me love Developments so much. I managed to read it in about 3 days the first time, if I remember correctly, so don't feel like you rushed it. (I was off of work at the time).

Thanks for taking the time to do this, even if the forum isn't bustling like it apparently used to be. I just discovered KS back in May, and am a newcomer here as well. Reading your essay here brought back the memories of some of the best moments of this fic, and reminded me just how much I appreciated it. Even had a few feels just reading your experience of it. So thank you.
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
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Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by Chatty Wheeler » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:27 pm

Oh my... I'm so thrilled to see that people read my review! Thank you all for taking the time to write replies—I'm honored that you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Developments. Reading your replies made my day. :D

Oddball wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:12 pm
The forum might be a little (well, okay a LOT) slower these days than it was back in it's heyday, but if you want to discuss anything, go right ahead and make a topic. There's still people that visit and would enjoy a hearing a fresher perspective.
I might just have to! I'm not a writer or an artist, so I probably can't contribute any fan fiction or fan art, but I certainly enjoy myself a good discussion.
brythain wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:57 pm
When we were making comments and having discussions in between posts, we had a lot of leisure to speculate and engage with dewelar. It was a lot of fun.
I believe you! And judging by how many posts you've made, it looks like you've engaged in plenty of discussion yourself. :wink:
Xeraeo wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:01 pm
I just discovered KS back in May, and am a newcomer here as well. Reading your essay here brought back the memories of some of the best moments of this fic, and reminded me just how much I appreciated it.
Ah! A fellow newcomer! It seems like the two of us are in the same boat—in terms of us being "late to the party" and missing the prime time for discussions. It's good to see that people, like you, are still active around the forums and writing new stories. Thanks again for reading my review!

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dewelar
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by dewelar » Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:55 pm

Chatty Wheeler wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:30 pm
Good day to all who might be reading to this! I just finished reading Developments and there’s a lot that I want to get off my chest, so I’ve decided to try my hand at making a post. Here goes!
Welcome!
I’m still quite new around these parts—I only discovered Katawa Shoujo a couple months back—and until today I had never posted anything to these forums. I happened to be passively scrolling through the fan works section of these forums when I spotted this story.
Wow, it's been over five years since I finished writing this, and people are still finding and enjoying it. That still warms my heart.
Dewelar, if by chance you happen to find yourself reading this, I would like to thank you for writing this wonderfully-realized story.
(bows) You're very welcome.
If there were any lingering questions or hanging plot threads that I wished to see explored after the events of the visual novel—which in the case of Lilly’s Neutral Ending, there was a lot left hanging—this story does a more-than-fine job of filling those gaps and providing fulfilling answers.
*nods* As I've mentioned, that was a large part of my motivation for writing Developments. That particular ending left me unsatisfied in a way that none of the others -- good or bad -- had done.

