The treatment of women in this series



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OneDandelion

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why do people keep coming into obviously feminist-leaning threads to complain about feminism
why do people keep coming into a KINGDOM HEARTS FORUM to complain about feminism
alexa kill this clown
If you don't want to exchange ideas why are you on a public forum?
 

Zip

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Dude this entire thread is ripping on the series for having damsel in distress as a motivating factor. The post I responded to cited "2019 levels of representation"

I'm not the one who wants to have this talk; this is 100% what happens when a person can't appreciate a game for what it is because it doesn't include the things they want. All I'm saying is that the story is a masterpiece the way it is and does not need to be changed to be more inclusive to anyone.
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Face My Fears

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Some character flaws aside, I disagree. I think the ideas that Nomura has put forward and the way everything has tied together is honestly a work of genius.

If you want to ignore that this is largely a feminist issue in this thread fine. Im with EeL to be honest and I'd rather not talk about it anyway.

Characters act as plot devices all the time. In stories plot devices are necessary... to progress the story in a direction that it needs to go. I understand you don't like the way that a few plot devices were used in KH3, and I agree they could have been executed better - but they aren't as bad as you say they are. They don't ruin the characters and they haven't undermined the significance of the truly important parts of the story.

Yes, I fully agree with you. And Aqua and Xion are two of my favorite characters as well. We could be best friends!

But I feel I do need to bring it up. Because the "damsal in distress" narrative is one of the biggest motivating factors for the protagonist in this series I love and it wouldn't work nearly as well without it. So a thread attacking that narrative as something inherently bad in the name of "2019" and "progress" is a terrible thing in my opinion; especially because they are not critiquing it as a valid element of the story, they are critiquing it merely for existing
It was a major motivating factor in KH1 and 2 (to an extent). I think there is a point to be made that after all the hype and build up we see for Kairi as a keyblade wielder and guardian of light, she didn't get much action in KH3 and then was again kidnapped with little explanation.

I mean I get that Xehanort was attacking Sora's heart so that he would make a mistake, but logically speaking he could have kidnapped any one of his friends to do that and on top of that, he needed the final light to be struck by his keyblade... again, he could have taken any guardian of light. I liked the choice of Kairi being taken, because I felt that they were building towards Sora understanding his true power (love between him and Kairi) all throughout the game, but I do think that if they were going to take Kairi again, we should have at least seen her be more active/strong beforehand (like a fight scene between her and Axel in the final training and Kairi winning).

We didn't see her do anything besides sit with Axel and chat (great scenes), swipe at one heartless, be a party member for 5 minutes, then get kidnapped and subsequently "killed". After 13 years of hoping and praying for more for Kairi, I can understand people's frustration.
 

Megavoltage

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That's not exactly true though, is it? She's the only reason Sora and everyone else didn't die, really. Chirithy said she's the reason Sora didn't vanish. I still wonder if we're supposed to assume that's because of the paopu fruit? Because she's among the living, he can't really die because their souls are tethered or something. Like--do they have real power now or is it just a symbol only?
Huh? My post was about Aqua and old world people returning, not Kairi.
 

VoidGear.

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Don't these trolls get tired at some point?
Just say that you hate the idea of women being equal to men and fucking go.
 

OneDandelion

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Alpha Baymax

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I think the treatement of women should have been question ever since Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II introduced Organization XIII, with only one of the original thirteen members being female.

But yeah, Alexis Anagram sums up my thoughts better than I would for this topic. Tetsuya Takahashi (the Xenogears and Xenoblade Chronicles director) is able to create compelling female characters without being fridged or a damsel. Nomura should take lessons from him. It's not even a regional storytelling difference...
 

Nukara

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I think the treatement of women should have been question ever since Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II introduced Organization XIII, with only one of the original thirteen members being female.

