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* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** Kenji: While on the surface he looks like a StrawMisogynist HeManWomanHater, there is a fairly good case for his being ArmoredClosetGay and hiding behind his hatred of women and belief in conspiracies involving them to avoid acknowledging that he's attracted to men. More than a few RealLife ArmoredClosetGay men have ostensibly had such views. It helps that [[WhatCouldHaveBeen he was originally supposed to be the game's]] GayOption.
** Another one for Kenji: is he the ConspiracyTheorist simply as a joke or a facade for his homosexuality, or is he a true believer in his hateful theories about women, which would imply either [[TheSchizophreniaConspiracy paranoid schizophrenia]] or [[DrugsAreBad the use of certain paranoia-inducing drugs]]?
** [[http://shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com/post/list/yandere/1 Fan art]] frequently casts Hanako as a {{Yandere}}.
** Hanako as a StringyHairedGhostGirl. Occasionally [[http://shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com/post/view/1289 parodied]] in [[http://shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com/post/view/1267 fanart.]]
** Non-canon art casts Akira as being in TheMafia or the {{Yakuza}}. It helps that she appears to be a BadassInANiceSuit. Perhaps as a FandomNod, Lilly's route involves Kenji's suspicion that she has ties to the The Mafia.
** On a more serious note, was Iwanako's ceasing her visits to Hisao six weeks into his hospitalization callous abandonment, maybe she felt guilty about his heart condition and thought he's better off without her, or was it the result of Hisao pushing her away? Hisao's differing degrees of sympathy in each route add to this.
** Rin having [[AmbiguousDisorder autism or a learning disorder]], as well as the precise nature of her mental health issues.
** [[http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=8971 A forum thread]] (specifically everything from the member [=ProfAllister =]) has pointed out Jigoro might actually be a {{Jerk With A Heart Of Gold}} and just dislike Hisao because that he, in his viewpoint, is his daughter's Loser Boyfriend.
*** This has been brought up again in [[http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9880&start=165#p213856 another thread]] on the forums. It's [[{{Fanon}} headcanon]] yes, but it makes a lot of sense once you stop to think about it.
* {{Anvilicious}}: It's a dating sim. And you're a boy with a ''[[StealthPun heart problem]]''!
* AudienceAlienatingPremise: It's a [[DisabledLoveInterest cripple]] [[HGame porn]] VisualNovel ''from [[ImageBoards 4chan]]''! Despite this (or [[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity because of it]]), it has become a GatewaySeries for the VisualNovel genre.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: Has its own page [[AwesomeMusic/KatawaShoujo here]].
* AwesomenessWithdrawal: It ''did'' coin the term "Katawa dick", for not being able to get into things after reading... watching... playing... uh...
* BaseBreaker: Which girl has the best route? Was it worth the wait? Is it even worth playing? The HypeBacklash ''does not help,'' and there are three routes in particular that get this reaction:
** Shizune's route is either a terribly written route lacking in romantic relations with an [[TheScrappy unlikable character]], or a route with a more subdued, SliceOfLife romance justified by the Hisao's and Shizune's characterization and trust in each other. WordOfGod states that many parts of her route, [[spoiler:including what happened to the characters in its Good Ending]], were deliberately left vague so that they would be open to interpretation by the players. Apparently, more than a few players didn't appreciate this.
** Rin's route can be seen as [[TrueArtIsAngsty overly pretentious]], [[StrangledByTheRedString forced]] and {{melodrama}}tic to the point of emotionally manipulating the viewer into feeling guilty for even ''questioning'' anything related to Super Woobie Baby Rin, as well as [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible hard to understand]] due to [[WallOfText Walls of Text]] and PurpleProse. Or as an awe-inspiring piece of literature that reaches huge CharacterDevelopment for both of them, plays the DarkerAndEdgier trope ''right'' and realistically, and can be played easily if you pay a little more attention.
