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*MoM SPOILERS!* We really need to talk about Kairi...



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AR829038

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So, let's get right down to it. Kairi got screwed.
She got screwed hard.
And I think it's time we as a community address our expectations for her going forward.
A while ago, shortly after KH3 came out and we were all disappointed by Kairi's pathetic display in that game, I predicted that Nomura would never be able to actually allow Kairi to be the fighter we want her to be because of some irreconcilability between the vision we have of her and the vision he has of her. I think Nomura knows all of us want Kairi to fight and become her own character apart from Sora, and I think he makes steps to try and inch her toward that for our sake, but he can never actually bring himself to fully realize her as a fighting character, because the image he has of her is of this sweet, pure, innocent, ideal little girl, and I think he may be hesitant to actually make her grow up, similar to how some fathers often want their daughters to stay young and sweet forever and never mature. I think some sentiment like that is blocking Nomura from going all in with maturing Kairi's character, and I think he's terrified deep down to separate her from Sora and allow her to be independent.
What we've seen in Melody of Memory is further evidence of this to me.
This title was advertised as HER game. She was the one on the cover; she was the one in the trailers; it all takes place within her memories. This was an entry that was supposed to be all about her character. And after the end of ReMIND where she finally got to strut her stuff against Xehanort, she was all primed to take the stage and kick some ass.
And she got completely tossed aside on every count.
The story had almost nothing to do with her. I don't even know how they managed to screw this up as hard as they did. This whole concept was primed for a deep dive (no pun intended) into Kairi's backstory, an area of her character that we've only ever lightly touched upon and that everybody wanted to see more of. We wanted to see her childhood; we wanted to see her relationship with her grandmother; we wanted to see aspects of her as a person that had NOTHING to do with Sora or Riku. And yet, even though this whole game takes place inside HER memories, inside HER mind, and from HER perspective, it's still all just a trip through the experiences of every other character BESIDES Kairi, and the little, microscopic bit of insight that we DO get into her past is only for the sake of advancing the plot and focused exclusively on getting Sora back. We learned absolutely nothing new about Kairi as an individual. In a game that literally takes place entirely inside her own damn mind.
But perhaps the most insulting thing about MoM's climax is how the final fight is handled. Yes, Kairi did put up something of a fight, although it's clear that Xehanort wasn't even taking her seriously the whole time, only bringing out his Keyblade at the last minute once he started getting sick of it. So, for all the flash and gumption she showed during those cutscenes, it's all undercut by the fact that her opponent was basically just toying with her and she wasn't even posing a threat. Not to mention, the Xehanort she was fighting wasn't even the real deal—it was just a projection of her memories of him. She literally couldn't even best her own memories, which is extra sad. And the grand topper of course is Sora somehow stepping in to save her at the last minute. Now, this part rubbed me all the wrong ways for three main reasons: 1) It doesn't make any sense; how is Sora suddenly possessing Kairi if he's in another reality, and if there's some way that he can, why does Xehanort say "your voice can't reach us here" when his soul very clearly is? 2) It added absolutely nothing. Sora possessing Kairi was utterly irrelevant to determining that he was stuck in some fictional realm, as Kairi's flashback and Xehanort's apparition already hinted at that fact. In a better written version of these events, Kairi would have only experienced the flashback AFTER beating Xehanort as means of unlocking a repressed memory, and that would have given her the answer she needed. And finally, 3) it is beyond abysmal that Kairi can't even fight the final boss in her own game. They went through the trouble of making a gameplay model for her, they gave her two memory dive sections, and at the end, they stop short of actually giving her the fight THAT SHOULD BE HERS AND HERS ALONE TO OWN! And to add salt to the wound, she's the ONLY playable character in the game that doesn't show up with everyone at the end credits. Like, are you serious, Nomura? Are you just trolling us at this point? And on top of that, instead of actually stepping up to go on a real adventure, Nomura just decides to hold her back to train more. Granted, I think her training under Aqua will be pretty cool, but that's not the point. The girl can't stop getting benched. She's a more neglected character than Xion, honestly. And Xion literally got FORGOTTEN BY EVERYONE for the majority of this series. Yet even SHE does more with what little time she had than Kairi has done through this whole series.
