Felloffalot Nov 2, 2020 8:34PM
Now this brings back memories.
KS YuuHaru Nov 2, 2020 10:59PM
Unpopular Opinion: This pairing wasn't bad at all...to be honest is in my personal top 3 of KSOTR couples along with Maki x Miki and Sasa x Umi
Altair Nov 3, 2020 12:35AM
What absolute degenerate is talking smack about this pairing?
Random Wanderer Nov 3, 2020 12:41AM
^ Generally the people who wanted Yuna to end up with Ano instead of Hina.
Heroicon23 Nov 3, 2020 1:57AM
It has been YEARS!
SushiKnight Nov 3, 2020 2:43AM
Huh, I was just thinking about KSOTR earlier today. Great timing I suppose.
I don't think
Hina x Yuna is unpopular, per se. Some people do prefer
Ano x Yuna, but I don't think anyone particularly dislikes Hina. The most common argument I see is simply that the "childhood friends" pairing is a bit cliché, and that's a perfectly legitimate complaint.
In my case I prefer the Hina pairing just a bit more.
...because I stan
Ano x Nena. I love that gosh darn sleepyhead so much.
last edited at Nov 3, 2020 2:47AM
Aquwin Nov 3, 2020 2:59AM
@KS YuuHaru world for world how i feel. Except Maki x Miki might have to fight aki x yoka.
luinthoron Nov 3, 2020 5:22AM
Ah, so nice to see these two again. ^_^
Lilliwyt Nov 3, 2020 5:17PM
I hear the "mmmh" from here
Bowser Wowser Nov 4, 2020 7:50AM
Am I gonna have to play this VN again for the fourth time? It hasn't even been a year since my last playthrough.
Altair Nov 4, 2020 9:27PM
aranicar Nov 5, 2020 12:11AM
I preferred Ano x Yuna until Ano x Nena happened. Personally, Hina x Yuna was one of the weaker pairs in the story, mostly because there's like 5 other S-tier pairs.
Kirin Nov 5, 2020 2:27AM
Personally, I think it's weird that they didn't even put an Ano route in. Considering how late Yuna's romance arc occurs in the story, it wouldn't even have required much in the way of rewriting. It's especially weird how they didn't add anything in the Final Chorus edition- I'd assumed that they ran out of time or budget in the original and rushed the third act, but the issues still persist in the flashy re-release. I don't mind Hina, but her entire character just made me go- That's it? There was no real change or development, no deeper-seated personality traits, and none of the realism and charm that every single other character in the cast had. Hina is cute, but her overall personality's blander than your average isekai protagonist, and like the poster above mentioned, this comes off as even more glaring because of how well-written the rest of the cast was. An average series could've swung it, but not something as great as Kindred Spirits.
From a purely plot-oriented perspective, it also makes so much more sense to have Yuna end up with Ano- her mysterious candy is the trigger for the entire plot; she's always been able to detect ghosts and is somewhat afraid of them, making her a great foil to Sachi and Megumui's desire to be seen; she's got connections all over school and is a natural yuri shipper, which contrasts brilliantly with Yuna's relative isolation and plot-designated role as a Cupid; she expresses some fascinating views about yuri as 'fiction and fantasy' being a lot more alluring than the reality of lesbian relationships, which would've opened up space for the VN to examine its own identity and the nature of the genre itself; she's got deep-seated issues with anxiety and affection, operating as a mirror to Yuna's own dark past, whilst also working as a foil to her confidence and calmness; her position as Yuna's ditzy best friend, classmate and emotional support has a lot more potential than Hina's weird pseudo little-sister schtick; and overall, she's just one of the most likeable characters in the cast. The fact that they did absolutely nothing with her in any regard at all is genuinely baffling, especially since the promos and title screens position her as a character who's ostensibly just as important to the plot as Hina, despite getting minuscule amounts of screentime compared to literally everyone else in the cast. The fact that both Hina and Ano were so oddly-written and underutilized is my sole criticism against what is otherwise one of the best yuri stories I've encountered in any medium. At some point, the flaws go beyond a subjective preference for AnoYuna over YunaHina and into legitimate confusion at the fact that the former is nonexistent even as a route, while the latter is so badly-written despite occupying the center of canon.
riverFlower Nov 8, 2020 1:41AM
Eh. Some times characters and people can just be simple. And maybe that's what Yuna wants. Ano also reads as someone who is meant to observe rather than participate. Her fascination with yuri as fiction being more interesting than real relationships speaks to that, as well as her ability to see ghosts yet never try to interact with them.
