Okay, this is something that’s a little weird, I admit. But let me give you some background on this incredibly fascinating game.
The majority of the story takes place at the fictional Yamaku High School for disabled children, located in an unnamed city somewhere in modern, northern Japan. Hisao Nakai, a normal boy, has his life changed when a long-dormant cardiac dysrhythmia forces him to transfer to a new school after a long hospitalization. Despite his difficulties, Hisao has the opportunity to find friends and love.
Katawa Shoujou is a visual novel game type that is very popular in Japan. For non-informed peoples, visual novels are text and image based games where an image of a character is displayed on a screen while their dialogue is presented below them.
I’ve found Katawa Shoujou to be an incredibly fascinating game. The main character Hisao Nakai gets transferred to a school for ‘disabled children’ [the concept of a school being only dedicated to disabled children is one that I’m not entirely behind, but it brings up an interested premise], where he meets primarily five girls who each have a disability. These disabilities range from blindness to amputees to burn victims. The visual novel aspects essentially turns into a dating game, where these girls become complex characters that you begin to care for and understand.
Now the most fascinating aspect of this game was how it was created. Essentially birthed from the minds of 4Chan, an internet forum board infamous for hacking, posting lewd pictures, and essentially scarring your childhood, the game has been praised for incredibly high emotional depth and an shocking look into the disabilities it covers. More importantly, it respects the disabilities and treatment of the controversial material.
So I’ve decided to take a stab at the free game, released for PC, Mac, and Linux to see what all the controversy is. I agree that this is one of the more radical things I’ve done and it’s even weirder that I’m sharing it with you all, but I’m hoping I learn a thing or to as well as find out what exactly person I truly am…
Watch the Let’s Play to possibly take a look at who I really am.