But yeah, Alexis Anagram sums up my thoughts better than I would for this topic. Tetsuya Takahashi (the Xenogears and Xenoblade Chronicles director) is able to create compelling female characters without being fridged or a damsel. Nomura should take lessons from him. It's not even a regional storytelling difference...
As I did not want to enter into this discussion, but damn, a large number of female characters is not an indicator of their good practice.
I understood this by the example of Star Wars episode 7 and 8, where there were many female heroes, but in fact they were absolutely uninteresting and useless for the general plot, just to insert more so that this franchise would not be accused of a small number of female heroes. I even agree that there are few girls, so long as these are real heroes or at least charismatic heroines, such as Larxene. Even if she is the only woman in the Organization (Although this is not true because there is a Xion), she stands out very much against their background.
 

eiczerofour

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Kairi did more in this game then ever before. She got developed as a character, and though at times she needed help, so did lliterally every other character in this game. She also saved Sora. Aqua saved Ven. Kairi saved everyone that was not hersef. Xion saved Axel (the real damsel in this game.) Everyone saved someone else, and the most out of character thing in this game was Kairi weilding a keyblade. I am glad she and Axel where bad at it as they never should have had them in the first place. Kairi’s power was her strong heart, in which they utilized her well. Xionand Kairi where also great in this game. Roxas and Naminé where only problems because they had lack of story. Anyone finding this game sexist is looking too deep for something that is not there. This series has always been about Sora, and taken place in Disney Worlds with damsels in distress. If this game upset anyone for these reasons maybe Kingdom Hearts is not the series for you. These “issues” (which I do not think as problems) have not been any different sonce kh1.
 

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OneDandelion

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I agree with this to an extent. But there is also value in letting the audience fill in the casual conversations with their own imagination, and there is some time in between the games when Kairi and Sora could have done that.

That quote from the star in the final world comes to mind: "Special occasions may stand out, but there's nothing so precious as the quiet times between them. That's what a life is, really.." Except stories don't typically have the luxury of including all the small things, not because they don't matter but because stories set out to teach lessons or capture "special occasions" and experiences that can't be obtained from the quiet times.

I had this same problem with Naruto to be honest. They spend so much time fighting and in the end it seems like we don't get to sit with the characters and listen to their idle conversations. After all the fighting thats what I wanted I suppose.

But maybe their idle days are best left to our own individual imaginations. So I guess I'm torn. Despite agreeing with you I feel as though what we've been given was enough. Maybe being given more obvious conversation and romance between Sora and Kairi would downplay the significance of the special moments we were given.
 

DarkosOverlord

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Kairi did more in this game then ever before. She got developed as a character, and though at times she needed help, so did lliterally every other character in this game. She also saved Sora. Aqua saved Ven. Kairi saved everyone that was not hersef. Xion saved Axel (the real damsel in this game.)
Other characters being rendered useless and in artificial need of saving doesn't make it more okay. I think Axel had just as a bad time in the spotlight as Kairi, the both of them were taken out of most of the game because they were supposedly going to bo oh so useful in the final clash, and then... they weren't. They got jobbed HARD.
This whole "saving" thing is a problem shared by other sagas as well, and it's an icky situation, because without a doubt it means x character "did" something, aka not useless, but it's also an easy way to waste them and write them out of any other scenario under the guise that their job is done.
Like, yeah, something something light and hearts and Kairi brought Sora back, hooray. I'm not MAD at that fact. But that's all she did, she didn't fight, she wasn't playable, she hadn't any other big moment. And it doesn't change that what she did was essentially bringing back another character to do the ACTUAL stuff.
Again, Sora being back? Good thing. Other characters not doing anything relevant on their own? Bad thing even if Sora is back.
Also whether we like it or not, she has a Keyblade now. I would expect her to achieve something with it.


Everyone saved someone else, and the most out of character thing in this game was Kairi weilding a keyblade. I am glad she and Axel where bad at it as they never should have had them in the first place. Kairi’s power was her strong heart, in which they utilized her well.
They really didn't. You can have a strong heart AND do something else. 99% of the characters in this franchise have strong hearts. THEN, they also do stuff. The Beast had a strong heart and was sought out because of it, but he wasn't just kidnapped away or used his strong heart once. He was a party member who resolved his own issues and went against two Organization members.
Also the game went out of its way to establish that Lea and Kairi trained in a place where time didn't flow and that they could've virtually taken as much as they've liked, so no, I'm not going to let them being useless with a Keyblade slide.


Anyone finding this game sexist is looking too deep for something that is not there.
We know, we're looking for female characters being competently written.

This series has always been about Sora, and taken place in Disney Worlds with damsels in distress.
Okay, how can you say that when in this very game one of the "damsels in distress" is a party member who fights back and did much more than Kairi has ever done?
Last time I checked Aqua (who also doesn't receive the best of treatments in this game) was not Sora, yet was able to perform and do stuff in her own games. And people really loved her and made a lot of observations about how strong and useful she was. Coincidences?

If this game upset anyone for these reasons maybe Kingdom Hearts is not the series for you.
These “issues” (which I do not think as problems) have not been any different sonce kh1. [/spoilers]
Look, if you don't have any problem with this, well, I can't talk for anybody else but as far as I'm concerned okay, go your own way.
But we do, and I refuse to believe that the answer is "This is Kingdom Hearts, stop asking for improvements and deal with it" because that's just not true. We should have a right to see a good cast of characters ALL fully fleshed out and expressed to the best of their potential, and when that doesn't happen we have a right to criticize it and wish for a better way of doing things.

I'm all up for debate, I really am, but in cases such as this I feel like saying "stop feeling the way you do because I've decided they're not real problems" isn't the solution.
 

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Now you’re just talking nonsense. I guarantee you if the roles were reversed, and KH3 built up Sora as becoming a GoL after being a damsel for two games, people would have been complaining when the character was diminished to being a damsel for a third time. Kairi didn't have any development if her role was the same as it's been for 2 games now.
 

Twilight Lumiair

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Kairi did more in this game then ever before. She got developed as a character, and though at times she needed help, so did lliterally every other character in this game. She also saved Sora. Aqua saved Ven. Kairi saved everyone that was not hersef. Xion saved Axel (the real damsel in this game.) Everyone saved someone else, and the most out of character thing in this game was Kairi weilding a keyblade. I am glad she and Axel where bad at it as they never should have had them in the first place. Kairi’s power was her strong heart, in which they utilized her well. Xionand Kairi where also great in this game. Roxas and Naminé where only problems because they had lack of story. Anyone finding this game sexist is looking too deep for something that is not there. This series has always been about Sora, and taken place in Disney Worlds with damsels in distress. If this game upset anyone for these reasons maybe Kingdom Hearts is not the series for you. These “issues” (which I do not think as problems) have not been any different sonce kh1.
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KeybladeLordSora

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TruestSyn

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I agree with this to an extent. But there is also value in letting the audience fill in the casual conversations with their own imagination, and there is some time in between the games when Kairi and Sora could have done that.

That quote from the star in the final world comes to mind: "Special occasions may stand out, but there's nothing so precious as the quiet times between them. That's what a life is, really.." Except stories don't typically have the luxury of including all the small things, not because they don't matter but because stories set out to teach lessons or capture "special occasions" and experiences that can't be obtained from the quiet times.

I had this same problem with Naruto to be honest. They spend so much time fighting and in the end it seems like we don't get to sit with the characters and listen to their idle conversations. After all the fighting thats what I wanted I suppose.

But maybe their idle days are best left to our own individual imaginations. So I guess I'm torn. Despite agreeing with you I feel as though what we've been given was enough. Maybe being given more obvious conversation and romance between Sora and Kairi would downplay the significance of the special moments we were given.
I mean, admittedly I'm also very biased. I just don't like Sora and Kairi as a couple because of the way it's executed just making it feel kinda forced from my perspective. That, and I personally just don't find it particularly interesting, even if I fully acknowledge it as a cute thing that a lot of people are going to love, and I am happy for those who got the SoKai content they wanted. I just feel that if they absolutely had to make it so blatant in KH3, it would've been nice if that wasn't all she'd basically been through the duration of the series. Idk, to me SoKai's just very much main guy x main girl, and I prefer more complex dynamics, like Riku's and Kairi's (and while I ABSOLUTELY ship RiKai, I 100% acknowledge it was never gonna happen. I just really was more endeared by his dedication to her in KH1 than I was Sora and Kairi's whole thing, so I wish their character dynamic wasn't left in the dust.]

It feels like the Destiny Islands trio only really matters in their relation to Sora nowadays. :/ The other trios are far more balanced. Terra/Aqua/Ven all care about each other and it's shown so clearly in BBS. Same with Roxas, Axel, and Xion.

In general, though, I just don't like when a female character has so little going on besides the love interest, y'know? We've seldom seen Kairi interact with... basically anyone else. We never got to see her time with Hayner, Pence, and Olette beyond a few seconds. Haven't gotten a lot of interaction with even Donald and Goofy. She had a few lines with Aqua, which was nice, but golly I wish we got more.

Which leads me to perhaps my one big issue with KH3: Did it really need to be Sora's story?

Think about it. Sora/Donald/Goofy are a huge, essential part of KH... but at this point, KH has had so many games with so many other main characters. I think if we had gotten some alternate routes for the others, then maybe characters like Kairi and Aqua would have been better realized in the scope of the story.

On the subject of Aqua...

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TruestSyn

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I mean, admittedly I'm also very biased. I just don't like Sora and Kairi as a couple because of the way it's executed just making it feel kinda forced from my perspective. That, and I personally just don't find it particularly interesting, even if I fully acknowledge it as a cute thing that a lot of people are going to love, and I am happy for those who got the SoKai content they wanted. I just feel that if they absolutely had to make it so blatant in KH3, it would've been nice if that wasn't all she'd basically been through the duration of the series. Idk, to me SoKai's just very much main guy x main girl, and I prefer more complex dynamics, like Riku's and Kairi's (and while I ABSOLUTELY ship RiKai, I 100% acknowledge it was never gonna happen. I just really was more endeared by his dedication to her in KH1 than I was Sora and Kairi's whole thing, so I wish their character dynamic wasn't left in the dust.]

It feels like the Destiny Islands trio only really matters in their relation to Sora nowadays. :/ The other trios are far more balanced. Terra/Aqua/Ven all care about each other and it's shown so clearly in BBS. Same with Roxas, Axel, and Xion.

In general, though, I just don't like when a female character has so little going on besides the love interest, y'know? We've seldom seen Kairi interact with... basically anyone else. We never got to see her time with Hayner, Pence, and Olette beyond a few seconds. Haven't gotten a lot of interaction with even Donald and Goofy. She had a few lines with Aqua, which was nice, but golly I wish we got more.

Which leads me to perhaps my one big issue with KH3: Did it really need to be Sora's story?

Think about it. Sora/Donald/Goofy are a huge, essential part of KH... but at this point, KH has had so many games with so many other main characters. I think if we had gotten some alternate routes for the others, then maybe characters like Kairi and Aqua would have been better realized in the scope of the story.

On the subject of Aqua...

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She probably couldn't, the arena they were in was her guard. If anything, it may be a continuity acknowledgement as she didn't even block with her keyblade when Vanitas attacked her.

Sora and Kairi really isn't forced, I don't see why you think that. She loved Sora from near the beginning, they're childhood friends. He was her safe space when her heart was under attack. She lived those moments with him and he brought her back. He marked the wall with sharing a paopu fruit. He didn't expect her to see it. Then she saw it, was happy that he seemed to like her back, and she put hers up too. Then they unite again in KH2 under duress and after finally uniting again (he focused on Kairi as soon as he heard she was also captured) he went back to focusing on Riku because he sees the trinity while she sees Sora and his loyalty to friendship. She helps Sora reunite with Riku so she can hopefully get back home with him. Then they meet back up again and they take hands. He notices that she also marked the wall and there's no telling what else happened off screen (discussion of romance etc) but I think something definitely did happen to cause her to want to fight alongside Sora. She tried to train hard to save him from shouldering this burden all on his own, however destiny chose Sora and he couldn't break free from those chains. It is clearly evident that she loved him and he loved her because when Xehanort destroyed her his response was "Why her?" he knew it could have been anyone and he may not have fought as hard, Xehanort hit Sora where he knew it would hurt. This romance has been building since moment one in KH and has never once been forced. From the moment she suggested they leave without Riku, and Riku knew it too from the moment he offered to have Sora share a paopu and threatened to be the one to share it with the race.
 

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