I would have liked for Hina to get slightly more character and less of the little sister vibes, but I wouldn't see Yuna and Ano being together as making sense. Yuna appears to be someone who would rather have less drama or emotional conflict in her own life, which someone whose own anxieties serve as a foil to her own would not immediately provide.
last edited at Nov 8, 2020 1:47AM
Kirin Nov 8, 2020 2:59AM
^ That's an interesting take, and one that I hadn't thought about before. But my arguments for YunaAno aren't based on the fact that they're inherently better than YunaHina, so much as the fact that they had the potential to be. Certainly, they've both got issues that would hinder a possible relationship, but so does every other character in the cast, and Kindred Spirits is a story about overcoming those anxieties and having to courage to hope for something better instead of settling for the status quo. Ano's penchant for observation and non-participation is an obstacle to relationships in the same way as Miki's savior complex, Aki's devotion to the rules, or Tsukuyo's position as a teacher is- without those obstacles, you wouldn't get the emotional payoff of characters growing, developing, and finding new happiness.
It'd be different if Ano was written as ace, or if the story explicitly engaged with her anxieties and views despite her not being in a relationship- Nena, for instance, despite staying single, has a clear arc where she learns to quit counting on other people to read the room and actively clarifies her feelings. Ano, at least as far as I could see, has no such moments whatsoever- it feels like the writers planned to make her important, gave her 'main trio' billing, and forgot about her halfway through the story. I'm not salty about what we have, so much as the wasted potential, hence my arguments for an Ano route as opposed to a pure, YunaAno-exclusive canon. If the writers went the other way, I'd make the same arguments about why Hina was underused and wasted as a character, because I just want the same standards of writing to hold true for everyone, and they almost do.
One of the greatest strengths of VNs as a medium, in my opinion, is to capture multiple perspectives and scenarios instead of adopting the absolute linearity of a paperback novel. Kindred Spirits actively uses this system, since we do get to inspect the same events from different perspectives in Calendar mode, so it's not like the writers were opposed to using the medium to lend the story depth. Ano's the only one who gets screwed out of this, and no matter how hard I strive to think that the writers intended for her to be a minor, detached character, it just doesn't fit with every other aspect of the novel. I'd get it if Kindred Spirits was a manga or a tv series, but definitely not if it was a VN.
To give you a less subjective and philosophical example, I'd use the Flowers series of yuri VNs. Like Kindred Spirits, the VNs have one canon romance, but also include a route for one or more non-canon characters that lets us see how the relationships pan out. One of my favourite examples is from the first instalment, wherein our protagonist has to choose between a somewhat distant, but supportive girl who she admires, and a more controlling, obsessive girl who's closer to her. The first is the more healthy relationship, and is represented by a flower on the interface blooming as our protagonist gets over her social anxiety and learns to be more expressive and confident, which factors into a long-term character arc. With the second route, the flowers wilts, representing how our protagonist's individuality is suppressed as she's suffocated by co-dependency and emotional manipulation. I love how the writers didn't just say, "The main relationship is better, just take our word for it,", but actually put in the effort to demonstrate why the non-canon relationship would be problematic and unfeasible. They used the medium to brilliantly express the message they were going for, and created a story that was truly unique and did justice to everyone involved. Obviously, Kindred Spirits had its own circumstances, and presumably a much smaller budget than Flowers ever did, but that's exactly why I'm a lot more inclined to think that they ran out of the time and resources required to write an Ano route instead of just planning for her to be a walking plot device all along.
Still, I'm grateful for the post you made, because it expanded my perspective and made me think my arguments through instead of taking certain assumptions for granted. Thanks.
Nevri Nov 8, 2020 3:29AM
@Kirin "One of the greatest strengths of VNs as a medium, in my opinion, is to capture multiple perspectives and scenarios instead of adopting the absolute linearity of a paperback novel. Kindred Spirits actively uses this system, since we do get to inspect the same events from different perspectives in Calendar mode, so it's not like the writers were opposed to using the medium to lend the story depth. "
Ok, I actually have to disagree with that. It's true that VN's biggest strength is being able to tell different stories and show different outcomes depending on your choices, as in, it's still a interactive experience compare to movies or books (as opposed to Kinetic Novels, where you pretty much just read and have no choices whatsoever), but Yurirei does not take advantage of it. I have few issues with the game on my own, but probably the biggest one is exactly that for all intents and purposes, Kindred Spirits is a Kinetic Visual novel. Your choices don't matter. All routes go the exact same way no matter what and you have no actual influence on the outcomes. There's 1 set path for all parings and that is the same for Yuna x Hina. Sure games sometimes ask you to make a choice, but you can't progress unless you read all other couples path and you can't read them unless you unlock them and you can't unlock them unless you pick the right choice, so game forces you to go back and find right choice before allowing you to move forward. So there not being Yuna x Ano route makes perfect sense, because Yuna x Hina is the only possible outcome in canon of the story and game never give you impression otherwise.
