Regarding Shizune's Mother

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cerebralpolicy
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Regarding Shizune's Mother

Post by cerebralpolicy »

Hi, I've been working on lengthy video essay on Katawa Shoujo (it's convoluted) for the past month. I am almost done my script but I have run into a question that is just off-putting. Where exactly is Shizune's mother? Is she dead, separated from Jigoro, or just off elsewhere? I really don't think she's dead myself, something like that would likely be mentioned. This leaves the latter two options, and a fourth - she's in Scotland. So the answer to "where" is less important than "why is she never mentioned."

I found an old thread but I don't want to necro it, it has good points but no satisfying answer. To me a messy split makes the most sense, and offers a simple explanation to the question of why she is never mentioned. Jigoro is a prideful man who doesn't seem to acknowledge his mistakes, as such it is reasonable to assume he would refuse to acknowledge the split, let alone divorce papers - so he would probably expect his children to ignore it as well. Of course this kicks it down the road, the new question is why wouldn't Hideaki or Shizune mention it. I would assume Hisao doesn't ask because he thinks it would be rude, but Hideaki and Shizune would be reasonably safe from retribution if they told Hisao.

Since Misha cannot keep secrets that well, the separation would need to have occurred before she wound up at Yamaku. At this point I can see I am going nowhere in this pursuit, figured I would ask here.
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Oddball
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Re: Regarding Shizune's Mother

Post by Oddball »

When you ask, "Why is she never mentioned" keep in mind that Shizune doesn't talk about her father or brother until you see them either.
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OtakuNinja
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Re: Regarding Shizune's Mother

Post by OtakuNinja »

Well Shizune doesn't really talk at all :wink: But to be honest I think it is as you say. They divorced in the past and it isn't brought up because it isn't relevant to the story at this point in time.
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ProfAllister
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Re: Regarding Shizune's Mother

Post by ProfAllister »

There are many possible answers, and many possible interpretations. Based on what A22 has said when he makes posts here, he clearly had an intention in why he did it, but he sure as hell won't tell you what it is.

All kinds of speculation abound, as you alluded to with your reference to previous discussions. Case in point: there's a wedding picture over the bed in the guest room Hisao is staying. Why would there be a wedding picture in a guest room? Who are the people in the picture? Is it saying something about the sort of person Jigoro is, or simply an unintended detail they were stuck with using, seeing as they crowdsourced the background images?
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StillHere3603
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Re: Regarding Shizune's Mother

Post by StillHere3603 »

It's clearly made purposefully ambiguous by A22 which in my opinion is to distill that sense of mystery regarding the family which a boyfriend might have when meeting his girlfriend's family for the first time, especially a traditional one.

As for Misha, we already know she hides a lot of serious and solemn thoughts behind her motormouth bubbly upfront personality so there could be an understanding between her and Shizune that they don't talk about her mother. It's something we wouldn't know unless they told us much like how it's something Hisao wouldn't know unless they told him. Ultimately, these sort of secrets and skeletons in the closet can take months and even years to be comfortably shared with someone else and what's shown but more importantly what's not shown reflects that. When Hisao says he's chasing Shizune at the end of the route, I believe that includes continuing to understand her and what makes her who she is, her family history definitely included.
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cerebralpolicy
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Re: Regarding Shizune's Mother

Post by cerebralpolicy »

This all makes sense, the things left unsaid in stories are often the most fascinating.
StillHere3603
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Re: Regarding Shizune's Mother

Post by StillHere3603 »

My theory is she left the family due to Jigoro's behavior and Jigoro got rid of any image of her in the house out of spite. He obviously has no interest in revealing any information of this to Hisao. Shizune + Hideaki simply don't want to talk about it with Hisao because it's a very sensitive subject and they are private people. Misha doesn't say anything about it due to her loyalty to Shizune.

I think it's a strength overall. Revealing information on the mother and having Hisao try to fix the wounds and play therapist would be heavy handed and predictable.

The mystery set by A22 without it being so obvious that it's ambiguous allows the story to move along smoothly from scene to scene. When we look at fiction, we typically want the characters to spill their guts about their lives quickly as that's what is most dramatic. But in reality, people keep sensitive secrets from close friends for years on end and that's just how it is. Hell they even keep secrets from significant others for years on end.

You have to remember the whole Shizune route lasts less than a year in-universe. It's only natural that a lot of things would not be divulged to Hisao. He's not the savior of the route after all. They all do their part in helping themselves and each other. It's an incredibly patient and honest decision by A22 imo.
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