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The most over rated game about milking peoples symphaties
Right on the moment I played the game, I have fallen in love with it. I was having so much fun reading until when I realized that such enjoyment was just a false facade of the boredom that lies within

Most positive reviews highlights the majesty of the story and the colorful characters. But lets be honest here. How many of you have said that it was original?

The most famous characters in the VN are Lily and Hanako so they were my automatic target to finish.

Lily Satou, the Hime Sama of the VN. Hailed by all as the manifestation of feminine artifice. But why do people deny the fact that she was just another archtype out of the many others which was done before and done better?.

Heck, even her story was frustrating as fuck! All she did was to just have fun till her parents called and ended their relationship, without any objection against her parents. Seriously? Dont you realize the difference between a Yamato Nadeshiko and an Extreme Dormat? Make it worse, her ending was just a poor copy of Liar Liar and some other movie that I forgot the title.

Next Character would be....

Hanako Ikezawa, the idol of the "Broken Hearts Club". I admit, her shyness was adorable. But if all you did all throughout your screen time was to kept on weeping and sitting around the corner, then you got a problem little miss. All that Hanako did was to scream "Oh no, my parents died! Time to cry and wait for prince charming". Can please we stop blaming the death of parents already?

Her whole story was just a single ride where she just cant accept her parents death then Hisao nailed her. The End. Romantic isnt it?

I like her bad ending though, as it showed her desperation to prove her strenght. Too bad, its a bad end. I have no intention of playing the other arcs, because if this 2 famous girls cannot impress me, then theres no point for more.

The only explanation for the massive fanbase was their imaginary symphaty for the characters disabilities. The game tricks the player into relating themselves with how the characters get to live their life like normal, despite their defects. But once you removed that, all you will uncover is a predictable story and bland characters
"Hanako Ikezawa, the idol of the "Broken Hearts Club". I admit, her shyness was adorable. But if all you did all throughout your screen time was to kept on weeping and sitting around the corner, then you got a problem little miss. All that Hanako did was to scream "Oh no, my parents died! Time to cry and wait for prince charming". Can please we stop blaming the death of parents already?"

That is probably the most callous paragraph I've ever read on this site
comment #18839 TomWithNoNumbers 10th Apr 13
Sorry that sounds too hars on it's own. But trauma is a thing and those are genuine affects of it. Telling someone to suck it up and take control of their life sounds like it's helpful advice, but it's really not and it doesn't understand the chemical/mental problems the person is facing. In fact control is a limited resource and it's exactly that which people suffering from stress, depression and so on lose the quickest. They don't want to act like they do 'waiting for a prince charming' but they are trapped by their illness from taking those steps to helping themselves.

And because it's a very real issue, that stops it from being the trite 'blame it on the parents' because being trapped in a fire and your parents dying is something that happens and that does cause trauma. When it doesn't work in media it's because the film/book/game wasn't really willing to deal with the issue of trauma but want something easy and forgettable that can justify their characters personality faults/evilness for maximum sympathy in a short span of time. Katawa Shoujo wasn't taking those shorcuts.

In fact the 'lack of character arc' is a sign of it's integrity and willingness to tackle the problem head on. Hanako does change, she gains someones trust and by the end she takes a fairly bold step in being open with someone. But it doesn't seem huge because the game isn't wishing the magical happily ever after wand and is instead saying that these problems don't go away over night. They get better, but slowly. If Hanako had had a more traditional character arc with much more rapid and easy change then you would have probably been justified on calling out the parents thing as an excuse.


But I'm not defending Lilly. You got it pretty much spot on there (but I hadn't realised Lilly was one of the popular ones, Hanako, Rin and Emi were the names I'd heard being mentioned). Lilly is just as soppy and silly as you say and the ending is jarring, even the good one where the relationship doesn't end
comment #18840 TomWithNoNumbers 10th Apr 13
Eh, I wouldn't exactly say that Lily was an Extreme Doormat. It's a life with her parents and sister against her friends. It's understandable that she'd choose family (most of all her sister) first, even if they did leave them there alone. Also, she is not doormatish in her relationship with Hisau. At all.

Also, "'Oh no, my parents died! Time to cry and wait for prince charming'" is just blatantly untrue. Hanako has serious social anxiety issues and tries to grow as a person.
comment #18841 kay4today 10th Apr 13
@Tom With No Numbers No, my point is that, Hanako's overall story was just her crying in a corner. The writers relied waaaay too much on her backstory that Hanako's character remained stagnant. Hell, she only started talking casually on the final arc.

kay4today Meh, anyone who follows authority without question is an Extreme Doormat
comment #18881 Carolinae 14th Apr 13
But that's how it would work and what they're trying to convey. It's a really long arduous process just to get to that stage. If she'd started talking casually to people in the middle of the story they'd be telling a story about Hollywood trauma
comment #18882 TomWithNoNumbers 14th Apr 13
@Carolinae

Just because Lily made a decision you didn't like, doesn't mean she is an Extreme Doormat. Living with her parents and sister vs best friend and boyfriend is not an easy decision to make, and I don't think calling her a doormat for choosing either is even remotely appropriate.
comment #18883 kay4today 14th Apr 13
I must disagree on your representation of Hanako. The thing she hates most is that people might patronize her out of pity or that she'll let herself be taken care of like a useless, empty person. If this doesn't come across, perhaps that can be blamed on subtlety of delivery, but I do not think it fair to characterize Hanako as simply waiting for a man to bring her out of her shell. That's not her goal in life at all.
comment #18893 Muphrid 14th Apr 13
@Tom With No Numbers Exactly the reason why I complained that Hanako's character was flat. Everything was just about her past but never about who she is and what is her goals. Which could have been a good concept for a novel but not for a VN.

