Wishful Thinking: Understanding Kairi and her future in the series and just overall venting



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Hoarse_Phuqer

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Frankly I'm pissed at how Nomura shat on her character. Given a keyblade, check. Training for the final battle, check. Sharing a paopu with Sora, check. Taking part in the culminating struggle the series has been building towards from day one, check.

There is no justifiable reason for this kind of treatment and it hits especially hard for SoKai shippers who wanted a little more to their relationship, considering the bigass carrot that dangled during their little scene on the islands. Well the game is over and done with and like it or not it's time to move forward and speculate how the next Kingdom Hearts can make up for some of its shortcomings, of which there are more than the state of Kairi's character.

For this thread I will solely focus on Kairi and what I would like to see in the series as it continues.

Sora is gone/dead and Kairi really feels it. The more I think about the ending to the third game, the more I see potential for Kairi to shine as her own character. More so than anything she could have done in the prelude to the Keyblade War. And regrettably, I would be hard pressed to find an opportunity to enrich her character beyond the 'damsel in distress' in the games prior.

In the first entry to the series she was catatonic. In Chain of Memories she was a plot device who couldn't be present in any way that would have made sense. In KH2 she was stuck on her little island most of the time and when she did come into the main plot she didn't have the tools or means to get out of any sticky situations. I could go on and on but suffice it to say, at the end of the day the events of Kingdom Hearts primarily revolved around Sora and his journey to save the worlds from Xehanort's schemes.

At this point Sora's ultimate goal has been completed, opening a new chapter in the series and thus more room to focus on other characters beside him, and of these characters, Kairi is definitely the one I would consider a prime candidate and the most logical choice. Roxas, Lea and Xion... Terra, Ven and Aqua... their respective journeys have also come to a close as their main drive was to be reunited once more. Out of all the main characters and major supporting cast, Kairi is the only one left with a major unresolved plot point... to finally be reunited with Sora.

Granted, Riku could definitely fit this mold too, but he has also enjoyed a significant character arc that has mostly come to a satisfying conclusion and as such, I'm not sure he is suited to spearhead an entire game. I personally think he's a great character, but does his best work in a supporting role.

Kairi though... she is a blank slate, more or less. I mean, sixteen years in and we know almost nothing about the girl. She is perfect.

Consider the ending of KH2. The trio is reunited at Destiny Islands for some much deserved downtime, until the day when a letter in a bottle arrives, requesting the islanders' presence in Yen Sid's tower. It is at this point that Kairi is shoved, rather ungracefully, into the main plot, having her train under Lea to become an efficient Keybearer. Normally I would question the wisdom in this as Lea is used to fighting with chakrams, not keyblades, which are very different weapons and has had his key for a whole five minutes before being told he not only has to master a wholly unfamiliar weapon, but also train this girl with no combat experience into becoming a badass capable of holding her own against some of the most powerful beings in the universe... but this thread is long enough as is.

So Kairi is now an active member of the main plot but we are at the endgame now. Everything the series has been building towards is about to reach its zenith and no matter how much some of us may have wanted it, I don't think there was anything Nomura could have possibly done to give Kairi the treatment she deserves. At least not without shoving her story into an already overstuffed main plot and derailing the whole thing, which would have soured fans' experience even more than the official ending.

In the past games, our protagonists had some force or goal driving them. Saving a lost friend, stopping the apocalypse, the reunion of a loved one... all our protagonists had a singular goal driving them. Not only that, but they also had the tools and means necessary to go out and achieve their missions.

Now, several games later, the foundation has been set for Kairi to take her first steps into a journey all her own. In reflection to Sora's worlds-spanning journey in the first game, Kairi can embark on a mission in search of a cherished friend. Not only that, but she now has the means and resolve to do so.

This, I believe, would make an excellent prologue in the next main installment, and could easily take up the entire first act of the game, provided we are following the three act structure. Let us not forget that Kairi and Sora shared a paopu fruit, which is essentially a pledge that the two of them will be together forever. I'm of the mind that sharing the fruit is as good as a declaration of a romantic partnership, given how Sora kind of freaked out in the first game when Riku jokingly proposed he share it with Kairi and just seeing the sickeningly sweet way in which they not only shared the paopu, but actually fed each other their first bite in the way only a boyfriend and girlfriend can do pretty much cements it in my head their pairing is canon.

Regardless of whether you agree or not, we can at least acknowledge that the sharing of the paopu indicated Kairi and Sora mean the world to each other.

And let us not forget that one of the main reasons Kairi took up the keyblade in the first place was to be able to stand beside her dear friends as well as her frustration at always being left behind. Surely she would have felt strong, strong enough to feel she could be the one to protect Sora for once, only to watch as reality crashed down upon her and not only come to the realization she was not only not strong enough to stand beside her friends, much less protect Sora, but her weakness led to her being captured... and Sora losing himself in the process of rescuing her yet again.

Xehanort is defeated. Kairi watches as touching reunions take place, long lost friends finding each other at last, while the boy whom she thought would be with her until the end of time perished because of her. Kairi is without a doubt at her lowest point in the series.

