The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

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Dream
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by Dream » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:09 pm

Xanatos wrote:
MegaMoto wrote:All the people we meet in KS can function perfectly fine and can handle themselves.
Yes, the runner who literally runs from all problems and cannot commit to a partner handles herself fine? The trauma case who goes into paralyzing panic attacks just from mention of her birthday functions perfectly fine? The girls whose ears and eyes don't function, one of whom has a severe interpersonal barrier as a result?

Your friend is right. Going to lengths to act as if it's not there is as much patronizing bullshit as constantly going out of your way to help them as if they're broken.


@Oddball: ...Not in any way that matters, but yes. Add in the trauma she's loaded with as well as the resulting interpersonal issues and then it becomes significant. To claim no difference in the girls is either patronizing or delusional.
I think this post is the perfect reply and conclusion to the disability argument that so often (and at least for me, baffingly) pops up when the discussion on KS's main theme comes into light.

On topic: For me, the core of KS never had to do with disabilities or seeing people as people or whatever... It had to do about the value of life. A young man who lived a rather unremarkable life suddenly gets told he has a heart condition, and after losing the previous life or place in the world he had, he has to find a way for himself and figure out what his life means to him amidst all the fear and uncertainty. KS was never about a romance either, but just in deeply knowing a particular person and how both you and her affect each other and what your actions mean and what they make you.
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YZQ
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by YZQ » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:14 pm

Or, as the saying goes, "When life throws you lemons, make lemonade, and sell it."
"Nothing is beneath man. Everything is permitted."

"...since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved. However, it is important above all to avoid being hated."

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CFC Kyle
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by CFC Kyle » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:05 am

YZQ wrote:Or, as the saying goes, "When life throws you lemons, make lemonade, and sell it."
When life gives you lemons, make lemon flavoured lube.
I just love these quotes. Got a problem with that?!
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russianspy1234
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by russianspy1234 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:02 am

YZQ wrote:Or, as the saying goes, "When life throws you lemons, make lemonade, and sell it."
yeah but you better hope life also gave you sugar and water, otherwise thats gonna be some nasty lemonade.
Xanatos wrote:
MegaMoto wrote:Besides Lilly's problem those were emotional problems. Non-disabled people have those and other kinds of problems to.
Emotional problems directly caused by and inextricably linked to their physical disabilities. :roll: To say nothing of the nerve damage Hanako likely has or Emi's phantom pains...

And being deaf isn't an emotional problem. It's a physical problem that creates a communication barrier for anyone too impatient to learn sign or write notes (most people nowadays, going by mere observation).

There are many differences, some significant, some not. Just claiming there are none is foolish and lying to yourself. But whatever the differences and their severity, they are still human. And that is the meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Everyone is different, in small and big ways, but everyone is still a person.
are they though? i can see emi easily being the same exact character if the car accident HADNT made her lose her legs.
shizune is just a bitch who refuses to accommodate people (yeah yeah sorry to the shizunebros) and her deafness is just one more thing she refuses to accommodate for people.

lily has some trust issues, but nothing in my mind that is tied to her being blind

rin has obvious other issues (that may or may not be considered a separate disability) that have nothing at all to do with her lack of arms

hanako is the only one i can see that is actually tied to her disability in a significant way, and even then thats mostly because all her "friends" started making fun of her that it made her shut down socially. like emi though, there probably would be much difference if her mother had managed to shield her completely and she hadnt been badly burned

in the end, they are just well written characters and the only reason they have disabilities is because of the omake that inspired it. sure, it serves as a pretty good plot motor at times, but they are just people. disabled people are just people.

