108: Heart-wrenching Hentai

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LordOmnit:
Thank you Nii-san(!), even though I'm nowhere near as eloquent as my compatriots.

- Haha, I knew you'd laugh at that ^^
My girlfriend just put a question to me before, asking what the real difference is between Incest and a Twin sister fantasy? I mean, you're having sex with 2 sisters and they're (more than likely) going to be physical with each other too. That'd be Incest for them. Is it the fear of genetic repercussion, like pregnancy?

I've been a Anime and Manga fan for years now, and have played a fair few H-games myself, and stuff like Incest pops up very often. Granted, it's not usually a huge point in the story (normally a side quest, if you will) but it is there. I can't speak for everyone but I myself have kinda switched off to the positions of the characters in games and usually just think of it as a guy and a girl having sex.

What I'd be more inclined to be worried about is Guro. Wikisearch if you need to, although I'd rather you didn't for your own sanity.

Oh, of course I'm going to search for it now.
---Searching---
Ick. I've heard of that kind of thing before, just more EXTREME S&M. Good thing there weren't any examples.
And yes, guro would much more of a concern than something that has overall positive representation of some taboo (at least as far as I can tell). Really the idea that it would be brother and sister or sister and sister and dude or whatever the case may be is most often used as shock value or for titulation of it being some kind of taboo-breaking thing. But as far as I can tell, Kana seems to be using it for artistic/philisophical/moralistic value, in the debate as to how right it is for you to grant your dying sister's wishes (I think that we can ignore the added on, "Psyche, she wasn't really related to you after all,").
Now if the question is about between incest and the idea of having something go on with you AND twin sisters, it's a little different in the first and latter case. Incest would mean you are related to said person(s) you are engaging in sexual acts with, and the twin sister fantasy is the idea of being with two girls, and I'd think that that case would be more readily acceptable than the former, just because of the idea that it isn't centered around them with each other, more as them with you. Granted, it is most likely that they will be getting physical with each other too, but that's just the nature of group sex (i.e.- more than two people, since that could easily get misinterpreted, I wanted to clarify there). As for repurcussions, I can't really say, because in real life that is a serious thing to consider, whereas in any ero-(media), it would be either ignored or purposefully used as far as I'd guess. It also seems as though they deal with it in a less-than-realistic way from the standpoint of an average guess as to how it would happen. I agree with FT in that frequently if it goes beyond child sexual exploration, that it would often be exploitative (my friend knows this fact quite personally, but that case was even a little more different), but from the occasional case of purposeful and happy incest, I'd say that even then it would be a serious strain on at least one party who isn't sure so much as the other. And that is because every time something about taboos was brought up, it would be maginfied in their perception, and create a great deal of stress, rather than be this somewhat-stressful-at-the-moment kind of thing. The parties engaging in the acts would be worried, and then they'd either have to continue to go to more and more extremes to keep it secret, or they'd have to move to France.
Where was I going with this...?
Okay, so that switching it off to guy and girl having sex vs. incest thing is also a personal perception thing. You are seeing it as something not necessarily good, but not at the same time bad. Now, if it was something like rape or exploitation, then that is an insinctual "bad" case, which is what you would then view it as (I'm assuming). But if it is so demanding in someone's mind about it being incest and therefore wrong, they aren't getting the message that it isn't supposed to be easy for those kinds of things to happen (look at the series Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru, that's some damned strain there). Frequently, I'd say, it tends to focus more on the acts of hiding at incest, rather than the strain associated with it, based on the outside world's perceptions.
Okay, I realize I have thrown myself off the cliff of topic somewhere in there, so I'll stop there and just ask me any for any of my other opinions if you want, I'll try to be more direct if I can.

The article and this thread have been a very interesting read, even though I started skimming through the posts about halfway down page 2, but I felt like adding my thoughts and ended up registering to do it.

It's difficult to find the words to explain my thoughts. Let me start by saying that I've come to realize that I can't believe everything people tell me about right and wrong blindly. In our society, you're only taught about right and wrong and not everyone gets to develop their own ideas. No one can draw the line between right and wrong. Personally the only thing I consider truly wrong is one person consciously harming others in some way, not caring about the consequences of their actions. I'm still guilty of it, I don't think there's anyone that isn't, we're only human.

What I'm getting at here is that despite the idea of incest being wrong or grotesque, depending on the context of the situation, it may not be all that bad. Certainly not evil, but at the same time harmful in a way. I'm trying hard not to contradict myself but like I said, the line is hazy, as it is with all things.

I haven't played this game or any other H-Game (though I am going to try this game after reading the article). I think the events in the story just reinforces the bond between the characters to extremes. Emotion is a powerful thing and can result in anything. If two people, regardless of the situation, need to do something to express their feelings for one another, then they can go ahead and do it. For me, it only requires that it doesn't harm others.

