Shizune's path

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blahtoolazytologin

Re: Shizune's path

Post by blahtoolazytologin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:53 pm

Finally finished it.

Impressions...I thought it was a quality route, although it wasn't really what I expected or really even wanted. Shizune ended up not having much of any development, while Misha and Hisao were the ones who went through the most change. The Hisao/Shizoon romance appeared to mostly be an accessory to the main friendship+student council-related stuff too, which I'm having a hard time deciding what I feel about it. The only reason why the sex scenes are even justifiable for me is because I would have absolutely no idea how their relationship was progressing without them. Really, I think their relationship could be loosely summed up as "friends with benefits", from how much time it gets to be developed in the narrative and the vague ending.

So I guess my final verdict is: mildly unsatisfied, just because I thought there'd be more of a focus on romance.

Getchman
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Getchman » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:21 pm

Just finished the bad end after the good end. 11 hours total game time for the good end and i regret nothing. Its not what I expected it to be but im fine with that. I agree with HeMeido a few posts back that Shizune is not a conflicted character and its a good thing that she stayed herself for the entire route. I enjoyed my first play thorough. Now off to Lilly's route

konufis
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by konufis » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:22 pm

i just start this path... 2 hour later... i start yelling in my room and bashing my head on the wall

WHY!!!!!!! Why did you mad Misha cut her hair T_T
Dum Spiro Spero

Andere
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Andere » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:03 pm

I'd argue that this is largely the point. Shizune is not a conflicted character. She's dealt with her disability years ago and she's (mostly) fine with the way things are for her. Of all the girls, she's the one that's most normal and has the fewest issues.

Hisao's heart condition is irrelevant because Shizune shows him that it's irrelevant.
Shizune doesn't need to tell Hisao that she loves him. She straps him to a chair and fucks him.
They don't need to go out on dates because they're together during Student Council work and Shizune's satisfied with that.

If KS had been written like a more traditional VN, Shizune's route would have been about breaking her personality and turning her into a demure girl with masochistic tendencies. I don't particularly dislike that route, but I've played it a lot. Akiha, Rin, Tsugumi, Chizuru, Meiya, Mizuha, Aoba, Fione, Kazuha, Chris, another Chris, Angela, Seika, Saori, a bunch of others I can't remember off the top of my head...

I like that Shizune is Shizune and stays Shizune throughout the whole route. It's something new and it makes me appreciate her because of who she is, not because I "fixed" her.
I don't care whether or not characters develop during a story, not as such. But stories cannot progress if there is nothing to write about! There needs to be something driving the story. That's fundamentally what a conflict is. Stories always progress towards the accomplishment of a goal, whether that goal is stated or unstated, and a conflict serves to create a goal, to underline an existing one, and to add a sense of urgency to the procedings. Stories without conflicts are stories without goals, and that means stories with bad conflicts don't progress towards anything. This makes them bad stories.

So Shizune is static. Okay, let's write around that. She's deaf, that's a source of potential conflict. Let's have Hisao genuinely struggle with sign language instead of being a complete natural, like he is here. Maybe he's bad at it. Maybe Shizune is dismissive of the fact he's bad at it, and mistakes his lack of aptitude for an unwillingness to really try hard. That's a potentially interesting character conflict, let's go with that. Maybe Hisao really doesn't want to learn for some reason, and he needs to come to terms with why. Maybe Misha is teaching him in this storyline and she's sabotaging him, consciously or unconsciously, and this needs to be discovered, aired out, and solved. Maybe the school just doesn't have good resources for learning sign language, as the existing story already hints at here and there. It'd be best to pull a little from categories A, B, and C together and weave them into one. None of these require Shizune to change or develop, because she's right: If he's genuinely trying, then he should be learning faster than he is. When the problem is resolved, he does, and he's able to really talk to Shizune for the first time. Okay, great! We've got Act 2.

Shizune is static. Okay, let's write around that. She gets on poorly with both her family. That's a source of potential conflict. And frankly, Shizune really isn't at fault for the situation; she's deaf, she can't help that, and her family isn't even trying to adjust or involve her. Okay, maybe some situation that comes up and escalates the low-level conflict there into a full-blown dramatic conflict. So when they go home, this problem needs to be solved. Akira is already on their side. Hideaki is convinced, and there's a sibling bonding moment. The three family members, combined with Misha and Hisao, start to mend the bridges between Shizune and Lilly; maybe the two of them develop some means of communicating that doesn't depend on other people, despite the nature of their impairments. Then they convince her father, and whatever the original family problem was that ignited Act 3 is solved. They're not there yet, but they're on the way to being a real family. Great, that's Act 3.