Nightfish
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by Nightfish » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:20 pm

I recently asked something similar in the Ask! Thread. Here's Aura's answer, copied and pasted:
Aura wrote:
Nightfish wrote:Question:
Reflecting on the impact this game has had on me, I've been wondering how much of it was intentional. It seems fairly obvious that one of the main things you can take away from this is to stop and think about how you view and treat people with disabilities. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and assume this is intentional :3

But with all the other things I took away from it, and probably a lot of things other people took away from it that I didn't notice / think about, I'm wondering if that was planned. Did you guys sit down and make a list of things you wanted to get across and then wove the stories around it? Just to name a few, I used to be kinda biased against visual novels. I had the impression that they were usually poorly written smut and usually didn't portray women in a respectful way, to say the least. Well, let's just say KS took that old yeller of a prejudice out behind the barn and shoot him good and dead. I also noticed that there is a huge thread full of people that Emi has inspired to get in shape. And so forth...
No. We didn't want KS to have a message to sell; even the general sentiment "disabled people are normal people" isn't at all emphasized, and wasn't during the development. I guess it's arguable that since we treated the subject matter of disabilities in a more or less mature and respectful way, KS does send that message, but it was a necessary and natural thing for us to do instead of an intentional message we wanted to send. Writing with a capital M Message in mind tends to result in undesirable effects at the very least, and poor quality writing at worst (and most often). We preferred to write around our chosen themes, portraying them usually morally neutrally rather than trying to cram something down the audience's throats.

I want to think that if we really had sat down and made a list of messages we wanted to send, they wouldn't be basic, mundane stuff like "exercise" or "treat other people properly".

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Xanatos
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by Xanatos » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:18 pm

I think the Message they tried to send is "Here's a thing. Play/read it."
<KeiichiO>: "I wonder what Misha's WAHAHA's sound like with a cock stuffed down her throat..."
<Ascension>: "I laughed, cried, vomited in my mouth a little, and even had time for marshmallows afterwards. Well played, Xanatos. Well played."
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by mysterycycle » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:16 pm

The thing I took away from KS is largely summed up by the quote in my sig. Everyone's got damage, everyone's broken in some way. Some have more obvious damage than others (and some absolutely have more damage than others), but what are you going to do about it? Give up and shut everyone out, or live?
You are not alone, and you are not strange. You are you, and everyone has damage. Be the better person.
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Scyl
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by Scyl » Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:34 pm

yummines wrote:"Less physically able" is just politically correct BS. The fact is, they are disabled because they were dealt a shit hand in life. You can't deny your past.

The whole point of Katawa Shoujo is that they overcome their disabilities, to show that no matter your situation humans are still humans. They still can love, and be loved. Everyone has their day to day struggle, ups and downs, times you wish you were somewhere else... You can't just ignore a problem and hope it just goes away. The fact that the girls do what they do even with their disabilities, such as Rin painting and Emi running, is a testament to their human nature.

In a nutshell, it's just to explain that all people are different, but in the end they're still people. So don't treat anyone like they are more or less of a person.
I agree with this, everyone is different, disable or not, so even if they are disabled, they still think like those who aren't. Even in Hanako's case, if her friends start laughing at her for other reasons, she would still end up in the same situation, mentally. So while they might be different on the surface, with special needs, deep down they all think in the same way that we would.
In another word, their disabilities doesn't define who they are. It's harder for a shy person to talk to people, it's the same as its harder for a blind person to navigate a room. I didn't meant same as in identical, I meant everyone have different things that limits them, some more noticeable then others, but in the end, deep down, they are no more different than how everyone is different in this world.

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Pascalla
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by Pascalla » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:29 am

Instead of quoting it, I'm going to nod at Nightfish's post/quote and say that I learned something that I wasn't aware of.

The story takes place at a school for disabled persons, but the focus is not actually on the disabled part of the disabled persons.
You can't really make a physical trait define you, and so you can't make a physical trait describe a character either.
You can describe one of your characters as, "Alfred Hiroshima- An Black-Japanese guy," but that really says nothing about the actual character.
Of course...I've seen a couple of people attempt to characterize people simply as, "the black guy" and somehow people know what they're talking about.
Is there some sort of given black guy personality? Is it just based on stereotypes? I know when people see me, they expect me to act like a "sassy black woman" and scream at them or...something, but I didn't think that black men had an expected personality also.
Or I guess I do... but there is more than one...? I don't think I'd like to accept those?


