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



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KeyToDestiny

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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.
Kairi's role was to be filled by Chirithy of all people. Just remember that lol.
 

Tartarus

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The situation with Kairi gives me a great sense of deja vu to the discussions that surround the FF characters these days, as far as there being no real reason they are excluded other than Nomura simply chooses to do so (even when their omission is arguably detrimental to the story and enrages a number of fans). It's irritating to know you can't do anything about it, that no matter how much criticism or backlash SE receives, nothing changes. :/ Now... I don't care about Kairi at all, but I can empathize with that feeling.
 

KeyToDestiny

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The situation with Kairi gives me a great sense of deja vu to the discussions that surround the FF characters these days, as far as there being no real reason they are excluded other than Nomura simply chooses to do so (even when their omission is arguably detrimental to the story and enrages a number of fans). It's irritating to know you can't do anything about it, that no matter how much criticism or backlash SE receives, nothing changes. :/ Now... I don't care about Kairi at all, but I can empathize with that feeling.
Honestly I don't feel sorry for Kairi fans at all. They themselves are the ones setting up unreasonable expectations from her and then when those expectations don't get met, they get mad at Nomura and start accusing him of being "sexist" and a whole bunch of other nonsense that makes me roll my eyes. With the FF characters, I can atleast relate more with that one but I understand that part on my end is a biased one because I like the FF characters but I'm not going to start accusing Nomura of things like a child.
 

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Well... I personally think there is some sexism to the treatment of the female characters in general. I guess I've always seen Kairi as the exception because she's never been more than a McGuffin trotted out for opening and ending cutscenes. All I was trying to get across with that post is... How to put this tactfully... There's no need to rub salt in the wound into Kairi fans' disappointment. I'm sure seeing her continually getting nothing despite hoping today might be her day sucks enough for fans of that character that there's no reason to crow or gloat over it. That just makes it more painful.
 

KeyToDestiny

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I'm not seeing any sexism on my part and have never understood this claim But I don't wanna get into that kind of argument here so eh. But again, Kairi fans have been obnoxious for a long while so that's probably why I just don't feel particularly sorry for them. They will live. It's just a fictional character. There are always other series for them to enjoy if they do not like the direction this series is going just because of one character.
 

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I generally agree, that Kairi was handled poorly in this game. In hindsight it's clear that this game isn't anywhere near a Kairi game, if anything it's pretty apparent that the decision to include her was made in the final hour of the production.

Still with how they hinted at the game and advertised it, it's not too surprising that people got the wrong impression. They showcased her prominently as the hook in the first few trailers and placed her front and center on the cover, which in the very least should indicate a bigger role. Even Interviewers got the impression that this was a Kairi game and SE never felt the need to correct them, other than the one time Nomura said he didn't think of it as a Kairi game.

Still the choices they made are questionable. They made a model of her, yet only used it for a short segment, seems like a waste of resources. They had her replaced by Sora, for the final battle. Which again seems like a waste of resources, seeing the made a whole new playable model for one single fight for a pre-existing character.
Also it does seem weird that they then didn't include those models in the final credits.

I'm not too thrilled by how they had her fight with Memory-Nort play out, cuz this basically states, that Sora carried the fight against Xehanort all by himself in KH3. She couldn't even land a single blow, which means she probably didn't contribute anything of value. Which doesn't just devalue Kairi's contributions to the fight, but also somewhat cheapens Donald and Goofy contributions to the fight against him.

Her not even being able to defeat her memory of Xehanort, was an interesting choice, seeing this is the last chance for her to overcome her tormentor, kidnapper and murderer. While I agree she couldn't and shouldn't be able to take out the real Master Xehanort on her own, her memory of him should have been fair game. Or they could have always had her fight Apprentice Terranort instead.

While I can somewhat understand the choice to say she's not ready to go to the other realm, I also find it odd. Sora, Riku and Roxas also didn't require any training or preparations to go on their adventures. And they really have no reason to assume that this new Reality would be dangerous, it's unknown, but so were all the other worlds they visited on their journeys. Plus out of game we all know there'll be a level reset, so the point will be kinda mute.

