Sunday, April 8, 2012

A girl to die for - Lily's path review for Katawa Shoujo

"Can you see what I see?"

Wow... That was one nice story. Seems my decision of leaving Lilly for the last dish was a lucky one, as the story pretty much sums up all what the game has to offer.

First things first: I was not even a bit interested in Lilly from Act 1. She seemed too serious, too classy, too motherly... But i guess that there is more than meets the eye. I think that's the phrase that mostly defines Lilly. As you cross the barrier of Act 1 and start gaining confidence you end discovering a different girl inside. She can be impish and playful at times, cute at some others, and even scary if you press certain triggers.

Lily is pretty cute when she pouts
While Emi's story was a vision of real love, the one you can expect on your everyday live, Lily's story is the one that felt more like an romantic eternal love like those on movies and novels. Everything on your relation with Lilly is perfect even within the imperfections. Your dates, your confession, the way others percieve your relation, your daily live... You are the perfect couple...

...with a perfectly healthy adolescent sex drive.
The path has some memorable scenes. I specially liked their first date, and the various tea parties. But the holiday vacation sure is a landmark event on the story that will produce a fair amount of interesting scenes and will set the story moving forward. The climatic ending at the airport is also a masterfully written event that will grab you to the seat cheering for Hisao to suceed against all odds.

It's specially interesting to see how the relation with Shizune is skillfully handled in the background. Continous hints of Lilly's motives to be at war with the student council are given through the plot, and even Akira will take part on helping you solve the enigma of their shared past. The end of the academic year at Yamaku brings the perfect mood to put their hate aside and finishing with a heartwarming scene that will surely have your mind going "aawwww!" all over the place.

Broken Guy
Lilly's story is about a love that trascends time: A love worth risking your live for... And poor Hisao plays his part like a master at that.

In no story arrythmia becomes a more dramatic companion than in this one: The casual pains on the other story paths here become full fledged heart flutters and heart attacks, sending poor Hisao to the ground more than once, sometimes in the most inapropriate situations (killing your boyfriend from sex should cause you a life long trauma (XD)). This episode will eventually end sending him back to the hospital room, which will make you more aware of how precious your life is, and entwines well with the overall delicate aura of the story.

On the other side, Lilly's blindness is adressed always as a very natural problem that doesn't affect the way she sees the world in her own particular way. Some good amount of dialogues of this path focus on understanding more this facet of Lilly. How she perceives dreams or colors, or how does she manage tasks that would seem impossible at first sight (no pun intended). Even though not being a hindrance on her daily life, her blindness is responsible for the path she's been forced to walk through life, so understanding it will give you more insight of her personality and how to act accordingly to meet up to her expectations.

Now you know who's the man of this relationship.


Those who twist the knife better
Other characters, despite continously present, play a completely secondary role on this story, as their presence is only focused to understand more about Lilly, maybe with the exception of Hanako, that once notices that you will be taking Lilly from her side will have brave the scary world outside.

On the beggining of the story Hanako will be around for most of the time as a silent companion. Over time, though, with Lilly and Hisao's help she will learn to detach and take her first steps to regaining confidence in people, and despite the motives of her sadness are just presented briefly in this path, you will feel this outcome is better for her, giving her a recovered control on her life.  So if you like Hanako you have a good reason to go through Lilly's path.

The always funny Akira will be a recurrent character that will help you learn more from her sister (and will trigger her adiction to wine (XD)). She will give you insights on Lily's thoughts and worries and sometimes uncover handy information about Lillys past and future, as well as serve as a link with Lilly's family: a shadow cast in the background of the story with a lot of things to say about the future of the couple.

Luckily for you Akira is cool with you doing her little sister...

Overall this feels like THE natural conclusion to Katawa Shoujo. I've even heard form some people that this ending was supposed to be cannon. Wheter you believe it or not is up to you, but certainly is the one that feels like the better conclusion, tying many of the stories toguether for a grand finale.


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