So, I think, now that we've all been burned once again, it's time we all take stock of where we are in the story, and where we're likely to be going with Kairi's character.
I think this game has made it clear that Nomura has no intention of actually letting Kairi grow into her own character. She exists purely and exclusively to be Sora's girl, nothing more. Now, some might think I'm being harsh considering this is only the first game we've ever gotten with Kairi as the centerpiece, but let's take a look at Riku: he's only ever gotten two games where he's been a significant playable character (CoM and DDD), and both of those games made ample use of building his character. In fact, Riku went through more character development in those two games alone than Sora has throughout most of the series. Even in KH2, for which Riku was absent for most of the plot, he STILL got more character development than Kairi has in this game.
So, given what we've seen and given the roundabouts we've gone through with Kairi thus far, I think it's appropriate to keep our expectations for her future in this series in check. Because based on what we've seen, I have serious doubts that she will ever be made a fully independent character. Sora has had five games to be the hero (six if you count Data-Sora in Re: Coded). Three games (KH1, KH2, and KH3) he's had completely to himself. And if you count Roxas as an extension of Sora in 358/2 Days (which heavily revolves around Sora anyway), then that brings his total to seven games in which either Sora or some extension of him is the main protagonist. Riku has had two games alongside Sora to be the hero as well, and served as the main antagonist for most of KH1 AND 358/2 Days, along with being a playable supporting character in KH3. In all that time, Kairi has had diddly squat under her belt. She was nothing but a damsel in KH1; literally got forgotten in CoM; wasn't even mentioned I don't think in Days, or if she was, then she wasn't important whatsoever; again, nothing but a damsel in KH2; completely absent from Coded and DDD; and finally, in KH3, she gets sidelined for training the whole game, and then gets TWO fights under her belt—one against Xion and Saïx, which she gets trounced in even with having Lea and Sora as partners; and one battle against Armored Xehanort, which she handled well, but still needed Sora as an assist. Now, in MoM, she doesn't get a single fight outside of a cutscene. She doesn't even fight any Heartless.
So, don't be fooled, everybody. Even though the story is setting her up for more training, it won't lead anywhere meaningful. Best case scenario we're looking at down the line is that Kairi does learn how to actually take care of herself for minor skirmishes, but then when an actual important battle comes along, she may hold her own at first, but she'll eventually get beaten down and have to be saved by Sora yet again at the end of the day. And on top of that, the story will NEVER be about her. If it wasn't about her in a game that literally takes place entirely inside her own memories, then it never will be. The story will always be about Sora, and somewhat about Riku, but Kairi is only there to serve either as a guardian angel or a damsel to be saved depending on convenience. She has no existence beyond Sora and Riku. She has nothing that is uniquely her own. She has no ambitions for herself, she has no long-term goals, and tbh, she doesn't even have a real trio to be part of anymore. The Destiny Islands trio hasn't been a trio since KH2. Sora is closer with Donald and Goofy and Riku is closer with Mickey at this point than Kairi is with either of them anymore.
I just don't see a way that they redeem her character after this point, because I'm really not sure Nomura actually wants to. It's clear that he only sees Kairi as an assist for Sora and Riku, mainly Sora, and even if she does one day learn how to actually hold her own against a strong opponent, it'll only ever be with the assistance of somebody else, and it will only ever be in service of saving/protecting Sora or Riku.
Sorry this comment was so long and sorry about the pessimistic tone, but I just really needed to get this off my chest after playing MoM. I liked it fine enough as a game (although I have a whole different slew of criticisms about that), but the way they handled Kairi and the story to me was just unacceptable, especially after all the backlash Nomura got about her involvement in KH3. I expected him to learn how to handle her more from that, but considering how this game was marketed and the central conceit, this actually felt like a step BACKWARDS for her character in all honesty.
 

