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Old 09-13-2012, 11:05 AM   #176
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:23 PM   #177
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Shizune Path Good End: Get!

Well that was unintentionally hysterically underwhelming! XD I just completed the Shizune path. A dull, aimless ending to a dull, aimless path. I don't feel like tearing this path any new ones so I think I'll just focus on this one general point: I didn't really take much away from this path and that disappoints me. By the end of the story I still couldn't really tell you what sort of people Shizune, Misha, or Shizune Path Hisao were. The author (whether knowingly or not) did so much pseudo-literary character development crap with Shizune that she became mired in self-contradictions. And not just her: Misha and Hisao too. There was this one part in particular with Hisao where I actively questioned whether the author had proofread his own story or not. ^^; Here are four screens of text in order with no gaps in between any of them: 1 2 3 4. As you can see, the author has Hisao consider Action A, then upon consideration reject it in favor of Action B, then step outside ... and suddenly the author has Hisao suggesting that Action B was what he told Shizune he'd do but in fact he wants to do Action A and so does it. What the fuck fuckin' make up your mind, Author Dude! Is he or is he not going to do Action A? Making the matter even more hysterical (though perhaps a bit easier to appreciate how such an error could happen), screenshot 1 is actually the very final screen of text in one subchapter (the path's third to last) while screenshots 2, 3, and 4 are the first three screens of text from another subchapter (the path's second to last). So like, when you consider this, it's easy to see how the author might've worked on one subchapter, felt like screen 1 was a great finish to the chapter, put his pen down, picked it back up for the next subchapter, and felt like screens 2 thru 4 were a great start. Independently they're fine! But 1 plus 2 thru 4 creates cognitive dissonance like none other! ^^; And it was because of this frequent smattering of contradictions, in the language and in the actions of all three main characters, that I had a hard time getting to know these characters, relating to them, or ultimately even caring about them.

I think the path could've used a second and a third draft treatment, the sort of thing I get the impression that the Hanako path was privy to. IIRC Shizune's path was the final path the team finished and they didn't finish it until November or December 2011, mere weeks before the promised January 2012 release of the game. As happy as I was (and still am) to have the game, I think the January 2012 deadline hurt (if not killed) the Shizune path. I didn't get this impression from any of the other paths I've completed so far, not even the Rin path which I personally didn't enjoy, but the Shizune path feels like a draft instead of a finished product. Characters like Jigoro and Hideaki needed to be completely retooled. (See earlier complaint posts from February.) The whole "crisis" towards the end of the Shizune path could've done with a better setup, better delivery, and one hell of a better resolution than what we got. I ...

... I'm going to stop myself here. ^^; I said I wouldn't be tearing the path new assholes so I'll stop here. I didn't hate the path and I really do sincerely admire what its author did manage to pull off well here so I don't want to sound so negative and mean-spirited. I just ... was disappointed, that's all. The path is definitely either my second-to-least favorite or my least favorite, the pecking order being something like Hanako > Emi >> Shizune > Rin for personal enjoyment. And as for respecting the path as a work of art, it'd go something like Rin > Hanako > Emi >> Shizune.

On to the Lilly path! ...

Namek: \o/

... except it's 12:22am. ^^; Maybe tomorrow?

Namek: orz
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:26 PM   #178
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So, it's taken me a couple days IRL and very nearly 3 hours exactly in-game to make my way to the start of Act 2 of the Lilly Path. Didn't want to say anything before I officially docked on the path since I figured there wouldn't be too much to warrant a post and I didn't want to get Namek's (or anyone else's) hopes up that I was posting with a lot to talk about. Well, I have a few things to talk about now (and don't want to keep him in suspense any longer ^^; ) so here's our first update for the path.

Spoiler: show
Let me begin by saying that I've taken a leisurely approach to Act 1 this go-around. It's been roughly seven months since I last saw it and I had already decided even before completing the Shizune path that I would play back through Act 1 again without skipping any text. I am quite happy with that decision. It was a great treat to read through Act 1 again. The writing is on the whole much more interesting and better written than the writing in the Shizune path ... even the Shizune bits! (Sorry! ^^;;;; ) I actually found myself falling in love with Shizune and Misha all over again after having fallen out of love with them from playing the Shizune path proper. I felt like, "Who is this Shizune? I want to meet her! I want to know more about her!" There were a few bits where I languished a bit (the nurse's scenes, Rin's scenes, the lunch scene with Emi and Rin) but for the most part it was a pleasure to re-read and I didn't mindlessly punch the A button on my controller to advance through the text. That's actually one thing I wanted to apologize for defend myself regarding explain: why on earth did I take 3 hours to complete the first act!? ^^; Well, I don't quite know myself. I think part of it may be due to having played most of Act 1 before bedtime on Friday and Saturday night, so like, my mind may have been a little less sharp then and, seeing as I really wanted to skip nothing, I would often re-read and re-re-read (and sometimes re-re-re-read! ^^; ) screens' text because I hadn't properly read it read it on the first attempt. As a result, I think my last save before Act 2 started up registered something like 2h57m.


Oh man, I can see the problem here already ...

It's been very surreal playing through Act 1 with the intention of docking onto Lilly's path. My experiences so far have been as follows:
  • Emi: I was shooting for Hanako, I was pretty much nice to all the girls, and I accepted Emi's unspoken challenge. Hence, Emi path activated.
  • Day of Despair: I was shooting for Hanako, I was pretty much nice to all the girls, I didn't accept Emi's challenge, and I also didn't share my condition with Lilly. That was all it took.
  • Hanako: loaded up the save file right before DoD, shared my condition with Lilly, bam: Hanako path get.
  • Rin: the first time I had to be mean to Hanako ;_;
  • Shizune: by showing aggressive interest in Shizune, I never even had the opportunity to snub Hanako
So like, of the four (or five if you count the Day of Despair) paths I've played, only one of them have I ever had to snub Hanako to get the path girl (and that was Rin). Everyone else just kind of fell into place. Emi was an accident. Hanako was the bull's eye. And Shizune you dock so hard onto it you don't even really get a chance to be mean to any of the other girls. But Lilly's path presented a dilemma. For y'see, only on Lilly's path do you have to be super-nice to Hanako, be pretty much 100% prepared to dock onto Hanako's path, and then suuuddenly ...


