Then you'll need to explain why your first post in this thread was an open attempt to discredit the opinion that Kairi is "bland and submissive." Your own words were that there is no "legitimate reason" to refer to her in that manner, but if all art is a matter of interpretation, then that interpretation of her character can't be delegitimized-- "reason" shouldn't even enter the discourse, at that point.Opinions can't be "discredited" or "wrong". Kingdom Hearts is a work of art, and these things are up for interpretation, you can debate the significance of a work without being aggressive and insulting, which you've done here as well.
To be clear, opinions and interpretation on art can be formed in error: objectivity in art criticism isn't a mathematical process, it's one of debate and rationalization where clashing ideas on the intent and meaning behind a piece are presented and evidenced, and the stronger the evidence and rationale as it relates to the work of art-- particularly where there is a factual basis from which to draw an argument-- the more accurate and reliable an interpretation can be considered. This retreat into the subjective stance, and the following inference that all opinions are equally valid, is a common rhetorical maneuver designed to obfuscate an argument's inherent weaknesses by attempting to reset the debate to zero, so to speak (one can't be shown to be wrong if there is no right or wrong to begin with). To summarize, you began with a claim relative to the proposition which, with every subsequent post you've made, you have been trying to defend as evidenced and true: upon being confronted with some points of opposition demonstrating the weakness of your evidence and the logic pursuant to your position, you've reconstituted your claim to make the case that your point of view doesn't require grounding because it's an opinion-- which is the rhetorical equivalent of conceding that you no longer have any.
You have routinely declined to counter the substantive claims I've put forward, opting instead to register ad hominem inferences about my tone, my character, and my state of emotion to deflect from your accountability within the discourse. Strident and uncompromising dissent is not equivalent to insult: you aren't due any deference here.
You'll want to move on from that bewilderment and start addressing the actual point of contention between us.Clearly you do. You can say you take no issue, but we are debating a character in a video game. I assume we are both fans of this series, to say that my opinion is not deserving of respect is bewildering to me.
Perhaps, as you'll attempt to do later in this response, you can bring out the dictionary definitions of "agency" and "passivity" and we can debate the semantic rules dictating how a deficit of agency compares and contrasts with a surplus of passivity.They're not, unless you're just making up definitions for the words you're using.
You aren't wrong in that I expect Kairi's arc is hopeless and that is upsetting to me, but it's telling that you go out of your way to hyperbolize the sentiment given how careful you expect me to be with the tone of my rebuttals.Well thats news to me, I havent felt that way until now. I've always thought she was a great character. Sorry you feel as if you have no hope left, I guess if I felt there was no hope for a character I really really really really really thought was GREAT I would be really upset as well.
Neither. You've once again confused a quality of character for a literary function.Is this because "passive" people are inherently bad or just boring in your opinion?
As with the move towards subjective framing, the semantic argument is often the last recourse of a claim which has begun to flag with regards to its original intent, representing an attempt to repair the argument by selectively redefining the phrasing of the proposition, as is the case here. The word "passive" or "passivity" obviously has multiple dictionary definitions, to wit:pas·siv·i·ty
sounds like a character trait to me, but you're using it as a verb - as if Kairi has had no other choice but to go along with the plot for the plots sake. You can definitely say that and look at it that way if you want to, I choose to look at it differently. Even if Kairi hasn't had much control over the plot or her place within it, her acceptance of it and willingness to play a part is a testament to her spiritual strength as a character.
acceptance of what happens, without active response or resistance.
"the perceived passivity of the populace is deceptive"
[ pas-iv ]
3. not involving visible reaction or active participation: to play a passive role. (Emphasis mine)
It's telling that you so quickly concede the potential for this alternative reading, because it's clear to see that this discussion has never been about Kairi's personal character traits (to describe them as passive would be erroneous to begin with), but one of her role as it is written within the story. Your own central claim is that she fulfills the role of a supportive archetype, where archetypes are defined by the roles they model within storytelling. The fact that Kairi's role has been made passive where it necessarily should have been active in the interests of developing her as a character outside of purely archetypal function is the critical assertion which you've neglected to answer: the claim that she is "spiritually strong" in your eyes is not sufficiently persuasive bereft of any evidence to support that position. What is "spiritual strength" in KH, how can you relate that to the depiction of Kairi's character (not her characteristics), and how can you show that her strength of spirit is tied indelibly to her passive, archetypal role?
I never said your critiques are illegitimate
(Emphasis mine)the fact that the series has not expanded on her character is not a legitimate reason to call her these things.
Moreso that you are using fallacious logic, but I'm not one to get hung up on technicalities.You were incorrectly arguing that I was using logical fallacies.
