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Kairi should have been the star of the Kingdom Hearts franchise!



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Tartarus

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The potential and personality was there.
People said that after KH1. And after KH2. And after every other game this character has so much as been mentioned in. Yes, theoretically, on paper, she "has potential." She is a PoH (which has barely any real relevance anymore), she lived on Radiant Garden (a world Nomura couldn't even include in a game it was relevant in), she was used as a pawn by Xehanort (a character who is supposed to have been done-zo), etc. etc. I've heard this all a million times over. And yet none of that has ever once translated onscreen, whether we're talking about KH1 or any other game in this series. Even if she does suddenly get a huge amount of attention now, it's not going to really be Kairi because Kairi never had a character to begin with, which is why I thought the word "facelift" was an appropriate one here. We might as well consider whoever she'll be to be a new character entirely.

I get where you're coming from also. Let's get down to brass tacks, your post comes from a place of ship wars over Riku v. Kairi, which is why I don't attach much sentiment to it other than a desire to disagree for the sake of it. Kairi would still be uninteresting even if Riku didn't exist. For me, nothing you could say changes the reality which is that there is no there there with Kairi and never has been. Nomura clearly also felt that way? I'd rather play as a character who can actually make the most of more screentime. Unfortunately, not all things the fanbase clamors for are for the better. Sort of like how all the complaining about KH1 Atlantica lead to no water / swimming environments for the next two decades of the franchise, the obsession over Kairi just means we're going to be foisted with a hollow character in a role she doesn't have the capacity to fill adequately.
 
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SweetYetSalty

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I still don't get when the whole "Kairi was an itty bitty toddler so doesn't remember her home" became "oooh, she doesn't remember anything, how mysterious!!" Was it when BBS became a thing? Since that meant Kairi had seen a Keyblade and a wielder long ago. I don't remember what I ate for dinner last night, let alone stuff that happened when I were mini-Kairi's age. I never knew my backstory was so mysterious...
I just wanna say I love this post right here.
 

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I still don't get when the whole "Kairi was an itty bitty toddler so doesn't remember her home" became "oooh, she doesn't remember anything, how mysterious!!" Was it when BBS became a thing? Since that meant Kairi had seen a Keyblade and a wielder long ago. I don't remember what I ate for dinner last night, let alone stuff that happened when I were mini-Kairi's age. I never knew my backstory was so mysterious...
Pretty sure it was the delivery of one of her lines talking about her "alleged" amnesia way back in KH1s tutorial. Made it seem like she was lying or are at the least hiding something.
 

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I still don't get when the whole "Kairi was an itty bitty toddler so doesn't remember her home" became "oooh, she doesn't remember anything, how mysterious!!" Was it when BBS became a thing? Since that meant Kairi had seen a Keyblade and a wielder long ago. I don't remember what I ate for dinner last night, let alone stuff that happened when I were mini-Kairi's age. I never knew my backstory was so mysterious...
I think it only started up when the MoM trailer was released. I sure as hell have never seen nor heard this claim even once prior.
 

SweetYetSalty

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Pretty sure it was the delivery of one of her lines talking about her "alleged" amnesia way back in KH1s tutorial. Made it seem like she was lying or are at the least hiding something.
Ooh, which line was that? I don't remember a line like that. Is it when you have to get the items to Kairi? Or during the race portion?

Anyway if you read the Ansem Reports plus the bits of info you get with her and her grandmother, you can piece Kairi's backstory between KH1 and KH2 mostly. And her amnesia is or was played off as her being too young to remember. Imo the time to explore Kairi's backstory was KH2, if they felt it was necessary to do so.
 

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Pretty sure it was the delivery of one of her lines talking about her "alleged" amnesia way back in KH1s tutorial. Made it seem like she was lying or are at the least hiding something.
I don't recall anything like this either, but I guess it's not unusual for people to interpret dialogue in different ways.

I think it only started up when the MoM trailer was released. I sure as hell have never seen nor heard this claim even once prior.
I've seen people have this interpretation before; it's not really common, but I've seen it. Even when I used to lurk on the KH GameFAQs forums as long ago 10 - 15 years, some users mentioned it. I guess either they just interpreted the circumstances differently from most or I've somehow Mandela Effect'd myself hard, lol.
 