Yeaaaaaaaaaah ... >_<

This was one of the hardest choices I've had to make all game. Maybe not the hardest, but man. I think it's fair to say that the way Act 1 was written it feels more canonically in sync with Hisao x ShiMisha (for their bits), Hisao x Emi (for the Emi/Rin bits) or with Hisao x Hanako (for the Lilly/Hanako bits). Rin feels very much like the friend who's just sort of there in the Emi/Rin shared scenes and Lilly feels very much like the motherly protector of Hanako in the shared Lilly/Hanako scenes. Hisao and Hanako spend so much more alone time together in Act 1 than he and Lilly do, and there is so much, so much setup for the Hanako path in Act 1 that it's almost a joke to take that same material and say "But you dock onto the Lilly path instead! " I guess it's one of the shortcomings of a visual novel that cuts corners by having two girls share the same parent path for so long: either you make the guy look like a player by playing both girls equally (which they thankfully did not do) or you make it look like one girl is friendzoned only to then "SURPRISE!" veer us off into the direction of Not The Friend Zone owing to a final decision.

Of course, I ticked off the box to go to the front gate rather than to go to the library. The rejection text which followed (of Hisao rejecting Hanako as a potential gf) was heartbreaking. D: And from that moment forward the tables sort of turned and Hanako was suddenly transformed into the socially awkward friend of Lilly's who was now also Hisao's friend whereas Lilly was now the one who Hisao was trying to romance. Very strange to me as a long-time Hanako fan but I was able to roll with it a lot better than I thought I would.


Just so long as the path doesn't pair these two up, we're good.

I'm kind of surprised that Suriko (who is credited with helping cpl_crud out a bunch with the Hanako script and who is credited as the sole author of the Lilly script) writes the way that he does sometimes. Well, I assume he's been the one handling Lilly's scenes in Act 1. Would be kind of strange if he wasn't, but then again I didn't get the impression that Shizune's scenes in Act 1 were written by Shizune's path author so who the hell knows who wrote what for who in Act 1. Still, I thought it was kind of jarring to see so many cutesy-wootsy nicknames towards the end of Lilly's Act 1. First there was the nickname that showed up in the scene with Akira. (I forget what it was though.) Then there was the nickname in the scene with the Awkwardly Familiar Classmate who told Lilly, "Go on, Lils! Have fun!" when Hisao invited her to tour the festival with him. "Lils"? Are you serious? Please don't tell me I'm going to have to put up with this Brooklyn bullshit throughout the rest of the game or I just might Brooklyn rage! That stated, the script thus far has been fine. Not surprising. Anyone who helped out with the Hanako path can't be all bad, and according to the Internet the Lilly path's one of the greatest so I am indeed looking forward to reading Acts 2 thru 4.

The opening movie file to the path was interesting but didn't really say or show too much. At least, not for someone like me who doesn't know what it all represents. I'm sure once I get further along into the path I'll come back and say "OH MAN! THAT OPENING IS SO PROPHETIC! " or something. But for now, it's just a calm opening that doesn't leave too much of an impression. Having now seen all of the openings, I can also conclusively say that my personal favorite is indeed the Hanako opening.

And that's about it for now. Going to get started on the path proper here in a bit. Will probably take me at least a week to complete it, possibly longer, so don't go crazy F5'ing UPN looking for updates. Then again, if the path really grabs me, those could be famous last words. We'll see! We'll see.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:31 PM   #179
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I'm 4 and a half hours in now, still easily in Act 2. "Unidentified Drinking Object" is the name of the chapter, to help you identify where I am without spoiling people outside the spoiler box with descriptive details. It's remarkable how many small differences there are between the Lilly and Hanako paths. They're very similar in many ways but the small differences are quite numerous and have the (clearly intended) effect of distinguishing Hanako path Hisao's experiences from Lilly path Hisao's experiences. I'm mildly enjoying it so far but every time Hanako comes up she just HRNNNNNNNNGH steals my heart and makes me wish I was playing the Hanako path for a second time instead. ^_^; Maybe she will be less delightfully distracting as we press on.

Spoiler: show

Story plot element differences: I can really appreciate now more than ever why Suriko helped out with the writing of the Hanako path. Putting aside the possibility of cpl_crud asking for help coming up with ideas or help writing particular passages, it's clear that he and Suriko had to work together to coordinate places, people, and events owing to just how much overlap these two paths have. And yet, for all their similarities, there are the small differences which keep cropping up and making me go "Hey! That's not how it's supposed to happen!" Or "Hey! That's not how things went down in the Hanako path!" Take for instance the picture above. In the Hanako path, we never saw a chess set for the blind. (That was one of my six remaining pictures to unlock in that one picture file of the photo album which has got nineteen or so item-based pictures all bundled together in it.) And even if we had, we definitely didn't see Hanako play chess with Lilly here:
Hanako path: Hanako asks to play chess with Hisao. Hanako plays chess with Hisao while Lilly makes the trio some tea.
Lilly path: Hanako asks to play chess with Lilly. Lilly asks "But who will then make the tea? " Hisao offers to make the tea for the trio allowing Lilly to play chess with Hanako.
It's quite clear why such small differences exist. In the Hanako path, chess ultimately became one of Hisao's and Hanako's things they did as a couple. He ends up getting her an antique chess set for her birthday, he ends up checking out books from the library on chess strategy, so on and so forth. The Lilly path thwarts this development by having Hisao never play chess with Hanako at all. From how things were already playing out in the Lilly path portions of Act 1's finale, Hanako could tell that her onee-sama and Hisao had some chemistry and so even if she too thinks Hisao's nice she'd never in a million years try and steal him from Lilly or think that he might prefer her to beautiful, unscarred Lilly. So this alternate universe Hanako never even asks Hisao to play. And so he never does. And so chess never becomes a thing he and Hanako do together. It remains Hanako and Lilly's thing.