Cumguardian69

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Bruh we already went through this lamo...this was never Kairis game, she was never advertised as playable, she sucks,she isn't a character. Lmaooo

MoM was always a quick asset flip cash grab to satiate the music fans, with all of its "story" content being Kutto kontentū from ReMIND which itself was kut from KH3.

It was never designed to feature Kairi in a positive light. She's a dumb plot device for Sora and will NEVER amount to anything more. Stop hoping for her. 20 years and the best she can do is LITERALLY become the Avatar of Sora for a boss fight against a memory MX lmfao
 

Face My Fears

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The only things that really bothered me about the Kairi segments were:

1. Sora taking control of Kairi to beat Master Xehanort, she should have done it herself
2. Kairi not going to Quadratum with Riku
3. Riku/Kairi confirming that Kairi is "not trained enough" to go to Quadratum

Each of those issues, I really don't understand why Nomura didn't just make it happen. All of them stem from Kairi not being "trained enough", but at this point of the series, Nomura could easily confirm that the timeless forest training she did with Axel was enough.

The only positive that I get from Kairi still needing training is that she's doing it with Master Aqua, WHICH NOMURA BETTER LET US SEE. If he doesn't give us a good amount of time for the Aqua/Kairi training, I will get mad because he's running out of excuses.
 

Idreamaboutcats

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The only things that really bothered me about the Kairi segments were:

1. Sora taking control of Kairi to beat Master Xehanort, she should have done it herself
2. Kairi not going to Quadratum with Riku
3. Riku/Kairi confirming that Kairi is "not trained enough" to go to Quadratum

Each of those issues, I really don't understand why Nomura didn't just make it happen. All of them stem from Kairi not being "trained enough", but at this point of the series, Nomura could easily confirm that the timeless forest training she did with Axel was enough.

The only positive that I get from Kairi still needing training is that she's doing it with Master Aqua, WHICH NOMURA BETTER LET US SEE. If he doesn't give us a good amount of time for the Aqua/Kairi training, I will get mad because he's running out of excuses.
Normally I'd agree with you there, given that Kairi is overdue for good writing, but as much as we wish it, consistency would prevent it simply because it doesn't make sense.

If Lea who spent the same amount of time as Kairi training in the forest couldn't even make a dent against Xemnas, who's basically a downgrade of MX, albeit still formidable, how could she even hope to go against the real thing, who has the title of master, decades of experience and skills, basically fridged her three times over?

The ReMind fight? Maybe, but Sora was there. PoH powers? None of the original set were combat savvy, and the new set has...Rapunzel until that haircut...and Anna throwing a snowball...

Maybe when she passes on that pure light to another girl she can finally focus on actual combat training.
 

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Personally I think the whole training thing has been a bullshit excuse from the start. Sora didn't need training, Riku didn't need training, Roxas didn't need training, Xion didn't need training. They all learnt on the job. Sure, Kairi wasn't introduced as a combatant, I get that, but the moment she was given a keyblade that should've changed, and she should've been at the same skill level as Sora at the beginning of KH1. Instead we've had multiple "this time I'll fight" moments, training in a magic forest where flipping time doesn't matter and she's still portrayed as someone not "strong" enough. It's just not a valid excuse, and the whole training thing has only ever applied to her. Gee, I wonder why :rolleyes: If she's not going to be allowed to do anything, why give her a keyblade at all?

I don't know whether to envy or pity the people excited about her training with Aqua. It's got a lot of potential but I thought the same thing about her training with Axel. We've been through this song and dance before and she's basically at the same point now that she was at the end of DDD.
 

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If even that. The girl can’t parry for her life, let alone execute a simple defensive maneuver like Dodge Roll. Well, at least with Aqua she might learn Reflect and some magic.

I hate to say it, but the girl has clearly proven inept at melee combat. Hopefully she can at least learn how to aim a flare spell…

…or at least chuck her keyblade at the target then summon it back.😑

That reminds me…don’t we already have a Kairi thread? What happened to it?
 

The_Echo

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I was disappointed we didn't get more from Kairi's past.
But because of the rest of the story, I know that blank decade will be explored more in the future, which is fine by me.

