The Let's Play Archive

Katawa Shoujo

by Falconier111

Part 41: Paint by Numbers

Update 37: Paint by Numbers

Eventually, the two of us reach the door to class 3-2. With Hanako less than subtly positioning herself behind me, I open the door.

Katawa Shoujo OST - Everyday Fantasy

(Chattering Crowd Sound Effect)

Inside is a hive of activity, seemingly every student in the class talking at once as they work hurriedly on their separate tasks. Going by the paint cans, decorations and banners being made, it must be for the upcoming school festival. I guess my first priority should be finding Lilly...

… There. Finding her among the din is surprisingly easy, not the least because of her looks. With a couple of students gathered around her as she stands at the front of the class, she seems to be in charge of the preparations, or at least busy organizing them. Carefully negotiating a path through the various students hunched over the floor for lack of desk space, I raise a hand entirely out of habit as we finally reach Lilly.

HISAO: "Hi, Lilly."

She perks her head up as she breaks off talking to a noticeably smaller girl who must be her classmate, trying to listen as best she can.

LILLY: "Sorry, who..."

HISAO: "Ah, sorry. Hisao. I have Hanako too."


She's pretty skittish. Considering the number of people around, it isn't too hard to work out why. Lilly takes a moment's pause to assess the situation before turning to the other student once again.

LILLY: "For the moment, just ask Moriya for his advice. Kenji's busy with painting one of the banners already."

Katawa Shoujo OST - Everyday Fantasy (muted)

A quick nod and she bounces off, fingers carefully sliding along the wall's face for orientation. Wait... Kenji? That Kenji? I quickly turn about, leaning to the side to see past Hanako. Sure enough, in a corner of the room, Kenji's hunched over a sheet of cloth as he paints it. His eyes remain only inches from the brush, reminding me of how close he had to be to make out my face when I met him.

Katawa Shoujo OST - Everyday Fantasy

LILLY: "Sorry about that. Our class doesn't have many students with even partial eyesight, so they're in high demand."

That's right, class 3-2 was specially for students with poor vision. Preparing for the festival must be pretty arduous for them.

HISAO: "Need a hand? I could give you help if you need some. Maybe Hanako could too."

A chance to set her mind on something would do her good, but I doubt she has the courage to ask outright. She quickly nods in affirmation afterwards, so I'm confident I made the right move. Lilly gives a noticeable sigh of relief.

LILLY: "Ah, that's good. This might actually get finished before everyone goes off to dinner, now. Would you be able to help the person painting the main banner? It's a big task for him to do, but nobody else can help."

HISAO: "Kenji? Sure."

She seems surprised that I know him. I can't really blame her.

LILLY: "I take it you've met?"

HISAO: "Our rooms in the dorm are right next to each other. Hard to miss each other, really."

LILLY: "Well, it's good to see you're getting friends so fast."

Friend... I wonder if that's the right word to use for him. Hanako's silence during the proceedings reminds me of the reason I put her up to helping in the first place.

HISAO: "We'll go help him then. He knows what needs doing, right?"

LILLY: "That's right. Just ask if you have any problems."

Chorusing in assent, Hanako and I begin another trek across the classroom. Kenji sits crouched on the floor, his gaze fixed on the white calico in front of him.

HISAO: "Hey Kenji."

…No answer. He continues dragging his paint-soaked brush along the large half-painted kanji that's sketched on the sheet in pencil.

HISAO: "Kenji?"

KENJI: "Huh? What? Who is it?"

If this is the way he treats class members, it's no small wonder he's working on this alone.

HISAO: "It's me. Hisao. From the—"

KENJI: "Right, right, I know that, man. What're you doing here, though?"

His dismissive attitude annoys me. He must be the type to really get focused on his work, hating to be disturbed by anyone until he's done, I suppose. While we talk, the sound of Hanako's footsteps as she walks out from behind me reminds me that she's here.

HISAO: "I was just going to help with the banner. Hanako and I, that is."

HANAKO: "H... Hello..."

KENJI: "Oh. Er, hey. I guess that's okay."

As soon as Hanako enters the equation, his demeanor takes a complete about-face. His sudden faux-hospitality is slightly unsettling.

Oh, right. Women. On second thoughts, this may not have been a great idea after all.

(Silence, Crowd Sounds Continue)

Hanako and I grudgingly set ourselves down on the opposite side of the cloth banner to Kenji, noting the several small paint tins on the ground around it. Class 3-2... noodle stall?

HISAO: "You guys selling noodles at the festival on Sunday?"

KENJI: "Yeah, some stalls outside. Or something."

