Katawa Shoujo

After years of gathering virtual dust in my hard drive, I finally found the will to play KATAWA SHOUJO. Well, I actually did it out of boredom ever since my internet speed became slow as f*ck. I’ve played visual novels before but they all had voice-overs unlike Katawa Shoujo, and so I placed it on low priority in my to-do list. Long story short, I played it (twice, I might add) and the product is this post on that same experience.


Hisao Nakai is a normal high school student, currently in his final year of high school. One day Hisao receives a letter from parties unknown in his locker and waits at the written place for the sender. The person who wrote the letter turns out to be his crush; while speaking to her, he suddenly collapses. He awakes in a hospital bed, and is told by the doctors that the reason he collapsed is due to arrhythmia, a rare heart condition that causes his heartbeat to sometimes become irregular. Due to this, his parents have enrolled him in Yamaku, a school for disabled students of all kinds.



 2059 Title:
Disability Girls, かたわ少女Genre: Romance, School, DramaGametime: 10 – 30hours Developer:
Four Leaf Studios

PG-17+ (Violence and profanity)

 D O W N L O A D  L I N K S




 Katawa_Shoujo_choices_menu gfs_238300_2_34 Shizune Your avatar’s name is Hisao and the first thing you’ll notice is that you’re somewhere together with some girl under a snowy backdrop. The girl talks to you and asks you out (romantic, right?) but then out of sheer excitement you get a heart attack because apparently your heart is weak as sh*t. The hospital you get dragged into confirms that you have a freakin’ heart disease. The girl who confessed to you visits every now and then but eventually stops after a few months. This made me sad; I felt bad for Hisao.
Naturally, the guy can’t go back to his regular life because of his heart thing so he gets sent off to a place where he gets to continue his studies and, at the same time, care for his condition. The site is huge and full of nice people and scenery but the striking difference that sets it off from other schools is its students. That is, they all have some form of disability, mostly physical. It is here, that the story begins.
I’m not gonna’ lie about this but the first thing I did was to scout the girls. Hmmm who should I pick? It was duly noted that all the choices had a specific physical disability but that didn’t stop me. That one is cute; oh wait, I think that one is even cuter!






I like the way Katawa Shoujo introduces its lineup of eligible girls. They come in pairs, and you can see how both are: who they are, what disability they live with, etc. You’ll be able to witness the complementary relationship they share. It’s your job to intercept a pair in order to make one of the girls fall for you while the other becomes a third wheel figure in the triad relationship you create.
Lets be serious for a sec. Katawa Shoujo‘s script lives up to its status as a Visual Novel (emphasis on the Novel). A lot of visual novels nowadays lack the sense of making you notice the environment around your avatar as descriptions act as fuel for your imagination. What Katawa Shoujo lacks in voice-acting, it makes up for it with the feel.
The VN has an Extras page that contains the in-game pictures, cutscenes, and music. It is available for viewing in the main menu. You can’t view any CG though unless you’ve unlocked it (cough completionists cough). This makes gameplay so damn satisfying; every move you make is a win especially if you’re trying to complete the unlockables. My point is that it’s not a bad move to fail any route. To illustrate, I’m going to give two examples based on my experience from playing the game.
Take note that the following may contain potential spoilers and I advise you not to go further if knowing anything beforehand will ruin the game for you.
When I saw Hanako for the first time she was very very shy, making a fuss over the smallest of things. She’s my type of girl so naturally I wanted her route. Now, here is where I made a mistake: when you first play a game, you tend to be all goody-goody. While I was busy trying to please everyone, Act 1 finished and somehow I ended up on an Act 2 with another girl, Emi’s, route. Don’t get me wrong; I admit Emi is a cute loli with no legs and is the star runner of the track team. Unfortunately, she’s not Hanako so I restarted the whole thing (cough no saves cough). On the second run, I got really into Hanako’s shy nature; it made me want to make her feel more comfortable around me so I stuck around with Hanako and her partner Lilly (remember the pair dynamic?). In time, Lilly just slowly grew on me and true enough I ended up with her. Huh, that turn of events…
Lilly’s route was passionate and romantic. It was like watching the perfect development of a ‘shipped couple you support. You’re guaranteed to love every single moment. The minute you start to miss her as she goes out of the country, you’ll feel lonely enough to want to see her. Lilly gives a fantastic impact on the player.
Of course, I didn’t decide to make a review with just one route. On the third run, I got Emi’s route (intentionally this time) and it’s here that stuff got complicated. I got pissed off at Emi a lot, like this:
With her, the love you both feel takes a long while to admit to each other but as soon as I resolved that part I didn’t feel that extra vibe that I experienced with Lilly. Why is that? Maybe because I got used to hanging out with Emi and not only that, you already seemed like a couple even though you officially weren’t. Nonetheless, Emi’s route is definitely fun and it’s not only focused on the both of you as you get to interact more with the other characters.
Here’s the rundown for my experience with Katawa Shoujo. Lilly’s route was the perfect relationship, straight out of a romance movie. It’s great and I love it. Emi’s route got me riled up with jealousy, happiness, anger, and wanton hunger. Her bestfriend turns into my partner-in-crime, as well. In short, it was a more realistic story; a quality that made it a notch higher than the Lilly route. I had so much fun playing Katawa Shoujo that I never skipped any lines; I kept reading through them all, even the repetitive exposition part since it was well-described enough for me to feel as though I was experiencing those moments firsthand.

RATING: 4.9 / 5


I still haven’t tried Hanako’s Route and WHY DOESN’T MISHA GET ONE?!?!?!?!?!?!



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