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Headscratchers / Katawa Shoujo

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  • For most of Rin's track, the writers seem to have completely forgotten that she is unable to dress, undress, bathe or go to the toilet without assistance. They put her in an attic room where she has to go outside onto a public city street on her way to the nearest person who might assist.
    • Word of God says Rin can dress herself just fine, it's just more convenient when someone like Emi helps out. There are videos of people without arms doing that kind of thing, so it's definitely possible.
      • There's even a woman on youtube with no arms who has created a series of videos demonstrating how she accomplishes everyday tasks. She demonstrates getting dressed (over a sports bra and running shorts to keep it PG) and mentions that she can wear shirts with buttons but it takes a lot longer to get them on. She also has a video demonstrating her using chopsticks with her feet, and while she stops short of telling viewers how she manages to wipe, she makes it clear that she's able to do so. It stands to reason that Rin would have workarounds for all of these everyday tasks as well.
  • Does it seem as though the writers went out of their way to not show Hisao's parents? Granted, Hisao implies they worked most of the time during his childhood, but they seem conveniently absent at a few points. In Act 1, they merely drop off Hisao's things in his room without saying goodbye. In Lilly's good ending, a scene starts after Hisao ends a phone conversation with his parents, and when he wakes up in the hospital, it's revealed his parents stopped by while he was unconscious. It might have been interesting to see more of what kind of parents they were, as well as their thoughts on Hisao's life at Yamaku and his girlfriend.
    • I believe it was just to show off how estranged he became with his parents after the first heart attack. It shook up their relationship so much that Hisao pretty much considers them total strangers now.
      • That, and the writers have said that it just wasn't particularly important to the stories so they didn't show it.
    • It's also likely intended to raise the player's immersion in Hisao as a character, since your choices technically define his character to an extent, in that you determine how long it takes him to emotionally heal from his heart episode. And, of course, who he chooses to date. Showing his parents might have established his character more firmly than was necessary.
    • I don't know if anyone here has ever worked on a visual novel, but including sprites for that kind of thing is pretty unecessary - so yes, while the symbolistic aspec of it still stands, it's not really that puzzling why the devs didn't want their artists to draw another sprite set.
  • Shizune's sex scenes. Did you even kiss her before having sex with her? Also what's with her wanting to have sex in public places? That's.. Odd.
    • Hisao and Shizune don't even act as a couple(besides the whole "having sex" thing).
    • Well, first, it is implied they kissed before the first sex scene. And two, This must be about Shizune's attitude. She likes throwing herself challenges and compete with others. So, that must be why.
    • As far as I know, having sex before kissing also happens in Hanako's route, but in that case, Hanako wanted to have sex so that Hisao would stop treating her like someone to be protected, and they only officially establish themselves as a couple in the last scene. Shizune's route also skips over quite a bit of time, so it's possible they kissed in the time between Tanabata and the sex scene at the Hakamichi home, but one would think the writers would show such a moment in the route.
    • Hisao kissed Hanako during the sex scene.
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    • As noted on the Fridge Brilliance section, hand holding is likely much more intimate than kissing to Shizune.
    • They actually do kiss in the 2nd H-scene.
  • How do the group assignments work, exactly? There doesn't seem to be much overt cooperation between the students, as in Hanako's route, Hisao, Shizune and Misha don't notice that Hanako has stopped working on her assignment until some time after her panic attack has started, and in Shizune's route, Misha focuses on the assignment in order to avoid talking to Shizune. From these indicators, it seems as though they're students working on separate worksheets at their own pace, possibly giving help if necessary, and it doesn't seem to be much of a "group" effort.
    • Since most of the these group projects take place in Mutou's class, it would make sense if he just didn't care.
    • Group assignments at my high school were about the same. So, at least, there's a precedent.
  • Shizune's deafness is quite weird — it is implied to be a) birth defect (read: genetic disorder), b) unfixable, but we're told at one point that her dad did a great effort to solve it, which in real world will probably mean her getting a cochlear implant (she's mature enough for it). "Unfixable" deafness comes only from conditions related to inner ear and/or brain, and all of them would result not only in deafness, but in a multitude of other, VERY noticeable health problems.
    • Or it could have simply been that Shizune wasn't really interested in it, which would make sense since she was born deaf, so she would be accustomed to it.
    • I thought that what Jigoro was trying to do was make Shizune talk, and that he was kind of oblivious to the fact that she couldn't just teach herself to stop being deaf through willpower. He seems like the type who would see a cochlear implant as taking the lazy way out, like relying on a machine rather than one's own efforts.
    • It is heavily implied that Shizune CAN speak in some form, or at least produce noise vocally. I believe that is what her father tried to 'fix': the fact that because of the impact of her deafness on her speech, she chooses not to speak.
