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Thoughts on WA2

Poglover Jul 21st, 2019 108 Never
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  1. WA2, at its core, is all about the struggle between expectations and true emotion.  No matter how hard he tried convincing himself how he ‘should’ feel all of those attempts, without fail, ended up being a wholly fruitless effort. The very idea that one can somehow control emotions – the thing that precedes thought and therefore can only be put into words and not, under any circumstance, be conveniently molded by them at will. The only reason Kazusa’s true end was a lot less depressing than her normal route was simply a matter of degree - the degree to which haruki bends over to expectations. In the former he realizes that if he doesn’t take action he’ll end up hurting himself a lot more than if he was not to comply to his heart’s desire, in the latter he ends up reaching the exact same conclusion but only on a subconscious level, the expectations side of things ended up outweighing emotion, so essentially his feelings about the issue were unchanged but the obligatory shackles which he puts on himself were just too much to handle. Granted it could very well be argued that this need to comply to expectations is also part of his emotions, and it would be unwise to even so much as try and argue back since coming to this realization was an essential part of the true route and the one reason kazusa brought up on why they couldn’t be together in the normal route. No matter how much I or really anyone can try their hardest to explain the very simple fact of how those expectations are built upon the most petty kind of self-preservation instincts that completely ignore the other side’s happiness and are only there to chain them down, it doesn’t really matter as long as haruki himself feels as though they matter. It may have been foolish of him to care in the first place but no amount of pointing that out will change things. However even if these self-created expectations happen to outweigh his feelings towards Kazusa that doesn’t by any means indicate that Setsuna is somehow more subjectively important to him, only that his guilt (which could have very well been directed to literally any other person if they happened to be in a similar relationship) happened to edge out. Setsuna was never number 1 in his mind and she never will be, she’s cursed to live out her days in the shadow of kazusa because it’s either Haruki comes to terms with his memories of Kazusa by recognizing that every one of his relationships afterwards will have to inevitable compare to that golden standard or he tries and push those memories down deep into his unconsciousness (which is what ended up happening in CC) and the very fact that he has to do so is proof enough of who he cares more about deep down. Which is also the reason why even if the two of them were to get together for good their happiness would be hollow at best. Setsuna is well aware that she’s not the most important in Haruki’s mind but she is unwilling to accept the fact and thus the only other way out is for haruki to subdue his emotions and that’s not exactly how achieving true happiness works. You can trick yourself into thinking that it’s true happiness but that’s not the case at all and that’s plain to see to anyone, which is also why I didn’t bother playing through Setsuna’s route since the only way for that work out is for Setsuna to grow as a person and that kinda goes against the spirit of the work since it’s all about shitty people doing shitty things if we boil it down to its essence. Everyone tries to do the right thing but their ideals and actions just don’t match up and that’s perfectly human. Just because you know that you should do something one way doesn’t mean you can completely throw any semblance of self-interest out the window, it just doesn’t work that way most of the time and would require someone of immense conviction to pull it off. Haruki is too concerned with keeping up an image, Setsuna has a full grasp of what’s going on yet can’t help but prioritize her own selfish needs, Kazusa is weak willed and can’t express her emotions clearly enough. That’s what makes the whole thing so damn endearing and downright depressing at the same time, we see these characters stumble countless times and we know that they most likely never improve and stop doing so yet there’s something that makes you want to see them succeed yet if it actually ends up happening without there being a big enough cost it feels cheap. So yeah originally that was my thought process on why I shouldn’t bother reading it and I would be lying if I said it wasn’t influenced by the walkthrough I was consulting referring to setsuna’s route as the supposed ‘grand finale’. I did, however, look in deeper to see if anything could change my mind on the matter since well I didn’t really have anything to lose, but having found out that it’s by far the happiest ending in the game really was the nail in the coffin and I’m glad I did decide on skipping it since, by the sound of it, I can’t help but feel that it was thrown in there for no other reason but to just have a happy ending even though in the context of the work the very idea of one existing is downright ludicrous. All in all it was a gripping journey through and through, it only really had one theme but that theme is explored in such an emotional and thorough manner that I really have nothing to complain about. It’s pretty damn good to say the least.
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