Yamaku Book Club (20200907 Another Omake Scene)

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Update: Aug/Sep—Hanako)

Post by Guest Poster » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:32 am

About the first thread the story was posted in, I emptied it out last year and had it locked. The initial version had never even been proofread and contained grammar flubs and tense mixups up the wazoo, so after I reposted the story and its extension in a new thread, I removed the first version. The thread's still somewhere on the forum, but the first 18 posts are blank. Aside from a few things being reworded, the first part of the story up to and including chapter 17 is still the same as it was when it was first posted, so if the post chapter 17 stuff isn't to your liking, the original story's still there.
Oddball wrote:And really, the ending of the story doesn't work for me at all. Hanako is officially adopted into Lilly's family. All (well most) of the story was being built up about her being her own person, and essentially making her own weird little family, only to have her being adopted into somebody elses. To me it seemed to trivialize her struggle and achievements.
If I had been able to go back in time and add one additional thing to the story, it probably would have been a small chapter featuring Hanako and Hisao taking place after the two of them spent a week with Hisao's parents, but before Lilly and her mom arrived back at Yamaku that had Hanako ponder a bit about the "crippled little family" that was brought up both in Lilly's route in the VN and the first part of Sisterhood. The family-like chemistry that Lilly, Hanako and Hisao had in those parts was sweet, but it wasn't a coincidence that they clung to each other during those moments in time. It conveniently took place at a time where both Hisao and Lilly felt distant from their biological family; Hisao still felt like his parents left him at Yamaku to be forgotten and Lilly just got back from a trip to her mother and father and found the atmosphere between the four of them distant and awkward. In a way all three of them were without a family at the time, so they sought solance with each other.

Over the course of the story, however, Hisao starts regaining his appreciation for his parents and starts making more of an effort to repair his relationship with them while Lilly becomes committed to ensuring her mother, father, sister and herself become a close family as well. Having noticed both these processes taking root, Hanako feels that if Hisao and Lilly succeed, the "crippled little family" the three of them used to be will be gone, now that her friends will have their real families back. While Hisao assures her their neither his nor Lilly's relationship with her will change, Hanako still wouldn't be able to help feeling a little wistful.

About the ending, until the very end, I actually wondered whether to have Hanako accept the Satous' offer "on-screen", merely allude to it in the final few lines of the story (the "let's go home" line) or omit it altogether and leave it to the reader's imagination. In the end, I decided that not including it felt like prematurely cutting off one of the plotlines. I disagree about it trivializing her struggle and achievements since it doesn't happen until the very end and by that time her decision to either accept or dismiss the offer didn't really change any of her relationships with the people who came to her graduation ceremony. Even before she signed the form, she already developed a family-like bond with the Satous and all the ending did was give it a slightly more official tint.
I think a lot of my problems with NuSisterhood stem from the fact that GP has chosen to portray Hanako as clinically depressed, which I just don't think she is. In the original, the flaws were a lot more readily excusable because the last 3-4 chapters (beginning with the accident that sends Hisao back to the hospital) are pretty much perfection. There was a sense of hope and optimism at the end, and it felt like Hanako was actually emerging from the prison she'd kept herself in for all those years.

With the extended director's cut ending, though, it turns out it was never really within Hanako's power to emerge. That light you saw at the end of the tunnel wasn't the outside, and in fact wasn't even an oncoming train. It turned out to be just a flashlight that somebody dropped alongside the tracks, and now it's just tunnel forever ahead of you. It's a perfectly valid and perfectly realistic representation, but I'd argue that based on what we know in the game, it's not Hanako. It doesn't really follow from the game's ending, nor from GP's own false ending, that this is Hanako's fate. Instead, it takes those endings and stomps on them.
Hanako simply being unable to emerge from her self-constructed prison wasn't the message I tried to convey. "Emerging" isn't the word I would have personally used in combination with Hanako to begin with because the word emerging suggests a sudden radical and permanent change, rather than a slow process. My interpretation of Hanako and her post KS-life was based on a statement by Cpl_Crud that Hanako probably wouldn't be completely self-sufficient for several years but she'd get there eventually. By that logic, the light that truly signifies the end of the tunnel wouldn't be visible for many more years. The lights you see among the way for the most part aren't the exit, nor a train or a flashlight. They're illuminated exit signs saying stuff like "Exit, 10 miles ahead" and "Exit, 9 miles ahead".

