Katawa Shoujo – After Emi’s Route




          Spoilers ahead.
          I just finished the last route left for me in Katawa Shoujo. I left Emi Ibarazaki for last because judging from my initial impression of her in act 1, she was the kind of person that I was least likely to like and associate myself with. She is a happy-go-lucky, athletic, and energetic girl that lives in the moment. Delving deeper into her story we learn she is also fiercely independent to a fault, and shields herself in a psychological barrier that no one of her age has yet penetrated…until Hisao comes along.
          Emi’s story is also heavily marked by physical affection, even more so than Lilly’s route. But the manifestation of love that fostered between Hisao and Emi, and Hisao and Lilly are of very different kinds. With Lilly, their romance is of a more mature nature, as it is fitting to Lilly’s classy and refined character. With Emi, they act like their age, with plenty of childish teasing and playful physical contact. They look more like a typical couple in their teenage years. There are also themes common to both Emi’s and Hanako’ routes: the childhood accident that defined both girls’ conditions, and Hisao having to navigate closer to their hearts without looking like he is wearing shiny armor riding upon a steed.
          I wonder about the longevity and stability of this coupling. Ever since her accident Emi says that she lives for the present because she’s afraid to lose the future. Or more specifically, she’s afraid of having a future to lose. Hisao manages to pierce through her mental shield that guards her dearest memories, but has he influenced this particular perspective of hers? If she still only lives in the now, can both tolerate it through the years? Can Emi stand Hisao’s prodding questions about her future? Can Hisao accept constant avoidance or uncommitted answers? It may be a crack in their bond that may grow to a chasm in time. Unless, of course, Emi changes.
          I just have to mention that Emi’s route contains the most amusing scene of the entire visual novel, bar none. Hilarious times in the storage shed.

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Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This was the most touching and real story for me. Emi seems like such a real character and like the real characters I’ve met in my life, she may never change, whether that’s for good or ill. I love the message of living in the moment and having a relationship based on trust, understanding, and honesty. What a beautiful piece of art.

  2. Hisao Nakai, The Master of Romance and Lemons… :D

    Btw, I got Emi’s route first, I guess she’s the one matching me the most. (and I wanted her since the beginning, so it’s just better)
    Emi was a girl I could really like and the story really touched me. I couldn’t think of anything else but the story and the end and Emi and more Emi and…
    I can’t say how awesome it is and how much I liked it :D
    This game is pure art.
    (And Emi’s bad endig is touching as well, but it’s not as dramatic as I expected… But if I think of it freely, I always end up thinking that what if it’s not what she wanted? Why did she have to? They both made a mistake… But that’s not how it was meant to happen…
    What if she didn’t look at you, because she was crying? So sad :( But it ended so suddenly that it didn’t have the expected effect on me, since I took a break right before the last sentence, and when I loaded it and read it, it ended, soo… :/)


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