Not that I condone these acts, most of the time, these situations in the real world are certainly not acceptable, but that's only due to the context of the situation. Someone is being taken advantage of which means the other is harming someone. In these situations it isn't some tragic love story born from the works of Shakespeare, just something horribly sick.

My main point is that anyone can have their own beliefs in what right and wrong is (without causing harm) but at the same time have no right deciding what's right and wrong for others (again, without causing harm blahablahablahblhablah i'msofreakinrighteous)

Two people could take turn shitting on each other and I wouldn't really care, as long as they did it in the privacy of their homes and not forcing me or people I care about to witness it. The only people who end up witnessing it actually want to see it and so if you want to see incest in this game, you can, and by all means, go for it. I'm probably going to skip around it unless this thing sucks me in like it did the author of the article. If it's wrong for you, that's ok. If it's right for you, that is also ok.

Rip apart my post please, I'm no good at this sort of thing and all criticism is welcome. I can at least understand that being proved wrong is just another form of growth.

Well, that was a fun first post, off I go! *rides off into the sunset*

That was a great first post Demeth,

You eloquently summarize my personal views on this matter, and many other that I've defended. I don't recommend defending pedophilia in person at work though, made that mistake and needless to say, explaining that I personally have no issue with anything someone else does so long as it's not harming anyone isn't an easy thing for some to accept. For some, wrong is wrong, and there isn't a gray area.

Thank you Demeth.
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I think that that is the best way to put it.
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If I didn't have something to note on, then I'd say that anyone commenting after that was raving mad, but I don't want to say that I'm raving mad.
---Getting to the point...---

Demeth:
Not that I condone these acts, most of the time, these situations in the real world are certainly not acceptable, but that's only due to the context of the situation. Someone is being taken advantage of which means the other is harming someone. In these situations it isn't some tragic love story born from the works of Shakespeare, just something horribly sick.

Exactly, and in that sense we have to remember that games, books, TV, etc. that tell some kind of story are always individual cases, rather than generic examples (some of the time they are purposefully generic examples, but then they tend to be some kind of commentary aimed at a different kind of discussion than this). They aren't saying that this happens all the time, everywhere, and, indeed, the case may be that most of the time this kind of thing doesn't happen, but, again, it is a story about an individual case.

Thanks, I was worried about posting that, took me forever to type it out. I had to put a lot of thought into it. :D

I got the game and I can't get it to work, damn it all.

Demeth:
Thanks, I was worried about posting that, took me forever to type it out. I had to put a lot of thought into it. :D

Sure as hell had to.

Demeth:
I got the game and I can't get it to work, damn it all.

Aw... any idea why?

For an equal moral/relativist middleground, couldn't you state that 'as a general rule, incest is wrong, but there are cases where it isn't"?

Then again, I'm all for relativism (borderline nihilistic, I suppose) when it comes to moral cases so I probably don't have a soul :)

I hope you aren't talking about my early on arguments, because I was just trying to forage a sort of middleground myself, rather than just out and out arguing with FT, but considering where this discussion has gone, I think that we all don't have souls =(
And if you weren't sorry for being egotistical =)

Whoa, this thread sure blew up!

I just wanted to tell you guys that this kind of discussion around something I wrote is exactly what I was hoping for, and I wanted to thank everyone for thinking critically and passionately about the subject matter.

Be nice!

Well, how could we not with such an amazing article?

:) Thank you very, very much.

Before anything, i would like to say: Very nice article, and i hope this genre becomes a lot more known AND understood to the Western world, beacause most, if not all, of these types of games, are truly a must play for anyone of the appropriate age.

I had just finished playing Kana -Little Sister-, and...
All i can say is.. Wow... I never thought it possible, but there really is a game that wrings tears out of a man like a soaked sponge.
Yes, i've palyed a lot of different kinds of games. Yes, i have a life. And yes, i've had several H-games under my belt, most notably Yume Miru Kusuri. (IMO, Yume Miru has a better gameplay system, has voice acting, and nearly perfect translation, but Kana gets to be just as good (if not better) in terms of storyline.)
The six endings are indeed mind-haunting (since if the events in game were to happen in RL, the protagonist can possibly end up like that), and it brought me a feeling of accomplishment to have unlocked the ending in which Kana lives. *jumps in joy* Someone said somewhere in his review of the game... that Hitler would've become a missionary and donated his kidney to the Jews, had he had his copy of Kana Imouto.
Sure, i've had some problems with it, but none of them are too objectionable to even lose the slightest interest in playing this game - that is, unless you're some extremish Puritan/Christian/Catholic or too uncomfortable with any of the topics covered ingame, incest in particular. (as apparently Mr. EffTee is/was)

But remember, folks.. This is what fiction is all about. After all is said and done, after shedding all those tears and smiling with the characters in the story, it all boils down to THE PLAYER's desicion as to whether accept it as part of the story and NOT do it in reality, or go ahead and try it (which is of course wrong, but again, it is YOUR desicion.) If some n00b protagonist were to jump off a skyscraper to reach the next tower, anyone with enough sense to be called human knows better than to do it as well.