What creators did with Calendar mode is no different than dedicating different chapters to telling story from different points of view. It's nothing that books, comics or movies can't do right now. Having Yuna have to choose who she helps, because events take place during the same time or you need to spend time preparing to help one couple, so you can't
stalk check on others, would actually make game much more interesting. Couples getting together or breaking up depending who you help. Now that would be taking advantage of the medium. I was really disappointed that wasn't the case, but I guess if not every couple ended up happy it could risk giving game a much darker and bittersweet mood instead of pure fluff we got.
BTW. I love Yuna x Hina and wouldn't see it otherwise.
last edited at Nov 8, 2020 3:41AM
Kirin Nov 8, 2020 4:15AM
@Nevri- I think we have the same point, though? Kindred Spirits only did the bare minimum to explore multiple perspectives, but in order to unlock some of the extra sections, you had to replay the game and pick different dialogue options. There's even a button on the interface that automatically fast-forwards you to the next/previous dialogue choice so you can pick a different option. You don't make the choice, you don't get the content- ergo, interactivity matters.
Is it anywhere near as complex as what others VNs do? Not by a long shot. But you also couldn't recreate the effect in a book or a movie unless you devoted fifteen pages or half-an-hour of runtime to psychological, hypothetical what-if sections that stem from one character saying something different and then leap into the mind of another character to explore the ripple effects, and do this four times for each week of a nine-month calendar without getting immensely confusing. It's not impossible, but it's the kind of thing that'd look ridiculously awkward in anything but a VN or videogame. Routes also aren't unique to VNs or games- there have been examples of books or movies being created based on what-if scenarios that follow from a previous instalment. VNs just polished the narrative device of a story route to a level unmatched in any other medium, but the existence of routes is still a VN tradition and not a feature.
I should say that I'm talking about the Final Chorus Edition of the game, so the whole replay the game and pick different dialogues for extra content might not have existed in older versions. Basically, I do think we agree on the fundamental point that Kindred Spirits could have done more with the choice system, but chose not to for various reasons, which led to various pros and cons. I guess I should've been more specific about the fact that KSOTR used the choice and branching system in principle, but not to an innovative degree.
Nevri Nov 8, 2020 5:11AM
@Kirin I thought I was clear, but you still appear to be talking about completely different game than I played.
"One of the greatest strengths of VNs as a medium, in my opinion, is to capture multiple perspectives and scenarios instead of adopting the absolute linearity of a paperback novel
My point was that Kindred Spirit is linear. Just like any book, comic, movie is. It shows you events from different angels and perspective, but said events do not differ in outcomes. So saying it should had have Yuna x Ano path is misunderstanding game, because it doesn't have any other "path". You can't play game once and have different experience than someone else playing the game. Every player will always see exactly the same story no matter what.
Which brings me to "Kindred Spirits actively uses this system, since we do get to inspect the same events from different perspectives in Calendar mode, so it's not like the writers were opposed to using the medium to lend the story depth."
They didn't. They didn't use medium at all. Not in the "only did the bare minimum" or "not as complex as other VN" or "could do more". They straight didn't take advantage of what VN medium has to offer.
"I think we have the same point, though? Kindred Spirits only did the bare minimum to explore multiple perspectives"
I do think they did pretty poor job using multiple perspectives, but seems like we're misunderstanding each other on more fundamental level.
"but in order to unlock some of the extra sections, you had to replay the game and pick different dialogue options."
We have different definition of "reply the game". In normal visual novel once you make the choice the game keeps on going. The events unfold based on choice you made. You make more choices, events split yet again. It continues until you finish the game and get either good or bad ending. Hopefully you unlocked the route you wanted, but it didn't necessary have to be the case. Only after you actually reached the end of the story you can then play again and experience entire story anew trying to pick different options and seeing how this changes story. Sometimes the changes are very little, but sometimes they can pretty much turn into different story altogether. This is completely missing from KS. Sure there are choices and you see slightly different dialogue, but they're not permanent. As I said before, you're not actually forced to keep on playing after making the choice until you reach the end of the game. You are in fact forced to go back to those choices the same month and reply them until you pick the one that unlock progression for given couple, because without doing so you are unable to progress with the main story. Something that never happens in any other VN. If you pick wrong choice, it locks you out from the path/event and in the worst case scenario leads you directly to bad end and you have to replay game from scratch (or from save but shhh). That's why I said for all intents and purpose KS has no choices, because game only give you illusion of choice and some flavor dialogue, but in the end you're forced to make the right choice immediately in order to progress the story further according to the way game wants the story to progress. Just like Kinetic Novels, but you're not given any choice to begin with.