"Two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward" is the main thought I kept in mind when writing Hanako. Both the original and the expansion follow this pattern. Getting a boyfriend, strenghtening the relation with that boyfriend and her best friend and then slowly making more and more new contacts would be high points in Hanako's life, but I'd hesitate to call them endings. Because in the end, most of the everyday hurdles Hanako faces in day-to-day life will still be there after those high points. Hanako's mental baggage didn't disappear just because she got into a relationship. Only time, therapy and support will eventually achieve that. So I'm not even sure I'd describe the process as a tunnel at all since it would suggest that Hanako cannot truly start living until she works out all her anxieties.
Sisterhood: True Edition. Hanako epilogue I wrote. Now expanded with additional chapters.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Update: Aug/Sep—Hanako)

Post by dewelar » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:43 am

Guest Poster wrote:Hanako simply being unable to emerge from her self-constructed prison wasn't the message I tried to convey. "Emerging" isn't the word I would have personally used in combination with Hanako to begin with because the word emerging suggests a sudden radical and permanent change, rather than a slow process.
Hmmm...I never considered that to be a connotation of that word. That's not what I meant to imply.
My interpretation of Hanako and her post KS-life was based on a statement by Cpl_Crud that Hanako probably wouldn't be completely self-sufficient for several years but she'd get there eventually. By that logic, the light that truly signifies the end of the tunnel wouldn't be visible for many more years. The lights you see among the way for the most part aren't the exit, nor a train or a flashlight. They're illuminated exit signs saying stuff like "Exit, 10 miles ahead" and "Exit, 9 miles ahead".

"Two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward" is the main thought I kept in mind when writing Hanako. Both the original and the expansion follow this pattern. Getting a boyfriend, strenghtening the relation with that boyfriend and her best friend and then slowly making more and more new contacts would be high points in Hanako's life, but I'd hesitate to call them endings. Because in the end, most of the everyday hurdles Hanako faces in day-to-day life will still be there after those high points. Hanako's mental baggage didn't disappear just because she got into a relationship. Only time, therapy and support will eventually achieve that. So I'm not even sure I'd describe the process as a tunnel at all.
*nods* Yeah, my ability to express myself metaphorically may have faltered while writing that due to lack of sleep, so a minor mea culpa may be in order. Still, what you describe here is, as I said, perfectly valid and perfectly reasonable, but to some degree it requires you to first accept the premise that Hanako is suffering from clinical depression, which IMO she is not. That doesn't mean that cpl_crud's statement isn't true, just that the road to recovery will take a different shape depending on your interpretation of the underlying issues.
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Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Update: Aug/Sep—Hanako)

Post by Blank Mage » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:05 pm

I'll also throw in my approval of the adoption, although GP obviously did a better job explaining why than I would. If I had to summarize it, I would say that Hanako accepts the adoption not as an emotional dependent, but as an equal, and that growth as a person doesn't require that you distance yourself from your old supports.
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Update: Aug/Sep—Hanako)

Post by Guest Poster » Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:56 pm

Still, what you describe here is, as I said, perfectly valid and perfectly reasonable, but to some degree it requires you to first accept the premise that Hanako is suffering from clinical depression, which IMO she is not.
By specifically naming clinical depression you might have put more thought into the underlying stuff than I ever did. I had some interaction with people suffering from social anxiety in real life and a common theme was the notion that it was most managable in a stable environment and that, even after prolonged periods of everything going well, sudden changes in this environment (such as being forced to move to another town or the loss of a close friend or family member) commonly resulted in relapses. This seemed appropriate for Hanako. Whether clinical depression was brought up or not didn't really seem as relevant as the causes and effects.
I do have to wonder how this story would stand if we'd never seen Original Flavor Sisterhood.
This is something that ties into something I frequently thought about during the weeks after the expansion's release. Something I noticed was that there were some posts complaining about stuff like grammar errors and a few writing quirks of mine. The funny thing was that all those things were in the initial version and more. The first version was never proofread, just thrown through a quick spelling/grammar check in word. Some stuff people took issue with was in the initial version in spades and to say it was glossed over would be understating things. :) People didn't just overlook it, it wasn't even something that I remember even being brought up. I personally believe the original and the final edition were judged by two different standards.

