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*MoM SPOILERS!* We really need to talk about Kairi...



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pastel.goblin

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It sort of applies to DDD where Sora and Riku being self-taught and needing to relearn things is the reason they're at level one again
I still maintain that if they were serious about Kairi actually being a keyblade wielder, she should've been a third protag in DDD somehow. Obviously she wouldn't be taking the mark of mastery exam, but really with how inconsistent the exam is they could've found some other reason for them to visit the sleeping worlds, or just have Kairi go after the boys on her own for whatever reason.

I mean gosh, I don't even like Kairi that much, but it's just embarrassing that a character who's been here from the beginning (as part of the core trio~!!) and has had a keyblade since 2005 is still written this badly. At this point I don't really understand why she was even given a keyblade.

but I think most fans have drawn and written about this Kairi and Axel adventure before KH3's release
The art got me so hyped for her to finally do something, and with a character other than Sora to boot. Goodness knows when I'll get to actually writing it, but I've been planning a fic about it lol
 

SweetYetSalty

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Kairi would've had Axel with her as well, a dude that has been to a bajillion worlds on missions probably and in a pinch could protect her if it really got that dangerous. He may be a noob with a keyblade but he still has his chakram (however you spell that word)

Imagine those two on a silly fieldtrip like adventure, big brother Axel showing her the sights. It would've made so much more sense too if he kept getting glimpses of Xion when he was with Kairi. You know, flashing back to the days where he went on mission with Xion and hung out.

Kairi and Axel could still have heart to hearts about Roxas, Namine, and Ven. It would've made MORE sense because Kairi would bring up how Namine is not truly able to be on this adventure with them because she is locked inside her heart.

Hindsight 2020 maybe, but I think most fans have drawn and written about this Kairi and Axel adventure before KH3's release. :/
Oh what could have been. And it's not like minor training never happened in the series. As mentioned Sora's crew did train with Merlin in KH1 and even in Olympus they count those tournaments and barrel exercises as "training" even the Organization had their Dusk training sessions. The difference is those characters were not restricted to training in one place until the plot happened, and it was simply part of the gameplay of a larger adventure. Unlike Kairi who, as stated, is put in training to keep her out of the way. I'm still invested in Kairi but I get why some don't care, how long can they tease you with the Kairi carrot?

Edit: I second the DDD thing @pastel.goblin said. Her being left out was another moment of the series that made Sora/Riku a duo kicking Kairi out of the dynamic and her slipping further away. Disappointing since in KH2 she had the resolve to stick with them no matter what.
 
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AdrianXXII

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I still maintain that if they were serious about Kairi actually being a keyblade wielder, she should've been a third protag in DDD somehow. Obviously she wouldn't be taking the mark of mastery exam, but really with how inconsistent the exam is they could've found some other reason for them to visit the sleeping worlds, or just have Kairi go after the boys on her own for whatever reason.
Well they did lose track of Riku and Sora, so technically they could have Kairi Dive in after them. They could use the events of KH1 to establish a special bond Sora and Kairi's hearts share and that she can use to follow him.

They could have said that Kairi insisted upon hearing about whats going on to interupt her training at Merlins and dive in after her two friends. Simultaniously explaining, why she isnt with Donald and Goofy, which they never bothered to do in the original.

Kairi would be traveling the same dream worlds as Sora, but delayed and potentially the ability to switch into Riku's version.
 

2 quid is good

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I mean it was KH Three D for goodness sake, this stuff writes itself.
That's an inexplicaby good point you've brought up there and I'm totally gonna yoink that for myself to use.

I was rewatching the final MoM scenes (or i guess watching because the first time i had to skip through a lot because of how SAD it was) and .... I still do not know what ANYONE there was thinking. It's not as if the game had a crap ton of story that the writers got their wires crossed, and like others said, let her land a hit on Apprentice Xehanort at least (it would have been perfect actually considering he DID show up).

But no, she has to turn into Sora, and yeah I know it's still technically Kairi but God that's some insane bs to actually believe, and I still can't believe Riku cucked us all out of a Riku/Kairi buddy cop adventure, just like that. There is very little hope for the future, and it's depressing that all we have are these scraps of what should have been. My mind is too frazzled to be more coherent than this so i guess that's it from me.
 

