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Romance in a series about friendship



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Tartarus

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Am I the only one who thinks it's rarer to have friends than relationships? Most people get married, most don't have BFFs...? And I mean... At most one or two friends, not like circles and oodles of friends, lol.

Nonetheless, it's pretty much a disparity between Western and Eastern views. Male friendships are more open in the East than they are in the West, there isn't any fear about a male's masculinity being hit if they dare show emotion or strong connection to another guy. Lest you'll be labelled a homosexual. It's been a very toxic mindset in the West to be honest. Guys run from showing they care for their boys and I feel it has had detrimental effects in how they express themselves. After all, only women are allowed to be touchy feely and cry, right.
You know what, this is a very hostile mindset. Just because some people see SoRiku where you don't doesn't mean they think that based on stereotypes that an emotional male character = homosexual. There are plenty of explicit story reasons people see chemistry between those characters, not simply because Sora is a male character who cries and loves people. That is incredibly dismissive. I think we all know what a friend is and how being friends is different from being homosexual. I don't think The Golden Girls are lesbians, for example.
 

*TwilightNight*

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You know what, this is very offensive. Just because some people see SoRiku where you don't doesn't mean they think they feel that way based on stereotypes that an emotional male character = homosexual. That is incredibly dismissive. I think we all know what a friend is and how being friends is different from being homosexual. I don't think The Golden Girls are lesbians, for example.
I've seen many instances when people read too much into things. I was also speaking in a general sense. So while you may disagree and find that the description doesn't fit you, or some others, it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist and isn't being practiced. It's a matter of perception.
 

Tartarus

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I've seen many instances when people read too much into things. I was also speaking in a general sense. So while you may disagree and find that the description doesn't fit you, or some others, it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist and isn't being practiced. It's a matter of perception.
I mean, food for thought: would you like if SoRiku fans said that people who can't see why SoRiku has been such a big thing in the fandom are just homophobes? I mean, sure, some are, but many may not be. On the other hand, as per your argument, I really don't think homophobes who negatively stereotype emotional male characters as gay are going to then turn around and be shipping a male-male pairing.
 

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Am I the only one who thinks it's rarer to have friends than relationships? Most people get married, most don't have BFFs...? And I mean... At most one or two friends, not like circles and oodles of friends, lol.

You know what, this is a very hostile mindset. Just because some people see SoRiku where you don't doesn't mean they think that based on stereotypes that an emotional male character = homosexual. There are plenty of explicit story reasons people see chemistry between those characters, not simply because Sora is a male character who cries and loves people. That is incredibly dismissive. I think we all know what a friend is and how being friends is different from being homosexual. I don't think The Golden Girls are lesbians, for example.
Even though there's tons of canonical evidence for SoRiku, I actually prefer media to show friendships more than romantic relationships. Which is why I find it weird that I love SoKai so much, even though I typically prefer and ship gay relationships, when I even consider relationships in media.

To be honest, in SoRiku I don't see Sora as the "gay one" even though he's the one crying and being overly emotional over Riku (stereotypical "gay attributes"). I could actually buy Riku being gay and he's the dark and brooding one with more "masculine" traits than Sora. There's something about the way that Riku is written that just makes me think he could be gay.

Anyway, the only relationship that I really would like to see more of in KH (that's romantic) is SoKai. I really want a game where Kairi has to save Sora. I think it'd be good to see her point of view. We always see the relationship through the lens of Sora, so it'd be a pretty fresh take on things to let us get into the mind of Kairi.
 

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I mean, food for thought: would you like if SoRiku fans said that people who can't see why SoRiku has been such a big thing in the fandom are just homophobes? I mean, sure, some are, but many ma not be. On the other hand, I really don't think homophobes who negatively stereotype emotional male characters as gay are going to then turn around and be shipping a male-male pairing.
While that was mentioned, the point of my post wasn't about homophobes or how some Western males see characters as gay for being emotional, but rather how a strong friendship between two guy characters in a Japanese based medium can also be misconstrued because men can be more open with their guy friends in the East (which will be represented in anime, manga, video games, etc.) and how the writing of the romance and female characters in general are a result of some inherent sexism.