Fortunately for her, and for the legions of hopeful fans around the world, this is as perfect an opportunity as any for Kairi to rise and finally be able to stand proud among her friends. There is literally nowhere for her to go but up at this point. She now has a directive: to rescue Sora and at long last be reunited with him for good. She has had some training with the keyblade... enough to defend herself if need be against middling foes, but with much room to grow. The motivation is there, the means are now available for her to undertake this journey.

The ending of the Xehanort saga has come to an end and with it, the stage is set for Kairi to take up the mantle, and because this would be a new chapter and Kairi herself would be a blank slate, all the weighty lore and story and events that bogged down the Xehanort saga would be largely absent from this new entry in the Kingdom Hearts timeline. This could serve as sort of a soft reboot of the series, a way to introduce new fans to a new, more streamlined, more easily accessible chapter in KH, provided Nomura has learned how to tell a properly cohesive story by now, which of course would be supplemented by us seeing this new adventure through Kairi's fresh eyes, opening wholly new venues for the wonder and whimsy of the Disney/Pixar worlds.




These are of course just my personal thoughts and wishes for the future of the franchise, because while I do love Kingdom Hearts there is no denying the series and its creator are far from perfect, and while in an ideal world I would see my predictions come true, I've learned by now to accept the series as it is, despite its flaws. Regardless of it, I very much look forward to see what comes next.

Thank you for reading through my rants and if you're feeling up to it, I'd love to hear where you guys think or would like to see the series go next.
 

Divine Past

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Unless a new head writer/director comes in I think it's very likely the Kairi as a major fighting character days are over. I just don't believe Nomura likes Kairi enough to write anything in depth for her. If he wanted to give Kairi a game he would have just made her a star in DDD since she could time travel already.
 

Hexxagone

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Maybe Kairi will help Riku get Sora back like she did in this game as a guiding light.
 

Zettaflare

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Honestly I think it would do some good for Kairi to go back into the hyperbolic time forest for more training. An interesting character arc for her would be to improve her skills so she can avoid being so easily abducted. Maybe Aqua can assist.
 

Hoarse_Phuqer

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I partially agree. Girl definitely needs more training but the time forest is probably not the best way to do it. If that was the sole solution, she wouldn't have gone out with a whimper when Xemnas manhandled her.

Yen Sid said time was meaningless in the world, which you can interpret as Lea and Kairi literally having all the time in the world they needed to train. You can train until the end of days in a safe, simulated environment and at the end of the day, it will never truly prepare you for an honest to goodness down and dirty fight against skilled opponents.

But yeah, having Aqua taking her as an apprentice of sorts would do her a lot of good. Helps Aqua too since she's the first legit master to take the stage. It would only make sense for her to train the next generation of guardians.
 
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I want her to feel guilty/responsible for what happened to Sora. That's not just me spiting her because I'm so insanely disappointed in her character, but I feel like if she carried that emotional weight and then DID something about it, that would give the depth her character really needs. I like the idea of Aqua training her, that would be fun.

But for goodness sakes, give her some real fighting clothes. If she's gonna be doin' cartwheels like Aqua, or even if she plans on jumping at some point in her travels, she's gonna have to lose the miniskirt. It was cute for when she just sat around and ate ice cream with Lea, but if she moves around at all in the next game it's gonna be like Tinkerbell all over again.
 

KeybladeLordSora

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I partially agree. Girl definitely needs more training but the time forest is probably not the best way to do it. If that was the sole solution, she wouldn't have gone out with a whimper when Xemnas manhandled her.

Yen Sid said time was meaningless in the world, which you can interpret as Lea and Kairi literally having all the time in the world they needed to train. You can train until the end of days in a safe, simulated environment and at the end of the day, it will never truly prepare you for an honest to goodness down and dirty fight against skilled opponents.

But yeah, having Aqua taking her as an apprentice of sorts would do her a lot of good. Helps Aqua too since she's the first legit master to take the stage. It would only make sense for her to train the next generation of guardians.
Let's be honest. When has a hyperbolic time chamber ever really helped?
 

Rodin

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Training is nice but taking action would be better. Having her actually go on a real journey of her own would be great. Kinda like what Serah did in FF13-2 or Yuna in FF10-2. They tried that with 2 but that was too half-hearted/unconvincing to me so they gotta step up their game.

Kairi training with Aqua isn't a terrible idea but the actual training needs to be fleshed out and it needs to push Kairi/Aqua as characters.
 

rac7d

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Why does kairi need extra training when riku and sora were self taught
she just needs to have her weapon at the ready when the enemy appears
 

KeybladeLordSora

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Why does kairi need extra training when riku and sora were self taught
she just needs to have her weapon at the ready when the enemy appears
I think that's what her training should be.

She needs to train herself by doing the same thing Sora did. Run around different worlds and encounter foes.

Either that or run around different worlds with Aqua
 

Zettaflare

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Aside from Aqua there is Lea, but I'm certain he'll be more involved with Roxas, Xion, and Isa.