You're free to call me crazy afterwards, but I think the initial version owed some of its critical acclaim simply to timing. IIRC, it was posted in July, about half a year after KS was released and the VN was still rather new and fresh. Many of the fanfics that are now considered classics were either still in process at the time or hadn't even started. I think standards have risen in the two years it took to write the expansion. But I think there's more to it. One of the biggest complaints about Hanako's route was that ended before it got started. All the other girls actually got into a relationship with Hisao and the player could see how that relation played out, for good or ill. Hanako's route ended right as she became Hisao's girlfriend and people wanted more, but knew the devs weren't gonna make another KS game. They felt like they were left hanging.

There were Hanako fanfics before the initial version of Sisterhood, but most of those were purely slice-of-life that didn't really follow a larger narrative. (either that or they were Mendacium which I doubt many people felt like adopting as headcanon) The closest thing available were, I believe, the epilogue fics written by Mechanik, but those pieces all took place in a fairly distant future where Hisao and Hanako were already living together and working jobs, having graduated uni and getting ready to tie the knot and Hanako had made an almost complete recovery from the issues that plagued her in the VN. The initial Sisterhood was simply the first fic to fill in a void that A LOT of people were still feeling, so it wasn't really judged simply as a fanfic, but rather as the missing piece of narrative they were aching for ever since completing Hanako's route and in return for getting that closure they were quite willing to overlook the rough edges. Also, Hanako's route was the only route that ended in the way it did, so none of the other routes left room for fanfics that scratched that particular itch in the way Sisterhood did, making it seem more unique than it otherwise would have been.

The expanded edition WAS judged as just another normal fanfic rather than something that was missing from people's life before. We'll never know the truth, but I'm going out on a limb and say that if the expanded edition had been the one to be released back in july 2012, it would have gotten the acclaim the initial version received, FOR THE MOST PART. That's not to say people wouldn't have noticed or brought up its flaws, but it would have received more leniency. Uh...I think, at least. We'll obviously never know.

I'd be fibbing if I said that I didn't care that the expansion didn't receive the same critical acclaim the initial version did, but looking back, almost a year later, I don't feel any regrets about writing it. The initial story and its expansion were both written because I had a story (or rather a collection of events) in the back of my head that just kept whirling around and the only way to get rid of it was to commit it to "paper". Over the course of those two years, it became less about other people's possible reactions and more about my own personal pride regarding finishing whatever I start. (which is why I kept both versions under wraps until they were completely done) That desire to just finish it for my own sake is ultimately what kept things going, even after realizing that it was possible that by the time I'd finally finish, the KS boards could easily be dead already. :)

What I ended up treasuring much, much more than the writing experience was what I learned over course of the process. Yamaku was kind of its own world, isolated and with flexible rules that could be creatively stretched whenever convenient. The expansion frequently left Yamaku, exploring Scotland and Japan as a whole. Especially many aspects of the Satou plotline (as well as many of the exam and university related parts) involved stuff I had no clue about when I started writing the expansion. I've never been to either Scotland or Japan, so quite a few days were spent looking stuff up, studying the map of Inverness, looking through its various tourist guides and sites, looking into epilepsy and first aid guides, occasionally asking stuff on Japan-related boards and most of all trying to find out about some of the finer details of Japanese family traditions, Japanese corporations, mixed marriages and "hafus" and the traditional Japanese mindset. In the end, even if the devs had shut the board down before I'd finish the story, I'd still say that what I learned about Japanese business culture, Japanese cultural aspects, Japanese higher education and Japanese adult adoption practices was interesting enough to make the whole thing worth the while. :)
Sisterhood: True Edition. Hanako epilogue I wrote. Now expanded with additional chapters.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Update: Aug/Sep—Hanako)

Post by dewelar » Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:39 pm

Guest Poster wrote:
Still, what you describe here is, as I said, perfectly valid and perfectly reasonable, but to some degree it requires you to first accept the premise that Hanako is suffering from clinical depression, which IMO she is not.
By specifically naming clinical depression you might have put more thought into the underlying stuff than I ever did.
*nods* Gotcha. That helps my understanding somewhat, so thanks. A lot of what happens to Hanako is, to my mind, consistent with the actions of someone who suffers from clinical depression, which Miss Yumi essentially tells Hisao is true of Hanako at one point. I have personal experience with people I know that have been so diagnosed, so it's a bit of a sensitive subject. I will be happy to re-order my thoughts on the matter if and when I'm inclined to read NuSisterhood again with your words in mind.