“Or something?” His noncommittal nature sparks a fair amount of suspicion on my behalf. The task at hand comes first, though.

HISAO: "So how do you want to split this? We do borders while you do the text? Or do you want to switch and do the borders?"

KENJI: "Text is mine. You do borders."

He has surprisingly strong feelings on the topic. As I reach over to grab a brush, I notice Hanako's already debating between colors to use. By the time I've put brush to cloth, she's already started on a delicate pattern. Looks like my idea of taking her mind off everyone around her worked. With a dark blue stroke, the three of us silently get to work. Not before Kenji takes advantage of Hanako's working to lean towards me and whisper conspiratorially, though.

Katawa Shoujo OST - Out of the Loop

KENJI: "Okay man, why're you here?"

HISAO: "Hanako just wanted some help to find Lilly, that's all."

He apparently disapproves of my motivations.

KENJI: "I get it. It looks like I misjudged you. You're infiltrating them, aren't you? Going deep undercover?"

I should have guessed. Letting the truth slip by him would probably be better than outright lying or annoying him, in any case.

HISAO: "Is that why you're here?"

KENJI: "Obviously. It sucks, but there's no better way to get intel than going in yourself. We gotta stick together, man. This is a harsh school, a harsh world."

HISAO: "Yes, very harsh."

He misses my true meaning as he leans back, satisfied I'm sympathetic to his cause. I'd better get down to work.

(Silence, Crowd Sounds Stop)

HANAKO: "Finished."

HISAO: "Looks like I am too. Good job."

Katawa Shoujo OST - Raindrops and Puddles

The two of us connect up the lines of our patterns, mine being as close a copy as I could manage of hers. With a grunt, I lever myself up from the floor and look around. Aside from Hanako and myself, there's only Kenji left finishing off a sign as well as Lilly and a couple of students talking among themselves in the classroom. Looking at my watch, it's no surprise. It's getting pretty late.

HISAO: "Need a hand?"

I offer a hand to Hanako, which she uses to get herself up. As she does, I can't help but glance at her wrist; if her scars extend even to there, just how much of her body was burned? I feel a pang of guilt about it however as she quickly covers her wrist with her other hand.

HISAO: "Looks good, doesn't it?"

She looks surprised for a moment before noticing that I mean the banner.

HANAKO: "It does... I guess."

Her smile shows that she feels a slight sense of pride in the result, just as I do. With the floor significantly neater for the decorations being placed on desks and shelves, it's much easier to get to Lilly as we cross the room.

HISAO: "We've finished the banner. I guess that's all that needs to be done?"

Lilly gives an appreciative nod.

LILLY: "Thank you Hisao, Hanako. If there's any way I can thank you...?"

HISAO: "It's fine. Beats sitting in my room studying, at any rate."

HANAKO: "I don't mind either."

She nods, before suddenly remembering one last person.

LILLY: "Oh, is Kenji still here?"

Just as I open my mouth, Kenji gives the answer from the other side of the room.

KENJI: "Yeah, just finished."

He carefully slides his sign onto an empty section of shelf to dry, before quickly walking past us and out the door.

KENJI: "Seeya man."

HISAO: "Bye."

The remaining two students say their goodbyes to Lilly before taking their cue to leave as well, leaving only the three of us.

HISAO: "Well, I guess that's everyone."

LILLY: "I hope we don't have to do anything like that again."

HISAO: "Working past schooltime?"

LILLY: "Indeed. The class's plans this year were ambitious. Maybe too ambitious."

HANAKO: "The stalls look nice, though."

HISAO: "She's right, it shows that a lot of work's gone into them."

LILLY: "My my, I'm sure a lot of us would be glad to hear that. At least now there's not much work to do until the festival itself."

HANAKO: "Umm... It's getting pretty late. Should we go?"

LILLY: "That's probably a good idea. Are you going back to the dorms as well, Hisao?"

HISAO: "Yeah, I guess I'll tag along."

The nighttime lighting really makes the gardens look quite different. Compared to the usual look of lush greenery, things are much more calm. Being that it's so late, the lack of students around probably helps. The odd one or two can be seen scurrying to and from the dorms trying to eke the most out of their approaching curfews, but no more. All that can be heard is our footsteps, in addition to Lilly's cane regularly gently tapping the ground in front of her. It's nice to finally be able to relax a bit after the mad rush during school. Without even noticing it, I let out a small yawn.

LILLY: "Tired?"

HISAO: "Yeah. Still getting used to the flow of things, I guess. The... uh... thing... with Shizune took me kind of off guard, though."

