2ch Outraged by “Discriminatory” Katawa Shoujo

katawa-shoujo-controversy-1.jpg

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.”

“Disgusting.”

[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:”

katawa-shoujo-controversy-2.jpg

katawa-shoujo-controversy-3.jpg

“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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    519 Comments
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    Comment by Anonymous
    05:13 08/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    having played about 20 hours of the game so far, it's actually not as offensive as it could have been. there are some parts where it is a little bit, but in the end it actually tells some emotional stories...unlike most of those "inoffensive" japanese visual novels.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:57 08/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Totally agreed. At least as far as I have gotten is more about the ignorance of the main character and his struggle to adapt to his new environment. Hate to sound trite, but it's something many of us should learn to do.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:59 10/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    They say it's offensive to the handicapped yet also state it's gross to date the handicapped, lol.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:28 08/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Yeah I hear you, like the 80% rape eroges that are advertised as "romantic comedy".
    I have yet to find an eroge that qualifies as romantic comedy. That just shows that Japanese game makers have no clue about romance and comedy.
    Then again, all of their genres are horribly messed up because they want to cater to all the fetishes. Stupid, stupid.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:23 08/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I think people would have a much greater right to be offended if the game was actually like this and had you raping the disabled. Instead, this project has sprung off from the original concept art and managed to bring a real 'moe' love story to areas previously unexplored or considered impossible.

    Avatar of Rain
    Comment by Rain
    23:37 08/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Poster-child for "Don't judge a book by its cover".

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:43 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    amazing, considering the cesspool of nihilism and trolliness it originated from

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:30 02/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Kango Shichauzo 2 was hilarious

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:27 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    For romantic comedy, try Yuki Sakura.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:25 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I really like this one.

    This is my very first eroge VN in my first year of being otaku. LoL

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:30 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    If you're not looking for romantic comedy, try Yuki Sakura anyway, it's magnificent.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:04 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I downloaded the game a few days ago but haven't played it yet.

    The menu / art / and music seemed really nice.

    But I read the synopsis and character list and it really put me off. Seems like its a really sad and depressing story - and those kind of stories make me cry and leave me depressed for the rest of the week.

    But at the same time, it seems really good. Would you recommend it?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:55 09/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's got sad moments, but you can easily get good endings. Not sure if there are any bad ones...

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:08 09/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Every path has one good and one bad ending. The one path I've played so far also had a "neutral" ending. Also, Act 1 has a "bad ending" if you're too antisocial and don't end up on any of the girls' paths, but you pretty much have to be intentionally trying to get that ending for it to happen.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:25 10/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not necessarily. There are several 'Kanji trap' answer choices that instantly net you the bad end, Like throwing Misha and Shizune out of your room when they're being insensitive cunts.

    Avatar of Winter Dream
    Comment by Winter Dream
    19:26 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, naturally, if you downloaded it, you should give it a try. Finish at least one route and then decide whether it's a tear jerker for you, or not :>

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:48 11/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, I would recomend it to someone even if they don't like eroges. The story is enjoyable and completely re-playable, hour after hour. It's kinda sad that there aren't any stories similar to this in anime or in eroges.

    There are bad endings. I found Hanako's is really jarring. To me it came out of left field.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:31 09/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's good, really good.You should give it a try for sure.

    I reached the 4th (last) act in Shizune path... and, boy, Im depressed. I cant see how this can end with an happy ending.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:18 08/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    seems like people dont care about story anymore

    Avatar of AzureXuchilbara
    Comment by AzureXuchilbara
    12:56 08/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

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

    Please heed me, denizens of 2chan...

    Stop being so tsundere about it and just enjoy it...

    You have to look beyond the title and just have fun with this gem...