@kay4today Its not about what her choice was, its about how she blindly followed orders. You saw how Lily erupted her anger when Kenji accidentaly tripped her, but have you seen her express that anger to her parents? Admit it, Lily is an Extreme Doormat

@Muphrid You statement was proven on her bad end. But contradicted on her good end. Her bad end showed Hanako's awareness of her problems and of how she wanted to face it. But her good end revealed otherwise that she prefer to run away from it but expect help from others. For example Remember how Hisao raped Hanako. Who said later that: "Ive always wanted this to happen" (not exact lines) Thats a proof that she has always been lusting after that prince charming.

But yeah, her story could have been better with a better delivery
comment #18898 Carolinae 15th Apr 13
@Carolinae

Except Lily did not "erupt in anger" when Kenji accidentally tripped her. Play that part again. Holding your anger or sadness back =/= Extreme Doormat. And we never saw Lily talk to her parents anyway, so your argument falls even more flat. I'm starting to think you don't know the meaning of Extreme Doormat.
comment #18899 kay4today 15th Apr 13
Who she is is a person coping with extreme events in her life and the only people close to her view her as a sympathy case and she's trying to open and become more confident in wider life.

I'm confused why it would be suitable for a novel and not a visual novel. Are visual novels only allowed to cover a certain depth? This deep and no deeper? The aspect of visual novel that I saw being played in was the white knighting theme which absolutely revolved around the concept of being a visual novel and putting the reader in the unique position of choosing her path.

Besides she's changing through the whole story. She goes from running away in the library to spending the festival with Hisao in act one alone
comment #18900 TomWithNoNumbers 15th Apr 13
"For example Remember how Hisao raped Hanako. Who said later that: 'Ive always wanted this to happen' (not exact lines) Thats a proof that she has always been lusting after that prince charming."

She emphasizes that she wants to be seen as a person and not an object of pity—yes, even in the good end. She believes Hisao would not be intimate with someone he considers too much of a needy child whom he should care for. Going along with Hisao's advances is a deliberate choice to try to break the distance between them—distance that is maintained because Hisao has in the past treated her like a thing made of glass.

Hanako doesn't want other people to fix her problems, but she does want meaningful interactions with people that make her feel less like an object of pity and more like an equal.
comment #18901 Muphrid 15th Apr 13
""For example Remember how Hisao raped Hanako. Who said later that: 'Ive always wanted this to happen' (not exact lines) Thats a proof that she has always been lusting after that prince charming." "

I guess this might clear things up? Because it's missing what the whole story of Hanako was designed to convey. That was a horrible thing that she didn't want to happen but made happen because she thought it was the only way she might get the people close to her to treat her like a proper person. That's the key moment the whole story turns around and where the anti-white-knighting message that the writer wanted to put in comes from
comment #18904 TomWithNoNumbers 15th Apr 13
... Hisao didn't rape Hanako. That's the most stupid thing I've ever heard.
comment #18908 kay4today 15th Apr 13
I wouldn't say stupidest thing ever heard, you're meant to be thinking along similar lines even though it's not actually what happened. He ended up accidentally having sex with a person who didn't actually want to have sex with him
comment #18911 TomWithNoNumbers 15th Apr 13
Err... no. She did want to have sex with him. Right before Hisao put his thing into Hanako, she asks if he's okay. Hisao answers that he just wanted to make sure he's ready. She nods.

That is not rape.
comment #18912 kay4today 16th Apr 13
She's having sex because she feels there's no other way to preserve a relationship she holds dear to her. Otherwise she would not being having sex, and she didn't feel good about the process happening. It's not rape, but it's like rape because Hisao is having sex with a person who wishes he wasn't having sex with her.

It's very deliberate and it's meant to be making people think along those lines because it causes a huge negative shock which puts you in the right place to see Hanako's lashing out moment. It's why things were so weird afterwards and why they were both hugely regretful that it took place
comment #18913 TomWithNoNumbers 16th Apr 13
I'm aware of the circumstances, but she gave Hisao the impression that she wanted to do it on purpose. Therefore, it is not rape. And saying Hisao raped Hanako is egregiously stupid.
comment #18914 kay4today 16th Apr 13
I'm not saying 'For example Remember how Hisao raped Hanako. Who said later that: 'Ive always wanted this to happen' (not exact lines) Thats a proof that she has always been lusting after that prince charming.' isn't a ridiculously absurd thing to say, only beaten by the lack of compassion in 'But if all you did all throughout your screen time was to kept on weeping and sitting around the corner, then you got a problem little miss.' (which has the benefit of being funny as well. Because yeah, she has a problem. That's the point)

But I think the second half of the sentence is sillier than the first even if the first half isn't true.
comment #18915 TomWithNoNumbers 16th Apr 13
Actually the thing about proof and lusting over prince charming is worse than saying 'you got a problem' because someone just put themselves through a situation that was pretty painful and scary for very difficult but obviously thought out reasons and it not only dismisses the situation but gets it completely wrong. And sounds way too similar to 'but she liked it really' :(
comment #18916 TomWithNoNumbers 16th Apr 13
My point is that the usage of the word "rape" is simply wrong, and I'd suggest for him to play that part of the game again.
comment #18917 kay4today 16th Apr 13
@Tom With No Numbers True, Hanako's shyness was granted a change in the game, but nothing else. We do not know what Hanako dreams to be, her goals in life, her views of the world. Nothing but just her tears for her dead family

The concept of "Getting out of the Shell" is a good concept for a novel. But not for a VN because V Ns are well...sim dates. There are some VN that managed to balance the backstory of the character and the attitudes of the character itself but not this game.