SweetYetSalty

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That's an inexplicaby good point you've brought up there and I'm totally gonna yoink that for myself to use.

I was rewatching the final MoM scenes (or i guess watching because the first time i had to skip through a lot because of how SAD it was) and .... I still do not know what ANYONE there was thinking. It's not as if the game had a crap ton of story that the writers got their wires crossed, and like others said, let her land a hit on Apprentice Xehanort at least (it would have been perfect actually considering he DID show up).

But no, she has to turn into Sora, and yeah I know it's still technically Kairi but God that's some insane bs to actually believe, and I still can't believe Riku cucked us all out of a Riku/Kairi buddy cop adventure, just like that. There is very little hope for the future, and it's depressing that all we have are these scraps of what should have been. My mind is too frazzled to be more coherent than this so i guess that's it from me.
I do not count the MoM scene as a win for Kairi if she has to turn into Sora. The whole thing is just weird. It's not the real Xehanort so Kairi being able to defeat a phantom living in her own heart/mind shouldn't be a issue at all. It could have been the thing to show Kairi is good enough to be Riku's partner going into the next phase. What's worse we never got actual playable Kairi in Melody of Memory and I'll forever be salty over it.

Speaking of Riku/Kairi, these two have not been real friends since Riku's motivation was changed to Terra. A buddy adventure with them is just what they needed to bond and playoff one another. Screw Keyblade training!
 

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Speaking of Riku/Kairi, these two have not been real friends since Riku's motivation was changed to Terra. A buddy adventure with them is just what they needed to bond and playoff one another. Screw Keyblade training!
Absolutely! We know these two have a good dynamic, and there's plenty of opportunity for drama between them too if they want to bring it up - like how deep jungle was for SDG - I mean, what DID Kairi insinuate in KH1 when she asked Sora for just the two of them to go? Does Riku have any thoughts on that? They aren't mutual friends through Sora after all, they're just plain friends
 

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I do not count the MoM scene as a win for Kairi if she has to turn into Sora. The whole thing is just weird. It's not the real Xehanort so Kairi being able to defeat a phantom living in her own heart/mind shouldn't be a issue at all. It could have been the thing to show Kairi is good enough to be Riku's partner going into the next phase. What's worse we never got actual playable Kairi in Melody of Memory and I'll forever be salty over it.
Considering the series' reputation with phantoms, be they ones that stalk beloved iconic landmarks in England or copies of characters (such as Phantom Aqua, Shadow Sora and Data-Roxas to an extent). I'd make the argument that it's difficulty is justified even if it isn't the true Xehanort. If it's a manifestation of her fear of him (which again, justified considering KH III and her whole backstory) she would be ill prepared to face him even in a dream. And it's on point for Nomura sadly to have Sora save the day and rescue the damsel in distress, because apparently it's still 2002 in his eyes.
 

Absent

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The Kairi/Sora transformation is so tone deaf when you realize that Sora went through a similar thing in DDD at the end. But instead we see EVERYONE rally behind Sora, showing how he’s never alone, and how they grant him a better power than the Keyblade itself. The blueprint was already there but they went with the odd choice of having the sidelined character turning into the person who’s always rescuing her.

Speaks a lot of whoever wrote that, and the people who approved and allowed it.
 

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Considering the series' reputation with phantoms, be they ones that stalk beloved iconic landmarks in England or copies of characters (such as Phantom Aqua, Shadow Sora and Data-Roxas to an extent). I'd make the argument that it's difficulty is justified even if it isn't the true Xehanort. If it's a manifestation of her fear of him (which again, justified considering KH III and her whole backstory) she would be ill prepared to face him even in a dream. And it's on point for Nomura sadly to have Sora save the day and rescue the damsel in distress, because apparently it's still 2002 in his eyes.
Why? All those phantoms did get beaten and not all of them are super bosses. If anything Kairi beating memory Xehanort would be a great way to show that she's conquered her fear.
I still can't believe Riku cucked us all out of a Riku/Kairi buddy cop adventure
That's the thing, Melody of Memory's story is written specifically to justify Kairi not going out to search for Sora. She was asleep for a year instead of training to justify her still being treated like a rookie after all this time and she has to turn into Sora to beat the boss just to drive the point home. If they had wanted a Riku/Kairi adventure they could instead have had Kairi spend the timeskip training and only have the memory search take a little bit of time at the end, but that was not what they wanted.