Anyway, the characters might be described as "the blonde Amazon" or "the short girl without legs", but that really gives nothing about the characters themselves.
I think the approach the developers took on not having the characters defined by their appearances was great! It ought to be a standard but now that I look around, I'm starting to see a lot of characters that are characterized by what they do or what they look like. The princess, is described as having a "princess-y personality". The warrior is always messing with his sword or something. The cat girl is always doing cat stuff. They're all flat.
So not only did the approach to not focusing on the characters' traits give off the effect that they weren't what the characters were all about, but the characters were able to receive more depth.
The "blonde Amazon" and the "short girl without legs" have feelings. Or at least through the VN you were convinced that they had feelings. The characters were characters that one could possibly attach to as opposed to Alfred Hiroshima who...oh gee, I don't know...has an afro in one scene.

I think, though it may not have been intentional, a good thought to walk away from Katawa Shoujo with is that you are not defined by what you look like, but defined by what you do. And the things you do or go through shape your character. That's not to say that the way you look/your traits will never serve as a hindrance or never cause things to happen, but they are not accountable for your entire character.
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by Oddball » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:06 am

yummines wrote:"Less physically able" is just politically correct BS. The fact is, they are disabled because they were dealt a shit hand in life. You can't deny your past.
My dad was called something like that once (he's missing a leg). He corrected the person and let them know he wasn't physically less able. He was "fucking crippled."

Keep in mind, my dad isn't bitter about his condition and gets around just fine. He just doesn't have any tolerance for any of that politically correct crap.
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Xanatos
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by Xanatos » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:13 pm

Oddball wrote:
yummines wrote:"Less physically able" is just politically correct BS. The fact is, they are disabled because they were dealt a shit hand in life. You can't deny your past.
My dad was called something like that once (he's missing a leg). He corrected the person and let them know he wasn't physically less able. He was "fucking crippled."

Keep in mind, my dad isn't bitter about his condition and gets around just fine. He just doesn't have any tolerance for any of that politically correct crap.
Sounds like a guy I'd enjoy having a drink with. :lol: I can't stand that fluffed-up PC bullshit.
<KeiichiO>: "I wonder what Misha's WAHAHA's sound like with a cock stuffed down her throat..."
<Ascension>: "I laughed, cried, vomited in my mouth a little, and even had time for marshmallows afterwards. Well played, Xanatos. Well played."
<KeiichiO>: "That's a beautiful response to chocolate."

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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by KeiichiO » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:30 pm

"Katawa Shoujo" means "Disabled Girl" in Japanese.

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I'm sorry. I had to...

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Xanatos
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by Xanatos » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:39 pm

KeiichiO wrote:"Katawa Shoujo" means "Disabled Girl" in Japanese.
I'm sorry. I had to...
"Cripple" is closer.
<KeiichiO>: "I wonder what Misha's WAHAHA's sound like with a cock stuffed down her throat..."
<Ascension>: "I laughed, cried, vomited in my mouth a little, and even had time for marshmallows afterwards. Well played, Xanatos. Well played."
<KeiichiO>: "That's a beautiful response to chocolate."

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MegaMoto
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by MegaMoto » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:07 pm

In hindsight this was a stupid topic to make. Everyone can interpret something differently.

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Xanatos
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Re: The meaning of Katawa Shoujo.

Post by Xanatos » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:26 pm

MegaMoto wrote:In hindsight this was a stupid topic to make. Everyone can interpret something differently.
Isn't that the point?
<KeiichiO>: "I wonder what Misha's WAHAHA's sound like with a cock stuffed down her throat..."
<Ascension>: "I laughed, cried, vomited in my mouth a little, and even had time for marshmallows afterwards. Well played, Xanatos. Well played."
<KeiichiO>: "That's a beautiful response to chocolate."

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