Click here to read my spoiler-free review of the game
Okay, so let’s dive deep into spoiler territory now – this article will be my random, disjointed thoughts on Kara no Shoujo 2 and its various endings. I’ll talk about a variety of things regarding the game, including Touko and the True End.
First off, I will not bother writing up an English plot summary, primarily because someone else has already done it for me:
From Dante’s Divine Comedy
First, let’s go over the opening lines:
This precious life, only having been born into this world moments ago… is crying.
Ah… I’m so glad. I’m so glad that you’re healthy.
His blood runs in your veins – the blood of a person that meant the most to me.
Thank you so much for being born.
Please… I want you to live and be happy – in my place as well.
I don’t have much time left to live…
I am unable to even embrace the child I’ve given birth to…
Nor can I convey these feelings to anyone…
So let me rest…
…and pray that the next time I awaken, I will be in his embrace.
Every time I read these lines, a part of me dies. You know, I should have probably left this for last, but let’s get it out of the way as soon as possible. It’s the single most heart-wrenching thing in this VN so I have to get it off my chest.
So, the above words are the first thing you see upon starting your first playthrough of KnS2. Initially I honestly thought it’d be related to someone else. My first thought was Kazuna, having just played the first game and seen its ending (although that makes no sense as Kazuna is alive and well in KnS2). In reality I was simply denying what I had already known or at least suspected: that these are the dying words of Touko. So let’s address the elephant in the room right away – yes, Touko dies. Or rather, died, months before KnS2 even starts. She was abducted by Shinji, held at a shed in the middle of nowhere and kept alive with the help of Kuroya Naori during her pregnancy – unfortunately, she dies of cardiac arrest after giving birth to Reiji’s child (the same baby that Reiji actually holds in his arms earlier in the game, not knowing it’s his – the baby is surprisingly calm in his embrace. That’s your hint). The lines shown to the reader at the very beginning of the game thus foreshadow this. In fact, one of the first images of the opening credits actually shows a pregnant Touko lying on a table inside the shed with a swollen belly.
Since KnS2 follows from the True End of KnS1, Reiji had already engaged in a few H-scenes with Touko and knocked her up, so that explains Touko’s pregnancy. Although she doesn’t survive the childbirth, she finds peace in the fact that Reiji’s child, the symbol of the time they spent together, will have the life that she could never have. Can we all agree that this is the saddest thing ever? INNOCENT GREY WHAT HAVE YOU DONE.
When Reiji digs up Touko’s grave outside the shed where Shinji (and later Naori) had kept her, only to discover her skeletal remains, I felt like I was hit by a train. Even more so when moments later, he breaks down and simply screams out in despair (my heart nearly broke during that scene), then continues to apologize to Touko’s corpse for not being able to find her sooner. Reiji’s voice actor did an excellent job here in portraying his sorrow. And may I remind you that this is the same guy whose fiance was previously killed and eaten by a crazy psycho doctor? Yeah. Just… depressing beyond belief.
The first game was bad enough, but this really was kicking a man when he’s down. I suppose the good thing is that Yukiko, Masaki, Fuyumi and their friends all got their happy endings. You know, just to balance out the UTTER DESPAIR of Reiji’s finale.
I realize it was completely unreasonable of me to expect to find her alive. I knew from the very moment I started reading this VN that she’d be dead by the end. Even Chizuru, her own mother gives up on her and asks Reiji to stop his pointless search, but of course, he refuses. That’s his own obsession – his very own “paranoia”. I’ll be honest, my utterly naive self was holding out hope until the very last minute (not sure why, when the game even goes out of its way to quote Dante at the very beginning). I completely identified with Reiji in his quest, even though deep down I already knew it was futile. Reiji was pretty much only looking for her to finally confirm her death and maybe find peace for himself. Much like myself, and most other readers, I’d imagine.
The worst thing is that there’s a possibility that none of this would’ve happened if only Mizuhara hadn’t hidden Touko’s medicine back in the first game. Then she wouldn’t have been hit by the car, the doctors wouldn’t have had to remove her limbs, and she wouldn’t have gotten kidnapped. Man, the things I would do to be able to give Reiji a time machine.
Of course, I’ve seen people suggest that the skeleton might belong to Misa, but I find that highly unlikely. Reiji himself states that the skeleton belongs to Touko – if it wasn’t her, then the opening monologue I quoted above wouldn’t really make sense.
If all the above wasn’t enough, the ultimate “salt in the wound” is the Paranoia ending, which is sort of a counterpart to the True End. In this ending, instead of going deeper into the forest to find the shed and Touko’s remains, Reiji accidentally loses his balance and falls down some cliff, hitting his head hard in the process.
Then he “wakes up” in a hospital. He is greeted by a completely unharmed Touko with all four limbs intact (see screenshots below) – she tells him he fell over in the forest and hit his head. The two confess their love to each other, there’s a Touko H-scene later that day (yes, really), and eventually they get married (yes, *really*). There’s even a CG of Touko in a wedding dress. Reiji is pretty much the happiest man alive and wishes that his happiness continues on forever. The screen goes whiter and whiter with each sentence they say to each other, until it goes completely white. Credits roll.