Now, we need an Act 4 topic. Because it's the final act, we need something that ties everything together. Ideally, it should be an "oooooooh" moment, where, when it's pointed out, you realize how this theme and this conflict has really tied the story together all this time. Shizune is deaf. How can we tie that into a theme? Well, looking at the Act 2 and 3 outlines above, you'll notice a common theme in both: Communication. Appropriate choice for a deaf-mute, I think. Shizune's a static character, and her big problem is communication. We'll strive to not develop or change her at all while still working in this theme. Now, how do we do this?

Hisao! He's our protagonist; let's have him do all of the character development. All of this time, he's been struggling to communicate with people, and he's gradually grown closer to Shizune and Misha. Now he's closer to Lilly, thanks to the events of Act 3. He starts hanging out with Lilly and Hanako now and then. Gradually, Hisao becomes torn; on one hand, he really likes Shizune. On the other hand, talking to Lilly and Hanako is fun, and due to some event involving them and maybe Akira and Hideaki, he's coming to understand that he actually really likes talking to other people. Not to accomplish anything, but socializing for the sake of socializing. He becomes involved with a larger and larger group of people. This is something that Shizune doesn't understand, and she's kind of domineering. This eventually causes a rift to form, because he isn't devoting all of his time and effort to Student Council business, not like she wants, and she doesn't understand what he's doing or why.

Hisao's task in our new Act 4, then, is to find a way to make Shizune understand his point of view. He loves her, and he doesn't want her to change; but at the same time, he's happier than he's ever been. How does he get this across to her, on top of his still-unspoken romantic feelings? The climax of the story now is getting Shizune to admit fault and apologize. For the first time in our new story outline, she was genuinely wrong, and thanks to Hisao's character development, she comes to respect his point of view, although she doesn't really understand it. Work a confession and sex scenes in here somewhere, ending CGs, roll credits.

Okay, my Act 4 outline is kind of awful as written, though the "Shizune is wrong for once, and is able to admit it" conclusion is punchy. Misha should be involved more in these Acts, too. And I'm honestly not a fan of Shizune not ever really being wrong otherwise, which a lack of development basically necessitates... But you get the idea. As presented, this outline is constantly driven by conflict after conflict, and all of them are unified under the banner of one greater conflict that in turn drives the entire story: Shizune has problems communicating with people. The entire story involves addressing this, bit by bit, and at the end, Shizune is communicating better with the people in her life and Hisao is in a place where he wants to and is able to assist her. And she hasn't really changed a whit.

(Look at Emi's route; it's an excellent example of this kind of overarching structure. Act 1 establishes the dramatis personae, Act 2 gets Hisao involved and makes him care, Act 3 introduces the central drama by means of many smaller conflicts, and Act 4 resolves it. I posted in more detail in that discussion thread, should be interested in details.)

Now, a lot of these elements are in the route as-is. But the story fundamentally lacks tension and drive and a strong sense of dramatic cohesion. Nothing drives the story, and as such it simply rolls slowly downhill, plodding towards a conclusion. It is, to put it in a word, boring. To put it in two and a conjunction, it is aimless and boring. That has nothing to do with character development and everything to do with conflict.

Sickhawk

Re: Shizune's path

Post by Sickhawk » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:30 pm

Andere wrote:
I'd argue that this is largely the point. Shizune is not a conflicted character. She's dealt with her disability years ago and she's (mostly) fine with the way things are for her. Of all the girls, she's the one that's most normal and has the fewest issues.

Hisao's heart condition is irrelevant because Shizune shows him that it's irrelevant.
Shizune doesn't need to tell Hisao that she loves him. She straps him to a chair and fucks him.
They don't need to go out on dates because they're together during Student Council work and Shizune's satisfied with that.

If KS had been written like a more traditional VN, Shizune's route would have been about breaking her personality and turning her into a demure girl with masochistic tendencies. I don't particularly dislike that route, but I've played it a lot. Akiha, Rin, Tsugumi, Chizuru, Meiya, Mizuha, Aoba, Fione, Kazuha, Chris, another Chris, Angela, Seika, Saori, a bunch of others I can't remember off the top of my head...