@kay4today The Extreme Doormat lacks drive, ambition, and even opinions. Weve seen Lily said her ambition to be a teacher, and she confessed that after being abandoned for 7 years, she no longer knows how to act to her parents. T Hen when they came out of nowhere just to end their relationship, did she even stood up for her opinions?

Just admit it, Lily is an Extreme Doormat

@Muphrid You do realize that Hanako showed no signs of desire for Hisao, right? Submitting to the advances that you do not want was never a sign of strength. What Hanako did was to just forgive that person and change her opinion. Afterall, that guy is a prince charming

Her good ending sucks
comment #18921 Carolinae 16th Apr 13
Wait, I never posted a link, so why does my post have two?
comment #18922 Carolinae 16th Apr 13
I guess you must've slipped on a capital letter. If you have multiple capital letters it will interpret it as a link and TV Trope it. For eXaMple if you want to link to Katawa Shoujo you just write katawashoujo with no spaces and properly capitalised. Katawa Shoujo. It's really annoying when you're talking about MM Os

As for your comment. All thats saying to me is KS is better than normal visual novels. I said in my review that people should stop being constrained by genres and just do something that's good and works well and to me this would be an excellent example of that.

Also in this particular incidence, if they did something standard or normal, so a standard Getting Out Of The Shell (I'm hoping there's a page) then it becomes a little disrespectful. Everyone was worried the whole 'disability girl' thing was going to be exploitative and if they'd done a standard date sim, just with disabled people, it would have been a bit. The difference between Hanako and a normal getting out of the shell plot is 1) it's a lot slower and more realistic. 2) It ties into her disability and is investigating how hard it can be to cope with traumatic events and 3) The ending isn't particularly happy and doesn't involve her being 'better'

Also, can I say thanks for being so polite in the latest response, I really didn't deserve such a well-mannered reply
comment #18923 TomWithNoNumbers 16th Apr 13
Hmm I wonder why example didn't link? Maybe you have to start with a capital letter. Exa Mple
comment #18924 TomWithNoNumbers 16th Apr 13
"The Extreme Doormat lacks drive, ambition, and even opinions. Weve seen Lily said her ambition to be a teacher, and she confessed that after being abandoned for 7 years, she no longer knows how to act to her parents. T Hen when they came out of nowhere just to end their relationship, did she even stood up for her opinions? Just admit it, Lily is an Extreme Doormat"

As you've said, she has the ambition and drive to be a teacher. The whole reason why she argued with Shizune in the first place was because she didn't want to be an Extreme Doormat and she has no problems with chewing Hisao out for his treatment of Hanako. We never see her talking with her parents, and after her visit to Scotland in her route, she doesn't seem to hold that much resentment for them.

So yes, Lilly is not an Extreme Doormat. She just doesn't fit the necessary criteria. And your "admit it already" is silly and obnoxious. I dare you to ask the Katawa Shoujo thread in the Visual Novel subforum. They'll tell you you're wrong as well.
comment #18925 kay4today 16th Apr 13
"You do realize that Hanako showed no signs of desire for Hisao, right? Submitting to the advances that you do not want was never a sign of strength. What Hanako did was to just forgive that person and change her opinion. Afterall, that guy is a prince charming"

I think you're overstating Hanako's reluctance here. Let's break things down.

First, Hanako reveals her scars to Hisao. This is all part of her efforts to build up more back and forth between them. She's willing to do it because Hisao confided in her something about himself. In my opinion, she would've been very unwilling to show him her scars otherwise; such an act done unilaterally would be exactly the kind of wanton cry for attention that she doesn't wish to make.

Hisao's attention isn't on Hanako's scars but her body in general and the emotional significance of what Hanako has done. Overcome in that moment, he kisses her and begins to undress. Hanako looks down rather than watch him and flinches as she hears the clothes falling to the floor. Hisao realizes that something's amiss and says her name, and she gives a nod, permitting him to continue. Hisao invites her to sit in front of him, and he touches her. She lets out a sound of surprise, and Hisao apologizes for startling her, but again, she dismisses his worry with a shake of the head, and he continues.

Let's fastforward to their confrontation in the park. It would be easy to look at Hanako's initial explanation:

"I thought... you might eventually go away if I was only someone you needed to protect. I thought that if I let you do that... you might see me as someone more than that."

...and then conclude that she was unwilling all along, end of story. Again, I do not think the picture is so clear. When Hisao reacts in disgust due to the implications (for what his actions mean), Hanako responds,

"I knew... you couldn't look at me that way... [...] All I ever was to you was... a useless person. Just someone... to protect. Someone like... a child. I—I wanted to be more to you than that, but after so long... I... got used to it. After I came out of my room... I saw that you had started drifting away. I felt like I was going to lose you, because... you wanted somebody you could have... that kind of relationship with."

Hanako had been attracted to Hisao for some time, and she believed that physical intimacy would help fulfill Hisao's needs in a relationship. She wanted to fulfill those needs; therefore, when the opportunity came, despite her discomfort, she went along with it. This is nothing so appalling as a victim's retroactive forgiveness for her rapist. I interpret her words as saying she had made the choice to accept Hisao's advances well before she invited him to her dorm room. Nevertheless, she does react very anxiously to it, and that is a weakness of the interpretation. Still, Hanako's awareness of Hisao's physical desires is important. In my reading, it means she anticipated the situation that came to pass and had already chosen how she would respond.