Of course, this is most likely just a vision induced by hitting his head. Either that, or he hit his head so hard that he died, and is now in his personal heaven with Touko. Either way this is both the happiest and saddest ending at the same time. And yet the True End still remains as a bitter reminder of what actually happened. I guess it’s Innocent Grey’s way of telling us to either accept the harsh truth or retreat to a convenient daydream if we can’t cope with it.
Okay, so now let’s talk about the main culprit / killer in the Hinna-sama case: Hinagami Karen. She was somewhat of a more interesting “villain” than the crazy dude in the first half of KnS1. Actually, I really quite liked her in the prologue of the “past” arc. Sure, she was a bit too attached to her brother, but that was sort of cute, I guess. Still, the premature bad end that shows her commit suicide only to be kissed by Masaki was touching, and so was the prior conversation between the two about atoning for their sins. She, too, was overcome by her crazy obsession, but she never really crossed the line into crazy cackling yandere. Her love for Masaki was truly genuine, and I find it tragic that all this happened to her. Doesn’t mean I forgive her for killing all those people, though. She’s still kind of a bitch, but I never considered her to be pure evil or anything like that. She just kind of… loved her big bro a bit *too* much?
Okay, next stop – the whole Satsuki / Ayako thing. I think it occurred to me early on in the VN that there might be two shrine maidens, but the real twist for me was the revelation that Fuyumi was Ayako. When it was mentioned by Inui that the girl who died all those years ago was actually a virgin, I immediately went “wait a second, didn’t Ayato bang her?”. So then I knew she would return to the story in the “present arc” one way or another. What I didn’t expect was her being right under my nose the whole time, as Kayahara Fuyumi.
This was one of the bigger twists for me, and I have no idea how I didn’t see it coming. I mean, her hair color is the same, her eye color is the same (actually, I didn’t notice this. I didn’t pay enough attention), and her voice actress is the same. Of course, Fuyumi’s upbeat personality is a sharp contrast to Ayako’s introverted style, so the actress did a pretty good job there in masking her identity by using a very different tone and intonation. I think I would’ve recognized the voice sooner or later – the primary reason it never occurred to me was simply because I thought she had died in the prologue.
Even when the hair ornament issue was brought up, I still didn’t get it (like an idiot). For a very short while I even considered the idea of Yukiko being Ayako, speculating that maybe she’s actually older than she seems. It’s just that Fuyumi’s personality is so vastly different from Ayako’s that the whole thing didn’t even cross my mind. KnS2, I was too stupid and you successfully tricked me. Congrats. What I found cute was Fuyumi’s tendency to go “…eh?!” the exact same way Ayako did in the “past” arc. In retrospect that was another sign. As a side note to the whole “miko” plotline: Saya was one of creepiest characters in this game. I don’t think I’ve seen someone have sex with a dismembered arm… like, ever. Thank you KnS2 for this brand new flavor of nightmare fuel.
So now that I talked about Fuyumi I suppose I should mention Yukiko as well. She was… there in the game, I guess. She was cute and all that, but the focus was always on Masaki and Reiji, so I didn’t pay too much attention to her. It was only towards the end when her psycho-ness really comes to the surface. I suppose this is where the title comes from – 虚ノ少女 (Uro no Shoujo). 虚 / uro meaning “hollow”. And that’s what Yukiko was – a hollow shell who merely “assimilated” other personalities. That was actually fairly scary, I mean, she was really messed up in the head. The bad ending where she stabs and kills Yukari, only to adopt / mimic her personality (she even cuts her hair short) and thus torment Reiji was the creepiest thing I’ve seen in a while. I’m glad she got her happy ending in the True route, though. I mean, after seeing Touko’s rotting corpse, I don’t think I could’ve handled Yukiko dying as well.
And of course, there’s the question of Naori – the one loose end and therefore the primary sequel hook. Despite me liking him quite a bit in the prologue, the moment I saw him wearing the white robes of the cult in the “present” arc, I immediately grew suspicious. Where did he take the baby, exactly? It’s implied that he’s the one who killed Mamiya Shinji as well, plus he helped get rid of Nanako’s despicable father (these were basically the other two skeletons next to Touko’s)… and then he just disappears. No doubt he’ll make a return in the sequel. Or maybe not – I mean, I expected Shinji to pop up in this eventually, but all we got was his skeleton. Speaking of Nanako, it came as quite a shock to learn that she was basically gangbanged on a regular basis by her own father and Utsugi Keigo. No wonder she killed both of them. Yet another character whose life was turned into hell by the fact that she lived in an isolated redneck village in the middle of nowhere. By the way, Yayoi needed more screen time. So she needs to appear in the sequel. Otherwise, heads will roll.
Well… I suppose the fact that I could write this much about the game only shows how much I enjoyed it. It really was quite an awesome ride, even if the True End sort of makes you want to curl up into a ball and cry yourself to sleep.
I really hope it won’t take another 5 years for us to get a Kara no Shoujo 3.