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somestupidloser



Joined: 24 Oct 2010
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:59 pm Reply with quote
I just finished all the routes of Katawa Shoujo. Honestly, I have no idea why every critic in the world seems to pin this as some sort of sick disabled girl fetish game. Everything about it was tasteful and earnest in ways that I haven't seen in many Japanese-produced plots. This is all the more amazing considering that it was essentially created by a bunch of anons.

Lily's route was my personal favorite. Instead of making her blindness a weakness, or focusing on her difficulties, they turned it around and essentially made it all about Hisao and his heart condition. It was a refreshing change to see the main character as the dependent rather than the girl and really made me enjoy the game a lot more.

KS has gotten me a tad bit interested in Visual Novels. Though I feel that I played it wrong by treating it like I treat pokemon ROMs, I enjoyed being able to drop it any time and do something else for a little bit before going right back into it (it really screwed up my hours played though, as I once had it running all night). My only complaint of the game is that Kenji was such a weak character that I cringed every time he was on screen. If there was an actual route for him, I probably would of enjoyed his character more as I learned about why he was the way he was.
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Mad_Scientist



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Posts: 2320

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:01 pm Reply with quote
I think some people are being a bit too harsh on Todd. He did refer to the implied fetishizing of the characters, key word being implied. Given that the game's origin comes from a parody pic posted on 4chan, it's not surprising that he would think, or at least fear, that the game would be an abomination. Because I don't know about you, but "4chan," "parody," and "nuanced, respectful look at people with disabilities" don't really go together very well in my mind.

Of course one should keep an open mind about something, and many great things have had bizarre origins. But the fact that Todd specifically asked to hear from those who have played the game made me feel that he was keeping at least a somewhat open mind, despite his qualms about the game.

Yah, maybe he shouldn't have made his comment about Hanako's personality, given he hadn't played the game himself, but I'll cut him some slack there. Heck, I haven't played the game myself so I can't even say for certain that the comment about Hanako being completely different than Todd expected is true.


Last edited by Mad_Scientist on Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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somestupidloser



Joined: 24 Oct 2010
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:07 pm Reply with quote
Mad_Scientist wrote:
Yah, maybe he shouldn't have made his comment about Hanako's personality, given he hadn't played the game himself, but I'll cut him some slack there. Heck, I haven't played the game myself so I can't even say for certain that the comment about Hanako being completely different than Todd expected is true.


As much as I didn't enjoy Hanako's route at all for her cliched shyness, the way she reacted to being essentially babied in the end had some merit to her character.
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Beryl7



Joined: 02 Nov 2007
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:50 am Reply with quote
Mad_Scientist wrote:
I think some people are being a bit too harsh on Todd. He did refer to the implied fetishizing of the characters, key word being implied. Given that the game's origin comes from a parody pic posted on 4chan, it's not surprising that he would think, or at least fear, that the game would be an abomination.


My thoughts EXACTLY. This is the first time I heard about that game myself, and I had pretty much the same initial response...

Great column as always, Todd.
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SayuriUliana



Joined: 25 Jan 2012
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:21 am Reply with quote
toddc wrote:

The cliches of visual novels and dating sims often correspond to popular otaku fixations (girls with glasses, clumsy girls, sick girls, etc.), so it's no stretch to think that the cast of Katawa Shoujo serves the same purpose.


The only reason said archetypes are present in the game in the first place is because those archetypes were the ones featured on the original doujin art that inspired the game in the first place. 4LS simply took said archetypes from that art and then put their own spin on them inspired by real life experiences, becoming incredibly deconstructive in the process.

The archetypes may be what draws people in on the surface, but the game really does its best to make sure that the characters are written not as a collection of cliches but as realistic people, to the point where they become highly relateable to many.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 10211

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:25 am Reply with quote
darkchibi07 wrote:

I wonder what will be the next big thing once first-person shooters have plateaued. Its popularity can't last forever, can it?


That's what people been saying about moe; how's that going? Laughing

As far as FPS goes, I'm more Gears of War and Bioshock myself. Them good stories and characters. Infinite coming up!

IMO so far, Katawa Shoujo is average as far as VNs go, but it has a good story and an unique gimmick that differentiates it from other VNs.

