||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (June 2015)|
|Developer(s)||Four Leaf Studios|
|Publisher(s)||Four Leaf Studios|
|Producer(s)||Cam "cpl_crud" O'Neill
Rose "pimmy" Cote
Cam "cpl_crud" O'Neill (Hanako)
|Composer(s)||Sebastien "NicolArmarfi" Skaf
Andy "Blue123" Andi
|Release date(s)||January 4, 2012 (English)
July 8, 2013 (French)
December 9, 2013 (Russian)
July 27, 2014 (Spanish)
April 1, 2015 (Japanese)
|Genre(s)||Visual novel, nakige|
Katawa Shoujo (かたわ少女 Katawa Shōjo?, lit. "Cripple Girls", translated "Disability Girls") is a bishōjo-style visual novel by Four Leaf Studios that tells a story of a young man and five young women living with varying disabilities. The game uses a traditional text and sprite-based visual novel model with an ADV-style text box running on the Ren'Py visual novel engine. The game is licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND.
The majority of the story takes place at the fictional Yamaku High School for disabled children, located in an unnamed city somewhere in modern, northern Japan. Hisao Nakai, an able-bodied boy, has his life changed when a long-dormant cardiac arrhythmia forces him to transfer to a new school after a long hospitalization. Despite his difficulties, Hisao has the opportunity to find friends and love.
The gameplay of Katawa Shoujo is choice-based, with the player reading through text and occasionally making decisions that initiate the possible events or dialogue within the story. Depending on the choices made by the player, the story branches into multiple forks variously chronicling Hisao's deepening and eventually romantic relationship with one of the five main female characters (or lack thereof), some of which may variously end well, badly, or neutrally.
The concept originated in a sketch created by Japanese doujinshi artist Raita Honjou (credited in Thanks as RAITA). From January 2007, the sketch was discussed extensively on the 4chan image board, and a development group was assembled from users of 4chan and other internet communities, who are of various nationalities; not necessarily Japanese. The group took the name Four Leaf Studios (based on 4chan's four-leaf clover logo). On April 29, 2009, the team released an "Act One" preview. Act 1 has since been updated for several additional languages; as of Act 1's fifth version, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Russian, German, Hungarian, and both Traditional and Simplified Chinese are included. It was announced that the French language translation would be released July 4, 2013 as both a download and a limited-edition physical edition. The French-language version was made available for download on July 8, 2013. A separate, full-patch adding a completed Russian translation was released independently by its translation group on December 9, 2013. On July 27, 2014, the International Spanish version was released and made available for download that same day. On April 1, 2015, in lieu of their traditional April Fools Day prank, Four Leaf Studios released the Japanese translation. Additionally, they announced that a second physical release would be sold by the Japanese translation team at Comitia 112 and Comiket 88 (May 5 and August 16, 2015, respectively, at Tokyo Big Sight). The full visual novel has been released officially in English, French, International Spanish, and Japanese only.
Following the project's release, Four Leaf Studios announced it had no plans for its members to collaborate on any new projects. However, in their celebratory 1st anniversary blog post, Aura had stated that there might be future projects for 4LS announced in 2013, though no major projects were announced.
On June 6th, 2015, Four Leaf Studios announced the end of support and development for the visual novel and official translation projects, concluding with a final bug/typo patch. They released the English script files in full and instructions on how to patch in and distribute any future fan translations into languages not included in the final official version.
- Hisao Nakai (中井 久夫 Nakai Hisao?)
- Hisao is a male high school student diagnosed with chronic cardiac arrhythmia and congenital heart muscle deficiency. In the prologue, he collapses from a major heart attack Due to his heart condition, he transfers to Yamaku High School in class 3-3, and although initially resentful of his placement in a school for the disabled, he eventually adapts to his new lifestyle. Through his new relationships and interactions, he begins to reconsider his preconceptions towards disabilities, including his own. His main hobbies include reading and chess.
- Emi Ibarazaki (茨崎 笑美 Ibarazaki Emi?)
- Emi is an energetic, extroverted blonde girl with twintails and forest-green eyes. She has prosthetic legs, having had her original legs amputated below the knees as a result of a car accident. Despite her disability, she still has more than enough lower body strength to walk, and in fact she is a successful track runner. She values good diet and exercise, and is on friendly terms with the head nurse of Yamaku; she promises to keep tabs on Hisao's exercise in exchange for having him as a running partner. Indeed, she meets Hisao by literally running into him in the hallway, and ironically endangers his heart on more than one occasion. Hisao feels guilty whenever she pouts, equating her expression to that of a sad puppy. Emi is Rin's friend and hall mate due to both having extremely passionate vocations and complementary disabilities. However, she has trouble getting emotionally close to people, because she is afraid of losing people important to her.
- Hanako Ikezawa (池沢 華子 Ikezawa Hanako?)
- Hanako, as a child, suffered an accident in which her house was burned down, taking the lives of her parents. The right side of her body is heavily scarred from the incident and has left her traumatized. Her long, dark purple hair hangs down her back, and her bangs cover the right side of her face, which hides much of her scars. Due to the flames, she has spent most of her childhood in an orphanage and was bullied during her time in elementary and middle school, so she was offered to go to Yamaku because of the discourse. Initially, she is incredibly shy towards anyone except Lilly and Akira. She is another one of Hisao's classmates, but is frequently absent, preferring to spend time reading in the library where she can be alone.
- Lilly Satou (砂藤 リリー Satō Rirī?)
- Lilly is the class representative of 3-2, a class composed of blind and partially blind students (including Kenji); she has been blind since birth. The tallest member of the main female cast, she has long blonde hair and blue eyes — her father is Japanese and her mother is Scottish with family in Inverness. She is very polite and ladylike with a motherly demeanour, 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 closest and initially only friend; she regularly has lunch and tea with her, and accompanies her grocery shopping. She is also on a friendly basis with Yuuko. Shizune and Lilly have been seen to not get along, perhaps due to the fact that direct communication between her and Shizune is not feasible (she cannot see Shizune's sign language and Shizune cannot hear her or speak to her).
- Rin Tezuka (手塚 琳 Tezuka Rin?)
- Rin, a girl whose arms were almost entirely deformed due to a birth defect, 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 the awkward situations that would arise from using her feet while wearing a skirt. Rin's unique personality has brought about awkward situations with her peers, especially for Hisao, and as a result, some people do not talk with her such as Lilly. She is nonchalant with the other students and about their disabilities in general; she usually inquiries about other people's disabilities as a hobby. As a result, she is seen as extremely blunt, especially with the mention of her period. She is Emi's friend and hall mate, as their physical abilities complement each other. Her role in the school festival is being the sole painter of a giant mural posted in front of the dorms. Her name was designed as both a homage to legendary cartoonist Osamu Tezuka as well as a pun based of her talent as an artist and disability (the first kanji in her surname means "hand"). Her question is "Can you seize the day?".
- Shizune Hakamichi (羽加道 静音 Hakamichi Shizune?)
- Shizune is one of Hisao's classmates who serves as the student council president and class representative of class 3-3. This bespectacled girl has short dark blue hair and eyes; she is both deaf and mute, communicating primarily through sign language. Her friend, Misha, is almost always at her side, translating everything from and to Shizune, allowing for communication with other people. As others have described her including herself, Shizune is strong-willed, forceful, and manipulative; she seldom displays a softer side and sometimes shows a face that reveals her emotions. She has an intense intolerance of Lilly and initially indirectly dislikes Hanako as a result. Her name was designed by the game's developers to be a pun based on her disability; the kanji for her given name mean "silent" and "sound".
- Shiina Mikado (御門 椎名 Mikado Shiina?)
- Also known as Misha (ミーシャ Mīsha?), she is Shizune's best friend and only fellow member in the student council. She serves as her interpreter, and is the first to befriend Hisao in Yamaku. She has long curls of (dyed) pink hair and gold eyes. She is friendly and cheerful, though her enthusiastic tone for most things have sometimes tired those around her. Despite being a relatively major character in Act 1, she is not a potential romantic interest to Hisao, but instead, she helps him get used to the school in his first few days of his transfer; she does however become a potential love interest in the Shizune arc as Hisao can engage in an affair with Misha, leading on to the bad ending. As well as helping Shizune convince Hisao to join the student council. Misha attends Yamaku as part of a sign language recruitment program, making her one of the few "normal" (i.e. having no disability) students attending the school. She did not appear in the original concept sketch by RAITA.
- Kenji Setou (瀬藤 健二 Setō Kenji?)
- 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 close to 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 feminists are evil and want to rule the world (these feelings are revealed to stem from his feeling tired after having intercourse with his ex-girlfriend 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.
- Nurse (ナース Nāsu?)
- 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 asks Emi to be his "spy" for keeping tabs on Hisao, making sure he gets proper exercise. He first appears after Hisao leaves Shizune and Misha and go to the doctors' block for the first time. His lack of name and his relationship with Emi were influenced by a series of threads on 4chan that chronicled a real, nameless male nurse in charge of young multiamputee car crash victim.
- Akio Mutou (武藤 昭夫 Mutō Akio?)
- 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). He first appears as Hisao enters the halls in the beginning of the game. His design was largely based upon David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor of Doctor Who.
- Yuuko Shirakawa (白川 優子 Shirakawa Yūko?)
- 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. She first appears when Lilly takes Hisao to the library, and Lilly calls out her name. It is revealed that she used to have a younger boyfriend who disappeared on her. In the files of the leaked beta version of the visual novel, this "mysterious boyfriend" was revealed to be Kenji Setou. These scripts did not make it into the final game.
- Akira Satou (砂藤 晃 Satō Akira?)
- Akira is Lilly's older sister. She's a lawyer for the Japanese branch of her father's company. She dresses in a man's pinstripe suit and has the tomboy-like attitude to match, often as a slightly irresponsible, friendly foil to her sister's personality. She appears through several routes, primarily Lilly's and Hanako's. She is often seen with her cousin, Hideaki Hakamichi.
- Hideaki Hakamichi (羽加道 秀明 Hakamichi Hideaki?)
- Hideaki is Shizune's younger brother. He's very intelligent and shares an attitude similar to that of his sister. He dresses in very feminine clothing, a fact that he rarely acknowledges.
- Jigoro Hakamichi (羽加道 治五郎 Hakamichi Jigorō?)
- Jigoro is Shizune's father. He is stubborn, mean, and a braggart. He is confrontational with most everyone and shows off constantly, from talking about his in-progress autobiography to carrying a katana with him at all times.
- Iwanako (岩魚子?)
- Iwanako is Hisao's former girlfriend, from prior to his initial heart attack, which occurs during her confession of love during the prologue of the story. They eventually drift apart completely during his hospital stay. In every route of the game, Hisao receives a letter from her; his response (whether he writes back, reads it completely, etc.) differs by route.
- Miki Miura (三浦 美貴 Miura Miki?)
- Miki is a student and classmate of Hisao's in Class 3-3. She is an amputee, missing her left hand below her wrist, which is covered in bandages. She's is on the track team and is considered the second fastest in the school, behind only Emi. Despite this, she is not mentioned, nor does she appear in Emi's route (outside of background shots). Rather, she is mentioned once in Lilly's route, and interacts with Hisao for only a small portion of Hanako's route. A route for Miki was planned but scrapped during development; an early draft of the route script (written from Miki's perspective) was posted online in December 2014 by the contributing author.
- Shinichi Nomiya (野宮 紳一 Nomiya Shin'ichi?)
- Nomiya is Yamaku's art teacher, and as such only appears for Rin's arc. A fat, eccentric man, he was once a promising painter but gave it up to teach. He has an almost obsessive drive towards making Rin a famous painter.
- Sae Saionji (西園寺 さえ Saionji Sae?)
- Sae is the owner of an art gallery in the city and is an old friend of Nomiya's. She is a smoker and a former artist herself. She appears prominently only towards the end of Rin's route.
- Meiko Ibarazaki (茨崎 芽依子 Ibarazaki Meiko?)
- Meiko is Emi's mother. She appears briefly in Rin's route, and features more prominently in Emi's. She appears rather young and attractive, and has been described by Hisao as an older version of Emi, after observing that she acts very much like her daughter.
In Act 1, as the story progresses, the reader gets to choose their reaction to prompts that pop up at certain scenes. These choices eventually lock the reader into a "path" that focuses on one of the five girls that the reader may take a love interest in. Acts 2-4 follow that girl's story where choices are prompted throughout the narrative until the reader reaches an ending. The endings vary from Bad to Neutral to Good. The bad ending ends the relationship on depressing terms or rather at point where it would be then impossible to salvage the relationship. The neutral ending is arguably the most bittersweet of the three as while Hisao does not part with bad terms with his partner, their partings are more ambiguous and heart-breaking terms. The good endings all end with Hisao coming to a better understanding of his relationship to the girl in which the reader had been locked into and an overall high approval of himself. All endings end the story in each respective girl's in Act 4, with the exceptions being both Emi's and Rin's "Bad Ending" that finishes her story during her Act 3.