I'd like to think that Kairi training with Aqua, will yield interesting results. It'd be fun to see those two interact and see what kind of Master Aqua is and how she'd train Kairi. Sadly I think we'll see about as much of it as we did of her Training along Axel.

However in the end we all know this training just a benching and that, the promise of her fighting side by side with Sora and Riku is a hollow one.
 

AR829038

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Kairi's role was to be filled by Chirithy of all people. Just remember that lol.
Initially yes, but then they changed it to fit Kairi as being the main narrator. Screw me for thinking that meant the game would actually be centered around her, I guess.

I'm not seeing any sexism on my part and have never understood this claim But I don't wanna get into that kind of argument here so eh. But again, Kairi fans have been obnoxious for a long while so that's probably why I just don't feel particularly sorry for them. They will live. It's just a fictional character. There are always other series for them to enjoy if they do not like the direction this series is going just because of one character.
But Nomura actually is kind of sexist with the female characters. And I love the female characters in this series, don't get it twisted, but yeah, they don't exactly pass the Bechdel test. There isn't a single female character in this series except maybe Maleficent who's identity isn't somehow defined by the boys/men around them. Aqua's whole story in BBS was about looking after Terra and Ventus; in the Realm of Darkness, they were pretty much all she ever talked about. Kairi talked about her own past a little bit in the first game, but ever since then, it's Sora Sora Sora 24/7, with maybe an occasional shoutout to Riku on the side. Naminé and Xion's whole purpose in the story revolved around Sora and Riku, and Roxas respectively, and hell, Xion herself is literally just a clone of Sora! It's incredibly rare to find any instance in the series where these characters talk or think about anything not related to a guy (Xion in Days was better at this than the others, but not by too much, cause again, at the end of the day she is still just a replica of a boy). I don't like bandying this term around, but yeah, that's pretty much textbook sexism. I love Nomura, but he does not know how to write female characters. But then, for the Japanese, that tends to be a bit more par for the course. A lot of anime have the same problem. Personally, I think it has to do with Japanese culture being incredibly work-focused and non-social, but that's a whole other topic of discussion.
And as for your "if they don't like it they don't have to play it" argument—that's the most obnoxious argument there is, acting like you can't be critical of something and call yourself a fan of it at the same time. People have a right to criticize whatever they want. If they want to go off and play something else, that's their business, not yours. Furthermore, criticism is the only way creators can get helpful feedback on what they're doing that people don't like, so that they can fix it in the future. Because if they don't get constructive criticism, then eventually what happens is people do exactly what you're suggesting: they just stop playing the games. And that means the games stop getting made. And I don't want that. So I'm sorry if people's criticisms make you uncomfortable or annoyed or personally attacked, but that's just how things work, and it's for the best at the end of the day. Hell, criticism from the fanbase gave us ReMIND, which made KH3 a hell of a lot better.
 

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When it comes to Kairi vs Memory-Xehanort, the battle looked cool. Had Kairi been like this all KH3, I wouldn't have a problem. I do wish she didn't turn into Sora to defeat Memory-Xehanort. This wasn't the real thing so who really cares if she won? Also she totally ripped off Xion's thing. She's the only Kairi hybrid allowed to turn into Sora!

Kairi training with Aqua sounds good on paper, but again, I said this in the LEAK's thread and @pastel.goblin said it here too. Kairi is literally in the same spot she was in DDD and KH3. Training offscreen and out of the way. And how did her performance in base KH3 go again?

A lot of people make good arguments in here on why she shouldn't have gone with Riku, though. This is a very dangerous situation he's going into, and he might not make it back, and he's a actual Keyblade Master. So in that regard I can reluctantly agree that Kairi shouldn't tag along. But I wish they gave her something better then more training. Even if they show it, training is boring compared to a Kingdom Hearts style world traveling adventure. I miss self taught Keyblade wielders so much. They've been frowned upon ever since the Mark of Mastery became a thing.