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Ehhh, the only reason why DDD wouldn't have worked to have Kairi is because that game is for those two to become Masters. If DDD happens maybe like a month or so after KH2 (3-4 months MAX), she just became a Keyblade wielder. Going into the Realm of Sleep for Sora and Riku has its dangers, but those two are more than battle-experienced enough to handle it. After all, they're being tested for the Master title. And considering what ended up happening to both Sora and Riku, despite how strong they are, it still was extremely dangerous. Sora himself almost became a vessel. So tossing Kairi into the middle of that would just spell doom, punching way above her weight class. Axel is a different case because he's had tons of battle experience and didn't have his Keyblade at the time.

I mean, that's what happened in KH3 but at that point, desperate times called for desperate measures and the hope was that her training was going to be enough.

I think what they could've done was do a 0.2 situation and give Kairi a 3-5 hour episode about her training to be a capable Keyblade wielder and put it in 2.8 or something. Maybe as an unlockable episode for beating DDD, like what they did for BBS and Blank Points. ReMind shows that she knows a bit of magic and has a Shotlock, but playing as Kairi, you definitely feel the inexperience in her move set. Although her Warp-Striking technique that's basically what Noctis could do, that's pretty impressive.
Sora and Riku were starting from 0 at the start of DDD. Yen Sid flat out said that they had to forget everything they knew to learn and start from the ground up to become proper Masters. The boys wouldn't have outclassed her, she would have been on their level. The set up was perfect
 

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Kairi says "Nothing." in response to Sora asking if she remembers anything about her past, but the camera doesn't show her eyes, only her mouth, it would normally symbolize that the character is telling a falsehood. Here:
(start at 0:59).

Personally, I always thought she was half lying, and I felt validated when Sora somehow "saw" little Kairi in the library. But now, I'm sure Engoura will say something along the lines of "oh well her chain of memories was disrupting and now the melody of her memories is in tune again with the cello of awakening lol XD".

Sora and Riku were starting from 0 at the start of DDD. Yen Sid flat out said that they had to forget everything they knew to learn and start from the ground up to become proper Masters. The boys wouldn't have outclassed her, she would have been on their level. The set up was perfect
lol no. They absolutely didn't "forget everything they knew" considering they still fight with what is effectively 1:1 their battle styles from KH1/COM, with the added effect of almost none of DDD translating over to KH3. In universe, Sora and Riku had way more experience with forces of dorkness and the art of the Keyblade itself compared to Kairi (reason why YS says SR are pretty much Masters in their own right). In meta, Kairi just had no experience besides swatting at one (two?) shadow(s) in KH2.

Going further beyond, imagine Kairi taking the MoM (or even beginning training), Sora still getting almost VESSEL'd, and YenSid basically saying that he is on the same level as Kairi in KH3 intro. Would be the saltiest thing in the universe, and I say that as someone who feels Sora should've been awarded the Mark due to YenSid's carelessness more than anything else.
 

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Sora and Riku were starting from 0 at the start of DDD. Yen Sid flat out said that they had to forget everything they knew to learn and start from the ground up to become proper Masters. The boys wouldn't have outclassed her, she would have been on their level. The set up was perfect
Battle power-wise, yeah, but they still have their experience and that makes all the difference. KH1 Sora and DDD Sora are different characters (obviously), but a big part of that is the fact that DDD Sora is well-versed with a Keyblade, seeing as how he's already been on three journeys that put him in danger (and he only remembers two of those). So the way he's gonna approach things vs. how KH1 Sora would are going to be different. This goes double for Riku, because his experience with the darkness is extremely valuable, even though at the time, he was ashamed of it.

Kairi's experience prior to KH3 was whacking a couple Heartless, so she's basically where KH1 Sora is starting at. Yen Sid's focus is on making sure they have enough Masters in order to take down Xehanort and at the time, only Sora and Riku needed to be tested. Kairi's situation is different because she needs to become a capable wielder in basically no time flat, so she doesn't have the luxury of going on a KH1-type journey. Plus with Yen Sid being preoccupied with Sora and Riku, that's why he let Merlin handle training both her and Axel.

In fact, that's why Kairi stood no chance in the Keyblade Graveyard -- she's facing off against a guy who was an end-game boss in both KH2 and DDD. In terms of power, she's probably around late-game KH1 Sora tier if we were to go by what she could do in ReMind.
 

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Not even Sora has good interactions with Disney characters, this is due to Disney's world burger nonsense. Peak disney was either KH1 or KH2 (love seeing Sora get slugged tbh)
Tbh Sora and Ventus interactions with Disney characters are one of the best imo, if kairi gets her original personality aka the cheerful sass spunk, then meeting the Disney characters with her is gonna be fun.
 

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Kairi says "Nothing." in response to Sora asking if she remembers anything about her past, but the camera doesn't show her eyes, only her mouth, it would normally symbolize that the character is telling a falsehood. Here:
(start at 0:59).