This game truly is a masterpiece, but there are a few things i don't really get about it. Why you don't have any option to to say no or resist doing "it" with Yumi, or not to drink in the first place? It just seems as if the storywriter really wanted to push that part to make it more dramatic, but i REALLY would have liked such an option (and yes, i'd resist if i was the guy)
The musical looping, i.e., the way the music is played ingame, was done badly (it's supposed to be continuous, but you hear it end and start again) but for games that were made at the time, it is excusable.
Lack of voice acting... I daresay this is also a strong point in games like this, but apparently they either didnt have the budget to do that, or they intentionally left it to the player to "imagine" that as well, which makes for a really absorbing experience. Either way, it's not really a big deal, though.

These issues might be addressed in the upcoming release of a new-improved version on the game, named Kana - Okaeri! - With basically the same story, but improved CG artwork and added voice acting; however, it has yet to be English-translated. And yet, i'm eagerly awaiting my copy, and all ready with another tissue box to boot.

My advice (And this especially goes out to those who still criticize the game without knowing what it really is all about): PLAY THIS GAME NOW, and criticize later, or we will just simply ignore your trolling with your Puritanistic rattling and being a total noob.

And if you do (and it also depends on what kind of person you are), I guarantee you won't regret it; although i will also hand out a warning: Play it only whan you have a lot of time to spare; a playthrough where you read all the text will take a lot of time (est.7-10 hours, depending on your read speed.. this game made me play it till early morn 3 times in a row), and you can only fastforward text that you have already read.
And, with all regards, i wish you Good Luck in unlocking all of the game~!

- General Starr

'Hentai: Come for the story; stay for the tentacle-rape.'

Vortigar:
Contrary to popular opinion both these series are written by women and some 95% of their fans are also females (in the East and West), so the male-fantasy excuse doesn't work.

This is true and the Yaoi genre has a large female following in itself, and Yaoi Hentai games are specifically targeted to a female audience. Hell, a friend of my girlfriend, is obsessed with hentai involving young boys.

I find it odd that we're perfectly accepting of men being perverse creatures, but yet we don't want to imagine that women are just as capable of being just as perverted. Have you people even seen "Two Girls One Cup?" (And if you haven't DO NOT look it up, you've been warned.)

Well written article, it's casts quite the positive light on the subject that I've personally never heard or thought of before.

What's really interesting is how a woman wrote this, it's not that I don't think that a man is INCAPABLE of writing an introspective on porn games, but the truth is that the audience this is aimed at, lonely shut in gamers, don't really care about this (at least in the United States, h-games can get...personal...to some uber-hardcore Japanese gamers). The bottom line is that a lot american gamers would never admit to ever having HEARD of these kinds of games.

Why?

We live a in a post-victorian society where sex is still taboo. It's used to sell cologne, hamburgers, clothing and video games. We accept sex, but only as a rejection of the uptight, prudent standards of many in our society and previous generations. No gamer would want to admit to playing Kana Little Sister or 'Do You Like Horny Bunnies?' It's gross and vilifying. We don't want the label of the lonely pathetic shut in who masturbates constantly to images of women who don't exist, afraid to engage in the real thing. To a degree this coincides with this article, it's the perfect archetype and personification of what we are and what we want out of romance. We want the feeling of commitment, playing to basic male instincts of wanting to be the one who passes his genes, proving superiority, and we want the feelings of having a beautiful girlfriend with this ideal, perfect circumstance that creates the relationship.

At the end of the day, we as image conscious consumers and users of internet culture tend to single out and alienate the 'pervs' we must be models of intellectual prowess and will. We must be able to solve any problems, be it computer, mathematical or a simple puzzle in a video game. We must be so secure with ourselves that we are above 'playing' h-games, we must be overmen.

But we all know that's not possible, no one is so secure that they don't have to even talk to women cause they're so secure, no one has so absolute will over their hormones they don't knock out some knuckle children occasionally.

It shouldn't have to be so psychological, we live in a society, be it the Fox News paragon of society John Wayne terrorist killing Christin or the smartarse internet weeaboo whose value is directly proportional to their number of posts on a message board. We should enjoy sex, it feels good and can be a great thing between two people, it's shouldn't be a topic where anyone who admits to enjoying it is a pariah and anyone who speaks frankly about it is somehow brave.