Regarding the status of OriginalSisterhood vis-a-vis the Hanako route, I can say that my impression of it was not affected by that since (a) I didn't discover the story until a year after it was posted, so there was no void for me as you described, and (b) I actually thought Hanako's ending was the best good ending in the game, and upon reflection I still do (Rin's "neutral ending" beats it out for sheer poignancy, though). For me, as with many others, my appreciation for it is in large part due to it feeling like a natural extension of the VN, which the vast majority of continuation fics fail to achieve. Again, echoing the thoughts of others, I think many of the other characters here outshine Hanako, including Hisao himself, which is a tough feat to pull off. So I guess what I'm saying is that this is still an excellent work but, to put it in the local parlance, it doesn't give me the feels the original did.

On a completely unrelated and probably unnecessary note, does anyone have any idea why the view count on Developments might have suddenly gone haywire? It's increased by something like 10K views in the last day or two.
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Update: Aug/Sep—Hanako)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:07 am

Ah, Sisterhood...
Without doubt one of the - if not the - most well known fic around.
To start, let me say that I am among those who never felt the original ending in the Hanako arc was truncated or missing in any way, just because we didn't get to see more of the relationship. In Hanako's arc the main plot was about Hanako's problems opening up to Hisao and that was resolved. In Emi's or Lilly's path the real problems only popped up after they got together, so they had to continue past that point. If anything I'd argue Rin's path is incomplete since they didn'resolve any issues as much as they chose to ignore them for a while...
Anyway, I agree with dewelar that the main story was markedly better in the original 17 chapters - both pacing and conclusion of it. Especially the expansion suffered from a slew of unneccessary sex scenes. Being asked by GP to proofread after he was finished with the story I think I got him to cut or severely shorten at least two of them, but it probably still is too much...
Also the main story about Hanako is a bit too depressing for my tastes.
There are still reasons why I count even the expanded story among the best on these forums:
- The sheer amount of research that GP put into this story is staggering. It contains the best depictions of an epilleptic seizure I've read so far, lots of detail about the locations and a lot of insight into Japanese culture.
- It has bar none the best depiction of the Satou family even with their own backstory that would have made a compelling fic on its own.
- Lots and lots of side characters like Yun or Naomi whose scenes I came to enjoy even more than Hanako's - probably due to those being a bit on the depressing side.
So Sisterhood is still a story I would recommend to everyone who has enought time to read it all. It' biggest flaw - the sex scenes can be skipped quite easily.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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More Hanako Readings from the Chair

Post by brythain » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:16 am

As a service to discussants new and old, here are links to some of the larger/longer Hanako pieces mentioned so far.

More Readings:
Hanako's Story by Trivun (18 Aug 2014)
The Purest Form of Love by BlackWaltzTheThird (30 Apr 2014)
Hanako & Hisao: Road to Tokyo by Hoitash (28 Aug 2013)
Mendacium by Brogurt (09 Apr 2012)
Scar Tissue by FluffandCrunch (22 Mar 2012)
Reconciliation by Robnonymous (20 Mar 2012)

Warning: not all of these have happy endings... then again, not all of them are sad. Enjoy them all as much as you can, and for those who have less than fond memories, try to avoid flinching and giving the game away. :)
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.
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Update: Aug/Sep—Hanako)

Post by dewelar » Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:30 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:There are still reasons why I count even the expanded story among the best on these forums:
- The sheer amount of research that GP put into this story is staggering. It contains the best depictions of an epilleptic seizure I've read so far, lots of detail about the locations and a lot of insight into Japanese culture.
- It has bar none the best depiction of the Satou family even with their own backstory that would have made a compelling fic on its own.
- Lots and lots of side characters like Yun or Naomi whose scenes I came to enjoy even more than Hanako's - probably due to those being a bit on the depressing side.
All true. I've been knocking this story around a bit, but it's still quite excellent for all these reasons. It's just not as high on my list as it was before the expansion. Also, since this is Hanako month, I've been focusing my critiques on the portrayal of Hanako, which happens to be the part of the story I find the...um..."least excellent" :).
So Sisterhood is still a story I would recommend to everyone who has enought time to read it all. It' biggest flaw - the sex scenes can be skipped quite easily.
Even here, I think the sex scenes are very well written, just a bit too frequent and a bit too long.
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Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Update: Aug/Sep—Hanako)

Post by SirKaid » Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:38 am

As promised, my thoughts on Developments' Hanako. Probably not going to be as lengthy a post, but that's because I find it easier to write at length about the nearly perfect instead of the all-the-way-there. Apologies if it's a bit scattershot.