Though I think some are making a bit too much big deal about the disabilities, whether fetishizing or otherwise. VN isn't about how real the girls act or react; girls in VN aren't anywhere near complex as real girls. VN isn't about realism - it's still about escapism. (If girls in VN act like real girls do, then most otaku wouldn't have so much trouble with them.) So people, don't worry too much how VN portray girls, just follow the stories and characters.

Well anyways, still haven't finished Skyrim yet here comes FFXIII-2 again trying to recapture past hearts and minds. I think somebody here put it, JRPG players want to go on the rollercoaster ride of someone else's story; Western RPG players want to make rollercoaster of their own stories. So we'll see. Laughing
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encrypted12345



Joined: 25 Jan 2012
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:52 am Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:


IMO so far, Katawa Shoujo is average as far as VNs go, but it has a good story and an unique gimmick that differentiates it from other VNs.

Though I think some are making a bit too much big deal about the disabilities, whether fetishizing or otherwise. VN isn't about how real the girls act or react; girls in VN aren't anywhere near complex as real girls. VN isn't about realism - it's still about escapism. (If girls in VN act like real girls do, then most otaku wouldn't have so much trouble with them.) So people, don't worry too much how VN portray girls, just follow the stories and characters.


Hmm... it's fine if you think that. However, Katawa Shoujo has a strange down-to-earthness and a sense of realism other VNs don't seem to have. If people love it, it's for that down-to-earthness and not for the fact that it's escapism. As someone who has played a good share of VNs, that's why I like Katawa Shoujo, anyways.

In other words, it's so ordinary, it's extraordinary. Something like that.
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Veers



Joined: 31 Oct 2008
Posts: 1183
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:37 am Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:
IMO so far, Katawa Shoujo is average as far as VNs go, but it has a good story and an unique gimmick that differentiates it from other VNs.

Though I think some are making a bit too much big deal about the disabilities, whether fetishizing or otherwise. VN isn't about how real the girls act or react; girls in VN aren't anywhere near complex as real girls. VN isn't about realism - it's still about escapism. (If girls in VN act like real girls do, then most otaku wouldn't have so much trouble with them.) So people, don't worry too much how VN portray girls, just follow the stories and characters.
encrypted12345 wrote:
In other words, it's so ordinary, it's extraordinary. Something like that.
"They are humans with hopes and dreams, and messy, f'd up insecurities about being alive and happy. They are not strange people - they are regular ordinary human beings who feel the way they feel not because they are disabled, but because they are ordinary. They are the universal allegory for humanity; the archetypal human; the mess you become when you feel sad and alone and unworthy. [...] They resonate with you because you recognize your flaws and needs and desires and triumphs and victories, and those of the loved ones you know and care about."

The point of KS isn't to write characters and act like real people normally do. The point is (besides being entertaining) to see how truths and lessons are wielded in the writing via the character interaction and to see what you can take away from that. There are tons of "unrealistic" things about the characters in KS, but there are also a whole bunch of things that resonate (sometimes at more of a meta/personal level) true and realistic, and that anchor into reality is one of the things that makes it special, because too often does fiction throw the entire chain overboard.
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Ranma824



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 453

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:26 am Reply with quote
Have there been any public comments about KS from the Japanese VN community? (Fans, Devs, or otherwise)

And as for "insane guy"; I'd rather have him react in the way that he has instead of him wanting to murder disabled girls, or some other insane outcome.
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encrypted12345



Joined: 25 Jan 2012
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:44 am Reply with quote
Ranma824 wrote:
Have there been any public comments about KS from the Japanese VN community? (Fans, Devs, or otherwise)

And as for "insane guy"; I'd rather have him react in the way that he has instead of him wanting to murder disabled girls, or some other insane outcome.


Some in the Japanese VN community are offended by the name though a great many are intrigued. At the very least, it already has a small fan base due to the Act 1 demo.
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Veers



Joined: 31 Oct 2008
Posts: 1183
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:53 am Reply with quote
I'm not sure about "public" comments, but I've been over to 2ch to look for threads a few times.

There's a lot of rage about the title of the game, [article is "SFW" but that site is def NSFW] as well as plenty of comments like "disgusting" "creepy" and so on, as you'd expect from anyone who doesn't understand what the game's really about under the surface. This in turn has generated plenty of cross-trolling and even JP folks defending the game (some, presumably, without having even played it yet).

There's also a lot of "looking forward to the translation" comments.