The H-Game has a story, be it romantic or rape-fantasy, to make it so you justify it in your own head and to make it feel real...because you're not supposed to enjoy sex for sex, you need to either have a fetish or justification behind it.

Sexuality is complicated because people make it complicated, because we want it to be complicated. The problems occur when we as a society, the online/gamer/otaku/fanboy society starts to have weird double standards and stops being honest.

"Sex is overrated, cause there's nothing more satisfying than a good bowel movement." - Sam Clemens

I might be a little jaded, but I personally don't think an h-game could ever possibly have a story that's...heart wrenching...I enjoy a great love story, some Russian classics, some shojou, all kinds...but every h-game I've ever 'played' is just little more than macho stereotype playing BS. The kinda thing a desperate suit wearing businessman would do with a hooker...sorry if that seems nasty, but I find it hard to believe that a game made to be sold based on cup size can have any real legitimate story that isn't either self-depricating or just silly tounge-in-cheek humor.

HalfShadow:
'Hentai: Come for the story; stay for the tentacle-rape.'

Was the pun intended?

While most of it is drawn-out or "has a story" to the same degree a porn movie can have a story, some seems to have more effort behind them, or even be well-written and interesting.

One example is Fate/Stay Night which got a ps2-version with the sex scenes removed. That has to be a label of quality if any. It also got its own anime series. Same goes for the writers previous work, Tsukihime, which is sort of a horror tale. It's been translated by mirrormoon, and on request they made a patch to remove the sex scenes (in both cases they are extremely limited even before and take up perhaps 1/1000 of the total text... I'm not sure really ~~).

Some of the most famous anime drama series are based on h-games, like Kimi ga Nozumo Eien.

That said, most of the material coming out of the h-game ooze is complete crap, and if people are in general afraid that games will hurt the minds of the players I think this is a genre that actually deserves that critique. The few games (for example a game called... Princess General 2 I think?) have excellent gameplay elements (in that case a very advanced strategy rpg) that leaves you wonderig why it couldn't have stood on its own.

SanitysRequiem:
I might be a little jaded, but I personally don't think an h-game could ever possibly have a story that's...heart wrenching...

While the rest of what you said was quite well thought out and such this part caused me to stop for a moment. I think it's my own jaded-ness in that I am the antithesis of an absolutist such that I believe that no general description of any category is 100% (which is exactly what you said). Why should it be impossible for something like an h-game to have an excellent story? Sure, most of the stuff is, "a dark depressing sea of vomit," but there certainly is/was/will be a sparkling diamond in there at some point in time.

SanitysRequiem:
Well written article, it's casts quite the positive light on the subject that I've personally never heard or thought of before.

We live a in a post-victorian society where sex is still taboo. No gamer would want to admit to playing Kana Little Sister or 'Do You Like Horny Bunnies?'

It's gross and vilifying.

We don't want the label of the "lonely pathetic shut in who masturbates constantly to images of women who don't exist, afraid to engage in the real thing." To a degree this coincides with this article, it's the perfect archetype and personification of what we are and what we want out of romance. We want the feeling of commitment, playing to basic male instincts of wanting to be the one who passes his genes, proving superiority, and we want the feelings of having a beautiful girlfriend with this ideal, perfect circumstance that creates the relationship.

The H-Game has a story, be it romantic or rape-fantasy, to make it so you justify it in your own head and to make it feel real.. because you're not supposed to enjoy sex for sex, you need to either have a fetish or justification behind it.

Sexuality is complicated because people make it complicated, because we want it to be complicated. The problems occur when we as a society, the online/gamer/otaku/fanboy society starts to have weird double standards and stops being honest.

I might be a little jaded, but I personally don't think an h-game could ever possibly have a story that's...heart wrenching...I enjoy a great love story, some Russian classics, some shojou, all kinds...but every h-game I've ever 'played' is just little more than macho stereotype playing BS. The kinda thing a desperate suit wearing businessman would do with a hooker...sorry if that seems nasty, but I find it hard to believe that a game made to be sold based on cup size can have any real legitimate story that isn't either self-depricating or just silly tounge-in-cheek humor.

Please take a read on my earlier post.
Yep, I let my workmates know that i play these kinds of games, and demoed it to them on my laptop. The next day, they're like..
"Can i get a copy or something, or can i at least try playing it?"

And that's not just one person. Even a manager and two females. That's beacause they were properly informed.
As some people say.. there's a first time for everything. People tend to think of things they do not know well as "bad" or "no sense risking it" without even giving some thought for a second to get to know what it really is all about. After reading all that, i ask: Have you EVEN PLAYED the game in question?

