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Topic: Okay, let's talk about that Disabled Visual Novel

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Posted on January 14, 2012 at 2:53:20 [Post link]
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Katawa Shoujo ("Disabled Girls") was originally an idea thought up by doujin artist RAITA back in the year 2000 in the back of one of the books he had drawn for. In 2007, a scan of this idea was posted on 4chan's /a/ board, and some users were so intrigued with the idea that they decided to take his idea and make it in their own image.

5 years later, and Katawa Shoujo is released as a free download. Naturally, the fact that this game exists at all has been the spur of many a controversy, and the fact that it started on 4chan hasn't been helping the cause, either. A good amount of people are giving the game some odd looks and asking why even 4chan would try and fetishize limb stumps and burn scars. Others have gone out and said that it's a great thing, putting disabled people into the spotlight, with writing that emphasizes the characters and how their disabilities don't define who they are.

I'm sure at least some of you have heard of the game, and I figured this would be an interesting discussion, given the kinds of opinions that can form on this type of thing. I have an opinion that I'll be sharing later if this gets enough attention. I won't post a download link without Doc's permission, since this is sorta out-there thing.

Here's an article that can explain everything better than I can:
http://kotaku.com/5461619/romance-with-disabled-girls-how-and-maybe-why-an-unusual-video-game-came-to-be

What do you think? Disgusting? Insensitive? A good thing? Perfectly fine?

Edited by TopHat on January 13, 2012 at 18:53:30

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Posted on January 14, 2012 at 18:04:34 [Post link]
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Considering the premise of many other visual novels out there, this is fine. Things could be a lot, LOT worse.


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Posted on January 15, 2012 at 3:16:05 [Post link]
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Deny it all you want, it must have had some impact on you since you keep bringing it up!


Quote from post #229378:
Originally posted by TopHat
What do you think? Disgusting? Insensitive? A good thing? Perfectly fine?


I'll go with "fine". It's utterly random of a concept, but then, it's no worse than many other themes. There's one thing that's not clear to me yet, though: are the disabilities purely physical, or are some mental as well?


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Posted on January 15, 2012 at 3:37:20 [Post link]
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From what I've read on the matter, normal students are enrolled in the setting's school, but mentally disabled students are not.


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Posted on January 15, 2012 at 21:05:04 [Post link]
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Quote from post #229382:
Originally posted by Dr. Cossack
Deny it all you want, it must have had some impact on you since you keep bringing it up!


Quote from post #229378:
Originally posted by TopHat
What do you think? Disgusting? Insensitive? A good thing? Perfectly fine?


I'll go with "fine". It's utterly random of a concept, but then, it's no worse than many other themes. There's one thing that's not clear to me yet, though: are the disabilities purely physical, or are some mental as well?


I'm not denying anything, just waiting to post some opinions so I can get some discussion rolling first. :V

Also to answer your question:

Anyone without a mental disability is allowed to enroll, but it costs a good deal more for those without a handicap of some sort, which is why it's mostly Disabled High.

Edited by TopHat on January 15, 2012 at 13:05:24

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Posted on January 16, 2012 at 15:02:29 [Post link]
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Including mental disabilities would've been a slippery slope, and I'm glad that was avoided.

Overall, I'm surprisingly fine with the concept. It's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, of course, but then the same could be said about entire genres of games. Or movies. Some people like to watch movies with heavy levels dismemberment and blood, while others will find that completely horrifying and showing a complete lack of taste. Is one really better than the other? I'm not so sure.

The fact that this comes out of 4chan bugs me more than the topic subject, actually.

Edited by Dr. Cossack on January 16, 2012 at 10:03:09


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Posted on January 16, 2012 at 18:38:45 [Post link]
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I think it bugs me as well, but for a different reason. Or it might not be different, but I'm assuming it is.

4chan has a really negative vibe tied to it, and that trickles into anything that comes out of it. It's something I can tell you from personal experience is a load of nonsense (Remember those Pokemon wallpapers? They went completely viral 100% due to 4chan reception. I promise you they were not made with dubious intentions to corrupt the children of the world.)