** Lilly's route is a sweet and adorable romance between two persons who are WiseBeyondTheirYears and manage to support and understand each other faster than many teens in love, or a super boring piece of unrealistic and [[TastesLikeDiabetes diabetes-inducing]] {{Glurge}} with a self-righteous PuritySue that belongs more in a Harlequin RomanceNovel than a somewhat realistic VisualNovel.
* BetterThanCanon:
** There is an entire category of fanfiction devoted to building upon Shizune's route in order to make the ''very'' subtle emotional element of their relationship more apparent to readers. ''Shizune's Epilogue'' and ''Fanfic/WeekendAtHisaos'' are the best known examples and are considered by many to be some of the best Katawa Shoujo fanfics out there.
** Shizune's alpha route is often considered superior to the final product, though it has been critized for trying to hard to be a {{tearjerker}} (this is due to the same alpha containing the infamous Hanako arc full of nothing but BadEnd's).
* CrazyAwesome: Kenji, a [[CloudCuckooLander paranoid]], [[HeMAnWomanHater misogynistic]], overly hyper, [[TestosteronePoisoning manly]], loud [[{{Jerkass}} jerk?]] Yeah, this is pretty much the reason he became so popular.
* CrossingTheLineTwice: Averted. Since the original concept was quite possibly intended as edgy satire, one might expect the game to take this form. Instead, it's a reasonably nuanced and respectful take on the subject.
* CultClassic: Odd, off-putting premise? Check. Enthusiastic (if small) fanbase? Check. Ignored or panned by mainstream reviewers? Check. Though it was a better example of this trope before the full version came out.
* DieForOurShip:
** Poor Shizune seems to have suffered the misfortune of being pratically set up of this. First, her route is very much an acquired taste, relying more on intellectual nuance, {{Foreshadowing}} and subtext than the "[[{{catharsis Factor}} feels]]" that are common in other routes. Meaning that [[RewatchBonus you need to play it a few times in order to truly get it]]. (The fact that it is the most linear route, [[spoiler:with only one choice]], doesgn't help matters.) Second, she is a SpiritedCompetitor to a degree that [[BaseBreaker one either finds charming and endearing or obnoxious and annoying]]; she can also can be rather blunt (justified in part because she is deaf-mute). Thirdly she is TheRival to Lilly who is by far one of the most adored characters in the game and whose route is seen as much smoother and sweeter [[spoiler:except for the end, but that one also ends up well]]. Lastly, her best friend Misha is an EnsembleDarkHorse who doesn't have a route of her own [[spoiler:and is, in fact, in unrequited love with Shizune herself - which is what triggers THE single choice in the Shizune route. Not to mention that readers prefer the other stories because they ive them "the feels," and Misha, due to the sad nature of her emotional turmoil, is much more of a woobie than Shizune, causing the readers attention to be directed towards Misha and Shizune to be left in the dust.]]. You'd think people would not be able to pour so much hate at an eighteen year old deaf girl. Interestingly enough, in Lilly's route, Shizune [[spoiler:reconciles with Lilly, and initiates the process]]. And instead of competing with the other girls over Hisao, Shizune, along with Misha, is a ShipperOnDeck in others's routes.
** Lilly also gets some of her share as well. Due in large part to her being so popular that fans of the other girls are starting to resent her a little bit.
* EarWorm: A good portion, if not all, of the music from the soundtrack.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Misha. A common question to the developers was (and ''still'' is) if she'll have her own route. She won't.
** Hideaki. Even before he actually appeared in the game, he sure had a lot of fanart.
** All the extras from Hisao's class that are not cameos, especially Miki.
** Rika and Saki, the girls of the non-existent expansions from the [[http://katawashoujo.blogspot.com/2011/04/announcement-future-plans.html 2011 April's Fool]] post.
** The heroines themselves are more or less the [[EnsembleDarkhorse Ensemble Darkhorses]] of the doujinshi that spawned the idea, considering they were features in an extra in the book.
* EpilepticTrees: Misha's disability (or lack thereof) and the reason for her not having her own route is the source of much WildMassGuessing among fans. [[http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1386 Observe.]]
* FandomRivalry: Has a bit of this with ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend''.
