Yamaku Book Club (20200907 Another Omake Scene)

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Leaty
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by Leaty » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:36 am

Fardels wrote:The analogs to Hisao have been discussed, but (to date) I'm catching a whiff of Holden Caulfield too.
Oh, hmm. That was unintentional, but I'm extremely fond of Catcher in the Rye, so...it just kinda happened.

Anyway, it's Saturday, so I guess we're discussing Scenes 5 and 6, and, I guess, all four chapters as a cohesive whole? I mean, you don't have to. You can see a movie or something.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by SirKaid » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:17 pm

Leaty wrote:You can see a movie or something.
Ooh, if you haven't yet then I recommend Inside Out. It's very good. /offtopic

I remember liking these chapters the first time through and on the reread the feeling persists. One thing in particular that I like is how out of her depth and caught off guard her narration feels. She doesn't know what she's doing and how she should be doing it and as a result she's floundering. As much as I'm rooting for her to find her feet again, I'm also kind of hoping that her nadir continues nadir-ing because of how entertaining her confusion is to read.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by brythain » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:41 pm

SirKaid wrote:One thing in particular that I like is how out of her depth and caught off guard her narration feels. She doesn't know what she's doing and how she should be doing it and as a result she's floundering. As much as I'm rooting for her to find her feet again, I'm also kind of hoping that her nadir continues nadir-ing because of how entertaining her confusion is to read.
I felt the same way. One thing that also stood out for me was how her different perceptions of Nurse, Mutou, Misha, Shizune and other characters made me take a second look at the original material. In particular, the section where she agonizes about which Molly is the 'real' Molly — which of her two impressions is real and whether they can be reconciled or not — virtually forces the reader to begin that debate about the reality of what Iwanako sees, and the extent of unreliability of her narration, and where on that continuum between these the truth lies.
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: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by Fardels » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:11 pm

If these chapters are set-up, or glue-ware, or whatever, they don't seem so simply because you've given a very realistic reading on what it's like to find yourself in a new environment. It's very skillfully done, whatever the literary purpose. I have noticed that Iwanako's vocabulary is a little advanced, but so what? People have made fortunes putting middle-age angst in the mouths of six-year-olds. No complaints here. I think SirKaid's comment is much of what got me thinking about old Holden; but she seems to regained some of her balance, and that's good too.

I am curious about "fenestrated windows" in New Games; that sounds a little redundant. It's probably not worth mentioning, but I am curious.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by Blank Mage » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:49 am

Sorry, sorry, I do most of my posting on the weekends. Well, that and I had to reread the chapters in question, and while that's hardly a chore, it is a little time consuming. Well, that and an out-of-character party on my end, so apologies if this ends up being more, ah, casual than usual. And less sensible. And maybe a bit obvious. All the same, my general thoughts:

Slow Code:And here we begin to reach the real meat of Iwanako's character. I mentioned earlier, in response to Pun, that many of Iwanako's behaviors are a little unnerving, and not exactly indicative of what I would call a 'healthy mentality'. Here, we see the first of them; her tendency to fix emotional problems with physical solutions. (I mean, the subtitle for Slow Code is literally 'if all else fails, throw money at the problem', which isn't high on my list of reassuring mottos.) She also tends to accentuate the negative, as seen with her flowers, room, and circumstances. Of course, this is subject to a bit of debate. What isn't is how often Iwanako uses self-depreciation, which passes 'humble' and goes straight to 'nihilism'. Although she has a little hope in regards to her fresh start, I can't help but notice all the times she refers to herself as reactionary, sickly, or broken.

Shallow End: To be fair, Hisao and Iwanako are a bit similar in their initial views on Yamaku, and perhaps it's just the default reaction to such drastic circumstances. It's also been mentioned that Iwanako has the better support system. I disagree entirely. Her brother is almost conspicuously absent, her father is seldom mentioned, and her mother clearly has no idea how to handle any kind of actual motherly responsibilities. I find myself wondering if even a faulty support network trumps an absent one, and somehow, I feel like at least having no one would stress self-reliance. It's the difference between having a fire extinguisher that doesn't work, or none at all. At least not having one doesn't give you that false confidence. Iwanako only realizes how dire her situation is when she's no longer able to effectively change it. She's never been faced with a crisis, and her first real trial ends up being one hell of an eye-opener.

As Bry mentioned, it's interesting to see her take on the staff. Hisao doesn't bother, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions by virtue of having the sprites to go by. There's no point in describing Mutou overly; he's on-screen. His words require no adjectives, his appearance is not subject to interpretation. (Is the naginata-jutsu a reference? It doesn't have to be, I'm sure, but speaking as someone who occasionally writes things, I realize how tempting it is to sneak in insanely obscure inside jokes and the like.)

