Kingdom Hearts Trio Friendship



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jahob000

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Before I start this post, I'm not trying to be a downer about different aspects of the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm merely bringing up my thoughts and opinions. I still feel some charm even for the things that aren't my favorites.

In short I wanted get everyone's views of the different trios from each game. Sora, Riku and Kairi. Roxas, Axel and Xion. Ven, Terra and Auqa. Something that gets tossed around from time to time is how the "deep" friendship of the last two groupings are forced just because of the first group. The games keep trying to get you to believe that they have such a strong bond.

In reality, Sora Riku and Kairi's bond wasn't over emphasized. They were friends because that's what the game said and showed us them being together for a brief time. I don't think I'm the only one but doesn't their friendship seem more legit than the others even though we only see them together for a short time in the beginning of the game? Here's why I think that is. It's because Kingdom Hearts I was simplistic in nature. Things didn't need to be deep and expanded on. Just like in Disney movies, relationships and friendships are formed very quickly, unrealistically almost like two children becoming friends. Two kids can become friends just by saying "Hey, you wanna be my friend?". It can work like that if it's simple.

However things change in the later games try to be "deep", "emotional" and "complex", which means simplicity can no longer work. I honestly think that things could have benefited more if they didn't have the game throwing it in your face of how close friends they are. In fact, the games could have just had it be some kind of common bond. They didn't have to say that they're friends to try and convince us.

It's been years since I played 358/2 Days and I just re watched all the cutscenes. I liked the charm but I think the bond would have been stronger to us the audience if they had never used the word friends except maybe once at the very end. They could have just emphasized of how they were together for their own reasons. I think what should have drawn them together shouldn't have been "friendship" but the fact that they were the only ones from the organization who gave each other a chance to be around one another. They were outcasts from the group. That would've been a much better thing to emphasize and focus on and see a friendship develop because of that rather then claiming to be friends with no real reasons.

As for Ven, Terra and Aqua, I haven't played that one in a while either but that's next up. That one to me feels even more forced. They keep trying to emphasize how close they are but there's nothing that makes me believe that. Similar to the previous trio, instead of calling them "close friends" they could've had them grow together from a common bond. In this case, the common bond is the fact that they are all students training. If we could see them develop from that, it would have been more believable. I don't know if they are trying to emulate the first group, if they are, it won't work because Kingdom Hearts is no longer that simple.

In any case, this is all just in MY eyes. I just don't find the last two groups as believable as I do the first.

So, any other opinions? Different perspectives? Reasonings? Agree? Disagree? Why? Why not?

Anxious to hear your answers
 
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I politely disagree. I feel like Roxas learning what friendship is was one of the most important aspects of Days. Axel teaching him and Xion about friendship and making that symbolic with the ice cream was so integral to the plotline that when Roxas asks "Who else will I eat ice cream with?" we understood that to him he was asking "Who else will be my friend?" And i feel like if friendship hadn't been such a focus of the game it wouldn't have carried the same weight.

As for the Wayfinder Trio, they felt more like a family to me. That was driven home to me when Terra was confronting MX and he called Eraqus his Father. Considering how young Xehanort and he were during the chess game, Terra and Aqua likely grew up under Eraqus guidance in a brother and sister kind of role. Then Ventus, who had no memories whatsoever and had to relearn everything, fell into place as the baby brother that everyone protected. They were really as close as the game let on in my opinion, and it didn't feel forced to me at all.

That's just my two cents anyways...
 

kaseykockroach

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I admittedly could never buy Sora and Riku being BFF's. Always felt one-sided to me, that Sora naively idolized Riku while the latter was just kind of a jerk. Not the worst necessarily, just always thought "Sora, you're deserve better than this guy!". And Sora and Kairi barely ever get to interact after KH1!
Though for the record, this is just from playing KH1, CoM and 2. I've heard good things about his behavior after that. :p
 

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I completely agree with Wallflower's sentiments; the Sea-Salt trio's whole game was about learning bonds and friendship, even though it was something they were supposedly not able to have. I mean, it's why I bawled my eyes out when Roxas left the Organization, when Axel fought Xion, and when Xion faded away -- the game had you feel for their bond, or at least the sentiment convinced me.

Wallflower I think also finally nailed what was off to me about the Wayfinder trio. I was never convinced that they were the same kind of trio as Sora/Riku/Kairi or had the same kind of vibe to their friendship. Them being more like "family" sounds and feels a lot more legit to me. Not that it diminishes their connection or makes it less than Sea-Salt trio's or Destiny's. I definitely felt for them chasing after each other through the course of the game and their conflicts coming to a head at the end, all of them hoping to protect the others.

