Jesus, guys, my birthday isn't until October.
the more active roles of the NPCS in the scene vs. the general passiveness of everyone in the original KS prologue.
You know, of all the intentional parallels I put into my writing, I can't actually remember if that was supposed to be one.
As my feelings about Observations
probably demonstrate, I really hate
"robot" spear carriers--minor characters who are treated by the author as faceless silhouetted MacGuffins. My feeling about writing is that every character should have agency
, even if they don't have relevance
. They should be, you know, human
, and stuff. (Based on what I've read of your writing, I suspect you feel the same way.) I didn't want to make Iwanako's parents an off-brand version of Hisao's parents, because that would have been easy and lazy. I've never liked how Hisao and Rin's parents stay almost entirely out of the plot simply because nobody felt up to the task of characterizing them. (Even though it was stylistic, I hated it in Ed, Edd and Eddy
Blank Mage wrote:
I'm seeing a little early installment weirdness, personally. Iwanako undergoes a severe character change between this opening (shy and unsure of herself) and leaving the hospital (nihilistic and vitriolic).
I have mixed feelings about this--honestly, it really undermines the integrity of my entire premise if literally the only canon Iwanako dialogue in
MTtB sounds strange coming out of her mouth. I alluded to this in my previous post, but that scene feels to me like...forgetting to pay the rent, or running a red light, or something. I just feel like I made a mess and left without cleaning it up.
On one hand, I think that scene is perfect just as it is--it feels like the VN prologue, but it isn't
textually the VN prologue. Mission accomplished. But I'll always feel like the stark contrast between that moment and the next one is slightly
too stark, and yet, literally nothing can be done about it because I've gone and solidly characterized Iwanako that way over the following 65,000 words.
My Watsonian explanation for that scene is that we aren't really
seeing Iwanako in her natural habitat during Frozen Sopor
shy and unsure of herself, but those are behaviors
, not character traits--Iwanako is introverted, but she's certainly not bashful. She's never been a shrinking violet or an ingenue. Here, though, she's put an awful lot of hope and emotional weight into this confession, and it's not like she's experienced at these kinds of things; I don't even think this kind of confession is really her style, in the abstract. Iwanako has a good sense for what is
romantic but isn't necessarily so great at being
romantic. Ergo, I think the reason she seems out-of-character in that scene is textual rather than metatextual; she's being
out of character, doing something that doesn't come naturally to her. (And in the text of the story, it was Mai who pushed her to do this,
so that fits.)
What Leaty's Iwanako is some sort of analogue to, although being a completely different character, is Hisao in which Hisao-1 never occurred and Hisao was a normally-developing person in the sense that he responded in fairly understandable ways to his heart attack and his new circumstances.
I really don't have any one single interpretation or understanding of Hisao--I keep many different grades and weights of Hisaos in my toolbox so that I'll always have the proper Hisao for the job.
I think, though, that you've described the situation in MTtB
as cogently as I've ever seen it. The Hisao that Iwanako is a reflection of is, indeed, a Hisao that literally never existed in the visual novel
. He's the Pruned Hisao
: the iteration of Hisao that appears in the twenty-six-episode anime adaptation of Katawa Shoujo
(produced by Shaft and directed by Shin Ōnuma in an AU to our actual U) that canonically winds up with Shizune, Hanako, or Emi (but only one
One of the things I enjoy about writing this story is that I get to retread familiar territory while taking advantage of the different strengths and weaknesses inherent to a different format. I get to have my cake and eat it too--all the fun of the Katawa Shoujo
sandbox but with a protagonist who rolled something other than Human Fighter. That said, for the purposes of this story it doesn't do me any good to adopt the headcanon of Hisao as a mild-mannered hanger-on--you'd be completely forgiven for missing this, because he's not an important character after the prologue, but the Hisao of this story is
Pruned Hisao. He's just Pruned Hisao without arrhythmia.
Wow, that was a convoluted three paragraphs indeed.
Anyway: If we've finished teasing out most of the discussion for the prologue, would Wednesday be a good time to begin discussion on the following chapters?
Here's my sitch: My preference would be that we discuss the next four chapters as something of a set, because together they form a single episode. I did some calculating, however, and it turns out that's approximately 15,500 words--I certainly don't remember writing that much but apparently that's what they are.
So we could
just discuss Slow Code to China
and The Shallow End
(~7500 words) on Wednesday
, and add New Game Plus
and Breaking the Loop
on Friday or Saturday
, if that's more reasonable. Or... I dunno. I'm open to ideas.
Oh, and you guys are the best. Srsly.