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Perfume, an all-girl trio from Japan makes super produced electro pop music.
Katawa Shoujo or “crippled girls”), is a combination visual novel and dating sim game independently released by a group that formed out of 4chan named Four Leaf Studios. The game takes place in Yamaku High School, a fictional school for children with disabilities, with each of the five possible love interests having a disability of some kind.
Precursor – Scarred
Previous to Katawa Shoujo, 4chan users came together to publish the visual novel Scarred, released in 2007. This game was based on a story told by a poster dubbed Nurse-kun, an anonymous poster who claimed to be a registered nurse taking care of a seven year old orphan who lost both of her legs, her right arm, and right eye in a car crash. He began posting in December 2006 making fun of the girl, but over the course of the next six months, he built a relationship with his patient. Users gave them the honorific names Nurse-kun and ampu-tan, posting fan art of the two. He ceased posting until September 2008 when he stated he had a new job and the young girl was living with him.
The idea for the game stemmed from a bonus page of a hentai doujin based on the manga Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, titled Schuppen Harnische. The doujin, released in 2000 by a member of the Zettai Shoujo circle named RAITA. One of these pages included designs and preliminary ideas for a visual novel set in a disabled school.
In January 2007, the /a/ (anime) board on 4chan stickied a thread about this art to its front page. Interest gradually grew, and after three months of discussion, a group of 21 developers from various internet communities came together to make this game a reality.
Four Leaf Studios
Four Leaf Studios is a volunteer group formed in 2007 of twenty-one developers from around the world. Their sole purpose was the creation and release of Katawa Shoujo, with the intent of it being free to download. Following the game’s release, Four Leaf Studios announced it had no plans for its members to collaborate on any new projects.
“With that, the story of Four Leaf Studios is finished. As a single entity, we will not be producing another game. But even though our story has ended, you will now be able to experience a new story; the story that Four Leaf Studios existed to create.”
On April 29th, 2009, Four Leaf Studios released Act 1 of the game as a preview, introducing the main characters and providing both good and bad endings for each of the paths. This version lacked any sexual content. The preview has since been translated into 7 other languages: French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and both simplified and traditional Chinese. After the initial release of Act 1 Four Leaf Studios accepted one new member, Mike Inel. Mike handled all of the animations for each character along with the reworking of the opening sequence and all of the act title cards.
On January 4th, 2012, five years after the project’s initial conception on the 4chan board, the full length game was finally released for download.
After the demo was released, several Japanese culture sites including Kotaku and Japanator reviewed it, asking questions about the motivations behind the game and ultimately concluding that the game handled the girls’ disabilities tastefully, calling the game “surprisingly compassionate.”
After the game’s proper release in 2012, an in-depth piece was published on Kotaku, featuring an interview with the game’s lead writer, Aura. In the interview, Aura stated the game “was designed to make a genuine and honest story, rather than fuel for fetishes.” Reviews of the game appeared on the Escapist, ScrewAttack, and the Daily Dot and a TVTropes entry was also created for it. There was some controversy, however, after several users on the Japanese image board 2chan pointed out that the word Katawa is often used as a slur in Japan for “cripple” and were offended by the game’s title.
The game is a visual novel, similar to the Ace Attorney series, with two dimensional characters that appear over static backgrounds. The game progresses through text at the bottom and intermittent choices that allow the user to determine how the storyline will end.
You play as Hisao, a boy with a heart condition, arrhythmia who has just arrived to the school. You can choose between five possible love interests:
- Lilly: Lilly is a blind girl who enjoys drinking tea and hanging out with her best friend, Hanako. She is the representative for class 3-2.
- Emi: Both of Emi’s legs are amputated below the knee from an accident. She has made the best out of the situation by joining the school’s track team.
- Hanako: When she was young, Hanako was left scarred after a fire that burned her house down and killed her father. She is a recluse and does not like being around others, with the exception of her best friend, Lilly.
- Rin: Due to a birth defect, Rin is missing both of her arms. She uses her feet and her mouth to complete tasks and wears a boy’s uniform to allow her greater use of her legs. She is passionate about philosophy and painting.
- Shizune: Shizune is deaf and mute, but is a leader and the class representative for 3-3, the one Hisao is in. She likes to take charge of situations and is very competitive. She is rarely seen without her interpreter and best friend, Misha.
Mikoshi-nyudo is a monk-like creature that grows taller the more you look at it
It is found in the Kaibutsu Ehon (“Illustrated Book of Monsters”) published in 1881. It features woodblock prints of yokai, or monsters from Japanese folklore. Illustrated by painter Nabeta Gyokuei, the book is modeled after the influential works of Toriyama Sekien, an 18th-century scholar and ukiyo-e artist known for his attempt to catalog the many species of yokai in Japan.
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Japan; 2005; Directed by: Yoichi Nishiyama
Starring Keiko Saito, Yuko Kurosawa, Yukari Fukui and Nozomi Ando
A fun getaway turns into a journey to Hell for some teenage girls visiting an isolated house to rehearse and perform a play for their private movie club. Taking the trip with an adult chaperone, the girls learn that a previous club member supposedly went missing in the house, and another went insane! Shortly after they arrive, a mysterious videotape is found with footage of a violent killer wearing a Japanese deigan mask. Is this footage real or fake? Soon, their food and equipment disappears and one of the girls is haunted by ghostly visions of the masked demon. Someone or something is in the house, and gruesome death awaits those who cannot escape!
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Buy on Amazon.com: Gurozuka
Danceroid is a Japanese group under Heartfull Entertainment, wich consists of Internet dancers who are members of Nico Nico Douga. They dance and sing to Vocaloid songs.
Members: Itokutora (Leader), Aikawa Kozue, COCO, Maam, Yuzuki
Former Members: Minka Lee who joined for short time.
Danceroid began in 2009 with 3 members Itokutora, Aikawa Kozue and Minka Lee. With agreement between Itokutora and Minka Lee, Minka joined just for short time. In December, they released their 1st indie DVD called “DANCEROID”. In 2010, after Minka left, they held auditions for new members. The 3 winners were: COCO, Maam and Yuzuki. All of them also have their own Nico Nico Douga account.
Two original members performed at EOY 2010 in Singapore.