I can't say I agree with her thinking—she overcompensated, in a way, giving way too much ground in deference to him, and it feels like that's a failure of the writing. The writers wanted a sex scene and decided it should be awkward sex, and the ultimate trajectory of the scene feels too constrained by that idea. Maybe it's because we all know they're going to have sex, and so there's just no surprise in how the scene unfolds.

So overall, let me address your assessment. Does Hanako show signs of desire for Hisao? In that sex scene, not a whole lot, no. The body can be aroused even though the mind is unwilling, so we can't even take into account her bodily reactions to Hisao's stimuli. She allows him to go on unopposed, but that's all; there certainly isn't a lot of enthusiasm for it. Is Hanako weak for submitting like this? Yes and no. She put Hisao's desires above her own discomfort, but at the same time, I feel she believed she had to choose between one or the other, and she let her feelings for him strengthen her to go through something she was otherwise uncomfortable with. I disagree with her choice, but I do not think it is a weak choice. She decided, quite deliberately, to go after what she wanted, however flawed the course of action that resulted from that choice. In Hanako's mind, there was nothing to forgive. She allowed it from the beginning. She never felt victimized, rightly or wrongly.

Honestly, I think you've taken preconceived notions of who the characters are and chosen to ignore what doesn't fit with those notions. Reread Hanako's dialogue with Hisao here in the good end. She has been an intensely negative and pessimistic person, and in no way has she been waiting for Prince Charming to come and make it all better. She does not want that person. She does not believe such a person exists, and even if he does, he would only be like the others—pretending she mattered only for appeareance's sake. And even when Hisao gave her the hope to think otherwise, she tried dearly to stamp out that hope, lest it all be false. But she couldn't force herself to do that.
comment #18932 Muphrid 16th Apr 13
Sweet! I just didnt sign in for a day and more responses (I am busy). Oh well, better get started.
comment #18953 Carolinae 18th Apr 13
@Tom With No Numbers

I can see that you no longer wanted to argue and just said that KS has done a good job in the sensitivity of the characters. And I agree in that, but unfortunately, its the only thing good in the game. (As I said so in the last paragraph)

@kay4today You do realize that Lily standing up against her friends is not the same as standing up against her parents, right? The Extreme Doormat is a blind follower, he is able to live his life the way he wants to, unless the master intervene. Anyone who cannot stand up to her superiors is an Extreme Doormat.

I am not interested in spilling a problem, because its not worth it. Denial can only get you so far, my friend.

@Muphrid Thats a one long post. But i dont think its actually necessary. You only contradicted yourself and showed awareness of it, and instead, you just gave excuses and said and it feels like that's a failure of the writing

Its all just a simple picture that needs no explaination nor dissection. Hanako fell in love with Hisao, Hisao raped Hanako, Hanako forgave Hisao. End of story.

Hisao is Hanako's prince charming as to how she fell in love with him despite the fact that Hisao literally did nothing but sit there and wait out Hanakos tears.
comment #18954 Carolinae 19th Apr 13
But that still doesn't dispell that she had character development and that the story wasn#t predictable because it didn't go with the more tropey storyish line you keep asking for
comment #18955 TomWithNoNumbers 19th Apr 13
Also you're simultaneously complaining that we're experiencing 'imaginary sympathy' because they're manipulatively portrayed as having normal lives and then saying no normal person has extreme problems coming into contact and socialising with the people around them, which is an issue with this story arc
comment #18956 TomWithNoNumbers 19th Apr 13
@Tom With No Numbers Im afraid I failed to understand that. Are you saying something about Hanako's character development? but didnt you already skipped that topic by saying that: "All thats saying to me is KS is better than normal visual novels"Then continued on to telling me the proud history of 4LeafStudios. (I dont mind reviving this topic if it pleases you, though)

Yup, I said that and I can easily prove it. How inspiring is this picture for you? Now, compare it with this Both folks has their own disabilities and inspiring stories to tell, but which one gets more attention? The explanation for this is because...humans are judgemental. It is easy for us to create our own assumptions with just one look.

If you are a mentally challenged person or just depressed, people will avoid you more than help. But if you have physical and easily recognizable defects, there will be no shortage of helping hands

This logic was applied and abused by 4LeafStudio. Well, not like theres a problem with it as it was their aim in the first place- to have a better understanding of those who has their disabilities and answer sensitive questions
comment #18957 Carolinae 19th Apr 13
You never followed that up though, you seemed happy with the logic that it was a dating sim and so having a non cruddy plot was a bad thing. I wasn't giving a proud history of the studios, I was arguing that they type of story you were suggesting would have come off as offensive and hollywood whitewashing in the context of this game and I was implying that this is a more clever type of story

I'm pretty sure Hanako had some mental problems going on and people were avoiding her, it was a thing that was happening, and I'm not sure people with disabilities that are difficult to look up do have no shortage of helping hands. (although if you want to argue that everyone looked too pretty, I probably don't have a problem with that)
comment #18958 TomWithNoNumbers 19th Apr 13
@Carolinae

And you're blatantly ignoring everything I actually say. You're wrong, simple as that. Again, try suggesting she's an Extreme Doormat to the KS thread in the forums. Covering your ears and going LALALALA can only get you so far.
comment #18959 kay4today 19th Apr 13
"@Muphrid Thats a one long post. But i dont think its actually necessary. You only contradicted yourself and showed awareness of it, and instead, you just gave excuses and said and it feels like that's a failure of the writing

Its all just a simple picture that needs no explaination nor dissection. Hanako fell in love with Hisao, Hisao raped Hanako, Hanako forgave Hisao. End of story.