I like that Shizune is Shizune and stays Shizune throughout the whole route. It's something new and it makes me appreciate her because of who she is, not because I "fixed" her.
I don't care whether or not characters develop during a story, not as such. But stories cannot progress if there is nothing to write about! There needs to be something driving the story. That's fundamentally what a conflict is. Stories always progress towards the accomplishment of a goal, whether that goal is stated or unstated, and a conflict serves to create a goal, to underline an existing one, and to add a sense of urgency to the procedings. Stories without conflicts are stories without goals, and that means stories with bad conflicts don't progress towards anything. This makes them bad stories.

So Shizune is static. Okay, let's write around that. She's deaf, that's a source of potential conflict. Let's have Hisao genuinely struggle with sign language instead of being a complete natural, like he is here. Maybe he's bad at it. Maybe Shizune is dismissive of the fact he's bad at it, and mistakes his lack of aptitude for an unwillingness to really try hard. That's a potentially interesting character conflict, let's go with that. Maybe Hisao really doesn't want to learn for some reason, and he needs to come to terms with why. Maybe Misha is teaching him in this storyline and she's sabotaging him, consciously or unconsciously, and this needs to be discovered, aired out, and solved. Maybe the school just doesn't have good resources for learning sign language, as the existing story already hints at here and there. It'd be best to pull a little from categories A, B, and C together and weave them into one. None of these require Shizune to change or develop, because she's right: If he's genuinely trying, then he should be learning faster than he is. When the problem is resolved, he does, and he's able to really talk to Shizune for the first time. Okay, great! We've got Act 2.

Shizune is static. Okay, let's write around that. She gets on poorly with both her family. That's a source of potential conflict. And frankly, Shizune really isn't at fault for the situation; she's deaf, she can't help that, and her family isn't even trying to adjust or involve her. Okay, maybe some situation that comes up and escalates the low-level conflict there into a full-blown dramatic conflict. So when they go home, this problem needs to be solved. Akira is already on their side. Hideaki is convinced, and there's a sibling bonding moment. The three family members, combined with Misha and Hisao, start to mend the bridges between Shizune and Lilly; maybe the two of them develop some means of communicating that doesn't depend on other people, despite the nature of their impairments. Then they convince her father, and whatever the original family problem was that ignited Act 3 is solved. They're not there yet, but they're on the way to being a real family. Great, that's Act 3.

Now, we need an Act 4 topic. Because it's the final act, we need something that ties everything together. Ideally, it should be an "oooooooh" moment, where, when it's pointed out, you realize how this theme and this conflict has really tied the story together all this time. Shizune is deaf. How can we tie that into a theme? Well, looking at the Act 2 and 3 outlines above, you'll notice a common theme in both: Communication. Appropriate choice for a deaf-mute, I think. Shizune's a static character, and her big problem is communication. We'll strive to not develop or change her at all while still working in this theme. Now, how do we do this?

Hisao! He's our protagonist; let's have him do all of the character development. All of this time, he's been struggling to communicate with people, and he's gradually grown closer to Shizune and Misha. Now he's closer to Lilly, thanks to the events of Act 3. He starts hanging out with Lilly and Hanako now and then. Gradually, Hisao becomes torn; on one hand, he really likes Shizune. On the other hand, talking to Lilly and Hanako is fun, and due to some event involving them and maybe Akira and Hideaki, he's coming to understand that he actually really likes talking to other people. Not to accomplish anything, but socializing for the sake of socializing. He becomes involved with a larger and larger group of people. This is something that Shizune doesn't understand, and she's kind of domineering. This eventually causes a rift to form, because he isn't devoting all of his time and effort to Student Council business, not like she wants, and she doesn't understand what he's doing or why.

Hisao's task in our new Act 4, then, is to find a way to make Shizune understand his point of view. He loves her, and he doesn't want her to change; but at the same time, he's happier than he's ever been. How does he get this across to her, on top of his still-unspoken romantic feelings? The climax of the story now is getting Shizune to admit fault and apologize. For the first time in our new story outline, she was genuinely wrong, and thanks to Hisao's character development, she comes to respect his point of view, although she doesn't really understand it. Work a confession and sex scenes in here somewhere, ending CGs, roll credits.

Okay, my Act 4 outline is kind of awful as written, though the "Shizune is wrong for once, and is able to admit it" conclusion is punchy. Misha should be involved more in these Acts, too. And I'm honestly not a fan of Shizune not ever really being wrong otherwise, which a lack of development basically necessitates... But you get the idea. As presented, this outline is constantly driven by conflict after conflict, and all of them are unified under the banner of one greater conflict that in turn drives the entire story: Shizune has problems communicating with people. The entire story involves addressing this, bit by bit, and at the end, Shizune is communicating better with the people in her life and Hisao is in a place where he wants to and is able to assist her. And she hasn't really changed a whit.

