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Transcript of Katawa Shoujo
January 4th, 2012 What is a Visual Novel? A mixed-media game featuring mostly static art
Character sprites are placed against backdrops, with a text box overlay
Special CG artwork included for significant scenes
1st person "choose-your-own-adventure" style
Exclusive to East Asia Original idea, characters, and design by Raita. Later posted on an imageboard, 4chan, gaining a ridiculous amount of attention. Four Leaf Studios was formed by a dedicated few in order to focus on the game's development. -Act 1- Lilly Hanako Emi Rin Shizune Misha Kenji Hisao -Act 2- -Act 3- -Act 4- Play Let's read
Katawa Shoujo... shall we? Set in the fictional Yamaku High, a school catering to disabled students in modern Japan. Hisao Nakai, our protagonist, is diagnosed with arrhythmia and transfers to Yamaku. Prologue "You are not alone, and you are not strange.
You are you, and everyone has damage.
Be the better person." By: Samir, Patrick, Brendan Based on choices
made in the first
Act, the narrative
will branch into
one of six arcs. Kenji's arc is the "bad ending" for Act 1, if you fail to befriend any of the main heroines. Shiina "Misha" Mikado Shizune "Shicchan" Hakamichi -Student Council president
-Deaf, communicates primarily
through sign language
-Decisive and domineering
-Reputation for being a
competent yet uncompromising
-Favorite game is Risk -The second member of Yamaku's Student Council
-Shizune's best friend and interpreter
-Overly cheerful and friendly, all the time
-Exasperatingly enthusiastic nature
-Affinity for sweets (parfaits)
-Distinctive "Wahaha~!" laugh Motif Running Emi Ibarazaki Life is precious, but fleeting. Live in the moment. Enjoy things while they last. Don't be afraid of losing something, since we'll lose it anyways. Just enjoy the ride and have fun. Take the first step forward, and run. 17 TIMES She kisses him The real question is why your screen isn't upside-down. I run,
I am Hisao becomes stronger, faster, and livelier
Acts playful and witty
Moves from depression to optimism Vicious Cycle By constantly running,
She refuses to confront her past
Damages her legs
Widens the gap between herself and Hisao. Emi lives life to the fullest Not letting a single day go by without becoming someone stronger Serves as an outlet for her trauma
Emi is late to class, runs in the halls, bends the rules
Doesn't allow society to stop her from following her passion.
She is self-empowered. Hisao takes pills, attends a school for cripples, abides by the school's laws and constructs put before him.
Feels inferior and detached from society because society say he's disabled. Running is a one-man thing.
Emi runs alone, deals with problems alone. Concept of
Confrontation Uses running as a coping method for her trauma
Hisao feels dejected by her
lack of communication Always pushing the limit Running physically
hurts her Refuses to communicate and runs her path alone
Leaves others in the dust and runs further away She remains phsycally well, but emotionally unbalanced Decision: face the truth, or continue to run away from reality. Emi teaches us that... Follow your passion and surpass your goals
Bring a jogging partner when the road gets rough
Communication and openness is key
Stay balanced: emotionally and physically
Live each day to its fullest Act 2 follows the wacky
adventures of the
Student Council and
establishes the group
Shicchan, Misha, and
Hisao (who also
begins learning sign
language). Ends with
the Tanabata festival. Rin Tezuka In this Act Hisao
becomes Closer to
Shizune, meeting her
family and becoming
more proficient with
Towards the end of
Act 3, Misha and
Shizune begin to grow
with a plot twist that
ends the Act on a very
bittersweet note. Artsy
Blunt In the final Act, Misha
has fallen into a state of
melancholia, and Hicchan
and Shicchan work together
in an attempt to cheer her up.
From there, based on the
choice made at the end of
Act 3, the narrative will
branch into either the
good or bad ending for this
arc. No spoilers. Shizune's Arc Sarcastic
Mostly Armless Characterization of Shizune Hakamichi Drags people into her life by force of will.
Compared to things like storms, black holes, and sharks, all of which embody her chaotic and near-predatory nature.
Very polarizing figure, both in and out of the context of the game. Just as she uses her body
to run to allay her trauma,
Emi uses her body to stave off
Hisao from getting too close...
Out of fear that she'll lose
him as she did her legs.
So she changes the subject, avoids communication, and inevitably
hurts their strong partnership. Motif of Games Relative Complexity But most of this is meaningless! By "meaningless," I mean... Most of your choices don't affect the overall story. Why not? Face Foreshadowing... Mountains Essentially a love triangle story. ...and more symbolism. Four Leaf Studios Good/bad/neutral
endings Emi's Track Final Thoughts Would we recommend
this visual novel? I counted. Also uses Hisao as another
outlet, when running
no longer cuts it.
Another way she uses her body
to stave off her problems. Mountains symbolize both Shizune's
drive for success and domination as
well as her isolation from others. Ridiculously competitive. Conclusions Shizune does not adjust her abrasive tendencies by the end of her arc.
Instead, both Hisao and Misha
learn to accept her for who she is.
The arc is about how Hisao (and Misha) develop in response to her unique personality. Thanks for listening!
Now, to Emi Ibarazaki! In Japan, it is (or was) customary
for women to cut their hair after
breaking up with a lover.
This ties into Misha's development
over the course of the arc. Shizune's position and caustic
personality are a source of some
controversy within Yamaku. Stellar Symbolism
and Tanabata Tanabata is a Japanese festival that is somewhat
comparable to Valentine's Day in the West. To quote Misha... It celebrates the coming together of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi, represented by the stars Vega and Altair. Both Altair and Vega are vertices of the Summer Triangle, the other being Deneb. Out Cold Tone shift punctuated by a music cue (Cold Iron).
Wintry setting first establishes a very tranquil mood, but after the tone shift becomes more representative of Hisao's near death experience.
Level of irony in how the romantic interaction is turned on its head.
Visual of Hisao's beating heart combined with the figurative language describing his nervousness both foreshadow the attack. The Theme(s) Human communication is intrinsically and terribly fallible, but we need to keep trying anyway. It's the only thing we've got--art doesn't cut it. Hisao's constant bewilderment when speaking to Rin To enact/assume personal change, you first need to accept yourself. Denying, avoiding, or forcing either of those is harmful in the long run. Dandelions "Drowning" They all start with C Communication Connection Change