Katawa Shoujo: First Impressions: Lilly’s Route

Warning: Major spoilers for Lilly’s route contained below.

Lilly’s character and route exceeded my expectations in every way. As she never particularly interested me, I had blithely assumed Lilly to be rather two-dimensional, fitting squarely into the maternal archetype and never to be hindered by any significant obstacles, aside from her blindness. Instead, she was portrayed as a patient young woman who also had a surprising penchant for mischief and a voracious curiosity. While she is mature and responsible in many ways, she also has as a fathomless sense of wonder for everything she experiences, finding delight in the smallest of details and always eager to discover something entirely new. However, she isn’t reckless, balancing her childlike exuberance with an adult’s rationality, proving that responsibility does not mean the burden of constant restraint, nor the denial of personal pleasure.

Unfortunately, her infallible composure eventually creates a distance in her relationship with Hisao, as she often uses her elegant persona to mask her troubles, keeping her problems bottled up in order to avoid burdening others. This simultaneously sets the stage for a brilliant climax, as Lilly is torn between loyalty to her estranged family, and happiness in her current situation. The major events in her route, namely confessions, the growth of their relationship, and the conflict, all carried a heavy weight of importance. Everything felt as if it had an impact on a grand scale, drawing in the reader and invoking genuine care for the two. The smaller moments were very heartwarming as well, addressing problems which had been ignored previously in other routes, and tying up every loose end for a very satisfying finish.

The character interactions truly make this route. Instead of coming across as pointless baggage, every sub-character had significant reason for their introduction, and served to further the flow of events. Furthermore, Hisao and Lilly are a very believable couple: there were no rushed developments or sudden, inexplicable epiphanies. Their dates were brimming with atmosphere, yet they had their rotten moments as well: they made mistakes, they had awkward conversations, they kept secrets from each other; it felt pleasantly realistic.

In short, there was absolutely nothing that could be considered inherently “bad” in Lilly’s route, nothing to be corrected or changed, only to be expanded upon for further improvement.

3 responses to “Katawa Shoujo: First Impressions: Lilly’s Route

  1. Oh, honestly, I love Hanako’s development here rather than her actual path. Considering her traumatic past experiences, it is unnatural to see her getting close with Hisao that soon. Hisao doesn’t even know the story behind the fire accident, not to mention Lily, Hanako’s closest friend. There should be other clues of their relationship development besides having sex with Hisao. It’s probably the influence of society I live in though; where sexual experience is considered ‘very sacred’. I still think Hanako’s path is rushed, although not as bad as Shizune’s.

    • …What? Where are you drawing these assumptions from? It’s made clear that Lilly certainly does know what happened, although she doesn’t know the exact details, and Hisao does know the entire story behind her incident. She told him a little first in the library, and then the whole story when she fully revealed her scarring. And them having sex did not mean that they were in a relationship; that was Hanako’s way of trying to get him to see her as an equal, not someone to be coddled. Only at the end, after they confront each other in the park and confess their concerns, could they really be called a couple.

      And do take note that Hanako’s route does end halfway through Lilly’s. If it had continued, she likely would have been branching out more towards others, as she does in Lilly’s route.

      • ..now that’s weird. I’ve completed the game and I don’t remember seeing Hanako telling the whole story. Sure she showed Hisao her scars but.. Oh, well. I’ll just play it for one more time if I have time. Maybe I was distracted on that particular scene.

        Regarding Lily, pardon me, that must be my wordings. I also meant as what you’ve said: Lily does know about fire accident, but not the details.

        The problem I have is timeline-wise. The development is “too quick”. I see having sex would be Hanako’s way to open up – so once it is done, it means Hanako is comfortable with Hisao. But Hanako knows Lily longer than Hisao and she put more trusts on Hisao than Lily. It is not impossible but I think it should take longer time. The reason why I think Hanako-Hisao development seems more genuine in Lily’s path because the timeline is longer than Hanako’s path.

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