Of course she could always form the female SDG counterpart with Minnie and Daisy
 

Sora2016

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I want her to feel guilty/responsible for what happened to Sora. That's not just me spiting her because I'm so insanely disappointed in her character, but I feel like if she carried that emotional weight and then DID something about it, that would give the depth her character really needs. I like the idea of Aqua training her, that would be fun.
But for goodness sakes, give her some real fighting clothes. If she's gonna be doin' cartwheels like Aqua, or even if she plans on jumping at some point in her travels, she's gonna have to lose the miniskirt. It was cute for when she just sat around and ate ice cream with Lea, but if she moves around at all in the next game it's gonna be like Tinkerbell all over again.


Honestly same. She literally told Sora she would protect him and now she is "the reason" he is gone (even though it's his own fault). I want her to feel guilty and driven to do SOMETHING. It could maybe make this bullshit actually lead to development for her character. I probably won't hold my breath though I guess.

Kairi and Aqua going to Disney worlds together sounds fun. I would want a Disney character thrown in though. I like the rapport of the OG characters with Disney companions so I wouldn't want to lose that again like in half of this saga's handheld entries.

Aside from Aqua there is Lea, but I'm certain he'll be more involved with Roxas, Xion, and Isa.

Of course she could always form the female SDG counterpart with Minnie and Daisy
This is what I have been saying lol, and I really want it the more I think of it.
 

AdrianXXII

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I apologize for the wall of thext, but this is a topic i have a lot of thought on.

The annoying thing with Kairi's treatment is that they always seem to do the bare minimum of what fans would like to see, kind of like lip service. Her getting a Keyblade being present at the final showdowns, her getting training all of it, just feels like checkboxes and not storx beats on her journey.
It's a shame that a character with so many interesting traits and so much potential, seems to be relegated to the simple role of being there to motivate the main character.

Like Divine Past stated Kairi could have easily been included in DDD, seeing she furfilled all the requirements for time travel and the trip was about Sora and Riku relearning everything from scratch anyways, so she'd be on par. Them not including her there, but highlighting her in the ending was a choice that made it seem like they had big plans for her in KH3, which never manifested. Honestly it was odd she wasn't there like Donald and Goofy to begin with, even just to support Sora and Riku, like they were.

My hopes for Kairi in the teased game is that she joins Riku on the journey to find Sora. Even, if she's just a non-playable character, her being Riku's permanent party member on the quest might give us a chance to learn more about her and her relationship to Riku, her supposed other best friend. Past title showed signs of them having a fun dynamic, I'd like to see more of.

Moving forward I do hope they'll use Kairi more, we still don't know how she feels about having returned to her home world just to see it in ruins. She has yet to go back there now that it's being restored. I feel you could have a story line in which she, Isa and Axel go back and see what of their past remains, none of them feel tied to that world anymore and reside in other worlds, but that is their world of origin.

If she's still a princes of heart she's also be the perfect vehicle to explore that part of the Kingdom Hearts lore. Though I suspect this is something Nomura would rather keep vague for Dues ex Machina reasons.

I'd also love to see Aqua and her to take on a master and appretieren relationship, seeing Aqua is the most experienced Master and Kairi is the least experienced wielder.
 

PARACOSMIC-M

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I really how this wishful thinking comes true!! From a writer's perspective this would be a great next step for the series, and I know this is what I as a fan would like to see, but I just don't trust Nomura anymore. I've loved Kairi since I was a little girl, and I always had high hopes for her character, but kh3 was just the biggest middle finger to the female characters and it's really got me down. I hope they address how Sora's "death" affects her, and use it as a motivation instead of just having her be "sad but accepting" with how it worked out.
 

Askelon

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My hopes for Kairi in the teased game is that she joins Riku on the journey to find Sora. Even, if she's just a non-playable character, her being Riku's permanent party member on the quest might give us a chance to learn more about her and her relationship to Riku, her supposed other best friend. Past title showed signs of them having a fun dynamic, I'd like to see more of.

Moving forward I do hope they'll use Kairi more, we still don't know how she feels about having returned to her home world just to see it in ruins. She has yet to go back there now that it's being restored. I feel you could have a story line in which she, Isa and Axel go back and see what of their past remains, none of them feel tied to that world anymore and reside in other worlds, but that is their world of origin.

If she's still a princes of heart she's also be the perfect vehicle to explore that part of the Kingdom Hearts lore. Though I suspect this is something Nomura would rather keep vague for Dues ex Machina reasons.

I'd also love to see Aqua and her to take on a master and appretieren relationship, seeing Aqua is the most experienced Master and Kairi is the least experienced wielder.
Yeah i found Riku's reaction to Kairi's"death" underwhelming. They are suppose to be chilhood friend but he just shout out "Xehanort" and went in. Come on, show more emotions.

As for Kairi i hope that her kidnapping will be a plot point for her development. Maybe she could feel guilty about what happens to Sora because of her and do her best to redeem.
 
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