The thing I like the most about Developments!Hanako, oddly enough, is the times when she's being unpleasant. In the VN I found that I liked her a lot more once her inner darkness, so to speak, was revealed. For most of her route it seemed like she was this caricature of a cute and shy girl instead of being a fleshed out person. "Surely this can't be the case!" I thought to myself. "Emi and Shizune were interesting and complex, they couldn't have just dropped the ball and made her a moeblob!" And lo, my patience was rewarded.

For that reason (well, that and that I'm deeply cynical myself) the parts of Hanako that resonate with me are her cynicism and bitterness. However it has to be balanced with her outer personality too - she isn't so much putting on a front as a shy book lover as she's just suppressing those other parts of her self.

So to sum it up, I like Developments!Hanako because you weren't afraid to show both sides of her personality.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Update: Aug/Sep—Hanako)

Post by Blank Mage » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:11 pm

SirKaid wrote:For that reason (well, that and that I'm deeply cynical myself) the parts of Hanako that resonate with me are her cynicism and bitterness.
Well, of course. The most engaging piece in any work is when a character drops the act and expresses themselves openly and honestly, and usually for the worse. These moments allow a glimpse of what's going on under the surface. Rin yelling 'I have no idea what's wrong with me!' Misha whispering about feelings of worthlessness. Shizune showing doubt and regret. Misstep.

It builds sympathy, because all of us have aspects of ourselves that we don't talk about, like hurtful thoughts towards loved ones, or self-destructive tendancies. We all smile and suppress them, because that's not who we want to be. Hanako's cynicism and anger resonate with us because we understand how hard she's trying to overcome these feelings, and it illustrates just how difficult it is for her to act the way she does by comparison.

(I know I've mentioned it, but for these same reasons, I think Lilly is a bit of a moe-blob, although Dewelar did an excellent job addressing that in Dev.)
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Update: Aug/Sep—Hanako)

Post by Guest Poster » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:54 pm

For that reason (well, that and that I'm deeply cynical myself) the parts of Hanako that resonate with me are her cynicism and bitterness. However it has to be balanced with her outer personality too - she isn't so much putting on a front as a shy book lover as she's just suppressing those other parts of her self.
By the beginning of the story, her bitterness has already started to fade, but it still bubbles up now and then. OriginalSisterhood!Hanako is in a similar position, but even further along in her recovery due to having experienced "Adulthood" (ha), so the bitterness should be less present there anyway.
This was actually one of the challenges I was faced with when writing Sisterhood's expansion. Hanako's bitterness and cynicism are well-known aspects of her personality and in the initial version of Sisterhood, her lashing out at Miss Yumi and Lilly were moments where this part of her came to the forefront. What made Hanako fairly sympathetic was the fact that, in light of her childhood memories, that bitterness was justified. But stuff happened in the meantime.

Adulthood took place and Hanako learned that Hisao genuinely liked her and wanted a relationship with her. In the initial version of Sisterhood, she pushed both Hisao and Lilly away, only for Hisao to initiate a candid talk meant to save the relationship. In addition, Lilly also initiated a candid talk to salvage their friendship and then went the extra mile by confiding in her, accepting her support and even describing her to her mother as a sister in all but blood. The Hanako who emerged from those events, which was the Hanako I had to work with, was a very different Hanako from the way she was when Hisao first came to Yamaku; she was still shy and self-concious, but much, much less cynical. After these events, I found that I couldn't really put a lot of emphasis on her more bitter aspects anymore without stretching suspension of disbelief, so I toned that aspect of her down and decided instead to focus on making her try and figure out what she wanted to do with her life and who she wanted to make part of it.

Obviously, if Hanako's cynicism was what made Hanako Hanako for you, I could see how the characterisation would eventually start to lack something. But for the sake of character development that was meant to stick, it would have been weird if my characterisation of Hanako resembled, say, Trivun's.
Sisterhood: True Edition. Hanako epilogue I wrote. Now expanded with additional chapters.

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Comment from the Chair

Post by brythain » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:29 pm

I love this discussion as much as I loved having Leaty around last month. We're seeing nuts-and-bolts, comparisons, learning points... wonderful!

