Character Analysis: Misao (Misao)

Misao is a horror adventure game created by Sen. There is a translated English version surfing somewhere around the web or you can watch one of the many Let’s Plays out there. It’s not that long.

Misao had been missing for three months when Aki awoke to the sound of her classmate’s voice. Most of her peers thought Misao to be dead. When a mysterious earthquake shakes the school Aki goes to, she and her classmates – as well as her homeroom teacher Mr. Sohta – are teleported into another dimension. Aki’s classmates blame Misao’s Curse and Aki sets out to collect the six missing parts of Misao’s body to break the curse.

Please note: not only are there spoilers for this game, there is also a resounding trigger warning for – bullying, sexual assault, violence, and murder. This is strictly fantasy and it has a lot of fucked up things in it. I suggest that if you haven’t played the game, I would go away from it if those above are listed as trigger warnings for you.

The only thing that Misao did wrong was to have the crush on Tohma. That was it. She was being bullied by Yoshino and others but took it in stride. It was hinted during the game that Aki and Misao were at least acquaintances during the game but that was all she could have done and probably had tried to reach out to her before? It was hinted during the ending flashbacks after the body parts are collected.

I feel the reason why it took three months for her to start her curse is because she’s not normally someone who would get angry easily. Granted, all those terrible things happened to her in a single day (the text being posted, Tohma possibly two-timing her and possibly pretending to be her boyfriend, being raped by that one classmate, Yoshino & those other girls being physically and verbally abusive, Kudoh’s continued empathy, as well as finally, Sohta’s molestation and being hacked to death by him) would have taken her so much time to build up anger in her heart.

What makes her character all the more tragic is the simple fact that Aki only started to really worry about Misao after she had died. It was only after she had been missing for three months. That’s probably another reason why she was so angry – she was tired of waiting for Aki to take action. Only Aki was able to hear her thoughts in her dreams (counting daydreams).

In life, Misao was an obedient girl and always tried to listen to everyone but they decided she was just the perfect target for bullying.

If the player chose to sacrifice Sohta, especially since he still carried Misao’s arms, Misao would ultimately want to make both Aki, her only friend, and Tohma, her only love, to stay with her in the afterlife despite showing her true, angry colors. The reason why I think that was – she wanted both of them to save her from herself and from all that anger that had built up over the course of three months.

Misao would definitely would want to show the two of them what she had become thanks to the bullies (Yoshino, Saotome, Kudoh) and to the men that raped her (the classmate – who is presumably dead in the bathroom along with Saotome and Mr. Sohta) based to the individual hell she had created for the sacrifices after Aki finds the body parts.

In Yoshino’s hell, Yoshino is being beaten up by three Misaos – revenge for what she had done on the day she died. She didn’t get raped, thankfully, but Yoshino begs and begs for her to stop. After Aki had collected the bat, and actually beat up the Misaos, she makes Yoshino promises to stop bullying. Misao didn’t want that and Aki told her that she is now a vengeful spirit and left. This is obviously reflecting Misao’s anger to what led to her being caught by Mr. Sohta and before he had dismembered her. I mean, that’s pretty much it.

In Kudoh’s hell, it had been state earlier by the both of them that the two of them had been close when they were younger. During the hell segment, when Misao was bullied then too, Kudoh would have saved her all the time. However, since it was constant, he tried to get Misao to do it on her own but she still was being bullied. Not to be burdened by it anymore, he lost his empathy of her and honestly thought she deserved it. Misao outright states she was abandoned by him.

Finally, we see a bunch of Misaos yelling and screaming at him with how low and awful he is. How he’ll die a virgin. How he’s just a waste of space. Aki comes in and actually manages to convince him that Misao would never ever say to him. Once the clones disappear, the real Misao disappears. Kudoh apologizes and she expresses feelings for him although Aki wonders if this was just part of his imagination.

This obviously signifies the times that Misao had begged for Kudoh (up and including the day she died – she had gone to him but he just coldly ignores her) so she’s making sure he does hear her. But she’s just so angry that she couldn’t really formulate the words she’s always wanted to say to him during the time they both were distant. Although, it’s possible that Kudoh really did harbor his feelings for Misao but she was completely focused on Tohma. I don’t know why, though, she could have done so much better.