And the differences obviously don't stop there. When Lilly asks Hisao to go shopping with her for Hanako's birthday, it was a crazy case of déjŕ vu mixed with new happenings:
Hanako path: Lilly perceives Hisao is Hanako's unofficial boyfriend and asks him along so he can get his unofficial girlfriend a gift
Lilly path: Lilly figures this is a great opportunity for her to indirectly ask Hisao out on a date

Hanako path: (IIRC) Lilly takes Hisao to the antique shop
Lilly path: Hisao finds the antique shop with Hideaki in tow

Hanako path: Lilly gets Hanako the Victorian doll. Hisao gets her an antique chess set. (IIRC) Akira gets her the teddy bear.
Lilly path: Hisao gets Hanako the Victorian doll. He also gets Lilly an antique music box. Lilly gets her the teddy bear.

(kind of a restatement of the point above)
Hanako path: Hisao spends the big bucks on Hanako.
Lilly path: Hisao spends the big bucks on Lilly.

Hanako path: They're there strictly on business getting Hanako her gifts. They look for the store, they go in, they get their gifts, they leave, they head back to Yamaku.
Lilly path: They're there on a two-part date, the first part (pre-gifts for Hanako) being orchestrated by Lilly, the second part (post-gifts for Hanako) being orchestrated by Hisao.

Hanako path: Hisao finds that one cafe in the city on a date he takes Hanako on much later on.
Lilly path: Hisao finds that one cafe in the city now and takes Lilly to it.
And so on and so on and so forth. Looooooooooots of little differences which all add up to Hisao pairing with Lilly in this path instead of with Hanako.


Story pacing differences: The other thing which is surprising to me, having played the Hanako path first, is just how quickly the Lilly path is skipping along temporally. The award goes to the Shizune path for paths which skip along the furthest, it being the only one of the four paths I've played so far which have gone past summer vacation. Emi's stops after the end-of-term exams right before summer vacation. Hanako's stops at a similar point. Rin's stops just into summer vacation. But it's looking like Lilly's path might give the other three paths a run for their money and join the Shizune path in being exceptionally long. Why do I say this? Well, consider this: in Hanako's path, her birthday takes place smack dab in the middle of Act 3, so pretty much halfway through her story; but in Lilly's path, Hanako's birthday is only the fourth event in Lilly's Act 2, one of the earliest, nowhere near even the 25% marker, let alone the 50% marker. I already knew from baby spoilers back in January and February that Lilly's path went beyond Hanako's temporally, but I had no idea it went this far past it. My impression had been more something along the lines of "When Hanako's path finishes, Lilly's path still has ~20% to 25% to go." But at this rate it's looking like the events of Hanako's path could easily be over before I even complete Lilly's Act 2.

Different writers handle human bonding differently. Some would probably argue that Hisao's and Hanako's relationship (one of the most temporally dense) evolved far too quickly. Others would probably argue that Hisao's and Shizune's relationship (one of the least temporally dense) evolved far too slowly. But what I think it comes down to is how many hours per day and how many days per week was he spending with each girl? In Hanako's path, I get the impression that he and Hanako hung out daily. To me, this was good, it made sense, etc etc. In Shizune's path, I get the impression that he and Shizune also hung out quite often but that the number of remarkable hangings-out were quite few and were spread out across months rather than weeks or even days as in the Hanako path. I don't think any one approach is inherently wrong but it definitely creates a mild (?) case of cognitive dissonance for me that Hanako's relationship with Hisao got as far along as it did in just a matter of one month (June) whereas Shizune's relationship with Hisao spanned approximately ten months (June - March).

So back to the point then with Lilly's path. It's interesting to me to see that even though Suriko helped out with the Hanako path that the two seem to have such disparate pacing. Whether I'll like it in the end or not, who can tell. For now I'll say this: I'd like to see a bit more Hisao x Lilly bonding time and a little less side stuff (like Hanako [much as I love her ] or Hideaki or Akira). One gets the impression from the game's menu pictures that Lilly likes to sing. But I don't think I've ever heard Lilly sing yet in any of the other paths. I'd like to see her sing soon in this one and I'd like it to become a long-running thing for her and Hisao, like chess was for Hisao and Hanako. I don't want it to be something Suriko saves for like the end of Act 3. ^_^; But we'll see when and where it comes up.

I also want to know what Lilly does in her spare time! With Hanako, we spent a lot of time in the library or in the tea room. It was clear very early on that Hanako's free time is mostly spent (1) reading, (2) playing chess, (3) being with Lilly, or (4) being in her room all by herself. With Lilly, I still don't really have a grasp on what she does. She's probably not part of any clubs considering she didn't make the tea thing with Hanako into an official Tea Club. The way she mentioned the Music Club, too, seemed kinda suspect. We know she likes to sing ('cause of the menu icon) but she talked about that club as though she wasn't a part of it. Maybe I'm just reading into things too much. Guess I'll find out in due time what Lilly does with her spare time.


Onward!

