The Let's Play Archive

Katawa Shoujo

by Falconier111

Part 145: "Dullahan-chan Wants to be Coddled" (Pt. 2)

Welcome to page 20, the most image-heavy page in the LP.

Interviews with Monster Girls, Episode 2: Dullahan-chan Wants to be Coddled (Pt. 2)

And now we hit one of the weirdest and most uncomfortable parts of the anime.

Kyouko and Hikari are discussing a crush of Kyouko’s. Hikari is firmly of the opinion that she should just go and ask him out immediately; Kyouko’s a lot more hesitant, unsure whether her feelings are returned. Hikari dismisses her concerns, directly telling Kyouko she’s attractive enough that she could make him hers by showing him her tits. Jesus fuck, Hikari, I’m pretty sure that’s not the foundation of a healthy relationship.

And then we hit the root of the problem: she’s a dullahan. I won’t go into it too much here because it’ll be the subject of a disability corner… Somewhere down the line, but there are a LOT of issues around how being disabled affects your romantic life. Whether it’s the perception that we’re all helpless and entering a relationship is taking advantage of us, us not meeting societal standards of beauty, the belief that any partner will end up having to support us, and who knows what else, it makes sense that she’s nervous about her chances.

Hikari takes another tack, arguing that her detached head gives her all kinds of… Advantages. And we touch on the OTHER side of disability and sexuality: there are people out there who fetishize disabled people, especially amputees, which ALSO isn’t the best basis for a relationship.

Hikari then immediately admits she’s full of shit…

… And reroutes the conversation into asking what kind of date Kyouko’s looking for.

Basically, she just wants him to carry her head on a walk around town, nothing fancy.

But then we learn her crush.

It’s Takahashi.

And Hikari takes out her phone.

Timeskip. Hikari’s set up an “experiment” where Takahashi will carry Kyouko’s head around town.

But while Kyouko plan to take her body along, Hikari forces her to leave it behind.

Hikari tricked her teacher into taking her friend out on her perfect date. That’s… Wow. I don’t even know where to start with that one.

After they set out, Takahashi reveals he has no idea what kind of “experiment” this is. Kyouko tells him that, well, this is the kind of date she wants to go on, and she’s using this as a trial run. To work out the kinks.

Apparently, he thinks this is a great idea, instead of something a teacher really shouldn’t be involved in. I mean, of all the people in the world she could have gone with here, Takahashi is possibly the best choice, but, watching this just sets off alarm bells in my head. The show goes out of its way to clarify that Takahashi does NOT think of this as a date (which is in line with his established tendency to miss social cues when both research and demis are involved), but, damn, you’d think this would register.

And part way through that conversation we cut back to Hikari’s house, where she’s watching Kyouko gesticulating and wondering what they’re talking about. The next section jumps between Kyouko’s head and body, watching how they affect each other over the course of the “experiment”. Normally I’d go into more detail, but the whole teacher-student-date thing is leaving a bad taste in my mouth, so I’ll skip to the commentary.

Notably, Kyouko brings up her encounter with Yuki earlier, and how she seemed almost scared of her and Hikari. Takahashi wonders whether he should talk with her and she’s like :shrug:.

She also gets motion sick and has to have a sit down part way through the walk.

On the way back, Takahashi uses this as a teaching moment. For most of the day, he’d just been holding her head in his arms, but as he walks them home, he holds it out in front of him, gently bobbing it so it remains more or less still despite his gait (which she seems to like better). He hypothesizes she got motion sick because human heads don’t handle that kind of up-and-down motion very well: most people’s necks keep their heads stable subconsciously, and she’d adapted to use her arms in the same way. She’s kind of like “wow, I never thought about it like that”. And yeah, a lot of us just to think about the ways we adapt to our condition until they’re taken away. Or just period. It’s natural, you know? You can’t really tell you to do things or experience them different from other people until you compare experiences. It’s a big part of why people who could use accommodations don’t always know that for which accommodations they need. That sort of “huh, I didn’t realize that” reaction isn’t universal, of course, but I’ve seen it often enough for it to register.

Anyway, skip to the end of the day. Takahashi still seems to think this was some kind of experiment, and all three parties agree it was a success. Kyouko walks home, leaving Hikari and Takahashi behind.

And then Hikari asks him a question about Kyouko.

The next day, Sakie spots Takahashi chatting with the principal about Kyouko – specifically, about the bag situation. Remember how she had to put her bookbag down and crouched pull out her phone? Takahashi points out that juggling her head like that is a dangerous and complicated process and they could just get around that by granting her permission to use a backpack instead. The principal agrees with a strong “damn, good catch” air.

Sakie, hiding from them around the corner, sees the whole thing. That…

… As well as him asking the principal to frame this as something he came up with to avoid undermining her homeroom teacher’s authority…

… And also his forearms…

…Start to bring her around.

The day after, she watches him complement Kyouko on her new backpack, and the episode ends.