Sora and Riku have been primarily active, and we've seen how their friendship pans out over multiple games. This gives them more substance and feels more organic as a result. Add in KH's penchant for not caring who shows affection to who, and you have the best recipe to make into fruition. And it's not like I don't understand where those who like SoRiku come from. I feel they are valid, as to why they prefer them.

Meanwhile, with Kairi, whose relationship with Sora is framed as the romance aspect of the series, falls short in comparison. Mostly because the plot hasn't given her much to work with and she barely interacts with Sora enough to make the chemistry more convincing than say, what he has with Riku. But Sora and Riku are framed as being friends/brothers/insert term here.

AkuRoku was another example of how certain people see certain actions, only to realize that it wasn't how they thought it was.

And I'm not saying it only happens with the "yaoi" fandom (do we even use this nowadays?).

There are the hetero rose colored shippers who, once a girl and guy character interact, in whichever way, it means they're DTF. Riku and Naminé are the recent example. Nomura explained in the Ultimania that it was about Riku Replica, and even went as far to further prove the point by changing their expressions in the end scene. The stained glass is reused art and there are other people in them, but because there's a "female" in there it suddenly means Riku has romantic feelings for someone he has never shown romantic feelings for in 8+ games aside from a business relationship and a person looking out for her/others (the way he did Xion, and he even brushed her bangs as she came to after fainting, but no one bothers to mention that...).

Now, there really isn't anything bad about how one perceives a character's relationship with another character as something more or less. What brings in the discourse and toxicity is that they believe that it's what they are really portraying, and that it's "canon", and there's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The go to defense mechanism based on my experience is that these people argue to lessen the connection to some other character that is basically, to be perfectly honest, a damn threat to their ship, and twist the narrative to their favor. This has happened to Kairi by SoRiku shippers for years, and it has happened to Naminé too.

Again, this was more of a general view on things.

And to answer your question, I'm not involved with SoRiku enough (or the shipping fandom) to feel like I would dislike being called a homophobe for having an opinion. It's my opinion and people can perceive it however they wish if it makes them feel better. That's not going to affect my stance. But some have been called homophobes in the KH fandom for not seeing SoRiku as canon or as more than friends.
 
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Tartarus

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While that was mentioned, the point of my post wasn't about homophobes or how some Western males see characters as gay for being emotional, but rather how a strong friendship between two guy characters in a Japanese based medium can also be misconstrued because men can be more open with their guy friends in the East (which will be represented in anime, manga, video games, etc.) and how the writing of the romance and female characters in general are a result of some inherent sexism.
I understand what you mean, and it's something that I've often read as the immediate response to any gay ship in anime fandoms, most strongly from the het shippers. So if this had been all that was written before instead of the dismissive insinuation that people are stereotyping every emotional male character as gay, I wouldn't have even responded to it, lol, since it's a dead horse argument that I wouldn't want to waste time wading into for the millionth time. No hard feelings though, and I agree that Kairi's portrayal comes from some--or perhaps much--inherent cultural sexism. Not to pretend America is great in that regard either.

It's usually as a result of not being good at writing romances, or not really understanding them any way other than instinctively. This causes those parts to fall flat a good bit of the time. But most people have friendships, and understanding them isn't as hard for most writers, which causes those parts to be more intense and a good portion of them well written. Also some writers blatantly bait the relationships because they know their audiences, but would never actually pay those off.
This is the same thing I agreed on with @MrFranklin95 earlier--the desire to have their cake and eat it, too. That's where the criticism of queerbaiting comes from. The creators never want to take responsibility for their own actions in the attempt to have it both ways and keep all fans satisfied, and will instead blame the fans at the end of the series when the fandom criticizes them.
 
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Violet Pluto

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We've all been known that KH has turned downhill into being a complete shounen fest. At this point, I think majority of the fans simply can't break away despite the admittance of the story's own mediocrity.

Nonetheless, it's pretty much a disparity between Western and Eastern views. Male friendships are more open in the East than they are in the West, there isn't any fear about a male's masculinity being hit if they dare show emotion or strong connection to another guy. Lest you'll be labelled a homosexual. It's been a very toxic mindset in the West to be honest. Guys run from showing they care for their boys and I feel it has had detrimental effects in how they express themselves. After all, only women are allowed to be touchy feely and cry, right.

You can see it, for example, in Korean male idols. Just to use something that's been easily accessible. And guess how the West (i.e. Western males) sees them? "hah they are so gay", when it's like, not the case.

