Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

WORDS WORDS WORDS
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Leaty
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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by Leaty » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:05 pm

I'm really, really bad at reading script format. In order to enjoy the fic, this is what I wound up doing, and it took me way, way too long:

Image

I converted the text into rich text, changed the font to Playtime, performed a bunch of extensive find-and-replace functions to convert the character markers into fully-written, color-coded names, and methodically deleted every quotation mark that didn't denote literal dialogue. Oh, and since Microsoft Word was wigging out at the UK-style spellings and the various errors, I went ahead and fixed those as I went along, too. It took less time than I make it sound, but it was a lot less fun than I would have liked. Yes, I am an ludicrously obsessive and particular person, but I just had to have it that way. When one of the devs writes a Katawa Shoujo route, I need it to read like a Katawa Shoujo route, and raw Ren'Py-style scripts are pretty much anathema to me.

EDIT: I've been given permission by Suriko to upload my edited version of the files, in case anyone else would prefer to read the fic that way. They're .docx files, so they will probably look best in Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. You'll need the Playtime With Hot Toddies font, both the normal and 3D versions, for it to look the way it does in my demonstration image. I'm not sure what font it will display as if you don't have them installed—Tahoma, maybe.

The text color is "Automatic," so if you want black-on-white text instead of white-on-black text, just switch the document background color to white and the text will change along with it.

The Word version of the files is a .rar, so you'll have to unzip it, obviously.

Summer's Clover Reformatted.rar
(832.66 KiB) Downloaded 972 times
So, anyway, as I've mentioned probably way too many times on this forum, I'm a really, really big fan of Suriko's "deuterocanon" characters, so this fic was right up my alley—there are a lot of them in this fic, and pretty much all of them were interesting. Even the characters that played a very minor role, like Junko in Suzu's route, were compelling. But I think what makes this story really work for me is the fact that it's not written from Hisao's perspective—the "I just emerged naked from a cloning vat" nature of Hisao's personality is and always has been the thing I enjoyed least about the VN. It's an extremely enjoyable departure from convention, and I think writing from the perspective of a character with a past and baggage that was actually pivotal to the plot allowed Suriko's writing to shine in a lot of ways that may have been suppressed with Lilly's route.

I'm naturally predisposed to enjoy the Suzu route—enough that Hisao/Tsubasa may now be my Ship of Choice—but I think the narration was superior in Hisao's route, particularly the scenes that took place during Summer Break. The description of the setting was sublime. I felt like I could picture everything perfectly, and the exploration of Miki's past, painful as it was, had something of a soothing quality as well. It was genuinely a pleasure to read about Hisao and Miki traipsing through the wilderness; the setting was gorgeous in my mind and it was interesting to see Hisao slowly adapt to Miki's particular brand of assertiveness. Also, I thought Miki's relationship with her father was really kind of soulful and sweet. I feel kind of bad that they don't get to reconnect in Suzu's route.

I definitely think that Hisao's route kind of peters out as soon as they return to Yamaku, though. On one hand, after reading the other branch it was kind of a relief, retroactively, that Miki and Yukio's weird aggressive friendship didn't implode there, though the implications are kind of unsettling anyway—Yukio is still going to confess to Suzu, probably, and get turned down, and who even knows what'll happen from there? Also, there's the question of when, if ever, Suzu's going to come out to her family or get a girlfriend. Knowing how introverted she is, it just might never happen now.

On the other side, though, I almost think it's a good thing that Yukio becomes so alienated in the Suzu branch, because... while he definitely seems like a complicated guy, he also seems like a very fucked-up, very entitled, very dangerous guy. Like, it's hard not to get the impression that someday he's really going to hurt a girl. He just kind of comes off as a potential abuser, which makes it feel really awkward that he sounds so oracular at the end of the Hisao route. It's weird to see his character fork so dramatically.

The endings to both branches are, I admit, pretty underwhelming—the plot thread of Miki and Suzu being mutually inept at their studies just kind of gets dropped and the question of how they're going to make a life for themselves, especially when the Suzukis hate Miki, is left hanging. Even in Hisao's route, where he decides that at any cost he's going to drag Miki into college with him, there's that question of what the hell is Miki going to do? She hasn't established any meaningful interests by the end. I guess she could become a gym teacher or something.

Ultimately I really liked the "official"(official) characterizations of Suzu and Miki, though. I've always hated how, in the various attempts at pseudo-routes for both characters, they're played out to be pretty much exactly what the reader expects them to be. I feel like the portrayal of both characters in this story subverted my expectations in much the same way as the characters in the VN did. Miki presents herself as laid-back, but she's actually got a lot of pent-up aggression and anger. Suzu seems standoffish, but she's girly, meek, frustrated and lonely. There's a serious, compelling depth to both girls and I wish these iterations of the characters could be explored further.
Last edited by Leaty on Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Craftyatom
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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by Craftyatom » Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:48 am

Alright, let me see if I can describe this in the correct amount of detail.

Imagine that you and your friend are American football fans, and you take your football out to a nearby field every weekend to throw around. You're both working on power and precision, seeing how far and how accurately you can throw a football. One weekend, while just tossing the ball back and forth like usual, a limo pulls up. Out of the limo steps Joe Montana, American Football Star, possibly the best football-thrower there has ever been. And then, from the driver's seat of the limo, the risen corpse of Babe Ruth follows after him. The two of them walk over to the same field that you and your friend are standing on, mouths agape as you watch two of the greatest sports stars of all time begin tossing a football around.