* {{Fan Hater}}s: Every girl, save for Emi, seems to have some:
** Saying that you like Shizune or Rin is a good way to get yourself branded as pretentious and elitist, with Shizune fans also getting the "pleasure" of being called spineless bottoms that get off on being dominated by bitchy women.
** Hanako fans are often accused of wanting a "dream girl" who is totally dependent on them, (which is CompletelyMissingThePoint of her route, [[InsaneTrollLogic but when has that every stopped anyone]].)
** If you are a Lilly fan, than you are a bandwagonner that lets the Internet do his thinking for him, going after the MarySue because she appeals to the LowestCommonDenominator (although this is also missing the point that she is a deconstruction of the MarySue). The Lilly haters are an interesting case in themselves. Polls have shown that Lilly is actually the ''least'' disliked of all characters in the game... But you would definitely not know that if you enter certain discussion threads, where the VocalMinority will shove you out of the thread at even the slightest mention of liking her.
** If you like Misha, expect some smartass CaptainObvious to point that she doesn't have a route.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment:
** In Emi's route, she jokingly questions why Misha would hang out with someone as bossy as Shizune. In Shizune's route, you find out the real reason; [[spoiler:Misha is in love with Shizune, but it is not requited and causes her a great deal of pain]].
** Lilly often teases Akira about her cooking skills. [[spoiler:Later on, it's revealed that Akira had to raise Lilly by herself after their parents left, and believes that she didn't do a very good job. Her inability to cook likely comes off to her as more part of a personal failing than a minor shortcoming]].
* GatewaySeries:
** Naturally, since it is a well-made English language {{Freeware}} VisualNovel. Let's just say that before this, significantly less people were aware that the VisualNovel genre ''existed''.
** About a week after its creation, the reddit group /r/katawashoujo had more readers than /r/visualnovels.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** [[spoiler:Rin's "I've got no arms to hug you with."]]
** The girls you didn't choose's brief appearances on other routes can be this if you've played their routes before, especially when you consider their psychological problems, which are not likely to be addressed.
--> '''Lilly:''' "My, is that you, Hisao? I've not heard from you in some time. I was beginning to think you'd forgotten all about me." (During Emi's route.)
** Kenji says at one point that if he were to kill someone he'd throw them off the roof and make it look like the accident. [[spoiler: The Act 1 Bad Ending goes exactly like this, only with Hisao dying by falling off the roof by accident.]]
* HeartwarmingInHindsight:
** Late in Lilly's route, [[spoiler:as she is preparing to go to Scotland permanently]], she tells Hanako about how they became friends. Lilly says she did not befriend Hanako out of pity, but out of a desire to know more about her, and she considers her a strong person at heart who will be able to take charge of her own life [[spoiler:even after Lilly is gone]]. Lilly's statement becomes even more powerful when you consider that in Hanako's route, Hanako believes that Lilly and Hisao pity her.
** Also on Lilly's route, Hisao openly refers to Shizune as his friend on two occasions, once to Lilly, no less. Once you play Shizune's route and see how desperately she has tried to make friends, you can see that this comment has more weight.
** Meta; we all know about Hanako's problems, and despite that how good a person she is. [[http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/548/279/2f3.jpg Mike Inel (the lead animator) has done this picture of her ''without the burns'']]. You have my permission to wolf-whistle.
* HellIsThatNoise:
** Hisao's loud heartbeats whenever he gets a heart flutter or [[spoiler:the two times]] he gets a full-blown heart attack.
** The sickening crunch in Act 1's BadEnding when [[spoiler:a drunken Hisao falls off the school roof to his death.]]
* HilariousInHindsight:
** In Rin's route, Hisao remarks on [[spoiler:how embarrasing it would be to have a heart attack in the middle of sex.]] In Lilly's route [[spoiler:Hisao ends up having a bit of a fit when taking the lead, and ends up on the floor clutching his heart in pain.]]
