4) Shizune and Hisao (Katawa Shoujo)
Sex in the Western VN market is an odd thing, from my own observation. Because, so often, the VN market doesn’t actually want sex: they want porn. That is fair enough and I am currently not in a position to argue the difference. However, I do find it interesting that one of the tent-poles of the EVN market is a game that very clearly tries to defy audience expectations for pornography and deliver something more with its sex scenes. Does Katawa Shoujo always achieve that? No. However, when it did, it achieved some very strong character moments and nowhere was that clearer than with Shizune’s route.
Anime has been running characters like Shizune since there was anime. The serious student who eventually becomes sweet and demure around her crush: I’m sure that qualifies as a ‘dere’, but you’ll forgive me for not knowing which one. Shizune and Hisao’s romantic route plays along those tropes for the most part while using Hisao’s slow learning of sign language (for those who never played the game, Shizune is deaf), as a dramatic vehicle for their development. It certainly makes things interesting as Shizune begins taking a liking to Hisao and she has to try and navigate the language barrier and awkward teenage hormones to try and get him to understand how she feels and what she wants. But on a vacation to Shizune’s family home, she succeeds! How? By tying him to a chair and having sex with him.
It’s a scene that cements a lot of Katawa Shoujo wants to do: be a grounded drama while also delivering funny moments and sincere points for the characters. It helps that this is a natural step for her character and, despite the artwork, Hisao is written to get closer to Shizune afterwards. It’s good writing all around and despite the brief run of Katawa Shoujo imitators after its initial launch, its scene likes this that separated the original from the rest of the pack.
…..Now they’re second sex scene I’ll leave you to find on your own. That one was hilarious.