Monday, February 20, 2012

Diss Ability

Apparently there is a visual novel-style game called Katawa Shoujo that is totally a real thing and not just some weird shit from 4chan. The plot of this girlfriend sim is centered on a player-controlled character searching for love in a specialty high school for disabled children.

And again I must point out that this is an actual product.

Stranger still – or perhaps not strange at all considering the source – our own Karl "Ultraklystron" Olson has penned a musical homage to the property for his forthcoming release Animatic. The more impatient among you will be pleased to know that you can download "Katawa Tribute" right now from Soundcloud, and the requisite fan-made video, which has already received an impressive 1300+ views, is available below.

I'm presenting it without comment – aside from this brief note that Karl sounds pretty great on it – mostly because there's little I can say that could possibly be as weird as the actual game concept itself.

You win this round, internet!


Church said...

You'll be pleased to know that someone has already mapped the characters to ponies.

Jimi said...

I'm sure those characters used to be in normal games until they took an arrow in the knee.


I dunno? Is that joke OK? My instinct is "no". Sorry guys

Karl said...

On Katawa MLP - It's funny because my enjoyment of KS hinges on the same issue of an expectation gap (shouldn't have even existed given the production system, let alone been good) that my epic dissatisfaction with MLP comes from (every fan claiming it is some revolutionary stand-barer while all I see are some of my favorite animators seemingly phoning it in relative to their best works.)

On arrow to the knee jokes and KS - Even the people who love the game (and I'm relatively constrained,) make some exceedingly smart alek jokes about it what are way more sardonic than memes. They just feel really sad afterwords.

Church said...

revolutionary stand-barer

"Standard bearer" is what you're going for


Z. said...

Oh, Church, I'm not pleased by that at all! ;)

It was a bad joke, Jimi, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a giggle out of it.

And honestly, Karl, I would've figured you for a brony!

Karl said...

I just know way too much about what everyone who works on MLP did before that show to enjoy it. Yes, it's good for a merch show, but it doesn't hold a candle to any one of the shows the staff did previously, let alone the expectations I'd have from those artists working on the same project. How can you put Ed Edd n' Eddy's best storyboarders on a show written/re-imagined by the co-creator of Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends with animation direction from an alumni of Dexter's Lab and The Powerpuff Girls who also was the creator of My Life As Teenage Robot, and only come up with what MLP:FIM delivers? I know most people went into the new MLP with no expectations: I expected a true classic, or at least something in the top tier for the era.

I don't buy into the "new sincerity" argument for enjoying it either. I get that it's fans are appreciating it for what it is, and that act itself is "new sincere" - embracing a kiddy show unironically - but I've met a bunch of the MLP animators back when they worked on these other series. I've seen what they do when are really, really into a show and are being sincere in their work. I don't get that feeling from MLP at all. I'm glad there are getting a lot of respect and attention for their creative output, and I'm glad they still have jobs in animation - it's a tough business.

However, if sincerity is akin to unironic passion, I feel so much more of that was put into a work like Adventure Time or even Regular Show. Neither of those series are using the themes and motifs they use ironically at all. The references that are there because the shows creators think stuff like that is genuinely awesome. The creators' love all of those elements permeate the work, and so the shows themselves are sincere. A show can be referential and even subversive while being a unironic, authentic work.

tl;dr: I watch too many darn cartoons, and have ruined anything I come into with high expectations with, though after seeing the Adventure Time pilot at ComicCon in '06, I expected a lot from the series and it delivered. Just sayin'.

Remember, I did a Sealab 2021 hate commentary on the official DVD release. I am a bitter old cartoon man.

Church said...

I have got to check out Adventure Time, but I'm afraid it isn't going to be able to live up to the hype.

Karl said...

Yeah, I think anything that gets a strong fanbase out of the gate may end up with a self-limiting aspect. The first people it locks in will be so rabid that unless it can sell itself in a single serving, it won't live up to expectations. Most mediums and pasttimes favored by nerds - TCGs, D&D, Anime/Animation as a whole, SciFi and so on - perhaps suffer from this to varying degrees.

To be fair, I gave MLP 4 or 5 episodes, and I would probably have given it more I was living in the states where I could just watch it on demand at will. When I have to chase something, I want the chase to be easy while in University, and I want the gratification to be relatively immediate after necessity.

Z. said...

We're fair fans of MLP at my house, my young daughter being the most avid watcher. The boy and I, however, are much more into Adventure Time. Interestingly enough, I think the 2 shows share some of the same strengths. The first is world-building, which, admittedly, I think MLP front-loaded a bit more than AT. The other is strong, interesting, entertaining female characters. While the ponies themselves are pretty obvious examples, I'm becoming more and more aware that I'm also watching Adventure Time more for its "female" cast members. I mean, I love Finn and Jake, but Marceline and Lumpy Space Princess are personal favorites.