If anything, Destiny trio is who I personally need more convincing from. Which sounds absurd since they're the main characters, but I guess it feels like (to me) they haven't interacted (??) as much as the other trios even though they've known each other for over a decade. I think this is mostly the fault of the Sora/Riku duo outshining them as a trio with Kairi. Although I totally understand that they're all friends and have strong bonds with each other, I guess I just want to see it more? This is my roundabout way of saying I want to hurry and see Kairi blow Sora and Riku's mind with the fruits of her training and fight alongside them... Them having combo moves together... But now I'm treading into my fantasies.

I still love all three trios regardless ;w; <3
 

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I have my problems with all the trios, to be honest. SRK lacks a bit on the Kairi-Riku side because I have yet to see any conversation between these two that doesn't feel awkward. His desire to protect her in KH1 felt more like a guilt thingy to me or he liked her more than she likes him since she jokes about him having changed and leaving him behind instead of ... well, talking to him? and their 0.2 conversation was really awkward like "oh, you matured as a person and you are a little more lighthearted now, haha, now you are like Sora, lol". This is not how friends talk, sorry.
We saw one evening of the BBS trio where they also had strange conversation topics ("stars are just like you, Ven" and the "I wanna know now!" which sounds more like a parent and a child than friends to me) and Aqua chasing both of them down to get them on the right path again hit the nail in the mother coffin. The game even acknowledges this itself when Ventus is giving the tickets for Disney town to his "parents" (grown-ups in the English version). I'd say they are closer to brother-sister relationships than to being friends.
RAX felt more like an uncle and his nephew / niece to me. Even though Roxas learned quite fast, his mind was on the level of a teenager while Axel is like 28-30 - I don't want to say a friendship is not possible, but with him teaching the two and they making him feel better in return it felt more like a family level to me.

I feel like every of the trio-dynamics could use some spotlight, to be honest, because we always see them act separately and rarely as a group. I'd love to see more of that.
 

Sephiroth0812

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I feel like every of the trio-dynamics could use some spotlight, to be honest, because we always see them act separately and rarely as a group. I'd love to see more of that.
Highlight this, translate it to Japanese and send it in bold font to Nomura.
I completely agree with this sentiment.
Even if the characters are not acting separately (and spewing weird monologues about how they miss the others) most often they're only together to listen to the speech of a villain or fighting one or two battles together.
The supposed closeness between all the major original characters is all too rarely truly shown and in the rare cases it is done it is mostly for drama points.
 

jahob000

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Terra and Aqua likely grew up under Eraqus guidance in a brother and sister kind of role. Then Ventus, who had no memories whatsoever and had to relearn everything, fell into place as the baby brother that everyone protected. They were really as close as the game let on in my opinion, and it didn't feel forced to me at all.

That's just my two cents anyways...
I'm glad you have a difference of opinion.

I said friendship but really I meant any kind of relationship. Whether it be family, siblings or whichever. I feel that nothing was truly focused on or shown. I mean beyond what the characters say. Just because they say they care for each other or that want to look after one another doesn't make me believe it.

You know those relationships as a kid where teenagers say "I love you" every five seconds but then break up? No matter how much you say it, it doesn't make it so. It's the actions. So let's step it up to a mature married couple. They may argue and fight sometimes but they've been married for 30 years. They enjoy their time together, go places together, and go through hard times together. If someone was on the outside looking in, which couple do you think would seem like they love each other even more?

It has to be more than what's said, it has to more than just an empty sad scene of them saying how they miss each other. I just didn't feel it. Admittedly I did feel a little something with previous trio although it seemed a bit misguided. I think that if they would have shown us more of Terra dealing with the darkness, more of Eraqus and Terra seeming like a father-son thing going on or things between Terra and Aqua (not necessarily love) for the audience. It's the writer's job to portray accurately, completely and effectively without the audience needing to fill in the gaps. This is when the audience begins to imagine or assume more than what they are given (if that makes any sense).

Strangely enough, despite that the third trio is my least favorite, Aqua is my second favorite character. Mostly because even though she is somewhat portrayed poorly (her English voice actor is terrible) I still see what they were trying to do with her. She's the strongest of the three but only wants them to be together.
 

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To me SRK is probably the weakest friendship as their simplicity in the first game doesn't help them in the sequels. Kairi suffers the most as she becomes more wooden and more inconsequential as time goes on.

RAX is probably the best because you get to see it form and end in real time versus jumping from flashback to the present. I didn't mind the age difference but the bigger problem was the baggage with Xion and that clouded how i saw the whole game.

