Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

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Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#1 Post by ebi-hime » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:51 pm

this vn can no longer be downloaded~
Last edited by ebi-hime on Sun May 06, 2018 6:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#2 Post by Sleipnir56 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:11 pm

This has really cute art and I love the backgrounds. Going to go try it out

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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#3 Post by PyTom » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:32 pm

Since this is the sort of short and quirky game that's been appealing to me lately, I played through this today.

I like the use of moe genderswapping and magical girl imagery to make what I think should qualify in the broadest sense as an educational game - at least, it exposed me to the ideas of a few philosophers I wasn't aware of. And while I'm pretty sure I disagree with them, that isn't really a point against the game. I think it wins for making me think about topics I'm not usually exposed to.

And heck, it's not like in the modern environment, magical girl mascots have to be trustworthy....

I think the game works pretty well. I like the writing quite a bit, while the art serves its purpose. I actually find the music really catchy - even though I think it's stock.

There are a couple of minor issues:

- Ren'Py 6.14 had an issue with Linux, so this game won't run there. (My fault.)

- There isn't a way to get to the preferences screen from the first screen of the game. The first thing I do after starting a game is to tweak the settings, so that's kind of rough.

- There seemed to be a missing image at the end of the game.

Anyway, thanks for creating this.
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#4 Post by trepiechick » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:50 am

This sounds fantastic! I love super quirky games! If I like it enough, would it be all right for me to post a playthrough of it on youtube?

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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#5 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:36 am

So . . . everyone's all right with this being quite obviously derivative of Puella Magi Madoka Magica?

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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#6 Post by Fenrir34 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:12 am

Mad Harlequin wrote:So . . . everyone's all right with this being quite obviously derivative of Puella Magi Madoka Magica?

It might have some of the same elements from the show but there are other VN's that are inspired by anime. If one wanted to, they could categorize it as a fan-fiction type game. There's nothing wrong with that

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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#7 Post by ebi-hime » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:32 am

PyTom wrote:Since this is the sort of short and quirky game that's been appealing to me lately, I played through this today.

I like the use of moe genderswapping and magical girl imagery to make what I think should qualify in the broadest sense as an educational game - at least, it exposed me to the ideas of a few philosophers I wasn't aware of. And while I'm pretty sure I disagree with them, that isn't really a point against the game. I think it wins for making me think about topics I'm not usually exposed to.

And heck, it's not like in the modern environment, magical girl mascots have to be trustworthy....

I think the game works pretty well. I like the writing quite a bit, while the art serves its purpose. I actually find the music really catchy - even though I think it's stock.

There are a couple of minor issues:

- Ren'Py 6.14 had an issue with Linux, so this game won't run there. (My fault.)

- There isn't a way to get to the preferences screen from the first screen of the game. The first thing I do after starting a game is to tweak the settings, so that's kind of rough.

- There seemed to be a missing image at the end of the game.

Anyway, thanks for creating this.
Haha, thank you :'3 I always thought the moe/genderswapping media is pretty fun and interesting (although the biggest example of that I can think of 'Nyaruko-chan', which I don't like very much...) And, I guess it was kind of meant to be semi-educational - but I've only read some interviews with Žižek and seen both his documentary movies, and read a few of Lacan's essays, so I'm probably not the best person to talk about these philosophical views... So the 'philosophy' in this VN is kind of vague and doesn't go into too much detail, and I don't know how good I am at explaining stuff, so it probably doesn't make for the best learning tool...
Mostly I wrote it because I think Žižek is really funny XD

Thank you for pointing those problems out, I will add in that missing image and make a way to get to the preferences screen ^_^''
trepiechick wrote:This sounds fantastic! I love super quirky games! If I like it enough, would it be all right for me to post a playthrough of it on youtube?
If you like it, then of course it is fine if you want to post a playthrough on youtube, I don't mind at all n_n''
Mad Harlequin wrote:So . . . everyone's all right with this being quite obviously derivative of Puella Magi Madoka Magica?
But... I even said in the authors notes the plot was somewhat inspired by Madoka, it's not like I was trying to hide it or anything...?
And though there are some obvious similarities (untrustworthy mascot characters/mysterious dark-haired girl who knows things/optimistic heroine/learning the world isn't so good/etc) I think it's handled pretty differently, and is more silly than Madoka.
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#8 Post by Mad Harlequin » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:02 am

Ebi-hime, thanks for your response.