Last edited by Talon87; 09-17-2012 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:30 PM   #180
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5 and a half hours in, I think, and at the very first screen of the sixth scene in Act 3. Whether my pace picked up or whether those scenes were just genuinely short, I can't say. I felt like I played for 2-3 hours once (and the clock seemed to agree with me!) but the game reported that I'd only played for forty minutes. Then I felt like I'd played for about forty minutes this other time and I'd only played for twenty or so. I guess that means I am getting good mileage out of my content? 'Cause I'm not bored with it. It's not like it's laborious to get through. I guess it's just very rich in content ... even though, as I am playing it, it doesn't feel like it. It feels pretty normal, maybe even a little lacking. ^_^; There are so many questions I have and still no answers.

Spoiler: show
So, I saved right when Akira arrived and that was where I left off last time. There were quite a number of additional "so similar and yet so different!" changes from the Hanako path, including:
  • Akira doesn't stick around this time.
  • The kids get trashed rather than only getting buzzed (Lilly, Hisao) and drunk but not wasted drunk (Hanako). To the point that they all have hangovers the next morning.
  • Because of their intoxication, they don't wake up until it's past curfew, far too late for Hisao to escape. So he and Hanako just spend the night in Lilly's room.
Stuff like this. Not much else to say here since we discussed most of it last time. Of course the big finish this go-around is Lilly giving Hisao a kiss on the cheek as he leaves in the morning.


The "screaming chubby" had a cute little scene with Hisao the next day as he tries to sleep in class. Why is it that Misha and Shizune are so cute in just about every path except the latter two-thirds of their own? ^_^;


This was an interesting scene: Hisao having a rooftop lunch with Emi, Rin, Lilly, and Hanako all together. It's so, so rare for Lilly and Emi to cross paths in this game so it was pretty surprising to have this scene show up out of nowhere. It sets up for what's meant to be a sage scene for Lilly where she gives Hisao an origami crane. I would never have decoded its meaning the way that he did. ¬_¬; I think this is one of those cases where to the path writer (in this case Suriko) it makes perfect sense but to the rest of us it's like "Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh?" Or maybe I should only speak for myself. Well, speaking for myself, the symbolism of the crane here'd have gone completely over my head. I was grateful to Suriko for explaining it to me but the unpalpability of the scene left a bad taste in my mouth regardless. Oh well. ^^;


I know I've mentioned it before but I can't help but to notice how ... eager Hanako seems to be to see Hisao, even in this path. ^_^; I'm sure I'm just reading into things that aren't really there and what's truly intended is displaying that Hanako trusts Hisao more and more the way she trusts Lilly, but like ... it echoes so, so strongly to the way she brightened up whenever he ran into her in the Hanako path. ^_^; I just can't help but to notice it. And, as before, every time Hanako flashes these smiles it makes me wish all the more that I was playing the Hanako path instead. Lilly being in Scotland hasn't done her any favors for winning me over and yet already Hisao is all "I want to tell her how I feel about her!" Duuuuuuuude: you haven't even done much of anything together yet! ^_^;


But Suriko has done a good job making sure that readers don't mistake the Lilly path for the Almost Hanako path. With lines like the one in the screencap above, he makes sure to tell us, "Tragic though it may be, in this path Hanako won't become the girl you were so happy for her becoming by the end of her path. Without Hisao there for her as more than an acquaintance/friend, she's still going to suffer from crippling anxiety, self-loathing, etc." It's really sad. I read lines like the one in this screencap and I almost want to shake the monitor to try and shake the Hisao inside and be like "YOU'RE WRONG! IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!"


So then the game surprises us with something we've never seen before this path: and that's the airport. Hisao and Hanako escort Lilly there where they run into Hideaki and Akira. I have no idea why Hideaki tagged along, all the less so after the Satous depart and he brushes Hisao and Hanako off and just heads off himself, but whatever: I guess in the Lilly path they're trying to suggest that Akira and Hideaki have a closer relationship than Lilly and Shizune do. Here's where Act 2 ends and Act 3 begins.

I was kind of surprised though. Act 2 was called "Past" but we sure didn't learn that much about Lilly's. We learned that she hadn't seen her family (not counting Akira) in six years. We learned that both father and mother are in Scotland. But that's kind of it. We still don't know ...
  • ... why Lilly didn't see her parents for her birthdays, for the winter holidays (like New Year's), or for the summer holidays. Even in Japan they get like a 3-week break in the summer. Why wouldn't she have been flown home to see her family when they're this wealthy?
  • ... how Lilly went blind. I'm assuming she was born blind but we still don't have an official answer here. For all we know she lost her vision later in life.
  • ... why she's attached to the Jukebox in the menu and is shown singing. C'mon, path! Don't hold out on me!
We also don't have a good feel for her hobbies still. Other than tea , what does she do? Well, we know she reads -- she had a huge stack of books in her bedroom -- but what sort of books does she read? Wouldn't this be a common interest she shares with Hisao, just as it was one he shared with Hanako in the Hanako path? Hisao's a big reader at the start of all five paths and continues to be a big reader in the Lilly path. Why then haven't they discussed their favorite kinds of books yet? We also know that Lilly is a good cook but like, we haven't seen her cook once yet! When is that going to happen, if ever? Patience, Talon, patience! That's what I keep telling myself. I don't want to be pessimistic and doubt that Suriko's covered these bases so I'm trying to be optimistic instead and trust that he made sure to cover them in Act 3, not in late Act 4 or not at all.


And then, five scenes later, Lilly's back. The five scenes at the start of Act 3 were okay but they were more or less a watered-down version of the same events in space and time as what took place in the Hanako path. Hanako's been attending class more regularly thanks to Hisao but then all of a sudden she vanishes. Mutou has Hisao drop off her homework and Hisao discovers that Hanako is being reclusive. He calls Lilly, he finds out about it being Hanako's birthday, he makes Hanako a cheap dinner, he leaves it outsider her door, and then checks on her an hour later and, finding that she ate her dinner, leaves the dorm without bothering her.