    *goes back to playing it*

    Avatar of Kanji
    Comment by Kanji
    08:38 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Checking the anime of late I guess that's to be expected.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:11 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Steins;Gate, Fate/Zero and Mirai Nikki say hello!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:31 08/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT!
    SOMEONE LISTS ANIME WITH DEEP PLOTS AND SUDDENLY ANIME ISN'T ABOUT SEXUALIZING LITTLE GIRLS AND REUSING TIRED ANIME CLICHES AND PHRASES!

    Now if you excuse me, I'm going to watch this new show with an engaging plot about a quiet boy with black hair (or is it brown?) who has confidence issues and no real skills and is suddenly surrounded by beautiful girls who all want him but he is too afraid to do anything, even though he has a crush on his childhood friend who also has feelings for him but ends up getting angry in frustration and causes him physical harm. Meanwhile, his underaged sister is usually seen in her underwear or showering and having borderline incestuous thoughts about the main character, but its okay, they're not blood related!

    Avatar of Dia
    Comment by Dia
    13:09 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    There are anime with plots and there are anime without them. Both are fun to watch if done well. Let's just all be happy!

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    11:50 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @ Sarcastic Anon 10:31

    It works both ways. Generalizing that people don't care about story anymore being defeated by someone listing good stories does not mean you negate the diffusion of the generalization by yet again stating the generalization.

    Many of the same people who care about deep stories also enjoy some good lighthearted stuff in between. If you want to know why, ask all the shitty writers who seem to think everybody dying at the end is actually a conclusion, and then ask the dumb fucks who say that's deep to kill themselves so they can have their 'happy ending' and leave the stories alone. The people who want heroes to die at the end, and the people who like thoughtless harem anime are two sides of the exact same coin. At least with harem anime they're not interested in trying to be in a self-induced state of emo depression. I'll pass on that any day for a harem anime, no matter how dumb it is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:55 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's why I like Mahoraba. It's the first manga I ever read with the main female character having a personality disorder. The main male character was a bit cliche but at least it wasn't a harem anime.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:29 26/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    all animes have a plot you just have to sit down and stop fucking analyzing every little thing about it and enjoy it as it is

    Comment by Anonymous

    I thought the concept was interesting and unique, but until 2ch made a fuss about the name, I didn't realize how offensive it could potentially be.

    Think of it like this; What if the name of the english title was "Retarded Girls"? The word katawa could carry the same stigma in Japanese that the word retard holds in English. Both were acceptable words in the past, but in this politically correct world we live in now, the words became considered discriminatory and offensive.

    So people that understand that this is a game focused on the story could look past the title, but to ordinary people the title could come across as offensive. I think 2ch actually may have a valid point this time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:01 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I think that it's overly literal and on top of that I think a few of the comments even said there's no pc general term for disabled people. There's just pc terms for specific disabilities. Any title you pick that's literal in any way would likely offend someone. Hell, the entire concept puts off some people without even seeing the game's story and how well it handles the relationships.

    To quote a friend's reaction and I agree.

    "It's not a game about disabled girls. It's a game about girls with disabilities." They're people first, and the disabilities are part of them. However they're deep and interesting characters with well described and well written psychology.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:26 08/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    I guess Katawa is one of those words japs banned from three reasons:

    a) to look like they actually care about people with disabilities
    b) to gang up on gaijins and jap idiots who have problem with words selection completely legally and in "right case"
    c) to cherish the usage of the word when they feel treated worse than the disabled, i.e. "those f-in katawas took a bite of our pensions again, die".

    At least 2chan does that.

    Avatar of NakkiNyan
    Comment by NakkiNyan
    20:45 09/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    ""It's not a game about disabled girls. It's a game about girls with disabilities." They're people first, and the disabilities are part of them."

    This is definitely true and the main character is struggling with it. The story lines I read so far are actually quite excellent and don't delve too far into the discrimination unless it is your character figuring out how to word things. Like saying "see" in front of Lily, the blind girl in the game, which of course gets you laughed at by Lily.

    Avatar of Lurkerman
    Comment by Lurkerman
    06:19 09/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    A-actually, that friend is really smart, I agree with his view.

