From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Katawa Shoujo (かたわ少女, lit. "Disability Girls" or "Cripple
Girls") is a bishoujo-style visual novel by Four Leaf Studios that
tells a story of a young man and five other girls suffering with
varying disabilities. The game uses a traditional text and
sprite-based visual novel model with an ADV-style text box. As of
now, only the demo has been released. This demo covers Act 1 and
consists of the prologue and the first 7 days. The release of the
full version has yet to be announced.
While the demo contains no adult content, the full version of
Katawa Shoujo will contain adult content with the option to skip
all sexually explicit scenes.
The demo is licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND, and
the same is planned for the full game. Katawa Shoujo is being
created using the Ren'Py
visual novel engine.
The game originated in a sketch created by Japanese doujinshi artist Raita. From
January 2007 the sketch was discussed extensively on the 4chan image board, and a
development group was assembled from users of both 4chan and other
internet communities. The group took the name Four Leaf Studios. On
April 29, 2009, the team released an "Act One" preview.
Set in the fictional Yamaku High School for disabled children,
located somewhere in modern Japan. Hisao Nakai, a normal boy, has
his life turned upside down when a long-dormant congenital heart
defect forces him to move to a new school after a long
hospitalization. Despite his difficulties, Hisao is able to find
friends, and perhaps love, if he plays his cards right.
The gameplay of Katawa Shoujo is choice-based, with the player
reading through text and occasionally making decisions that impact
events or dialogue within the story. The goal of the game is to
make certain choices that will advance a relationship with one of
the five heroines and result in the viewing of the corresponding
heroine's erotic scenes and ending.
Also, the main page has a sentence for each one of the main
characters. The sayings are contradicting the main characters'
Hisao Nakai (中井 久夫 Nakai
- Hisao is a male high school student with arrhythmia. In the
prologue of the game, he collapses from a heart attack after
receiving a confession from the girl he likes on one snowy day.
They break off relations after him having been detained for several
months in a hospital. After being discharged, he transfers to
Yamaku High School in class 3-3. Though initially resentful of his
placement in a school for the disabled and of his condition in
general, he eventually adapts to his new lifestyle. Through his new
relationships and interactions, he begins to reconsider his own
preconceptions towards disabilities. His main hobbies include
reading, which was his sole escape from the boredom of staying in
the hospital, and soccer, which he played casually with friends but
can no longer do so given his condition.
Emi Ibarazaki (茨崎 笑美 Ibarazaki
- Emi is a short, pigtailed girl with light brown hair and forest
green eyes. She has prosthetic legs as a result of having lost her
legs in an accident and is amputated below the knee. She considers
her misfortune a blessing, being able to perform as a star on the
track and field team, although she seems to not be too fond of her
short stature. She is always full of energy and values good diet
and exercise, and is on friendly terms with the head nurse of
Yamaku, who she promised to keep tabs on Hisao's exercise in
exchange for having him as a running partner. Because of her
running habits, however, she is constantly running around campus,
especially in the halls, despite repeated warnings regarding the
safety of others. She also meets Hisao this way by crashing into
him, and despite her good intentions, she endangers Hisao's heart
on more than one occasion. Despite this, Hisao warms up to her,
feeling guilty whenever she pouts, equating her to that of a puppy.
Emi is Rin's friend and roommate, who was paired up by the housing
staff, since they complemented their disabilities well. Her
sentence is, "Can you stand up for yourself?"
Hanako Ikezawa (池沢 華子 Ikezawa
- Hanako, as a child, suffered in an accident in which her home
was burned down and her father's life was taken. Much of her body
was horrifically scarred from the incident and has left her
traumatized. Her dark purple hair hangs down across the right side
of her face and hides much of the damage. Because of the scarring,
she is incredibly shy and has difficulty opening up to anyone
except Lilly, whose blindness helps her cope with her appearance.
She is another one of Hisao's classmates, but is frequently absent,
preferring to spend time reading in the library. Her truancy is
noted by Hisao as odd but seemingly accepted behavior which goes
unpunished by their teacher Mutou. She usually spends her time in
the school library, where there are few people to disturb her or
interact with. Her sentence is, "Can you face your fears?"
Lilly Satou (砂藤 リリ Satō
- Lilly is the class representative of 3-2, a class composed of
blind and partially blind students (including Kenji), and has been
blind herself since birth. The tallest member of the main female
cast, she has long blonde hair and blue eyes. She is very polite
and ladylike, not wanting to intrude on others' private life
(including Hisao's reasons for being at Yamaku). It is also noted
that she had previously attended a strict all-girls school. In
contrast to Misha's fast-paced attitude to Hisao's transfer, Lilly
takes things at her own relaxed pace, helping Hisao to adjust to
school life in the midst of a busy festival. She is Hanako's close
(and only) friend, who she regularly has lunch and tea with, as
well as accompaning her when grocery shopping. She also knows Yuuko
on a friendly basis. Shizune and Lilly have been seen to not get
along, perhaps due to the fact that direct communication between
her and Shizune alone is not possible (as she cannot see Shizune's
signs and Shizune cannot hear or speak to her). Her sentence is,
"Can you see what I see?"
Rin Tezuka (手塚 琳 Tezuka
- Rin is a girl whose arms were amputated due to a birth defect.