BBS was my favorite of the trios so far and I'm hoping they take over as the leads post kh3. I feel like their goal of wanting to become Masters of the Keyblade and their dynamic with Eraqus helped fill them out in my head. Their problem was Nomura gave into plot contriviance to move things forward so alot of drama felt forced and uneven. Terra suffers from this the most as he's written too insecurely and never commits to a side till the Eraqus fight. He never commits to using the darkness like riku did but is unable to have his good actions recognized because the plot needs him to be the fall guy for Xehanort.
 
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kaseykockroach

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Highlight this, translate it to Japanese and send it in bold font to Nomura.
I completely agree with this sentiment.
Even if the characters are not acting separately (and spewing weird monologues about how they miss the others) most often they're only together to listen to the speech of a villain or fighting one or two battles together.
The supposed closeness between all the major original characters is all too rarely truly shown and in the rare cases it is done it is mostly for drama points.
It's funny the Sora Donald Goofy friendship was always by far the most believable to me of the series for this reason, in regards to how much time they spent together on-screen.
 
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It has to be more than what's said, it has to more than just an empty sad scene of them saying how they miss each other. I just didn't feel it. Admittedly I did feel a little something with previous trio although it seemed a bit misguided. I think that if they would have shown us more of Terra dealing with the darkness, more of Eraqus and Terra seeming like a father-son thing going on or things between Terra and Aqua (not necessarily love) for the audience. It's the writer's job to portray accurately, completely and effectively without the audience needing to fill in the gaps. This is when the audience begins to imagine or assume more than what they are given (if that makes any sense).
It's true, they didn't have very much screen-time together. I would have loved to see more of them interacting to solidify their relationships, but there really wasn't a way for that to happen within the present-time events of BBS. A lot of what we know about them is from dialogue and actions. I feel like while all of our main characters get the most screentime, since this whole arc of the KH series is really about the battle against Xehanort, it wouldn't have served enough purpose in the overall plot put the story in a place that didn't involve MX but instead focused more their relationships. BBS was about the point in their relationship where they didn't get along or agree, where they began to grow apart a bit, and that division was where MX inserted himself to rip them apart and accomplish his goals. The dialogue was mostly to imply they were conflicted, still feeling close to the others, but also unsure of how to repair the rift growing between them. Ultimately, i do believe they showed their loyalty and closeness to each other, because each of them willingly sacrificed themselves to save the others.

And as for letting the players fill in the gaps... I think its intentional. Kingdom Hearts is one of the most convoluted, abstract stories I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. So much of it is hidden deep in symbolism and half the fun of playing is trying to understand all of it. Who would have thought that a blue popsicle could serve as a symbol for friendship across the series? Everything going to mean slightly different things to different people. Overall, i think actions and little comments reveal more about the characters than screentime together ever could.

That said, some flashbacks of them growing up together or something could have deepened everything i already feel from their relationships. But Nomura is clever, maybe he'll put some of that in KH3.
 

jahob000

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And as for letting the players fill in the gaps... I think its intentional. Kingdom Hearts is one of the most convoluted, abstract stories I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. So much of it is hidden deep in symbolism and half the fun of playing is trying to understand all of it.
I respectfully disagree. I'm actually replaying Birth By Sleep right now and I have a good example. When Terra, Aqua and Ven run into each other in Radiant garden and defeat the unversed, She says "I've been to other worlds and I've seen what you done". What the heck did he do? He hadn't done anything at that point other than get controlled by Maleficent. This is what I mean things are forced or made more dramatic than what they really were. They were "arguing" just for the sake of a flimsy excuse to say that they're slowly falling apart. Aqua made it sound like he made a mess of the worlds.

That's not a gap the audience should be imagining. We should WITNESS Terra doing terrible or at least slightly messed up things in order for Aqua's statement to be remotely true. This is what I mean by how fans can force things. It wasn't intentional that the writers did that so we can "imagine" what he'd done wrong. They are suppose to show these things to support what is supposed to be fact.

Lol that's the only example I have so far until I finish replaying. I get what you're saying about how things are left somewhat vague and it's up to the audience to decipher, however, Kingdom Hearts is not one of those at least not in terms of emotions. The mystery that is left for fans to try to decipher is possible events that will take place, not in trying to figure out emotions. Kingdom Hearts always makes those painfully clear and obvious.

I'm trying to think of an imaginary example to get my point across. Let's say a girl you know is going to marry some guy. You ask her what makes her deeply in love with him. She says, "he hugs and kisses me". In your mind, isn't that pretty common and not enough to prove love to someone?

Another example is, let's say there is a guy who is the toughest guy around because everybody says he is. What made him tough? Apparently he punched a guy in the nose and that's it. Wouldn't you think there'd be more to it?

Well, lol that's enough from me for now. I've never been that great at expressing my point accurately lol.
 