Act 1 - (Life Expectancy for all characters)
Hisao meets Shizune and Misha on his first day at Yamaku, being paired together to work in a group by Mutuo. At first, Hisao confuses Misha with the student council president, but is quick to realize that Misha is only the interpreter for Shizune, as she is deaf. Hisao also notices Shizune's burning desire to finish their schoolwork first, and Misha's overwhelming enthusiasm, letting Hisao get a glimpse of what the girls' personalities may be like. Afterwards, Hisao decides to have lunch with the girls, where they ask if he has any questions about the school. Later, the girls help Hisao find the nurse's office, and plan on seeing him the following day. Upon learning that Hisao has no interest in joining any particular groups or extra-curricular activities at lunch, Shizune and Misha (despite Hisao's protesting) decide to ask Hisao through a series of suggested bets and games, to join the student council. They finally decide on playing Risk, "with no strings attached." After a lengthy and wild game, Misha and Shizune are impressed with his daring play style, and praise him for taking his chances.
The following day, Shizune and Misha drag Hisao off to the Shanghai, a local tea cafe, for an extended lunch, with Hisao having to endure more of the pairs' relentless teasing and recruitment attempts. Later in the week Hisao accidentally worms his way into an argument between Shizune and Lilly over the amount of work Lilly has done for the festival. Due a poor choice of words on Hisao's part, Shizune and Misha successfully coerce him into helping them build several of the festival stalls. After a while, (much to the girls' delight) Hisao reluctantly gives in and joins the student council. The day before the festival, Misha and Shizune barge into Hisao's room, where Hisao feels extremely uncomfortable and embarrassed about his medications being strewn all over his dresser. However, Hisao manages to avoid telling them about his Arrhythmia, and Misha comforts Hisao by telling him that she and Shizune will wait for Hisao to feel as if they are good enough friends that he is comfortable enough to share what they're for. And, Hisao appreciates the fact that the two are good-natured people. On the day of the festival, Hisao spends the day with the two girls, where they eat fried food in order to celebrate Hisao's new membership into the three-man student council. Later, the trio visit a stall that Hisao remembers building. It just so happens to be the exact stall Misha and Shizune wanted him to visit, a milk jug toss stall. Hisao then wins a stuffed cat doll for Shizune, before Hisao's day is abruptly spoiled by a reminder of his weak heart, and his fragile mortality.
Later, on the school rooftop, the trio ate more fried food for dinner and stared at the stars when Misha falls asleep. Continuing to grope the stuffed cat Hisao won for her, Shizune tries to communicate by using gestures, to no avail. The two have a special moment, despite the fact that the two cannot communicate properly. Shizune shows Hisao the stars and the view of the town and the festival in an attempt to raise his low spirits. As they watch the fireworks together Hisao thinks that he might be growing attracted to Shizune, and says this to her, taking advantage of her deafness.
Hisao first encounters Lilly in the tea room on his second day at Yamaku while trying to find the library. The two converse over tea and Lilly takes Hisao to the library, only to leave in a hurry after his first disastrous encounter with Hanako. Over the course of the week, Lilly helps Hisao adjust to life at Yamaku and the abnormalities of the students he encounters. Hisao also learns of the strained relationship between Lilly and Shizune. He and Hanako help Lilly and the rest of Class 3-2 prepare their noodle stall for the upcoming school festival. Later in the week the two meet one another heading into town and Lilly leads Hisao to the convenience store.
On the way back they meet a confused Rin wandering in the streets and brings her back to school with them. Lilly notices Hisao's exhaustion and learns about his arrhythmia, making her the second student to know of it, Rin being the first. The day before the festival Hisao encounters Lilly in town with her sister Akira and learns that Lilly moved into the dorms last year to compensate for Akira's worktime. The day of the festival Hisao manages to tempt Lilly away from her duties at the stall and enjoy the festival along with Hanako. As they 'watch' the fireworks from the school grounds, Hisao asks Lilly if he can spend lunchtimes with her in the tea room. Lilly happily accepts.
Hisao first encounters Hanako on his second day at Yamaku in the library. Hanako predictably panics and takes off. The following day, Hisao joins her and Lilly for lunch and as the first week passes Hanako becomes more comfortable around Hisao. The two work together to help Class 3-2 prepare their stall for the festival. The day before the festival Hisao follows Hanako to the library and she begins to open up to him.
On the day of the festival itself Hisao finds Hanako in the library and accompanies her to the tea room where they play a game of chess. Later at Lilly's suggestion the trio spend the rest of the day at the Shanghai and watch the fireworks from the teahouse. That night Hisao also agrees to help Hanako with her shopping on Monday after school.
Hisao first encounters Emi on his third day at Yamaku while going to lunch (with either Lilly and Hanako or Shizune and Misha). Emi crashes into him while running in the corridors and nearly causes Hisao to have a heart attack. He encounters Emi a few days later at the track for light exercise as per the Nurse's instructions. On the second attempt Hisao overexerts himself and has another heart murmur, inciting Emi to take him to the Nurse who reprimands both of them for carelessness, making Emi well aware of Hisao's arrhythmia. In apology Emi invites Hisao to the roof for lunch with her and Rin.
Over the next two days Hisao and Emi help Rin with painting her mural for the festival and Emi invites Hisao to be her running partner in the mornings, to which he agrees. On the day of the festival Hisao is caught buying fried food from one of the stalls by Emi, who insists that he eat healthy. She then ends up dragging him, and later Rin after stopping by her mural, around the festival for the rest of the day. Hisao manages to slip away and buys something sweet in the end before retiring to his dorm room for homework.
Hisao first encounters Rin on his third day while finding supplies for the student council. With a surprisingly blunt series of questions, Rin puzzles at Hisao's disability, guessing it's "in his pants". This causes a stunned Hisao to explain his arrhythmia, making Rin the first student to know the details of his condition.
It is soon discovered that Rin is responsible for an art project that needs to be ready by the school festival, and Shizune scolds her for procrastinating. Rin enlists Hisao's help in the project, and he mixes colours while she paints the wall below the student dormitories. The following day Hisao finds himself helping Rin painting the mural once again, all the while trying to understand her eccentric personality and nonsensical conversation.
Later, Emi bumps into Hisao and invites him to the roof for lunch with Rin again. The three start to become friends in earnest, and Hisao promises to join them on the rooftop again again in the future.
While coming back from the convenience store with Lilly, Hisao encounters a confused Rin wandering around town without being able to explain why. The two of them convince her to return to school, where she suddenly realizes that she might not finish the mural in time due to her procrastination. She hurries off by herself and Lilly and Hisao go to bed. The next day Hisao bumps into Emi, who recruits him to help carry paint to the mural. Hisao realizes Rin has spent the whole night and day painting, and he offers to stay and help. While mixing paints for her, they are approached by the art teacher, Shinichi Nomiya, who is bringing colleagues of his to the festival to view Rin's work. On a spur of the moment decision, Hisao decides to join the art club.
The day of the festival, Hisao ends up spending the whole day sitting with Rin beside her mural talking about how she feels about her project, which seems to be a point of uncertainty. As the sun sets, Hisao falls asleep against the brick wall. After a while he is awakened by the sound of fireworks, and is surprised to find Rin sleeping while leaning against him. Rin wakes as well, and they watch the fireworks. Hisao contemplates the brevity of human life and Rin discusses Hisao's cynicism.
- Shizune - Learning to Read
Hisao wakes up the day after the festival, lingering on the night he had with Shizune and Misha. He realizes that he can't be thinking about how the festival went when he has exams to focus on, as they happen immediately after the festival, which he finds unfair. Deciding to study before class, Hisao goes outside to do so in the nice weather, still thinking about how things went at the festival being accompanied by Misha and Shizune. His thoughts are interrupted by Shizune approaching him from behind. Hisao attempts to greet her forgetting that she can't hear him, and greets her after realizing with a wave. He tries asking where Misha is, thinking that it's less awkward actually trying to hold a conversation with her by talking, even if she can't hear him.
In an attempt to communicate, Shizune slowly makes gestures in response. He sits there not knowing how to communicate back when Shizune realizes his struggle, taking the initiative by pulling out a pad of paper and pen. They then further their conversation this way, beginning with small talk, until Hisao asks about the stalls that they went to. Shizune tells him that they went to the stalls that he had built so he could feel a sense of accomplishment and feel proud about the work he had done. He thinks that it was a trick, but she explains that they had done so because he had looked depressed. She leaves soon after wishing him luck on his exams. Hisao thinks about the oddness of having a conversation on paper between two people that are in each other's presence and ponders learning sign language. Hisao then runs into Misha, and tells her that he wants to learn sign language. She asks why, and he replies that it would make conversing with Shizune much easier. Misha remarks that she wants to be his sign language tutor, and walks off. Afterwards, Hisao decides to head back to the dorm. Kenji asks Hisao to retrieve his package from the post office, due to a lack of trust in the student counsel for delivering his mail to him. When he retrieves the package he finds himself stopping at the Shanghai cafe for lunch. He was wondering what Shizune would like as there was no way of communication. Shizune then put on her "competitive" face and tries to open the package, to which Hisao scolds her. Shizune then writes on the table saying "lets play a game," the rules being that they would hold the package and the one that makes the package fall brings the package all the way to the dorm; Hisao accepts. On the way, Hisao touches the fingers of Shizune and makes her drop it, so she brings it to the dorm. After school, Hisao is then dragged off to the Student Council by Shizune and Misha, where Hanako unexpectedly arrives to obtain a new ID card. After a metting of playing board games, Misha tells Hisao that she has informed Shizune of his learning of sign language to a surprised and exasperated response.
The next day, Shizune and Hisao have their first conversation together in sign language as they are making stalls for the upcoming Tanabata festival. As they are working, Lilly approaches them and Hisao then has to mediate a verbal squabble between the two. The day after, after an enlightening encounter with Kenji, Hisao and the rest of the student council go off to the Shanghai. The two then go to Tanabata together.
- Lilly - Past
The day after the festival Hisao joins Lilly and Hanako in the Tea Room and observes a game of chess, which Hanako wins. As they prepare to return to class Lilly requests to feel Hisao's face to which he agrees. After a thorough examination Lilly pronounces Hisao to be quite handsome much to the latter's embarrassment. As they return to class Hisao realizes that he had forgotten to buy lunch. A week after the festival Hisao runs into Kenji one morning and learns that Lilly used to be on the Student Council, along with Kenji's suspicions that she's connected to the mafia, due to her foreign looks. After class that day Hisao meets Lilly in the library and learns that she is in fact half-Scottish. Lilly becomes brooding and awkward on the subject of her family but cheers up by inviting Hisao to go present shopping the next day for Hanako's birthday. That Sunday the pair goes into the city, while buying ice cream for themselves they encounter Akira and an oddly dressed boy, who turns out to be Shizune's younger brother, Hideaki. Hisao also learns that Lilly and Shizune are first cousins. As they explain one another's reasons for being out that day Akira pulls Lilly to the side for a private discussion, leaving Hisao and Hideaki to their own devices. The pair wanders around until they find an antique store, after purchasing a doll for Hanako, Hisao notices a small music box and buys that as well. After catching up with the others, Akira and Hideaki take their leave, and Hisao notices that Lilly is more subdued than before. To cheer her up he takes her to a cafe where they enjoy some tea and coffee. On their way back to school both realize that what just happened qualifies as a date. Though confused and unsure of how to interpret this subtle change in their friendship Hisao offers to take Lilly out again sometime.
The night of Hanako's birthday party arrives. Hanako receives the doll from Hisao and teddy bear from Lilly and is visibly moved. Akira arrives later with two bottles of wine, she leaves soon after however because of work. Giving in to temptation the trio become heavily drunk, Hanako passes out entirely. Lilly thanks Hisao for being there for Hanako's birthday before they fall asleep. Early the next morning Hisao is surprised to see Lilly's face incredibly close to his own and accidentally headbutts her. As they recover Lilly reveals that she is returning to Scotland for week or so because one of her aunts is sick. This is why they had Hanako's birthday party earlier than her actual birthday. Hisao is shocked to discover that Lilly's parents left Japan because of her father's job six years ago, and she hasn't seen them since. Lilly herself is sad, but seems to accept this part of her life. Hisao gives her to music box from the antique store and listening to its music seems to cheer Lilly up. Hanako awakens and Hisao prepares to leave. Lilly catches him and kisses him on the cheek as thanks for the music box.
Days later, Hisao's nap during class is rudely interrupted by Shizune and Misha, who tease him relentlessly before giving him a letter. After class Hanako asks Hisao to buy some groceries for her in town. Hisao bumps into Lilly on the way down and as they return from shopping Hisao asks Lilly not to treat him differently because of his weak heart. The two discuss Lilly's birthday and her friendship with Hanako and when Hisao asks about her relationship with him, she cryptically responds with "You're different." After dropping off the groceries Hisao reads the letter from that morning. It's from Iwanako, bringing closure to the relationship they never had. Hisao throws it in the trash before sleeping. The next day Hisao receives a failing grade on an English test before joining Lilly, Hanako, Emi and Rin on the rooftop for lunch. Between Rin's abstract butterfly comments and Emi's banter Hisao enjoys himself until he has a slight heart murmur. Fortunately it soon passes but the girls notice and Hisao feels guilty for worrying them. Fortunately Lilly saves the mood. Later when they are alone, Hisao tells Lilly not to worry about him. In response Lilly uses some lunchbag paper to make an origami crane which she gives to Hisao. Hisao recognizes what she is trying to tell him: that pain exists in everyone's lives, and that we must teach ourselves to cope with it (just like Lilly has, by learning origami to improve her dexterity despite being blind). The next day, Hisao, Hanako and Hideaki see the Satou siblings off at the airport. Hisao resolves to try to do more in rebuilding his life after the standstill in the hospital.
