Definitely worthwhile ... (Spoliers)

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User Info: Idaeus_004

Idaeus_004
3 years ago#51
Darkling183 posted...
Wow, cool. Thanks for that! I never understood what Yuta was getting at with that speech or what it was supposed to prove. You're right - Yuta wouldn't have encouraged Kana to grow; he would have just tried to shield her from everything.

Huh, must admit, I thought it was fairly obvious, I mean, Taka basically says as much to Yuta when you tell him 'No' when he asks if he could ask Kana out. But I guess looking back, it was presented rather cryptically. It shows when you meet him at the hospital & he again mentions taking Kana out (I was really p***ed with him by then. "I already said no you a**hole!") that he hasn't changed, & still thinks more of the 'idea' of Kana than the person (I also loved how she subtly signals that she's quietly grateful when you get her out of it by saying she should stay home with you instead, made me "D'aww" quite a bit, lol).

Basically Yuta was something of the anti-Taka. He was more open about the feelings he had towards Kana, but had them for the wrong reasons. whereas Taka was trying to push down his feelings for, who he then thought, was his little sister; but the feelings he was having were pure & there for all the RIGHT reasons...


Darkling183 posted...
Speaking of games with great stories, have you played The Walking Dead adventure game from Telltale? The central relationship in that game is well-developed and leads to a strong emotional climax. I'm not even a fan of TWD in any of its other forms - never read the comic book, and could only get through two episodes of the TV show before realising it wasn't for me - but I loved the game.

Tbh I haven't. I have a few mates who are big TWD fans & have played the game, & I've watched a few episodes of the program; but I've never really been interested.

I have been impressed by what I've heard of the game though; & I may try it out at some point, more for the interaction & storytelling than the zombies, which I've never been a fan of really. I may look it up though; since I've only heard about it from people who like it for the 'TWD' & 'zombies' angles, I've never been fussed. But if someone's out there saying that It's got good interactions, emotional content & such; then that may be the encouragement I need to have a go...

User Info: Darkling183

Darkling183
3 years ago#52
Idaeus_004 posted...
Likewise. In retrospect, if I could've gone back & wanred myself, I would've played a lot more titles BEFORE playing KLS; since it does make everything else look a lot weaker by comparison.
My problem is that (other than VGA-era bishoujo games like True Love and Three Sisters' Story), KLS was the first bishoujo game I ever played. And nothing else has been able to stack up to it in the emotional stakes.

Ever 17 has a plot that just pulled me into it and made my jaw drop several times, but I didn't emerge from it with a particular affection or nostalgia for any of the love interests. It was always a PG release, even in Japan, so the story was probably the main focus, more than the romances.

I really enjoyed the path in Crescendo with Ryo's adoptive sister, but it was a tad too short to have the same cumulative emotional 'kick in the guts' effect that KLS had. Cat crawls into an alleyway and dies. Kana smiles and says "I love you" for the first time. My hand gets cut and Kana starts sucking it. Kana stands at my bedroom door, naked. Kana dies. And dies. And dies again.

I would say that Crescendo's writing is on par with KLS. But it obviously can't spend as much time with each girl as KLS does with Kana. In fact, most of the paths in Crescendo are actually quite a bit shorter than your typical 'Come See Me Tonight' or 'Hitomi My Stepsister' path. That's probably why people complain about its relative brevity.


It's a shame that Tanaka's work's deteriorated really, since we obviously know that she's capable of producing an incredible piece of story work when she tries... Perhaps there've been production demands & such that have caused problems or something, but it is discouraging to see such a talented artist slip in the quality of their work...
Romeo Tanaka is a he, actually. (Whereas Kengo Yonekura, the character designer for KLS, is a woman, which startled me.) I think that Tanaka might have had less input into KLS's premise; it was made fairly early in his career, IIRC. His later works have become more ambitious and more about real-world issues (Family Project covered subject matter like people smuggling, salarymen going crazy from overwork, teenage runaways and gambling addiction; Yume Miru Kusuri covered high school bullying, drug abuse and students working themselves to exhaustion).