There is no exact scientific dichotomy ruling the writing and development of characters all throughout literary history, but there is nevertheless a literary history which has mapped out conventions within writing, particularly for commercial fiction. It's not controversial to state that supporting characters play a supporting role-- i.e., they do not play a central role in the action. They are typically characters of convenience (i.e. the plot has needs and these characters fulfill them), but they may also represent some symbolic or thematic function that provides layers to the narrative. If they undergo a personal journey which is central to the unfolding narrative, that is because they have been promoted to a principle character (or a lead, i.e., they are leading the story, as opposed to supporting its development). The KH series is not somehow immune to these conventions, indeed it tracks fairly closely to them, and it's certainly not attempting to emulate the intricacies of a story rooted in realism.Her categorization hardly matters. I would argue that she is not a main character because she is never playing the lead role, but you can argue she is a main character because her character is very significant to the plot. Are you aware these things are not an exact science? I also said supporting character's typically don't go through the hero's journey, but if they did that wouldn't necessarily stop them from being supporting characters.
Your attempts to scientifically map out "good" characters does not work. In real life all different types of people exist - they play roles of varying degree from different perspectives and their lives begin and end at different points of maturity. The fact that some people mature faster than others or play a seemingly larger role does not make their stories necessarily "better" than the person who grew up slower and played what appears to be a lesser role.
One of the confounding aspects of Kairi's writing and characterization, as I've already articulated, is that she is positioned within the narrative as a lead protagonist but utilized in a method more appropriate for a secondary or supporting character. Her role is largely symbolic, subject to the workings of the narrative rather than authoring narrative movement, and she appears typically through no active effort or intention on her part to fulfill some limited objective. The reason that supporting characters can get away with this is that they are not framed in the audience's mind as central to the story, that is, they are recognizably removed from the main action in a variety of ways. Yoda is exemplary of this: in the original Star Wars trilogy, he is a supporting character whose entire role is isolated to a distant planet and limited to interacting with one character who benefits from his sagely guidance: that character must then leave that setting to return to the site of main action and resolve the central conflict. In the prequels, Yoda begins as a supporting character but is increasingly drawn into the main action so that by the third film, he's a principle who is driving much of the story and, indeed, undergoes his own personal journey in which he's forced to reconcile with his core philosophy and the role he has played in the events that have unfolded (godiloveROTS).
The problem for Kairi's characterization is that for as often as she gets drawn into the main conflict, as would be expected of a principle character, she is rarely positioned either to actively drive its resolution or to draw personal meaning from it; her function is one of passive support. No matter what technicality-ridden readings of her character some might put forth, that basic dissonance has to be addressed in answering the criticisms of her writing. You've argued that with the conclusion of KH3, she may be in the process of transitioning to an agent within the narrative, but in order to make that case you would first need to show evidence that this is the authorial intent behind her writing in the game. Both KH2 and DDD have likewise indicated the presence of a potential arc which would instruct her presence in future titles, only for both examples to reveal themselves as bait-and-switches. Nomura is not entitled to the benefit of the doubt.
Always happy to embarrass myself in the service of disqualifying a bad citation, and I've no doubt this deflective posturing is indicative of a wealth of knowledge in the subject on your part.Because you refuse to let the subject go and are completely unafraid of embarassing yourself I'm going to do it for you. Do your own research and if you want to debate the role the US played in the 1850's or how Bushido has impacted modern Japanese society I'll be happy to educate you on the subject in a private message, but there is too much I already have to sift through in your post as it is and this is off topic. I was originally only providing context which you decided to debate for no reason despite having no knowledge on the subject.
I'll grant you that this was a bit snipey and ungenerous in execution, though it was an inference drawn from your own rhetorical referencing of Bushido philosophy and samurai society, wherein the cultural convention (as I understand it) for women was to play the wife and household caretaker first, and take up arms or pursue an active social role either secondarily or never. Since you've positioned this yourself as the societal allegory upon which you are pinning your understanding and appreciation of Kairi's character, I don't see how you can find it an unreasonable lane of conjecture. My guess is that you're being as selective in your reading of Japanese traditions and customs as you are in your reading of the dictionary.I know putting words in my mouth is not above you, but you are actually attacking the motivation of my argument here which is a legitimate logical fallacy. No normal person would read what I wrote and say "but you think women should achieve their dreams secondarily to the roles they NEED to play as women". Jesus Christ. But in response, imo, whether to put your aspirations above your current circumstances is a decision made by each person as an individual.
I'm a bit tuckered out from writing the above post so I apologize for the brevity, but I do want to say I appreciate your insight. Ultimately whether or not there is popular appreciation for the film in Japan is not tangibly important to the question of whether it is historically accurate and dependable as a source of information; people of any society can derive entertainment out of stories about themselves that take liberties on facts or attitudes. Much like filming in one location in Japan does not exactly qualify the setting as historical, regarding the presentation of the film as "enjoyable" or "inoffensive" is not quite the same as regarding it as "informative."
Likewise, there's some distinction to be made between how people in Japan (living in a nation and society where their culture is dominant and empowered) often respond to Hollywood/foreign film productions erasing or marginalizing their presence in stories about them, and how this is often viewed within the Japanese diaspora. That's not to invalidate either perspective, but to recognize that there are different cultural dynamics informing them.