KH just tends to not care about preconceived notions. Characters who are friends and care for each other, whether boy to boy, girl to boy, girl to girl (though that one is barely seen, if at all) are shown to be affectionate in physical ways.

Again, look at the 2.8. ending credits. We aren't even at the romance section yet that comes at the end, but we see the friendship section displaying touch and concern.

I'm sure most of you guys remember the immense fanbase of AkuRoku due to apparent homoerotic subtext (though Axel was kind of sketchy with his behavior, not gonna lie) and how Naminé was given a hard time. And it turned out that, you know, Roxas was half Axel's age and they all suddenly jetted like...



Another issue that should be kept in mind is that these shounen stories are written by Japanese men. And not only are they Japanese men, they are older Japanese men with a certain mentality. And their perception on romance and women are...I'm just going to say unfortunate and behind the times. Prime instance? Nomura.

"I cAn'T wRItE fEmAlE cHAraCteRs".

Or something of the sort, paraphrasing here.

It's as if we're some sort of altered species or something.

Kairi being a designated love interest from the get go meant she was doomed from the start. Her entire personality and character literally revolves around Sora. The start of KH3 and her thoughts of Naminé had something going, and they did absolutely nothing with it. Naminé's own return was used as some tool to close Repliku's arc, with her own bonds to other people (like Kairi and Roxas) not given any closure. Larxene now joined the Organization because she was following dick. Because what else would be her motivation, huh.

It's just...bad.
1. It's always been shonen as heck.

2. Most guys don't invest too much in male friendships because they don't want to be seen as gay? What? I've seen a lot of people in the U.S. at least and it has never come up amongst real friends except tasteless jokes. Mostly bullies go that route and they look for anything they can to degrade people. Guys actually are among male friends a lot, at least those they can trust. Personally I am more comfortable with male friends than female because I have been judged by the latter more. Men not being emotional among friends does come up, but that's because the ones being emotional can see that as weakness but it's not really because they would be ridiculed. A lot of them just don't want to be seen as weak or vulnerable, especially by people they are often around.

3. K-pop likes to use the more androgynous men, because that's a popular style. The stereotype is that effeminate/androgynous men are gay. It's not even a specifically Western stereotype either, and it isn't helped by the fact that males aren't the target demographic for the male idols anyway, so when they see guys who are groomed to be appealing to mostly women and in provocative manners, there are those who might confuse it for being gay, or just will use it as an insult.

4. "I can't write women" is most often used by people who are afraid of writing women because of unfamiliarity with them or not knowing what people want from female characters. The best solution is really to gird up your loins and try, and sometimes it works and other times it doesn't; It doesn't help that people hold male or female characters to different standards based on archetype and relationships. I mean I've seen a situation where someone has written a male character that is utterly devoted and does everything for another man and he was seen as a good character. If he was a female, who was the same for a male, it could come off as sexist.
 

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I understand what you mean, and it's something that I've often read as the immediate response to any gay ship in anime fandoms. So if this had been all that was written before, I wouldn't have even responded, lol, since it's dead horse argument to discuss. No hard feelings though, and I agree that Kairi's portrayal comes from some--or perhaps much--inherent cultural sexism. Not to pretend America is great in that regard either.
There's no hard feelings at all. Civil discussions are possible, lol.

What I've gotten from this thread is that most accept and are aware that Sora/Kairi are portrayed as romantic. It's simply a matter of whether they are well written enough to be viable compared to the more stronger connection Sora has with his male best friend that others want and prefer because we've seen them, well, develop. Unfortunately, I just don't think this shounen form of writing when it comes to two guy friends and the girl who one of those two guy friends is meant to be in love with but gets shit all is going to change any time soon. It'll take a male writer or director who has a modern mindset, and I can only see that occurring with younger men who have grown up in current times.

I think the only relationship I've ever liked in shounen, and this is with brotherhood being the core of the series, is Ed/Winry from Full Metal Alchemist. It's funny because they fall into the same category Sora/Kairi are in: childhood friends who one has a crush on (the other guy/brother may have had one on her too) and isn't always present in the thick of the plot. Yet somehow Ed/Winry come off with more basis. Maybe because we've seen them talk to each other in ways that isn't only depicted romantically. The gun scene gets me every time. Funny that. Roy/Riza? BLESS.