If not Riku, I wish Kairi could go with Mickey to Scala or do something. I don't like how they've replaced broadening one's horizons by seeing new worlds with go train and stay there until the plot picks up. Remember when Kairi wanted to go on adventures and see new worlds just like Sora and Riku?
 

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Moving on to a more interesting topic, it seems the next game's playable characters could either be Sora/Riku, Sora/Yozora, Riku/Yozora or all 3. 4 combinations. Guess it depends on what Sora's situation is like atm.
 

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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.
Yeah, and Kairi should've too. We've had plenty of opportunities between KH2 to now for her to grow and learn on the job. I'm not saying that she should've completely kicked ass out of nowhere against Xehanort (though in Re:Mind she kinda did yet that's still apparently not good enough going forward) but that once she was given a keyblade she should've taken on a more combative role within the plot, otherwise what's the point?? Instead of tossing her aside so she can come back at the end of each game with a "wow Kairi's gonna finally do something~!" moment, she should've started joining in. Like it was said earlier in the thread, if Sora and Riku are taken back to basics in DDD why couldn't Kairi be included? We can believe that Sora can grow into a capable enough fighter to defeat giant abomination boat man Ansem over the course of one game, why not the same for Kairi in DDD? They missed that, so next could've been Kairi tagging along with either Sora or Riku in KH3. Sora's back to square one (again) so he and Kairi could've been on more even ground. But no, we have her training offscreen, then getting fridged. If Nomura doesn't want her to do anything other than show up every so often for some PoH powers or Sora motivation, then don't give her the iconic weapon of the flipping series.
And sure, hitting other kids with sticks is totally a basis for full on combat with a giant Heartless trying to kill you. Sora defeating Darkside straight off the bat makes total sense. I love how so much of the batshit stuff that happens in these games is accepted as good ol' Kingdom Hearts insanity or video game logic, but Kairi being portrayed as competent in a fight without extensive training is apparently just too unrealistic.

Kairi is far from my fave character in this series, but I still find her treatment frustrating and lazy. I don't blame her fans at all for being salty. Whether we like it or not, she is marketed and portrayed as an important main character, but she never gets a chance to really be one. Here's hoping her training with Aqua will actually be portrayed/amount to something, but I'm not holding my breath.
 

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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.
I suppose that makes sense, since Axel was already a fighter before the training in the forest. So if he gets destroyed by Xemnas, then I guess it's believable that Kairi would have issues.

But really, all of this comes down to Nomura's choice. There's no real scale of power in KH. If Sora's "weak", then he's weak for the story - regardless of the insane things we can do gameplay wise. Axel is shown as powerful in past games, but is then shown as garbage against Xemnas? So it's what Nomura wants at that time.

Nomura basically negated Kairi's progress as a fighter by having Master Xehanort compliment her skills, then Riku (and herself) comment on how she still needs training. If Nomura wanted, he could have had Riku say "come with me Kairi, you're ready to fight." The players could believe it since they made a big deal out of her training in KH3. But now, she took one step forward and another back, needing to train under Aqua - which I hope was mentioned specifically because we will get to see it. That is the ONLY saving grace from that odd choice Nomura made.

It really is just so weird to me because Kairi goes with Riku to The Final World to find Nameless Star, just to go back home. So why even have her go? Just to dismiss her with a warning of "you need more training"?
 

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It really is just so weird to me because Kairi goes with Riku to The Final World to find Nameless Star, just to go back home. So why even have her go? Just to dismiss her with a warning of "you need more training"?
So they could echo KH1's "you'll just get in the way"?

I guess the actual reason was so she could pass on the message to the others. Not like the Fairy Godmother could do that or anything.
 

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I suppose that makes sense, since Axel was already a fighter before the training in the forest. So if he gets destroyed by Xemnas, then I guess it's believable that Kairi would have issues.

But really, all of this comes down to Nomura's choice. There's no real scale of power in KH. If Sora's "weak", then he's weak for the story - regardless of the insane things we can do gameplay wise. Axel is shown as powerful in past games, but is then shown as garbage against Xemnas? So it's what Nomura wants at that time.