** The "Who's there? ... No answer, must be that deaf bitch." meme regarding Lilly's rivalry with Shizune. [[spoiler:Toward the end of her route, there's a scene in which Lilly thanks Misha for retrieving a folder for her, only to realize Shizune did it instead when she gets no response, and the two reconcile]].
** Late in Lilly's route, Hisao stops by the Hakamichi residence [[spoiler:in hope of catching Lilly before she leaves for the airport]], and gets slightly bothered at the gruff, annoyed voice on the other end of the intercom. This serves as a bit of foreshadowing for when we actually get to meet the guy who the voice belongs to in Shizune's route, namely [[JerkAss Jigoro Hakamichi]].
* HoYay: Kenji. See AlternateCharacterInterpretation above. Particularly during the BadEnding with Kenji, where - as he gets closer and closer to Hisao - the love-theme To Become One plays.
* HypeBacklash: Some fans were a bit disappointed that the game didn't live up to their expectations. However, this was probably unavoidable since the game had been continually building up hype for at least five years.
* InternetBackdraft:
** Which is the best path/who is the best girl? Was it worth the wait? Is it even worth playing? Is it a respecful portrayal of disabled people, or badly-disguised "cripple porn"?
** [[BaseBreaker Shizune]]:
*** On a cold night simply just mention the name "Shizune", watch as the militant Shizu-haters declare her to be Worse than Hitler while the equally militant Shizu-brosis declare anyone who didn't like her route to be dull witted simpletons who are too stupid to understand it, and enjoy the s'mores.
*** Bonus points if you mention the earlier version of her route that was included in the prototype version of the game that was leaked in July of 2012. Mentioning the prototype at all is a good way to get a good chunk of the fanbase howling for your blood, due to that fact that the former devs consider the leak to be a very sore subject (to the point where the topic is banned on the official forums.) But it is especially so as far as the subject of Shizune is concerned. And why is there so much wank about it? See the Trivia page.
*** And the latest anti-Shizune topic is... [[spoiler:Did Shizune rape Hisao in their first sex scene? Or are the people who accuse her of rape either ignorant about bondage and boundaries, or adding slutshaming to their "arguments"?]]
** Hanako:
*** Criticizing Hanako can be risky, because trolls often like to pick on her, and regardless of your intentions in posting or reasons for disliking her, people may assume you are one.
*** "So I had a theory on/problem with Hanako's path—OH DEAR LORD!" Bonus flame points if you dare to broach the subject of [[spoiler:whether or not her only H-scene can be considered as dub-con/non-con/straight-up rape. Even though this IS brought up in-story... and not only she says that it wasn't, but her willingness to have sex with Hisao is ''a big point'' in regards to her ending.]]
*** cpl_crud posted a short story on a possible DistantFinale for Hanako's path, called "A Runner's Afternoon", in which the end of the first part implies that Hanako is cheating on her husband. (The truth is: [[spoiler:Hanako was recently divorced from a therapist who had treated her when she was committed to an asylum after suffering a nervous breakdown when Hisao had a second heart attack. OUCH.]]). There were more flames than Hanako's house fire when her fans accused cpl_crud of derailing her into an adulterer.
** And if you tell somebody they shouldn't make fun of a character, watch how quick they accuse you of being a "White Knight".
* ItWasHisSled[=/=]AllThereIsToKnowAboutTheCryingGame:
** From Emi's route: [[spoiler:Anal.]]
** Misha is [[spoiler:lesbian]]. This stopped being a spoiler very soon after release.
* LesYay: Of course, this is a game where the heroines come in pairs, so there's LesYay in pretty much every route you take.
** Lilly and Hanako: Their routes only split in the last choice of Act 1 and even then, in Lilly's ending you spend the festival, and the majority of later acts in both routes, with [[{{OT3}} both of them]]. In Hanako's route, she says she "love(s)" Lilly in the scenes leading to her Good Ending. Lilly gives Hanako a hug in her early birthday party in both girls' routes, and in her own route, [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming tells Hanako that she did not befriend her out of pity, but because of who she is]], culminating in what appears to be a kiss on the forehead.