More later, I don't want to just re-hash my earlier points and call them insights.
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by Leaty » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:20 am

Blank Mage wrote:Is the naginata-jutsu a reference? It doesn't have to be, I'm sure, but speaking as someone who occasionally writes things, I realize how tempting it is to sneak in insanely obscure inside jokes and the like.
There are probably plenty of references buried in my writing that I've completely forgotten about, but that isn't one of them—it's a subtle (and probably excessively opaque) jape by Nurse about Iwanako's demure and ladylike disposition. The naginata is a weapon that has come to be associated with femininity (and Yamato Nadeshikos), so the suggestion of them is meant to hint at how Nurse is perceiving Iwanako in this scene.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by Puncyclopedia » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:33 am

I'm only through three and four (and was busy most of the week), so much of this is going to focus on the two chapters.

They're very well written, but at the same time, I think they defang (or at least sandpaper away some of the sharpness of) scenes that could happen later in the piece to greater effect. I feel that these two chapters frontload a lot of the "horror" of Katawa Shoujo - that is, the slow realization over the course of reading the VN of the many implications of Hisao's condition that you are either distracted from or just don't think about until they come up.

This takes away from that, which is a bit disappointing because of just how many of them that you present in these two chapters that I wouldn't have thought of initially - Iwanako's hesitance to wear swimwear due to it showing off her scar, lack of ability to have children, etc. They're potential wham moments that lose some of their future wham because they've been brought up so early on.

If I can offer a general criticism of this piece four chapters in, it's that I think it goes too far in the opposite direction of the source material. With Hisao, we don't know enough; with Iwanako, I think we know too much. She makes Hisao as a first-person character seem guarded by comparison. I think there needs to be a little more mystery with her. IMO, one of the most difficult and most important skills to have when writing first person is for that character to feel open, but still be able to keep secrets from the reader when you're writing them.

At the same time, though, your command of Iwanako is the best part of the work, and the reason I keep reading. She's not a reader avatar in the least bit - I don't think of Hisao as always being one either, but his personality is just wishy-washy enough that I don't quibble too much with people who think of him that way. This is a very well-defined human being stepping into Yamaku, and someone with a strong enough personality that she'll probably play better off characters like Shizune and Rin who tend to gobble up the scenery whenever they show up.
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: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by brythain » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:34 pm

I think that one thing done very well in MTtB is that Iwanako is not herself, although she's got plenty of herself to be. She asserts selfhood while wondering about her real self, the self she wants to be, the self she's afraid of becoming, and the self that she finds herself being.

That's why reading the succeeding chapters is such a treat—you find yourself muddling through the same conundrum that Iwanako is, and just like her, you're not sure who you're rooting for.

Anyone else wanting to make a comment? There's so much more of MTtB Iwanako to think about!
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: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by Leaty » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:38 pm

Puncyclopedia wrote:a bit disappointing because of just how many of them that you present in these two chapters that I wouldn't have thought of initially - Iwanako's hesitance to wear swimwear due to it showing off her scar, lack of ability to have children, etc. They're potential wham moments that lose some of their future wham because they've been brought up so early on.
That's a very strong criticism, one I haven't heard before, and one I can't effectively argue with.

I honestly don't know that I would have written those scenes if I were starting this story today—in a sense, I probably could have time-skipped all the way to Scene Six and covered them with a bit of delicate exposition—but on the other hand, if I had done so, I don't know that the story could have gone in the direction I eventually took it. The pregnancy thing, for example, would indeed probably have been a great bomb later on in the story, but by sacrificing it at the front end, I felt the story would garner a more sublime feeling of hopelessness than the VN had; I wanted to thoroughly subvert that expectation early on that, as in canon, our protagonist would be gradually smoothed out over the course of falling in love with someone. Unlike Hisao at this stage, Iwanako is a person who genuinely expects to die alone—she believes that finding that kind of love is not merely unlikely, but completely impossible. She's not even open to the possibility of romance anymore, because she feels that she's been taken permanently out of play.
Puncyclopedia wrote:someone with a strong enough personality that she'll probably play better off characters like Shizune and Rin who tend to gobble up the scenery whenever they show up.
I'll be very interested to see how you feel about the next few scenes, particularly since you do have such a strong awareness of Shizune.

Speaking of, do people just think we should give more time to Scenes Five and Six, since nobody's really had time to get to them, or should we also open up chapters Seven and Eight to discussion?

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by Blank Mage » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:57 pm

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited to get to Bathory.

I still genuinely mean to get around to posting, but it's been hectic here in my little bubble of reality. Well, that and I have little to contribute. I like MTtB a lot, to say the least, and it's hard to comment on something you just can't see impartially.