Nomura basically negated Kairi's progress as a fighter by having Master Xehanort compliment her skills, then Riku (and herself) comment on how she still needs training. If Nomura wanted, he could have had Riku say "come with me Kairi, you're ready to fight." The players could believe it since they made a big deal out of her training in KH3. But now, she took one step forward and another back, needing to train under Aqua - which I hope was mentioned specifically because we will get to see it. That is the ONLY saving grace from that odd choice Nomura made.

It really is just so weird to me because Kairi goes with Riku to The Final World to find Nameless Star, just to go back home. So why even have her go? Just to dismiss her with a warning of "you need more training"?
Rule of Three I guess. There’s always gotta be three people when doing anything in KH, though I agree with you there. If they needed someone who has a close connection with Sora to lead them to Quadratum, they could’ve just asspulled Mickey into it if they’re not even going to develop Kairi. At least Kairi has some of the spotlight this time…even if said spotlight is blinking and undervolted as hell.
 

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A good starting point for Kairi's character development is to not have everything revolve around Sora.

P.S MoM was never once advertised by SE on being a Kairi game so this misconception really needs to end.
If a character is centred in promotional material, that's symbolicly represents them being the central character.



Take this image for example. Ventus and Marluxia/Lauriam are the more recognised characters but it's Ephemer who is in the centre... but why? Well, it's because he's arguably the central character of the X saga if we ignore the player character.

Well... I personally think there is some sexism to the treatment of the female characters in general.
Oh, there most definitely is sexism in play. Take Birth by Sleep, Aqua is the most removed character from the conflicts of the game. Terra is the character that Master Xehanort interacts with the most, Ventus is the character that Vanitas interacts with the most whilst Aqua is just an inconvienience for Vanitas and never speaks to Master Xehanort.

It was only after the popularity of Aqua compared to Terra and Ventus that Nomura retroactively made Aqua the most important member of the Wayfinder Trio.
 

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Or Strelitzia, introduced to be fridged so a male villian can be brought back as a sympathetic character because tragic dead sister :rolleyes:
 

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Well having just beat the game, I do share the positive and negative opinions commonly expressed here. On one hand, I'm as cynical and pessimistic about Nomura in this regard as anyone. On the other, maybe I'm just a sucker, cause there keep being little moments that give me hope for the main heroine getting development, even when Nomura fucking Lucy's us with the football.

I loved Kairi's first round against MX. She kept coming and coming and even showed some clever thinking, like the KH equivalent of attempting to Arya Stark the old man. I didn't like the Sora takeover. That was dumb and unnecessary Nomura. I also was annoyed when she said she wasn't going with Riku, but then was actually glad of it when she said she wanted to train with Aqua. I said out loud THANK FUCK to that reveal, on the off chance we actually get to experience it, because I've always thought that would be a stellar idea. Even better than her tagging along to Not-Tokyo or wherever we're going. But that means, no off screen training that has minimal importance.

So I guess we'll just have to once again wait and see if a Nomura can change its spots.
 

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Or Strelitzia, introduced to be fridged so a male villian can be brought back as a sympathetic character because tragic dead sister :rolleyes:
Oh God, I forgot about Strelitzia. Yeah, literally her only role was to have a crush on the player character and then get killed for the advancement of her brother's character arc. Elrena (Larxene's Somebody) also hasn't done diddly squat since we saw her that one time, and she's constantly tied to Lauriam/Marluxia. And then there's Skuld. Does anybody remember the last time Skuld actually DID anything?
Don't even get me started on the literally interchangeable Dark Road characters Urd and Vor (though, granted, everyone who isn't Eraqus or Xehanort in that story is totally interchangeable so far). Yeah, I really hate saying it, but Nomura has absolutely no idea what to do with characters that don't have a Y chromosome.
 