It's clear that after the backlash to Kairi's treatment in KH3 they felt like the had to give her something, but they weren't willing to alter the plans for the post-KH3 games to include her. So they took the already in development rhythm game and threw together a quick Kairi-centric story that ended with an excuse to bench her. And even what we got doesn't develop her that much. Except for the bit where Xehanort mumbles some nonsense at a toddler everything else in the flashbacks is something we already knew. Xehanort being the one to launch Kairi from Radiant Garden to the Destiny Islands was something established way back in KH1's Ansem Reports. It was nice to see it on screen and remove any ambiguity, but it wasn't new.
 
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Elysium

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I don't really agree that the moment from 3D with Sora is the same as Kairi in MoM. All his friends (known and unknown) appearing behind Sora feels like a deliberate echo back to the "My friends are my power" quote. That's a specific story theme tied to Sora, it feels like a natural fit to do that with him at a moment he's weak. Whereas with Kairi, her only character interaction has been with Sora--being rescued by Sora, relying on Sora, being important to Sora, wanting to be with Sora, etc. She doesn't have a bunch of friends like Sora does. I mean, technically she does because they say everyone we see are friends with one another, blah blah. But they have never established much connection between her and any other character outside of Sora.

The thing is I can sort of understand the griping about Kairi and the place it comes from with the fanbase while also not really agreeing with it. I've never thought Kairi needed to be upgraded, she was never a big player in the story to begin with. Now Maleficent and Namine, on the other hand, those are female characters who've actually been shafted out of big roles they once played in their debuts.
 
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pastel.goblin

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I've never thought Kairi needed to be upgraded
You could argue that, but the problem is that the games gave us the expectation that she would be when they gave her a keyblade and a moment of "now it's my turn to actually do something" in pretty much every game since KH2. I'm pretty sure I've said it at some point in this thread before, but if they didn't plan on actually doing anything with her beyond the occasional princess of heart power moment, they shouldn't have given her a keyblade.
Now Maleficent and Namine, on the other hand, those are female characters who've actually been downgraded and shafted out of big roles they once played in their debuts
Defs agree here though
 

kirabook

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People harp on about Kairi because of the trio formula that Kingdom Hearts and other games/series in the same genre has stuck to for so long.

You got Sora, Donald and Goofy. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. We got the Sea Salt trio (like em or hate it). You got the Wayfinder trio (like em or hate em). In Union/Cross/Chi you've still sorta got a trio formula going on. They keep introducing NEW trios. Axel, Saix, and probably Skuld or whoever Subject X is. Marluxia, Larxene, and Streltzia potentially. Yozora and his two bros trying to save "Stella". Of course, not every group follows that formula (namely Riku and Mickey) but it's almost a staple at some point. People try so hard to fit characters like Namine, Vanitas, and Repliku into this formula too (doesn't always work out but I appreciate ALL trios, even fan ones)

After all the focus on other trios for at least two games, it's understandable why people developed this "Alrighty, now it's Kairi's turn to step up" mentality.

I love a good trio and all the various dynamics that can create. The story really does feel like it goes out of its way to make sure the other two OC trios (sea salt/wayfinder) are.... "together" even in spirit. They're a unit. They fight together. They have each other's back. They have unique relationships with each other but they're all friends. They are legitimately triangles 📐

But the Destiny trio? .... It's completely collapsed and fallen apart. And hey, that's all well and fine. We all love a little broken friendships that can maybe be rekindled one day. But... this isn't that. This is "Oops, we forgot about Kairi again. Hm, I guess we can insert her here for 5 seconds and then find a BS excuse to take her back out again. There we go."