- Hanako - Hide and Seek
The next day Hisao makes good his promise and escorts Hanako to the convenience store. During this he comments on her purchase of spices and Hanako reveals an interest in cooking. The next day Hisao joins Hanako and Lilly in the Tea Room for a (mostly) homemade lunch that Hanako prepared, supplemented by some bread rolls provided by Lilly. Hanako is visibly relieved by Hisao's positive verdict of her cooking. Hisao and Hanako delay going back to class and their late arrival together is blatantly obvious and amusing to the entire class, especially Misha. The Student Council use Hisao's tardiness as an excuse to try to get him to help them sort papers from the festival after class. Hisao either chooses to escape to the library with Hanako where she checks out a book on chess tactics for future games with him, or agrees to help the Student Council out and, while Shizune is obtaining food, has a serious conversation with Misha about Hanako's shyness around others.
If the latter happens, Misha expresses great concern for Hanako but feels that she and Shizune are unable to do anything and asks Hisao to help Hanako break out of her shell. Early one morning, a tired Hisao meets Lilly in the cafeteria over breakfast and Lilly asks some unusual questions about Hisao's relationship with Hanako before inviting him to her room later that evening to have tea with the two of them. As he shares tea with the girls Hisao contemplates his relationship with Hanako and wonders what he can possibly do to help her. The next day, after an argument with Kenji regarding money owed and splitting bank notes, Hisao goes to class. As usual Hanako leaves early for lunch and Hisao talks to Lilly in the Tea Room. They discuss Hanako's truancy and Lilly hypothesizes that she does it to avoid having to answer any questions people might ask about her past and her scars.
After eating Hisao finds Hanako in the library and, to his surprise, Hanako begins to tell him about the fire that claimed both of her parents' lives and nearly killed her as well. Telling the story takes an emotional toll on Hanako and when asked why she's doing this she explains that Lilly told her about Hisao's arrhythmia and that she thinks it only fair that Hisao know about her circumstances as well. Hisao then reveals the hitherto left out detail of Iwanako's confession causing his heart attack. The two promise to keep each other's secrets and both grow just a little closer.
- Emi - Form
Hisao arrives for his first morning run with Emi, resulting in her winning a bet with Rin. The two run a mile around the track and to Hisao's surprise he doesn't feel so bad when it's complete, beyond tired that is, his first runner's high. Emi invites him to lunch on the rooftop again and Hisao watches Emi and Rin have an argument about perspective, predictability and time travel. Upon his return to class Misha ruthlessly teases Hisao about his 'rendezvous' with Rin and Emi. Class ends and Hisao gives up halfway through his homework and decides instead to go see Emi at the track. After the, now traditional teasing greetings, Hisao asks Emi about her friendship with Rin. Emi doesn't seem to understand it herself but it seems that the two have one crucial commonality, they work hard at what they like, what they shouldn't be able to do. Hisao also learns that Emi started running because her father was one revealing a brief moment of melancholy. Emi returns to her training and reminds Hisao to come tomorrow for morning run. Hisao is unable to sleep and decides to go for a walk in the wee hours of the morning. Eventually he falls asleep on the bleachers, waking only when Emi finds him. Today's run is even harder for Hisao but Emi snaps at him when he considers giving up. Afterwards she says that she can't stand the notion of giving in. Later that morning in the nurses office Hisao learns that before he worked at Yamaku the Nurse was one of the doctors who helped Emi recover after the car accident that cost her both legs. Sheer determination enabled her to complete years of convalescence in one years time. The two know each other well and have a friendly relationship.
The day of the track meet arrives and Hisao attends, (another loss for Rin) and meets Emi's mother, Meiko Ibarazaki. After introductions, (and teasing), the trio watch Emi run her events. Hisao had glimpsed it before during their runs but he finally gets a good look at "Emi at her Emiest" as Rin puts it. Hisao also begins to notice that Emi appears beautiful to him when she runs and that he might be growing attracted to her. Mrs. Ibarazaki leaves mid-way and Rin and Hisao notice Emi stumble on the final event, suggesting that she's in pain. She still wins and as they congratulate her, Emi invites Hisao to join her and Rin for a celebration later in the week, reminding him to be bright and early for their run as usual. A few days later Hisao is with the Nurse due to mild chest pain as the result of neglecting his medications. As he advises Hisao to take it easy for a few days the nurse lets slip that Hisao's running with Emi means more to her then he may have realized. In the hall an agitated Emi babbles worriedly about Hisao until he surprises her with a hug and some reassurance. The dangerously tender moment is interrupted by the grinning Nurse.
During lunch Hisao, Emi and Rin discuss the future. Hisao has no clear idea of his own and he and Rin are highly amused with Emi's desire to be a pirate. Hisao is quite conscious of Emi throughout and it appears that Rin has noticed this. Upon his return to the classroom he must endure Misha's teasing yet again and is informed that the Student Council left something for him in his room. As class resumes Hisao, analyzing Rin's words wonders briefly if Emi might share his growing feelings for her. After class he bumps into Kenji outside his room. Kenji advises him to stay off the roof in case the 'limbless wonders' decide to assassinate him by throwing him from the roof, and asks him for 500 yen. After he has gone Hisao finds a letter in his room. It's from Iwanako, an apology for those final awkward, uncommunicative weeks in the hospital. Hisao, who hasn't thought of the hospital in weeks, crumples the letter and throws it away.
The afternoon of Hisao's picnic with Emi and Rin starts off bad with overcast sky's and gets worse when the heavens open up, much to Emi's anger. The trio take shelter at the Shanghai where Hisao encounters Yuuko for the second time. As Hisao and Emi enjoy some cake Hisao learns that sometimes she comes here with the track team captain for discussions, although Emi seems nervous explaining it. The trio walk back to school when the rain stops. Despite previous claims that today's an off day Emi decides to run laps at the school, Hisao can either stay quiet or offer to run with Emi, in which case she sternly tells him to rest. The rain picks up on their return but Emi goes for her run anyway. Inside the dorms Hisao bumps into Kenji carrying a stack of books. After some rambling on Kenji's part Hisao lets slip that he went to the Shanghai with Emi and Rin, and receives a vehement lecture never to go again if he wants to avoid some horrible fate at the hands of the feminists! The next day Emi doesn't show up and a worried Hisao learns from the Nurse that she is sick in bed. Hisao resolves to see her after classes end. The day drags by monotonously, the only interesting moments: Yuuko looking for a stolen book, and meeting Lilly, who asks after Emi's well being.
Finally when class ends Hisao looks in on Emi, for some reason or other the two get into a pillow fight and a compromising position. The two enjoy a companionable time as Hisao tells Emi about the days events, until she falls asleep that is. Unable to escape Hisao watches as Emi experiences a nightmare before waking her up out of it. Emi is reluctant to talk about it and Hisao decides to leave. Before he does, assures Emi that if she ever wants to talk about anything, he's there. Only now does Hisao realize that he developed romantic feelings for Emi, but he is afraid of ruining their friendship as well as feeling inadequate alongside the track captain, who he perceives as a rival. The next day Hisao resolves to find out whether or not Emi and the track captain are dating. He can't ask Emi or Rin of course so he decides to try the Nurse. After their morning run Hisao notices that Emi is a little preoccupied with something, most likely the previous night, but Emi refuses to elaborate. At the Nurses office Hisao makes a few oblique enquiries of the nurse and is happy to hear that Emi will never date the track captain, although how the Nurse knows this is puzzling.
Later Hisao finds himself alone with Emi on the roof during lunch, as she unknowingly transmitted her cold to Rin. After the usual teasing openings Hisao begins looking for an opportunity to ask Emi out. Emi is suddenly troubled by a memory of her deceased father, reluctantly she reveals that the nightmare from last night is a fairly recurring instance and is depressed by that. Hisao embraces her, reaffirming his promise to be there for her. There is a short interlude of talk about the future and suddenly Emi tells Hisao that if he wants to kiss her he should do it before the bell rings for class. There is a stunned silence, then Emi admits that she has a crush on Hisao and the two kiss. The kiss lasts until the bell rings and Emi invites Hisao to dinner after practice, giving him one more kiss in the hall before they part ways. Misha teases Hisao but he doesn't care.
- Rin - Disconnect
After classes the next day Emi collides with Hisao once more, this time in a hurry to bring papers to a teacher. After apologizing, she invites Hisao to meet her for lunch on the rooftop again. When Hisao arrives he notices Rin lying on the roof, watching the sky. She reveals that sometimes she skips classes in order to experience the things she wishes. Hisao joins her and to his surprise finds himself relaxing, his thoughts slowing down to calmly drift by like the clouds. He begins to understand why Rin loves the sky so much.
At his first art-club meeting, everyone is told to partner up to practice sketching one another, and Hisao is left with Rin as his partner. His own portrait is clumsy, but Rin's is amazing. He is troubled by how gloomy his expression is and asks her about it, to which she answers that in all the time he's been at school she's never seen him smile. Hisao realizes she's right and starts to reflect on how negative and frustrated he's been with his life since his heart attack.
The day of Emi's track meet arrives and Hisao attends with Rin and meets Emi's mother, Meiko Ibarazaki. After introductions (and teasing), the trio watch Emi run her events. During the second event Rin's feet begin to thump with what Hisao reads as enthusiasm, but she replies that she enjoys watching "Emi at her Emiest". Although Meiko has to leave before the final event, Hisao and Rin watch the rally and then go together to congratulate Emi on her incredible victories. Emi invites Hisao to join her and Rin for their traditional post-track celebration next week.
In the art club, Nomiya finishes his lecture on the class and then approaches Rin to tell her about a friend of his who is a well known gallerist who might be willing to display some of Rin's work. Rin is troubled by the news and says she'll think about it, going for a walk which Hisao accompanies her on. They head into the forest and stop at a large maple tree which Rin calls the Worry Tree, where Hisao tries to puzzle out what's bothering her. Rin explains that she feels she can't display her work for others, and that in order to do so she'd need to become an entirely different person. She isn't sure whether becoming a career artist is something she wants for herself and she doesn't know what to do. Hisao shares his own negative feelings towards the circumstances that lead him to Yamaku, but he eventually realizes that he no longer feels lonely at night because Rin is in his life. He resolves to stop "wallowing under the weight of all the crap in his life" and to change himself for the better.
The next day Hisao receives a letter from Iwanako, who apologizes for not being the support he needed during the difficult time of his hospitalisation. She hopes he's found that support at Yamaku, and that he's gotten back to his feet in his new life. Hisao is frustrated that she's come back into his life just when he's started to move on, but he writes her a short reply anyway without expecting a response.
Resolved to change, Hisao begins to observe the other students more closely to learn how they cope with their difficulties. Watching Rin paint, he notices her focusing intently, going into her own world that he cannot breach. When he does get her attention, she describes how hard it is to find the words to communicate and she confides that she's worried she's losing the ability to think about multiple things at once. To her, painting is a way of capturing what she cannot say and preserving her thoughts and feelings in time and space. Looking at her old paintings reminds her of what she was thinking at the time she made them, and in a way they are proof of her existence. She confesses that change is the scariest thing in the world to her, and she fears she cannot become the person that Nomiya wants her to be. In spite of this, when Nomiya returns Hisao pushes her to go for it, and she becomes upset and leaves.
A week after the track meet, Emi makes good on her promise to celebrate and the three of them head out for a picnic. However, as they leave it begins to rain and they are forced to wait out the storm in the Shanghai. Yuuko serves the trio tea and cake in lieu of the picnic they had planned. Emi decides to hike back by herself despite the rain, but knowing he can't keep up Hisao offers to walk Rin back with his umbrella. When Hisao sees the Nurse the next day he mentions Emi got a cold, and when he meets Rin for lunch she mentions that she might have it too. She sneezes suddenly and Hisao helps wipe her nose with his handkerchief. The two spend some time idly before Hisao asks her why she loves the sky so much. She answers that it's always changing but ever-perfect. Hisao draws the parallel that she's exactly the same, a realization that surprises her. He also talks about how difficult it is to be disabled, to which Rin answers she doesn't feel disabled, and she doesn't choose to be. She doesn't know who she is, but unlike Hisao, she's okay with that. She hugs him (in her own way) and leaves as lunch ends.Alone on the rooftop, Hisao decides to stop feeling sorry for himself, to let go of the identity of being disabled and to forge a new life for himself.
Hisao bumps into Emi a few days later who sheepishly tells him Rin caught her cold, and that she'll get some cold medication from the nurse to give to her. Hisao wants to visit Rin to tell her about his new resolution but it takes him a few days to build up the courage to. When Rin answers the door in an unbuttoned shirt and her underwear she is delighted to have a visitor. She invites him inside to talk, and Hisao nervously follows. He observes she has a fever, is exhausted and is making even less sense than usual, and it evolves that she has taken too much cold meditation. He nevertheless tells her that he's going to stop being pathetic, and that he's sorry for pushing her to do the exhibit. She accepts his apology and then gets back into bed to sleep. As he leaves, she stop him and insists on walking him to the door. Staggering slightly, she falls into him and kisses him on the lips. As they part, Rin is grinning madly and ponders whether she'll remember any of it in the morning before stumbling back into bed and falling asleep. A bewildered Hisao tucks her in, pondering whether or not to call a nurse, but resolves she'll be fine. He pockets the rest of her medication and shows himself out.