Hisao is Hanako's prince charming as to how she fell in love with him despite the fact that Hisao literally did nothing but sit there and wait out Hanakos tears."

What contradiction? I went into great detail to show that Hanako was in no way raped, nor did she have to forgive him. You plugging your ears and singing doesn't change that that is my argument and it cannot be refuted just by saying it's not so.

You raise another point in whether Hisao did enough to really earn Hanako's interest. In that, I think I agree with you—probably not enough. Hanako's initial attraction to him and Hisao's choices to (initially) try to help her lead to them spending more and more time around each other, but that's all. That said, I still disagree with your use of the term Prince Charming, in that it's clear enough in both endings that that kind of person is not what Hanako wants for herself: in the bad ending, it's the most clear, but outside of that, her negative reaction to Hisao saying she would protect her (during the game of pool) and insisting that she could be there for him too emphasizes her desire for equality.
comment #18968 Muphrid 20th Apr 13
@Tom With No Numbers

no, I just said that if you want a VN, make sure its character driven, the backstory is next to good characterizations. The writer of Hanako's arc failed at that rule.

@kay4today

If you cannot raise a good argument anymore, then my job is done. I have no plans of stirring trouble, if you need allies, go seek it

@Muphrid

(I love long discussions, but TV Tropes was not made for it, but oh well.)

You only contradicted yourself in your post because your discussion started by excusing that their sex scene was just awkward sex than rape. Then you followed it by ripping Hanako's qoute: ''Let's fastforward to their confrontation in the park. It would be easy to look at Hanako's initial explanation: "I thought... you might eventually go away if I was only someone you needed to protect. I thought that if I let you do that... you might see me as someone more than that." ''

It is a solid proof of Hanako's weakness and you are aware of it but you just denied it by saying: Hanako had been attracted to Hisao for some time, and she believed that physical intimacy would help fulfill Hisao's needs in a relationship. She wanted to fulfill those needs; therefore, when the opportunity came, despite her discomfort, she went along with it.

  • sigh* You took it out of context my good sir. Hanako admittedly it already that she feels like its the only way for Hisao to stay by her side. And that kind of reasoning is the proof of her weakness.
comment #18971 Carolinae 20th Apr 13
damn it! another post was ruined by TV Tropes weird formatting functions. Seriously, why didnt they add this infos on the Help functions?
comment #18972 Carolinae 20th Apr 13
I can understand seeing Hanako's choice as one that is made of weakness, sure. I don't support the idea that this means Hisao raped her, which is really what I'm trying to get at. I realize there's a continuum here, but I don't believe Hanako is so weak that she is incapable of giving consent. To me, she consents for poor reasons, but she consents nonetheless and has the ability and freedom to do so.

I admit, I'm somewhat conflicted over Hanako's decision here. On the one hand, as I said, I think it poor logic. On the other hand, I think there is something to be said for her having the will to make that choice, for choosing to enter a physical relationship despite her reservations and discomfort. For someone who has eschewed personal contact with most other people, who has been so cynical about it, I think it's a meaningful and important change for her character.
comment #18973 Muphrid 20th Apr 13
@Carolinae

You haven't proven any of my arguments wrong and blatantly ignore things that are said to you. The "allies" I've only brought up to make sure to myself that you're aware of your wrongness, which you apparently are, as you know exactly that the people in the would be too many to ignore.
comment #18974 kay4today 20th Apr 13

There really should be an edit button here. -__-
comment #18975 kay4today 20th Apr 13
@Muphrid

Well, you gotta decide which side you are on before you can post an argument. Otherwise, you will only contradict yourself more. (Conflicting thoughts is a sign of being open minded though)

@kay4today

Very well then, what if I told you that I posted this review on KS forums first before here? LOL gotta love how they reacted, they were unable to last my reasons and locked it soon enough

http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7537&start=30#p139814

I already proven your arguments wrong by pointing out that the Extreme Doormat lacks any will to reason against his superiors (which is something that Lily did) Denial sure is fun to watch
comment #18978 Carolinae 20th Apr 13
They proved you wrong quite handily, actually. Probably why you don't want to bring it up in the KS thread.

I've already proven you wrong before, and now I'll have to point out that Lilly was very much conflicted over the decision, but eventually decided for Scotland. It's not really that hard to grasp why she'd go live with her family. Which was actually more Hisao's fault, since he never really adressed it. She even stays in the Good End, proving you even more wrong. (if that was possible)
comment #18979 kay4today 20th Apr 13
Well, Carolinae, I'm saddened that you feel I must have only one point of view to be coherent. I've tried to make both as self-consistent as possible, and I've tried to emphasize that the conflicting views I perceive have more to do with a general question of how to view human motives and actions rather than a question of facts with respect to the visual novel: whether it is good to subjugate oneself for another when one is accustomed to having others subjugate themselves disingenuously instead.

I do believe this is part of Hanako's goal—to prove she can sacrifice something, go through with something she felt some discomfort toward, rather than always having her needs and desires placated. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? In general, I view it negatively, put off by the idea that women should under any circumstances subjugate their own needs to a man's desires. But Hanako is in a peculiar situation, and I think her circumstances could justify it. That said, there could be some aspect of this question that I'm not considering well enough.