Otherwise, I have no qualms about the story of MoM or Kairi's role therein.
I know people want Kairi to be an asskicker but the fact is if that were ever to happen, it can't be overnight.
Kairi's really only just started her journey as a Keyblade wielder. Yes, it's been some 13-14 years for us since she got her Keyblade in KHII, but for her she really is baby mode still.
An indeterminate amount of time sparring with another fresh wielder isn't going to suddenly turn her into a powerhouse like Sora or Riku. Anything more than what she got would have felt cheap and robbed her of genuine development, which takes time.
The final confrontation with Xehanort was her first real experience in combat (well, aside from smacking two Shadows in KHII).
Lea at least has experience from being in the Organization, but he still got his shit pushed in. So how was Kairi ever supposed to do any better?

In MoM, Xehanort commends her progress but at the same time shows her how far she still has to go. That's exactly where she needs to be.
Of course she can't go to Quadratum with Riku. Even Riku might not be fully prepared for what he'll find there, and Mickey jumped out of his skin to immediately go after him because of how dangerous it was.
Sora got iced (literally) almost immediately and people are like "why can't Kairi go???"

Come on.
What I see with the community's perception of Kairi is a disconnect between the time she's been a Keyblade wielder in-universe and the time we've known she's had a Keyblade as an audience.
People are tired to waiting for her to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Sora and Riku. And I get that.
But she's just not ready yet. She gets her moments in Re Mind and MoM, and I think that's enough for now.

People need to let go of what they want Kairi to be, and accept what she is.

Personally I think the whole training thing has been a bullshit excuse from the start. Sora didn't need training, Riku didn't need training, Roxas didn't need training, Xion didn't need training. They all learnt on the job. Sure, Kairi wasn't introduced as a combatant, I get that, but the moment she was given a keyblade that should've changed, and she should've been at the same skill level as Sora at the beginning of KH1.
Sora, Riku, Roxas, and Xion all had time to grow and lower-stakes battles to fight before the primetime.
Sora and Riku have multiple adventures and over a year of learning-by-doing under their belts by the time Kairi fully enters the picture (which, by the way, is a relatively short amount of time from obtaining her Keyblade in-universe).
Also, Sora and Riku also fought with toy swords all the time for fun, and Kairi did not. A wooden sword isn't a Keyblade, but there is still some carryover. They have this base "idea" of how to fight, which gives them a place to start and improve upon through their adventures.
Kairi didn't even have that much. She's starting from absolute zero. So no, she shouldn't have been at Sora's base skill level.
Her training coincided with preparations to fight the fight, the big one, the grand finale (kind of). Expecting her to be completely ready for that is, frankly, ridiculous. What she was capable of in III and Re Mind was already more than what could be reasonably expected of her.
 

Katsagu

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OP, don't act so surprised Sora has so many games centered on him. He is the main character of the series.

I would like to add that the problem with Kairi "training" doesn't start at the fact that Sora and Riku never trained. This is a problem with Shonen animes also. At the beginning everyone had a clean slate, anyone could be as strong or as week as the creator wants, nothing that happened before to hold the creator accountable, thats why Sora can fight a giant alien ship connected to a man in god knows where. But power scale is something that happens, and every new enemy is, supposedly, stronger than the last.

Now. Kairi's first "fight" was at the end of KH2 against a bunch of shadows. So she is at the same point there as Sora was at the beginning of KH, is what people assume. Since then she hasn't done much apart from "training" with Lea. And as we saw in the end of KH3 that training was shit, seeing as if even Lea got bodied hard by Xemnas. So considering all of this she really is too weak to go up against the strongest of them all.

One could say, "Well Nomura should just have made her strong as fuck because of the training with merlin and be done with it.", and I could say "Sure.", but is that really the "satisfying development" all of you want, just so she can have a cool fight? I don't think thats satisfying at all. She does not need "HER" game, she just needs to be included on the adventures to be able to struggle, overcome challenges and finally grow, but this Riku adventure is the PEAK of risk, even Mickey says "He is all alone in a world we know nothing about.".