But that's on another spectrum altogether, and that's something I understand. It's a game about disabled girls stemmed from a place that has been known to fetishize anything and everything. That fact alone is enough to turn people away, despite big names like Destructoid noting that "it has a lot of heart, and made in a non-exploitative manner" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B3ey20oRQE, 8:36, note there's some swearing).

It's obviously not everyone's cup of tea, but any negativity or hesitance to download it simply because it originated on 4chan is misplaced.

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Posted on January 18, 2012 at 0:18:51 [Post link]
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Quote from post #229391:
Originally posted by Dr. Cossack
Including mental disabilities would've been a slippery slope, and I'm glad that was avoided.

Overall, I'm surprisingly fine with the concept. It's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, of course, but then the same could be said about entire genres of games. Or movies. Some people like to watch movies with heavy levels dismemberment and blood, while others will find that completely horrifying and showing a complete lack of taste. Is one really better than the other? I'm not so sure.

The fact that this comes out of 4chan bugs me more than the topic subject, actually.

Edited by Dr. Cossack on January 16, 2012 at 10:03:09


4chan is a very large community and has several boards, not all of which are like /b/. That's something that often gets ignored.


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Posted on January 20, 2012 at 2:24:49 [Post link]
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I haven't played this, but I've heard a ton of buzz about it in the extended TV Tropes community, generally praising the game for good writing and characterization that humanizes the characters.

Also, I was shown this image: https://room208.org/shimmie/post/view/2637


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Posted on January 20, 2012 at 14:14:55 [Post link]
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Had to laugh at the image on Omnibooru. Some shows justify their existence to me by the very tropes & memes they generate.

What do I think about this? A quality and innovative collaborative work that treats disabled persons like any other? A-Okay in my book. Just going by what I'm hearing, though. And from what I understand, the Japanese title is closer to "Cripple Girls". I gotta hand it to whoever localized the title, good call on toning it down a bit.

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Posted on January 22, 2012 at 0:52:49 [Post link]
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Wait, wasn't it actually developed by 4chan people, not just localized?


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Posted on January 22, 2012 at 3:16:53 [Post link]
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Quote from post #229426:
Originally posted by Glenn Magus Harvey
Wait, wasn't it actually developed by 4chan people, not just localized?


Correct. The IDEA came from a Japanese sketch, but all of the actual development happened in the US from 4chan.

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Posted on February 20, 2012 at 6:35:29 [Post link]
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So, wait a second... You all are talking about this game, but it sounds like none actually tried playing it?

I've played it. At first, I played it because I wanted to know what the hype was all about. If you don't know, not all visual novels are pornographic, but the most popular genre is (for PC at least). So I can see why most people will just write this off as another sick fetish game. But what made me try it was the overwhelming reviews of it being not what most people expected and tastefully compassionate.

As the story starts, the main character (notice that I don't say "you" ) finds out he has a terminal heart problem and was stuck in a hospital for months. After learning he can't return to his old school because of his problem, his parents enroll him in Yamaku High School, a school for people with disabilities (but they do not handle mental disabilities). Act 1 and most of Act 2 is the usual drama and the silliness of a high school themed anime. It's when it gets to Act 3 and 4 that is gets heavy and sometimes emotional.

It's kinda hard to describe without ruining the surprise that this game gives, but all I can say it does make you think sometimes about your own life and how you view others. If you have qualms about the sex scenes, they can be turned off (they are skipped over with funny images of food or cute animals). But keep in mind that this is still an adult game and there are still sexual innuendo, some nudity, and cursing even when censored.

Which goes to an interesting point. You can play this censored. Adult visual novels don't have that option. So why does this one have it? My answer is: sex not the selling point of this game. Heck, most of the time it is in Act 3 and usually just one or two scenes (though it depends on what girl route you take, I hated Emi's because she had 3 or 4). Keep in mind that you still need to play through Act 4 which wraps up the story without it.

