Dr. W's Space Travels
Space Cadet Stares at Monika Forever
[WARNING: major Doki Doki Literature Club spoilers ahead]
Dr. Wood XLVI
So today is the day that I met my 2018 Chevrolet Spark. What a lovely, compact specimen that it is – I liked it as soon as I got inside. It’s smaller than I imagined, which is great for me. Got groceries today with it and felt very comfortable driving it. There’s nothing like the first time with the result of a big change. In this case, acquainting myself with my new vehicular companion is that big change. There’s something special about those moments: testing all of the buttons, examining the dials, speculating the sound the turn signal makes, hearing how the music sounds on it, admiring the backup camera, etc. I found out only today that it was going to have manual crank windows as well as manual locks, which kind of surprised me given the year it is. But it doesn’t really bother me, especially considering that’s how my Dakota is. By the way, I still have my truck, and I’m planning to sell it in the upcoming week. Couldn’t do it at the same time as them delivering my new car – they don’t bring a tow truck to drop their cars off, so they’d have no way of picking up a car that doesn’t start. So I get to be with it for a few more days. Kind of just want to get the parting over with as I know it’s gonna wreck my heart, but it is what it is.
I’m feeling strange today. How do I describe it… it’s almost like a transcendental feeling. Sounds kind of like a pompous way to put it but I’ll explain (to the best of my ability). In the hours before my car was delivered, I finished playing the base game of Doki Doki Literature Club Plus, which I had started earlier this week. I had played the original game a few years ago and thought it was very well done. Just FYI, if you haven’t played it, I warn you that there will be major spoilers in the rest of this entry, so let that be known. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus has side stories that are non-horror, but still bear continuity with the game. In replaying the main game, I realized I had not actually completed it the last time I played, so there was a little bit of new stuff this playthrough. Sayori’s suicide always gets me, and everything following that is a horrifying crap storm. There were still things that made me jump this time around, and other things that sent a chill down my spine. DDLC really knows how to execute the shock factor. Amid all that, though, there are some rather profound themes present in the game, and I’m realizing through the side stories how evident they are. For example, how literature (specifically, poetry) can be used to convey one’s truest self. I’m not yet done all the side stories but after the first one between Sayori and Monika, I kinda wanted to write a poem of my own. For how riddled with horror DDLC is, the same dark spots really drive home the notion of baring one’s ugliest side to friends through poetry. Some of the poems (actually, most of them) are really well-made, in my opinion. Even Monika’s first poem was impressive. To summarize, she struggled with perfectionistic tendencies and couldn’t figure out how to put her feelings into a poem. She put the pen on the page, causing an ink blot to appear. When she went to wipe it, it naturally smeared. It happened again, and afterwards she finally just “let her hand write”. Her poem was two smears, followed by: “This is what I get for seeking perfection. A stain.” Perhaps I should try my hand at poetry sometime. Maybe I’ll even do it as a diary entry.
I realized while I enjoyed DDLC the first time I played it, I enjoyed it even more this time (even with just the main game, which didn’t change between DDLC and DDLC ). There’s also something oddly peaceful during the scene where Monika basically kidnaps you and stares into your eyes for eternity. I like when she says random things every so often during that segment – she has some thought-provoking quips. The music during that part is also eerily entrancing. Gosh, a good soundtrack can really amplify a game’s enjoyment. Clannad comes to mind when I write this statement. It’s tracks like that that also play in my mind when I feel certain emotions. The “Just Monika’ piece which plays during the Just Monika part (who would’ve thought?) stuck in my head for a while. I think a combination of that earworm, the themes and afterimages of DDLC, me going through with a big life change with the new vehicle, and my thought patterns in general led me to have that “transcendental” feeling I mentioned earlier. It’s like… I’ve stepped out of my life for a moment, even though my body is still operating within it. I feel kind of alone, but not terribly lonely. And yet I yearn for something to cling to – something that can serve as my rock. It’s so weird and hard to describe… I guess with having one event that inspires me to embrace authenticity and poetically convey my feelings, and another event that reminds me of the imminence and inevitability of change, I feel vulnerable right now. Like I wouldn’t even mind if I could step into the DDLC protagonist’s shoes and just endlessly gaze into Monika’s pretty mug in an empty classroom with the cosmos passing by outside. It sounds oddly comforting right now. Boy, if you’re reading this and haven’t played DDLC… then just like every other reference I make, this must be confusing as heck XD But well if you’re an ethnographer reading this, I recommend you play the game to better understand this. Hey, if it’s for scholarly research, you could even justify playing it during work hours!
In other news, I’ve been continuing to play Maitetsu of course. No changes there. I recently finished watching an anime called Ninja Nonsense, which was rated kind of low on MyAnimeList but was actually hilarious, I was so surprised! I recently started watching The Quintessential Quintuplets, which I’ve been thoroughly enjoying. I guess it’s set up as a harem but has a lot more substance to it than a typical one. I’m five episodes from finishing the first season – I think I like Yotsuba the most so far, although Miku’s really growing on me fast. I kinda like Ichika too, although from things I’ve heard on The Friends Club server, it sounds like there’s something she does later that garners some major disdain. Itsuki and Nino have yet to gain my favor, but that’s pretty standard for my disposition towards tsundere characters. I don’t dislike them, but I’ll often take a liking to characters of differing archetypes first. An exception would be Makise Kurisu from Steins;Gate – apparently she’s considered to be heavily tsun, but she is an exceptional character and I would totally hang out with her if I was in the SG world. I guess she’s just a very reasonable tsundere. Kyou Fujibayashi from Clannad, on the other hand… unapologetically running people over on her moped… *shakes head disapprovingly*
Okay I think if I’m gonna talk about my thoughts on the different dere types more, I should probably do it in another entry. Anyway, I’m planning on just relaxing the rest of the night, playing some Maitetsu, having a vegan ice cream bar (I bought some at the store today), taking a bath, and – you already know – sleeping with my tall, stuffed bedfellow. I could use a relaxing night after this past week. OH – and I totally forgot to mention something. I’m getting ready to close this entry so I’ll make it short – my company fell victim to a cyberattack and shut down VPN connections for a good while this past Thursday, with lingering effects all throughout Friday. That was somethin’ else. All right that’s all my updates for now – time to go work on my poem and impress Monika! (Wait what am I saying?)