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  1. Like
    LemiusK got a reaction from Dreamysyu for a blog entry, The Parallel of Michiru Matsushima and Yumiko Sakaki   
    There have often been times in the Grisaia series when Michiru and Yumiko were compared to one another by Yuuji, and this was not surprising. Both Michiru and Yumiko are tsunderes on some level - Michiru being the fake tsundere, and while Yumiko is more of a kuudere, there have been occasional tsun-tsun moments with her. Such superficial similarities aside, both individuals also suffer from the more textbook forms of social anxiety (Makina's anxiety is a bit more complex and special, hence why I'm leaving her out for the sake of this post), and both have compensated this anxiety with unhealthy methods. The difference between such methods, however, is where Yumiko excels in "The Labyrinth of Grisaia", whereas Michiru is still stuck in her old unhealthy ways.
    Grisaia spoilers at this point:
    This is the reason why sometimes, I really dislike the comic relief, because they're essentially a sacrifice who won't grow beyond being an idiot. Sometimes, a story does fix this by claiming that the goofball's charm lies in him or her being an idiot. Grisaia does something similar (very seldomly), but for such a serious story dealing with mental health problems, I just couldn't accept such a disrespectful answer. It's not only disrespectful to the character and fans of the character wanting to see her grow as a person, but also disrespectful towards real life patients suffering from similar issues.
    Now, as to whether Yumiko's After Story is better than Michiru's due to this important difference in character growth... it is, on some level. Yumiko's AS is still, as @Dreamysyu put it, kinda boring.
    If I'm to rank the different AS, I'd say it goes something like this:
    Sachi > Amane > Makina > Yumiko > Michiru
    Yes, Michiru's AS is at the bottom. After seeing how much Yumiko grew, especially, I just couldn't tolerate how much Michiru has regressed. It's frustrating to see for a fan of hers like myself.
    Having said that, with Michiru's weakness reminding myself of my own weakness as a person, I don't know if I could ever enjoy seeing her again in the same positive light when I read future stories. She's become something of an eyesore.
  2. Like
    LemiusK got a reaction from Ramaladni for a blog entry, The Lack of Choices in Swan Song and Why I Prefer VNs with Many Choices   
    Disappointed to learn that Swan Song only has two Bad Ends, a Normal End, followed by an unlocked True End. That means there will probably be very few choices. Now I remember why I dropped this in the first place back then.
    There were only two VNs I've completed that had either very few choices or no choices at all: Umineko no Naku Koro ni and Grisaia no Kajitsu, and I only read both of them due to their reputation as amazing stories (not just "good" or "great," but so amazing that they received enough acclaim to push into an anime adaptation). Swan Song has no such reputation.
    And that's really beside the point. I have a policy where, no matter how good a story is, if it has little to no choices, it gets pushed back in my priority list, or dropped entirely. Grisaia was a very special exception that I made a long time ago, and I only bothered to read its sequel, "Grisaia no Meikyuu", because I've read the first one and got attached to its characters. Umineko has an even greater reputation than Grisaia, so of course, I couldn't ignore it because I'm someone who desires to experience the best of the best, be it anime, manga, or visual novel. Same deal with the highly acclaimed Muv-Luv Alternative, which I only gave a 9 in spite of its reputation.
    Why this policy, you ask? There's no overly complicated reason, really. It's just... more boring to read through a kinetic novel, that's all. No interaction. No engagement. Just reading. And clicking. There's no false sense of illusion that you're part of the story. You're just a passive bystander watching events unfold far away. Doesn't help that I've never been much of a reader to begin with. Visual novels have pictures, after all, so they're more accessible than books.
    I'm about an hour and a half into the story. Not a bad story so far. Has a very tragic and almost nihilistic start. It's not bad, but... there is the anxiety that I might get bored soon and drop it for greener pastures. I am juggling with six VNs right now, after all, not to mention Fate/hollow ataraxia, which I haven't even began yet (plan to read that one after I'm done with Ever17). With the amount of backlog I have after visiting that kamige thread on Fuwa, chances of dropping are increasing. I don't like to be bored, no matter the circumstances. Boredom invites... idle thoughts. But that's another topic for another day.
    Having said all that, I do feel incredibly bad for Aroe. I asked myself what I would do under the protagonist's circumstances. Her sister (or mother?)'s words rung true; people are cruel, and I caught myself thinking that I would kill her more than once, put her out of her misery. That just shows the human nature side of me, taking the easy way out. I just looked at her, and wondered if this was a real person, would I be kind enough to take care of her for 10 years? 20 years? I might sympathize her because she's some cute girl right now, but when she gets older and becomes haggard, would I get tired of her and maybe become angry or frustrated at her? Most likely yes. I'm not someone of great tolerance, evidently.
    Not sure why I still haven't warmed up to kinetic novels, or VNs with few choices. Guess there's always this... anxiety that comes with trying new things. I'm someone who's more comfortable with the old and familiar. Call me spoiled but, that's just the way I am. I don't like wasting my time experimenting with new stuff that I might come to dislike later on. It's a narrow-minded view, but... I've grown accustomed with such a lifestyle.
    But if I really think about why I dislike kinetic novels, I think it's because of the emptiness they bring. There's just such a fundamental difference in reading a VN where you pick the choices and a KN that lets you passively experience a story by the side. The former gives you an experience that's more... personal. The latter feels more alienated. And honestly, this difference was not noticeable before I read VNs. TV shows and movies are the same, as in they let you, the passive viewer, experience the story by the side, and yet I loved them all the same. But when it comes to the more static KNs with its static imagery, I guess the lack of animation, combined with the knowledge the VNs offer something deeper, is the reason I shy away from KNs and VNs with few choices. Because they feel emptier, now that I know what VNs with choices feel like.
    Even something like Telltale's The Walking Dead, where there's only a single ending, feels more personal because I got to make many decisions throughout. Superficial decisions, yes; meaningless, arbitrary decisions, yes; but the illusion is there. The illusion of putting you in the driver's seat is far deeper and more effective because of said decisions. This was especially so in season 2 of TWD, where you get to control Clementine. It almost felt like I'm shaping her character, shaping this little girl into the adult she'll become - even if that isn't true in the long run. It's all about the illusion and the experience.
    Anyway, it's probably too soon to judge anything, since I've barely started Swan Song. Just wanted to put all my thoughts out here, as well as have an excuse to write a new blog entry.  Let's just hope this VN doesn't disappoint me. My expectations of its story quality have grown higher, now that I know it's lacking in the "choices" department I've always liked.
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