1. It's always been shonen as heck.

2. Most guys don't invest too much in male friendships because they don't want to be seen as gay? What? I've seen a lot of people in the U.S. at least and it has never come up amongst real friends except tasteless jokes. Mostly bullies go that route and they look for anything they can to degrade people. Guys actually are among male friends a lot, at least those they can trust. Personally I am more comfortable with male friends than female because I have been judged by the latter more. Men not being emotional among friends does come up, but that's because the ones being emotional can see that as weakness but it's not really because they would be ridiculed. A lot of them just don't want to be seen as weak or vulnerable, especially by people they are often around.

3. K-pop likes to use the more androgynous men, because that's a popular style. The stereotype is that effeminate/androgynous men are gay. It's not even a specifically Western stereotype either, and it isn't helped by the fact that males aren't the target demographic for the male idols anyway, so when they see guys who are groomed to be appealing to mostly women and in provocative manners, there are those who might confuse it for being gay, or just will use it as an insult.

4. "I can't write women" is most often used by people who are afraid of writing women because of unfamiliarity with them or not knowing what people want from female characters. The best solution is really to gird up your loins and try, and sometimes it works and other times it doesn't; It doesn't help that people hold male or female characters to different standards based on archetype and relationships. I mean I've seen a situation where someone has written a male character that is utterly devoted and does everything for another man and he was seen as a good character. If he was a female, who was the same for a male, it could come off as sexist.
1. It's gotten worse imo.

2. It's not about investment, but the overall attitude about showing affection to other men. It's not simply a hug, but it has to be a "man" hug, where you wrap one arm around each other and pat backs. Or they follow up an "I love you" with a "no homo". And other forms of it. That's what I'm referring to. Aside from it being a weakness, it's clear that being blatantly open with another guy entails things that some don't want to be associated with. And it's, frankly, sad that their society has them see it that way.

On the other hand, you see women up and down holding hands with their friends, hugging them tight and lovingly, etc. without them being called lesbians (although it is possible, it's simply not looked down upon the same way if it were two guys instead).

3. I wasn't talking about what the K-pop companies are trying to sell but what I've seen by being within that community and knowing how male idols treat their other compatriots outside the stage and limelight (I've been a fan of a male group myself). You see them hugging (no "man" hug, but actual hugging), you see them resting their head on their group mate's shoulder, and a bunch of other actions in their down time that apparently are just not a big deal in South Korea and it wouldn't make you automatically perceived as gay. But would've been if it was here in the US.

4. No disagreement here.
 

Tartarus

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2. It's not about investment, but the overall attitude about showing affection to other men. It's not simply a hug, but it has to be a "man" hug, where you wrap one arm around each other and pat backs. Or they follow up an "I love you" with a "no homo". And other forms of it. That's what I'm referring to. Aside from it being a weakness, it's clear that being blatantly open with another guy entails things that some don't want to be associated with. And it's, frankly, sad that their society has them see it that way.

On the other hand, you see women up and down holding hands with their friends, hugging them tight and lovingly, etc. without them being called lesbians (although it is possible, it's simply not looked down upon the same way if it were two guys instead).
Yes, but as VP said, people who are shipping two male characters wouldn't be the ones who are unable to accept this kind of thing about a male character... Those types of people would simply hate or deride those characters, not ship them.
 

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Yes, but as VP said, people who are shipping two male characters wouldn't be the ones who are unable to accept this kind of thing about a male character... Those types of people would simply hate or deride those characters, not ship them.
I get the feeling something is mixed up. I'll take off all the extra jargon.

What I'm trying to say is that there's a cultural difference, or dissonance, between the East and the West in terms of deep and strong male friendships. In the East, this is more than likely normal and wouldn't be seen as romantic in nature. In the West, this sort of closeness can be perceived as being deeper just because it's not a common portrayal of what they're used to (or see as male friendship). They don't have to be uncomfortable of it, it's just the overall perception is going to be taken as it being more than friends in comparison to what the director/writer actually intended.

It's the same thing when it comes to male and female friendships. They can just simply be friends, but since the West (though I can't say it's only them, so I'll make this an "overall" view) have het tunnel vision, any closeness between a girl and guy must mean they want to bone and it's romantic in nature, so they're going to be seen as some fledgling couple.