The next day Rin is waiting outside Hisao's classroom with no recollection of previous day's events. She does recall that she wanted to bring him somewhere, so they walk through the forest once again to a hill covered in dandelions. After a little while Rin blurts out a tirade of breathless words as she tries to explain how difficult it is for her to communicate and how worried she is that Hisao thinks she's weird. Hisao laughs and comforts her, telling her she is weird but that there's nothing wrong with that. She asks him what happened yesterday and he reminds her that she kissed him, which she doesn't mind. She apologizes for being so bad with people and confides that her pencils and paints are the only friends she's ever had. Hisao declares that he's her friend, on the basis of them talking a lot, having fights and making up. He deeply wants to be her friend so that he can get closer to her. As the sun begins to set, Hisao makes a decision about whether or not to stay at the art club. Rin announces that she'll give the gallery a try, realizing that change was inevitable so that she might as well embrace the opportunity because it gives her clear direction about what the change will be. While the two are returning to their dorms, Hisao feels that whatever trials lay ahead, the distance between them might be just within his grasp.
- Shizune - Sleight of Hand
After a long trip to Shizune's home where the reader gets to meet her extended family, learn that Lilly is her cousin as well as lose his virginity tied to a chair, Hisao is then confronted by Misha asking him to "comfort her." The next morning, if Hisao rejects Misha's advances, he realizes that Misha's situation hit him harder than he thought. Feeling depressed, he skips class and hides in the library. Shizune finds him, and confronts him, remarking that she hasn't seen Misha all day either. The conversation eventually leads to the fact she's noticed Hisao's distress, and she asks him if he's all right. When he asks the same question of Shizune, she doesn't give a complete answer, and leaves. Hisao heads up to the roof, where he finds Misha sitting alone, depressed. It is now that she tells Hisao the truth: she has feelings for Shizune as well. She admits that she didn't initially want to come to Yamaku High, and she got dragged into the Student Council by Shizune just like Hisao. Shizune pushed her so hard to succeed, motivating her to get better at sign language and work hard in Student Council, that she eventually fell in love with her. She confessed her feelings to Shizune, and got rejected, and what bothers her most is that Shizune treated this event like she does with everything else: wiping it away, and moving on, as though it never happened. Misha's bitterness festered for 2 years, before Hisao showed up and began immediately growing just as close to Shizune as Misha had always wanted to be. All this time, Misha has been drifting away, eaten alive by her jealousy, angry at herself for being a hateful person. She is now having suicidal thoughts, and leans against the fence on the roof, as if she hopes to fall through it. Hisao pulls her back, and opens up, explaining his time at the hospital, and noting that Shizune doesn't let people in close unless it's on her terms. He knows she probably only got so close to Hisao because he rejected her so adamantly. She is always trying to pull people in close, and his determination not to let her in drove her to push harder. Hisao tells Misha that he admires her for having struggled the same way he had, all for the same reasons, and he is sad and angry that she is giving up. Shizune finds Hisao and Misha alone, and, sensing the tension in the air, proposes that they do something fun together in the Student Council room. Hisao remarks that it sounds like another trap to do more work, and Misha laughs. The tension subsides, and they leave together hand-in-hand.
- Lilly - Present
As the days following Lilly's departure pass by, life goes on for Hisao and company. Although Mutou does interrogate him on whether or not he has any plans for after graduation. To this Hisao has only a hazy idea of a profession in the sciences. Hisao also asks Shizune about the conflict between her and Lilly and is advised to ask Lilly herself about it when she returns. One day during lunch Kenji nearly gives Hisao a heart-attack by pounding his back in greeting. The two sit down together for lunch and Hisao reveals Lilly's Scottish origins. Kenji is horrified, mainly because he made a bet with a classmate that she's from Russia. Hisao chooses to either tune out his ranting or humor him to put him in a slightly better mood. Kenji then reveals 'evidence' that Lilly is working for the Mafia. He spotted her getting into a car with Akira who, with his terrible eyesight and her suit, looked like a foreign mafioso.
After classes Mutou asks Hisao to take some papers to Hanako who was absent from class. She is unresponsive for a while. When she does emerge, she barely seems to acknowledge his presence. The next day Hanako is absent again. In desperation, Hisao calls Lilly in Scotland and she explains that today is Hanako's birthday and that it is related to the fact that her parents died in the fire that scarred her. In all likelihood, she blames herself for their deaths. After hanging up Hisao realizes that Lilly is disappointed because she expected him to call her to talk about herself not Hanako. Pushing the thought aside, Hisao prepares some food for Hanako and leaves it beside her door. He rationalizes that there is nothing he can do but let her sort out her problems herself.
A few days later, everything is back to normal; however, Hisao and Hanako both feel Lilly's absence keenly. Hisao has a 'relationship talk' with Yuuko in the library and it all points back to having to consider the future after graduation from Yamaku. Returning to his room Hisao calls Lilly in Scotland and after assuring her of Hanako's well-being the two enjoy some small talk before Hisao tells Lilly that he misses her. Lilly replies in kind, tentatively affirming their mutual affection. A few days later Misha, noticing Hisao's boredom, passes some notes to cheer him up, only to be reprimanded by Mutou.
Hisao and Hanako go to the airport to see Lilly and Akira. The reunion is somewhat awkward for Hisao and possibly for Lilly as well. Since the Yamaku students have three days off from school after tomorrow Lilly invites Hisao and Hanako to come with her to her family's summer home in Hokkaido, Akira will be spending the time with her boyfriend. As they go back Hisao determines to use this trip to confess to Lilly. The next day, the trio boards the early morning train to Hokkaido and arrive at the small summerhouse. The girls get the bedroom while Hisao is relegated to the futon, he falls asleep after the long trip and is wakened in order to have some food before going back to sleep. Hisao tries to sleep in the next morning but Lilly deduces his fakery. Later Hisao walks in on Lilly and Hanako cooking in the kitchen and Lilly accidentally cuts her finger, Hisao apologizes and bandages the wound. The meal is surprisingly accompanied by a bottle of wine, taken by Lilly with Akira's approval apparently. After the meal the trio decides to walk around. The pleasant atmosphere is suddenly ruined when Hisao has an acute heart murmur, remembering, belatedly that he forgot to take his medications last night and that morning. Fortunately it passes, however Lilly decides to return to the house. Hisao awakens in the afternoon, having taken his medicine and gone to sleep as soon as they returned.
He finds Lilly standing alone outside and asks her what's wrong. Lilly talks about her time with Hisao and Hanako, a small, but happy family, even though her parents were so far away. Lilly's calm demeanor begins to crack and she speaks of how afraid she was of losing Hisao during his heart murmur. Giving in to her pent up emotions she embraces Hisao and sobs as she confesses her love for him. Hisao returns her feelings and comforts her as she cries. Later they return to the house and as they talk Lilly insists that Hisao not apologize for his weak heart, there is no point in regretting who or what you are. After some tentative invitation from Lilly the new couple make love.
The next day Hisao and Lilly explain everything to Hanako who seems ecstatic for her two friends. Later that day, Hisao takes a bath, pondering his situation. This is interrupted by Lilly who asks to bathe with him. Awkwardly he accepts and the two end up having sex again. Hours later on the trip home Hisao and Lilly tease each other about the bath incident and talk about either Hanako's growing confidence or school and graduation. Hisao, realizing how much they've all come to depend so much on each other and wonders what they will do afterwards. He asks if they might spend the summer holidays at the house and Lilly accepts.
- Hanako - Castling
The act opens with Hanako winning yet another chess game against Hisao. As they're preparing to leave Lilly invites them to dinner at the Shanghai. As they eat Lilly takes advantage of Hanako's going to the restroom to invite Hisao to go shopping for presents for Hanako's upcoming birthday, which Hisao accepts. The meal is interrupted by yet another dispute between the other class reps and the Student Council and Lilly is forced to leave early. Hisao and Hanako enjoy a comfortable meal and return to the dorms. One clear summer day Hisao watches a soccer game near the track and has a chat with classmate Miki Miura about his changing relationship with Hanako and how he's adapting to life at Yamaku. That weekend Hisao and Lilly go present shopping in the city proper and after half the day they find a small antique shop where Lilly purchases a doll for Hanako, and Hisao buys a chess set. The two of them return to Yamaku. The next day, Hanako surprises everyone by joining Hisao, Misha and Shizune for group work. As the minutes go by, the Student Council duos teasing takes a wrong turn and Hisao is forced to reveal his trip with Lilly. The mention of her birthday causes Hanako to slowly, mentally shut down in the middle of the class and only a swift intervention by Mutou prevents a scene that would have only made things worse for her. Hisao escorts Hanako to the nurse's office and is slightly frustrated when the nurse reveals that he has an inkling of why Hanako reacted so strongly but cannot explain it to Hisao because of patient confidentiality.
Upon his return to class, Mutou takes Hisao into the hallway and explains that Yamaku exists for the sake of giving its disabled students as much of an opportunity in the outside world as an ordinary school would and that Hisao should be more concerned about his future. Mutou lets him have the rest of the day off and in his room Hisao realizes that for all the time he's spent with Hanako, he knows almost nothing about her. His musings are interrupted by a phone call from Lilly, asking him to meet with her and discuss something. Hisao describes Hanako's panic attack and Lilly reveals that, due to her aunt in Scotland falling ill, she has to leave on Saturday for a week or two. Both of them check up on a still distraught Hanako and Lilly breaks the bad news to her. They decide that the party will be a small affair in Lilly's room before she leaves, and Hanako seems comforted slightly by their words.
As he returns to his dorm room Hisao resolves to do whatever it takes, even deny his own growing feelings for Hanako, to protect her. The next day Hisao is roused from his concern for Hanako's extended absence from class by Misha and Shizune who invite him to dinner, however his concern for Hanako leads him to refuse. He visits Hanako and for a time, the two of them are incapable of saying anything but a few awkward words. Finally Hanako invites him to play chess with her and Hisao realizes with some relief that everything is all right again, Hanako has slowly begun to let him into her world. The night of Hanako's birthday party arrives and Hisao discovers to his surprise that there will be a little underage drinking that night courtesy of a gift from Lilly's sister Akira: two bottles of wine. Akira herself arrives shortly after Hisao and the wine bottles are opened. Lilly and Hisao give Hanako their birthday presents and she receives them with profound happiness. As time goes by and the wine bottles empty Hanako becomes extremely drunk and Hisao escorts her back to her room. Despite Hanako's suggestive manner and comments due to her inebriated state, Hisao manages get her to sleep. Akira leaves soon after and Hisao asks Lilly about Hanako's reaction to her birthday. Lilly reveals that she really doesn't know, she can only guess that it is related to the fire that killed her parents and she thinks Hanako might even be blaming herself for that. As Hisao leaves he is frustrated by his feeling of impotence in helping Hanako and his own growing romantic feelings towards her.
Hisao's hangover the following morning prevents him from going to class that day despite some insistent knocking on his door. The day after, an extremely pleased Shizune and Misha inform him that everyone noticed his, Hanako's and Lilly's absence from class yesterday but fortunately no one has any confirmed idea as to why. The pair then hand him the letter they had been trying to deliver to him yesterday. The letter is from Iwanako, bringing official closure to the relationship that didn't even start. During lunch Hisao wanders the grounds where he encounters Yuuko who helps him come to terms with his circumstances. Hisao realizes that he believed time stopped after his heart attack but life goes on, and he can't stand still forever.
The night before Lilly's departure the three of them and Akira go to a jazz club in the city. While Akira and Lilly sit at the bar, Hisao and Hanako play a game of pool (billiard) when Hanako reveals a few things about her time in the orphanage after the fire. In return Hisao explains a little bit about Iwanako. Hanako becomes increasingly uncomfortable as they continue to share one-another's history and Hisao assures her that it's all right, that he will protect her. There is an odd silence before Hanako accepts this declaration, responding that she is there for him as well. The next morning Lilly leaves for the airport and Hisao and Hanako are left at loose ends. Hisao then chooses to either call it a day and go back to the dorms or invite Hanako to go to the city with him. If the latter is chosen Hanako surprises Hisao by accepting his offer and they both go into the city to find a bookshop. Unfortunately it's closed, that day being a Saturday. Hanako then asks Hisao to show her the antique store where her presents cam
- Emi - Perspective
Class passes quickly for Hisao who is eager to go on his first date with Emi. Mutou asks Hisao some questions after class about future plans and suggests forming a "science club". He gives Hisao 'A Brief History of Time' book to read and Hisao returns to his room and promptly falls asleep. Fortunately he awakes with enough time left to prepare and meets Emi at the track. With neither one having any clear plan, they grab some food from the convenience store and eating in the park. Although Emi remarks that it's not much different from what they would have done as friends, the pair enjoy a few flirtatious moments and Hisao returns to the dorms well satisfied. Only then does he notice Emi favoring her left leg. Emi waves it off and Hisao is left vaguely disturbed by Emi's reluctance. The next morning run goes well but Emi stumbles in pain immediately after and a concerned Hisao takes her to the Nurses office. Emi fobs off the visit claiming other things to do. Both Hisao and the Nurse recognize that she's hiding her pain and the Nurse tells Hisao to make sure that Emi sees him later. During lunch on the rooftop Hisao teasingly, but firmly enforces the Nurses command and Emi reluctantly agrees. Emi and Hisao kiss goodbye before going to their respective classes and Hisao receives a scolding from Shizune and Misha against public displays of affection. Mutou and Hisao meets for a second Science Club meeting and Mutou suggests that a true scientist should look at any problem or question from more than one angle, in order to find a solution. Hisao takes this saying to heart, thinking that it might help him overcome the distance he feels between himself and Emi.