I fully enjoyed your extensive review of my story -- interestingly enough, I've been re-reading it myself for the first time in ages, so it appeared at a perfect time. Indeed, this sort of analysis is like catnip to me. I'm not going to comment on everything here, as I would be here for days :D, but I do want to highlight a few specific things.
I don’t think anybody reading Developments for the first time was expecting the brilliant introduction and implementation of Mayoi. Not only does her presence and conflict retroactively fill in a slew of the gaps surrounding the backstory and tension that permeates through the Hakamichi family and the Satou family, but her presence in the story of the main four protagonists has a clear thematic relevance and her scenes help Shizune, Lilly, Hanako and Misha along on their journeys. I can only speculate, but I imagine it must have been a tall order to conceptualize an OC that would be so engrained into the existing lore of the visual novel while simultaneously standing as its own unique character that fits the need of the story being told by Dewelar.
This is interesting, because for me it felt like my idea for Mayoi coalesced in a matter of a day or two. Maybe it's more that I was looking for a way to tie a whole bunch of loose threads together, and was searching for that way for months before landing on the idea. In any case, I was very happy at how well she was received (and mildly surprised there was little-to-no backlash to her).
But, man, you want to talk about things growing on me, let’s talk about Noriko.
Ah, yes, another character the reaction to whom took me by surprise. A fair few people had largely the same reaction to her that you did at first, of course. I really enjoyed writing for her, more than any of my other OC's or semi-OC's. Glad you liked her.
Although it took some time for me to acclimate myself to Rin’s unique style of talking directly to the “audience,” I think that the chapter exhibits some of the best writing in all of Developments.
Thank you again. As I've mentioned in various places, Rin is the KS character to whom I feel the closest connection, so getting her voice right was particularly important to me.
“Everyone needs someone to see them,” is such a fantastic quote, and I hope that I can remember it.
*smiles*
Side note: Meiko becoming engaged with Nurse was not only really sweet, but made for a clever parallel between her and Emi. You get double points for that one, Dewelar.
I'll take credit for the parallel, although the Meiko-Nurse pairing itself is pretty common in fanon, I think.
It’s rare to find a portrayal of Hanako like the one found in Developments, in that it’s rare to find a story—official or unofficial—that so effectively shines a light on Hanako’s negative character traits and calls her out on them.
I think that's because -- especially in the immediate aftermath of the game's release -- Hanako was the consensus bestgirl, and then came Sisterhood to cement that.
Before we know it, Hanako is trying to present a version of herself to Hisao that isn’t genuine, and we’ll soon see that that’s not going to work forever.
*nods* If only she'd recognized this about herself...
Lilly had an identity crisis in Developments, and I found it extremely difficult not to feel bad for her.
Indeed, and I felt it was something she needed.
Although I have stated that chapter fifty-one was my favorite chapter, chapter sixty may just be the best chapter in the whole story. Why? Because chapter sixty represents what I see as a thematically perfect end to Lilly’s Neutral Route.
I appreciate this comment and the following discussion especially. Many commenters questioned why I included it, but to my mind I had to, because without it the entire story is incomplete. The story was always going to end with Hisao going home, and introducing his future to his past, if you will.
It looks like there were a lot of interesting discussions had by readers in the weeks between new chapters being posted.
This is why, in the introductory post, I always say that a new reader should read the entire thread if possible (and, indeed, why I have resisted posting the story as a single document). The discussion was very enjoyable to read, and reading it through gives the story's flow its full context.
Good grief! I didn’t realize I was writing an essay, here.
Almost as long as some of my chapters ;-D .
Once again, my hat is off to Dewelar for writing this excellent story, in addition to Leaty, Crimson Harmony, and all of the folks who contributed their talents and ideas towards the story!
For myself at least, I can honestly say that it was my pleasure.

Take care!
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Chatty Wheeler
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by Chatty Wheeler » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:12 pm

Ah! Hello, Dewelar! I appreciate you taking the time to read through my post, and I really enjoyed reading your reply—I always find value in hearing neat little insights from the author about their works.

dewelar wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:55 pm
Wow, it's been over five years since I finished writing this, and people are still finding and enjoying it. That still warms my heart.
Similarly, it warms my heart that you would take the time to respond to the post of a newbie, like me, even after five years. :wink:
dewelar wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:55 pm
I'm not going to comment on everything here, as I would be here for days. :D
I'm glad you didn't! I wouldn't want you to do that to yourself. Haha! :lol:
dewelar wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:55 pm
I'll take credit for the parallel, although the Meiko-Nurse pairing itself is pretty common in fanon, I think.
Ah. I guess I'd better start reading more stories so that I can build up my knowledge of the fanon, then!
dewelar wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:55 pm
I appreciate this comment and the following discussion especially. Many commenters questioned why I included it, but to my mind I had to, because without it the entire story is incomplete. The story was always going to end with Hisao going home, and introducing his future to his past, if you will.
I'm relieved to see that I was on the right track in this case. I also noticed—as I was reading through the thread after chapter sixty was posted—that some folks seemed confused by that chapter. It sort of made me wonder if I had somehow misunderstood what I thought was supposed to be the story coming full circle, and if I had come to a false conclusion. Again, I'm relieved that this was your intention all along, as I think it makes for an exceptional ending. It was fun to see the takes of other folks on chapter sixty, though! It makes me wish further that I could have chipped in with my two cents about that chapter when it was still fresh.
dewelar wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:55 pm
This is why, in the introductory post, I always say that a new reader should read the entire thread if possible (and, indeed, why I have resisted posting the story as a single document). The discussion was very enjoyable to read, and reading it through gives the story's flow its full context.
Funny you should mention that! I actually considered asking you if there was a single-document version of Developments available for download when I was writing my review, but after reading your reasoning from above, I agree that encouraging new readers to read the whole thread is the way to go. My reason for asking for the single-document version would have been as a safety precaution in case something happened to the original post, but it doesn't look like these forums are going anywhere, anytime soon, if the fact that it still gets visitors is anything to go by. :D
dewelar wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:55 pm
For myself at least, I can honestly say that it was my pleasure.
Thanks again for the reply. All the best to you!