    About the title, it isn't the greatest title and it have used a bit more finesse, but I think that the title is a memorable one that doesn't allow for one to misinterpret it as anything but a visual novel where everyone has a disability.
    That, and considering it's going to be remembered over hear as "That visual novel made by 4chan where all the girls are disabled" whenever somebody fails to remember the name, I'd say they shouldn't worry that much, because choosing such a subject matter is going to be a huge problem no matter how much thought the name has.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:18 09/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    If I remember correctly the current politically correct term is exceptionalities, and in this sake, Girls with Exceptionalities, cause putting the adjective before the noun it means your defining them based off the their exceptionality so you have to put it afterwards. If I recall properly the idea is called People First or something like that.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Why do u guys not get it, it's like if somebody from another country described white, black and asian people but used the word Cracker, Nigger and Chink instead.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:49 09/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I find it strange that they used a term that they knew is potentially derogatory,
    On the other hand...
    Political correctness be damned.
    If they're disabled, they're disabled. No need to fucking sugar-coat it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:27 08/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    "“So do all the girls have penises or what?”"
    Never change, Japan, never change.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:40 09/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Anon 08/01/2012 08:27:

    Well ... Katawa Shoujo DOES have a cross-dressing boy named "Hideao", or something like that ...

    Avatar of Kyle Rybski
    Comment by Kyle Rybski
    20:08 10/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hideaki. He just wears stockings and has a bow in his hair, though, and isn't seeking to be identified as a girl.

    Avatar of VZ
    Comment by VZ
    05:03 08/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Considering I just saw a hentai called Euphoria where a girl got electrocuted and peed/shat herself, I think the 2channers need to look at their OWN material before criticizing ours.

    Avatar of konakona
    Comment by konakona
    08:48 08/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Most of their titles have rape and slave in it...

    Avatar of tomoemami
    Comment by tomoemami
    09:22 08/01/2012 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    They also like to throw in the word "maid" along those two.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:31 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Neko-maid rape-slave or Die.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:43 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Or "neko"

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:15 08/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    It got already softer in adaptation, as original H-game is full of tortures and scat.

    Avatar of VZ
    Comment by VZ
    06:28 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I figured that.

    What's the most disgusting. grossest, sickest hentai anime BTW? I've seen bondage game (and I should check out at least the beginning of Night Shift Nurses).

    Avatar of Actar
    Comment by Actar
    07:40 08/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Hm... Many would consider Pigeon Blood pretty messed up as well. NSN is pretty tame compared.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:32 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    22:32; That is a actually the title.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:32 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Suck my dick or die.

    That is one disgusting piece of work.

    Avatar of VZ
    Comment by VZ
    11:09 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ah, I forgot about Pigeon Blood.

    Yep, vulva mouth takes the cake.

    Avatar of yaku
    Comment by yaku
    08:56 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Taimanin Asagi is quite fucked up too, they took ahegao to the extreme and for some reason they loved to add stray pubic hairs on the girl's face whenever they sucked a dick. Not my idea of something sexy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:04 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I dunno, but Discode seriously fucked my mind over.
    That was the most emotionally harming hentai I've seen.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:27 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    My mind wasn't exactly prepared for "Saya no Uta." It's one of the best eroge I've read, but it feels like it's purposely trying to make you hate yourself for even liking any of the erotic content in it...

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:30 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hahahaha! Discode! Fucked your mind! Hahaha!

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:00 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Pigeon blood is so messed up its hot ! Not hot in the way you would fap to it .

    Avatar of msoltyspl
    Comment by msoltyspl
    09:41 08/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Couldn't have said it better.

    All (well - almost all) those 2ch comments comments how insanely xenophobic they are.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:15 08/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just like Sankaku Complex!

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:45 12/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sankaku Complex is not xenophobic.
    It's allergic to stupidity.
    As follows, sometimes it just happens to be allergic to itself, though not entirely conscious of that fact.













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