And this game, Kana.. you can opt NOT to do 'it' with her in the game; you probably had your first as a really crappy or really extreme type of game.

The 'labeling' you are talking about is only an impression of people who do not know ANYTHING about the subject, being total noobs. People like me play these games NOT FOR THE EROTIC CONTENT (we may consider it a side dish of sorts), but FOR THE STORY. Let me ask: Has there ever been a Box Office movie about a brother with a terminally ill sister, with the brother willing to do anthing for her, even love her as a woman, in the same way she loves him since childhood? And holding it back so much to the point they both suffer emotional pain, only to find out she's adopted? (Sorry for the spoilers) I will certainly bet my top dollar that Hollywood dreamed or can only dream of pulling off such a thing.

Well, that is, unless Spielberg accidentally or somehow plays Kana Imouto.. and gets a license pronto to make a multimillion-dollar movie out of it. *LOL*

As i have said before, at least try playing this game. (If you want, i can help you acquire it by my methods, since this game is said to be out of print, but still available for purchase online) And unless you don't have any capability of felling emotional or lack imagination, i can definitely say you WILL take back what you have said about an H-game unable to make you cry you heart out, or at least shed a tear. I did. Many times, in fact.
And I NEVER regret it at all. I don't regret the other fact that these games take some hard disk space; they are so worth it. (typically in the less than 450 MB to 1.5 GB range)

I do play normal games; games where elite micro skills count a lot, where speed, timing and accuracy is a must, and the only thing that matters is winning and 'owning' your opponent. (something like, i'll have your base in 5 minutes, maybe even less.. "no rush" is for noobs)
The visual novel genre is a different ballpark than these, but they give a sense of accomplishment that you may not have thought possible. Sure, you can nuke the hell out of your opponent in Generals Zero Hour, but getting all the choices right to get the best ending/s in Yume Miru Kusuri or Kana is much more rewarding than getting a double kill in Halo 3 with supersonic flying traffic cones. (Yes, it happens, beacause i was a victim of those cones once. Just look it up on Youtube.)

Sorry for repeating myself, but remeber that these are works of FICTION. Yes, they are'nt real; but they are something that can teach us valuable lessons in real life - lessons that no first-person shooter or arcade game can give, and just maybe, can help us appreciate life and other people more. After all is said, read & done, and the ending credits roll, it is left to you, the player, to decide what to do about what you have seen and learnt.

And, besides, you have to be 18+, or at least, have the right state of mind, to really play these games, learn about what happens in the story, and understand WHY.

Stats (H-Game division)
Pia Carrot 3: 97.5% unlocked CGs (1 Day, 4 hours 12 minutes total)
Yume Miru Kusuri: 100% unlocked (6 hours, 35 minutes total)
Kana Imouto & Kana Okaeri (Japanese Remake): 100% Unlocked CGs, 5/6 Endings Unlocked (1 day, 15 hours, 27 minutes total)
Notes: None of this time is considered wasted!

There's another two cents.. i hope you enjoy.

You see something in the story that most people don't of course. But the bottom line is that if you want to read a book, read a book. On that, you can't really call these games, cause like you said they're interactive novels. I don't really feel the need to respond to the emotions thing cause different things move people in different ways, that's part of being human.

What I didn't say that I should have is what bugs me about 'nice' h-games like Kana is the ambiguity, you could nail half the nurses in the hospital or declare your love for one girl. The ability to choose to either have sex or not, seems like a cop-out, if this were a love story, either it happens or it doesn't, that's up to the author. Giving the reader the ability to choose makes the game seem like a it's just another fetish game, getting off by not having sex with the weak, innocent little girl. Maybe you do, maybe you don't, but these games are meant for sexual gratification, maybe they have deep, moving, tear-wrenching stories, but wouldn't those be better off told in a context where they were sold next to His and Her Circumstances...not 'Let's have a 3-way with my mother!'?

My point was there doesn't have to be ambiguity, you like love stories? Read, watch, play love stories. You wanna get your jollies? Play an h-game.

I haven't played Kana, I knew the story ahead of time...but it was WAAAAAY too creepy for me to even want to touch it.

"The only abnormal sex is no sex." - Freud

Except when it's either rape or incest...that's just not cool.