Basically, we should at least consider the Eastern take on things with fictional relationships when these mediums are being developed and written by Eastern men. Not only that, but what the director also shows when it comes to these relationships and friendships. Affection, being touchy, aren't exactly romance specific things in Nomura's view with the characters (once more, as the 2.8. credits showed in a friendship section). It's probably why he didn't see how that Riku and Naminé scene would be taken as romantic (in his defense, those without the shipping goggles actually figured out it was about Repliku, including myself) when that wasn't his intention. Then he had to go and clarify.

KH blurs the lines.
 
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Tartarus

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Well, this is a different direction we're going now, but... I see it as a good thing if there are people in the West who view relationships of similar intensity between two male characters the same way they would those between a male and female character.
 

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Well, this is a different direction we're going now, but... I see it as a good thing if there are people in the West who view relationships of similar intensity between two male characters the same way they would those between a male and female character.
Yes, but that's because it's not something that they see as male friendship in their culture when the intention is actually framed as friendship. So they have to be into each other in a romantic way for guys to be that open. Meanwhile, you don't need that effort with female/male friendships because just the fact that they breathe the same air and are the opposite sex means it's romance. It's that easy for the hetero side of shipping.

In the East, it's probably more common to see male to male friendships as it being just that rather than romantic because males are more open with each other there. It isn't unusual like in the West. And that's infused in their mediums. It doesn't help that having shounen based aspects means that the girl who the main character is supposed to be with has less substance with him. Either due to the unfortunate portrayal of women or the lack of focus of good, written romance.

The result? We have people preferring and finding SoRiku better despite that they're not being framed as a romantic couple.

And thus, the ever present shipping battles of SoKai vs. SoRiku remains.

I wonder if it'll ever stop, lol. It's been 20 or so years since KH1, right? Almost?
 

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You can always go this argument in the reverse, too, though and posit that the East's culture has inherent homophobia on top of sexism which inhibits those writers from understanding why Western fans would interpret actions a certain way when they're between male characters.

Ultimately, I don't believe most writers are this naive, especially when their series has been around for a long time. With a long-running series, the writer is eventually going to start to notice a huge portion of their fanbase is viewing their characters this way. That's when the accusation of baiting comes in, because the writers eventually see the fans reacting this way, may then put out content that even encourages it to a degree (*cough*3D*cough*) while knowing they will never deliver in the end either because they simply don't want to or because they fear they might turn off a huge portion of their heterosexual buying audience that way. And considering this has been a common thing in the Shonen genre, I'm sure many of the newer writers start off their series already planning to do this intentionally because they see the baiting as a part of the genre.
 

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TwilightNights’s point of eastern vs western lens is the main reason why I stopped watching anime. I am not going to sugarcoat, I’ve grown to resent the shounen genre after consuming it for 20 years. Obviously there’s outliers but more often than not they fall to the same trappings sooner or later. I tolerated it for Kingdom Hearts but its influences still bother me. The west isn’t any better either.
Thats why books IMO ARE the best mediums in the world, there’s something for someone.
 

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You can always go this argument in the reverse, too, though and posit that the East's culture has inherent homophobia on top of sexism which inhibits those writers from understanding why Western fans would interpret actions a certain way when they're between male characters.

Ultimately, I don't believe most writers are this naive, especially when their series has been around for a long time. With a long-running series, the writer is eventually going to start to notice a huge portion of their fanbase is viewing their characters this way. That's when the accusation of baiting comes in, because the writers eventually see the fans reacting this way, may then put out content that even encourages it to a degree (*cough*3D*cough*) while knowing they will never deliver in the end either because they simply don't want to or because they fear they might turn off a huge portion of their heterosexual buying audience that way. And considering this has been a common thing in the Shonen genre, I'm sure many of the newer writers start off their series already planning to do this intentionally because they see the baiting as a part of the genre.
I believe nowadays that's called queer baiting, if I'm not wrong.