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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by Xeraeo » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:55 am

Honestly, Chatty, if you want to post additional long-form reviews like this to some of the other major works on here, I think the writers, old guard, and us newbies would all enjoy reading the fresh perspective! I enjoy reading through the discussions that took place back when these fics were being written, but seeing new discussions on them sorta breathes new life into the forum, I think. I've more than a few times thought about responding to someone's comment and then noticed with disappointment that it was from like 6 years ago, and there wouldn't be much point.

I know you said you're not a writer or an artist, but reviews, comments and discussion are nearly as important, if not just as important to the forum, in my opinion at least. I'm glad to see there's other new people popping in here and taking enough interest to contribute in some way.

I feel like there's no point in recommending Sisterhood to you, since there's no way you're not aware of it, but I'd also steer you towards Lap's Avenues of Communication, Eurobeatjester's Learning to Fly, or Scissorlips' Pseudo Pseudo Suzu Route if you want another major, well written work to dig into. Each of those sucked me in nearly like Developments and Sisterhood did, though maybe not quite fully to that extent. Developments perhaps remains my favorite.

By the way, Dewelar, good to see you're still around, man! I'm not gonna write you an essay like Chatty did, but he basically covered what I would want to say and more if I did. You did an incredible job, and even only having read it many years after you're done, I'm glad I got to experience it in some way. Your work more than any other here inspired me to start writing my own stuff, and I can only hope to do a fraction of as good a job as you did. So thank you.
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)

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dewelar
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by dewelar » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:52 am

Xeraeo wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:55 am
Honestly, Chatty, if you want to post additional long-form reviews like this to some of the other major works on here, I think the writers, old guard, and us newbies would all enjoy reading the fresh perspective!
Seconded.
By the way, Dewelar, good to see you're still around, man!
Thanks! I may not post much but I do pop in occasionally to check out new stuff or see what the Book Club is reading (or if a miracle happened and Leaty or Helbereth posted :D).
I'm not gonna write you an essay like Chatty did, but he basically covered what I would want to say and more if I did. You did an incredible job, and even only having read it many years after you're done, I'm glad I got to experience it in some way. Your work more than any other here inspired me to start writing my own stuff, and I can only hope to do a fraction of as good a job as you did.
*bows* I'm honored.
So thank you.
You're very welcome.
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Chatty Wheeler
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

Post by Chatty Wheeler » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:29 pm

Hello Xeraeo! Thanks a lot for the encouraging post—I'm stoked that you find value in my over-analytical style of writing. Hehe. :lol:

Xeraeo wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:55 am
Honestly, Chatty, if you want to post additional long-form reviews like this to some of the other major works on here, I think the writers, old guard, and us newbies would all enjoy reading the fresh perspective!
Yeah! I just might! When I wrote my review of Developments, I wasn't sure if it was going to be a one-time-thing or not. If it didn't seem like anybody was reading my post, I might have felt discouraged from posting anything else, but it seems like that won't be the case. :D
Xeraeo wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:55 am
I've more than a few times thought about responding to someone's comment and then noticed with disappointment that it was from like 6 years ago, and there wouldn't be much point.
I know that feeling. :lol:
Xeraeo wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:55 am
I feel like there's no point in recommending Sisterhood to you, since there's no way you're not aware of it, but I'd also steer you towards Lap's Avenues of Communication, Eurobeatjester's Learning to Fly, or Scissorlips' Pseudo Pseudo Suzu Route if you want another major, well written work to dig into.
Ah, yes! A number of these are already on my radar, but a couple of those names are unfamiliar to me—thanks for the recommendations! I must admit that I'm a slow reader and an even slower writer, so it could take a little while for me to catch up and post my thoughts.

I actually started reading To Miss The Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi) last night! So far, I'm really digging it, so expect to see me post my extended thoughts when I have caught up to the latest chapter! I thought it would be nice to read a story that hasn't been completed yet, so that I could discuss it as you are writing it. :D

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