Hisao calls Lilly a second time in this version and chitchats with her a bit more, it culminating in him telling her he's missed her and she reciprocating. Then the call awkwardly ends (though Suriko has Hisao feel like it wasn't awkward in the slightest. ^^; I sure would have!).

And then we go to pick her up from the airport. Hanako is elated to have Lilly back and Hisao's quite pleased too. And that's pretty much where I am.

It felt like I played for four to five hours since starting Act 2 but according to the clock I only played for around half that time and I guess it's not lying given how little I had to report this last time (despite feeling like I played a ton). Anyway, I'm at the very first screen of the sixth scene in Act 3. Judging from how many events appear to be remaining, I'm roughly a third (or maybe even less than that) into Lilly's path post-Act 1. There's still plenty of time to win me over. Plenty of time. But so far, I'm just not feeling it. Lilly's a nice enough girl and all but I'm not really seeing where the chemistry is between her and Hisao (and simply declaring it exists doesn't work for me). But I'm not even halfway through. Anything could happen, and I could be thinking the Lilly path is the greatest path of them all by the time I see the ending. So just sit tight and we'll get there together!
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:28 PM   #181
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I guess I'm past due for a status update. I haven't played but an hour since the last post and because PhotoBucket's being dumb now with photo uploads I'm not going to break my back spicing this post up with some images. I would if I were head over heels in love with the path but ... I gotta tell you ... I'm already onto Act 4 and I'm still not seeing it. ^^;

Spoiler: show
The vacation to the summer home in Hokkaido surprisingly took up the remainder of Act 3. I did not expect it to nor did I expect it to be so relatively uneventful. Everything which took place here more or less was focused on only one thing: getting Lilly and Hisao their first sexually intimate experiences. The trip to town was thwarted by Hisao having an arrhythmic crisis and the other day was ruined by bad weather. All anyone ended up doing (besides having sex) was watching television, cooking, bathing, or sleeping. Talk about a bum 3-day weekend! ^_^; But I guess there's of course the relationship stuff to discuss so let's have at it.

Like pretty much every sex scene in the game, I didn't find the two sex scenes here erotic either. I dunno, it seems like most eroge with a heavy focus on the visual novel side of things just aren't very sexually gratifying while those with a heavy focus on the sex side of things tend to have weak narratives. In any event, the first sex scene seemed a little bold with the two lovebirds having sex on the living room floor when Hanako could easily wake up and come to the kitchen for a snack only to find this. ¬_¬; It was nice since it definitively took Hisao out of the awkward zone all boyfriends are in before officially becoming boyfriends. The second sex scene seemed a little silly to me but a hell of a lot less silly than the anal sex scene in Emi's path and a hell of a lot less uncomfortable than the Rin masturbation scene so I guess I can't complain too much.

For me, the main focus in this hour of gameplay was the awkward triangle between Hisao, Lilly, and Hanako. The characters seem to require Hanako's approval and talk about it in such a manner as to make it seem almost evident that they wonder if Hanako might've had feelings for Hisao too and that they were worried that by officially becoming a couple they might lose their shy, purple-haired friend. It was an awkwardness and a concern I don't think they ought to have had had they truly felt that Hanako was already the daughter in this relationship, Lilly the mommy and Hisao the stepdaddy. That was kind of how Suriko tried to portray it at times? But there were other times where I couldn't help but feel that Lilly's choice of words to Hisao privately and Hanako's choice of words to the two of them suggested that Hanako was basically giving Lilly her blessing to take Hisao, i.e. she was saying "It's okay. I liked him too, it's true, and I dreamed about maybe something happening between us ... but I've seen that he clearly fancies you much more than he does me and I don't want to let this ruin our sisterly bond, Lilly, so I'm definitely okay with you taking him. Gratz. " Agree? Disagree?

From where I'm standing right now, the Hanako path is hands down the best, most emotionally powerful and rewarding path in this game hands down. The Lilly path has yet to excite me at any juncture. I don't perceive the sort of chemistry between Hisao and Lilly that I did Hisao and Hanako; instead, it feels about as "Huh? " as the "chemistry" bewteen Hisao and Rin. I'm told these two love each other but I don't feel like I've been given a good enough set of reasons to buy into it. As for how the path stacks up as a work of art, I'd say it's certainly better written than the Shizune path (sorry ^^; ) but just as certainly not the masterpiece people were making me hope it might be. That award seems to remain solely the Rin path's. Even if I don't personally like the Rin path, I can appreciate that it is like an honest-to-god literary masterpiece, the sort of thing I could easily see being turned into a Cannes film festival film. No other path achieves that sort of professional excellence, including this one.

I'm still not giving up on the path though. Judging from the library, I have well over one-third of the events left to explore. Things could turn around in Act 4 and transform this into one of the very best paths in the game. I just have to hope that that happens, otherwise I have no idea what Namek and 30% of KS players were thinking.
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:53 PM   #182
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So, after putting it off for a year and one month (!), I think it's high time I give the blonde beauty the ending she deserves. Time to polish off the Lilly path and be able to say that I've achieved the Good Endings for all of the paths in Katawa Shoujo. But first ...

This is a horribly cruel April Fool's Day prank. ^^; Especially when you're discovering it via a Google Image search half a year later and see the image separate from the announcement date. Wonder if it's a fan made image or the real deal. See that it links to the real blog. Click. See mention of Katawa Shoujo 2 in the title. Milliseconds later see mention of it being canceled. Heart plummets down past stomach. Then notice the date. Angry laughter ensues.

Apparently the game still isn't out yet in Japanese. I guess that just goes to show that:
  1. even when the direction's reversed it still takes several years for an eroge to get a good English translation
  2. it's not exactly like Japan has the VN translating scene that we do. ^^;
But yeah. We're still waiting on Mahou Tsukai no Yoru and they're still waiting on Katawa Shoujo.

Anyway, yeah. I should definitely get back on this horse. Hi ho, Silver!
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:05 PM   #183
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You horrible, horrible procrastinator. Anyway, my procrastination aside, I still cherish this game. And so today when I was looking for random things people were discussing on Twitter, when the thought to search for かたわ少女 struck me, I knew I'd be in for a treat. But I didn't expect the treat to be so flavorful. Enjoy.

A lot of people wonder about when the Japanese language version will be coming out. Tweets like this one are all too common:
Quote:
かたわ少女翻訳、どうなるかなぁ。語学の嗜みない人間としては応援しかできない。
"I wonder what's going on with the Katawa Shoujo translation project," this fan writes. "As someone unaccomplished in language study, I can do nothing but support them."

That hasn't stopped some fans from giving the raw game a go. Writes Kouichirou:
Quote:
やっとこのゲームクリアできた.

かたわ少女 - Wikipedia https://t.co/MyTluEy9T4
"I finally beat the game," he writes. Good for you, Kouichirou! Even I haven't done that yet ...

Some fans use KS as a metric for English language fluency, much the same as we do with Japanese games and Japanese. One fan speaks of a level of English fluency so powerful that:
Quote:
かたわ少女を理解できる程度の英語能力
... so powerful that you can understand Katawa Shoujo.

This next fan remarks that Katawa Shoujo, a game he played ages ago, is one he still remembers for how real it was:
Quote:
昔、かたわ少女というゲームをやったけどすげぇリアルだったな
And this next fan ...
Quote:
かたわ少女は神だと思うよ
... writes that she believes Katawa Shoujo is God. ^^;

Quote:
今期は英語の勉強するのら~~(かたわ少女を再ダウンロード)
Katawa Shoujo as a study aid and/or motivator for learning English ...

Oh, that's as far back as my timeline allows + stuff worth sharing! :o But yes, it looks like Japan hasn't forgotten about Katawa Shoujo just yet despite the over two-year delay in getting the game translated into Japanese. Some fans eagerly await it's Japanese language release; others have already gone ahead and played the game raw. Regardless, while there are still some people who are disappointed by the game's taboo title, it seems that most people are eager and willing to give KS a chance.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:23 PM   #184
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Wait, Talon, you haven't finished Katawa Shoujo yet?

I should play it again, I loved it all. Rin's route was trippy as balls though.
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"Quit poking my face! >_<"
"Ahahaha, you'll never get rid of this! *hiss*"

Spoiler: show

"STOP POKING MY SISTER!"

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"That was a terrible idea. But holy carp, this tastes pretty nice."


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Old 04-28-2014, 08:29 PM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KamenAeons View Post
Wait, Talon, you haven't finished Katawa Shoujo yet?
Here's the thread. Have at.

Kamen: But it's eight pages long ... ;~;

My order was Emi --> Hanako --> Rin --> Shizune --> Lilly, with the Day of Despair either after Emi or after Hanako, I forget which.

I have completed all paths (and seen all their endings) save the Lilly path, which I've been sitting on Act 4 for the past year and a half. Should seriously start 'er up and finish it. I'm told it's great. But I do this with a lot of games, unfortunately. :\ Beat 'em like 90% of the way through and then put them down for years, sometimes forever. KS shouldn't be one of those games that's put down forever though. It's just a matter of prioritizing it ahead of other distractions.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:32 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Here's the thread. Have at.

Kamen: But it's eight pages long ... ;~;

My order was Emi --> Hanako --> Rin --> Shizune --> Lilly, with the Day of Despair either after Emi or after Hanako, I forget which.

I have completed all paths (and seen all their endings) save the Lilly path, which I've been sitting on Act 4 for the past year and a half. Should seriously start 'er up and finish it. I'm told it's great. But I do this with a lot of games, unfortunately. :\ Beat 'em like 90% of the way through and then put them down for years, sometimes forever. KS shouldn't be one of those games that's put down forever though. It's just a matter of prioritizing it ahead of other distractions.
>Eight pages long
No problem. Five hour gaps between classes with nothing to do but procrastinate are a thing.

And I completely agree with you that it's not something you put away in your hard drive never to be seen again.
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Hizumi Yukikaze: Emerald Breeze~ | Tokikou Nobuyuki: Time Mage
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Shizuya Kasen: SHSL Armourer

Waifu Squadron and Explorers | Cavern of Chaotic Creativity




Paradise lies beyond the horizon, challenge it because it is unreachable.
Speak of the absolute territory, and grasp it with your hands.


Spoiler: show


SAAVE ME


FLOOF AND MOFUMOFU JUSTICE! *WHACK*


Spoiler: show

"Quit poking my face! >_<"
"Ahahaha, you'll never get rid of this! *hiss*"

Spoiler: show

"STOP POKING MY SISTER!"

Spoiler: show

"That was a terrible idea. But holy carp, this tastes pretty nice."


Spoiler: show
Kamen's mind:

"YOUKOSO WAGA CRAZY E"



Love burns brightly for one and all.

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Old 05-05-2014, 03:44 PM   #187
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Yesterday, I played the first two new scenes (new to me, that is) of Act 4. I realized that in the year and a half since I'd last played Katawa Shoujo my memory of the path's finer details had gotten so bad that it'd be worth re-reading all of my old posts here to refresh my memory. For example ...