I grit my teeth a little at the candid mention of their rather public spat. That said, I do want to sort out what in the world was behind it.

LILLY: "Ah... about that... I'm sorry about it being so public. Shizune and I... go back some ways.”

Her voice seems slightly irritated as she remembers Shizune, obviously unwilling to discuss it any further. I glance to Hanako for her views on this, but her expression is, unsurprisingly, evasive and difficult to read. Either way I guess her apologizing for it is something, even if my curiosity goes unanswered.

LILLY: "I'll be glad once the festival is over, in any case."

The change of topic's welcome, clearing the thickening air quickly.

HISAO: "I can imagine. My old school's festivals were a lot more low-key than this."

LILLY: "Yamaku stresses the idea of a school community, so the staff likes to make our festivals and such special occasions."

HISAO: "And yet the students are the ones who do the work. What an unfair world."

Hanako and Lilly both chuckle in agreement, savoring the fact that none of the staff are around to hear our grumbling.

LILLY: "I suppose coming from a strict all-girls school helped me a bit with Yamaku. Compared to there, Yamaku is much more relaxed."

That'd go a way towards explaining her well-bred speech and behavior, in any case. As we come up to the dormitories, it eventually comes time to leave for our respective rooms.

HISAO: "See you Lilly, Hanako."

The two both give polite nods before setting off to the women's dorms, just next to the guys'.


As is to be expected of such an arrangement, there's a staff member casually patrolling around outside to prevent any nighttime shenanigans. Walking past him, I quickly stretch my arms and rub my neck, both quite sore after having worked on the floor for so long, before walking to my room. It feels good to actually have direction, though. After so long in the hospital, the everyday facts of studying, homework and teachers seem almost a blessing. I guess if things continue like this, my time at Yamaku might turn out okay.

:eng101: Now we move to early Update 13. Taking this path cost us that scene with Rin, so we pick up at our first run with Emi. Skip to the choice. :eng101:

Katawa Shoujo OST - Standing Tall (Emi’s Theme)

(Running Sound Effect)

Will I be able to do more?

>Go for it.
>Take it easy.

:eng101: Last time we made this choice, we took the option that extended our lifespan. But we’ve already been around once on Emi’s wild ride. :eng101:

=>Take it easy.

:eng101: Only by acting directly against our best interest now do we get a chance at Lilly, Hanako, and Rin’s routes. We already lost out on Shizune earlier, and now Emi’s off-limits to us, too. It’s the price we pay. :eng101:

I let Emi go with her own pace, and she doesn't show mercy, pulling half a lap ahead of me in an instant. I don't blame her. I mean, it's not as if I'm really putting up any sort of real fight out here, is it? Instead, I'm just running at a steady pace, which is what I should be doing, right? There's no need to go pushing my limits at this stage of the game. God, is this even worth it?


As we finish the second lap, I break off again. Emi keeps going, and it almost seems to me that she's disappointed. Well, that's stupid. I don't have anything to prove to her - come to think of it, I've got nothing to prove to myself, either. I'm just fine the way I am. And what I'm not is a runner. This was probably a bad idea. Maybe there's something else I can do instead of this. Getting up this early sucks, anyway. There's got to be some other way to keep healthy. Walking, maybe. Nice afternoon walks. Yeah, that sounds good. Running isn't for me.

I wave to Emi and head back to my room. I'll think of something else later.

Katawa Shoujo OST ~ Passing of Time

I wake up and take a hot shower.

Back in my room, the first thing I see is the familiar row of medication bottles lined up on top of my dresser, and it makes me depressed, as usual. It's annoying. I thought I was okay. I thought I had made my peace with this thing, gotten over it. But what I really did... I allowed myself to forget that I have a problem. Being here really reminds me of the reality, and trying to fight against it just hurts. Reflecting on it is only going to do so much. I've done this before, for months. It seems like it's time to get over it. If I allow myself to forget that my life is definitely not going to be as long as those of others, I won't get anywhere. My life may be different from others. But it is a life in progress. That is how I'll rationalize it.

I down the usual handful of pills, trying to push the sudden dreary feeling out of my head. Then I prepare to head out to class early, as usual. As I step into the hallway, I notice Kenji coming around the hallway corner, stealthily making his way over to his own room with a large bag. As he sneaks past me soundlessly like a ninja hiding in plain sight, I call out to him.

Katawa Shoujo OST - Out of the Loop

HISAO: "Hey."

He jumps at the sound of my voice.

KENJI: "Oh, hey, man. I didn't notice you there. I'm really tired."

I think it's more like he didn't see me, but that's not the issue.

HISAO: "Where have you been this early? Shopping?"