Kairi out of the whole cast really is the only one where the case "I need to train" applies (Lea can also be considered for this since he is not a strong keyblade wielder) when considering the whole scope of the series and the type of danger the characters are facing.

Now, what I hope? Is that this "training with aqua" really isn't training, but an adventure that Kairi can have to grow and hopefully end up similar to the others power wise, this is what is needed right now. But games take a ton of resources, so this is not an easy task.
 

AR829038

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OP, don't act so surprised Sora has so many games centered on him. He is the main character of the series.

I would like to add that the problem with Kairi "training" doesn't start at the fact that Sora and Riku never trained. This is a problem with Shonen animes also. At the beginning everyone had a clean slate, anyone could be as strong or as week as the creator wants, nothing that happened before to hold the creator accountable, thats why Sora can fight a giant alien ship connected to a man in god knows where. But power scale is something that happens, and every new enemy is, supposedly, stronger than the last.

Now. Kairi's first "fight" was at the end of KH2 against a bunch of shadows. So she is at the same point there as Sora was at the beginning of KH, is what people assume. Since then she hasn't done much apart from "training" with Lea. And as we saw in the end of KH3 that training was shit, seeing as if even Lea got bodied hard by Xemnas. So considering all of this she really is too weak to go up against the strongest of them all.

One could say, "Well Nomura should just have made her strong as fuck because of the training with merlin and be done with it.", and I could say "Sure.", but is that really the "satisfying development" all of you want, just so she can have a cool fight? I don't think thats satisfying at all. She does not need "HER" game, she just needs to be included on the adventures to be able to struggle, overcome challenges and finally grow, but this Riku adventure is the PEAK of risk, even Mickey says "He is all alone in a world we know nothing about.".

Kairi out of the whole cast really is the only one where the case "I need to train" applies (Lea can also be considered for this since he is not a strong keyblade wielder) when considering the whole scope of the series and the type of danger the characters are facing.

Now, what I hope? Is that this "training with aqua" really isn't training, but an adventure that Kairi can have to grow and hopefully end up similar to the others power wise, this is what is needed right now. But games take a ton of resources, so this is not an easy task.
But see, that's the whole problem with Kairi's arc throughout this series. She SHOULD have been doing stuff earlier than KH3. Frankly, she SHOULD have been alongside Riku and Sora during the Mark of Mastery exam. Yen Sid already told them to forget everything they knew about the Keyblade going into it, so why not bring Kairi, an actual newcomer, along for the exam? Instead, they wait till the end to bring her into the fold, and by then it's just a terrible decision altogether. Frankly, if they weren't going to bring Kairi in earlier, then she NEVER should have been made one of the Guardians at all. By the time they teased her finally about to start becoming a fighter, they made it too late to go anywhere believable with it. You're right, if Kairi had all of a sudden come out like a super-badass owning the Organization at the Keyblade Graveyard, that would have been stupid Mary Sue shit, and in a certain way I'm glad they didn't go that route. But the opposite is just as bad, building up her involvement only to make her almost completely useless from a fighting standpoint, final battle against Armored Xehanort aside. Frankly, I think they should have just kept her out of the whole thing and just let her be the guardian angel that saves everyone with her princess powers. That's all she's ever done anyway, and it's pretty much the only thing of any value she did in KH3.
But KH3 is one thing, MoM chafes me on a whole different level. First of all, Kairi held her own damn well against Armored Xehanort, which is literally all thirteen of Xehanort's selves fused together, even with Sora by her side. It's a bullshit excuse to say, "oh, she's still not THAT great of a fighter, so of course she can't be expected to beat Xehanort." I reiterate: SHE HELD HER OWN AGAINST THIRTEEN NORTS FUSED INTO ONE. YOU'RE TELLING ME SHE SUDDENLY CAN'T HANDLE THE REGULAR BASE POWER-LEVEL OLD MAN, WHO ISN'T EVEN THE REAL DEAL BUT A PROJECTION OF HER MEMORIES OF HIM? I'm sorry, that just doesn't hold water. She should have been able to completely body him on her own. But that's not even the biggest part that bugs me:
What REALLY bugs me is that Kairi got zero focus or development in a game that's literally supposed to take place all inside her head and her memories. We got no insights into her as an individual. Everything she did, everything we learned, was all about how to rescue Sora. I mean, I guess it's SORT of an improvement that Sora's now the damsel and she's the one doing the rescuing, but it's small compensation for Kairi's character again being cast as totally dependent on Sora for her identity. They had the perfect setup for delving into her backstory and fleshing out her past, and they wasted every single opportunity. That's what I can't forgive, and that's what really makes me pessimistic about where they're going with her. I mean, after all, if they aren't going to give a crap about her in the game that literally takes place completely in her mind, then when ARE they going to give a crap about her?
Frankly, I don't need Kairi to be a badass as much as I just want her to feel like a real goddamn person, which she just doesn't anymore. She hasn't felt like a real girl since KH2, but especially not since KH1. Now, she just feels like a typical anime girl. She's been completely hollowed out. When people call her the Sakura of the KH series, they're not far off the mark. I miss the spunky Kairi who used to wonder about where she came from and what her past was. In her place, we've got this shallow "now I'll fight too" version of Kairi who sucks at what she does and never takes a second to think about what SHE wants or who SHE is, but always only ever thinks about the PLOT, or about Sora. She's a boring, dull shell of who she used to be.
 