I admit I have not yet played this game (though I do plan to), so my initial post was more of a general impression of what kind of story and characters it involves rather than a full review.

Madoka is an inspiring work, and it's easy to want to use something like it as a creative starting point. I get that. But I encourage you, in the future, to explore ideas that are entirely your own.

Although I am technically a new member here, I have spent years browsing the forum, fascinated by the many VNs, complete and incomplete, produced by everyone. I have seen garbage and I have seen gems and everything in between. But what continues to strike me is that, fanfiction aside, I have seen many VNs that don't dare to do anything different from the general formula, or end up cribbing from works that do.

I'm certainly no authority on what makes a visual novel innovative or entertaining, and I'm not claiming to be one. I'm just a nobody with an interest in VNs and enough free time to play them. But I encourage everyone to strive for something that's entirely his or her own. Certainly it will follow some common tropes, as all stories do, but it should have a different execution.

Take this one, for example. I am intrigued by the nods to Jacques Lacan and Slavoj Žižek. I think you could do something really special with that, something that's not tethered to a concept that's already been done.

It may not be as popular or get as many accolades as the dime-a-dozen cookie-cutter concepts (high school, Japanese, etc.), but you'd have something that's wholly yours.

I sincerely hope I have not offended or upset anyone with my comments. That was never my intention. If anything, they're more like wishful thinking done aloud.

And before anyone says, "Well, why don't you make a game?" I must add that I have always wanted to, but have thus far lacked the energy and time. I am also unfamiliar with Ren'Py. But I hope to make a small contribution in the future. (I have to figure out what that will be!)

EDIT:

The comments below may be considered my full review of the game.

I have an interest in philosophy myself, particularly as it applies to literary theory, so I did enjoy seeing your Madoka-analogue speak and act like Zižek. The dialogue itself was very polished and clear. I only spotted a few technical errors.

Regarding your comparison of the magical girl trope to the general goal of philosophers and other thinkers: I can understand it, and why you chose Madoka's basic story and construction to explore those ideas. But as I stated earlier, I think you can do something with that comparison that doesn't use Madoka as a launchpad---meaning no Wigglytuff-Kyuubey, and a different enough mother character, and a Lacan that isn't all but an exact clone of Homura. (I feel credit is due to Madoka not just in the author's notes, but at the beginning of the game.)

That being said, please do not consider this review dismissive in any way. I enjoyed it for what it was, though I hope in the future you don't lift from existing material.

Maybe you can do a magical girl parody of sorts involving the actual philosophers whose work you enjoy, or a serious exploration of Zižek and Lacan through some other thematic vehicle.

Best wishes.

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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#9 Post by Chibichann » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:22 am

looks kinda like pokemon...love it

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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#10 Post by buttdumpling » Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:39 am

oh my god this is AMAZING.
I would never ever ever have expected to see Slavoj Žižek (my favorite philosopher!!) starring in an otome game. Like, I might need to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming because the audience for this game is LITERALLY ME.

I AM DOWNLOADING THIS RIGHT NOW U DONT EVEN KNOW
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#11 Post by ebi-hime » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:38 pm

buttdumpling wrote:oh my god this is AMAZING.
I would never ever ever have expected to see Slavoj Žižek (my favorite philosopher!!) starring in an otome game. Like, I might need to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming because the audience for this game is LITERALLY ME.

I AM DOWNLOADING THIS RIGHT NOW U DONT EVEN KNOW
Aaw, thank you :'3
When I made this I was wondering how many people in the world like both Žižek and very cute, girly visual novels. I think it is probably a very small group of people, but it is worth it if some people like it!

Although I don't know if I like Žižek so much because of his philosophy, but because I just think he's really funny to watch... and does a lot of hand gestures and phrases some things quite oddly XD
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#12 Post by Derpravity » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:30 pm

I just wanted to let you know that I played through the story and I really enjoyed it.

As a philosophy nerd AND a magical girl fangirl, I loved this concept so much. I mean, for me, the best part of my favourite magical girl storylines is the philosophical debates. The themes in Puella Magi are a great and obvious example, but there's also stuff like Sailor Moon S, where we see the ethical quandaries in the contrast between the big-hearted, wide-eyed optimist "inner senshi" and the "outer senshi" who are more ready to make hard choices (if sometimes too ready).