That is what I felt like the day this story released. My idol, my personal favorite writer, had just walked onto the same field I was screwing around on. There stood a man doing exactly what I was doing, but a billion times better. The fact that the playing field had not split in two and raised these magnificent gentlemen to a level far above me, where they rightly belonged, was a shock itself. Needless to say, I had to go lie down for a bit. It then took me a good few months to actually get around to reading the story, and honestly, I'd be surprised if the woman sitting next to me on that flight still thought I was sane by the end of it, I was so excited and smiley.

If you ever want to walk among the stars, look up - half the time, there's one right there.
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Leaty
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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by Leaty » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:27 pm

I've received multiple requests for me to upload my edited version of the fic for the benefit of others.

I now have permission to upload it here, so if anybody wants to download it, please refer to my earlier post at the top of this page. Feel free to PM me if the files don't work for whatever reason.

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Blasphemy
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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by Blasphemy » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:39 pm

Damn that's so much more pleasant, kinda wish I didn't read it yet :/

Either way, great job and thanks.

YOTC
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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by YOTC » Fri May 15, 2015 8:28 am

It is pretty damn fantastic. Good job. Suriko, I didn't post when this came out but god damn if it wasn't inspirational to see you put this up. And massive thanks to Leaty for changing the format on it. Sad I already read it... twice.

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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by Dreams of Priapia » Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:11 am

Hope this doesn't count as too bad of an act of necromancy, but I just finished the Miki-Suzu path and must say that I was completely blown away even more than I expected from Suriko. I've got to grant my little praise and review here to get it out.

Whilst there were a few unpolished parts here or there, a few scenes that felt like they were missing and places that could have been expanded, what was there was simply stellar. In fact, I would go so far as to say this is in full contention for being my favorite route including the one's in the actual game. Part of this stems from the amazing development done on Miki's part, and her very believable and non-frustrating decision making process. She's very easy to follow, and there wasn't many moments that I thought she was going protagonist-dumbo like many visual novel heroes often forcibly suffer. And even if she did, it all felt very natural, hell yeah she'd beat someone up! The only complaints that I would actually have would be that it felt like it could have benefited from even more! The backstory explored behind Miki is incredibly captivating, especially when you as the reader don't even know precisely what she did for the bulk of the narrative. As a character, I found that she became even more relatable than Hisao ever was, and felt that her personal problems were immense given that she just sort of accepts that they are there and doesn't seem to change much. It was all very self-reflective towards my own kind of behavior, that apathy towards the future, which is part of what made this story so hard-hitting for me. At this, I would have to agree with those that believe there could have been more closure, given that I felt that Miki's true issues go beyond what was resolved with Suzu in the end, and I would have loved to see that. As Suzu points out in their final conversation, Miki has become someone who is intensely caring and who finds purpose in being there when she is needed by others. We see this first-hand when she literally thinks about everyone but herself throughout, helping Hisao, helping Suzu, making sure her unfortunate beating subject was okay... I would have loved to see these story threads pulled into a proper bow, as I can definitely see where I believe Miki would eventually find her mark working as a counselor of some sorts. It's the same role she fulfilled in Hanako's route in the full game, the guiding voice that while blunt and unwieldy, is there nonetheless with meaning and determination. She doesn't need to be smart to have a future, she just needs to have a reason to care. There were some great moments between Suzu and Miki, though I feel a little bit of exposition in regards to their friendship and later their couple dynamic was a little thin, if only in the sense that it felt like I was missing out on seeing some good parts. Also... I didn't hate Hisao! (I mean... I still haven't done his path yet, so I'm sure I'll at least hate him a little then...) But man, in Suzu's route he was such a bro. Everybody was such a bro, fricken Shizune... Oh, the bro-time was strong... I went in expecting a nice Katawa Shoujo story, and came out with an appropriate excess swimming pool of feels and feels accessories. <--- Should have seen that coming.

There are many places this project could have gone wrong, and plenty of chance that it could have felt conceited and merely made for the sake of attempting to expand upon Miki's small appearance in the game. But it didn't for me, rather, it flourished into an alternate route that was impactful and really held its own against the precedent of the finished game. There was some stuff missing, a few gaps to be filled, but what is there... I ****ing loved it.

Also, massive props to Leaty for formatting it. And additional bonus cookies to Suriko for putting in that Kenji cameo.

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Oddball
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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by Oddball » Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:41 am

Hope this doesn't count as too bad of an act of necromancy
As long as you have something to say, we're really don't care whether a topic is old or not.
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YOTC
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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by YOTC » Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:00 am

Yeah, honestly this one should be stickied considering who wrote it...

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Valjean Lafitte
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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by Valjean Lafitte » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:09 pm

YOTC wrote:Yeah, honestly this one should be stickied considering who wrote it...
Agreed.
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cdmitch6
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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by cdmitch6 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 4:28 am

That made my heart happy

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Venom_Snake
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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by Venom_Snake » Fri May 20, 2016 3:36 pm

You know, Miki is the only girl who sucked Hisao's penis in the whole Katawa Shoujo (I know its kinda late cause I thought Katawa Shoujo was complete)

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sloth4
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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by sloth4 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:27 pm

I really enjoyed this. Miki and Suzu make such a cute couple.

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ArcCain
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Re: Summer's Clover (Miki Path)

Post by ArcCain » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:06 am

Shit... It's been five years and I hardly felt it. Felt like I read this yeasterday.
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