It seems you are mixing the media forms. Visual novels mix some elements of games with novels that is based around the story instead of the gameplay (merely in terms of the format itself that you seem to have a problem with), and h-games just add in *quote* adult *end quote* material. Sure, people get off on that, in fact, that's the major focus behind most of the games but, again, there is nothing that is absolute about any stereotype. Your own admittion that you are unwilling to play it kind of cuts off your own argument a little short of reasonable, since you aren't even willing to understand. I, myself, haven't played the game, but I'd be more than willing to see for myself what's going on on the inside to verify the good reviews that people have been giving it.
And I think we already went over the incest *thing* we keep getting at (understandably). Rape, on the other hand, is a *VERY* different story.
"Quoting other people makes me sound unoriginal." -my brother.
Especially when it is taken out of context in both quot*ing* and the rest of what you have said.

Just because the story ends up with you not being related, doesn't mean people don't get off on incest. You missed my point anyway, the reason I don't want to play it and pretty much any h-game for that matter is because of the ambiguity, telling some faux "love" story as an excuse for sex scenes. It's just ambiguous and silly, as the old saying goes, I came for the story, I stayed for the tentacle rape.

"Quoting people is good because someone else already said it better than I ever could, so why try to out do them?"

I'm not going to even bother with the long, tedious, flame-war incest is bad/good cluster-fuck because I believe you all have gotten those bases covered, however I will pick apart the article itself because I think it's misguided (edited cause the original line was way too harsh.) While Leigh does raise some good points, and while Kana might have an interesting approach to its storytelling, the fact that it's a hentai pretty much betrays its medium and colors the way we perceive the game.

IF Kana was advertised as just a game, or a visual novel game and not a hentai game it could be considered groundbreaking, or interesting, or some amalgam of both. But it's not, it's categorized by the creators as a hentai game. See the difference? The creators made it a hentai game, and call it that, so that incestuous loving fanboys in Japan can find it easier and will buy it for the sheer reason of blasting out a fistful of knucklechildren.

This is the major difference between Kana and Lolita, or Oedipus Rex, or any other story that tackles hard subject matter. Lolita isn't categorized as porn, it's a novel. And, there are more than enough Japanese visual novels out there that if the creators truly wanted to set out writing an intellectually and morally charged story-line they'd have advertised it as such. There's no reason not to, especially because if you're going to go through the whole damn process of making a complex mind-altering storyline then the effort would be wasted on a crowd who care only to hip slam their younger sister.

And furthermore, the things we consider taboo about this game aren't so much in Japan. In the west our society has built us up to react negatively to such things, so if Kana is somehow magically delicious intellectually it's completely by accident, and only because we in the west will see it and go "Ummm, WTF Japan?!"

Greetings.

I'm new here. Only came to know the website from Yahtzee reviews, to be honest. The other day I stumbled in this review, while checking the site. And I'm glad I did. Had to download the game, unfortunately (My country is hush hush about "hentai"), for it's worth every penny it costs. Great review, by the way, and excuse me if my english is unpolished from time to time ^^

Anyway, onto the matter at hands. Kana - Little Sister. Well, yes, it's a hentai game. And yes, it has an incestual-death theme. I'm aware that these simple facts will make all hell break loose with most people. Their loss, says I.
Kana is much more then a game. It's art. And like every other artistic piece, it tells a story. And damn, it's a memorable one. Heart-wrenching is an understatement.
Let's put all prejudice crap on a corner and leave it to rot, shall we? Only then you'll be able to aprecciate what this game is, to it's full extent. Morality is a method we created to label things to be "Good" or "Bad". Not to enter into philosophy crap, but the world is far from being black and white. The gray area is unquestionably bigger then any of those two.
If asked, any one of us would say no to incest. Thing is, why not? Because society told us it was wrong? Society once told us it was wrong to have sex before marriage. Hell, society made us choose between being religious or being dead.
Morality is everchanging, so do not cloud your mind with it. Ignorance never led us anywhere. Not to say that abiding to morality = ignorance, but we should be open to new things.
About the game, it does not matter what audience it targeted. It's a storytelling masterpiece, hentai or not. It pulls you into the story like no other game, and it just pokes your emotions right through to the end. It has an undeniable charm to it, and an amazing plot. Should it be punished for having adult material? Heck no. By no means it makes the game worse. It appeals more perverts? Probably, but does the game suffer due to it? No.
And if anyone is dumb enough to reduce this game to a "pervert hentai incest game", he should be slapped in exact moment he does that. With the internet slapping machine. Or a trout ^^

I bid my farewell!

Efftee:

Incest is fucked up not only because it's genetically hardwired into us to be disgusting.

Sup all,

First things first. I am an avid bishoujo game player. I have played almost every bishoujo game out in the english market, so I KNOW what I am talking about.

Kana-Little Sister is one of my 2 favorite bishoujo games I've ever played (Crescendo is my other). Why? Simply because of the story. It shows what life is all about, as LordOmnit and Eolirin have put it.