With nothing else to do Hisao goes to the library where Yuuko confides that she is on the trail of the person who stole the missing books, although she has yet to determine who it is. The conversation is interrupted by an urgent phone call from Emi and Hisao rushes to her room to find Emi in a wheelchair. It turns out that she developed an infection and has to avoid running for a few weeks. Hisao attempts to cheer her up with varying degrees of success and he notice that, yet again, Emi is maintaining some kind of distance from him. However the mood lightens and yet another pillow fight turns into love-making. This is rudely interrupted by Rin who, seemingly utterly oblivious of Hisao and Emi's nudity, wants to watch a cloud from Emi's window, but leaves disappointed when the cloud changes shape. Hisao and Emi laugh and Hisao returns to his room.
The next day Emi arrives in her wheelchair while Hisao prepares for his morning run. Emi insists that she needs gloves from the track shed to exercise in her wheelchair and Hisao realizes too late that this is just a ruse to spend some intimate time with him. Hisao discovers a tube of lubricant revealed to be the track captain's, who is revealed by Emi to be gay. Hesitantly the pair engage in a sexual experiment that is less than successful and both resolve never to do it again. Worn out, Hisao naps until awoken by Kenji who is convinced that the cause of Hisao's exhaustion is that Emi knocked him out. Emi visits later and informs a startled Hisao that they need to stop seeing each other until after exams, Emi claiming that their current intimacy will be a distraction.
On the day before the exams Hisao finds himself in the library again, thinking about how the exams have been taking their toll despite even starting, and how Hisao feels about the exams themselves. He then hopes that his relationship with Emi would improve but also worries about some moments where Emi has displayed anxiety and evasion. However, before he continues on he gets startled by Yuuko who has claimed to have found the identity of the Yamaku Cat Burglar, the person who has been stealing library books. After changing subjects, Hisao asks Yuuko for advice for his relationship with Emi and how she's been avoiding serious questions. Yuuko suggests that he just needs to confront her about it and prevent her from changing subjects, in which Hisao decides to do.
After the exams finished, Hisao wondered how Emi did before being approached by Mutou who starts discussing scientific philosophies with Hisao. The discussion ends with Mutou giving advice to Hisao, then commending him for making it through the exams. Before heading back to his room, Hisao begins to ponder about Emi again. Back in his room, Hisao continues to think on the reactions of Emi and how he should act. Suddenly someone knocks on his door, turning out to be Kenji. They engage in a typical conversation before Hisao heads to Emi's room. Once Hisao heads to Emi's room he knocks on the door, only to hear a choked up response. Instantly Hisao knows she has been crying. Emi invites Hisao inside and the two do a long kiss, only to have Hisao end it by saying that they need to talk. Hisao then proceeds to the bed where he puts his arm around Emi and just sits there for a little bit. Then he starts to talk about how she really needs to start opening up to him, because it will help her feel better about whatever is bothering her. Emi then says that she can't allow him to know anything that personal, that if she tells him she will have to rely on him, the two then get into an argument and it ends with Hisao leaving her dorm. The next day Hisao meets Emi at the track for their daily run. Once they finish they head to the nurse's office. Emi gets checked out, kisses Hisao on her way out and runs off to her dorm. Hisao then goes to see the nurse. The nurse starts talking about how Emi has rubbed off onto Hisao and not in a good way (Jokingly). Hisao only responds with a frown. The nurse seems confused with his response. Before the nurse can say anything Emi comes back in and asks Hisao to join her at her mom's house for lunch. Emi and Hisao take the bus to Emi's moms. When they get off the bus for the first time Emi mentions her Dad to Hisao only briefly. They then walk to her moms house. Once inside they talk over lunch and Emi's mom asks Emi if she will be visiting her dad this year, this makes Emi tear up and she quickly covers it up by bringing Rin's mural up. Meiko waves it off. Emi then says she needs to go to the restroom, Hisao knowing she is not going to the restroom follows her, soon to found out that she in fact did not go to the restroom, but to the kitchen. Emi then says for him to leave she wants to be alone, Hisao doesn't listen and presses Emi on and on to tell her what is eating her up. Soon enough Hisao oversteps his boundaries and says that Emi needs his help. Emi, furiously yells at Hisao and it ends up with him being kicked out or her house. Hisao then goes back to Yamaku and does not talk to Emi anymore.
If Hisao stays after class to talk to Mutou the two will talk about science and if you can't observe something one way, then you have to observe the things it affects. Hisao and Mutou talk more about it until calling it a day. the next day Hisao meets Emi at the track finishes their run and heads out to the nurse. Emi gets checked by the nurse, gives Hisao a kiss and then runs off to the showers. Hisao then goes to the nurse to do the everyday ritual of checking his heartbeat, The nurse brings up Emi's name and Hisao can't help but frown a bit, the nurse seems to be baffled by Hisao's response to her name. Hisao then starts to tell the nurse what is going on, but the nurse cuts him off, and says exactly what Hisao was about to say, how Emi won't tell him what is going on and won't let him in close. Hisao is confused about how the nurse knows that, the nurse just says that he has known Emi for a long time and is like this about the same time every year. The nurse then tries to offer advice to Hisao if Hisao accepts the advice the nurse tells Hisao that the anniversary of her accident is approaching and she gets very depressed when it comes around, Hisao tries to press more out of the nurse, but the nurse doesn't budge. Hisao is about to say more but then Emi knocks at the door, she comes in and invites Hisao to her mothers house for dinner. Hisao accepts, goes back to his dorm and gets ready to meet Emi at the bus stop. The two leave the bus and Emi leads the way to her house. Meiko greets Hisao and Emi at the door and invites them inside. The group starts to eat, Meiko then brings up Emi's father asking Emi if she is going to visit him this year. Emi not expecting the question avoids it and asks her mother if she noticed Rin's mural. Meiko looks confused and says that she didn't pay any mind to the painting. Emi then says she needs to go to the bathroom and leaves, both Hisao and Meiko know that Emi is not going to the bathroom and then Hisao has a choice to go after Emi or stay and talk to Emi's mom. If Hisao chooses to go after Emi the two get into an argument which leads Hisao getting kicked out, and on the path to the bad ending.
Hisao stops going to the morning runs and whenever he sees Emi, he hides, He stops going to the roof to eat lunch, if he does go to the roof it is by himself. Soon Misha confronts him and asks him what is going on between him and Emi. Hisao chooses to tell Misha what is wrong, she says Hisao is stupid and needs to go say he is sorry to Emi and tell her how much he cares about her. Hisao goes the track to see Emi running. She quickly talks to Hisao, saying she forgives him and runs off. Hisao call to her, but she doesn't hear him. Hisao chases after her catch up to her, but starts to wince in pain. She looks compassionate for a split second, until going back to being mad. She tells him to go away and they are over. Hisao fights back and earns another chance with her. She says to meet her at the track in the morning to do their morning run.
- Bad Ending
If Hisao chooses to drop it and not tell Misha, she convinces him to go and talk to Emi after school. Hisao meets Emi at the track and starts to talk to her, and he says that he sorry for what happened at her house, and feels bad. Emi shows no sign of compassion. Only saying, "Whatever, I forgive you." and starts to run off. Hisao calls her back, and she is mad. She says how they are done, and not right for each other. Hisao tries to fight it, but loses to Emi. Hisao goes back to his dorm and realizes that him and Emi are done. He goes to sleep, ending their relationship forever.
- Alternative Path
If Hisao chooses to stay and talk to Meiko instead of going after Emi, Meiko will apologize for what just happened and that she should have known that Emi is going to be very touchy about this situation. Meiko continues talk to Hisao about the accident and that Emi is very stubborn and will not get close to someone very easy because she discovered how easy it is to have it all go away. Meiko says that Hisao just needs to be patient with Emi and that Hisao has gotten closer to Emi than anyone before. Hisao states that he feels that he and Emi have not gotten any closer, just after he says that Emi shows up looking hurt. She states that that will make what come next easy, Meiko tries to intervene but Emi cuts her off and tells Hisao to leave, Meiko tries to convince Hisao to stay and close to the end Emi regrets her words and pleads Hisao to stay too. However Hisao declines, saying it will be better if he leaves instead, exiting the house. Hisao returns to Yamaku, thinking over what he has just done.
Hisao returns to his room, but had difficulty sleeping for tomorrow. Thinking of how he should apologize to Emi, he is reminded of the letter from Iwanako. Searching his room, he manages to find the letter and starts reading. After reading the main points of the letter, he discovers that Iwanako noticed back then that Hisao seems to have given up on happiness, which sounded familiar to him. Iwanako regretted not supporting him, believing that he wouldn't have acted so alone back then. She wonders if they will ever meet but thinks that they shouldn't and ends the letter by wishing him the best. Hisao places the letter on his desk, feeling comforted by it. He wonders what would've happened if he acted differently, however he concluded in that there was no point wondering now but he shouldn't forget either.
- Rin - Distance
One day after class, Hisao stops by the art club and sees Rin telling Nomiya that she will work at the gallery. Overjoyed, Nomiya makes a quick call and drives the two students to the 22nd Corner Art Gallery. There they meet the gallery owner, Sae, who scrutinises Rin's art carefully. She comments that her technique needs a little refinement and that her paintings seem to be lacking something, a sense of theme or identity perhaps, but that she'd be willing to host an exhibit if Rin is willing to work on this. Rin commits herself wholeheartedly, and Nomiya arranges for Rin to be exempt from classes throughout the rest of the trimester, freeing her to focus on painting in the atelier above the gallery. On her last day of school, Hisao waits for Rin but she doesn't emerge from class. He finds her still at her desk napping, and is bewildered to see her crying in her sleep. When she wakes up she explains that crying is something she's learned from others. While the two leave the teaching building, Rin announces to Hisao that she is resolved to change who she is. She also tells Emi not to distract her by visiting while she focuses on her painting.
Hisao eventually realizes that, despite how confusing she is, he still wants to become close to Rin and understand her. He decides to confess his feelings for her at the atelier, but when he does so she cuts him off and tells him she can't think about it right now. Heartbroken, Hisao turns to leave, but Rin asks him to visit again tomorrow. Thus begins a pattern where Hisao visits her in the evenings, watching her paint or reading in silence. Realizing she hasn't been eating well, he brings her some oranges and gently feeds them to her. As the weeks pass, Rin begins to struggle with her art; she finds that she cannot inspire herself to paint using new methods nor her old ones. She comes to the conclusion that changing who she is not enough, and that she must first destroy the old her. She asks Sae for cigarettes, and Hisao reluctantly shares the pack with her. Realizing that smoking is only increasing her melancholy and introversion, he decides to shake her out of her mood by exploring the city at night, taking random turns and discovering a new side of the town. They wander the streets until dawn and it seems to invigorate her. To Hisao's surprise, she suddenly asks him to stop visiting her for reasons she won't explain. She permits him to touch her anywhere he likes (except her boobs and her left ear), and he gently brushes her cheek with three fingers. Her only response is to close her eyes, and then bid him goodbye.
Hisao discovers that he can't stop thinking of her, and within a few days he finds himself heading back to the gallery. He runs into Nomiya and Sae who explain Rin has been doing exceptionally well recently, and they talk a while about the challenges of being a gifted career artist. As the two old friends excuse themselves to reminisce, Hisao makes his way into the atelier where he is stunned to find Rin pleasuring herself on the floor. Realizing she's been seen, she struggles with the shame and frustration of how much difficulty she's having pursuing her path as an artist. Hisao is moved by her desperation to find herself and improve her art in the process, and after a while they embrace. One thing leads to another and Rin asks him to help her finish. Hisao states that it's not something friends normally do, and Rin wonders again what it means to have a friend. Afterwards she falls asleep in his arms and they spend the night there together. In the morning, the two of them question whether it was a mistake, and whether it crossed a boundary in their friendship. They start arguing about why art is so important to her, and Hisao struggles with his frustration at how difficult it is to understand and connect with the woman he loves.
- Bad Ending
Hisao demands that Rin explains to her what she means to him, and she finds herself unable to do so. His frustration boils over as feels like she's been treating him only as a source of inspiration and not as a person with feelings and dreams. He yells at her about how selfish and unhealthy she's being by devoting herself to her art, even if it kills her. Rin realizes that she will never understand him and that she can never get him to understand her. She demands that he leave, and furiously he does so. He contemplates the strange change that has emerged in their relationship, unable to decide if this change is in him, or in her. Before fading to sleep, he notes how much time he wasted chasing things out of his reach.
- Shizune - To My Other Self
The next day, Hisao thinks back to something Misha said, about not wanting to miss people and grow apart anymore, and he realizes that they will be graduating soon. Misha's fear of losing Shizune for good might actually be justified, and Shizune has been treating her feelings with the same coldness that she afford to everything, which is making things worse. Hisao also starts to worry about losing everyone else he's met in his short time there, and he talks to Yuuko for advice. Once done, he finds Shizune alone. She noticed what he and Misha were talking about yesterday, and once she got Misha alone and made her talk, she feels as though everything is all her fault - she tries too hard to bring people close, then pushes them away. She realizes Misha is right, that the Student Council being empty is also her fault, and that she has shut Misha out just like everybody else. She is at a loss for what to do, and thinks herself a bad friend for being the way she is. She vows to fix things, starting with Misha, starting the next morning, and Hisao offers to help.