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Well having just beat the game, I do share the positive and negative opinions commonly expressed here. On one hand, I'm as cynical and pessimistic about Nomura in this regard as anyone. On the other, maybe I'm just a sucker, cause there keep being little moments that give me hope for the main heroine getting development, even when Nomura fucking Lucy's us with the football.

I loved Kairi's first round against MX. She kept coming and coming and even showed some clever thinking, like the KH equivalent of attempting to Arya Stark the old man. I didn't like the Sora takeover. That was dumb and unnecessary Nomura. I also was annoyed when she said she wasn't going with Riku, but then was actually glad of it when she said she wanted to train with Aqua. I said out loud THANK FUCK to that reveal, on the off chance we actually get to experience it, because I've always thought that would be a stellar idea. Even better than her tagging along to Not-Tokyo or wherever we're going. But that means, no off screen training that has minimal importance.

So I guess we'll just have to once again wait and see if a Nomura can change its spots.
Hope for the best, be prepared for the worst. I personally would LOVE a Kairi/Aqua game. Do I think we'll actually get it? Not really. "Training" in anime lingo is usually shorthand for "let's put you off to the side for a while so we can focus on these other characters over here, but also so we can keep you sort-of up to par with the stronger heroes without having to actually waste time giving you an arc, swinging sticks around should be good enough." I suspect we'll only get occasional references to their training, maybe a scene or two with them together like with her and Lea, and then she'll jump back into the plot technically stronger but still having to be saved at the end of the day by Sora and Riku who will always be stronger and more important than she is.
It's funny you compare her to Arya Stark, because to me, the two are polar opposites, both handled horribly. Arya Stark is a character who gains super-assassin powers out of nowhere and wins all her battles easily, while Kairi constantly trains off-screen only to completely bomb every single fight she gets into.
 

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A good starting point for Kairi's character development is to not have everything revolve around Sora.



If a character is centred in promotional material, that's symbolicly represents them being the central character.



Take this image for example. Ventus and Marluxia/Lauriam are the more recognised characters but it's Ephemer who is in the centre... but why? Well, it's because he's arguably the central character of the X saga if we ignore the player character.



Oh, there most definitely is sexism in play. Take Birth by Sleep, Aqua is the most removed character from the conflicts of the game. Terra is the character that Master Xehanort interacts with the most, Ventus is the character that Vanitas interacts with the most whilst Aqua is just an inconvienience for Vanitas and never speaks to Master Xehanort.

It was only after the popularity of Aqua compared to Terra and Ventus that Nomura retroactively made Aqua the most important member of the Wayfinder Trio.
I think they picked Kairi to be the central character for Mom's artwork because the very little story elements in the game revolve around her. That doesn't necessarily mean the game itself is the "Kairi game". Honestly, after reading the difficulty Nomura had for coming up with the KH3 artwork (his problem was too many characters), I can just imagine that he quickly dismissed the idea of doing that again... given MoM was covering ALL KH games, so there'd be more than the central trios to include in the artwork. It must have been easier to narrow it down to Kairi and give her a cover.

I can't say if I believe there was sexism towards Aqua in BbS because we can't say what Aqua's character was intended to be going forward. If popularity caused her to get more, then maybe it was sexist. But BbS wasn't any of the trio's story, it was Master Xehanort's. TAV all were devices used by Nomura to explain what he needed to be explained for future games and past ones - he needed to explain the Xehanort we knew in KH2 (Terra), he needed to explain the X-Blade/Kingdom Hearts (Ven), and he needed a character that can act as the player and witness the events unfold and comment on it (Aqua). If there really was sexism, then why was Aqua the first character we saw become a keyblade master? I know the title nowadays means nothing, but if Nomura really was sexist, he could have made Terra the master and still succumb to darkness.
 

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I have a feeling at this point we can no longer see Kairi as a serious character, she is more a collectible item in video games, similar to the Stars in Super Mario or the Jiggies in Banjo-Kazooie.

In my opinion, she doesn't even need to be a kickass-character. But I want her to be a character. That is what she is lacking. She really is just the final prize to collect for the hero.
 
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