To make up for her lack of arms, she uses her feet to accomplish
everyday tasks with surprising dexterity. She has short red hair
and dark green eyes, and wears a boy's uniform to avoid awkward situations that would
arise from using her feet while wearing a skirt. Instead, Rin's odd
personality that can only be described as "unique" is what brings
about awkward situations with the people around her. This goes
especially for Hisao, although Lilly is also well aware of the
difficulty in interacting with Rin. Oftentimes, it seems that Rin
is unaware that she does not even have arms, and tends to act
nonchalant with other students and their disabilities in general,
having been the first person to blatantly ask what Hisao's problem
is during their introduction. She is Emi's friend and roommate. It
is also implied that she knows Kenji to some degree, having shown
interest in him and his passion for art despite being partially
blind. Her role in the school festival is being the sole painter of
a giant mural posted in front of the dorms. Her sentence is, "Can
you seize the day?"
Shizune Hakamichi (羽加道 静音 Hakamichi Shizune)
- Shizune is one of Hisao's classmates, as well as the student
council president who supervises every aspect of Yamaku's school
festival. She has short dark blue hair and eyes, and wears glasses.
She is deaf and mute, communicating primarily through sign
language. Her friend, Misha, is almost always at her side,
translating everything Shizune signs and signing back to her,
allowing for communication with other people. She is strong-willed
and forceful and is capable of creating craftily manipulated plans,
as noted by Hisao, as well as having an extremely competitive
nature, even wanting to be first to complete class assignments.
This can be attributed to her favorite game, Risk. Occasionally,
she displays a softer side, but generally shows a face full of
emotion to make up for her lack of speech. She has an intense
intolerence of Lilly, and indirectly dislikes Hanako as a result.
Her sentence is, "Can you tell me what you think?"
Shiina Mikado (御門 椎名 Mikado
Shiina) a.k.a. Misha (ミーシャ Mīsha)
- Misha is Shizune's best friend and only fellow member in the
student council. She serves as her interpreter, and is the first
friend Hisao makes, being in the same class as him. She has long
curls of pink hair and gold eyes. She is friendly and cheerful for
the most part, though she is overly enthusiastic about everything
she does, which tires everyone around her. Despite being a
relatively major character in Act 1, she has no route with Hisao
but helps Hisao get used to the school in his first few days of his
transfer, as well as helping Shizune convince Hisao to join the
student council. It is not clear what disability or condition she
suffers from to warrant enrollment at Yamaku. Theories have
included, due to her personality, a mix of ADHD and OCD.
Kenji Setou (瀬藤 健二 Setō
- Kenji is Hisao's roommate (next-door neighbor in the dorms),
who is legally blind, being unable to see anything unless he is
almost an inch away from them. He appears to be a hikikomori and
very anti-social, claiming to be the "last sane man in an insane
world." He often rants about feminist conspiracy theories, claiming
that women are evil and want to rule the world (these feelings are
revealed to stem from him feeling tired after having intercourse
with his exgirlfriend a year before the story starts), among other
pointless subjects, possibly rivaling Rin's "uniqueness" in that
aspect. Kenji's route is the bad ending of Act 1; if the player
does not choose one girl to befriend over the course of Act 1, then
Hisao decides to accompany him on the day of the festival,
ultimately dying in a drunken accident.
- The head nurse of Yamaku whose name is not given. He is
friendly to all of his students and patients, but can quickly
become stern if his advice is not taken seriously. He hires Emi to
be his "spy" for keeping tabs on Hisao, making sure he gets proper
Akio Mutou (武藤 昭夫 Mutō
- Mutou is Hisao's homeroom teacher, and the science teacher of
class 3-3. He is just as much out of touch with his class as he is
out of touch with reality. Probably born to be a teacher (no matter
how much his students disagree), his greatest skill is the ability
to ignore irrelevant things completely (no matter how much anyone
who wishes he'd remember their names disagrees).
Yuuko Shirakawa (白川 優子 Shirakawa
- Yuuko is the librarian who is on friendly terms with Lilly and
Hanako. She has serious problems with managing her life, which
makes her the perfect person to ask for help to manage one's own.
She funds her university studies by working part time at a popular
cafe. The lengths she goes to avoid being fired for her natural
clumsiness bewilder other people, along with her neurotic attention
to detail and frequent streaks of depression.
The game's name has attracted some criticism, as the name
"Katawa Shoujo" is considered an offensive term. It translates into
"Disability Girl" in English, but a more literal equivalent of
"katawa" is crippled or deformed. Usage of the word is generally
frowned upon on Japanese public television and radio.
The reception to the Act 1 demo was mostly positive, though
still mixed. While the game's premise was called "perverse and
contemptible", the game itself was described as "well-produced",
and the subject of disabilities was generally praised as being
dealt with in a mature and sensitive way.
Though the creation of Katawa Shoujo is often attributed to 4chan, as is referenced by Four
Leaf Studio's name, the actual affiliation is only historical.
Though the development team was originally organized via the image
board, the studio is an entirely separate entity.
- cpl_crud: Project producer, Hanako path writer
- Aura: Head of Writing, Game designer, Rin path writer
- delta: Head programmer, UI designer
- TheHivemind: Emi path writer
- Anonymous22: Shizune path writer
- Suriko: Lilly path writer
- Ismuth: Editor
- Kagami: Editor
- Losstarot: Editor
- Silentcook: Editor, translator
- Ambi07: Artist (Emi Ibarazaki)
- moekki: Artist (Shizune Hakamichi)
- raemz: Artist (Hanako Ikezawa)
- gebyy-terar: Artist
- Kamifish: Artist (Tezuka Rin, Shiina "Misha" Mikado)
- Raide: Artist (Lilly Satou)
- yujovi: Background photographer
- Blue123: Composer