Granted, chronic renal insufficiency, incestuous romance and coming to terms with the inevitability of death aren't exactly light-hearted subjects either, but they were treated with much more sensitivity and focus in KLS. Tanaka's later games were just crammed with too much that he wanted to preach about, and the characterisation suffered as a result.


Huh, must admit, I thought it was fairly obvious, I mean, Taka basically says as much to Yuta when you tell him 'No' when he asks if he could ask Kana out. But I guess looking back, it was presented rather cryptically.
We all have our little blind spots. =)

I never really understood Yuta's interest in Kana either. Okay, so she's "still white" (whatever the hell that means). So? That means you love her? You never say you do. Instead you start talking about ex-girlfriends and abortions. Perhaps that scene was poorly translated, or perhaps it was just one of the early signs of Tanaka not presenting issues as naturally as they could have been.


But if someone's out there saying that It's got good interactions, emotional content & such; then that may be the encouragement I need to have a go...
Well, if you just don't like zombies, full stop, then the game isn't for you. I was (and still am) fairly neutral to the idea of zombies. It did take a similar recommendation from a friend to get me to play it. And I'm glad I did.

User Info: Idaeus_004

Idaeus_004
3 years ago#53
Darkling183 posted...
it was a tad too short to have the same cumulative emotional 'kick in the guts' effect that KLS had. Cat crawls into an alleyway and dies. Kana smiles and says "I love you" for the first time. My hand gets cut and Kana starts sucking it. Kana stands at my bedroom door, naked. Kana dies. And dies. And dies again.

Seriously, you trying to make me cry again? Took me ages to get over the second to sixth endings, & just focus on the true ending! Lol. Don't bring them up again!

Indeed; there were so many hugely moving scenes in KLS that it was just incredible. One thing I was often impressed with was how I would usually be having the exact same response to the situations as Taka, as opposed to other VNs where I'd often be wondering how the protagonist could end up with such a response. Whenever something would happen that would cause Taka to be happy, sad, conflicted, or cause any sort of major emotional response; I would feel "Yeah, that IS the reaction I'd have to that. I'd feel exactly the same way!" which shows how well it was done in that the scenes really did produce the response & impact that the characters responses were implying.

Romeo Tanaka is a he, actually.

Aaah my bad. Knew there was a woman as one of the main creators, & got confused :) ... Took a guess, got it wrong, haha. Oops.

I never really understood Yuta's interest in Kana either. Okay, so she's "still white" (whatever the hell that means). So? That means you love her? You never say you do. Instead you start talking about ex-girlfriends and abortions.

I think that that was the idea, that it shows when he talks that Yuta doesn't REALLY love Kana at all, but rather what she represents as an idea. He's in love with the idea of this 'pure & untainted girl' that's nothing like normal girls in the world; & doesn't see that putting her out there would make her more like a normal girl too (which is of course, in the true ending, what you're basically trying to do).

However, Yuta pretty much just wants to put Kana on a pedestal so everyone can see how much purer she is than them, but never be allowed anywhere near her, or her them, for fear of 'spoiling' her. It's the main reason he flips out at Taka in endings four to six; when he finds out about them loving each other, & says that Taka's disgraced Kana; basically meaning that she's no longer 'pure & white' now, because of it.

User Info: Darkling183

Darkling183
3 years ago#54
Idaeus_004 posted...
Indeed; there were so many hugely moving scenes in KLS that it was just incredible.
Yeah, I'd be hard-pressed to remember even a handful of scenes from any other generic bishoujo game I've played.

