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Old 01-10-2012, 07:33 PM   #1
Amui

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(R18+, Minor Spoilers) Katawa Shoujo review/discussion.

Hey guys, Amui here, today I'm gonna talk about a recent visual novel release called "Katawa Shoujo" from Four Leaf Studios, by the end of this video game you would never believe me if I told you this game had many of its roots in /a/ and /v/ from 4chan.
(Be warned, this visual novel does have a couple of adult scenes)

Basically the story begins with your protagonist, Hisao Nakai, having his high-school crush confess her love to him, and as with any good protagonist Hisao keeps his cool like a champ, but ends up having a heart attack due to a dormant congenital heart defect called Arrythmia.


At this point, Hisao wakes up in a hospital room and shortly thereafter finds out about his condition, leading to several more months of his stay in the hospital, all of his friends leaving him, the girl that confesses to him eventually giving up as well, and generally everybody forgetting about him.

Wanting a clean slate, the doctors give him the offer of transferring him to Yamaku High, a school for the disabled.

This is around when the feels begin to be felt, and trust me, you will feel many of them.


What happens next is his typical introduction to life to a new environment and to new friends, and perhaps new romantic interests in Yamaku.

This is also the point in which you will begin to lead Hisao from being a zero to a hero, and guide him through a route to the love of his life:

Lilly Satou, a young woman whom has been blind since birth.

Emi Ibarazaki, a short pig-tailed girl with prosthetic legs.

Hanako Ikezawa, an introverted bookworm with burn scars covering much of her body.

Rin Tezuka, an artist who lost her arms due to a birth defect.

Shizune Hakamichi, the student council president whom is both deaf and mute.

I feel as if this game has changed my life, today for the first day in years I got up and jogged around my neighborhood for no reason other than to feel the wind through my hair, and to see the beautiful sky, I'm taking things more seriously, like what I want to do with my life, and like Hisao, trying to find someone to share this short life with.

This game isn't even about disabilities, even if the title is "Disability Girls" it is in its core about people finding love with eachother and teaching eachother that perhaps life is worth living, the very few H-scenes in the game are not driven by lust, but by love and in some cases the pursuit of happiness.

The music in this game, dear god, the music, its like Jesus decided to take up every instrument known to man, and perfected everything, this is when I realized most of the people working on this visual novel didn't get paid to do what they did, this includes the artists, musicians, and story writers......this is something that transcends things as pathetic as money and greed.
Just listen to this piece right here, my personal favorite.

My only complaint with Katawa Shoujo is that in some parts it moves slower than a three-toed sloth in the middle of july, and I feel like they should have given you more choices, but other than this? Its nearly the perfect visual novel, it knows what it sets out to do, does so with the utmost respect to its source material, and accomplishes something worthy of changing peoples lives, this is not something you should pick up if you're expecting a Call of Duty experience, but if you want to find out more about yourself....give it a try, Its free.

I give this visual novel a 9.5/10, and I sincerely hope Four Leaf Studios put their collective minds together again and create another masterpiece.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:42 PM   #2
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Re: (R18+, Minor Spoilers) Katawa Shoujo review/discussion.

I'm pretty sure the studio said they'd never do a project again. I consider that's probably for the best since they didn't make a dime of money from this, and worked on it with whatever their full time job was for five or so years.

Glad to see you've enjoyed a visual novel however. They're something I wish more people would invest time into, but Western audiences just don't like how slow they can be.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:43 PM   #3
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Re: (R18+, Minor Spoilers) Katawa Shoujo review/discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanashimi View Post
I'm pretty sure the studio said they'd never do a project again. I consider that's probably for the best since they didn't make a dime of money from this, and worked on it with whatever their full time job was for five or so years.

Glad to see you've enjoyed a visual novel however. They're something I wish more people would invest time into, but Western audiences just don't like how slow they can be.
Very sad, I'd easily shell out $60 or more for another experience like this, so easily.

This was actually my first visual novel, I've only seen the Anime versions of other VNs before.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:59 PM   #4
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Re: (R18+, Minor Spoilers) Katawa Shoujo review/discussion.

I believe our very own Seige read this live on air for his show. He said that it wasn't as tasteless as the concept would imply... I didn't know it was that powerful though...
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:41 AM   #5
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Re: (R18+, Minor Spoilers) Katawa Shoujo review/discussion.

I stumbled across Katawa Shoujo a few months ago and I admit, I had my own concerns about the project. I won't lie, I've played a handful of visual novels with adult content, and overall, I haven't had that good of an impression of them. Luckily for me, at the time, only the demo of Katawa Shoujo was available, so I downloaded it. Two hours later.... I was telling everyone I knew about it.

I was extremely happy when I found out the full version was released recently. I've only done one playthru so far (Emi's good ending) and am incredibly touched by it. Sure, there's a bit of humor that taken out of context just seems wrong, but it's never done distastefully.

Reading a project like this makes me want to get back into writing again. (Heh, I even downloaded the Ren'Py software they used for making Katawa Shoujo and have played around with it a bit.)
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:42 PM   #6
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Re: (R18+, Minor Spoilers) Katawa Shoujo review/discussion.

I played through Shizune without much consequence, but doing Emi's route over the past couple days really hit me. Everything turned out fine in the end, if you do it right at least, but getting to that point had some really crushing moments that I as a person could not have possibly gotten myself through the way Hisao does. Maybe it's because he's so much more oblivious to things than I am. "Why does Emi enjoy running so much, hurr durr." Dammit, someone give me a cute girl to hug.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: (R18+, Minor Spoilers) Katawa Shoujo review/discussion.

Ya, Emi was my first playthru, and I know exactly what you mean. I mean, it's obvious as a reader what's happened, but Hisao is a moron. I wanted to hit him just as much, if not more, than wanting to hug Emi.
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