Why is everyone so defensive over SoKai?



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ROKU-SHI

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Like the title says - Why is everyone so defensive over Sora and Kairi?

Fans of the ship will bash anyone who thinks different and nearly all the youtubers have to involve "That Kiss" and demanding Nomura to do it.

If anyone ships him or her with other people, they will shout "Sora's girl" or "Kairi's man" . I respect the fans opinion but why bash others if they don't ship it? .
 

DarkosOverlord

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Well first of all, not all people. Let's not group the entire category over some, albeit vocal, individuals.
Second, it's less of a SoKai thing and more of a shipping thing, every pairing will have a percentage of people ready to yell at and bash whoever doesn't feel that way. I've seen RikuxSora, RokuNami and so on fans being just as bad over exchanges of opinions.
I don't believe there is a pairing fandom that has only good eggs or only bad ones.

About the youtubers, I don't follow many on this subject but if they're demanding it too strongly it's their problem. I myself love the idea, but it's hardly my priority and I've come to realize it would be a bit of a jump from the series' pace. I'll be honest, just seeing Sora and Kairi standing in the sunset in that one KH III was enough to make me happy.

Now, about a possible reason to as why some are so defensive... not to paint us SoKai fans as poor abused victims, but sometimes the anti-Kairi mindset gets a little heavy. There are places where forget SoKai, you cannot mention Kairi by herself without someone berating her and whatever interaction she has with Sora. People consider her something akin to a misfortune that's still around and will be a detriment no matter what she does, and sometimes gets under the skin. I have took part in discussions where after insulting her and the sheer concept of Sora having an hetero relationship for hours, the other party said that she was ALMOST bearable in a couple of scenes, like it was a generous concession they were making for me.
Talk about a fair, unbiased exchange of opinions.

But as I said, this is just an extreme case and happens frequently also at reversed roles. RikuxSora fans have just as bad of a time clashing with bigots and homophobics in disguise. Sometimes not even that much in disguise.
In that case, I advice to look at the person rather than the couple discussed.
 
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gosoxtim

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Well first of all, not all people. Let's not group the entire category over some, albeit vocal, individuals.
Second, it's less of a SoKai thing and more of a shipping thing, every pairing will have a percentage of people ready to yell at and bash whoever doesn't feel that way. I've seen RikuxSora, RokuNami and so on fans being just as bad over exchanges of opinions.
I don't believe there is a pairing fandom that has only good eggs or only bad ones.

About the youtubers, I don't follow many on this subject but if they're demanding it too strongly it's their problem. I myself love the idea, but it's hardly my priority and I've come to realize it would be a bit of a jump from the series' pace. I'll be honest, just seeing Sora and Kairi standing in the sunset in that one KH III was enough to make me happy.

Now, about a possible reason to as why some are so defensive... not to paint us SoKai fans as poor abused victims, but sometimes the anti-Kairi mindset gets a little heavy. There are places where forget SoKai, you cannot mention Kairi by herself without someone berating her and whatever interaction she has with Sora. People consider her something akin to a misfortune that's still around and will be a detriment no matter what she does, and sometimes gets under the skin. I have took part in discussions where after insulting her and the sheer concept of Sora having an hetero relationship for hours, the other party said that she was ALMOST bearable in a couple of scenes, like it was a generous concession they were making for me.
Talk about a fair, unbiased exchange of opinions.

But as I said, this is just an extreme case and happens frequently also at reversed roles. RikuxSora fans have just as bad of a time clashing with bigots and homophobics in disguise. Sometimes not even that much in disguise.
In that case, I advice to look at the person rather than the couple discussed.
yeah pretty much darkosoverlord said it hurt me i can bring something that could sokai related without having people shove other ships to my face
 

AmaryllisMoth

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Oh lordy, this topic.

As it was already brought up by Darkos that it is problematic to link every single person who likes on pairing to the actions of a few crazy vocal members of the same opinion, I won't touch on that. Crazy exists in every single fandom, and every sub fandom and you are going to have people spit out vitriol no matter what.

Also, just wanted to quickly touch on this other point Darkos mentioned:

But as I said, this is just an extreme case and happens frequently also at reversed roles. RikuxSora fans have just as bad of a time clashing with bigots and homophobics in disguise. Sometimes not even that much in disguise.
I also just wanted to point out that very often (as a SoraxKairi fan myself) I have had to deal with people insisting that because I do not actively support SoraxRiku that I am homophobic. It really upsets me when people say just because I support a hetero relationship, and don't see Sora and Riku as lovers that apparently I am throwing shade at the gay community as a whole.

Nasty people spewing insults sucks for everyone involved, really.

Anyway, last thing I wanted to put out there is just an explanation from my own perspective about why I would ever feel the need to "defend" my shipping. The way I see it, Sora and Kairi are the default pairing. While it is entirely possible to argue that other pairings exist, it is flat out impossible to say that a Sora and Kairi pairing is not heavily suggested by the source material. There is far too much outright explicit confirmation.

While SoraxRiku is a very common alternative pairing, most of the support for that is, in my mind, relatively subjective. And that's fine if people want to support it, but I think all of the evidence for it I have seen relied a lot on opinion. Sora liking Kairi has been very blatantly confirmed in several places. As a result, it is in the position of default, canon pairing.

So sometimes as a supporter of the canon pair it can be frustrating when people want other match ups so badly that they try to say the pairing between Sora and Kairi doesn't exist. Whether or not people want to accept that pairing is up to them, and if they want to support a different pairing more, and point to all the reasons why their preferred pairing exists, that's fine too. One pairing existing doesn't necessarily remove the possibility of another.

That is the only reason why I would consider being "defensive" is when people say "Sora and Kairi isn't a thing!" because that just isn't true. It's pretty much the only non-subjective pairing the game has given us.
 
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I imagine it’s frustrating for fans to watch their ship interact very little despite supposedly being the mains, not to mention how little Kairi gets to do.
 

MATGSY

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People get defensive over Kairi in general. Half the fandom hates her because she doesn't do anything, the rest hoped she gets to do more. A glass half-full/empty situation basically. The shipping seems to be a recent-ish focal point of the Kairi hate/hope discussion.
 

alexis.anagram

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I think they're just insecure about the possibility of their preferred ship going "unconfirmed" or not ending the way they want it to, mostly because it's widely recognized that Kairi has been sidelined from the main plot of the series for a long time, and they know in their own minds that it's not really all that dramatically plausible, at least within the context of KH3, to define her as a character in her own right and develop a central arc for her as an individual without extricating her from the space she inhabits within Sora's larger hero's journey as "the girl/prize." For people who are both SoKai shippers and Kairi fans, this creates dissonance between one desire for the endgame ("the kiss") and the other desire for the whole game (Kairi's arc), and then they lash out at fans who threaten to widen that dichotomy by revealing the existing flaws in their pairing.

I can empathize. I (tentatively, sort of, not really but for the sake of argument will claim to) ship Sora x Riku, and I'm very insecure about the probability of that pairing working out to my satisfaction. You'd think Sora x Kairi fans would be more confident and less prone to concern over their endgame, though. I mean, that pairing has everything going for it. It's straight and. Uh. It's straight.

The way I see it, Sora and Kairi are the default pairing.
While SoraxRiku is a very common alternative pairing, most of the support for that is, in my mind, relatively subjective. And that's fine if people want to support it, but I think all of the evidence for it I have seen relied a lot on opinion.
Well, I'm not going to call you homophobic or anything, but nobody would make these kinds of arguments if Riku was a girl and Sora or Sora-alikes had spent the last two main games in which he was featured establishing the kind of relationship with (her) as we have seen up to this point. On the contrary, people would be feeling really sorry for Kairi right about now. The only reason the subtext and even just the text between our two male leads is not read universally as romantic is because they are both guys, so I'm not going to call you homophobic, but you're shoring up homophobic attitudes and trends in fiction with this "alternative pairing" based on "a lot of opinion" stuff.

The queer audience for the KH games is not second class to the straight fans and if we read queer themes and symbols into the series that's not an "alternative" to the "default" canon, it's as valid as any interpretation of the material.
 

AmaryllisMoth

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The queer audience for the KH games is not second class to the straight fans and if we read queer themes and symbols into the series that's not an "alternative" to the "default" canon, it's as valid as any interpretation of the material.
Oh geez. Maybe I didn't make myself clear but what I was trying to say is that if people read queer themes in certain actions that the characters do there is absolutely nothing wrong with that interpretation at all. I didn't want to imply that this is an incorrect interpretation by any means. It's whatever you make of it and I pass no judgements at all.

All I was suggesting is that, simply looking at the game text, there are several explicit confirmations of a Sora and Kairi pairing within the game, which means it is, in that sense, substantiated within the source material. So all I was trying to say is that the Sora and Kairi pairing undoubtedly exists and to deny it exists is incorrect.

If you want to go all out cheering for Sora and Riku that is fine. It isn't wrong, it isn't a "lesser pairing", it's just much more of a subjective interpretation because I haven't seen the game say anything directly about it. If, say, something were to happen that made their pairing much more directly confirmed I would change my opinion and then say that BOTH SoraxKairi and SoraxRiku were confirmed by the game.

Well, I'm not going to call you homophobic or anything, but nobody would make these kinds of arguments if Riku was a girl and Sora or Sora-alikes had spent the last two main games in which he was featured establishing the kind of relationship with (her) as we have seen up to this point. On the contrary, people would be feeling really sorry for Kairi right about now. The only reason the subtext and even just the text between our two male leads is not read universally as romantic is because they are both guys, so I'm not going to call you homophobic, but you're shoring up homophobic attitudes and trends in fiction with this "alternative pairing" based on "a lot of opinion" stuff.
Actually, if Riku was a girl I would not feel any differently and still assert the same thing. Not sure why you decided to put those words in my mouth but okay then. I am a firm believer that men and women can be amazingly close friends without being romantic with one another so Riku being a woman wouldn't change a thing to me. It has nothing to do with gender for me and everything to do with what is actually said and shown in the game.

I mean...Sora had an imaginary frolicking daydream where he is spinning around hand-in-hand with Kairi with hazy pink love clouds in the background. If that doesn't scream happy-happy-love-love cliche then I dunno what to think, honestly. We also had a few characters say directly that Sora "likes" Kairi in the game. Sora blushes when he thinks about her. That, to me, indicates rather directly that he has romantic feelings for her. Ignoring everything else about their friendship, their close bond, it shows he feels something a bit different with her specifically.

I don't know of anything romantically explicit that involves Sora and Riku. Yes, they both went to hell and back for each other, but none of that to me directly implies "romantic" love. Can it be seen that way? Of course! But to me it suggests more of a deep connection that isn't necessarily romantic. Why would it make that leap to romance? "Pairings" to me, in terms of romance, is very different in my mind than "has a strong connection to". This is why I say it is subjective. Because I don't see the romance part of it specifically.

But heck, lets just assume for the sake of argument that Riku is a girl and Kairi doesn't exist. That otherwise everything else is the same in their interactions with each other. I'm dead sure that people would pair the two of them together. No doubt. Because fans will pair everything together whether it makes sense or not. Me personally, though...I tend not to like romance shoe-horned in everything and, like I said, unless there was anything more direct I would just be happy considering them a really great example of a man and a woman not having to be lovers, but still being ridiculously close. Same if Sora was a girl and Riku was one too. Or even if Kairi was a dude and everything else was the same, I would still say that Sora and Kairi are the more directly implied pair.

I mean, could you point out to me something that is explicitly implying romance between Sora and Riku? If I missed something I would like to know.

Just once again all I wanted to say is that Sora and Kairi are the only pairing I see ever having romantic implications stated in the game, and I don't care one bit if someone doesn't want to support that pairing, but it is still there.

Edit: Also just wanted to say if there was confusion, in my word choice of my original post, when I said Sora and Riku was an "alternative" pairing, I meant it simply as "other". Not "lesser". Sometimes I do not choose the correct words, and if that was the issue I apologize.
 
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Audo

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kairi's heart was with sora for most of the series
you mean one game?

I mean...Sora had an imaginary frolicking daydream where he is spinning around hand-in-hand with Kairi with hazy pink love clouds in the background If that doesn't scream happy-happy-love-love cliche then I dunno what to think, honestly.
and the song sora's and riku's hearts sing together is literally dearly beloved
 

AmaryllisMoth

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and the song sora's and riku's hearts sing together is literally dearly beloved
Uh...when is this? I definitely don't remember Riku singing. :tongue:
Mind helping me understand exactly what scene this is?

Um and besides, Dearly Beloved is one of the games major recurring themes that occurs most of the time when hearts are involved, whether or not those characters are romantically involved. Honestly I always considered the song a representation of Sora, or of the "connection between hearts" more than anything else. Just looking at the first game we first hear the song in the opening (with an image of Sora) and then when he seals the door with Mickey and realizes he is going to have to say goodbye to his friends temporarily. It's also part of Xion's battle theme song, which makes sense considering how much emotional struggle the girl had to go through, and the struggle Roxas was dealing with in fighting her. I never felt like that song necessarily hinted at any two characters being together all the other times it played, so why would some time it plays with Sora and Riku be an exception? (Again, I have no idea what scene you are talking about...)

Regardless, like I was saying, even if there was a lovey-dovy scene with Sora and Riku blatantly skipping through a field of flowers with bluebirds chirping, rainbows, the works, that still doesn't take away from the fact that there is a confirmed romantic connection that Sora feels for Kairi that was shown in the games already.

I don't care if people want to argue that SoraxRiku exists, I'm not really talking about that. I'm just trying to say that it is disingenuous to claim that Sora doesn't show romantic leanings towards Kairi during several points in the series. Whatever happens with Riku is completely separate. My only opinion on their pairing is that it is subjective, because there wasn't anything presented that was as direct as the romantic implications we were given with Sora and Kairi.

It's NOT canon. they never kiss, hold hands nor confess. so it's in everyones dreams and wont ever happen.
You don't have to have two characters hold hands and confess to each other to be sure they have romantic feelings about one another. I mean, if that is the case then you should be saying that there are no relationships at all in the series other than Ariel and Eric and Mickey and Minnie because those are the only ones who kiss on screen. Beast and Belle? Whoops, they never held hands so they're out. I mean, maybe that's your stance, I dunno. But to me there are several places where their feelings are directly hinted at.

Let's look at one example. Here is a little excerpt from CoM:

Sora: No, uh...just thinking aloud.

Selphie: I know...you're thinking about HER again!

Tidus: Ohhh, I get it. Yeah, he's a total zombie when she's on his mind.

Wakka: That would explain why he's actin' all funny toward us.

Selphie: I bet you want us to take a hike so you two can be ALONE, huh?

Sora: Umm...I guess.

Selphie: All right, all right. We'll disappear for awhile. Go get her, cowboy.

Tidus: We'll try to be quiet while we SPY on you! Heh heh...

Wakka: Hey, Sora's serious. Give the man some room.
So, I know that in this particular moment that Sora has "forgotten" about Kairi and is looking for Namine, but obviously because she superimposed herself in Kairi's place. In this scene Sora is a bit frazzled and confused over what's going on, but we can see from the interactions he has with the other three that they are essentially teasing him for having a crush. If Sora didn't feel that way towards Kairi I really don't see how this scene would make any sense.

Also just wanted to say technically they did hold hands (not in the sense you were talking about though). It is part of the beautiful symbolism between the endings of KH1 and KH2 where you see Sora and Kairi struggling to keep their hands together at the end of the first game, leading up to them putting their hands back together at the end of the second. It's a nice little touch.
 
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AmaryllisMoth

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At the end of Symphony of Sorcery in DDD, when Sora and Riku's Sound Ideas join together and perform a melody in tune with their hearts.
Thanks for helping me find it!

Okay just went back specifically to rewatch it. I could see how some people may like to see that as romantic, but I still think that claim is very subjective in this case as well. All Mickey said was that the "sound idea" they would get inside the book was a "power to repel the darkness". He didn't say the sound idea represented "the tune of their hearts". Sora explains that it is the strength of teamwork that made it work. If people want to read more into that, cool. I think it was just establishing they are friends who can rely on each other.

As far as the choice of song goes, I don't think dearly beloved is inherently romantic. Like I said before it is used multiple times in other places where I definitely wouldn't call it a romantic song. If anything it just symbolizes the themes of the game: strong bonds, friendship, holding our friends close in our hearts. Because whenever it plays that is the central issue at hand.

Just like how you could possibly say that "Hikari" plays at several points when Sora is doing something for Kairi (when he "dies" in HB and later when he gets her letter and opens up the door to DI at the end of KH2) but I think it would be a bit presumptuous to claim that Hikari is a song that only establishes romance between them. It's a recurring song motif for the game series.

But this is just what I was talking about. People can look at scenes like that in so many different ways. And there isn't a right way or a wrong way to see it, because it isn't clearly leaning one way or the other.
 

alexis.anagram

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there are several explicit confirmations of a Sora and Kairi pairing within the game, which means it is, in that sense, substantiated within the source material.
According to your highly subjective, opinionated viewpoint on what constitutes a viable romantic pairing. There's nothing wrong with shipping Sora and Kairi if that's your thing, and you've really got nothing to worry about because it's probably going to be more or less confirmed by the end of KH3, but the problem is how you're framing the argument, or perhaps more accurately, the problem is how the argument for Sora and Kairi has to be framed based on the material as it is presented. To borrow a few of your examples:

1) Sora daydreams dancing with Kairi in Halloweentown. It's commonly referenced as proof positive that they're destined to be a couple, but this daydream only occurs from Sora's perspective, and can only be taken to mean that he likes to think of Kairi that way. Kairi is not a participant in this fantasy, so while it can't be concluded that she definitely doesn't reciprocate his feelings, this scene also can't be taken as evidence that she does. It takes two (or more) people to make a relationship work, and if you go through the material, Kairi is notably absent as a figure within this purported pairing.

2) Characters reference Sora's "feelings" for Kairi. This is an even worse example of how to establish or prove a pairing, because neither Sora or Kairi's feelings are actually explored through this method, and Kairi is even further removed from the equation because nobody ever pauses to consider whether Kairi actually likes Sora back when making these statements. It's either assumed that she does, or assumed not to matter whether she does. Once again, to the extent that it can confirm anything, it provides an argument for Sora's part, but does nothing for Kairi's role in what is, again, supposed to be a romantic partnership.

2.5) On a personal note, I've always really disliked how the characters do this around Sora. Besides coming off as forced "friendly ahyuck" dialogue intended to shoehorn in romantic subtext to scenes where it's neither necessary nor natural to do so, it also brings up the discomfort of having grown up with people teasing me in the same way, making assumptions about who I liked based on my perceived gender and romantic-sexual orientation, and I have this fantasy where Sora turns on Donald and Goofy in a moment of totally liberated clarity and says, "You know what guys, my feelings for Kairi have never actually been stronger than my feelings for Riku or vice versa, I love them both and if I choose to date one or both of them that's going to be between me and them, and it won't be based on heternormative scripts as to what is and isn't acceptable or what is to be expected of my sexuality." And then Walt Disney's cryogenically frozen head will explode.

3) There's no canon material within the series that indicates that Kairi's feelings for Sora are more romantic than Riku's feelings for Sora or Sora's feelings for Riku. Kairi paints a reciprocal paopu fruit on the cave wall in DI? Sora and Riku get a paopu fruit themed Keyblade to share between them. Kairi rushes to hug Sora in TWTNW? Sora rushes to hug Riku immediately after he wakes up from diving into Sora's heart in DDD. You like the symbolism of Kairi and Sora having their hands pulled apart and then reunited as a bookend to the first two main games (I do too actually)? How about the symbolism of Riku reaching his hand out to Sora on DI in KH1 while Sora struggles furiously to reach him through the darkness, bookended by a reunited Sora grasping Riku's hand in TWTNW and crying as if he never wants to let it go? Sora is Riku's light, just like Kairi is Sora's, etc. etc. the list goes on.

The idea that fans can form an objective and canon reading of Sora and Kairi as the couple for KH is entirely premised upon their heterosexuality as a justification because it's the only factor that separates them from Sora and Riku in terms of the probability of seeing their relationship confirmed in an explicitly romantic context. When I said that nobody would make the kinds of arguments you do if Riku was a girl, I wasn't putting words in your mouth, I was identifying a fact of reality: if Riku was a girl, the popular reading of the dynamic between Sora, Riku and Kairi would be that it is a love triangle, and Sora will have to pick one or the other at some point. It's disingenuous to claim otherwise.

I also believe that people of any gender or orientation can be friends without romantic strings attached. That's why I don't want any romance confirmed in KH: I want Sora and Kairi to remain friends with a powerful bond, and Riku and Sora to remain likewise. Sure, I would cheer if we got a canon, main queer couple in the games, because I'm starved for representation, but it's not actually my preference. I think Sora, Kairi and Riku all work best as a trio of friends with a single shared, special connection going back to their childhood: they all need and love each other, and everything comes from that spiritual center, the trinity that makes them whole. It's why I love that Kairi chases after Riku when he tries to leave her with Sora in KH2, and reconnects the two of them with their hands between hers (and subsequently why I hate that she gets left behind for the next 80 games). And why this is one of my favorite images and moments in the series:


Literally nothing matters to me as much as all three of them staying together, and if Nomura's really gonna pull some "people have to grow up and friendships have to change" in the middle of a Disney series about the magical power of being bonded with others inseparably (especially if that means singling Riku out as the lonely gay while every straight fantasy ever is reinforced) I'm gonna call BS on it. Because I don't like romance shoehorned into a story to the detriment of its actually valuable messaging, either.
 

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To me shipping is a form of wish fullfillment. Hence why a lot of ships tend dwelve into the LGBTIA perspective. So something about Sora/Kairi getting together appeals to a portion of the fandom for whatever reasons.
 
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