Until the team finishes the official JP translation I think it's too early to really get a grasp on how they like it. I have seen a few comments from Japanese people who went ahead and tried playing it but they said it was hard to work through all the vocabulary so some of them are waiting on translation. One comment in particular I remember was something like:

"I'm playing it.

Emi route.

Emirin~ Emirin~" (as in pet name for Emi, not as in Rin the character)

So, yeah... still too early to get anything other than knee-jerk reactions to KS at anything deeper than surface-level.
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GVman



Joined: 14 Jul 2010
Posts: 382

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:20 pm Reply with quote
AiddonValentine wrote:
Beatdigga wrote:
BTW, I love how Fps fans are considered the scum of the Earth. Maybe there's more fun to be had in a game like Call Of Duty than some inanely pretenoius piece of prattle that ended up being FF 13's plot.

Obviously FF 13-2 is not for me. It's also probably the jumping off point for a lot of RPG fans. When the JRPG is a game and not a glorified OVA, then I'll come back.


Like I said, I blame most of its poor design on Toriyama who is by far Square's worst designer/director/writer. He can't write human beings and his pathetic, self-indulgent attempts to defend himself come off as something a fanfiction writer does when they get a scathing (but ultimately true) review. Maybe the linearity wouldn't have been so bad if combat wasn't a bore and the story was well-told or interesting, but instead we get nothing but a TEDIOUS grind through dull environments and terrible writing coupled with story-telling sins. All RPGs (and games in general) are, to an extent linear. However, disguising the linearity is what matter and FFXIII catastrophically failed to do that. It's a game that hated its audience, practically screeching "why are YOU getting in the way of my AWESOME story!?"


Elaborate. I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything. I'm just interested in what you have to say.
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Mad_Scientist



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Posts: 2320

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:57 pm Reply with quote
Well, checked out Katawa Shoujo a little. Not very far in it yet, as I haven't even met all the main cast yet, but I'm enjoying it so far.

Turns out Hanako is shy afterall, though if comments in this thread are to be believed this turns into a subversion and/or deconstruction of that type of character later on. Well, I'm sure I'll find out for myself soon enough, assuming nothing in the game suddenly horrifies me so much I stop playing. Based on what I've seen so far, I don't think that will be the case.

Also, I am playing with adult content off. I'm curious to see how the game handles things with that, since I've heard that some story related material occurs during some of the sex scenes. I can always replay a route with adult content on later on and see the difference.
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SayuriUliana



Joined: 25 Jan 2012
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:26 pm Reply with quote
Mad_Scientist wrote:


Also, I am playing with adult content off. I'm curious to see how the game handles things with that, since I've heard that some story related material occurs during some of the sex scenes. I can always replay a route with adult content on later on and see the difference.


Disabling Adult Content doesn't remove the written story element, they simply replace the sexual CG's with mundane images of of aquatic creatures, grilled food and other stuff. Still, the written sex itself is particularly vanilla to varying degrees depending on route.
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Veers



Joined: 31 Oct 2008
Posts: 1183
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:32 pm Reply with quote
Mad_Scientist wrote:
Well, checked out Katawa Shoujo a little. Not very far in it yet, as I haven't even met all the main cast yet, but I'm enjoying it so far.
(b'_')b

Quote:
Turns out Hanako is shy afterall, though if comments in this thread are to be believed this turns into a subversion and/or deconstruction of that type of character later on. Well, I'm sure I'll find out for myself soon enough, assuming nothing in the game suddenly horrifies me so much I stop playing. Based on what I've seen so far, I don't think that will be the case.
Without spoiling much, it's not that she turns out to be all un-shy; spoiler[it's more like if you try to whiteknight/"fix" her she gets pissed at your presumptuousness and you get bad end.] Read this (either after you finish the route, or before if you don't mind a few general spoilers).

Quote:
Also, I am playing with adult content off. I'm curious to see how the game handles things with that, since I've heard that some story related material occurs during some of the sex scenes. I can always replay a route with adult content on later on and see the difference.
Random pictures are shown during the scenes instead. Some of them are hilarious. IIRC for Hanako's, there's a close up of a shrimp on a grill. I laughed so hard... then I felt bad. Very Happy

It's your call on enabling/disabling those scenes, but IMO you really, really probably shouldn't read Rin's route with the scenes turned off, and you're missing out on some of the funniest pictures in the game if you leave that option checked for Emi's route. The other routes, all you're missing is some nudity.

Also...

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