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Livejournal is a bag of bollocks today. WHY SO SLOW

This is a pretty good article: http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/2013/12/katawa-shoujo-sex-stuff-in-games-and.html The comments are worth a look, too.

Personally, I don't play games for their stories. I don't think video games can be shoehorned into a narrative model; they have charms of their own. Video games create atmosphere through the interplay of tactile and heuristic elements (play mechanics) and audiovisual design, something a movie or graphic novel can't do.

So Katawa Shoujo is not the sort of thing that's normally up my alley. But I've been curious about visual novels (and yes, eroge) for some time, I remembered liking the dating-sim parts of Thousand Arms, and it got talked up in the anime blogosphere. So, last year I gave it a try, and played through a few of the paths. And the writers did create a worthwhile interactive narrative. Some genuine laughs, some heart-tugging moments.

Some of the subplots/paths worked better than others, with the best ones at the level of a decent young-adult novel; especially Rin's path, which is like someone watched Azumanga Daioh and decided to cross it with The Catcher In The Rye. I really liked Rin a lot. I wasn't expecting to; the surrealist painter who's weird themselves isn't exactly a new idea. But even though she's written as the token oddball, her sarcastic sense of humor gave her more bite than other, similar characters. Rin is witty, laconic, and self-conscious, fully aware of her own oddness at times while oblivious to it at others. What's more -- and this is to the credit of the writers -- her conflict isn't directly related to her disability, but rather to her personality; her habits of thought, consuming drives, and hidden fears. She would've been an interesting character without her disability, which I suppose is kind of the point.

Although -- this is kind of, but not really a spoiler -- I wish the Hisao/Kenji path had just ended with the two of them drinking on the roof and bitching about their lives. That would've been delicious. Instead, it went for a more over-the-top comical ending, which wasn't really needed.

Anyway, I can't call it a masterpiece, but Katawa Shoujo was surprisingly interesting, and increases the likelihood that I'll play a visual novel in the future.

Maybe Hatoful Boyfriend? Heh, now that's a VN with a unique premise.

Katawa Shoujo endings

Kenji ending (for the lulz)

Comments

_wastrel
Jan. 14th, 2014 08:53 am (UTC)
I think I remember you writing about this way back when it first started being developed! What a blast from the past. I remember having been curious about how it would turn out years down the road. It's a bold stance for the writer to take, thanks for having linked us to this.

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tsunderekko
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