"I'm a tomboy. I have tomboy problems." "Well, all you have to do is stop feeling so embarrassed about your feminine side." "Oh, thank you! *bow-bow-chicka-bow-bow*"

"I'm your childhood friend but I wish we could be more." "Now that you've admitted it to me, I find you way hot." "Oh, I'm so happy! *bow-bow-chicka-bow-bow*"

"I'm your underaged kouhai and I've always had a crush on you, but I'm worried about how undeveloped my body is." "I still think you're beautiful." "Oh, oniisan, I love you! *bow-bow-chicka-bow-bow*"

Wash, rinse and repeat. Ugh.


One thing I was often impressed with was how I would usually be having the exact same response to the situations as Taka, as opposed to other VNs where I'd often be wondering how the protagonist could end up with such a response.
Yes, I think that's the magical ingredient in KLS. The story shows us Kana's loneliness and vulnerability as a child bullied by her big brother, then makes her adorable and loving, making me (and a lot of other people), as the player, become emotionally invested in and protective of her.

Players identify very strongly with Taka and project their own personality onto him. He doesn't make controversial decisions that break the player's immersion in the story. It's not like he actively pursues Yumi against the player's wishes or anything like that. He's basically forced into the relationship with her and (because he's a decent guy at heart) feels obligated to continue with it. It's frustrating, but Yumi is the source of the frustration, not Taka.


However, Yuta pretty much just wants to put Kana on a pedestal so everyone can see how much purer she is than them, but never be allowed anywhere near her, or her them, for fear of 'spoiling' her. It's the main reason he flips out at Taka in endings four to six; when he finds out about them loving each other, & says that Taka's disgraced Kana; basically meaning that she's no longer 'pure & white' now, because of it.
Sheesh, what is it about those crazy secondary love interests and their unreasonable obsessions with Taka and Kana? Now that you point it out, Yuta's interest in Kana is as much of a deus ex machina as Yumi's obsession with Taka. That doesn't detract from the main Kana/Taka relationship for me, but it does presage the beginnings of Tanaka's heavy-handed style, where ideas take precedence over subtlety of characterisation.

User Info: Idaeus_004

Idaeus_004
3 years ago#55
Darkling183 posted...
Yeah, I'd be hard-pressed to remember even a handful of scenes from any other generic bishoujo game I've played.

"I'm a tomboy. I have tomboy problems." "Well, all you have to do is stop feeling so embarrassed about your feminine side." "Oh, thank you! *bow-bow-chicka-bow-bow*"

"I'm your childhood friend but I wish we could be more." "Now that you've admitted it to me, I find you way hot." "Oh, I'm so happy! *bow-bow-chicka-bow-bow*"

"I'm your underaged kouhai and I've always had a crush on you, but I'm worried about how undeveloped my body is." "I still think you're beautiful." "Oh, oniisan, I love you! *bow-bow-chicka-bow-bow*"

Wash, rinse and repeat. Ugh.

Yeah, that's it with 99% of the VNs out there sadly. Every woman in the game is in love with the protagonist, often with no identifiable reason or meaning behind their attraction. Whereas in KLS the relationship between Taka & Kana & their attraction to each other was INCREDIBLY well explained & reasoned. A huge amount of effort went into making them so close before romance even started being pointed at in the least; meaning that when it started leaning that way, it was completely understandable & believable.

He's basically forced into the relationship with her and (because he's a decent guy at heart) feels obligated to continue with it. It's frustrating, but Yumi is the source of the frustration, not Taka.

Again, Yumi has to be one of the most universally disliked female characters in any VN, lol. But yeah, it made it clear that he was in the relationship because he felt a sense of obligation, sympathy, & a huge amount of conflict over his feelings for Kana; but never because he actually has romantic feelings for Yumi herself at all. He even confesses to her, when he asks her to help make the transplant happen (The main reason I'm prepared to cut her any slack after what she's done), that the main attraction he ever had to her was that she reminded him of Kana slightly.

Sheesh, what is it about those crazy secondary love interests and their unreasonable obsessions with Taka and Kana? Now that you point it out, Yuta's interest in Kana is as much of a deus ex machina as Yumi's obsession with Taka. That doesn't detract from the main Kana/Taka relationship for me, but it does presage the beginnings of Tanaka's heavy-handed style, where ideas take precedence over subtlety of characterisation.