Alright, for Efftee and people that think incest is 'genetically hardwired' into us that it is wrong, you are wrong. It is not hardwired into us that it is wrong. Ever heard of Genetic Sexual Attraction and the Westermarck effect? I didn't think so.

GSA is a proven theory. Lets say a pair of twins that were born and adopted into different families. They've never met each other since birth and they meet each other 20 years later, but of course don't know they're related. Since they don't know that, they could/would be attracted to each other.

This leads me to the Westermarck effect. What you think that being 'hardwired' into us is completely proposterous. This proven theory says that living with someone of the opposite sex in your early years in life (1-9ish, basically before pueberty)makes you less sexually attracted to them. Not because you were born with it, but because its psychological; and I'm not just talking about family. There was a study of an Israel community.

"In the case of the Israeli kibbutzim (collective farms), children were reared somewhat communally in peer groups - groups based on age, not biological relation. A study of the marriage patterns of these children later in life revealed that out of the nearly 3,000 marriages that occurred across the kibbutz system, only fourteen were between children from the same peer group. Of those fourteen, none had been reared together during the first six years of life. This result provides evidence not only that the Westermarck effect is demonstrable, but that it operates during the critical period from birth to the age of six. (It was later changed to the age of 8-9 being the end of the 'critical' period.)

But back to the game. It is a crying shame that the sex scenes were added to KLS. That limited the games audience by a significant amount. It could have very easily been a visual novel w/o the explicit parts and been in national acclaim. Yes, national acclaim. It is THAT good. But then again, I have to admit that I would have never stumbled upon this game if it didn't have sex scenes, because then it wouldn't have been labled as an H-game. This just goes to show that you can NEVER judge a book by its cover.

Lol, so that was my 2 cents ;)

MrBiggens:
Alright, for Efftee and people that think incest is 'genetically hardwired' into us that it is wrong, you are wrong. It is not hardwired into us that it is wrong. Ever heard of Genetic Sexual Attraction and the Westermarck effect? I didn't think so.

Don't tell me I never actually mentioned that at all in my whole big spiel of spiels?
That would be like a presidential candidate forgetting to actually be formally put in as a candidate.

LordOmnit:

MrBiggens:
Alright, for Efftee and people that think incest is 'genetically hardwired' into us that it is wrong, you are wrong. It is not hardwired into us that it is wrong. Ever heard of Genetic Sexual Attraction and the Westermarck effect? I didn't think so.

Don't tell me I never actually mentioned that at all in my whole big spiel of spiels?
That would be like a presidential candidate forgetting to actually be formally put in as a candidate.

Lol, I didn't read the 2nd and 3rd pages, I just read most of the 1st page... so you might have but I just felt like mentioning it if no one else did

i readed this article long ago, i dont have much to say besides that i would like to try this game, long ago i want to read a story that can make me cry, but i dont know where i could get it.

Another person here joining the forum to engage in this discussion. Kana's one of my favourite pieces of media, and it's good to see it being discussed more widely. (Although when I was linked to the Escapist to see an article on it, I briefly got a image of a Zero Punctuation review of it, which would be rather hilarious.)

I'll admit, when one of my friends first mentioned Kana, the idea seemed somewhat repellant to me. I hadn't yet experienced the world of hentai, and with a title including "Little Sister", the first reaction of the unenlightened is one of shock. At least, it certainly was in my case. But as he praised the storytelling, I decided to give it a go.

I was astonished, to say the least. The story was wonderfully written, and as an introduction to the visual novel format, there's none finer, from my point of view. Good music, beautiful CG, but the best thing was the characters. Through the course of the story, you really do empathise with them. It becomes more than the average game, to the point where I'd be sat in front of it for huge chunks of time.

So, given that I'd never had an interest in hentai, and the title shocked me so, you could assume reasonably that I'd have avoided that side of the relationship and gone for a safer option. But you'd be wrong. As Kana's time slipped away, I (as Taka) attempted to give her the best time she could have, from that amazing, sublime scene on the beach, to - yes - the sex scene. I wasn't attempting to see it for a sexual thrill, but simply because it seemed a natural conclusion. They were two people that loved each other, and this could help to make them happy.

And given the ending that I got, in which an message left by the then-deceased Kana revealed how happy she had been in her remaining time, I was pleased to do so. Of course, that didn't stop me crying like a baby as a result. The storytelling was that good. I've never had such a reaction to a piece of media.

Since playing Kana, I've also played through D.O.'s other games, Crescendo and Snow Sakura. The thing that got me with Crescendo was that it was very much a sex-geared story. The characters seemed less subtle in that respect, none more so than Yuka, who you first encounter having sex in a classroom. Which leads to the conclusion that applies to Snow Sakura and especially to Kana, and the primary reason that I like them. They're not sex-based stories. They're stories in which sex happens to occur.