It's clear you believe that Hanako's choice makes her more pathetic and thus less likable in your eyes. I can understand that, though again, as I've said, I do not think Hanako being pathetic necessarily leads to the interpretation that she was raped.
comment #18981 Muphrid 20th Apr 13
'no, I just said that if you want a VN, make sure its character driven, the backstory is next to good characterizations. The writer of Hanako's arc failed at that rule. '

Still don't understand that. Its seems to be a really arbitrary restriction on a format, I can't see any reason for it all. No you cannot do social commentary science fiction visual novels, that's not character driven. No you can't do epic fantasy visual novels. That's not character driven. No focusing on psychological problems because thats not the right sort of character driven.

Why? It works, it works incredibly well, it's hugely entertained a large amount of people and caused a lot of serious reflection on their lives and attitudes to lives. It's good but it doesn't count because it's not the very specific type of character development that you expect in a format? Then you've got to provide reasons why that format is limited like that. And since it does work, there clearly aren't any reasons except your own expectations
comment #18984 TomWithNoNumbers 21st Apr 13
Wow, you guys sure love to talk.

@kay4today

There was never a scene where it said that her flight to Scotland was her choice. In fact, her mood problems can be considered a symptom of being forced and unable to stand up. Would you mind pointing out which part said that her decision to leave was her choice?

Yeah, her being an Extreme Doormat only changed on the ending. Shitty ending, but useful nonetheless

By the way, did you flip the page to 4? You gotta love how the dev admin reacted to my review. *sigh* if only the rest of the devs has seen my post. But oh well.

@Muphrid The goal of an argument is to stand on one side and defend it. I hate it when one moment, you will raise an argument then contradict it then said you do not agree with me. But if you have no other argument to raise for Hanako then our conversation is over.

Thanks for the time

@Tome With No Numbers

Visual Novels are called "Sim Dates" for a reason. It is supposed to be romantic and a good romance are ought to focus on the characters.

Hanako's story maybe inspirational to the newbies but for those who has experiences with VN, her story is a failure. like what I said, it was only about her mourning her past not her relationship. I mean, can you point out even just one romantic scene in her arc?

The only thing that Hisao did was to watch and wait, then he got laid.

Its a good idea for a story, a failure for a VN.
comment #19017 Carolinae 21st Apr 13
Okay so can we agree it's a fantastic idea for a interactive-choice-based story combined with visual and sound elements on the computer that is not a visual novel because the other word for visual novel is sim dates?
comment #19019 TomWithNoNumbers 22nd Apr 13
I dont know what you mean by "fantastic idea for a interactive-choice-based story combined with visual and sound elements". But I dont think it deserves explanation.

Sure, whatever that means (>‿◠)✌
comment #19020 Carolinae 22nd Apr 13
I can't believe people argue that Hisao raped Hanako. She reassured him it was okay even while they did it. Some people are just ridiculous.

@Carolinae

Eh... the part where she said: "I simply wanted more time to think it through. I wanted to be sure of my decision before telling you. My family does dearly want me to return to them, and Akira will be going as well. I could still teach as a career, whether it be here or there. I'm sorry, I just... I wanted to think this through completely."

And later: "That's why I was so confused about what to do when my family summoned me. Even after I thought I had made my decision, you tried your hardest to challenge me about it."

Nothing was really important enough for Lilly to stay. Only after Hisao ran after her and finally told her he wanted her to stay, she relented.
comment #19021 kay4today 22nd Apr 13
It means visual novel in every definition except 'character focus' because if you remove that stupid condition nothing changes
comment #19022 TomWithNoNumbers 22nd Apr 13
"The goal of an argument is to stand on one side and defend it. I hate it when one moment, you will raise an argument then contradict it then said you do not agree with me. But if you have no other argument to raise for Hanako then our conversation is over.

Thanks for the time "

I don't think we're getting at the same thing. As I've said, I do not think there is a compelling argument to say Hanako was, under any circumstances, raped. Even if I consider her actions in the most negative light, if I consider her pathetic for allowing Hisao to have her so that she could hold on to him, that does not mean in my mind she was raped. Perhaps you can elaborate why you seem to think it does.

Again, this is the key point: Hanako was aware of Hisao's physical desires prior to their intercourse and believed that being unable to fulfill those desires of his might lead to more distance between them.

You can characterize her later choice to go along with Hisao's advances as either immense weakness or a desire to be self-sacrificing to put herself on equal footing with Hisao, who had sacrificed for her. One is certainly more positive to the other, but neither supports an interpretation of rape because Hanako had already made the choice. She did not feel violated at the time and then forgive him later, for in the middle of the act, she repeatedly gives him signs that he may continue.

You have repeatedly pointed to Hanako's weakness as evidence of her being raped. I challenge that. Even if we stipulate that to be the case (and I don't), her being weak does not make what Hisao did to her rape.

In short, I have pointed out why I do not think Hanako is as weak as you think she is, and even if she actually is that does not make what Hisao did rape.
comment #19034 Muphrid 22nd Apr 13
I always had the impression that she was more the instigator even than Hisao, nevermind going along with his advances. Afterwards it seemed clear that she'd been thinking about it a lot more beforehand than Hisao had, to arrive at the conclusions she did of it being a possible way to mend their relationship. And her protests that she's not the helpless child that other people were treating as mesh with her sorting of deciding to initiate.

It's still a really horrible unfortunate thing, and I still maintain it had overtones, but it can't possibly be actual rape unless her mental processes were way more handicapped then any sign we received. She seemed to have have a huge amount of clarity of thought and understanding than anyone else did at the end. It's a mistake and an awful situation to put her in, but it would be demeaning to say she lacked the capability to make the decisions she did and it can't be rape if that's true
comment #19036 TomWithNoNumbers 22nd Apr 13
@kay4today

Ahh...I really missed it. Well done, you have defended your argument well

@Muphrid

  • facepalm* Why do you have to speak so much unnecessary words? I never asked your opinions about Hanako. So please, just shut it.