So this kind of project immediately got my attention! Your narrative style worked so well. It reminded me a bit of Sophie's World, in its innocent tone and carefully elaborated storybook sentences, as well as of Japanese narrative translations, obviously. It was adorable.

I would love to see it expanded as a small branching game of some kind. Žižek-chan and Lacan are so cute, and I feel like this story could benefit a lot from being expanded/explored from more angles. And more special artworks to illustrate important scenes would do it justice. My advice is don't worry so much about whether anyone else will like what you feel like making, because you've clearly found a couple of people already who are totally into it. Working to please yourself first is always the best policy. :3

I don't think it's at all fair to call it "derivative" of Puella Magi. Inspired by, and sharing some major tropes, obviously, but it worked really well. My main criticism for this piece is that some bits of the dialogue needed proof-reading. That and I feel like I could have learned a bit more about Žižek himself. I'm not very familiar with him, and I think I could have got a fuller picture of his theories and attitudes. Some of it felt a little vague, and that's a concern when you're trying to represent a real person.

In any case, thank you for sharing your project. The whole thing was adorable. :3
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#13 Post by Mad Harlequin » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:01 pm

Derpravity wrote:I don't think it's at all fair to call it "derivative" of Puella Magi. Inspired by, and sharing some major tropes, obviously, but it worked really well.
Since this is clearly a response to my critique, I feel compelled to respond. (I'm a magical girl fan too, for the record.) There's a big difference between sharing tropes and what happened in this game, which was essentially laying a different set of characters over Madoka's general template. If the game had had differently characterized magical girls, with distinctly different personalities and sprite designs, I wouldn't have used the word derivative to describe it. In addition, Žižek's interactions with her mother and Lacan closely mirror the relationships between Madoka and her mother and Madoka and Homura. The Lacan bits in particular sounded similar right down to the dialogue. I only just recently watched Madoka, and Homura's scenes were so vivid that it would be difficult for me not to notice these similarities.

And then there's the obvious inclusion of a Kyuubey-analogue---albeit a less sinister one.

But we're free to disagree, of course. I've been called worse things than unfair.
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#14 Post by ebi-hime » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:53 pm

Derpravity wrote:I just wanted to let you know that I played through the story and I really enjoyed it.
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it, as strange as it is ^_^''
Derpravity wrote:I don't think it's at all fair to call it "derivative" of Puella Magi. Inspired by, and sharing some major tropes, obviously, but it worked really well. My main criticism for this piece is that some bits of the dialogue needed proof-reading. That and I feel like I could have learned a bit more about Žižek himself. I'm not very familiar with him, and I think I could have got a fuller picture of his theories and attitudes. Some of it felt a little vague, and that's a concern when you're trying to represent a real person.
The real Žižek is kind of a jerk who claims 99% of people are all idiots, does weird and sexist readings of various media (but that is probably Freud's fault because Freud is all about the sexism...), gets grumpy about being interviewed and really hates it when any of his students come to him asking to clarify things in his lectures because he's too lazy to deal with them (at least, that is what I gather from interviews anyway). So the character presented in the VN is not really like that at the beginning, and becomes more like that the more disillusioned she gets, which was the idea. So the real person and the character are not very alike at all XD
But it was very hard trying to reconcile the image of the 'real' Žižek (not that I know how he 'really' is) with the stereotypical cute and air-headed high school girl lead that a lot of magical girl anime has, so the character sometimes feels a bit inconsistent and... maybe kind of stuck in the middle. In the end, she wasn't as chirpy or as energetic as a lot of magical girl leads, but she wasn't grumpy or cynical enough to be like the real person she was inspired by.