** [[GenkiGirl Emi]] and [[CloudCuckooLander Rin]]: Emi, without any embarrassment, helps Rin get dressed, and helps her in the bathroom. Can't get much closer than that. In Rin's route, Emi also mentions that they used to sometimes sleep in the same bed. Also, [[spoiler:Rin is amazingly unfazed by walking in on the aftermath of a sex scene with Emi.]] Then again, this ''is'' Rin.
** Misha and Shizune: Given that Misha is also Shizune's sign language interpreter, they are pretty much inseparable. Also, later in Shizune's route, [[spoiler:you find that there is no subtext in this case, albeit in a case of unrequited love. See Schoolgirl Lesbians]].
** Naomi and Natsume: It's right there in their concept picture.
* LoveItOrHateIt: You either love the game to death, as this page and the /vg/ generals support, or absolutely hate it with a passion, like the majority of /v/.
* LoveToHate: Jigoro gets this sometimes, due to his JerkAss nature being seen as over-the-top and comical.
-->'''Jigoro''': Now you are insulting my book and, by extension, my entire life. What gives you the right to do that? Arrogant. I'm trying to think of how I could make you understand my struggle. Maybe by beating you. With my autobiography.
* MarySue: There are certain people on the Internet who feel that one or more of the girls in this game fit in this category. The majority generally disagree with them, and instead argue that all of the girls are reasonably flawed human beings. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment And that is all we will say about that.]]
* MemeticBadass:
** Emi as Horatio Caine.
** Rin is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crippled_Masters Crippled Master!]]
** [[http://shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com/post/view/1632 Akio Mutou.]]
** The manly picnic NonStandardGameOver has ''skyrocketed'' Kenji's popularity over the fandom. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6rhYiCfjoU You thought it was the bad end...but it's only just the begining.]]
** Give Lilly a SwordCane and [[PunnyName you get]] [[{{Zatoichi}} Satou]]-[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zatoichi ichi]]. Lilly is said to be skilled with swords in general, in part because of her Japanese/Scottish heritage. She can wield most any sword, from the lightweight cane sword, to the medium-weight katana to the heavy-weight Scottish Claymore.
* MemeticMolester:
** The nurse. He actually jokes about seducing Hisao in Emi's route.
** Inverted with Yuuko, a Memetic ''Molestee''.
** Played straight with Miki, but Molly often becomes a [[InvertedTrope molestee]].
** Hachisame, a non-canon character [[note]] she is a [[MoeAnthropomorphism moe-ified]] Film/{{Sharktopus}} [[/note]] with tentacle legs.
** Nomiya. Several players thought he was going to molest Rin sooner or later. [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Memetic_Molester_-_Shinichi_Nomiya_Katawa_Shoujo_7573.jpg This screenshot]] shows him [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything with his tounge sticking out of his mouth in what looks like a lecherous grin]], asking, "I wonder if [[{{Lust}} this]] is what every [[DirtyOldMan old geezer]] of an [[TeacherStudentRomance art teacher]] who [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty got his hands on]] a [[YouWouldMakeAGreatModel young and fiery prodigy]] felt like."
* MemeticMutation: Has its own page [[Memes/KatawaShoujo here]].
* {{Moe}}:
** Hanako is probably the best candidate for this, but [[spoiler:her route is a deconstruction of the concept]].
** Emi is a more straightforward example. Even lampshaded in-universe, with Hisao commenting on how her puppy-eyes are a deadly weapon.
* MultipleDemographicAppeal: As a BishoujoGenre {{Eroge}}, Katawa Shoujo is directed towards straight men (and possibly lesbians), but has a lot of straight female fans, as well as readers who were interested to see its take on disability. The release of the full version brought in a lot of fans who wouldn't have normally played an {{eroge}}.
* {{Narm}}:
** [[spoiler:The crayon drawings as Hanako explains her house fire.]] Your mileage '''will''' [[TearJerker vary]].
** Emi has what looks like a "rape face" when she [[spoiler:walks in on Hisao talking to her mother and angrily forces him out of the house]].