(Look at Emi's route; it's an excellent example of this kind of overarching structure. Act 1 establishes the dramatis personae, Act 2 gets Hisao involved and makes him care, Act 3 introduces the central drama by means of many smaller conflicts, and Act 4 resolves it. I posted in more detail in that discussion thread, should be interested in details.)

Now, a lot of these elements are in the route as-is. But the story fundamentally lacks tension and drive and a strong sense of dramatic cohesion. Nothing drives the story, and as such it simply rolls slowly downhill, plodding towards a conclusion. It is, to put it in a word, boring. To put it in two and a conjunction, it is aimless and boring. That has nothing to do with character development and everything to do with conflict.
^ Yes.

... to be serious (If we're being honest with criticism here, that is), I'd have to agree with most of the things this guy has said. I lack the qualifications to comment on this from a technical standpoint, so this is something of a personal one - after having one of the strongest, most fleshed out Act 1 / demo paths I found her full arc to be pretty disappointing. There were a myriad of issues: two of the most glaring ones that come to mind were a lack of development or even acknowledgement of the relationship between the pair, and the quantity of meandering / dead-end story arcs.

I guess the conflict between Misha and Shizune was somewhat interesting though. And the "Oh, shit!" moments were definitely "Oh, Shit!" moments.

But cutting Misha's hair?
Unacceptable.
RAAAAAARGH DAMN YOU KS DEVS HOW COULD YOU DO THIS YOU FUCKING MURDERERS

Arcassa
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Arcassa » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:47 pm

Jumping on the UNFORGIVABLE bandwagon

Yo-yo
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Yo-yo » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:01 pm

I don't know, I enjoyed Shizune's path for the most part. It wasn't what I was expecting, sure, but I still enjoyed it in the end. My only real problem with it was the lack of romantic interaction between Hisao and Shizune. If it wasn't for the two sex scenes, you wouldn't even realize that they were supposed to be in a relationship. That may have been intentional, though. Who said that each path had to have a tear-inducing, romantic ending like Lilly's or Hanako's? While this is the "Shizune path," that doesn't mean the focus has to be the feelings between Hisao and her. Maybe they had all of their lovey-dovey moments during the time skips, or maybe Shizune's just not the kind of person to create moments like that. I would have liked to see their relationship expanded upon, but overall, I still enjoyed reading about the problems between Shizune and Misha, and how Hisao runs around trying to help fix them. I felt like that was enough to be the basic conflict of the path, with lots of little mini-conflicts coming from that before everything is finally fixed between them.

Maybe that's why Shizune's path is less "romantic" than the others. Shizune and Misha probably have the closest relationship shown in the entire game, probably even closer than the relationship between Lilly and Hanako. In order to focus on Shizune and Hisao, you would have to focus a lot less on Misha, which wouldn't make a lot of sense given how close she is to both of them.

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Magil
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Magil » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:27 pm

I'll be honest, I didn't have much of a problem with most of Shizune's route. It was nice to have a story from one of these kinds of VNs without TOO much drama (well, since I turned Misha down, and gosh darn it in any other context I would not have but I saw the big flashy warning signs above that choice, I'll save it for later). I always think that VNs of this type try to put a lot of "forced" drama into their plot to make them meatier, but I think for most people (even disabled students), everyday life doesn't have that much drama.

A few minor points I would like to make, however:

1. I do agree that there should have been more, ya'know, romance, between Shizune and Hisao. At the end of Act 2 we get Shizune agreeing to be Hisao's girlfriend, and then... well, nothing. No dates, no kissing aside from the sex scenes (you guys really don't have to have sex every time you kiss, you know...), no hand-holding, no peacefully sitting on the root next to each other... could've seen some more indication that the two actually HAD a relationship there, guys!
2. The ending was quite abrupt. I know some people like more open endings, and I'm not one of them. I like my closure. A nice post-credits-X-year(s)-later epilogue would have been nice.
3. Oddly, very few of the scenes in the library opened up for me during the path--and in fact, none of the "act" completion images appeared on the title screen for me after I completed the Shizune path once. It turns out that since I did the split Emi/Shizune lunch decision in act 1, I didn't get to open up a lot of the content? Is that a bug? I didn't even unlock the cinematic in the "cinema" section of the extras until I did the other act 1 path (which involved Shizune and Misha barging into Hisao's room). This seems off, considering I talked to a friend who only went through the path once and unlocked everything. So I had to crtl-through the whole route again after making different act 1 decisions to get everything in the library unlocked (barring a small selection of scenes in act 3 and 4 that I assume are related to the bad end).