If I comment too much, it'll devolve into fanboyism pretty quick. I mean, I might end up breaking into song. And I hate musicals.
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by Leaty » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:56 pm

Given that we're over halfway through the month, it might be best to open up all chapters up through nine for discussion, and just let people cherry-pick what scenes they want to talk about.

I dunno. Whatever works for everybody else works for me.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by brythain » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:08 pm

Leaty wrote:Given that we're over halfway through the month, it might be best to open up all chapters up through nine for discussion, and just let people cherry-pick what scenes they want to talk about.

I dunno. Whatever works for everybody else works for me.
Chapters Seven to Nine, as linked in the MTtB thread:

Scene Seven: "Grazing with the Herd" ()
To have a carefree day is always too much to ask.
Scene Eight: "Testing the Waters" ()
Underclassmen are always kind of adorable. Especially in pairs.
Scene Nine: "Grudge Matching" ()
They're like termites; you can never be sure how many of them are in the walls.

Further comments on any of the chapters up to Nine are most welcome. Do carry on. :)
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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"Ha ha, Hanajima."

Post by LordDarknus » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:08 am

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tcRvN2gtPiw

In a quiet little bar, Iwanako Daidouji sits alone, having emptied a few bottles of Lipovitan which lay scattered about on the countertop.

The speakers are playing some easy listening; Michael Bublé yearns go go home... Iwanako listens halfheartedly, while idly watching the tv fixed above the corner; George Clooney and Brad Pitt, talking... in a re-run of some old heist movie.

"The first Ocean's was still the best," someone said. Someone with a voice remarkably similar to Iwanako's, but she doesn't flinch when spoken to; she just continues sitting with her chin resting in her folded arms on the countertop, twirling a tiny pink umbrella between her lips.

A girl, who looks like a doppelganger of Daidouji, comes up and takes a seat beside her, cool and casual. "Wouldn't you agree, Miss Daidouji? My mei mei from another mother."

Daidouji doesn't react.

The doppelganger gives a subdued smile. "So," she says, while picking up an empty bottle of Lipovitan, "they're discussing your story now on the forums? The 'Yamaku Book Club' topic?"

Daidouji continues twirling the little pink umbrella between her pale lips, spinning it slowly from one corner to the other.

"Seems like you already have all the praise and attention you could want," the doppelganger says and sets down the empty bottle. She looks at Daidouji. Even with her head resting in her folded arms, so unladylike, and with that tiny pink umbrella, Daidouji still manages to be striking: the front fringe of her hair dyed blonde, moonstone earrings sparkling, bracelet and Irish ring twinkling on her wrist and finger, all of which the doppelganger lacks.

Daidouji manages another lazy circuit of her umbrella.

"Well," the doppelganger says and looks away, pretending to watch the tv, "there wouldn't be much for me to add to the discussion, but if there were... I might say that you have adopted quite a Western mentality. Almost as if you've become a different person entirely. Perhaps not too noticeable over a few years' time, but certainly noticeable if one were to compare your early soft-spoken timidity, immediately with your later bitter toxicity."

Daidouji registers no subtle movements of shock or indignation whatsoever, her eyes remain calm and fixed on the heist movie.

The doppelganger continues, "While your inner monologue is rife with advanced vocabularies, it seems your exterior mannerisms lend you to being compared to a stubborn and troubled youth; although a "Yankee" would be too inappropriate a label, the (practically-irrelevant) American connotations might apply to your sharp tongue and self-righteous attitudes."

The doppelganger looks back at Daidouji, who remains perfectly calm and indifferent. Then, the doppelganger simply looks ahead blankly, pondering what's left worth mentioning.

Matt Damon joins in the heist.

The doppelganger absentmindedly arranges some of the empty Lipovitan bottles, introducing a false sense of order to the mess.

With a slight penitent smile, she says, "Maybe that is too harsh a judgement on your character."

Daidouji blinks. Indifferently.

"The quality and effort of your story's writing should not be discounted lightly. The sincerity and heart is self-evident, and I remain interested in your character to see how you will continue to grow and change in the coming days. I also find your elocution and wit to be quite agreeable, and I believe they are your strongest traits."

Daidouji doesn't answer... But in the reflection of an empty bottle, the doppelganger catches a ghost of a smile.

The doppelganger quietly smiles.

"I think that is all that needs to be said," the doppelganger says amicably.

Then, a sudden mischievous look is in the doppelganger's eyes. She grins, and says, "Every time I touch myself, I think about you."

Daidouji spits out the pink umbrella, her eyes wide open with shock.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by brythain » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:22 am

See, literary commentary can be fun. Thank Darknus! :D
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: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Post by Leaty » Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:41 pm

...Damn. That post was a roller coaster.

I kind of want to know the origin story for the mysterious fourth wall-breaking Iwanaklone.

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