    • During her second sex scene, she lets out a "sssss....", and Hisao notices that it's an "unwanted voice" that she quickly tries to stifle. She most likely could potentially speak, but since she can't speak well or hear what she or others are saying, she chooses not to.
    • She also stifles a giggle at several points - it's very obviously canon that she can vocalize, just not speak (or perhaps she can speak, but due to her deafness her speech sounds odd and distorted and so she chooses not to - many deaf people in real life do, and it would be entirely in-character for the proud, perfectionist Shizune to not want anyone to hear her sounding less than perfect). Jigoro likely understands this, it's just that he's a borderline insanely harsh father and an utterly unreasonable person. Basically, he doesn't think deafness is any excuse for a girl to not be able to learn to speak like any other.
    • Deaf people, in America, at least, don't like cochlear implants - or at least, didn't like them until very recently. It's more a matter of cultural pride, and for the longest time cochlear implants weren't actually very effective. While her overbearing and definitely hearing father is slightly more likely to want her to get them, he can't really force her, and she's stubborn and competetive enough to keep resisting. Also, Shizune prides herself on her intelligence, if what I've seen of her is any real source, and no offense to deaf people, but they sound pretty stupid when they don't use their hands, and even sometimes when they do, because the language is fundamentally different from english (or in this case, Japanese).
  • In the Rin route, Yuuko talks about her university troubles. In the Hanako route, she's said to not yet have even started going to university due to lack of money. Plot Hole?
    • This is some WMG territory here, but in Hanako's route (and Lilly's as well) it could be that Lilly and Hanako are not visiting the Shanghai as often (due to Lily being away and Hanako spending time with Hisao), so Yuuko is not getting as much tip income from that job (I could imagine Lilly tipping fairly generously)... I did say I was edging into WMG territory right? Yeah, Plot Hole.
      • On the other hand, Hanako's route is, by a considerable margin, the shortest of the routes, ending early in Act 3 of Lilly's route. Perhaps the lack of visits and tips is due in part to being in a shorter time frame.
    • Maybe "university troubles" is the same thing as "financial problems related to university" in her book?
      • Unlikely. She talks about having to study herself to exhaustion to keep up with all of her part-time jobs and about how the professors are being mean to her.
    • Different routes, different continuities.
    • Yuuko says that she's "saving up to formally study (Mediterranean history) in university". It could be be an indication of why she's working multiple jobs, and doesn't have much money to go to the Mediterranean herself, although it could be an example of things changing independent of Hisao's actions.
  • Lilly and Shizune are both filthy rich, Emi appears to be upper middle class (evidently the Ibarazakis can afford to maintain a fairly sizable suburban house despite Maiko being a widow and having enough free time to do a lot of housework), and we don't know anything about Rin - but how can Hanako, a penniless orphan, even afford to enroll in an extremely prestigious specialized private school? Misha says that she gets a sizable scholarship by virtue of studying to become a sign-language interpreter, but Hanako obviously isn't doing anything of that sort and even if she did it's unlikely that the scholarship would be big enough to make up for having zero other money to pay.
    • Hanako probably got some form of inheritance/insurance payout.
    • I always assumed the school was mostly free for people with disabilities, and was funded by generous donations. Mind you, I'm only on my first playthrough with Rin, so I can't comment on Hanako.
      • It's mentioned at one point (by Yuuko, I think) that Yamaku academy has some very generous benefactors. It seems likely that the school would have a bursary program to enable students who otherwise couldn't afford it to be able to attend.
    • Another possibility is that she actually has extended family who don't live in Japan who are financially supporting her. Whether this is because they really care about her or are just putting her in a convenient place where they don't have to deal with her any more than they have to is up to you.
    • As heartwarming as that would have been, I highly doubt that this is the case. It takes a lot of money to take care of a disabled kid, not to mention several hundreds of them, and it takes enormous amounts of money to keep a regular private school running, not to mention one specifically built to accommodate disabled kids. You can't possibly manage an institution like that as a charity. Besides, several characters refer to the fact that Hisao's parents are paying a whole lot to keep him in the school (enough that he should feel very bad about not listening to the teachers), so it's obviously not just "financed" by the likes of Jigoro Hakamichi or something.
      • Hisao spends like $2000 on a taxi in Lilly's route to go from Sendai to Saitama (a really stupid move as taking a train is both faster and much less expensive), so it's not that he (or his family) doesn't have money.
    • I'm not sure how it works in Japan, but she could be a ward of the state, and thus state-funded.
      • It is so, but only in state schools/universities. In fact, when attending a state university in Japan you can apply to have your tuition completely waived if you can't afford it and your grades are passable (or you have a recommendation from your professor), even in the Master/PhD courses. On the other hand, in private institutions the only way is to get a scholarship.