I think it would've been better if I could actually delve into the philosophy a lot more, but... I find it hard to write about, because I haven't read so much, and I always feel 'I am probably representing or explaining it wrong...' So what should have been the focus in the story probably ended up being less important. I think I should have done more reading on it, but... Some of these ideas are hard to understand and explain for me to begin with... I should have written more about that, though...
Mad Harlequin wrote:There's a big difference between sharing tropes and what happened in this game, which was essentially laying a different set of characters over Madoka's general template. If the game had had differently characterized magical girls, with distinctly different personalities and sprite designs, I wouldn't have used the word derivative to describe it. In addition, Žižek's interactions with her mother and Lacan closely mirror the relationships between Madoka and her mother and Madoka and Homura. The Lacan bits in particular sounded similar right down to the dialogue. I only just recently watched Madoka, and Homura's scenes were so vivid that it would be difficult for me not to notice these similarities.
The characters weren't really inspired by the Madoka characters, though.
Žižek is more like the real philosopher merged with Tsukino Usagi or something (Usagi but with Žižek's verbal tics and occasional grumpiness, I guess), and Lacan was based on a vague 'aloof princess/himedere' character archetype rather being influenced so much by Homura herself.
I guess you could say they were 'inspired' by the Madoka characters, but that's only in as much as Madoka itself was clearly inspired by character archetypes that already exist.
And the character designs... are just general anime-like designs, there isn't that much similarity to Madoka either? Apart from maybe the fact Lacan has dark hair?
Žižek's relationship with her mother was not inspired by Madoka at all. If anything, it was more inspired by Princess Tutu, and Ahiru's two friends who are always very passive aggressive and unpleasant towards her for no real reason (I find that kind of character a lot of fun to write).
And Theorina was more inspired by Candy from Smile Precure than Kyuubey.

I don't know if saying 'these things weren't inspired by show x they were inspired by show y' makes the actual story seem any more original, but there you go XD

The conversation about 'are you sure this is what you want? Think about your future' etc etc was inspired by Madoka though. So you are right there. I think that one scene is the only scene that was really, really inspired by Madoka though.
I think there are some similarities, so you are right to point them out. And, I can understand why it might bother you - especially if you're a fan of Madoka. But I think Madoka itself is also working with some well-worn conventions of the magical girl genre, and since I was writing a magical girl parody story (kind of, I guess) in which a major plot point was 'people are actually pretty crappy', it might be kind of inevitable that this and Madoka would have some kind of overlap, since the general idea is quite similar to begin with.
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Žižek-chan

#15 Post by Mad Harlequin » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:44 pm

ebi-hime wrote:The characters weren't really inspired by the Madoka characters, though.
Žižek is more like the real philosopher merged with Tsukino Usagi or something (Usagi but with Žižek's verbal tics and occasional grumpiness, I guess), and Lacan was based on a vague 'aloof princess/himedere' character archetype rather being influenced so much by Homura herself.
I guess you could say they were 'inspired' by the Madoka characters, but that's only in as much as Madoka itself was clearly inspired by character archetypes that already exist.
And the character designs... are just general anime-like designs, there isn't that much similarity to Madoka either? Apart from maybe the fact Lacan has dark hair?
I know you imposed the philosophers' personalities onto typical magical girl personalities. I'll give you that. Perhaps if you hadn't
Žižek's relationship with her mother was not inspired by Madoka at all. If anything, it was more inspired by Princess Tutu, and Ahiru's two friends who are always very passive aggressive and unpleasant towards her for no real reason (I find that kind of character a lot of fun to write).
And Theorina was more inspired by Candy from Smile Precure than Kyuubey.
I'm aware of but unfamiliar with Princess Tutu, so I can't really respond to that except to say that Žižek's mother and Madoka's mother seemed very similar to me. But Theorina, while her personality is ultimately different from Kyuubey's, serves the same role as Kyuubey. That's why I made a note of it.
The conversation about 'are you sure this is what you want? Think about your future' etc etc was inspired by Madoka though. So you are right there. I think that one scene is the only scene that was really, really inspired by Madoka though.
Fair enough. And honestly, it's that scene which made Lacan seem most like a dead ringer for Homura, though I am aware the "aloof princess" archetype exists.
I think there are some similarities, so you are right to point them out. And, I can understand why it might bother you - especially if you're a fan of Madoka. But I think Madoka itself is also working with some well-worn conventions of the magical girl genre, and since I was writing a magical girl parody story (kind of, I guess) in which a major plot point was 'people are actually pretty crappy', it might be kind of inevitable that this and Madoka would have some kind of overlap, since the general idea is quite similar to begin with.
Of course that's what Madoka does. It turns typical magical girl conventions on their heads. When watching the show, did you notice that after a certain event takes place, the ending theme changes from the happy, upbeat one the show started with to a much darker song? There's a reason for that.

Anyway, thanks for continuing to indulge my comments. I really hope you expand your concept in some way. :)
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