Ultimately I think it's fairly safe to say that the primary purpose of Yumi & Yuta were to bring Kana & Taka together, yet to serve as obstacles at the same time. But they were at least well developed for those roles I suppose.

Yuta's admittedly not as messed up as Yumi though (although like Yumi, he does seem to have been following someone for years, who doesn't actually want him in return at all. In fact, unlike Taka & Yumi, Kana was never actually remotely attracted to him at all in the first place); & at least isn't as openly obsessive about his longing for her as Yumi was. At least he generally shows a bit more self control & dignity ... -_-

User Info: Darkling183

Darkling183
3 years ago#56
Idaeus_004 posted...
Again, Yumi has to be one of the most universally disliked female characters in any VN, lol.
I've come to 'appreciate' her, but she's not the type of girl I'd go after first (or even fourth) if she were one of the possible love interests in a different game. She'd be the outwardly cheerful, brash girl with secret insecurities that make it impossible for her to admit her real feelings for the protagonist. Been there, done that.

I do think it's clear that fifth-grade Taka was attracted to Yumi. However, it's impossible for us to know if they were suited for each other, either back then or when they met again at university age. It isn't until after Kana's death that we finally get a chance to see how their relationship might have played out (Yumi taking Taka to visit Kana's grave; Yumi reading Taka's book and forgiving him, then taking his hand).

It's clever, actually. It leaves that open to the player's imagination, too. Do Yumi and Taka get back together? Do they just stay friends? Choose whichever option you prefer!


Yuta's admittedly not as messed up as Yumi though (although like Yumi, he does seem to have been following someone for years, who doesn't actually want him in return at all. In fact, unlike Taka & Yumi, Kana was never actually remotely attracted to him at all in the first place)
I think the one-sidedness of Yuta's interest in Kana was partly what put me off him. I never really understood what he was trying to accomplish. He wanted to preserve her purity and keep her 'white'? But he also wanted to date her? Would he ever have wanted to have sex with her, or would that have been 'soiling' her?

At least with the Taka/Yumi relationship, Taka had mixed feelings about it (mostly guilt and obligation, as you said, but there are still occasions when he thinks to himself that she has positive qualities). With Kana and Yuta, it was just "get him out of here! Swat him out with a broom, Miki! Kana doesn't want anything to do with him!". Yuta was never a solid romantic prospect for Kana; he was very obviously just an additional spanner in the works, in my opinion.

User Info: Idaeus_004

Idaeus_004
3 years ago#57
Darkling183 posted...
It's clever, actually. It leaves that open to the player's imagination, too. Do Yumi and Taka get back together? Do they just stay friends? Choose whichever option you prefer!

I did find that an interesting point. I could see it working either way, but admit that I would find faults either way. If they didn't get together I'd be thinking 'but she's changed & is a much more stable & 'genuine' person now. But if they did, I'd be thinking 'so is she just still just obsessed with him then?'... Can't win inside my head -_-

With Kana and Yuta, it was just "get him out of here! Swat him out with a broom, Miki! Kana doesn't want anything to do with him!". Yuta was never a solid romantic prospect for Kana; he was very obviously just an additional spanner in the works, in my opinion.

Very true. I was very surprised that Yuta even appeared again after having said I didn't want him asking out Kana; & did find it strange that he'd pursue someone who often used to physically hide from him behind Taka (which was always really cute though, haha), & even later on barely spoke to him.

Maybe it was the mystery of Kana he was attracted too as well, but I doubt he had really thought about things regarding a relationship beyond the point of 'making her mine!' ... Certainly never seemed like it.

I will admit though, if Kana had shown interest in Yuta; it would have drastically changed the tone of the game & definitely her character. The whole idea that the only person she's ever really held in her heart is Taka, would've been cracked & rendered an indefensible plot point, as it wouldn't have been the case any more. Yuta was basically a spanner-in-the-works, as you say; & and a way to show that Kanas feelings were reserved for Taka & Taka alone...

Still just wanted Yuta to sod off most of the time though ...

User Info: Darkling183

Darkling183
3 years ago#58
Idaeus_004 posted...
I could see it working either way, but admit that I would find faults either way. If they didn't get together I'd be thinking 'but she's changed & is a much more stable & 'genuine' person now. But if they did, I'd be thinking 'so is she just still just obsessed with him then?'... Can't win inside my head -_-
I blame the writer for requiring Yumi to have such an implausible obsession with Taka. She serves her purpose in the plot, but there are huge problems with the idea of her and Taka's future together (if any), because of the way her character had to be contorted to fit the plot. Yes, she's obsessive. Yes, she might have changed. Or she might not have changed and might still just be obsessed with him.

There's just no evidence, one way or the other (well, apart from that horoscope article Yumi was waving around in fifth grade), that Taka and Yumi, as adults, will be a good match for each other.


Very true. I was very surprised that Yuta even appeared again after having said I didn't want him asking out Kana; & did find it strange that he'd pursue someone who often used to physically hide from him behind Taka (which was always really cute though, haha), & even later on barely spoke to him.
Okay, now that I'm thinking about it, I really want to try to understand Yuta's actions and motivations.

In junior high, Yuta arbitrarily decided, after trying to get Kana to come out of her shell a bit by teasing her, that he was going to appoint himself as her protector instead. He saw she had a purity of spirit that he wanted to preserve. She wasn't like other girls he knew who might go and carelessly get pregnant.

He visits the hospital, bringing expensive gifts, and talks at Kana about things. Maybe his goal is to bring some of the 'real world' into Kana's sterile existence - without knowing that Taka has already been filling that role for the past eight years.

He still seems to want to help bring Kana out of her shell. I think he's genuinely concerned about her, and that his offer to take her out on a date is made with all sincerity on his part. I'm not sure if his intentions are romantic - that never seems to be made overt.

Then he's shocked and outraged when he learns that Taka is in love with Kana. He thinks that Taka is a pervert who's taken advantage of pure, vulnerable Kana.

In his own way, Yuta is obsessed with an unrealistic ideal, just the same as Yumi. I forget the specifics of the scene where he confronts Taka in the hospital foyer, so I don't remember if he finds out that Kana has feelings for Taka in return. His 'perfect' image of Kana is shattered by the revelation of Taka's incestuous (as far as anyone knows) love for her.

So, basically, yes - he's the Yumi-equivalent for Kana. Obsessed with a concept he has of her, and a way of showing how people would react to Kana and Taka's incestuous love. Yumi and Yuta are used to illustrate and reinforce the tragedy and adversity that Kana and Taka face. All Taka and Kana have is each other, and the world will always disapprove of their being together.


I will admit though, if Kana had shown interest in Yuta; it would have drastically changed the tone of the game & definitely her character. The whole idea that the only person she's ever really held in her heart is Taka, would've been cracked & rendered an indefensible plot point, as it wouldn't have been the case any more.
Yeah, Kana's love for Taka had to be unquestionable. The slightest doubt would make her love for Taka volitional rather than inevitable. The tragedy has to be that Taka is the only person she loves, and the only person she ever wants to love. If she'd showed the slightest romantic interest in anyone else, all that would have fallen apart.

User Info: Idaeus_004

Idaeus_004
3 years ago#59
Yeah, there was a lot more complexity to Yuta than was made immediately apparent; but I still definitely find myself on the 'don't like him' side of the fence. Regardless of his motives or intentions; he still kept pestering a girl who had absolutely no real interest in him, & actually disliked originally him to boot. To me, that just spells 'stalker' -_- ... so, yeah; get lost Yuta ...

With the scene in the hospital foyer, Yuta has just learned that Taka & Kana aren't related, but I suppose that (like most people would see it), he's not had the time to work out in his head that there's actually no problem with Taka & Kana being together since they're not actually brother & sister at all; he's thought they were related for so long that his brain immediately switches to 'this is wrong'. Not to mention the fact that, like Yumi (although perhaps in a less aggressive sense), he's been obsessed with Kana for years; so I think the outrage was more from the realisation that he basically has no chance whatsoever since, as anyone who's heard Kana talk none-stop about her brother knows, she only seems to have eyes for Taka.

Interesting if you think about it though; if you imagine if Taka & Kana had been raised together in the same family, but fully aware that Kana was adopted & they weren't blood-relatives; then no-one would have objected to a relationship between the two. In fact their parents may have even encouraged it to a degree. Just food for though ...

Darkling183 posted...
Yeah, Kana's love for Taka had to be unquestionable. The slightest doubt would make her love for Taka volitional rather than inevitable. The tragedy has to be that Taka is the only person she loves, and the only person she ever wants to love. If she'd showed the slightest romantic interest in anyone else, all that would have fallen apart.

Yeah it's definitely a key story point, lol. I also call attention to the point of Taka being the only point she even WANTS to love, coupled with the ambiguity of the true ending :) ... Why I'm still adamant they'd end up together again the the near future.

The whole idea of Kana is her dedicating her love to one person entirely; not even having any thoughts of giving it to anyone else. She's far too 'decent' a person to show interest in multiple people; definitely being one of those who chooses someone she feels is worth loving wholeheartedly, then devoting her love to them forever.

User Info: Darkling183

Darkling183
3 years ago#60
Idaeus_004 posted...
Yeah, there was a lot more complexity to Yuta than was made immediately apparent; but I still definitely find myself on the 'don't like him' side of the fence.
I find myself wondering how much of that (on my part) is due to his character design. In Kana Okaeri he doesn't have those sharp cat-like eyes and looks like just your average decent guy. I found him a bit more sympathetic in Okaeri due to the difference in his appearance and the voice actor they chose for him.


With the scene in the hospital foyer, Yuta has just learned that Taka & Kana aren't related, but I suppose that (like most people would see it), he's not had the time to work out in his head that there's actually no problem with Taka & Kana being together since they're not actually brother & sister at all; he's thought they were related for so long that his brain immediately switches to 'this is wrong'.
Hmm. I don't know about that. From my extensive research into the subject, I've found that a large proportion of people seem to object to the idea of even step-siblings and adoptive siblings having a romantic relationship, because they were brought up together.

I think it's because the incest taboo is a social construct. It's something that's been ingrained into the human psyche since we were living in nomadic tribes. You're meant to intermarry with other families, spreading your genes around, so your group as a whole gets stronger, both through genetic diversity and through its new social ties with other groups.

That's one reason I object to 'incest' being a crime nowadays. Sure, I agree that abuse of a child is a crime, but 'incest' doesn't automatically equate to 'abuse'. There are countless stories of long-lost relatives who meet each other and feel a profound emotional connection - emotions that end up being expressed through physical and sexual intimacy. (The anime Koi Kaze is about this exact phenomenon - genetic sexual attraction.) If they use protection and don't produce offspring, how is that a 'crime'? A 'sin', perhaps, but the law doesn't (or shouldn't) delve into waters that murky.

I'm not sure what the Japanese attitude to incest is. I know that cases of actual incest between blood relatives are severely frowned upon. Beyond that, though, it seems to become more lax. There's a path in Snow Sakura where the protagonist marries his cousin, and a path in X-Change Alternative (which I've been playing and which has gotten me back into a bishoujo game mood) where you can end up married to your stepsister.

So maybe you're right, and Yuta's reaction to finding out about Taka and Kana was just a knee-jerk reaction. However, I think it's more likely that there would be at least something of a stigma attached to them if they openly entered into a romantic relationship with each other. It's one of the reasons Kana leaves in Ending 1, after all.
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