@Tom With No Numbers

Whatever.
comment #19037 Carolinae 22nd Apr 13
Your opinion of Hanako's character, judging her to be a weak person, is one of the main reasons you give for criticizing this work, isn't it? I argue she's not as weak or undeveloped as you think she is. Wouldn't that affect your opinion of the work?
comment #19047 Muphrid 22nd Apr 13
Tropers/Carolinae Well, my first post ever on TVT, so let's go: (Forgive me of any disorganized writing in this comment, I am inexperienced of the commands of the Codes.

Well, before long explanations, I didn't play this game. And your review made me think if I ever will, but the entire discussion of these comments made me ask if she is a [[Extreme Doormat]] or [[Yamato Nadeshiko]], since she actually fought for her friends does mean she has a will. I'm still in doubt about these two.

But my main point of this comment is:

"The concept of "Getting out of the Shell" is a good concept for a novel. But not for a VN because V Ns are well...sim dates. There are some VN that managed to balance the backstory of the character and the attitudes of the character itself but not this game."

Sorry, but you're wrong. VN's are just another medium for story telling, as books, films and etc. In fact, famous V Ns are not even Romance-driven or sim dates by itself, such as Higurashi Naku Koro Ni [1] (which is the plot is hardly romance-driven, but somehow implied in various routes) and Phoenix Wright Series (As the very first game hardly haves anything related to romance), and yet, they're considered Visual Novels. Sim-Dates are mostly Visual Novels, but not mostly Visual Novels aren't Sim-Dates. Judging otherwise would be extreme stereotyping. So I think it's hard to accept that there's a proper story that can only fit in a certain medium, especially that how it will fit will mostly be reviewed on how is told, and thus, creating Adaptations. [2]
comment #19127 012yArthur0 24th Apr 13
Thankyou for the correction. But if you played the game, you will see my point:

The game is supposed to be a sim date with reflections. But Hanako's route (the most famous character) is just her crying, till Hisao nailed her. Not a single trace of romance, which makes it a failure
comment #19133 Carolinae 25th Apr 13
I Believe that it depends on how much you can sympathize with the character. Even if the Backstory is sad, it doesn't mean the player will shed a tear. In fact, I believe that this is the hardest character to create, because if she changes quickly because of the MC, then it can be called out of character or even a Deus Love Machina, or if it takes to long, it'll be a wangst, like you said.

Oh well, this comment section was an interesting read. I don't think I'll play this game now. If anything, I'll watch a Let's Play.
comment #19142 012yArthur0 25th Apr 13
Well it's for free and it's text based with very very infrequent choices, so actually playing yourself is probably more comfortable (and quicker) than watching a let's play. Also the fact that you choose which persons storyline you want to pursue is a subtly powerful part of the experience, a lot of the storylines use the idea of you. as a player, wanting a successful relationship as a source of tension. And then the 5 different stories are all very different styles with very different personalities and arcs so it's sort of a way of filtering you into the story type you really wanted.

Part of the coolness of Hanako's storyline was the surprise and the way it tricks the player into the same trap the protagonist falls into so you probably missed out on that :( Luckily Rin + Emi's storylines are good (and Shizune's if your that type of person) so there's still plenty to experience fresh if you ever want to check it out
comment #19143 TomWithNoNumbers 25th Apr 13
Carolinae, your review is probably the closest I've felt for the game, but even then I was not this extreme about it. Emi's route was the only one I genuinely liked. I had mixed feelings for Lily's route, and I despise Rin, Shizune, and Hanako's routes. I actually got Hanako's good ending on my time through, so I decided to look up her bad ending to see what all the hubba was about, and when I was actually saw it I was like "Seriously? People were questioning themselves over this?"

But despite how I really dislike this VN, I'm not gonna deny that it has some things in it that it's understandable to see why others like it, and I personally like how it shows that such situations the best you can ask for is a good friend. It's just that if it weren't for the issues I had with it, I probably would've been on board with the rest of fanbase.
comment #19677 Rahkshi500 5th Jun 13
Rahkshi500, would you be interested in writing a view to capture what you think could've been better?
comment #19684 Muphrid 5th Jun 13
The review severely oversimplified much of the visual novel.

Hanako's losing her parents are not the only problem she has. As a result of being scarred in the house fire, many of her friends abandoned her simply because of her appearance, essentially causing her to realize how little she meant to them. She now has people who associate with her, but she worries, perhaps not entirely unjustifiably, that they merely do so out of pity. The driving question of Hanako's route is- who is she to you? Is she a broken individual in need of repair, or is she someone that you want to accept as an equal romantic partner? Unfortunately, by your description, she seems to be the former to you.

Lilly seems to want to be the perfect girl, but it's clear that it's not all there is to her. She is very committed to her friends, as well as her family, but the major source of conflict in those routes is how often those conflict. For example, Hanako's birthday, a period that is difficult for her, falls while Lilly is visiting a sick aunt. The unfortunate part about her sense of family obligation is how little her parents seem to do in return, as they leave for six years, and then expect her to leave her life in Japan behind to join them. As for why she chose to do it, perhaps she thought that by choosing to do things her family's way, she would make them proud of her, while she believed that Hisao, who was coming out of his depression, and Hanako, who was opening up to others, would be able to handle her departure. In short, Lilly is a deconstruction of the Yamato Nadeshiko that shows just how difficult it can be to live up to that ideal, especially when you are torn between conflicting desires, and it's heartwarming to see her do what she really wants in the end.