Shizune wakes Hisao the next morning and proposes a picnic, hoping they could eat together as a group again, but when Misha refuses to cooperate, Shizune becomes increasingly aggressive, and Misha leaves. Not wanting their food to go to waste, Shizune and Hisao go on a date with it, and the conversation leads to Shizune discussing her failure as a friend. Hisao reminisces about how Shizune tried to hard to pull him out of his rut, and succeeded, but wonders if Misha is rejecting that same help because she knows she will never have Shizune's hand. He ends up saying nothing, and Shizune falls asleep, having stayed up all night working on her picnic. The next day, Shizune's father shows up at her school to bring her a new phone and take her on a family trip, but she refuses, still worried about Misha. It is now that Hisao realizes the crucial flaw in Shizune's approach: she sees Misha's depression as a personal failure to correct, not a difficult time in Misha's life. She wants and expects things to go back to normal so quickly that she isn't taking the time to relate, and it is driving them further apart.
The next day, Shizune and Hisao split up to look for her, and once he finds her, he takes her to lunch with him at the Shanghai to talk. There, Misha admits that even though she didn't want to hate or upset Shizune, she has done both. Hisao tells her that even though Shizune is terrible at discussing her feelings, she still needs Misha, but Misha is afraid of making things worse, so she chooses to do nothing. Hisao berates Misha for giving up so easily, and he takes Misha on a tour of the school, discussing how he felt when he first got there, how Misha and Shizune turned his life around, and how he now regrets leaving all his old friends behind on such a sour note, encouraging Misha not to repeat his mistake.
- Bad Ending
The next day, Misha is back in class but appears to have lost the spark of her old self that Hisao had enkindled with his impassioned tour of the school. Shizune is absent from class, and when lunch comes around he decides to eat by himself. While he looks for an empty classroom, he stumbles upon Lilly who invites him to join her. They talk about Shizune and the Student Council, and Lilly confirms that Shizune scared off most of the old members with the force of her ambition. She hated having Shizune constantly talking about outdoing the last Student Council by creating bigger and more events, but Hisao argues that it made so many people happy which is what Lilly joined the student council for in the first place. Hisao reflects that his work with the student council, while time-consuming, has kept his mind off self-pity.
When he seeks out Shizune the next day, Hisao finds her sitting restlessly in the Student Council room by herself. He offers to help her with the remaining work but she brushes him off, saying that she also dismissed Misha and can handle it herself. He questions her about it but she refuses to answer her directly, so he seeks out Misha for an explanation. When he finally finds her, Misha has no idea why Shizune is acting so coldly either. Misha wonders if it's her fault, and Hisao thinks it's more likely something he did. They go to bed without discovering an explanation for Shizune's distancing. Hisao wakes a few hours later and goes for a walk where he bumps into Kenji. As they're talking, Hisao reminisces on how he lied to Shizune about everything being fine after he slept with Misha, and how Shizune might have read their lips while they were talking about it afterwards.
The next morning Shizune comes to Hisao's room and the two of them skip classes to wander around the empty school. Shizune continues to close herself off to him, and finally tells him that she's screwed up. She explains her constant drive for ambition, fighting to be the best at everything in life, and then when she's won discarding the victory as meaningless. She feels guilty for dragging Misha and Hisao into the orbit of her life because they were interesting, and jerking them around for selfish reasons. She questions whether all her relationships are like this: competitions to win and games to play. She wants to stop hurting people and be away from them, and so she breaks it off with Hisao. He calls her selfish, but she accepts it. She raises the day on the roof with Misha after he had slept with her, and how he told her everything was fine. Although it's unclear how much of the conversation she understood, she knows something was wrong and tells him she can never trust him again. He leaves her, heartbroken.
- Good Ending
The next day, Hisao and Shizune eat together on the roof, where Shizune reveals that thanks to Hisao, Misha has cheered up. She credits Hisao for making it possible, and blames herself for her flawed way of thinking, but she is glad that everything worked out, and vows to improve herself.
After delivering orientation speeches to the new Student Council, the group hangs out, reflecting on how much they will miss being in the Student Council once they're gone, and Misha leaves, opting not to have a celebratory dinner with the others for fear of saying any early goodbyes. Shizune and Hisao have passionate sex in the student council room. Afterwards, Hisao and Shizune sneak to the other end of the school to spy on Misha. On discovering Misha was taking supplemental lessons with Mutou, Shizune realizes that Misha has had more ambition than she had previously credited her. She had always wanted to connect with people, but the only way she could speak was through Misha, and she found it impossible to talk naturally with others. She started to see Misha as just an extension of herself that could speak, and failed to realize that Misha was the friendship she had wanted all along. She feels guilty that Misha sees her as an inspiration, as she has no goals for the future, and was only Student Council president because the job was forced upon her. She loved having more responsibility, but she realizes that being a leader is more than just about giving orders, it's about setting a goal, something she failed to do. Having no direction, she tried to do everything at once, and it harmed everyone she touched.
On the last day of school, Hisao starts saying his goodbyes to the people he will miss. He stumbles into the new Student Council as he searches for Shizune and Misha, and they thank him profusely for his hard work. He finds it curious that they thank him as all he did was follow in Shizune's wake, but he is gratified to see how many students have joined and how ambitious they are. When Hisao finds Misha, they talk about whether Shizune will ever be happy: whether she discards her victories like an artist who throws away their paintings because they never leave the mark they wanted. Hisao argues that, while winning is important to Shizune, her legacy is in making other people happy, and that celebrating the joy of others is the greatest happiness of all. Consequently, Shizune is planning on being a millionaire, and later a philanthropist. Misha is impressed by how well he knows Shizune and confides that she always wanted to be with Shizune and walked in her shadow. But when she realized Shizune's ambition wouldn't wait for her, she decided to go her own path and declares that she is moving overseas, perhaps to teach sign language.
The two of them go to find Shizune and they discover her at the front gate. Hisao hangs back to let the two of them talk privately, and he reminisces over what he's going to do after graduation. He suddenly realizes how much he wants to teach at Yamaku, so that if he ever met someone who was filled with bitterness like he was, he would be able to help them like Shizune had helped him; to bring inspiration to a person that needs hope without pity. Yuuko takes their first group photo, and at Shizune's insistence they pose dramatically like musketeers to capture the joyful moment of celebration. Hisao resolves that he too will live to make others happy, and to feel the joy this brings during his own shortened lifespan. Inspired by this chain of thought, Hisao finally tells Shizune that he loves her. She accepts it happily and the three of them agree to meet again before the next school reunion.
- Lilly - Future
One day to the exams and everyone is nervous. Shizune and Misha interrogate Hisao on what happened over the holiday and he admits that he and Lilly are dating. Misha seems happy enough, but Shizune reacts surprised, and then converses with Misha in sign language. Shizune makes it clear that Misha isn't to translate the conversation to Hisao. Hisao then makes his way to the Tea Room. Apparently Hanako chose to study some more in the library so he and Lilly ate alone, conversation made somewhat awkward by recent events. Hisao and Lilly reaffirm their mutual love for one another and Hisao asks Lilly to help him with his English lessons. Lilly and Akira throw a homecoming party in Lilly's room and, despite some insinuations on Akira's part; everything goes well for the new couple. Hanako reveals that she has joined the newspaper club, a welcome sign of her social development. Akira gives her full approval and Lilly and Hisao get to enjoy some time alone with each other. Later that week Hisao visits the nurse to discuss what happened in Hokkaido and leaves after some reassurance and advice. He meets Lilly going to the convenience store and asks her out on the date for Sunday. They bump into Akira along the way. On the way back Akira shows Hisao a photo of Lilly, Shizune, and Misha (minus the pink drills), working together during a previous Yamaku festival. Akira then reveals that she's leaving for Scotland soon, possibly for good. Lilly, already aware of this becomes greatly subdued.
On Sunday evening the two enjoy dinner at a fancy European restaurant. They talk about Lilly's blindness and her family, Lilly does not resent her parents for being so distant from her so much. They then move on to life before Yamaku, Lilly going to a wealthy, all girls Catholic school with Akira, who loathed it, and Hisao's life in the city. Eventually Hisao mentions Lilly's looks and learns that several people had confessed to her before in the past. Lilly then inquires about Hisao's own experiences and Hisao (depending on choice) can reveal the left out facts about Iwanako, that winter day, the deterioration of their relationship and the letter. If so Lilly accepts the story equanimity and reveals that in her middle school she had a crush on her English teacher but never acted on it because of the social taboos. Hisao accepts this equally well to Lilly's surprise and the two enjoy a happy and contended evening, having opened a little more of themselves to each other. They then both finish their meal and as the waiter hands them their bill, Lilly handles it, assuring that even that even as though she dislikes throwing money around, she'll make an exception for the special moment.
One night during exam week Hisao awakens suddenly, either from a nightmare or a heart flutter but he calms down on seeing Lilly sleeping next to him. That morning the pair eat breakfast in Hisao's room and go to classes. They bump into Kenji who is taken aback to see Hisao and Lilly together. As they part ways, Kenji trips and accidentally pulls Lilly down with him. Both seem unhurt but Lilly displays a moment of uncharacteristic anger, startling both boys. Later in class Hisao asks Mutou a few questions of about teaching and college brochures. Mutou seems genuinely pleased that Hisao is taking such an interest. Hisao himself, feels like he finally has a definite idea of what his future will be.
During an evening tea party Hisao, Lilly and Hanako talk about plans for summer holidays. Hanako, in a further display of improvement, plans to go on a trip to Kyoto with some members of the newspaper club. After she leaves, Hisao reveals to Lilly that he plans to become a science teacher, then questions how she will be able to cope with her blindness while teaching. Lilly then blindfolds Hisao with her ribbon to prove that she will be just fine. One thing leads to another and the two have sex with Hisao wearing the blindfold, but Hisao overexerts himself, resulting in a near heart attack. Fortunately he recovers and the two still manage to enjoy a moment of peace as Lilly hums a strangely familiar tune, however Hisao feels that Lilly is growing more and more distant from him despite their relationship.
A few days later, while talking to Yuuko in the library Hisao receives a call from Akira: asking to meet with her in the park. When he arrives Akira talks about her family, expressing anger and resentment that they were rarely around for her and Lilly, suggesting that the moving and sending the two of them to private school may have some connection to Lilly's blindness. After a few more minutes of similar conversation Akira reveals that when they were in Scotland, Lilly's family invited her to join them in Scotland. Suddenly all the pieces fall into place, Lilly's outburst and the distance between them. Odds are if she leaves to be with her family Lilly and Hisao will be unable to maintain their relationship. Hisao realizes that he now has the right question for Lilly: "Will you leave or stay?"
On Sunday Hisao and Lilly run through pouring rain for their date at the Shanghai. Hisao brings up what Akira told him and Lilly says that, yes she plans to go live with her parents; she will leave shortly after summer holidays begin. Hisao ponders everything that they had shared together, realizing how utterly futile it all was in the relentless passage of time, unable to organize his thoughts as to what he should do now. He returns to the dorm, bumping into Kenji who, noticing Hisao's mood offers support should Hisao ask for it. The day of departure arrives, after helping Misha, Shizune and Lilly in the Student Council office for the last time (and observing a touching familial moment between cousins), Hisao escorts Lilly to her room. After packing her things, the two of them along with Hanako and Akira stand in front of the school gates. Lilly manages to console a sorrowful Hanako and promises to keep in contact with both her and Hisao but reminds her that she has her own life to lead.
The Satous depart and while Hisao and Hanako prepare to move on, both are aware that something irreplaceable in their lives is now gone.
- Good Ending
The night Lilly was to leave, Hisao talks to Yuuko in the library about Hanako's improvement and Lilly's absence. Later in his room, holding the crane she had given months before, Hisao contemplates his history with Lilly and realizes that he had been totally dependent on her without ever trying to ease her burdens or be there for her when she needed him, because she did not want to feel like a burden to him, to anyone. Suddenly Hisao gets up and calls a taxi, he refuses to let this all end and he'll catch Lilly before she leaves. The taxi takes him to the Hakamichi residence and Hideaki points him in the direction of the airport. Hisao struggles through the crowds to find Lilly, exerting himself as he never had before. Just as he spots her and Akira, Hisao is jostled by several people and his heart begins to fail, he falls to the ground. Everything goes black.
Hisao awakens in the hospital with a sense of despair. His life had been turned upside down by the first attack. He had lost everything and everyone from his old life and thrust into a new strange place, separated from the world. He had found some happiness, made friends and a new course for his life. He had found the one person who mattered most to him, only to lose her forever. Hisao sleeps. When he awakens a doctor informs him that his parents just left. He had been in the hospital for two days after keyhole surgery to install a pace maker in his chest, this will have to be removed later. Fortunately the doctor says the attack wasn't as severe as his first and that there are no lasting implications. Hisao sleeps again.