I personally don't feel Nomura's guilty of it just based on how he has one intention yet portrays it in a way where it didn't genuinely match to what his vision was. I used Riku and Naminé as one example if only because it's the most recent, yet the friendships in this series, as I've said, blurs the lines. What people will usually see as something only romance is able to portray, Kingdom Hearts characters have no problem being outwardly affectionate to their friends. The 2.8. credits solidify this even more to me because those credits split different types of relationships into brackets. Friendship, friendship with comfort/affection (what's poignant is that it's presented as friendship despite the touchiness), original characters' relationships to Disney characters, and in the end, romantic relationships where you have all the Disney couples, Roxas/Naminé (my stance on this one is that they need to physically interact again and if it does turn out as some side pairing, I fear for their writing tbh, bless these poor fictional souls :c ), and of course Sora/Kairi taking the triumphant hurrah. There's also another couple there that's not Disney but I'm not touching that subject with a ten foot pole lest I'd be eaten raw and alive ¬_¬.

Trust me, I can go on about how much of a hack Nomura is, but I really don't think he's actively queer baiting. I won't rule it out though.
 
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I still consider Kingdom Hearts to be a romance. It's all about love. It's just a timid and hesitant expression of love. I feel like I'm still waiting on the emotional follow-up to the first game's drama. Excuse my speculation, but there may be some anxiety about confronting the topic of courtship (nevermind family relations) from the authors' perspective. Xehanort apparently lacked for love, and thus everyone else has had to pay the price, trapped in a cycle of separation and reunion that leaves little time for deeper interaction.

As for the question of whom Sora's heart ultimately belongs to, I view it similarly to the love triangles in classics like Devilman, Berserk, and Naruto, because I think that's essentially what KH is (or was) going for. It's the epic story of a hero torn between two forms of passion: protecting the light, represented by a good-natured female companion; and battling the dark, in the form of an obsessed and unscrupulous male rival.
Despite all its machinations, KH is an old-fashioned fairy tale: the great hero will marry the princess. If she isn't dead or deleted by then, that is. Sora loves Kairi, and good for them.
But the feelings between Sora and Riku are ambiguous by design. There is something there. Just as there was something there between Devilman and Satan, Guts and Griffith. It doesn't have to be sexual, though it certainly could be, as these characters are human and bicuriosity is no rare phenomenon. Notice these dark-sided rivals tend to be especially beautiful. The struggle is meant to be confusing for the hero, and agonizing for both of them. The depth of their feelings is a beautiful mystery in itself. A tragic ballad told through the intimacy of violence.

If there's any problem with shipping, it's in the name. As an abbreviation of relation-ship, there's often an expectation of culmination. Of an idealized dating situation, of sharing a home together. Satisfaction. But some romances are destined to be unconsummated, some feelings will always remain unspoken.
I understand the desire to see a certain pairing made explicit, or conversely, to shun any notion of physical attraction bleeding into the apparent purity of a fictional friendship. Because sex is something humans are at constant odds with. It causes endless miscommunication and shame. It's a contradictory force that is undeniably a facet of our own "darkness", yet it is also the means by which we were born and fall in love. Plus, the world at large is going through some growing pains when it comes to understanding one another. Curiosity, denial, identity, fetishism, shame, fear: all these come into play in discussions of sex, particularly same-sex. People also tend to dislike ambiguity. We indulge in labels and prejudice.

If I had to guess, I think there is a stifled strain of bisexual desire that swims beneath the series. But just like in most media with similarly ambiguous dynamics (and often in real life) this desire will remain unconfirmed, or at least a secret. Such is the wistful elegance of male bonding.
 

Violet Pluto

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I get the feeling something is mixed up. I'll take off all the extra jargon.

What I'm trying to say is that there's a cultural difference, or dissonance, between the East and the West in terms of deep and strong male friendships. In the East, this is more than likely normal and wouldn't be seen as romantic in nature. In the West, this sort of closeness can be perceived as being deeper just because it's not a common portrayal of what they're used to (or see as male friendship). They don't have to be uncomfortable of it, it's just the overall perception is going to be taken as it being more than friends in comparison to what the director/writer actually intended.

It's the same thing when it comes to male and female friendships. They can just simply be friends, but since the West (though I can't say it's only them, so I'll make this an "overall" view) have het tunnel vision, any closeness between a girl and guy must mean they want to bone and it's romantic in nature, so they're going to be seen as some fledgling couple.