  • Minor Headscratcher but in Lilly and Hanako's routes when you visit Lilly's classroom and Kenji's painting a banner for the festival, there's a poster on the wall behind depicting a map of Africa, Europe and Asia. It's coloured blue and red, sort of like a Cold War era poster denoting capitalism and communism. However in this poster both Russia and the US (you can see Alaska) are coloured blue, as are parts of Western Europe and Northern Africa. Most of Asia (including South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia) as well as Eastern Europe, the Middle East and East Africa are coloured red. To make things more confusing some countries are coloured white, like Australia, Scandinavia, and Central Africa. I've been trying to think of a plausible reason for that map to exist, but it doesn't fit any kind of historical period that I know of. Maybe this indicates that Katawa Shoujo takes place in an alternate universe where the Cold War had radically different alliances...
    • It's a Code Geass map, considering the origin of the VN, it's probably just a shout out. I wouldn't get hung up on it.
  • Why does Hisao say that "Sae and Nomiya were not too happy" about Rin's leaving the exhibit in her route? Sae said people were enjoying the exhibit without Rin being around, and her absence didn't detract from it.
    • Some sort of Noodle Incident?
    • There's a difference between "not too happy" and "very angry." Sae can understand and manage with Rin leaving while still not being entirely content with it.

  • Why does Miki wear the men's uniform shirt if she wants less constriction? Men's clothing is not made for boobs, so it makes no sense that it would constrict her boobs less then the girls'. The only way I can see around it is if she wore an extremely large mens' shirt, which would be ill fitting, and much looser than the shirt in her sprites.
    • Young women's shirts tend to be more form-fitting in order to show off the body. Men's shirts are generally more loose-fitting. There are exceptions on both sides, naturally, but given it's a school uniform there's probably little to no variation in the design.

