Katawa Shoujo


The thing about productions that for one reason or the other are fairly detached from the business perspective is that they occasionally stick out just because of the things they do not need to cut. Penny Arcade Adventures comes to mind, had business been a big concern I would think they would have cut out the swearing to avoid the M-rating, but it would not have been true to the source material. Kind of what Die Hard 4 did.

With Katawa Shoujo, it is the explicit sex scenes. Some of them are gratuitous, although I don’t think this is out of perversion since it applies to a lot of the writing as well – there is a lot of pointless exposition and loose threads. Not exactly unusual with hobby projects. And you can opt to remove the adult scenes, but here’s where the quirk comes in – the scenes are important narrative elements. In one story, sex is about trust. In another, it is about distraction and in yet another it is about inspiration. Katawa Shoujo shows different sides of intimacy and how different people approach it.

Which is what is so great about it, really – the five different stories are about how romance with different people means fulfilling very different needs. The one common theme is that in order to succeed you need to realize that the women has got it together more than the main character and he is the one needing their help. The outright scorn for the white knight archetype feels a bit blatant considering it is a story about disabled people, but it is just a small part of it and a refreshing change from the alternative.

Again, a lot of parts of Katawa Shoujo could have done with some editing. Occasionally, the settings just doesn’t add up and sometimes the opposite is true – the amount of research that has gone into some details becomes a bit too obvious. And it is possible having spent so much time watching anime and playing JRPGs is coloring my opinion of it, but I don’t see myself enjoying a love story as much as I enjoyed these for quite some time.

Posted on May 20/12 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »