Post Reply Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi (Totono), School Days, And Grisaia. What Points Do They Emphasize?
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Posted 5/31/16
You know the great thing about Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi, also known as Totono. It has a point. And to demonstrate that point, all routes must be played multiple times for it to hammer through. Totono, to make a long story short, broke the fourth wall, to ask the player "why are half of dating sims self absorbed, so focused around the player and his choices affecting the girls?"

Now what do I mean by that? Take Katawa Shoujo, a popular dating sim after girls both emotionally and physically disabled. Not only do they bear the scars of their past, but also hold emotional baggage they can't seem to get over. That's where you, the player, come in. As per most visual novels, you make the correct choices, help a girl out, and begin the rest of your lives together, helping her overcome her past to a brighter future with you. Just you. Yet, in this novel, there are multiple characters, from the hyper sexual Emi to the shy Hanako, who suffer from psychological scars, yet you can only date one, thus helping them with their baggage while denying the other a fulfilling relationship. What happens to Hanako, who seldomly appears in Emi's route? What happens to Emi in Hanako's route? Would Hanako turn free from her own fears and live independently of her friends? Would Emi quit holding people at arms length, including her lovers, whom she seduces and eventually silences with sex?


And this is the main point Totono wants to hammer in right in your brain; "Isn't it self centered?" To have you, the player, be the only light, the only dominant force, in a girl's life, who role if route is not chosen is so regressed that they are merely background characters with their own problems? True, this adds a seldom hint of "realism" to it, and stakes to be had in the warfare of love, but isn't it nonetheless selfish to be a girl's only chance for redemption, a chance at life and happiness? It is, because the player is seen as the only dominant force in this closed world, and they are essentially apathetic Gods at that. "Why should I help that girl? I'm not on her route. Yet."

Visual novels like School Days, and Grisaia, circumvent this problem through several ways. School days show the effects of choosing on girl over another with a small yet dedicated cast, from the highly aggressive Sekai tot he quiet and lonesome Kotonoha. If you choose the other, or cheat on the other, you're presented with a host of problem where the other girl feels betrayed, saddened, or even desperate. You're a dominant force in both these girls lives and it shows through their actions, which you are subjected to over the course of each route, regardless of what you choose. While you can merely ignore a girl and stay faithful for the most part, you witness their degradation, from Taisuke's rape of either girl if you have chosen to "pair" off the other to perhaps ease your conscience, and this hits hard once you realize what a mess romance and life make, and how convenient pairing is all but a rarity.

Grisaia gets past this by making every girl, from the dependable Sachi to the manipulative Makina, appear in every route as main characters, to participate in an overarching storyline that spans 3 installments of close to 100 hours each. In essence, this isn't like Katawa Shoujo where others girls are conspicuously absent in separate routes, but they appear regardless of what route you've chosen, and they all play a major part in events to come. Eventually, they become better people for it, if you made the right choices of course.


Alright, bit of a rough draft, but what do you think?
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Posted 5/31/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:
Alright, bit of a rough draft, but what do you think?


*steeples fingers*

I think a little Saya no Uta (Song of Saya) or Higurashi would give you a couple of additional, very informative perspectives, as would Everlasting Summer (in which our protag-kun drives himself halfway nuts in seeing how "too good to be true" his situation is).
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Posted 5/31/16

rcsatcrunchyroll wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:
Alright, bit of a rough draft, but what do you think?


*steeples fingers*

I think a little Saya no Uta (Song of Saya) or Higurashi would give you a couple of additional, very informative perspectives, as would Everlasting Summer (in which our protag-kun drives himself halfway nuts in seeing how "too good to be true" his situation is).


Ah, where there multiple resets in Higurashi? I'd have to finish watching it or buy it off steam?
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Posted 5/31/16
I think questioning the premise of games like dating sims, which are wish fulfillment, is like going out into the driving rain and becoming confused why you're suddenly very, very damp. Going 'isn't it self-centered?' is a lot like that hack Jerry Seinfeld joking, 'what is the DEAL with AIRLINE FOOD?!' Dating sims are all about you, the Hero Protagonist, and the Victim, Your Chosen Spawnpoint, the Woman. If the rest of the varied cast disappear during that storyline, they did not need to be there, It's not their story, it's her story even more than it is your story. The various victims may not even have any reason to "know" the other victims, but mostly I think it's to keep the focus on the chosen one without distractions.

Though I only watched the Grisaia show, and looked at whatever Wikipedia described about it, all those girls were involved in each other's lives before the 'main character' ever showed up. They would be part of the story, as it's their story.

As to the main character being the only one who can 'fix' the problems of the various victims... trauma counselling appears nonexistent in these game, visual novels, and other media. Being the one to 'fix' the problems is another form of power fantasy and wish fulfillment, but it really would lead to unhealthy relationships that would very likely end in further grief.
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Posted 5/31/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:
I'd have to finish watching it or buy it off steam?