  • If Lilly is Catholic, why did she and Hisao do the nasty? This troper is Catholic, and it is not allowed for Catholics to use protection or have sex before marriage. Was this just an oversight by the makers?
    • Plenty of Catholics do things they're not supposed to, including premarital sex and using contraception. Lilly doesn't attend mass or confess either, so if she is Catholic she's not very observant.
    • It never says anywhere in the VN that Lilly is Catholic. True she did attend a Catholic school, but that fact alone does not give us any evidence of Lilly's religion because you don't have to be Catholic to attend a Catholic school. Most Catholic schools today will gladly accept students of all beliefs, religions, and cultural backgrounds.
      • It doesn't explicitly say so, but she is depicted wearing a cross in multiple scenes.
    • Not every (technically) catholic person is too strict about it nowadays. This troper comes from a rural and majority catholic region (50+%) and barely anyone bats an eye at premarital shenanigans nowadays. Children out of wedlock are still a matter of gossip, but it's not a scandal any more.
    • Also, keep in mind that "forbidden" sex constitutes a fetish on itself. In another hentai visual novel, Season of Sakura, there is Sei, a very religious, Catholic girl, who dates the protagonist in a church and asks him to close his eyes. When he is told to open them, he finds Sei dressed as a nun. Then Sei confesses that she has decided to take the habits. Coitus Ensues. So, in the case that Lilly actually is a Catholic, it may be that she enjoys that part of breaking the rule and being a naughty girl.
    • Another answer would be hormones. They're young, from the opposite sex, and they like each other enough, they were alone and just did it...

  • I am playing in Spanish language, so it might be just a careless translation, but I find that both Hisao and Lilly talk in several moments about Lilly's "seeing" her family. The first time I thought it was just Hisao using the word, but later Lilly herself says things as: "I hadn't seen Akira in a while... It's been years since I have seen my family..." and so on. Wouldn't "meet" or "talk to" be more, like, adequate? (Again, maybe it is just in the Spanish translation).
    • Blind people often use the term "seeing". There's no reason to change your language just because you have a disability, and it just sounds awkward.
    • Lilly even makes a bit of a point of this at times, gently teasing people for getting embarrassed at saying things like that around her. She may be blind, but she doesn't see any reason to be offended by it, especially when it's such a common way of saying things.

  • I identify 100% with Rin and Hanako, and I am going through the same thing as Hisao in Hanako's route, that feeling of distance, lack of opening up, etc. That being said, I wonder, does he want her to stop being shy completely or does he just want her to not be lonely anymore? In the ending, she says that Hisao doesn't want her to be shy and that she wants to change her ways, but doesn't think she can... then he assures her that yes, she can change. Does that mean she'll open up more or try to modify herself? Shyness and introversion are sometimes seen as a flaw... I am probably overthinking. It does seem that she prefers a smaller circle of friends, and I think she might be naturally introverted (though her condition exacerbates that).
    • There's no particular reason why she needs to become the belle of the ball or anything but Hanako is painfully shy and withdrawn, to the point of barely being able to speak to anyone outside Lilly and Hisao. I doubt she'll ever be an extravert but she can get to the point of no longer being terrified of the world. Being able to kiss her boyfriend in public is a good start, she can go from there. To compare with another girl in the VN Emi doesn't need to become dependant on Hisao (or anyone else's) help to get by but it does behove her to realise that there's nothing wrong with taking help that's offered. Neither girl needs to become something they are not but both are the better for not being entirely ruled by their natures.

  • While it can be difficult to get all the nuances of Japanese etiquette into an English language title, the use of last names occasionally comes off as a bit inconsistent. None of the students seem to use "Mr." or "Miss/Ms./Mrs." when referring to their teachers, but Lilly once calls Shizune "Miss Hakamichi" in the prologue (otherwise it's "the president" or "Shizune" depending on the scene), while Shizune calls Emi and Rin "Miss Ibarazaki" and "Miss Tezuka." The latter's somewhat workable as a literal translation of using last names and "-san" (it's a bit formal to English speakers, but it does underscore the cultural differences), but it seems a bit odd that they wouldn't use honorifics on a teacher, which would be very rude.
    • The school is something of a closed community, isolated both physically and socially, with the students living there full time and only leaving regularly to go shopping. Such places have a tendency to develop their own social norms, particularly when the students already feel isolated in many cases. The real reason probably is non-Japanese writers writing from their own cultural viewpoint but there are reasons why it might be that way in-universe. It's also not without precedent; Tomoya from CLANNAD (very definitely Japanese in origin) refers to a teacher simply as "Koumura" without an honorific and that was the teacher he actually liked.

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