Personally, I always thought she was half lying, and I felt validated when Sora somehow "saw" little Kairi in the library. But now, I'm sure Engoura will say something along the lines of "oh well her chain of memories was disrupting and now the melody of her memories is in tune again with the cello of awakening lol XD".
That's it? That's the thing that has some believe she is half lying about her memories? I mean the camera had weird angles all the time in KH1. When Kairi is trying to convince Sora to take her along to find Riku in Traverse Town, there is a moment where the camera focuses mainly on her mouth, chest, and torso only zooming up to her eyes when she's finished talking.
 

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That's it? That's the thing that has some believe she is half lying about her memories? I mean the camera had weird angles all the time in KH1. When Kairi is trying to convince Sora to take her along to find Riku in Traverse Town, there is a moment where the camera focuses mainly on her mouth, chest, and torso only zooming up to her eyes when she's finished talking.
I mean, sure, but in western media where the camera points is about as important as the dialogue. Obviously, KH isn't anywhere close to western media (DARKNESS LIGHT DARKNESS LIGHT HEART), but that's the gist of the belief.
 

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People said that after KH1. And after KH2. And after every other game this character has so much as been mentioned in. Yes, theoretically, on paper, she "has potential." She is a PoH (which has barely any real relevance anymore), she lived on Radiant Garden (a world Nomura couldn't even include in a game it was relevant in), she was used as a pawn by Xehanort (a character who is supposed to have been done-zo), etc. etc. I've heard this all a million times over. And yet none of that has ever once translated onscreen, whether we're talking about KH1 or any other game in this series. Even if she does suddenly get a huge amount of attention now, it's not going to really be Kairi because Kairi never had a character to begin with, which is why I thought the word "facelift" was an appropriate one here. We might as well consider whoever she'll be to be a new character entirely.

I get where you're coming from also. Let's get down to brass tacks, your post comes from a place of ship wars over Riku v. Kairi, which is why I don't attach much sentiment to it other than a desire to disagree for the sake of it. Kairi would still be uninteresting even if Riku didn't exist. For me, nothing you could say changes the reality which is that there is no there there with Kairi and never has been. Nomura clearly also felt that way? I'd rather play as a character who can actually make the most of more screentime. Unfortunately, not all things the fanbase clamors for are for the better. Sort of like how all the complaining about KH1 Atlantica lead to no water / swimming environments for the next two decades of the franchise, the obsession over Kairi just means we're going to be foisted with a hollow character in a role she doesn't have the capacity to fill adequately.
If she, on paper, and theoretically speaking, had the potential to be much more than what was done with her, then she wasn't a "dud" or a "never has been". She had the character and markings to be interesting. What did Riku have that was so special in the beginning compared to her? Absolutely nothing. He was the shounen stock best friend/rival who was a jerk and turned to evil. Literally the walking and talking archetype of it. The Sasuke to Sora's Naruto. The Blue to Sora's Red from Pokèmon (best friend/rival). Nothing unique or original. And the girl who picks and sasses the guy she likes, has some spunk, and had apparently arrived at the island rather than had been born in it like the other two we're coming to know was lesser?

Like I understand that they ended up doing nothing with her in KHI itself and games after unlike the effort they placed into Riku, that I can see the issue with, but the whole "she was such a nothing" from the get go and Riku was better? It sounds like bias to me, personally. Unless I misinterpreted your posts.


----


As for Kairi's past, it's not even a Western thing. It's a general story beat that writers use to guide the audience to that particular mention so they can pay attention. How Sora brings it up, how she answers, how the camera pans behind her without getting a glimpse of her face, the moment overall...those are all narrative aspects that entails there's more to this dialogue.

Anyway, the entire spectacle is Japan-based in general. I don't know if it's because most of the directors are men, but there's this incessant trope that if a series is created, you'll have the main character and best friend/rival (both male, always, always male), whose relationship is the major focus, and if there's the unfortunate girl in the group, then she'll be treated as scraps and third fiddle. Kairi is simply another victim of this.
 
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Tartarus

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I mean, sure, but in western media where the camera points is about as important as the dialogue. Obviously, KH isn't anywhere close to western media (DARKNESS LIGHT DARKNESS LIGHT HEART), but that's the gist of the belief.
I agree, that scene does imply there's more to her. But it happens early in the game. I always took later scenes and info. in the game revealing she was from Hollow Bastion and that she was linked to the world walls being broken (the shooting stars) to be the reveal. I never thought there was more to the story past that.
 