Spoiler: show
While I remembered that Lilly had gone to Scotland at one point and while I remembered the three-person vacation to Hokkaido, I had forgotten that Scotland and Hokkaido were the specific places involved. More importantly, I'd gotten their order mixed up: I thought that Lilly had gone to Hokkaido with Hisao and Hanako and then had had to leave for Scotland.

Re-reading the old posts proved to be a good decision as it not only helped me to refresh my memory on the path's finer points but it also gave me some insight into my attitudes a year and a half ago while playing. While the Lilly path hasn't lived up to the hype, I was mildly shocked by the passionate and frequent comparisons and contrasts I made between the Hanako path and the Lilly path. I don't necessarily disagree with anything my past self wrote, but I also don't feel as disappointed by the Lilly path now as I think the me in September 2012 must have felt. While the year-and-a-half-long break from playing Katawa Shoujo may therefore mean that my final moments with the Lilly path will be less passionate than they would have been had I pushed through to the end in September 2012, I think it will also mean that they'll be less intensely negative. Which I can only see as a good thing for both myself (since I don't go to any work of art wanting to hate it) and for friends who are fans of the path.

After reading my old posts, I continued with the game. I read through a few additional scenes and am currently sitting somewhere near what I presume must be the end of the scene pictured above. Thoughts:

Spoiler: show

The dinner date was interesting. I did not remember that Hisao and Lilly had yet to have a formal date before now. Maybe it would have been better had Hisao claimed that this was their first dinner date: after all, from birthday shopping for Hanako to the trip to Hokkaido, it feels like Hisao and Lilly have been on plenty of dates or date-like experiences together already.

Lilly's revelation that she had had feelings for the English teacher at her old school was interesting. Like Hisao, I assumed that Lilly's strong interest in English stemmed from her roots. But I guess it's true now that I think about it: you don't see all of the students in America with foreign parents deciding they want to go into careers as foreign language educators, so why would Lilly? She had to have had some reason besides growing up in a bilingual home that would've steered her towards teaching her second language as a career.

I have a friend who was once in a similar position to Lilly's. However, unlike Lilly who chose not to tell the teacher how she felt, my friend did confess to the teacher they had a crush on. While reading this scene, I couldn't help but wonder how badly some of the lines of dialogue would sting if my friend could hear them. ^^; Hisao kept complimenting Lilly for not confessing to the teacher and Lilly kept saying things like, "Oh, of course I'd never do that! Man, that would be foolish!" I can't decide whether Suriko's words are wise or cynical. I feel like Robert Frost would disagree with Suriko's position. Oh well.


Maybe I just don't remember. Maybe Suriko has yet to reveal the full details of what happened two years ago. But I still don't get why the Shizune-Lilly feud is such a big, negative deal in Lilly's path. In Shizune's path, it doesn't feel like too big of a deal: Shizune is annoyed by Lilly but doesn't hate her or anything. Yet in Lilly's path, it feels like Shizune not only deeply hurt Lilly but is someone Lilly genuinely despises gets upset about when she comes to mind.

Misha is cute with the pink drill pigtails but goodness me was she a beauty with the long straight brown hair.

I don't have too much else to say. I haven't kept track but I think my cumulative time spent in game since starting it back up is still less than one hour. Oh! But there is one last thing I should mention.

Spoiler: show
Hisao's medical condition is arguably the most interesting dramatic element in this path. None of the other paths imply that his condition worsens. Only in the Lilly path do we see that the specter of his near-death experience last winter is none too far away. The trip Hisao made to the nurse's office was what helped to remind me about this -- I saw this scene before even going back and re-reading all of my old posts -- and I have to say that this and other scenes make it seem likely that we haven't seen the last of Hisao's heart attacks.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:21 PM   #188
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Oh man, I need to catch up on this if you are Talon!
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Old 08-24-2014, 03:52 AM   #189
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So I refuse to read through the thread because SPOILERS LOL. But I downloaded it yesterday on the direct recommendation of a RL friend, and I started it about an hour ago.

So far I haven't been asked to do much except mindlessly mash the space bar/touch the screen. I was kind of under the impression that my character would have options and stuff. Instead he seems a bit of a lout. I'm sure that'll change later on, right? Or will the whole thing feel the same?

So far my favorite character is far and away Lilly. If I could befriend/date any of the characters, it would DEFINITELY be her. She's calm, formal, and relaxed, and even Hisao seems to enjoy himself with her despite being reminded constantly of her blindness - with every other character he's all like "SO THIS IS WHAT MY LIFE IS NOW" and "IS THIS HOW IT'S GOING TO BE FOREVER".

That's just my random thoughts. Naked Kenji (scene I'm on at time of writing) made me laugh until I cried. Everything about Kenji is just so hilarious - from his creepy conspiracies to his possible schizophrenia to his rejection of his own disability. I kind of wish I could play matchmaker with Hisao and Kenji just to see the kinds of things I'd have to do and say to court Kenji, but alas, gay Katawa Shoujo is just not in the cards. Oh well.

I'll keep updating and stuff with some impressions and thoughts. I think this is a really interesting format for storytelling, and I am actually really interested in seeing how it all turns out.
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:09 AM   #190
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I hope you have a blast. I think you will.

Kenji is hilarious. Easily one of my favorite manga / anime / VN comic relief characters of all time. I feel like he fills a very similar role to Clannad's Sunohara, another awesome character in the litany of anime-esque works. "The last sane man in an insane world."

Since you're not reading old posts (bah; they're meant to be read, not gather dust ¬_¬), I'll go ahead and state that going into the game my #1 most anticipated character was Hanako. As for feelings on the other side, well, you'll just have to play all five paths before I can say.

This isn't really a spoiler, though it may feel like one to you since it seems like you're unfamiliar with how many visual novels are set up: the reason you feel like you haven't gotten to make very many meaningful choices yet is:
  1. you're still early on in the game
  2. Act 1 is a common prologue for each of the routes you can dock onto
That stated, Act 1 has its fair share of choices for the player to make. Some of the most impactful choices in the game too as, per its design, Act 1 is the act which will determine whose route you dock onto.