I'll just throw in a little question here:
What short Hanako fiction do you like most, or has made the greatest impact (good or bad) on you—and why?
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.
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Update: Aug/Sep—Hanako)

Post by Skeeve » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:11 am

dewelar wrote:I do have to wonder how this story would stand if we'd never seen Original Flavor Sisterhood.
Guest Poster wrote:The expanded edition WAS judged as just another normal fanfic rather than something that was missing from people's life before.
Being remarkably fresh-faced to Katawa Shoujo fandom (I only played the game a week ago), this was kind of how I looked at Sisterhood when I read it; I wasn't done with Yamaku yet, and it felt like there was the most story left to tell for Hanako, so that's where I started. It definitely filled that void, but I've only had the opportunity to read the 'true edition' so I can't exactly compare it to its previous incarnation.

Hanako's progression to a less bitter self certainly seemed appropriate to me. I can't say that I find her as compelling as others do, but then I can only take bitterness and cynicism in small doses. Also, canon-wise I almost feel like she got a better ending in Lilly's route than she did in her own. So I appreciated Sisterhood for that sake, how it came up and basically elaborated what I'd already been thinking; no, it's going to take more than just confessing to Hisao to make Hanako satisfied with her life, no matter how great Hisao may or may not be.

As for the sex scenes in it, I'm of two minds about them, so I feel I have to comment. It's not that they were tasteless or crass or anything like that; they were handled in a classy manner, and there was at least a little character development in each one, so it's not like they were superfluous or anything, but... I feel like if they had been replaced with fades-to-black, it wouldn't have changed the work much. Of course, I kind of feel the same way about most of the sex scenes in the game itself, so take that with a grain of salt.
dewelar wrote:On a completely unrelated and probably unnecessary note, does anyone have any idea why the view count on Developments might have suddenly gone haywire? It's increased by something like 10K views in the last day or two.
Well, I read it in about five sittings, so only 9,995 views to account for. ^^

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Re: Comment from the Chair

Post by Leaty » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:04 pm

brythain wrote:I love this discussion as much as I loved having Leaty around last month. We're seeing nuts-and-bolts, comparisons, learning points... wonderful!

I'll just throw in a little question here:
What short Hanako fiction do you like most, or has made the greatest impact (good or bad) on you—and why?
A little late on this one, but I'm particularly fond of Blank's two Shizune/Hanako pieces--"Missteps and Mistakes" and "Game Night".

I like these pieces not just because I think Shizune and Hanako would ultimately be better for each other than Misha or Lilly are--I kind of do, and it's a shame that's explored so rarely, but that's not the point--I like them because they paint a picture of a Hanako that's had some time to conquer her shit, and mostly on her own. Original flavor Hanako is fine, but I think the reason I've kind of turned on her as an author is because too much of her normal characterization eventually becomes really draining and unpleasant to read. In fact, one of the reasons I enjoy her scenes in my own writing is because I get to play with a much different power dynamic than she's usually seen in, which kind of changes the timbre of her arc.

In a similar vein, I love to shit on That Guy's Hanako Epilogue because it spirals into really bad glurge pretty quickly, but the first chapter or so is a lot of fun--I like the idea of Hanako helping people (well, I guess that's probably obvious), and she seems particularly robust in her chosen profession in that story, though I still think she's better as a creative thinker (as in Reconcilation) than a counselor.

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Re: Comment from the Chair

Post by Blank Mage » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:55 pm

Leaty wrote:I'm particularly fond of Blank's two Shizune/Hanako pieces--"Missteps and Mistakes" and "Game Night".
This is the first time I've been mentioned in the Book Club and by Leaty and oh my god, what is this feeling

I still kinda dislike 'Game Night', if I'm being honest. It's a little too heavy-handed, even for Shizune, but then again, I just wanted a reason to put Hanako in a role playing game.

For my part, I was always a fan of Dewelar's Developments version, which needs no link at this point, I'm sure. Dev!Hanako has a wonderfully grounded sense to her, and a range of emotion that perfectly captures both her fears and insecurities and her drive to move past them at the same time. Although I didn't always agree with her actions or thoughts, I always understood her reasoning behind them. As I think GP has stated, Sisterhood's draw was more in the plot than the characters, and while his characters were certainly on-point, they never quite garnished as much sympathy from me as Dewelar managed.
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