They don't go out of their way to connect Riku and Kairi like they would for the other trios (thinking of the Axel and Xion thing, KH3 did a lot to show he did care about her a lot). Aqua says Terra and Ven's name every 5 seconds like it's a mantra, neither is ever forgotten.

It's so easy to forget that Riku and Kairi were childhood friends, supposedly pretty close, one of the reasons for Riku wanting to see other worlds, and also fuel for a dumb fued between Sora and Riku once.

People have built expectations for the Destiny Trio that the writers... do NOT seem to understand or care about. At this point, I honestly believe they don't see any value in her as a character beyond being a damsel. Although Namine lacks screentime, she still gets so many important things to do behind the camera. Her "Thank you" waiting list is about 5 miles long.
 

MATGSY

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Boy, all of that training under Merlin & Aqua is starting to pay off!
 
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I felt people's expectations were too unrealistic given how Nomura treated her in the past. So I suggest lowering them in the future.
 

OrionGold

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I felt people's expectations were too unrealistic given how Nomura treated her in the past. So I suggest lowering them in the future.
While true, people just can't help it considering how long we have to wait for Kairi to get her moment. I think people should be in their right to be disappointed in Nomura's treatment of Kairi.
 
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While true, people just can't help it considering how long we have to wait for Kairi to get her moment. I think people should be in their right to be disappointed in Nomura's treatment of Kairi.
I'm just saying to treat it as a learning curve. Kairi fans should adjust their experience for next time.
 

Zackarix

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It really doesn't help that Kairi's current treatment is a reversal of a previous positive trend. Kairi may have been a damsel in distress in the original games, but Namine was a great damsel subversion and Aqua and Xion were active participants in the story. That combined with some other teasing (giving her a Keyblade and being the focus of DDD's secret ending) made it feel like Kairi's role in the story was going to change. Then KH3 came out and fridged her, but ReMind seemed to be a course correction. Then MoM teased Kairi development but ended up being another excuse to bench her. Turns out that ReMind was an outlier.

So I actually agree that fans would benefit from managing their expectations, but they still have every right to be disappointed. "Kairi has always been treated badly!" may be true, but that doesn't excuse it.
 
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AdrianXXII

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I'm just saying to treat it as a learning curve. Kairi fans should adjust their experience for next time.
So move into the subcellar from the cellar? I mean i now know not to expect anything even if it's hinted at.

That said I wouldn't say our expectations were unbased.

KH2: Gives Kairi a Keyblade
Days: Shows us how Kairi with a Keyblade could look and tells us how important Kairi and Sora's bond is.
BBS: Shows us how Kairi got the power to wield
Coded: Mentiones how all three are conected and will need to help
DDD: Emphasises her becoming a weilder

Like her moments where short, but to fans of the character it could seem like it was a slow build up and KH3 would be the pay off. KH3 failed to deliver, but as Zackarix said ReMind did some work to fix it, only for MoM to kind of tease her to have a central role and pull the curtain to reveal nope, she's still benched.
 
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So move into the subcellar from the cellar? I mean i now know not to expect anything even if it's hinted at.

That said I wouldn't say our expectations were unbased.

KH2: Gives Kairi a Keyblade
Days: Shows us how Kairi with a Keyblade could look and tells us how important Kairi and Sora's bond is.
BBS: Shows us how Kairi got the power to wield
Coded: Mentiones how all three are conected and will need to help
DDD: Emphasises her becoming a weilder

Like her moments where short, but to fans of the character it could seem like it was a slow build up and KH3 would be the pay off. KH3 failed to deliver, but as Zackarix said ReMind did some work to fix it, only for MoM to kind of tease her to have a central role and pull the curtain to reveal nope, she's still benched.
Pretty much what you said in the beginning.

I was never a Kairi fan so the piecemeal approach during the road to KH3 never appealed to me. There were better ways to build her up than what the writing team committed to. But Kairi, Sora and Xehanort are the 3 weakest characters in the cast to me, so i'm probably not right guy to judge.

@Zackarix
I'm not excusing it or trying to diminish the dissapointment of kairi fans. I just felt the expectations were odd from my perspective.
 
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