2ch Outraged by “Discriminatory” Katawa Shoujo


2ch has finally gotten wind of the release of 4chan-originated cripple-fancying game Katawa Shoujo, and even they are not sparing in expressing their outrage and disgust at its “discrimination against the disabled” – most having apparently forgotten their own notorious hatred of Koreans so as not to spoil the chance to engage in some righteous outrage against the insensitive barbarians…

Most clearly cannot get past the game’s jarring title:

“I don’t care about the content, but give the naming some thought already. Are they trying to market this with outrage or what?”

[The game’s title of “cripple girl”  is as cringe-inducing in Japanese as it would be in English, and would be regarded as outrageously offensive towards disabled people in Japan]

“Wasn’t ‘katawa’ a discriminatory term?”

“It ‘became’ discriminatory. They used to use it all the time.”

“There are a lot of moe-type eroge like thi reallys. But that title is totally out of line.”

“That title is going too far.”

“I cannot understand this.”

“Amazing title there.”

“Somebody tell them that ‘katawa’ is banned from TV in Japan…”

“It’s ‘voluntary restraint’ by stations so you can use it as much as you like in drama or print.”

“The naming is a bit…”

“The naming isn’t ‘a bit…’ – it’s totally out of line!”

“This is completely AUTO.”


[In English:] “i don’t like discrimination. it shouldn’t mention it.”

[In response to a Japanese Kotaku writer who took the ultra-politically-correct measure of writing “deaf” without using kanji:]

“At least write ‘deaf’ using kanji [so ろうあ becomes 聾唖], you can’t even read your writing properly otherwise. People who right ‘disabled’ half in kanji and half in kana [by omitting the ‘害’ character for ‘harm’ so ‘disabled person’ goes from ‘障害者’ to ‘障がい者’] are just as bad.”

“The people who thought this up are the real cripples.”

“They have explained about the name themselves, back in 2008:”

[English version, they also provide a shorter Japanese version which more heavily stresses their poor Japanese skills – although their apparent lack of awareness of the controversy surrounding English terms like “handicapped” and “cripple” is probably equally telling:]

“As expected, the name of the project sparked controversy, but in an even larger proportion than what I thought it would.

To explain what’s all this about, the word ‘katawa’ is quite degoratory in Japanese, perhaps comparable to English racial slurs like chink, spic and so on.

As you can guess, if we were making a heart-warming visual novel about the hard life of jewish school kids in the WW2 Germany and name it ‘Kike Girls’, it might raise a few eyebrows.

Maybe a reasonable translation of Katawa Shoujo would be ‘Retard Girls’, which is equally offensive though not exactly accurate. Anyway, it’s a really really bad idea to name the game that, so why? Why?

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 Japan itself, with Raita and his original concept picture of KS.

Due to the name being readily available from the picture and the general idea of staying as true to it as possible, the name was adopted to the project without a second thought (and I don’t think anyone with enough finesse in Japanese was around at the time to point out the problem with the name).

Raita is not to blame though, he can name his doujin extras whatever he wants, the reason or blame is in the strange circumstances of the conception of this game.

So why not change the name? We have thought about changing the name for this very reason before (and also because an English game having a Japanese name felt odd to some), but gave up on it because it would be patently stupid.

Due to our relatively high profile the project would just end up as ‘the game formerly known as Katawa Shoujo’ and it would change absolutely nothing. So we kept the name, and we probably will even in the future.”

“Don’t they have a poor girl as well?”

“What about Ainu?”

“Burn victims are disabled? This I did not know.”

“I did some research after wondering about this. [He quotes the various equivalent grades of disfigurement and disability recognised by the Japanese government.] So, it seems it is recognised as a disability. However, the ‘gross outward disfigurement’ doesn’t apply to men (all this is apparently upheld by supreme court rulings).”

“Thanks. I had no idea it was determined in such detail.”

“Disability pensions and disability benefits are handled by two totally different systems though.”

“Foreigners made this? But they still made the art look Japanese?”

“Stinks like Koreans.”

“Koreans loathe disabled people, there’s no way they would think them worthy of romantic attention.”

“How could a girl with no arms or burns on her face engage in a romantic relationship? It’s impossible, isn’t it?”

“Can they get away with making eroge overseas? I expect they’ll be bashing Japan again for this in any case.”

“I can do without guro, but if this is a tear-jerker then I’m all for it.”

“They finished this? Is there really demand for it…”

“Wow. Gross.”

“People who play this are handicapped themselves.”

“So they made a barrier-free eroge! Foreigners have pioneered an undeveloped genre…”

“So do all the girls have penises or what?”

“I remember in ONE there is a scene with an actual retard, I was pretty shocked. Even more so that there was an ero-scene with her…”

“ONE had  blind, mute and deaf girls, as well as a mentally disabled girl. She sounded like Pikachu.”

“This is just a rehash of doing those blind and retarded girls in ONE.”

“Are girls with flat chests cripples too?”

“I like Raita’s art.”

“I want to see the doujinshi which set this off…”

“It was just this:”



“This could make a pretty good story if done right.”

“I thought the original was monochrome. Who coloured it?”

“I like the art. Not that I’ll play it.”

“As far as eroge are concerned, the characters are always emotional cripples anyway.”

“Men like girls weaker than themselves, don’t they? For creepy otaku, the only ones weaker than them are little girls and retards. That’s why they are prone to having these repulsive tastes.”

“The character design is 100% galge, isn’t it?”

“They actually completed it?”

“They still hadn’t finished it yet?”

“I think it’s amazing that they finished it. Most of these sorts of projects lapse and get abandoned.”

“I thought it was a one-shot, but they brought it to completion. Impressive.”

“None of our capricious 2ch inhabitants could match this.”

“4chan is just seriously gross. They are obsessed with ero and anime only, so it’s purely the haunt of creepy otaku types.”

“They like cats too.”

“Like you’re one to talk!”

“I’m interested but as there’s no Japanese version I’m so out of luck.”

“The Japanese version is sure to be a long way off…”

“They are recruiting translators for a Japanese version.”

“To the yanks we’re just cripples ourselves for not understanding English.”

“I just remembered that now… At middle school there was a girl with an artificial arm. I flipped her skirt and got slapped with her silicone hand… it hurt at the time, but now I think of it, it’s a fond memory.”

“It may be a fond memory to you, but to her it may be an indelible lifelong scar!”

“She was probably secretly delighted to be treated just like any other girl.”

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