That last one threw me for a loop. Overall, though, I still think I liked the route, and Shizune was always my favorite of the girls we could choose (Misha's my favorite overall, but obviously you can't choose her, and honestly I am hesitant to do Shizune's "bad end" because I like Misha and I have a feeling that trying to make her happy is going to screw everything up big time).

Edit: Also, my first words when I saw Misha's haircut were EVERYTHING IS RUINED FOREVER. So throw me on that bandwagon too.
Edit2: I haven't completed any of the other routes yet, but I suppose it's time to choose which is next! Shizune was the one I was looking forward to the most, and while I can't say I was disappointed, I was left wanting a little more. Oh wells!

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toast
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by toast » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:06 pm

I felt like a22 lurked some threads on 4chan and then put in every ridiculous thing he saw. Maybe it's just cause I did Rin's route first, but compared to it the drama and resolution was lacking.
<!Aura-> I did a line of powdered fig dust mixed with high grade blow from the ass of a supermodel wearing a Misha kigurumi at the party yesterday

<buckingham> it is not my fault you all have awful fucking taste

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by KevinKun » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:13 pm

All I wanted was a straight-forward ending saying that Hisao and Shizune we're going to be together forever. That's all I wanted. I wanted him to say that he would follower her as she acts the leader. For their romance to continue after school. No some kind of ambiguous ending in which nothing at all changes and the "I Love You" is ignored completely.

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by HeMeido » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:37 pm

Honestly, I don't mind boring sometimes. Shizune's route subverted my expectations, which is entertaining in its own way, and it feels like one of those things that gets better when you reread it. At its worst, I still put Shizune's route above Family Project. It's certainly nowhere near as bad as the December 2008 Princess Waltz Rage Epidemic. An ambiguous ending is unsatisfying (and I'm used to those anyway), but at least it's harmless and easy to salvage.

Getchman
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Getchman » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:53 pm

HeMeido wrote:Honestly, I don't mind boring sometimes. Shizune's route subverted my expectations, which is entertaining in its own way, and it feels like one of those things that gets better when you reread it. At its worst, I still put Shizune's route above Family Project. It's certainly nowhere near as bad as the December 2008 Princess Waltz Rage Epidemic. An ambiguous ending is unsatisfying (and I'm used to those anyway), but at least it's harmless and easy to salvage.
was the raging about the ending? i thought Princess Waltz was a really good game

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Re: Shizune's path

Post by Palas » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:15 pm

My words on the only thing I could possibly care about in Shizune's path: Misha.

On Misha's H-scene: seriously. The look on her face is the most heartbreaking bit in the whole game. Seriously, it made me quit the game for the day out of... guilt? It felt just that awkward. It doesn't even look like Misha, you know. The different looks help in this and I kind of thank the devs in this matter, actually. I would crumble if I saw the Misha I can recognize in that situation.
While we are here discussing, Hanako is somewhere hopping from dark to darker tiles. Alone.

HeMeido
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by HeMeido » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:34 pm

Getchman wrote:
HeMeido wrote:Honestly, I don't mind boring sometimes. Shizune's route subverted my expectations, which is entertaining in its own way, and it feels like one of those things that gets better when you reread it. At its worst, I still put Shizune's route above Family Project. It's certainly nowhere near as bad as the December 2008 Princess Waltz Rage Epidemic. An ambiguous ending is unsatisfying (and I'm used to those anyway), but at least it's harmless and easy to salvage.
was the raging about the ending? i thought Princess Waltz was a really good game
A lot of people didn't like the enforced Chris end. The part in Lun Lun's sex scene where Arata tells her that she'll only ever be #2 in his heart makes it so much worse...

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encrypted12345
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Re: Shizune's path

Post by encrypted12345 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:48 pm

Palas wrote:My words on the only thing I could possibly care about in Shizune's path: Misha.

On Misha's H-scene: seriously. The look on her face is the most heartbreaking bit in the whole game. Seriously, it made me quit the game for the day out of... guilt? It felt just that awkward. It doesn't even look like Misha, you know. The different looks help in this and I kind of thank the devs in this matter, actually. I would crumble if I saw the Misha I can recognize in that situation.
Thank God she cut her hair.

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