"Is it anywhere near as complex as what others VNs do? Not by a long shot. But you also couldn't recreate the effect in a book or a movie unless you devoted fifteen pages or half-an-hour of runtime to psychological, hypothetical what-if sections that stem from one character saying something different and then leap into the mind of another character to explore the ripple effects, and do this four times for each week of a nine-month calendar without getting immensely confusing. It's not impossible, but it's the kind of thing that'd look ridiculously awkward in anything but a VN or videogame."
You have MC telling story from their perspective. It goes for 5 chapters. Then next 4 chapters are each told from perspective of 4 characters MC interacted in previous 5 chapters. Then it goes back to MC and rinse and repeat. Here, you just did exactly the same thing that Kindred Spirit did. You can switch it to chapters in comic or episodes in TV series.
Again you're describing the game that doesn't exist. The dialogue in couples stories doesn't change based on your choices in main story. There are barely any choices in main story to begin with. And once there is, if you pick the wrong one, couple story won't progress, so you can't read it, so unless you go and read the proper choice (and again, during the same game you can read all 3 choices without any penalty whatsoever) and only then you can read the couple story, so you have no idea how it would go if you picked the "wrong" choice, because you were never given the chance to experience that version, unlike in pretty much any other proper visual novel. Far cry from "hypothetical what-if sections that stem from one character saying something different and then leap into the mind of another character to explore the ripple effects". What you're describing is a true for non-linear VN and that's exactly the reason why they're so incredibly hard to adapt. KS on the other hand is not. It could be easily fit into 26 episode anime, probably even shorter.
Routes also aren't unique to VNs or games- there have been examples of books or movies being created based on what-if scenarios that follow from a previous instalment. VNs just polished the narrative device of a story route to a level unmatched in any other medium, but the existence of routes is still a VN tradition and not a feature.
Ok, that's just straight wrong. Reading a sequel or different interpretation of events is nothing like being able to actively influence story's progression while reading it and having vastly different experience to other people or even every time you play the VN/game (unless you always pick exact same choices, but then what's the point). No 2 play through are exactly the same, while every time you read the book or sequel or reinterpretation, you get exactly the same experience. Again, KS is a linear, kinetic novel you can't really experience differently. The end story will always be exactly the same. Interactivity and player input are like entire point of games and what separate them and make them distinct from other media, so I'm not sure how I feel about you trying to say those are not unique to them.
"I should say that I'm talking about the Final Chorus Edition of the game, so the whole replay the game and pick different dialogues for extra content might not have existed in older versions."
No. I played the game both before Final Chorus and after and all it does is adding voices to all characters. The gameplay itself doesn't change at all. And again, calling it "extra content" is awefuly generous since you get just like few different lines per choice and if you mean unlocking progression of couple story, it's more of actual content of the game, since you're required to unlock it, in order to progress further, rather than extra one.
"Basically, I do think we agree on the fundamental point that Kindred Spirits could have done more with the choice system, but chose not to for various reasons, which led to various pros and cons. I guess I should've been more specific about the fact that KSOTR used the choice and branching system in principle, but not to an innovative degree."
No. My point was that KS doesn't use choices at all and so it's weird to expect form choiceless game to include another path for Yuna and criticize it for it. I basically think your arguments about missing potential and lack of budget, are missing the point of what game actually lacked. I guess adding Yuna x Ano path would be adding choices to the game and addressing my complain (somewhat), so in that sense we would be agreeing.
Sorry if that sounds condescending or insulting, but I was trying to explain my stance as best as I could, but I do feel like we're talking past each other.
last edited at Nov 8, 2020 5:27AM
Kirin Nov 8, 2020 5:38AM
Sorry if that sounds condescending or insulting, but I was trying to explain my stance as best as I could, but I do feel like we're talking past each other.
It's cool. I get the points that you're making, and I guess it just boils down to our subjective ideas of what constitutes a choice. My basic point was that Ano (and Hina, to some extent) feel underdeveloped and that the game ideally ought to have given them further depth and exploration, regardless of whether it was in the form of a route, or more scenes from their perspective, or simply Yuna having more conversations with them. That's my fundamental complaint- everything else is just me speculating about how it might have been addressed. Regardless of that, I do like the game very much, and I'm glad we could have such a detailed discussion about it.