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We all know Kairi doesn't need more training. She just spent all of KH3 training and fighting. That's just a story excuse for him to get her out of the way. You have to accept Nomura just doesn't want to do anything with her. I doubt we'll see anything of her training with Aqua. We didn't see Lea and Kairi's training after all...
 

Zettaflare

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It's total BS. We know Riku is going to start at zero and work his way up in Quadratum yet Kairi still can't go due to needing more training?? I had the same issue in DDD and now it's happened again.

They don't have to show her training with Aqua but by KH4 I hope she is good and ready. Nomura has run out of excuses
 

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It's total BS. We know Riku is going to start at zero and work his way up in Quadratum yet Kairi still can't go due to needing more training?? I had the same issue in DDD and now it's happened again.

They don't have to show her training with Aqua but by KH4 I hope she is good and ready. Nomura has run out of excuses
Exactly. Sora literally started from Level 1 FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES in this series, INCLUDING KH3. Kairi should have more than enough battle aptitude in her after getting unlimited training time. It's just ridiculous.
 

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Exactly. Sora literally started from Level 1 FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES in this series, INCLUDING KH3. Kairi should have more than enough battle aptitude in her after getting unlimited training time. It's just ridiculous.
but we saw that she spent most of her screentime talking about axel's feelings instead of FIGHTING. lamo
 

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If I had a nickel for every time someone complained yet again about this "Kairi abuse".....

P.S MoM was never once advertised by SE on being a Kairi game so this misconception really needs to end.
 

AR829038

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If I had a nickel for every time someone complained yet again about this "Kairi abuse".....

P.S MoM was never once advertised by SE on being a Kairi game so this misconception really needs to end.
The game literally had Kairi as the centerpiece on the cover. All the story-relevant trailer clips were either featuring her, narrated by her, or about her past. My ass it wasn't marketed as a Kairi game!
 

KeyToDestiny

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The game literally had Kairi as the centerpiece on the cover. All the story-relevant trailer clips were either featuring her, narrated by her, or about her past. My ass it wasn't marketed as a Kairi game!
CodedChar.png
Mickey was in the front in a number of Coded artwork yet he was not the main character despite people thinking Coded would have him playable. Again, MoM was never really advertised as Kairi's game at all. All it showed was she would have an integral role to play and from the getco, Nomura and the others said her role would be more of a narrator-type role which was originally going to be filled by Chirithy of all people.

And congrats. A grand total of couple seconds of story clips was enough for Kairi fans to assume she'd be the main character. Ignoring mostly everything else like the gameplay having Sora and pals being playable instead of Kairi.
 

