I have several thoughts about this post. So, first of all, re: sad endings, I think what's important is two things. The first is that the quote I posted is great because of the context of the character and situation. Obviously, this makes it less than ideal to post randomly in hindsight, but I think it is a valid point. Hamlet's "My thoughts be bloody or nothing worth" speech only works because of who he is and the context, not because it is necessarily always true. I'm not trying to compare Kanon to Shakespeare, but the concept is important. Obviously, a different quote probably would have worked better though. Secondly, I think that in many respects, sad endings are still happy for the reader. A good sad ending has some sort of catharsis and logic behind it. As a reader, I accept the ending and I understand why it happened. I can grasp it logically. This is already a huge step up from life, where so often things feel as if they are just random or do not serve any purpose. So maybe the better way to put it is that people dream of a world where there is justice and logic behind tragedy, but it's a bit more cumbersome, isn't it? It should also be noted that the VNs I listed do not necessarily have happy endings themselves. Planetarian has a tragic ending, and Kanon has a bittersweet one. Clannad has a happy ending, but only after much hardship and tragedy.>No one grows with a happy ending
This is something I just can't agree with. Character growth can happen well with happy or sad endings. Take Lord of the Rings as an example. Do we say that there was no growth for anyone, even though they ultimately defeat Sauron? Of course, all is not totally perfect, but overall, the ending can certainly be considered a happy one. Or, to use another Shakespeare example, are Beatrice and Benedick the same people at the end as they are at the beginning? Of course not. Just because things end up well does not mean you lose whatever lesson you learned along the way. Let's say I'm unemployed, and my goal is to get a job. If I work hard, clean up my appearance, practice interviewing, make my resume better, and ultimately find gainful employment, does that mean I didn't grow in the process? I don't know of anyone who would come to that conclusion.