View RSS Feed

Karifean's Blog of Visual Novels

Katawa Shoujo: First Impressions

Rate this Entry
So I've been reading Katawa Shoujo for about two and a half hours now and I think I can give a few first impressions. Let me give a quick rundown of the main plot and heroines.

The beginning was very reminiscent of Narcissu. The protagonist Hisao suffers from arrhythmia, a heart disease, a fact which is discovered when he has a sudden heart attack while his crush is confessing to him. Terrible timing, huh. The next four months he spends in the hospital, slowly coming to terms with the fact that his peers come to visit him less and less over time until - including his crush - they stop coming entirely. After four months he is finally diagnosed and sent to a new school that specializes in giving proper education to student with any sort of physical disabilities. There he gets to know several people including 6 girls he quickly comes to spend the most time with.

No her name is not Tycoon.

I haven't yet looked up much information on this visual novel, but from what I can tell the main heroines are Shizune, Misha, Emi, Rin, Lilly and Hanako, although of course there may be some more and some of them may not have a story route.

Shizune and Misha are the two you will get to know immediatly. The girl in the picture above is Misha and as much as I hate saying it this early in, she's my least favorite character so far. I don't even recall ever getting to know why she is in this school to begin with and although she serves as an interpreter for the deaf Shizune she still feels a bit out of place. Either way, Shizune and Misha are in charge of leading you around early on and are a bit... pushy. I'll reserve any further judgment on them until I go further in the visual novel.

Thankfully all the other characters so far are pretty good. Lilly is a very sympathetic girl with bad eyesight, and she's good friends with Hanako, a very timid and shy girl with burn marks over much of her right body half. The two have good synergy and I'm already quite interested in their backstories.

Finally we have Emi and Rin, my two favorite heroines so far. Emi has prosthetic legs while Rin is lacking arms but neither of them seem to care about it. Emi is a passionate runner while Rin is... not exactly passionate about anything but she paints a lot, so it feels like the two of them just defy their disabilities in favor of their hobbies which is kinda nice. The two are good friends and compliment each other well in the scenes featuring both of them.

The side characters are pretty good as well. Kenji is the supposed comic relief character who lives in the room right next to Hisao. He has a hard time seeing kind of like Lilly and he is convinced that he's the last sane person in a world of insanity. Yeah he's a little weird but his scenes so far are the most amusing. The teacher is just kinda there, and then there's the Nurse. This guy.

Geez that smile was creepy the first time I saw him. But he seems to be a pretty cool guy.

That quick rundown took a bit long, now for actual impressions. The first thing that bothered me instantly is the lack of voice acting. This is just me though since I just got done reading quite an amount of voice acted visual novels and the sudden switch is jarring. Still, voice acting might have done this novel well since the soundtrack so far has been a bit generic. No tracks really stand out or do much to set a particular atmosphere. The visuals are pretty okay. The sprites are a bit crude but they can be quite expressive which to me is far more important than them looking graphically impressive.

Now the writing was quite great at times so far. I liked the way Hisao was characterized in the early story parts, his reactions to his sudden new life with arrhythmia felt believable. Some scenes can drag on a bit, but it hasn't really been bad at any point so far.

It seems that so far I'm on the way to Emi's route, but I don't know how this novel is structured. So far the visual novel has been nothing special, but it's interesting enough to have me keep reading.

Emi has gotten the most screentime in my playthrough so far.

I'll write again once I finish the first character route.


  1. Pumpkin's Avatar
    I think, and I could be wrong, that Misha is not actually someone you can end up with for spoilery reasons. Rin is actually my least favourite. I actively dislike her to the point of wanting to stop reading when she comes up
  2. Karifean's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pumpkin
    Rin is actually my least favourite. I actively dislike her to the point of wanting to stop reading when she comes up
    Huh, well I'll give you that her attitude is a bit strange and makes her difficult to deal with, but I am certainly interested in what way her route might go. At this point I honestly have no clue. I hope it gives insight into her character.
  3. Shauna's Avatar
    This particular VN was made by the guys over on 4chan, which is why it's not the most technologically advanced one - eg voice acting, etc.