He awakens to the sound of the music box playing beside his bed. Lilly is there, incredibly, impossibly there. Hisao apologizes to Lilly for failing her and for making her worry over him, but of course Lilly tells him not to apologize. The two talk about Lilly's return trip to Scotland and how she struggled with her desire to be with her family and her feelings for Hisao. Hisao asks Lilly to stay in Japan and the two promise to go to the next years Tanabata festival together.
Hisao is out of the hospital and he sits with Lilly and Akira on a hill near Yamaku. Lilly is staying, but Akira is going to Scotland, with her boyfriend who she broke up with before. Lilly reassures Akira that she will be fine and her sister leaves.
Hisao and Lilly go back to Yamaku, holding hands all the way.
- Neutral Ending
This is exactly the same ending, except Hisao never goes after Lilly before her flight, therefore ending their relationship forever after Lilly and Akira say their goodbyes to Hisao and Hanako at the gates of Yamaku Academy.
- Hanako - Scars
The day before Hanako's birthday she is absent from class and, noticing Hisao's distraction and worry, Shizune and Misha try to cheer him up by eating lunch with him. After classes Mutou gives Hisao papers to give to Hanako as make-up material. After dropping his things off he bumps into Kenji who reveals his plans to build a fallout shelter in case 'the feminists get their hands on the launch codes.' Hisao gives Hanako the make-up work but she appears exhausted and barely recognizes him. On the day of her birthday Hanako is absent yet again. Desperate to find some way to help her Hisao calls Lilly in Scotland. Lilly shares his concern but surprises Hisao by saying that she also worries about him, that he is neglecting his own life and future to cater to Hanako. She asks that Hisao have faith in Hanako and that he should give her some time and space so that she can decide for herself what she wants to do with her future.
- Good Ending
Despite his misgivings Hisao agrees with Lilly. Recalling Mutou's explanation about the purpose of Yamaku, Hisao decides, for the first time since his heart attack, to find out what he wants to do with his life and work towards that goal. The next day in class Hisao's studying is interrupted by Miki. The two of them discuss Hanako's absence and, despite Miki's assurances that this is normal for her, Hisao is determined to help Hanako overcome her self-imposed shell, the only problem is that he doesn't know how. At that moment Hanako arrives for class and Hisao invites her to go to the cafeteria with him. Sometime later Hisao is attempting to study history at the Shanghai.
Yuuko attempts to help him, but ultimately fails. Hanako arrives soon after but Hisao focuses more on his school work than conversation with her. After returning to the dorms, he attempts to write a reply to Iwanako but fails. As the week goes by Hisao continues his new studying regime, but he begins to feel Hanako's absence due to the lack of time spent with her. One evening he goes to her room and after the usual stilted greeting is suddenly frustrated at having to 'tiptoe' around Hanako despite their friendship. Acting on impulse Hisao unbuttons his shirt to reveal the scar from his surgery. He uses it to explain to Hanako that she's not alone, while his scarring is not as noticeable or severe, it also marks him as someone 'not normal'. Hanako says that she understands and Hisao realizes that he has now overcome his past, now he has to let Hanako try to overcome hers. It is the only way for her to move on in life. Later Hisao is shopping in the city when someone calls him on his cellphone. A very nervous Hanako asks Hisao to meet her at a cafe, surprising Hisao by revealing that she came into the city by herself, in daylight with so many pedestrians about. The two talk for a while and Hanako explains that she was bullied in middle-school and grade-school because of her appearance after the fire. It helps to explain why she is so uncomfortable around other people. To cheer her up Hisao buys her a strap for her cellphone, disabusing her confused protests by saying that this is what friends do. Hanako is deeply touched by this gesture and the two go back to school together.
In the day or so following the excursion Hisao finds himself extremely self-conscious around Hanako, he begins to realize that his feelings for her have increased far beyond that of friendship. Hanako seems equally awkward around him as well. Despite this Hisao still feels the palpable distance between them and finally, after a chance meeting with her in the library he asks her about her life before Yamaku. Hanako agrees on condition that Hisao tell her about his past. Hisao tells her about his middle school years and about the good and bad times he experienced in the hospital. As he talks they walk to Hanako's room and to Hisao's shock, Hanako takes off her clothes, revealing the full extent of the scarring on her body. She haltingly tells him that during the fire, her mother attempted to shield Hanako with her body, which was how she survived. As before when discussing each other's past Hanako believes that since Hisao had shown her his scar she felt obligated to show him hers. Hisao assures her that he doesn't care what she looks like, then overcome by the moment and long-suppressed feelings, Hisao and Hanako proceed to have sex. When it is over, Hisao has a slight heart murmur, but manages to calm down his heartbeat. He and Hanako look at one another and for a moment Hisao feels that nothing more needs to be said.
He awakens the following morning; both he and Hanako are awkward around one another, Hanako even panics and runs off when he tries to talk to her during lunch. Shizune and Misha try to help, but all three understand that this is something Hisao must face alone. Finally Hisao goes to a small park below the school and sends Hanako a message asking if she wants to meet him to talk about last night. Finally Hanako arrives and with some reluctance they begin to talk. To Hisao's shock Hanako reveals a great deal of fear, sadness and self-loathing. After the fire, the children whom she had thought friends had turned on her and teased her for her looks, this caused her to hold a great deal of mistrust towards other people. To other people, including Lilly and Hisao she was a burden, broken, something fragile that must be protected. The reason she accepted having sex with Hisao was because she loved him and, after recovering from her panic attack and noticing how distant he seemed to become, she was afraid that he would never see her as anything more than a burden. While Hisao admits to himself that's what he thought of her originally he no longer sees her that way. The effort of baring her soul to Hisao overwhelms Hanako and she falls to the ground sobbing. Hisao embraces her and confesses his love for her and for a moment, the pair loses themselves in shared grief and joy. It takes a while for them recover and they decide to skip class.
Hanako expresses doubt that she can overcome her shyness though Hisao assures her that she can, that she already has, even if it's just a little. They've both made mistakes, they don't understand each other fully, but they have so much in common and they both love each other and can support each other as equals. As they head into town, the story ends with Hanako sharing her first real kiss, in public, with Hisao.
- Neutral Ending
Instead of following Lilly's advice to give Hanako some time, Hisao feels it's too much for him to leave Hanako alone, for he feels he must protect her and make her happy. Although he tried to agree with Lilly, he decides to go to Hanako's room, where after an instant curry dinner and a brief awkward silence, Hanako requests a game of chess. The story ends with the two of them as friends.
- Bad Ending
Hisao decides against taking Hanako into town, and opts to stay in. The next day, Hanako is absent from classes. Concerned, Hisao calls Lilly to ask for advice. She tells him to give Hanako some time alone.
Hisao decides to go to Hanako's room, despite Lilly suggesting otherwise. He asks her to go for a walk with him, while she asks him what is his intention is. Despite Hanako's questions and refusals, Hisao persists in his requests. He accidentally lets his recent call with Lilly slip out during this. Contrary to her usual demeanor, Hanako appears visibly angry at this. Hisao's questioning still persists, and Hanako reaches her limit.
Infuriated, Hanako shouts at Hisao, saying that she hates Lilly and Hisao for treating her like a weak person. She emphasizes that she hates Hisao even more than Lilly for this reason. Hanako orders Hisao to leave her room without a second thought. Hisao slowly leaves, as Hanako begins showing a tired, saddened look, as a result of her outburst. Hisao finds himself alone in the corridor, knowing that Hanako's enraged rant will probably mean the end of their friendship.
- Emi - Motion
After the events that went on the week before, Hisao wakes up to meet Emi at the track for their morning run. Emi is at the track waiting for Hisao. She is very impatient and wanting to get started. She tells Hisao that they are going to see her Dad today. Shocked, Hisao is supportive and agrees. They head to the nurse and get checked out and head for the bus station. When they get to the bus station Emi tries to open up to Hisao, but can't get the words out. Hisao does not push her and agrees to wait as long as she needs. Once they get off the bus Hisao follows Emi to her mom's house. They enter and are welcomed by a hearty meal prepared by Meiko. They eat their fill and Emi's mom then gets them ready to head out. Meiko drives Hisao and Emi to the cemetery. Once they are in front of the cemetery Emi seems to tense up. Hisao takes her hand and squeezes it, reassuring her and she relaxes. Meiko does not accompany them when walking into the graveyard. Thoughts race through Hisao's mind while walking with Emi, she has a fast pace, wanting to get where there are going in a timely fashion. Emi announces they have arrived and they stand on opposite sides of a tombstone engraved with a name and no other markings. Emi doesn't say anything for a brief moment, until saying that her favorite color is not pink, she continues about how most people think that her favorite color is pink. She tells Hisao that her favorite color is blue and that only her mother and father had known that. Emi then completely opens up to Hisao, saying that eight years ago today, she lost her legs and her father, in which Hisao tries to say that he is sorry, but she does not want to hear that, as everyone has said that to her. Emi says she is tired of hearing it, it is not like those people could have changed what happened to her or her father. Hisao goes to embrace her, she stops him, and continues what she is saying how when the accident happened the doctors thought that she was going to be paralyzed. When the doctors pulled her out she had already lost her legs. When Emi got to the hospital, she couldn't feel her legs because of shock, and only had temporary paralysis. It took her two months to visit the grave, she wasn't even able to attend the memorial service. Emi then tells Hisao that he was not her first boyfriend, and she ended up breaking up with that boyfriend because she didn't want to get to close to him. Emi then realizes that living life to the fullest doesn't just have to be by herself. She thanks Hisao for going with her and is very happy she met him. The two head back to Yamaku and Hisao is about to take his leave, until Emi invites him up to her dorm. The two head up the stairs and go into her room. Hisao and Emi both know what is going to happen.
Hisao and Emi just had intimacy between each other and then they fall asleep. The next morning Hisao wakes up in Emi's bed with Emi curled up next to him. Hisao makes a remark about how small the bed is, which he does not mind at all. Emi then wakes up and is so happy that Hisao is still there next to her. She explains how that was the best she had slept ever, no nightmares or anything. She then asks about what they are going to do today. Keeping their relationship to go on, and start molding their life together.
- Alternative Path continued
Waking up the day after being kicked out of Emi's house, Hisao continues to think whether he made the right decision or not before hurrying down the track. However it appears that Emi has yet to arrive. After a bit of waiting, Hisao begins to start his morning run, hoping to see Emi arriving soon. But Emi still didn't come, Hisao begins to worry, heading to the Nurse and hoping he knows where she is, or at least how to deal with this situation.
Unfortunately the Nurse has no knowledge of Emi's whereabouts but is aware of how unsuccessful last night was. After being filled in on what happened, the Nurse is surprised on how far Hisao actually went but now doubts he will go further. This motivates Hisao in thinking that he won't give up, claiming that he loves her. This interests the Nurse and he even wishes him luck.
The morning passes and lunchtime arrives. Hisao has decided how he is going to do things as he heads towards the roof, expecting only Rin. Instead he finds out that Emi came to the roof before him, foiling his plans. Emi apologizes for sleeping in and missing the morning run and the two begin to awkwardly converse. Hisao attempts to invite Emi somewhere after school but fails as she says she promised to help the track club after school. With that, Hisao begins to have indecisive thoughts as he never gets the right opportunity to confront her. Days keep on passing and Hisao feels worse as he sees a tired and distracted Emi.
One lunchtime Hisao finds Rin alone on the roof. Being the first time that Emi isn't here, he begins to worry about her condition even more. Asking Rin where Emi is, she answers back with a confusing answer. They continue to have this awkward conversation until Emi finally arrives, with her usual energy. Before anyone could speak, Rin announces that she is going somewhere less awkward. This surprises both Emi and Hisao due to Rin's sudden straightforwardness. As Rin leaves the roof, Hisao explains to Emi that he was worried but Emi replies by saying that it isn't unusual. This annoys Hisao, bringing him to mention how he's worried ever since that night. Emi shows her discomfort of the subject but states that he had a week to bring it up. He apologizes about that but quickly starts speculating if he's been the cause of Emi's distractions lately. Emi denies it but Hisao admits that he hasn't helped her either, this makes Emi think that they should stop being together. Hisao sees her reluctance in saying that and starts saying that he will help her no matter what. Emi wants him to stop helping her but Hisao wouldn't let up, he continues to press on, nearly making Emi break down. She asks why he is so determined to help, and he replies by confessing his love towards her. This finally makes Emi break down, hugging Hisao as she bursts to tears answering back his feelings. After a while, Hisao manages to calm her down. Emi then invites him back to her house again tomorrow, Hisao accepting her offer. The lunch bell rings and Emi leaves the roof with a kiss. Hisao also leaves the roof, feeling better than he ever has before.
The following scenes are identical to the beginning of Act 4 and end the same way.
- Rin - Dream
Hisao returns to class, still seething with frustration at his inability to understand and connect with Rin. He decides to talk to Nomiya after class but is simply reminded that her big exhibition is on the weekend which he promised to attend. The day before the exhibit, Hisao encounters Rin on his way his room and finds he's still angry at her. They try and talk about what's been bothering them, but the conversation plays out much the same as the Bad Ending of Act 3. In the end, Rin asks him to stay with her because she needs him. Hisao replies caustically, stating that he's not satisfied just being a muse to her. Upset, Rin leaves and Hisao becomes even more frustrated with himself for hurting her. The next night Hisao goes to the exhibition to apologize to Rin about what had happened the day before. Inside, Sae is busy entertaining guests who are enjoying the wine and company, and are only vaguely interested in the art exhibits. Hisao finds Emi who has come to congratulate Rin on her big success. Nomiya appears with Rin in tow, who pointedly ignores Hisao. When Sae introduces the guests to the artist, they become intrigued by Rin's disability and how it affects her painting. She is bombarded with questions about her inspiration and technique and Rin struggles to find the words to answer them. To the astoundment of those present, she is so overwhelmed that she sinks to her knees. Hisao escorts her outside in order to her calm down and Sae makes excuses to the guests. Rin realizes she isn't ready to cope with so many questions and that all she wants to find someone who won't question her.