** Jigoro's {{Jerk Ass}}ery gets so cranked UpToEleven that you simply ''cannot'' take him seriously. A little more subtlety, please.
** A lot of the OffModel moments can be like this, such as the first CG with Lilly's eyes being [[BodyHorror far too low]], or in Rin's route [[spoiler: in the atelier, with the smoke]] when the eyes are way too big and they both look like 10 year olds.
* NightmareFuel:
** Oh, how sweet! His crush is about to admit her feelings for him! [[spoiler:Then, suddenly, thud-bump. THUD-BUMP.]]
** Hisao's [[spoiler:heart flutters]] in general. Good lord.
** The final CG in [[spoiler:Hanako's Bad Ending]], which isn't scary so much from the details as it is from the fact that [[ShockingSwerve it COMES OUT OF NOWHERE.]]
* PeripheryDemographic: This is yet another example of an {{eroge}} managing to attract a surprisingly large female fanbase. There is also a good portion of the fandom that is under the age of 18... technically making them too young to legally download the game in many jurisdictions.
* RewatchBonus:
** Shizune's route, in spades. Many aspects of it won't make sense unless you see all of the {{Foreshadowing}} or read it a second time. Part of the reason why it's such a BaseBreaker.
** Just look at the FridgeBrilliance section of the [[Fridge/KatawaShoujo Fridge]] page. All the routes have this to some degree.
* TheScrappy: Jigoro, for those who don't LoveToHate him. Some have stated that his presence made Shizune's route hard to digest and share Hisao's desire to punch him. To a lesser extent, there's Nomiya, [[spoiler: who completely disregards Rin's feelings and health during the entirety of her route, thinking of nothing other than her potential in an art career. When she has a breakdown at her exhibition and returns home, all Nomiya thinks of is the missed opportunity to make contacts, and makes his feelings very clear to her during the next time they meet]].
* ShipToShipCombat: Pretty much comes with territory. While Lilly and Hanako have the largest camps, every girl has a strong following. Shizune fans in particular can be downright militant in their support, largely as a result of having to constantly battle the {{Hatedom}} the character has developed since release due to the BaseBreaker nature of her route, [[DieForOurShip and her rivalry with the much adored Lilly.]] This is somewhat interesting, considering [[spoiler:In Lilly's route, she and Shizune reconcile]].
* ToughActToFollow: Any of the routes if you do the one for your favorite character first can be this.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: The more subtle, subtext oriented style of writing in Shizune's route tends to go over many people's heads. [[RewatchBonus At least on the first playthough anyway.]]
* SugarWiki/VisualEffectsOfAwesome: Many of the [=CGs=] are downright ''beautiful'', and they're all the work of one artist, [[http://mikeinel.deviantart.com/ Mike Inel.]] Additionally, he made a different fully animated sequence for each of the five routes. '''''[[DoingItForTheArt For]] {{Freeware}}!'''''
* WhatTheHellPlayer:
** Both of Hanako's bad endings could be interpreted as a silent (but extremely poignant) blaming finger raised towards players with WhiteKnight tendencies. That is to say, the vast majority of players who chose the Hanako route... Basically, they say [[spoiler:"so you want to make yourself feel manlier and stronger by being the boyfriend of a weak, fragile girl you could care for and tend to, who'll depend on you for everything and be all sweet and meek and shy and bashful? Here, have your dream relationship."]]
** [[spoiler:Shizune's bad ending basically spits in the face of everyone who still wanted to pursue Misha after getting on Shizune's route. "Sure, go ahead, cheat on your girlfriend with her best friend. [[SarcasmMode That won't cause any problems at all]].]]
* WheelchairWoobie: [[spoiler:Emi in Act 3.]]
* TheWoobie:
** Hanako. [[spoiler:But the concept is ultimately deconstructed in her route.]]
** Surprisingly, to many people, [[spoiler:Rin]] manages to fit this even MORE than Hanako. To be fair, everyone, even the main character, has a woobie moment at one point in their routes.
** [[spoiler:Misha]] in Shizune's route.
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