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I took it that she remembers some things, maybe even some bad things, but she kept it to herself and refused to tell anyone. Like "Saying it out loud will make it real" sort of way. The only things I think she really remembers is living near or in a big castle and her grandmother's story. (because in Tarzan world, Sora looked at a slide of a castle and said it looked familiar to him. I figure it wasn't him, but Kairi. And of course, because Sora saw Kairi's memory of her grandmother's random story)
 

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I mean, sure, but in western media where the camera points is about as important as the dialogue. Obviously, KH isn't anywhere close to western media (DARKNESS LIGHT DARKNESS LIGHT HEART), but that's the gist of the belief.
I guess, but those didn't seem like hints to me that she remembered her childhood world. If anything the scene just implies she's bummed that she can't remember it and curious about it and wants to see it, as she says later.

I took it that she remembers some things, maybe even some bad things, but she kept it to herself and refused to tell anyone. Like "Saying it out loud will make it real" sort of way. The only things I think she really remembers is living near or in a big castle and her grandmother's story. (because in Tarzan world, Sora looked at a slide of a castle and said it looked familiar to him. I figure it wasn't him, but Kairi. And of course, because Sora saw Kairi's memory of her grandmother's random story)
You know they can retcon that to mean anything now. They can make that a retcon to it was Sora thinking of Scala because he time traveled at some point into his KH1 counterpart. Just throwing that out there.

But should they retcon it, before it was likely Kairi remembering the castle from Sora seeing it. As we know in KH universe memories are never erased just misplaced. Well if they are important enough.
 

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To be honest, I thought for sure they were going to retcon that castle scene for years. There were multiple opportunities to do so. I even used to have theories that it was Ven's memories, not Sora's or Kairi's.

But since they haven't touched it in so long AND it's in a forbidden world, I think they're going to ignore it completely or keep it as a Kairi thing.
 

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To be honest, I thought for sure they were going to retcon that castle scene for years. There were multiple opportunities to do so. I even used to have theories that it was Ven's memories, not Sora's or Kairi's.

But since they haven't touched it in so long AND it's in a forbidden world, I think they're going to ignore it completely or keep it as a Kairi thing.
I think they just forgot that scene in Deep Jungle honestly. Since that world was forever blown up by the Heartless offscreen I think anything that happens there will remain lost in canon. Look how long it took just to get the Powerwilds back in a new game.

You know I often forget Ventus is suppose to be inside Sora by KH1, always escapes me. Funny how his heart never reacts to seeing Hercules, Phil, Stitch, Scrooge Mcduck, Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, or even Mickey Mouse. I suppose they weren't that close to Ventus after all. Not even Mickey.

And best of all, it does not freak out when Sora sees a photo of Roxas in Twilight Town and go "Holy crap that's me!" and that's not even bringing up anything Union X could bring. Good thing they had that 'his heart is dreaming' thing or this would be worthy of a juicy nitpick.
 

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I think they just forgot that scene in Deep Jungle honestly. Since that world was forever blown up by the Heartless offscreen I think anything that happens there will remain lost in canon. Look how long it took just to get the Powerwilds back in a new game.

You know I often forget Ventus is suppose to be inside Sora by KH1, always escapes me. Funny how his heart never reacts to seeing Hercules, Phil, Stitch, Scrooge Mcduck, Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, or even Mickey Mouse. I suppose they weren't that close to Ventus after all. Not even Mickey.

And best of all, it does not freak out when Sora sees a photo of Roxas in Twilight Town and go "Holy crap that's me!" and that's not even bringing up anything Union X could bring. Good thing they had that 'his heart is dreaming' thing or this would be worthy of a juicy nitpick.
Come now, everyone knows whatever happens in a Disney world will be forgotten in the next installment and holds no continuity~ everyone knows that.
 

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You know I often forget Ventus is suppose to be inside Sora by KH1, always escapes me. Funny how his heart never reacts to seeing Hercules, Phil, Stitch, Scrooge Mcduck, Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, or even Mickey Mouse. I suppose they weren't that close to Ventus after all. Not even Mickey.

And best of all, it does not freak out when Sora sees a photo of Roxas in Twilight Town and go "Holy crap that's me!" and that's not even bringing up anything Union X could bring. Good thing they had that 'his heart is dreaming' thing or this would be worthy of a juicy nitpick.
The story reason for that seems to be Ven was still in a deep coma. He didn't start to stir until DDD. It kinda holds up since after that, Ven was making a lot of story interjections related to Aqua at least
 
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