You should not do a review for a work unless you have played all of it, and for a visual novel, that means playing every route to completion. While it is possible that you would have drawn misconceptions about the other three routes, at least you would have the ability to judge the entire work. As such, this review was not very helpful for people who wanted to decide whether to take a look at Katawa Shoujo, and mainly seemed to serve as a way for you to vent your frustration with it.
comment #20202 Valiona 15th Jul 13
I disagree with needing to go down all the routes (it's worth noting I made a review based off only one route, so I am a completely biased party *), as long as you mention those that you did. Just treat it as a review of the Lilly and Hanako arcs, there's no special section to do that in (I guess arc might have been the descriptor instead of 'game' but that's nitpicky) and a review of 2 arcs within a work is a completely valid thing to do. I can't imagine there was anyone who didn't subconsciously treat it as that, because the author was careful to explicitly state that she'd played those 2 arcs and talked basically only about them, with some small extrapolation as to the series as a whole.

It takes a long time to go through all the arcs, and they're less enjoyable if you do them all in rapid succession. If we were to limit reviews to only people who'd completed the whole game, not only would we lose this interesting point of view and discussion, but we'd also be slightly spoiling the game for the people who have a desire to review it.
comment #20204 TomWithNoNumbers 15th Jul 13
To extrapolate a bit further, that would mean people would have to explore every possibility and route of games like Mass Effect and Alpha Protocol, and there probably aren't even many people alive who could tell you [i]how many[/i] different routes there are in Alpha Protocol, never mind having seen them all.

Reviewing MM Os would be tricky, and how do you review something like Little Big Planet that spawns infinite content? Campster of Errant Signal has talked about how the changeability of games makes it really hard to talk about them in a more academic manner, and I agree but I think the answer is to be very open and honest with how much of a game you've experienced instead of requiring that people who enter into the discussion have experienced everything a game had to offer
comment #20205 TomWithNoNumbers 15th Jul 13
Perhaps such reviews could only be considered as being for that path. Unfortunately, I don't think TV Tropes would allow more than one such review, thus ruling out the possibility of doing five reviews for each path of this visual novel.

This review, however, claims these two characters and their routes are indicative of the other three. "The game tricks the player into relating themselves with how the characters get to live their life like normal, despite their defects. But once you removed that, all you will uncover is a predictable story and bland characters." Note that it's "The game," not "The Hanako and Lilly Routes". It's "chacarters" rather than "Hanako and Lilly"

One magazine review of Katawa Shoujo (I think it was Otaku USA or something), mentioned that Lilly was the stereotypical blind one without any depths apart from being "the elegant one", when, as I said earlier, there's much more to her in her route. To make matters worse, the reviewer only gave indications of doing the Rin route (having chosen her because she seemed odd and more interesting), which, along with the Shizune route, is one of the less popular and more divisive ones. This is a magazine and the reviewer has a deadline, but Katawa Shoujo's routes take about 3 hours after Act 1, so it shouldn't have taken much longer to look at the others. I wonder if the review would have been more favorable if the reviewer had bothered to play the others.

For games like Mass Effect (I will focus on that one, since it's the one I played), an informed review would possibly involve at least one full playthrough of the game, possibly with some experimenting with different solutions to quests, as well as having done a significant percentage of the sidequests. In that case, there's less of a difference between Paragon and Renegade outcomes (often, merely the difference between using a kind word or intimidation to get your way) than between many of the routes here, which often involve different tones, casts of characters and story styles.

As for MMOs, perhaps you couldn't do everything, but you should at least sample all aspects of the game in a good amount. In World Of Warcraft, which I reviewed, while I mainly do dungeons and raids, I have also done a bit of PVP- Battlegrounds, duels and arenas-, significantly less than other parts of the game (it's the only category in which I have less than half the achievements). I dislike PVP action, but have given it a chance, often in the course of pursuing non-PVP achievements, rather than stepping into a single BG, losing and saying I didn't like it.

Perhaps it is honest to say "I only played these parts of this game, and put it aside because I hated it." But in doing so, you close off the possibility of seeing anything that could significantly change your overall opinion of the work, and in so doing, shortchange yourself and those who read the review.
comment #20207 Valiona 15th Jul 13
If it were a magazine, I'd agree with you, your being paid for your opinion and people are relying on it for their impressions of the game, then you have a duty to try and see as much as possible even though you're on a time limit. You have to play as multiple classes and test different outcomes.

But I still think this review isn't an offender. Even if she does make statements about the quality of the game as a whole, no-one reading it, including a stranger to the game, would think she had much of a basis to be making them and would interpret as the opinion those 2 specific arcs created for her.

Also based on the authors reasoning, I think they probably made the sensible choice in not playing the rest of the arcs from a personal enjoyment perspective, most of the building a connection with the people in the game actually happens in the choosing step. A lot of the game sort of assumes you don't need to be made to fall for girl X because you went down that path (or that the player is content to follow Hisao on his crush as a distant observer) and a lot of the meat of the story is in things a bit more tangental. And that's as true for the others as it was Hanako and Lilly. Rin's story is about the dangerous passion of someone truly dedicated to art. Emi's is about loss and overcoming by pushing through and learning to listen to others and give people the space they need. I still don't get Shizune's arc. And so the problems she had with these two would still apply to the others, the one that focuses the most on building a connection is probably Emi's and that's the one where the disability is most front and centre
comment #20209 TomWithNoNumbers 15th Jul 13
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