Basically, we should at least consider the Eastern take on things with fictional relationships when these mediums are being developed and written by Eastern men. Not only that, but what the director also shows when it comes to these relationships and friendships. Affection, being touchy, aren't exactly romance specific things in Nomura's view with the characters (once more, as the 2.8. credits showed in a friendship section). It's probably why he didn't see how that Riku and Naminé scene would be taken as romantic (in his defense, those without the shipping goggles actually figured out it was about Repliku, including myself) when that wasn't his intention. Then he had to go and clarify.

KH blurs the lines.
Oh, you were talking about Skinship? Oh. Yeah, the Western society in the male view doesn't really focus on that at all. Well since I'm up, I guess I'll talk about it. For me specifically, I've never had the compulsion to be touchy-feely with other men, mostly because it feels... Extra? I guess that's a word. I mean, I guess I kind of am with my father, brothers or uncles, but that's because I've known them so long, but I've never felt the compulsion with unrelated persons. Maybe this is because I've had the misfortune to not have friendships that last for a very long time, but that's how I am. I won't try to guess the reason's other people are averse to it, because I have no real idea.

I will note that, I have seen other people who practice skinship more often with their bro's but a lot of people don't particularly like them, because they are loud and rowdy. Those kinds of guys are specifically why the whole "no homo" thing was turned into a meme, because they are perceived as being more affectionate and open with their male friends than female relationships but because they still wanted to establish heterosexuality they often said "no homo". Ironically though, this constant insistence makes them suspected by the public of being homosexual.
 

Foxycian

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Unpopular opinion: Imo I think the romance doesn’t have to get bigger then it already is, we know Sora and kairi have feeling for each other and they can share a kiss if they want but, I’m not a big fan of each character in all three trios falling in love (falling in love is ok but going further and try to isolate themselves from their friends is not what I like, even tho it’s common and normal among couples to sometimes have some privacy without their friends) while their third friend feels like a third wheel every time they hung out.
 

SweetYetSalty

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Unpopular opinion: Imo I think the romance doesn’t have to get bigger then it already is, we know Sora and kairi have feeling for each other and they can share a kiss if they want but, I’m not a big fan of each character in all three trios falling in love (falling in love is ok but going further and try to isolate themselves from their friends is not what I like, even tho it’s common and normal among couples to sometimes have some privacy without their friends) while their third friend feels like a third wheel every time they hung out.
I agree with that trio notion. I think TAV is the only one that could pull it off due to Aqua and Terra already treating Ven like their child lol. But even then I don't seriously ship Terra and Aqua. I view it as a Hawkeye/Black Widow thing if anything. I ship Terra and Cinderella cause that's where the goods are. And I ship Aqua with Zack...if the poor bum is still alive. But neither I take seriously it's just for my own amusement.

Likewise, I don't ship Roxas and Xion. They're cute but it's a brother/sister duo. But even if that wasn't the case I don't see them as anything but BFFs. They have a family love, not a romance one. Truthfully I just don't want RAX to end up like SRK. That's a big fear of mine going forward. I don't ship Roxas with anyone, I like him as a free agent so he can befriend and interact with any girl he wants. Same with Axel. However I have grown to enjoy Xion and Olette. Look at their interaction at the end of KH3 on that clock tower. Olette want's to pull that puppet's strings. RAX to me just don't seem like commitment to one person deal, which is why their group is so huge now with Isa, Hayner, Pence, and Olette.

I don't think I need to really address SRK much. If Days came out around the time of DDD I'm positive Xion would look like Riku. Sora and Riku work so well as a duo that it pains me they never squeezed Kairi in their dynamic. I loved these kids in KH1, but now it's just Sora/Riku as the ultimate bros and Sora/Kairi as a couple. This is why I don't like romance in KH. Bring back their friendship!
 

Tartarus

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I agree with that trio notion. I think TAV is the only one that could pull it off due to Aqua and Terra already treating Ven like their child lol. But even then I don't seriously ship Terra and Aqua. I view it as a Hawkeye/Black Widow thing if anything. I ship Terra and Cinderella cause that's where the goods are. And I ship Aqua with Zack...if the poor bum is still alive. But neither I take seriously it's just for my own amusement.
This is why I've always shipped Aqua/Terra actually. They seem more mature than other original characters, even though Terra is dumb as a rock, and the fact that they treat Ven like their adopted child just takes the cake, lol. Roxas/Namine is really the only other het ship I have for KH--and that actually stands a slim chance of happening because they are like a shadow version of Sora and Kairi.
 
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