What makes R07’s VNs so engaging is how you can see a little bit of yourself in all his characters. They have the same motivations and action rationalisation we all do, just slightly skewed by their personality or events. I could write a paragraph about how I saw myself as any of his characters, but there’s one that’s special, one that really spoke to me… Yasu.
(Umineko spoilers)[spoiler]Perhaps the reason I’m so ferocious in defending Yasu and her actions is because I went through something similar myself, even to the extend of “blowing up” my little world.
Yasu’s plight with her identity mirrored my experience with being transgender. The uncertainty about who you are, the feelings of being worthless, that there’s something wrong with you and that you’ll never get a happy ending, that you’ll forever be doomed to live as “furniture.” I couldn’t see any hope for myself in this world. I couldn’t ever see any acceptance.
It was only in my “golden land” of the internet that I ever felt I was truly myself, where I could be who I knew was inside. I had my multiple faces just like Yasu, my Kanon and Shannon. My real-life mask where I hid being transgender, and my online persona where I portrayed myself as female.
I could catch small fragments of my golden land in this online life, I could almost taste happiness. But then I met my George and Jessica. Those I cared deeply about, that I loved in a way I thought would never be possible for me. It was never supposed to be possible, nobody was ever supposed to care for me, but they did and it made me so terribly afraid. They didn’t know I was transgender and I was frightened to tell them. I was scared they wouldn’t accept me. I was scared to imagine a happy future. I lied to them about my feelings, denied I cared for them, pretended their affections were unwelcome. It tore me apart inside and led to my own Rokkenjima incident.
Believing I’d only ever be a source of pain to those I loved, that they’d never accept me as I truly was, and this limbo state was too painful to bear, I left them a note explaining everything and then tried to kill myself. I tried to destroy my little world, my little Rokkenjima, in the hopes that I could exist in a happier dream.
When my suicide attempt failed, in my delirious and confused state, I thought it better my friends to believe I’d succeeded and therefore fly loose from my web of despair. I lied to them about it. I led them to believe I was dead. By the time I escaped my pit of self-loathing a few days later, the storm has moved on, but it was too late. Those friends never forgave me, they wouldn’t even speak to me to say goodbye and I’ve had to live with that bitter regret ever since.
So I can sympathise with Yasu’s dilemma of being caught between different identities, not feeling a happy ending is possible, and choosing to end it all in an extreme fashion. Not that I condone her actions, but I understand.[/spoiler]