Fun Fact: Valkyria Chronicles (NSFW-ish)

Valkyria

An interesting and sexy tidbit for you all.

So you long time readers will know that one of my favorite Playstation 3 games is Valkyria Chronicles, and even some readers who’ve joined recently can easily spot the Valkyria Chronicles Jukebox post three posts over. There’s always been this small tidbit of trivia I like to tell people in trivia-related conversations about Valkyria Chronicles, and I’ve wanted to a small highlight on it for a while now. Being that the actual info can be compressed to just a sentence, I’ve wanted to save it for a big trivia post with a bunch of other goodies, but after a while, I couldn’t dig up anything worth talking about in bulk that hasn’t already been talked about to death. Seeing as how I’ve been pretty neglectful to you guys as of late due to work and school, which I do apologize for sincerely, Also, while this article foregoes showing any goodies and only has one iffy but tame picture, I’d still watch out for the strolling boss behind you. He might get the wrong idea, yknow?

I figured I’d give you guys that quick update along with the VC trivia, so let’s get to it!

So, with that out of the way, what do warfare, hentai, virtual novels, and girls with disabilities have in common? Well, at first you’d probably say “Uhh, not much,” but the correct answer is Honjou Raita.

Honjou Raita (HON-juu REI-tuh), more commonly known as Raita, is a prolific Japanese hentai artist and art director known for his hentai-related works (NSFW Page, Needs Translations!), especially his ongoing hentai series, Zettai Junpaku. Before release in 2008, Raita was approached by Sega to do the character designs for their upcoming strategy RPG Valkyria Chronicles and Raita agreed. Thanks to Raita’s artistic direction and Sega’s CANVAS graphics engine, which emulated a watercolor picture in motion, Valkyria Chronicles received very positive reviews for its art style alongside its praised gameplay and soundtrack. Eventually, he also worked on the subsequent Valkyria Chronicles anime and the two following games in the series.

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Searching for usable images was the worst part of this entire article. I took a bullet for you guys. -cough-

Why Sega chose a hentai artist to do character designs are for reasons unknown, but being able to claim your characters were drawn by a man who’s specialty is erotic drawings certainly helped make an impression on the public, especially with the help of hentai/pornography being less of a taboo in general circles. Hearing that Raita did work for Sega, many Japanese fans of Raita looked into the game and found it to be very well done, which in turn helped the circulation, which in turn boosted sales and general popularity, which in turn blah blah blah.

Sometime after release, unused character sketches from one of Raita’s early one shot doujins from early 2000 started to circulate around the internet on various sites. One picture in particular was the subject of a lot of attention by frequenters of 4chan’s anime and manga board, /a/. The sketch in question features girls of varying ages, each with their own physical disability and character traits under the large titles of “Katawa Shoujo,” which translates to Disability Girls.  /a/ was fascinated by the sketches for some reason and decided to join together to make a visual novel based off of Raita’s sketches. Forming the group known as Four Leaf Studios (4LS), they began on the visual novel named after the bonus sketches’ label, Katawa Shoujo, in 2007. After five years of work, Katawa Shoujo was released in January 2012.

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The source of inspiration for Katawa Shoujo

You play as Hisao, a young man diagnosed with arrhythmia after a sudden heart attack who is transferred to a school with both education and healthcare for disabled students. Most of the story involves Hisao’s relationships with five girls and how they learn to cope and live with their disabilities. Each girl bears a strong, if not identical resemblance to the girls found on Raita’s bonus sketch page and each girl has a different storyline involved with them.  While proving to be popular with the visual novel enthusiasts in the western hemisphere, the Japanese backlash was resoundingly negative. While many Japanese readers expressed negativity against the novels’ “discrimination against the disabled,” many readers were even more offended by the name. Katawa is an offensive term for disabled people in Japan, and as such, many Japanese visual novels bashed on both the game and Four Leaf Studios for choosing such an offensive term. The mainstream negativity in his homeland might be a reason that Raita never officially acknowledged Katawa Shoujo’s existence, even if the game owes that very existence to sketches he threw into the back of one of his earlier hentai works.

katawa-shoujo-characters

Katawa Shojou received positive feedback from small groups everywhere that’s not Japan, making a niche title even more obscure.

So that’s it, really. Raita worked as an art director for Valkyria Chronicles, who in turned inspired a controversial visual novel based off of his sketches in a doujin he published all the way back in 2000. If you really want to tie it back all around, according to the Katawa Shoujo wiki:

While the demo contains no adult content, the full version of Katawa Shoujo contains adult content with the option to skip all sexually explicit scenes

That means that Katawa Shoujo has hentai scenes, and whaddya know? Raita has done hentai professionally for over ten years.

I know this is kind of a far shot from my original tidbit, and I even found some things I didn’t know before I started this (Zettai Junpaku even existing, the sketch being from early 2000s), but you have to wonder why Sega was so adamant for a hentai artist in particular to do their character designs and not another type of artist. I’ve always wondered if other studios have done this for other games, but as far as I know, Sega is the only studio to have proudly slapped Raita’s name all over the game (in Japan, of course. Like anyone in the US knows what either Valkyria Chronicles is or what Raita does for a living). I know it’s not really a worksafe piece of trivia, but hopefully I can pass on whatever odd video game facts to you guys. After all, you guys are like, my kids that I have to pass on my knowledge to, even IF the majority of you are older than me.

Have I also mentioned that Raita did a great job on like, EVERYONE’S UNIFORMS? Like, holy shit I love his uniform designs so much, ESPECIALLY Radi Jaeger’s and Selvaria’s. God DAMN. FUCKING JAEGER IS SUCH A BALLER MOTHER FUCKER AND SELVARIA IS SUCH A BADASS THESE TWO COULD HOLD A GAME TOGETHER SINGLE HANDEDLY WHY DONT THEY HAVE A GAME NO JUSTICE IN THIS WORLD OMGWTNQWRBLWBRWRGLWGRLWBRLWGRWLRWGRWLRGBLWRWLBRLRGLBRLGBRLGBNKWNIPWEHGOW$EHRLWH:SFDLMHLOBM:EBWKEH

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FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUuuuuuuuuuck me Radi.

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3 responses to “Fun Fact: Valkyria Chronicles (NSFW-ish)

  1. Pingback: Fun Fact: Fire Emblem (NSFW-ish) | | Obelion13 |·

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