It's interesting how we react to sex as a culture. We've got little or no qualms about violence in games as a whole, sawing through hordes of zombies with blood spattering on the screen with relative calm and almost disinterest, outside of a few notable lawyers and parent groups. But a game in which two people who love each other happen to have sex despite some cultural barriers, it produces a rather different reaction.

Sex is a part of life, and it seems folly to me to categorise Kana based on the fact that it contains it. I mean, yes, it is a hentai game in terms of release. But it occurs to me that it couldn't really be shown in any other genre. And its success lies in the fact that it goes beyond the regular hentai genre, and pushes the sexual aspect not exactly to the sidelines, but out of the limelight. The plot is the center of Kana, and not the hentai.

Recently, I decided to give the h-game 'Discipline' a try, given that it seemed so hilariously stuffed with characters from a summary of the game, and I wondered how they were able to do it. Unfortunately, it was at the expense of any semblance of a plot. I played through quickly to see if there was a satisfactory ending (the answer was no), and then deleted it. It's this kind of game that Kana throws to the wayside. Rather than throwing in a sex scene every five lines of dialogue or so to keep the masturbators happy, Kana told its story, and put in the sex scenes where it was thought they were needed.

I am reading this article with a hint of amusement in my mind. Truthfully I haven't played the game because the story doesn't really appeal to me, so I have no means of saying if the game is actually good or bad. But seeing as some people skim over the damn article and some comments then proceed to belittle the game for no other reason than they think it is "against their moral views of the world" is beyond sad for them and beyond hilarious for me. I have played H-games before, some had no story at all and were a complete waste of time, and some had a very nice story and I considered playing them yet again. Yes, most have sex scenes in them, but don't tell me I'm the only one who actually wants to see a relationship between two characters they like come to fruition. Now in this mindset, I could go into Kana, and have an educated opinion on it, not an objective opinion because that's not possible, but to go ahead and say stuff like I have seen posted ahead with no prior experience in the game let alone the genre itself, is downright ignorant.

Ronwue:
Now in this mindset, I could go into Kana, and have an educated opinion on it, not an objective opinion because that's not possible, but to go ahead and say stuff like I have seen posted ahead with no prior experience in the game let alone the genre itself, is downright ignorant.

Sadly ive seen that some pseudo-intelectual people in this forum is quite close minded.

Humans only have an instinctual aversion to incest insofar as a natural instinct to avoid inbreeding. If they do not know someone to be their sibling, or their culture places less of an emphasis on incest as taboo... well, urges are possible. Just look at Oedipus and the Oedipus complex.

As for the subject of the ARTICLE- a very well written analysis. H-games are popular because they play to a fundamental fantasy that is close to us. Much like any pornography, the most popular ones feature stories with a basis in reality, and a vaugely undefined 'everyman' male lead that the masculine viewer can insert himself into the place of- someone perhaps not as popular (like the viewer perhaps), somewhat insecure (like the viewer?) and yet possessing of good qualities and a general positive disposition- unless your playing that hardcore shit that lets you be a terrible bastard or a rapist. Even this is fantasy that lets the player lash out in a consequence free environment.

Really the only thing that seperates an H-Game from a normal game is the H itself- and then not very far with certain mainstream titles! The embraceing of consequence free sex is the same as embracing consequence free violence- a way of acting out in ways we cannot, as a pressure release. These H-Games tend to have melodramatic stories because:

1. They are primarily Japanese, and melodrama is raised to an artform in the Japanese/Anime set, just watch Macross or Gundam. In this way, they are atypical of their culture.

2. All the other games do the same, and like with normal games the more successeful predecessors are emulated closely

3. The story gives a break from the pure sexualize content which allows the player to alleviate their guilt and shame at playing an H game, get more napkins, and take a smoke break. I keed- it engages the parts of the brain not captured by sex. Sex by itself gets very boring, as pack primates we seek emotional and social interaction. Even in real life, relationships based purely on sex quickly become stale and unsatisfying. These stories grant the pretense of emotional engagement that keeps people playing and buying, rather then just looking up porn on the internet or watching Backdoor Sluts 9.

Oh dear, I got all watery-eyed just by reading the article. I love how you perceive the great beauty in all of this. Guess I now have to play it.. and weep. Anywho, thanks for letting me know about this piece of art. I agree with most things you had to say in the article, so there is not much for me to discuss. I am just going on ahead to obtain a copy of it.

I played a hentai game ages ago. I found it interesting as it combined a well-written, immersive story with fucking passed out girls, underage girls and mermaids. Wasn't quite sure what my reaction was meant to be to it.

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