- Neutral Ending
Hisao tells Rin that she should be happy so many people are interested in her art and the two of them go back inside. Nomiya brushes off Rin's collapse as a spell of dizziness and starts introducing her to guests. Hisao loses her to the crowd of art enthusiasts, and he goes home soon after.
After finishing his final exam, Hisao is at loss for what to do with all the free time he has. He realizes that all he wants is to see Rin, so after a quick chat with Emi he resolves to visit her at the gallery. There he runs into Nomiya and Sae, the former of which is still enraptured by the success of the exhibit. Hisao asks Sae how to interpret art and she explains to him that all art is subjective, influenced by the feelings of both the artist and the viewer. Hisao tries to understand Rin's art, but it is as inscrutable to him as Rin herself.
Rin enters the gallery but stops mid-sentence upon seeing Hisao and leaves again. He chases after her for an explanation, and she says that talking to him hurts her. The two of them wander the streets in silence, until eventually Hisao asks Rin about how she felt the exhibition went. Rin answers that all she really wanted was for someone to look at her art and say "I understand how you feel". Hisao responds by saying that nobody will ever understand her because human beings experience life completely uniquely, and that in the end it makes everybody alone. Rin is hurt deeply, asking "Why do you say that when you made me feel otherwise?" She comes to a resolution and announces that she's taking a scholarship at a university in Tokyo, leaving before the final trimester at Yamaku. Hisao is shocked by how readily she is prepared to leave him, but Rin states that she must go her own path (even if it changes her). She hugs him, telling him to forget about her, and then she walks out of his life forever.
- Good Ending
At the exhibition, Hisao asks Rin what would happen if she did find a person who wouldn't question her. Rin realizes that the exhibit was a mistake she wasn't ready for and promptly starts walking back to school. Hisao attempts to stop her but she is undeterred. Returning to the gallery, Nomiya is outraged when he learns what Rin has done. Emi suggests that she and Hisao should go find her and "kick her ass", but Hisao persuades her that this wouldn't really change anything. The two then return to the dorms to prepare for the next day's exams.
During his final exam, Nomiya interrupts the class requesting urgently to speak with him. Hisao learns that Rin has been hiding ever since the exhibit. Hisao then asks Nomiya why he pushed her into it, to which the art teacher explains that he saw it as his duty to ensure her talents didn't go to waste. Despite her absence, the exhibition was a mild success and he even sold one of her paintings for a reasonable price. Nomiya impels Hisao to find Rin and check up on her. Hisao goes off in search for her and discovers her in the unused classroom where they first met. He greets her, but Rin continues to hold herself at a distance. Hisao explains to her that Sae and Nomiya are unhappy with what has happened and they believe Rin is throwing away everything she has been working towards by running away from the exhibition.
The two of them leave the classroom so that she can apologize to Nomiya. Hisao waits outside as the art teacher scolds Rin, lecturing her on the difficulties of being an artist and how she's throwing away their efforts. She apologizes and calmly states that the exhibition was a mistake, and Nomiya becomes so frustrated that he tells her she might not be an artist after all and storms out. When Hisao goes in to comfort her she pushes him away, believing that he's failed her as a friend in the same way Nomiya has. Hisao tells her that Nomiya was trying to make her into someone she wasn't ready to be, and realizes that in a way he was doing the same thing by trying to make them "more than friends", a concept Rin doesn't understand. He tells her that he doesn't think he'll ever be a good friend to her (in the sense of supporting her unconditionally without wanting her to be different), and she is so hurt by this rejection that she cries. Hisao holds her until she has no more tears, and he realizes that he fell in love with her a long time ago, even if he isn't able to connect with her in the way he wants to. Rin is surprised at her ability to cry naturally; for her, she's always had to make herself cry or laugh at social cues rather than as expressions of her emotions.
The conversation turns to why Rin does art, and she explains that it's a better medium for expressing herself than words, and that she's just trying to get people to understand her so she doesn't feel so alone. Hisao realizes that in her own way she has been reaching out to him just as he's tried to reach out to her. He gently tells her that no one can share her unique experience, but that it's nevertheless healthy for her to express herself through her art without expecting others to understand it. She finds it terribly lonely, accepts it as a truth of life, "neither good nor bad". Unlike the Neutral Ending, she dares to trust in Hisao a little even though it's scary, and accept that it's okay for her to never completely be understood.
The next day Hisao is awakened by the heavy rain outside. He hears a thud at his door and answers it to find Rin standing in the hallway soaking wet. After a short conversation, Rin tells him that she needs help getting dry clothes and that Emi has gone home for the summer. Hisao connects the dots and nervously agrees to help her, grabbing a towel and one of his spare school uniforms. As he dries and undresses her, she gently encourages him to touch her, and one things leads to another. Making love is a transformative act for both of them: Rin discovers what it feels like to not be alone, and Hisao learns to stop worrying about the future and just enjoy being with her in the moment.
Afterwards, Rin suddenly resolves to take him somewhere and impatiently gets him to help her dress. She leads him to the hill of dandelion flowers which are now in full bloom, a symbol of the change Rin is aspiring for. She asks Hisao if he loves her, to which he answers he isn't sure. Rin doesn't know either, but she says "I love you" anyway, describing the phrase as "a weird taste". She begins to cry again and she comes to the realization that Hisao scares her because his kindness makes her feel like he wants her to be more than herself, and it terrifies her. He laughs because he realizes that he doesn't want her to change - the things about her that frustrate him are also what he admires most about her. He asks her if she'll stay with him, even if it's scary. She resolves that she will, and declares that it's okay for her to be herself. Hisao questions Rin about whether or not that she has become an artist, but Rin interrupts his worries and invites him just to seize the day and watch the sky with her. The story ends with Rin asking Hisao "What's the word for when it feels inside your heart that everything in the world is alright?"
- The Ending to End All Endings
Kenji, in a way, has what can be defined as his own "route" in the plot. If, in Act 1, the player makes it so that he expresses no interest in any of the girls, his ending is reached. In this ending, come time for the festival, Hisao finds he has nothing planned for the day, so Kenji invites him to his "fort" on the roof of the school building. The two boys end up having a "manly picnic" on the roof, complete with whiskey and pretzels. Hisao, in a drunken state, starts to listen intently to Kenji's insane feminist conspiracy ramblings. At the end, Hisao falls off the roof of the building and dies (it is disputed whether or not Kenji pushed him.)
Katawa Shoujo received generally favorable critical reception. Upon release, it was praised by some reviewers and fans, who most notably praised the game's sincere and respectful treatment of the setting. The game's sensitive handling of its eroge elements, instances of soft core erotic imagery on the relevant forks which were integral to its narratives, was also praised (it was also noted that as "adult content" is removed the game can be played with these scenes replaced, without the cost of losing much characterization and plot development). Other critics were less warm, with Dave Riley of Otaku USA Magazine claiming the game had "bad prose and bad characters."
The game's name itself, however, has attracted some criticism, as the term "katawa" (片輪?) is considered an archaic derogatory term in Japan. "Katawa Shoujo" translates into "Disability Girl" in English, but a more literal translation of "katawa" from Japanese is "cripple", and more literally refers to a vehicle with just one wheel and thus working imperfectly. In response to questions regarding the usage of the term "katawa", the developers commented, "It's not like we intentionally want to offend, and we did not come up with the name ourselves. The origin of the name is of course Japanese itself, with Raita and his original concept picture of [Katawa Shoujo]."
|Katawa Shoujo Enigmatic Box of Sound|
|Soundtrack album by NicolArmarfi, Blue123, & Special Guests|
|Released||January 20, 2012|
|Genre||Video game soundtrack|
The game's soundtrack, entitled Enigmatic Box of Sound, was released for download on January 20, 2012. It was written primarily by musicians Sebastien "NicolArmarfi" Skaf and Andy "Blue123" Andi. An updated version of "Red Velvet" was released alongside the French language update on July 8, 2013, featuring saxophone player Japes. Two previously unreleased bonus tracks, "When It's Hard to Smile" and "Carefree Days", were released separately on February 10, 2010 and December 24, 2014, respectively.
|1.||"Lullaby of Open Eyes"||NicolArmarfi, Cpl_Crud||3:09|
|7.||"The Student Council"||NicolArmarfi||1:59|
|10.||"Ah Eh I Oh You"||Blue123, OverCoat||2:06|
|12.||"Out of the Loop"||NicolArmarfi||2:24|
|14.||"Raindrops and Puddles"||NicolArmarfi||2:35|
|15.||"Generic Happy Music"||NicolArmarfi||1:17|
|21.||"Passing of Time"||NicolArmarfi, Cpl_Crud||0:48|
|22.||"Romance in Andante"||NicolArmarfi||1:04|
|6.||"Aria de l'Etoile"||NicolArmarfi||1:23|
|7.||"To Become One"||NicolArmarfi||4:08|
|10.||"Teatime, Fast Forward"||NicolArmarfi||0:55|
|14.||"Red Velvet"||NicolArmarfi, Japes||3:28|
|15.||"Sarabande from BWV1010, Musicbox"||Blue123, Johann Sebastian Bach||1:22|
|16.||"Moment of Decision"||NicolArmarfi||4:03|
|20.||"Shadow of the Truth"||NicolArmarfi||2:10|
|21.||"Letting My Heart Speak"||NicolArmarfi||2:36|
|22.||"Romance in Andante II"||NicolArmarfi||2:56|
|3.||"When It's Hard to Smile [Bonus Track]"||NicolArmarfi||2:19|
|4.||"Carefree Days [Bonus Track]"||NicolArmarfi||2:52|
April Fools pranks
Every year of production, even in the years prior to the game's release, the Four Leaf Studios team have held a tradition of making April Fools Day prank post on their developer's blog. These jokes take the form of fake announcements of upcoming features or updates, sometimes satirizing real-world habits of video game publishers and developers. Among these announcement pranks have included sequels (and cancellations thereof), high definition and censored re-release, expansion packs DLC, microtransactions and bonus content, exclusive merchandise, advertisement removal, premium content, online distribution through Steam, an anime adaptation by Studio DEEN, voice acting, and a second, parody visual novel project.
- Pokémon Sage, another game developed on 4chan
- "Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog". Katawashoujo.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- "Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog: Katawa Shoujo 1.1 Released". Katawashoujo.blogspot.com. 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
- "Novellae Subs". Novellaesubs.ru. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
- "Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog". KatawaShoujo.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
- "Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog - "Katawa Shoujo Japanese translation released!"". KatawaShoujo.blogspot.com. 2015-04-01. Retrieved 2015-04-01.
- Katawa Shoujo Act 1 Manual. Four Leaf Studios. April 29, 2009. pp. 10–12.
- Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog: Behind the Name (Archive)
- "Katawa Shoujo (PC) FAQ/Walkthrough by MegaManZ3ro". GameFAQs. 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- "Original sketch". Shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- "Informational database listing of book that contains the inspirational sketch, from The Doujinshi & Manga Lexicon". Doujinshi.mugimugi.org. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- "4chan Group Releases Eroge Demo". Gamesetwatch.com. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
- "Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog: New Katawa Shoujo release upcoming, the party is in Paris". Katawashoujo.blogspot.com. 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
- "Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog - "Katawa Shoujo Japanese translation release dates"". KatawaShoujo.blogspot.com. 2015-03-29. Retrieved 2015-04-01.
- "Katawa Shoujo Released". Katawashoujo.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
- "365 Days Later". Katawashoujo.blogspot.com. 2013-01-04. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- "Katawa Shoujo Characters". Four Leaf Studios. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- Katawa Shoujo Forums • View topic - Ask!
- http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=9996&p=220495#p220494 Katawa Shoujo Forums • Summer's Clover (Miki Path)
- Lum, Patrick (2012-01-11). "Unexpected Sincerity: Disabilities, Girls, and Katawa Shoujo". Kotaku. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
- "Impressions: Katawa Shoujo". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- Valentine, James (2006) . "Naming and Narrating Disability in Japan". In Corker, Mairian; Shakespeare, Tom. disability/postmodernity: Embodying Disability Theory. Continuum. p. 218. ISBN 0-8264-5055-5. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- "Discussion of the Japanese reaction to Katawa Shoujo". Ks.renai.us. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=9996&p=220495#p220494 Katawa Shoujo Forums • Summer's Clover (Miki Path)
- Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog: Katawa Shoujo 2 Cancelled
- Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog: April Fools: Katawa Shoujo HD rerelease!
- Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog: April Fools: Announcement - Future Plans
- Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog: April Fools: Katawa Shoujo Anime Officially Announced
- Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog: April Fools: Technology Prevails
- Katawa Shoujo Dev Blog: 4LS ANNOUNCES NEW PROJECT "KSS"
- Riley, Dave (June 2012). "Katawa Shoujo". Otaku USA (Sovereign Media Company, Inc) 5 (6): 96–97.