The Steam version separates the game into its constituent chapters, but I still recommend buying it that way. (... I don't like the anime version.)
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Posted 5/31/16 , edited 5/31/16

rcsatcrunchyroll wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:
I'd have to finish watching it or buy it off steam?


The Steam version separates the game into its constituent chapters, but I still recommend buying it that way. (... I don't like the anime version.)


5-7$ for 12 hour installments at most?

Why not? I tend to get bored with kinetic novels however.
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Posted 5/31/16 , edited 5/31/16

gornotck wrote:

I think questioning the premise of games like dating sims, which are wish fulfillment, is like going out into the driving rain and becoming confused why you're suddenly very, very damp. Going 'isn't it self-centered?' is a lot like that hack Jerry Seinfeld joking, 'what is the DEAL with AIRLINE FOOD?!' Dating sims are all about you, the Hero Protagonist, and the Victim, Your Chosen Spawnpoint, the Woman. If the rest of the varied cast disappear during that storyline, they did not need to be there, It's not their story, it's her story even more than it is your story. The various victims may not even have any reason to "know" the other victims, but mostly I think it's to keep the focus on the chosen one without distractions.

Though I only watched the Grisaia show, and looked at whatever Wikipedia described about it, all those girls were involved in each other's lives before the 'main character' ever showed up. They would be part of the story, as it's their story.

As to the main character being the only one who can 'fix' the problems of the various victims... trauma counselling appears nonexistent in these game, visual novels, and other media. Being the one to 'fix' the problems is another form of power fantasy and wish fulfillment, but it really would lead to unhealthy relationships that would very likely end in further grief.


I'm just examining these things, no need to be so harsh about it. In the end, it doesn't really matter as they're just fictional women. I just dislike the entitlement these might encourage, considering a lot of the players are mouth breathers who don't contribute beyond the required yield at all.

Ridiculing me for examining games for their sociological impact hurts me ya know. Why examine books, why examine anything? Why examine Bronte and how it ties in to the feminist critiques of that time?

What, I can't talk about it? I can't perhaps reach an understanding by engaging in discussions because "it should be obvious"? Fuck you.


edit: I'm sorry, I lost my temper. My apologies.
Posted 5/31/16
I agree but I think the thread is going to get lock isn't it?
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Posted 5/31/16 , edited 5/31/16


If I have appeared harsh, and from your response it appears that you have taken it to be so, know that was not my intention. However, it appears to me that it is you, not I, shutting down discussion, simply because I do not openly agree with you. Simply because I come across as 'harsh'. So be it. Let there be no discussion, no discourse. Let it be a circlejerk, as it was fated to be.

--I see. You lost your temper. In any case, I should control my own propensity toward the same as well as attempt more strongly to curb the 'harshness' people perceive in my statements.
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Posted 5/31/16 , edited 5/31/16

gornotck wrote:



If I have appeared harsh, and from your response it appears that you have taken it to be so, know that was not my intention. However, it appears to me that it is you, not I, shutting down discussion, simply because I do not openly agree with you. Simply because I come across as 'harsh'. So be it. Let there be no discussion, no discourse. Let it be a circlejerk, as it was fated to be.

--I see. You lost your temper. In any case, I should control my own propensity toward the same as well as attempt more strongly to curb the 'harshness' people perceive in my statements.

I feel as if you were attempting to point to the futility of the discussion, although I admit, these games do sell well because of said purposes, although I feel this eschews great storytelling for masturbatory storylines, instead of telling what could be great stories.

In essence, I like discussing the merit of stories, and I do not appreciate it when someone says "that's the point". It's a trite, overused excuse I've seen before to halt criticism of games, whether it is the sex appeal of a characters ("She's suppose to be hot") or the role of people in stories. (He's suppose to be the stupid") True, not all stories have said classic status or wide reaching appeal, but to better understand these phenomenons and our times, we must analyze the work itself.

It wasn't really a discussion to begin with rather than a mere /thread.
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Posted 6/2/16
Those games have a plot? I thought it was just bewbs and carpentry skills (hammer, nail, bang, screw )
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Posted 6/6/16
From the VNs that I've seen/read/played I think, sadly, The Grisaia style game is a rarity indeed. Most of what we're getting imported over here is just kinetic novels with very little interaction (if any at all). I love that specific aspect you mention about Grisaia having all characters involved in each other's lives. While there are very few coming over here from Japan I must admit rcsatcrunchyroll's suggestion of Everlasting Summer (imported from Russia) is spot on when it comes to the type of game you mention favorably. Another I fell head over heels for is a game called Roommates (U.S. made) for the same reason. It seems, eventhough it's taken forever, the market worldwude is realizing what VNs have been missing as of late.
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