Another micro spoiler: not all paths are created equal. For the time being, I mean two things by this that I want to bring to your attention. First, that the different paths were written by different authors. (The primary author of one of the paths was a co-author for one of the other paths, but that's about it as far as overlapping authors goes.) Second, that some of the paths are brimming with choices while others of the paths are not. Just giving you that heads up in advance.
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:17 AM   #191
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Now watch as Shuckle triggers all the bad end flags. *churtles*

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Speaking of choice-heavy routes, was it Rin's or Lilly's who had the most choices? At least, those ones seem to stand out to me the most.
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Paradise lies beyond the horizon, challenge it because it is unreachable.
Speak of the absolute territory, and grasp it with your hands.


Spoiler: show


SAAVE ME


FLOOF AND MOFUMOFU JUSTICE! *WHACK*


Spoiler: show

"Quit poking my face! >_<"
"Ahahaha, you'll never get rid of this! *hiss*"

Spoiler: show

"STOP POKING MY SISTER!"

Spoiler: show

"That was a terrible idea. But holy carp, this tastes pretty nice."


Spoiler: show
Kamen's mind:

"YOUKOSO WAGA CRAZY E"



Love burns brightly for one and all.

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Last edited by KamenAeons; 08-24-2014 at 04:35 AM.
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:31 AM   #192
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I deliberately did not specify which routes were the choice-heavy ones and which were not. I don't want to color his impressions of any of the routes unfavorably.
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:34 AM   #193
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Ah. Well, your own preference of girl shouldn't really be affected by the choices, eh?

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Clearly Hanako best girl. *shot*
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Hizumi Yukikaze: Emerald Breeze~ | Tokikou Nobuyuki: Time Mage
Ludger Bullenaar: Bastion of Raji City | Helena Levinton: Violet Stitching
Shizuya Kasen: SHSL Armourer

Waifu Squadron and Explorers | Cavern of Chaotic Creativity




Paradise lies beyond the horizon, challenge it because it is unreachable.
Speak of the absolute territory, and grasp it with your hands.


Spoiler: show


SAAVE ME


FLOOF AND MOFUMOFU JUSTICE! *WHACK*


Spoiler: show

"Quit poking my face! >_<"
"Ahahaha, you'll never get rid of this! *hiss*"

Spoiler: show

"STOP POKING MY SISTER!"

Spoiler: show

"That was a terrible idea. But holy carp, this tastes pretty nice."


Spoiler: show
Kamen's mind:

"YOUKOSO WAGA CRAZY E"



Love burns brightly for one and all.

Spoiler: show


Please don't diss idols or fluffy things in my presence.
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Old 11-22-2014, 12:07 AM   #194
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After YEARS of procrastination, I've picked Katawa Shoujo as "VN I need to finish". I'm going to try and go through it as fast as possible, hopefully we'll ice one route tonight!
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Old 11-25-2016, 10:18 AM   #195
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The screaming chubby is baaaaaaack~!

I've installed the latest version of Katawa Shoujo on a laptop I inherited several weeks ago. While I would still like to finish Lilly's path, what I've really been dying to do for several years now is to replay Hanako's. :> So ... Whereas the first time I played KS was pretty authentic (Emi, Kenji, Hanako, Rin, Shizune, and the still-unfinished Lilly), this time I'm playing the paths purposely in the order I want -- Hanako first, Lilly second, and probably won't even bother with the others for right now.

This is a fantastic opportunity for all of you young'uns and all of our other newcomers to the Anime forum to give this gem of a story a spin.
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Old 11-25-2016, 12:42 PM   #196
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This looks pretty neat, thanks for bumping this to notice Talon. Granted I skipped over reading the thread because likely spoilers, but I'll come back to it once I am done. Checked out Dopples initial post at least.

I'll probably do this whenever I finally finish fate/stay night. Or later tonight. Who knows.
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:57 PM   #197
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I need to go back just to finish Lilly's path. Because even though I've done three other paths already, I know she is going to be already is best girl
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Old 11-25-2016, 07:50 PM   #198
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There is a reason I am beginning with Hanako's path instead of finishing up Lilly's first, and it's not called "Lilly is the greatest." xp

(No, but seriously, it's fucking impossible to enjoy Lilly's path as much as I should because of the constant "friendzoned Hanako" in it. Lilly's supposed to be the friendzoned one!)
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Old 11-27-2016, 12:45 AM   #199
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I'm still pretty early in Act 1, but man oh man ...! I am loving every minute of this. It feels every bit like "the Story of Hanako" to me right now, hahaha, even though I know, objectively, that it's a common prologue shared between the five girls.

Not too much to say in this post. Mostly just sharing pictures and thoughts/responses to pictures.

Spoiler: show

This moment has always been a personal favorite.


Kenji and his conspiracy theory about "feminists", maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan ...! How I've missed this.


The debut of Kenji's iconic catchphrase ... I hadn't remembered that it was originally Hisao who says it, and that Kenji then protests that Hisao stole his line. Kinda funny, really, that a line so heavily attributed to Kenji was first uttered in the game by somebody else.


These two really are double trouble. They're so adorable. Invariably I am then led to think about how the Shizune path was disappointing, which in turn leads me to think about how crummy the Shizune path writer must've felt (and possibly even still feel), which in turn makes me sad about the situation all around , and ... *sigh*

'S okay! :') We at least have the Dynamic Duo in every other path to enjoy.


"I'm comin'! " I feel like I'm going up the first, tallest incline of a rollercoaster. We're almost there ...! We're almost over the hurdle!
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