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I'm actually replaying Birth By Sleep right now and I have a good example. When Terra, Aqua and Ven run into each other in Radiant garden and defeat the unversed, She says "I've been to other worlds and I've seen what you done". What the heck did he do? He hadn't done anything at that point other than get controlled by Maleficent. This is what I mean things are forced or made more dramatic than what they really were. They were "arguing" just for the sake of a flimsy excuse to say that they're slowly falling apart. Aqua made it sound like he made a mess of the worlds.

That's not a gap the audience should be imagining. We should WITNESS Terra doing terrible or at least slightly messed up things in order for Aqua's statement to be remotely true. This is what I mean by how fans can force things. It wasn't intentional that the writers did that so we can "imagine" what he'd done wrong. They are suppose to show these things to support what is supposed to be fact.
I'm pretty sure all Aqua is referencing is that Terra stole Aurora's heart. From her perspective she doesn't know it was Maleficent's fault. I suppose you're right about that being a gap that could have been filled in a little more though, but at this point i don't feel it detracted from the story or their relationships much, its just more of a klunky plot detail. It would have made more sense if she didn't sound like it was a long list of offenses he had committed. As much as i love BBS, which is a lot, I'm not going to say it was perfect. It was a smaller handheld game which had more limitations than a big console release, which left some things that looked kinda unpolished, even on the PS4 version, and we had a sort of choppy storyline, seeing as it was broken up three ways, and some of the voice acting left a lot to be desired. So in a lot of ways, you are 100% right. But despite all of it's flaws, i think it succeeded, because in the end it managed to pull off an emotional finale that has left an impact on me to this day. I could feel that they were a family. So i suppose, in my book, it gave us just enough material to tell a successful story.

But you're right. From a technical standpoint, it could have been better.
 

Sephiroth0812

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It's funny the Sora Donald Goofy friendship was always by far the most believable to me of the series for this reason, in regards to how much time they spent together on-screen.
It is no surprise that this is the case since Sora with Donald and Goofy easily got (and gets) the most attention and exposure out of all trios.

With the BBS crew (TAV) it is the most aggravating because not only was it advertised as super-close, almost sibling/family-like in articles and interviews pre-release of BBS, it is also more often telling instead of showing combined with a lack of true build-up which would the characters and the supposed closeness really transmit to the majority of the audience.

It is telling that several people asserted that the opening movie of 0.2 (which is dialogueless) made them care about TAV as a trio more than the game BBS itself.
 

jahob000

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As much as i love BBS, which is a lot, I'm not going to say it was perfect. It was a smaller handheld game which had more limitations than a big console release, which left some things that looked kinda unpolished, even on the PS4 version, and we had a sort of choppy storyline, seeing as it was broken up three ways, and some of the voice acting left a lot to be desired. So in a lot of ways, you are 100% right. But despite all of it's flaws, i think it succeeded, because in the end it managed to pull off an emotional finale that has left an impact on me to this day. But you're right. From a technical standpoint, it could have been better.
I didn't mean to bash or discourage you from liking the game. There are aspects that I like and don't like the game/story. I'm replaying it now and am kind of enjoying it but I think to me what affects this trio the most is the voice acting. I think maybe that's what the problem is, even a little bit in Days. They all sound so boring and monotone. The only one who seems to have some life is Ven's voice actor. Maybe that's what it is. Also the fact that a lot of things aren't emphasized or shown on screen.

The only thing I can guess is that they had a lot on their plate at the time of making the handheld games.
 

Sephiroth0812

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They all sound so boring and monotone. The only one who seems to have some life is Ven's voice actor. Maybe that's what it is. Also the fact that a lot of things aren't emphasized or shown on screen.
When you're talking about the English voice acting in BBS, it may help to know that Ven's voice actor was a seasoned professional already (Jesse McCartney is also a singer and manages to voice Ven and Roxas entirely different) while Willa Holland (Aqua) and Jason Dohring (Terra) were absolute newbies back then.

KH's voice direction also isn't very good most of the time so it is an additional hurdle for the actors.
 

jahob000

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When you're talking about the English voice acting in BBS, it may help to know that Ven's voice actor was a seasoned professional already (Jesse McCartney is also a singer and manages to voice Ven and Roxas entirely different) while Willa Holland (Aqua) and Jason Dohring (Terra) were absolute newbies back then.

KH's voice direction also isn't very good most of the time so it is an additional hurdle for the actors.
Lol, yeah I know who Jesse Mcartney is. I just felt he could do a little bit better. Listening to him doesn't feel quite as natural as Hailey or David.
 

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I love Aqua, but she's better off without those two nitwits. She should hang out with Namine instead!
 
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