In Saotome’s hell, both Aki and Misao overhear Saotome and another girl talking about “Misao’s Grand Text Reveal” and started to mention how it could have been Yoshino because it was pretty known that Yoshino may or may not have had a crush on him (who didn’t have a crush on him…?). While she made fun of it, she still apparently thinks Misao is “gross” and felt bad for Tohma for reading it.

And then, Saotome thinks that it’s actually Misao she felt sorry for and she thought the poem was actually cute. Misao then comes out and says that she forgot her handkerchief when Saotome actually offers her own. After the girls leave, Misao wonders and actually thinks that it was Saotome who must have tricked Tohma by acting like she’s so nice when she was the one who printed it up.

There’s another flashback of Tohma and Saotome are eating lunch by the school when Misao catches them. Tohma goes up to her and they both confess their love for one another. Saotome, angry, says that Tohma had told Saotome that Misao was just a game. However, Tohma said it was apparently a lie and that he loves Misao. Misao then says that it was Saotome who was there for shits and giggles. Tohma reiterates that he doesn’t care about her and Aki reminds Saotome that it was Tohma who left her there to die.

In which, that’s when Aki gives Saotome the bat to kill Tohma.

Now, this could be wishful thinking on Misao’s part as it’s really up in the air on whether or not Tohma actually had feelings for any of the girls he went out with (my gut says hell no). In the other hells, Misao is either physically or verbally abusing the characters for what they have or haven’t done in life. In this instance, she thinks that Saotome is two-faced. While that may or may not be true, Saotome seemed to have cared about Misao up to a certain point. Misao must have figured that since she was always around Tohma, her idea of hell would be that of Misao kissing Tohma – and Tohma rejecting her.

According to Ayaka’s side story, it was revealed that Sohta was the one who had actually killed Ayaka instead of an alleged monster because she had found out that Mr. Sohta had kept Misao’s hands in his desk. He had sent out Aki to get some tranquilizers in an attempt to get Aki out of the room just so he could kill Ayaka.

But, as it turns out, Misao’s hands hadn’t rotted even after 3 months. Probably to keep her promise of an amazing curse to the underworld, Misao’s body parts that Mr. Sohta had scattered was to cling on to life long after death. She knew of his weird hand fetish when he tried to molest her on that fateful night and must have figured out that he still kept her hands to himself.

In Sohta’s hell, he remembers his high school years when he was bullied himself. The only friend he had was a dying cat whom he tried to save to no avail. Takano, the girl he had fallen in love with, was when he must have started to lock up his resentment towards his face and changed it. He hurt her, although it wasn’t clear what he tried to do with her, was when he realized he was a hideous beast and needed to change his face.

Ironically, after he changed his face, he started to get female fans and admirers. He didn’t want that, and yet, must have ultimately unlocked the morbidity of that day with Takano completely as he actually molested and murdered Misao. He hacked her body so she couldn’t call out.

And because of that anger, she let him repeat his ugliness over and over until he realizes what he had ultimately done to her for nothing. All Misao wanted was to confide in her homeroom teacher but he betrayed her ultimately and for that, he should be eternally punished. Even after Aki had gone through his memories and avoid being killed by him and even after she had comforted him with kind words, he was still unable to reincarnate. Misao may have been kind but I think he has to do true penance for what he had done.

Finally, in Tohma’s grave, he faces Misao’s true anger. Tohma really was playing with her and Misao knew it. She had wanted to show Tohma her true form, her true anger. She didn’t want to play games anymore in the manner that he had. However, it doesn’t take much for Aki to stop her from dragging him down to the underworld with her.

All she had to do was show Misao what her anger had become. Once Misao realizes what she has become, she realizes that all she was doing was the same thing that her bullies wanted to do her, only in eternal. She didn’t want to become that. She just wanted a happy life but it was taken from her by Yoshino, Tohma, Saotome, Kudoh, and, especially, Mr. Sohta. Aki apologizes for being shitty and not helping her when she needed it the most but – she’s helping Misao now because she’s her friend.

And finally, Misao can rest. She just wanted to hear, “You’re my friend.” After that, Misao’s spirit is calm. Her body parts are with her once more and she could probably reincarnate into someone who’s happy and could have many friends and a loved life.

Misao is one of the most tragic characters but she’s also one of the most messed up because she takes her anger out on those who, while they did deserved it, bullied and who did not realize the consequences of their actions. Mr. Sohta on the other hand… that’s a different post for a different day.

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