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View attachment 13369
Mickey was in the front in a number of Coded artwork yet he was not the main character despite people thinking Coded would have him playable. Again, MoM was never really advertised as Kairi's game at all. All it showed was she would have an integral role to play and from the getco, Nomura and the others said her role would be more of a narrator-type role which was originally going to be filled by Chirithy of all people.

And congrats. A grand total of couple seconds of story clips was enough for Kairi fans to assume she'd be the main character. Ignoring mostly everything else like the gameplay having Sora and pals being playable instead of Kairi.
That picture isn't a good example of your argument. For one thing, you can see Sora (or I should say Data-Sora) is positioned more in the center. But even then, Mickey plays an integral active role in Coded anyway, so it's fine for him to be out in front. He literally creates Data-Sora and oversees his quest.
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Look at this cover, on the other hand. Kairi is not only front and center, she's literally enthroned (a sign of prominence—Sora is the only other character who ever gets to sit on the throne on the covers), and she is surrounded entirely by memories. The cover of the game literally depicts her as the center of this whole game.
As for the couple of seconds of story clips, when ALL the trailers's story clips are all focused on her, yeah, it's not a stretch to assume she'd be the central focus and the main character. In fact, it's kind of a no-brainer. So, your argument that "they never explicitly said it was a Kairi game, so we were silly for expecting it to be a Kairi game" is really ridiculous and disingenuous, and it reeks of wanting to play defense for Square. If you watched those trailers and DIDN'T get the message that it was being marketed as a Kairi-focused game, then you simply weren't paying any attention.
 

KeyToDestiny

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  • 7 Days Later
That picture isn't a good example of your argument. For one thing, you can see Sora (or I should say Data-Sora) is positioned more in the center. But even then, Mickey plays an integral active role in Coded anyway, so it's fine for him to be out in front. He literally creates Data-Sora and oversees his quest.
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Look at this cover, on the other hand. Kairi is not only front and center, she's literally enthroned (a sign of prominence—Sora is the only other character who ever gets to sit on the throne on the covers), and she is surrounded entirely by memories. The cover of the game literally depicts her as the center of this whole game.
As for the couple of seconds of story clips, when ALL the trailers's story clips are all focused on her, yeah, it's not a stretch to assume she'd be the central focus and the main character. In fact, it's kind of a no-brainer. So, your argument that "they never explicitly said it was a Kairi game, so we were silly for expecting it to be a Kairi game" is really ridiculous and disingenuous, and it reeks of wanting to play defense for Square. If you watched those trailers and DIDN'T get the message that it was being marketed as a Kairi-focused game, then you simply weren't paying any attention.
Kairi was in the front in that boxart. Mickey was at the front of the artwork. The comparisons still stand. And again, she was meant to be just the narrator so why wouldn't she have a higher presence on the boxart? And again, if a couple of seconds of story cutscenes was enough to make you believe this was a Kairi game while ignoring all the numerous scenes of gameplay showcasing literally every other character except Kairi being playable along with promotions, website etc etc, then that is your own fault for assuming it's a Kairi game and you are to blame for setting your own expectations that high. Maybe you should be the one paying attention next time.
 

AR829038

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Kairi was in the front in that boxart. Mickey was at the front of the artwork. The comparisons still stand. And again, she was meant to be just the narrator so why wouldn't she have a higher presence on the boxart? And again, if a couple of seconds of story cutscenes was enough to make you believe this was a Kairi game while ignoring all the numerous scenes of gameplay showcasing literally every other character except Kairi being playable along with promotions, website etc etc, then that is your own fault for assuming it's a Kairi game and you are to blame for setting your own expectations that high. Maybe you should be the one paying attention next time.
Kairi not playing through all the memory sections herself doesn't mean she wasn't built up as being the main character. The way the trailers made it seem was that she was narrating the story and that bits of story would frame the gameplay—the further we get through the worlds, the more the story would develop on Kairi's end, similar to what Union X does with the Player going through worlds and then the Union leaders' story happening gradually in the background. Believing that was far from a stretch, and most people assumed it.
 
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