Katawa Shoujo, which roughly translates to Disability Girls, is a dating sim visual novel from Four Leaf Studios, a collective group of volunteers. The game centers around Hisao Nakai, a student that due to his heart arrhythmia is enrolled in a special school for people with disabilities of all sorts. In addition to attending to his studies and monitoring his fragile health, the player guides Hisao's interactions with others at the school, and can ultimately pursue potential relationships with a number of female students. Four Leaf Studios first organized to create this game following a discussion on the website 4chan regarding a sketch of a disabled girl by a Japanese doujinshi artist. The goal of the project was to create a visual novel dating sim with eroge elements in which the potential love interests each possess some sort of physical disability, and to also go against the stigma of such games by treating the characters and their disabilities with appropriate dignity and respect. The game's adult content can optionally be turned off.
Katawa Shoujo was released on January 4, 2012 as a free download for PC, Mac, and Linux systems.
The main character of the game. He suffers a heart attack while attending his regular public school. He is diagnosed with heart Arrhythmia and is after a long stay at the hospital transferred to "Yamaku High School for disabled children". There he struggles to let go of his former life and accept the new one which has been forced upon him.
An enthusiastic girl attending Yamaku High School, she is a member of the schools track & field club and considered the best runner despite having prosthetic legs. She is one of the love interests the main character can pursue.
A black haired girl who is in the same class as Hisao Nakai. She had a traumatic experience during her childhood with left her with burn scars on large parts of her body, likely attributing to her personality of being extremely shy. Hanako is another love interest that can be pursued by Hisao.
Lilly is the class representative of class 3-2 of Yamaku High, a class specifically for people with severely impaired vision. She comes from a wealthy high class family and was forced to attend Yamaku High School due to her family leaving the country when Lilly and her sister Akira were very young. She was born blind and has struggled her entire life to avoid having to depend on others causing her to be very confident and independent. The main character can choose to go after her as one of the potential love interests.
Shizune or Shiccsan as she's often called is a competitive and highly motivated girl attending Yamaku High. Despite being both deaf and mute she is a member of the student council and the class Representative of Class 3-3, the same class as the main character is in. She is also one of the five love interests.
Rin was born with a birth defect and was forced to amputate both her arms. Despite this she is very creative, often found painting using her feet to hold the brush. She is a potential love interest as well.
Misha is also in the same class as the main character, a long with Shizune Hakamichi and Hanako Ikezawa. She is a member of the student council and Shizune's closest friend and interpeter, almost always by Shizune's side ready to help her communicate. She does not suffer from a disability and is not one of the love interests, despite the fact you can have sex with her.
Kenji lives opposite of your main character in the male dormitories on the school grounds. In addition to being almost completely blind, he also suspects that all women are part of a feminist conspiracy to take over the world. During the game he tries his darnedest to both gather evidence and recruit Hisao to his cause.
He is the homeroom and science teacher in Class 3-3, the same class that you as the main character is in. He has a childlike wonder for the universe and the reason he became a teacher is to try and make his students feel the same way.
Yuuko is an ambitious young woman, she works both in the library of Yamaku High and at the Shanghai, a cafe in town. She does this to earn enough money to pay for university. She is looking to study Anthropology and while often coming off as a little aloof, she has some very thoughtful advice on life from time to time.
As the chief nurse at Yamaku, he runs the schools medical facilities which are quite extensive given the fact that Yamaku is a school for children with disabilities. Despite being quite busy he is never far from a laugh and always tries his best to make the students feel comfortable.