Believe me when I say give this game a chance. It's a free download, you can play it censored, and you might just enjoy its message. My favorite routes are Hanako, Lilly, and Rin. Shizune is an okay story, but I hated Emi's. Emi's was the least interesting.

Edited by Breakman on February 19, 2012 at 22:36:32


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Posted on February 26, 2012 at 0:41:05 [Post link]
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I only played Rin's route. I uninstalled afterward because I was afraid doing another route would ruin the impact it left.

From what I've seen off-hand I can't see myself liking the others. Lilly's seems very storybook-romance, Emi seems too....casual? Hanako seems like a typical moeblob even though she seems popular so I might be wrong. Shizune's I've heard is awful from a ton of people.

Also I have a waifu now I guess.

EDIT: yes i most definitely have a waifu

Edited by TopHat on March 2, 2012 at 20:05:48

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Posted on April 2, 2012 at 22:32:33 [Post link]
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(Moved this topic here. If these joke boards are deleted, I'll just move it back to Chit-Chat.)

I'm glad you got a good route the first time, Top. Hanako was my first and none of the other girls will replace her, but I did want to know the stories of the others.

I'm surprised the main character didn't die in any scenario other than the "secret" one. There where many times in different stories where he would be pushing himself too hard, eat the wrong types of food, or actually have a heart attack in places where normally there would be no hope for him if in real life.

I also kinda find it funny that he's probably weaker than any or all the girls. Just bumping into him can cause him to lose his breath. ^^;


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Posted on April 2, 2012 at 22:37:42 [Post link]
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His entire condition seemed to be completely forgotten about in the Rin path. It isn't mentioned or referenced at all up until a slight scare at the very end, almost like a "OOPS, OH RIGHT HE HAS A HEART PROBLEM I SHOULD PROBABLY MENTION IT"

Given how much of a pushover he was about it in act 1 it was actually sort of surprising.

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Posted on April 5, 2012 at 4:55:14 [Post link]
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Time to come clean: I've played it in the last days of March. I just didn't want to admit it before April's Fools, since it might have made the joke a bit easier to expect!

I picked choices going with what felt right, and I ended up with Emi's route before I knew it. I know she's about the least popular option, but I found her story to be well-done and touching at times. The game overall wasn't anywhere as creepy as I feared ("omg cripples!!1"), as everything remains tasteful and in respect of the characters, as virtual as they are. I know it was said before, but nothing even comes close to being fetish material, and I'm happy to see that.

The writing is well done, and it does get you to think at times. This being a Visual Novel and all, thus closer in concept to a book than a game, it's driven by its story and the emotions it can generate. The team behind it succeeded with that, at least for what I've seen so far!

I must admit I'm curious enough to attempt a second playthrough using different options...

Edited by Dr. Cossack on April 4, 2012 at 23:55:29


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Posted on April 5, 2012 at 5:01:33 [Post link]
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rin route is best route

Okay actually it will either hit you hard or completely fly over your head.

No harm in trying though~

Edited by TopHat on April 5, 2012 at 6:05:09

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Posted on May 9, 2012 at 3:54:15 [Post link]
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I keep telling myself I need to post about this. :D

Katawa Crash

It's a spin-off of the old Nanaca Crash, which you might have encountered before, but with a Katawa Shoujo theme. The goal is to send poor Hisao flying through the air, while a bunch of characters from the game (and then some!) are lined up on the ground. Every time Hisao touches someone, a special event will occur, usually a boost back in the air. The goal is to stay airborne as long as possible!

Unlike Nanaca Crash, however, there are a LOT more elements in here, including a lot of random additions. The guitar-wielding dinosaur is nothing: wait until Misha's giant head swallows you whole and carries you for a ride... or until Barack Obama shows up... or until the random Minecraft creeper explodes...

This is hilarious if you're played through KS, but it's perfectly enjoyable without that. :)


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Posted on May 9, 2012 at 4:28:02 [Post link]
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Why did you have to link me that game. I thought I was free.

._.


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