KENJI: "Nah, I wasn't shopping. Sometimes I have to visit... the math teacher. Yeah, I figured it would be a good idea to find out when the next exam is, since he tells you in advance if you want."

HISAO: "So then, what's in the bag?"

KENJI: "I thought I'd go shopping while I was outside. I need supplies to continue the fight against the vast feminist conspiracy."

HISAO: "Uh, okay. I thought you didn't go outside."

KENJI: "I wear a hat now."

I decide to not point out that he is not wearing a hat. An awkward silence settles between us and then Kenji breaks it by pushing his door open slowly, releasing a creaking sound into the air that only makes the moment seem more awkward. He sets the bag down inside his room and then closes the door."

HISAO: "I'm surprised you went out of your way to find out a test date. Trying to take advantage of an opportunity to study is pretty diligent."

KENJI: "I never study."

HISAO: "Oh..."

KENJI: "I just wanted to know when the next test day was. I'm still going to take it, duh. I need to know so I know what day I can't afford to skip class. He usually sends out updates on that crap by phone, so I had to step out and check up on it."

HISAO: "And why do you have to go out, when you can get it on your phone?"

KENJI: "I don't carry a phone."

HISAO: "What do you mean you don't carry a phone? You mean you just leave it at home?"

KENJI: "Nah, I don't use phones. I don't have a phone. Phones. I have no phone."

HISAO: "Why don't you have a phone? How can you not have a phone? No phone at all? No phone?"

KENJI: "I just don't like phones. Actually, I'm kind of scared of them. I don't know why. I think it's some kind of repressed trauma. But, basically, when I hear a phone, I get nervous. It's my darkest secret. I have two theories on it: either I have some fear of receiving some undefined, ominous, life-altering doom call, or I was beaten with a phone in the past. Beaten so badly I can't remember it."

HISAO: "Beaten in the head."

KENJI: "Well, where else could I get beaten with a phone that would make me unable to remember it? The ass?"

Unexpectedly logical. I feel very depressed now. Sensing this conversation is more or less over, Kenji opens his door again and prepares to head inside.

KENJI: "Yeah, I'm going to sleep, dude. Have a good one."

HISAO: "Class is going to start in like twenty minutes."

KENJI: "I already did something today. Too tired to go to school. Hey, you need some lip balm? I accidentally bought two because I thought the store had started selling individual double A batteries."

HISAO: "Thanks but no thanks."

KENJI: "Whatever, man."


He swiftly enters his lair, finally letting me go to the class.

:eng101: Skip forward to partway through Update 14, right where we run into Emi. Her actions this time are a little different: :eng101:

Katawa Shoujo OST - Standing Tall (Emi’s Theme)

EMI: "Hisao! I'm going to make you a one-time-only, super extra special lunch offer! Emi's home made lunch boxes, and the privilege of enjoying them in private with two bombshell beauties!"

Her overly flirtatious sales pitch echoes in the hallway, a remarkable feat since it's full of people. Emi strikes a very confident-looking pose as though as an attempt to one-up her own ridiculousness, puffing her very modest chest and making the V for victory sign with her hand.

HISAO: "Sounds delicious. To what do I owe this honor of being invited?"

EMI: "You stood there looking really lost and sad so I thought you could use some company."

That is probably the most depressing reason imaginable.

EMI: "So how about it? You're probably really lonely and would eat that awful cafeteria food all alone, otherwise."

HISAO: "Eeeh..."

EMI: "I'm kidding, I'm kidding!"

HISAO: "Sure, I'll have your lunch offer. With pleasure."

EMI: "Let's go to the roof!"

HISAO: "The roof? Why the roof?"

EMI: "Because that's where we eat lunch! And if I don't get up there, then she'll probably wander off and then I just know she'll go hungry because she never packs a lunch for herself!"

HISAO: "Who will?"

EMI: "Come with me!"

Without answering my question or waiting for a response, she grabs me by the arm and drags me through the hallways. I attempt to make conversation on the way.

HISAO: "Why do you have an extra lunch?"

Emi smiles guiltily.

EMI: "Actually, it's yesterday's lunch. I slipped in a run at lunch and forgot to eat it."

Huh. Her expression is so funny that I almost laugh out loud. Emi giggles, to herself or to something or other, or maybe for no reason at all. I like the sound of it. Emi's sunny, energetic disposition alleviates the constricting feeling in the back of my head from the fight with Shizune and Misha. I let that issue slide out of my mind, and smile for the first time today.

:eng101: The rest of the scene goes as it did originally. It doesn’t send us down her route this time, though. :eng101: