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Will the KH-series get in trouble with SJWs?



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Swing

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We are now in a new... let's say... in a new era of entertainment. People are very sensitive nowadays when it comes to the portrait of specific people in media. Mostly women, people of color, and folks from the LGBTQ. Any form of art media must be politically correct nowadays. Even games recently had to change some old ideas to fit with people's modern taste. Like for example in Uncharted 4, where Nathan Drake got his butt kicked by a woman, or with the new Crash Bandicoot and Battletoads, where Tawna and the Dark Queen got a less, feminine-looking design. And The Last of Us Part 2 is probably the most well-known example of a videogame series that focuses a lot on a specific agenda.

Since the SJW movement plays such a huge role in our modern life, do you guys think that KH will be also affected by this? I could see this happening since KH is owned by Disney and Disney really wants to pander to the SJWs lately with movies like Mulan 2020 and Captain Marvel.
 

Blenderudit

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This is a very sensitive topic. Not sure how long it can go before getting too political. :p
Let's just say that from my european vision: this SJW thing is a pure product of the US (in europe we talk about it but it doesn't go too far). Therefore, Disney has been impacted by it. You can feel it in recent production.
However, Japan doesn't care the slightest. I realised that while playing FF7. Each character is a stereotype, despite being extremely well written. But stereotype are not perceive as a bad thing in Japan. They serve the narrative.
And that's where it gets interesting. Kh requires those two visions to align and I am not sure what could happen if they were to disagree on some topic. In KH3, I could already feel that Disney and Square were not aligned on some of the world treatment (Frozen, not fighting disney bosses), although it is more to protect their brand than a political statement.

My personal opinion: I do think that we are reaching the peak of this movement in media as people are starting to realize that it rarely serve the story of the movies/games they are watching/playing (Last of Us?). If I ask you what is your favorite movie of all time, I am not sure that you will mention a movie that fits this agenda. Although, I have to point out that this is my vision from Europe, even more from Switzerland where we do not have such a heavy crisis, therefore I would be happy to hear the opinion from someone that doesn't think like I do.
 
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Swing

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Just asking, dude. I know that this is a very sensitive topic, but since it plays such a huge part in our life now. BTW, I'm also from Europe and I even went to art school and I can tell you that also with me it was kinda difficult to write a story without any politics involved.
 

Blenderudit

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Just asking, dude. I know that this is a very sensitive topic, but since it plays such a huge part in our life now. BTW, I'm also from Europe and I even went to art school and I can tell you that also with me it was kinda difficult to write a story without any politics involved.
Every story has some degree of politics in it, because it is written by humans. Even KH. Darkness and light in balance? Another way of saying that going too extremist with your ideas can be dangerous. That's a political message.

The question that you have to ask yourself is: is my political message an artistic choice or a business choice? In the case of disney, I would say business. And that's the problem they are facing right now. It kills their creativity.
 

Chie

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Oh dear, this entire post is far away from reality, huh.

But yeah it sure would suck if the mean ol sjws forced Nomura to ever care about his female characters! Hmm, wait...
 

Henryp

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Mixing a perojative term like SJW with an agenda but then giving examples of at least more realistic representation of various characters is asking for trouble.

Going from point to point of what you asked, from least important to more important:

-LGBT+ representation: a series like KH that downplays any romantic aspect to a minimum, barely inexistent for the most part except for the almost metaphorical relantioship between Sora and Kairi (10 games in and hasn't been completetly estiblished) and that never covers sex life/day-to-day life, does not need to incorporate any proper LGBT representation because there is no representation of love and proper attraction, period. I rather have no representation than a queer-coded character based on tiresome stereotypes. The only thing I can think of is if Disney makes a really important character officially queer, KH would have to decide how they want to portray that specific character.

- Women representation: KH have never been particulary good about deeping its characters in general, and having only 5 female characters excluding UX, means there is even less deep representation of women. 3 of the female characters are actually plot devices, 1 is a villain and only Aqua gets a proper representation or more rounded personality. Aqua in BbS was a good example on how to do it: not overly sexualized (thanks to disney) so it is not a tokken for straight male entertainement and is as strong if not stronger than most of its pears in terms of personality and power. She doesn't fall to the damsel in distress category and neither Terra nor Ven discover by the end of the game that they are actually stronger than her nor are the true hero os the story. KH3 downplays Aqua's role for Sora to be the main protagonist, but at least she just gets a downgrade similar to Riku and don't fall in the same trope for the third time or is practically omited like Kairi and Namine (even tho I still belive Kairi's portrayal in KH3/RM is a step in the good direction). I do hope the so-called SJW influence KH in this regards. KHs needs more female characters to start with and those characters need to have proper individual storylines and agency. Not all need to be figthers, but lets stop them from only being kidnapped/kill or only move forward becuase of the boys.

- POC representation: there is none in the series and it makes no sense. Sure, Nomura might not be comfortable drawing outside of his regular characters, but it makes no sense that to this day KH (as most animated media) still doesn't put more diversity in their character design. All KH character has veeery similar face features and are clearly white people, with somewhat the exception of Xehanort and Eraqus that feels a little mixed-race. Disney does have a good catalog of movies and shows with clear ethnic diversity, yet KH omits twice the Jungle Book, will never use Lilo from because Japan doesnt like her, will never use Pocahoontas and for good reasons... The only worlds that had some diversity were Land of Dragons and San fransokyo, because the films themseves were diverse. I do hope TPATF and Moana will get representation in future titles, but that doesnt excuse all main characters to be essentially the same appearance.

In general, better representation is nothing but good to any kind of media. A good representation of diverse characters and storylines, including various ethnicies and genders (and it is fantasy! they can actually make their own species!) not only expands your universe, gives you a lot to play with but also allows the consumer, in this case the player, new possibilities to feel attached to this characters as they can potentially feel themselves in that universe. I don't care if this comes from a corporative perspective of "looking woke". If the media children and adults alike are consuming does improve the representation of diversity in the world, that only can help normalizing our view of our world. And if it is good for the company, it is a win-win situation.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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