Today, 10th of July, is the birthday of a very special girl: Hanako Ikezawa from Katawa Shoujo. #KS
There was something that always mesmerized my attention, regarding Hanako: she behaves in the same way I do when put into certain possible situations. Her playful way of finding games to distract herself while roaming the academy corridor, for example trying to walk only on certain tiles, was something I use to do even now.
Her way of getting interested into new games and her being a bookworm reminds me of how I was some years ago.
And her shyness and her insecurities ultimately made me really affectionate to her.
"Hanako's expression is the same as when we play chess; a relaxed but focused concentration. Athletes sometimes talk about getting into a zone where nothing unnecessary enters their mind, and I wonder if that's something she can do."
She is badly scarred on the right side of her body; she uses her long, dark purple hair to hide her face. She is extremely shy and only trusts a few people, which with whom she seems to relax and be comfortable. An honest girl, she believes in equality between friends, and highly values the few people she chooses to spend time with.
"Hanako takes games so seriously. It's the only real hobby I know she has, outside of reading. It feels good to be able to share this kind of experience with her."
Raised for years in an orphanage, as one of the eldest, she familiarized herself with multiple hobbies including chess, reading, billiards and surprisingly, karaoke.
Ten years ago, at the age of eight, Hanako's house inexplicably caught in flames at night, not only burning the house down but taking the lives of Hanako's parents as well. Miraculously Hanako survived due to her mother shielding her from the flames. Since then Hanako has been taken into an orphanage in which during this time she didn't make friends nor did she want to. Instead, she secluded herself in the orphanage's library until the time when she was offered to attend Yamaku Academy, an offer she accepted.
"Hanako smiles and blushes a bit. It's a small treasure when she does."
Hanako's name can mean "Flower Child" or "Flower Girl", exemplifying her inner beauty.
She really cherish her possible new friends, and seeing her happy at her birthday, holding a doll resembling Lilly, receiving an expensive chess board:
"I think it's one of the few times I've seen her genuinely happy, cradling the friendship of two people to her chest as tightly as she can."
"I'm not sure what I should say to her, but I'm also not sure that I need to say anything. The fact that Hanako is happy, and happy because of me, is enough to make the load on my arm feel light as a feather."
"Just as my heart attack redefined my life... this is the event that redefined' Hanako's."
"It doesn't matter. You're a wonderful person Hanako. Your body doesn't change that."
"All thought of my heart, though, are pushed aside as I see the wide smile forming on Hanako's face. As always, I smile back without another thought. Hanako's smile has always been infectious in its almost childlike sweetness and earnesty, something that sets her apart from anyone else I know."