So, I just 100% completed Katawa Shoujo recently, and I figured now is as good a time as any to discuss my top 3 favorite heroines. (Note that the term “heroines” only encompasses Emi, Hanako, Lilly, Rin, and Shizune.) For those unfamiliar, Katawa Shoujo is a downloadable visual romance novel with a decision-making element and a focus on disabled people. If you do not want spoilers, complete the game before reading. Without further ado, here is my top 3 list.
Lilly, known as the “blind character” in layman’s terms, has a calm and collected personality (and can be playful at times) and uses her active senses (mainly touching and hearing) to get by her blindness. While she may seem close to Hisao (the main protagonist) during her arc and acts as a mother figure to Hanako, she occasionally gets distanced by urgent business with her family in Scotland. The quality that I like best about her, though, is her slight similarity to one of my all-time favorite manga characters. Also, her good ending was, in my opinion, the most emotional of all five (and is slightly similar to the ending of Love Live season 1).
Shizune, the “deaf character,” is the de facto leader of the Student Council (of only two people, three if Hisao decides to join) and has a competitive nature, but does not have the voice to express it—and thusly has Misha, her interpreter, communicate her message to others, which is problematic due to the dissimilar personalities of the two. During Shizune’s arc, due to the inconvenience of having an interpreter around at all times (especially during intimate moments), Hisao is made to learn sign language to fill the void in communication. Qualities that I like about her are her competitive nature, her glasses (impaired not only in speech and hearing, but also in sight?), and her eccentric family (the androgynous Hideaki and the pompous Jigoro). Not to mention it was Misha who got me into Katawa Shoujo in the first place.
Rin may not be able to use her arms, but she gets by using her feet and mouth (mostly the former) and relying on Emi for basic needs such as getting dressed and undressed. In spite of her lack of arms, she took up becoming an artist as a means of “speaking her mind.” Speaking of her mind, that is the part of her that I like most. If I could describe it in one word, it would be “abstract.” She thinks of some of the most random things, to the point of becoming somewhat humorous to me, and tends to go through lines of questioning (like a philosopher) that sometimes go nowhere fast. Side note: Rin is the only character of whose path I did not get the good ending first try but, at the same time, the first character I got to Act 2 with.