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Definitely my two favorite pages from the manga:
For a serious answer they probably didn't want to bother to code Kairi into the game as a fighting character. Either they have no clue what her fight style will be or just wanted to hold it off when they have more time to set it up I guess.
I agree, in fact I might go as far as to say that they had intended to code her in, but failed to finish in time. Note that just before Sora is reunited with Kairi and Riku, we cut back from Ansem and Mickey to see the teenagers lowering their weapons from a fight that doesn't seem to have happened on-screen.
I have a good feeling that an actual fight was cut from the game, either because this sequence of events is too cluttered, or because they didn't or couldn't code Riku or Kairi into the game in time.
See also: the almost stupid ways the two of them are butted out of the fights with Luxord and Saix.
Yea I think the basic premise had her be able to fight (possibly have Riku/Kairi/Sora be the ones together to defeat Mansex which would have been cool) but I think the creators got cold feet in deciding how she wasn't going to fight and just played it safe instead of making an unwanted version of her fighting style that they'll regret later.
Edit: They also might have decided to hold off on Kairi fighting until they experiment with Aqua and then use Aqua as a base for Kairi.
Yeah, the latter might be the case as well. If nothing else, I'm sure Aqua reassured Nomura that Kairi could be in the game just fine.
I wonder if they did intend SRK to defeat Xemnas together? It would have been a good idea, but up to this point, what we've been proposing fits in with the existing scenes. We're making a few presumptions, but based on those presumptions, you can almost see the lines where Kairi was cut out of the plot. But to have her fighting Xemnas in the final battle would be a major edit. Did they rewrite the ending and then cut her out, or was she never supposed to be in the final battle in the first place?
The fight with Xemnas was just me fan speculating but I think it could have worked fine with the current scene ust with some tweaks. During the spaceship fight just have either Riku and Kairi sitting with Sora on the side, have the next battle with Xemnas with him trying to break up the group with his talk of how can they trust each other etc. The final scene where they kill Xemnas could have worked the same with Riku getting badly hurt and Sora and Kairi carrying him to the river. Just have Kairi hand Sora the letter she wrote to him with a smirk or a small comment and everything would have worked me thinks.
Again this is just speculation but they might have had a storyboard with 1 ending including Kairi fighting if the creators really think she was going to shine in her role, and another ending without her if they didn't think it was right just yet.
I thought it could have been cool because each of them have a right to want to finish of Xemnas (While Kairi had the weakest, Namine still probably despised him and the organization so that could have worked.) and this game is all about trios anyways lol.
Kairi's letter showing up in the Realm of Darkness never really made sense to begin with, it would almost make more sense if she just had it on her and brought it out for an appropriate moment.
Also, Riku and Sora's tandem... jet speeder... always looked and felt a little unbalanced to me (while the unbalanced bike lends itself to interesting gameplay, even that "feels" uneven), so maybe it was supposed to have a second platform on the left?
This is interesting, I'd thought about Kairi being in the party prior to this, but we're digging out a lot of reasonable possibilities here.
I don't like when translations put swears in the manga. Even lighter language, like 'crap', 'suck', and 'frickin' have no place in KH. It's just silly. It's needlessly edgy in one of the least edgy series ever.