I noticed in the past you seemed to generally hate Kairi, so I wanted to know if your opinion has changed or is still the same?
Haha I did! Thanks for asking! :)
After examining myself more, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t hate Kairi herself. I just hate the way she is written by Square Enix. I think this was exacerbated by the fact that I played KH1 when I was young where I pretty much hated all physically weak, male-dependent damsel-in-distress waifu characters (I still do hate those characterizations tbh).
I also hated that the romance between Sora and Kairi was forced on me, so I unfairly directed my displeasure at Kairi. It wasn’t because of the “Sora belongs to Riku, not Kairi” fangirl mindset. I hated Riku too in KH1. I grew to like Riku only after playing KH2 because he wasn’t such a massive asshole anymore, but my opinion of Kairi had stayed the same, if not worsened because I had to rescue her again! Christ on a stick!!
((Don’t quote me on this but I’ve read somewhere that in an interview with Nomura, he stated that Kairi is actually pretty good at fighting and is only second to Sora? or something. Yeah so how come we only see like five seconds of her fighting in KH2 and that’s it? I still wish we could have also fought her in early KH1, where we duel with all the other kids. ))
What propelled that self-examining is a post I read on Tumblr (suuuuper long ago, before KH3D. I wish I can find it again) where someone laid out that Nomura’s team sucks majorly at writing female characters. Basically, all the major females in the game are typical waifus waiting for their male companions to rescue them and/or have no character growth/side plot of their own. The female characters only exist to push forward the male characters’ plots. They pointed out that even Aqua fits into that narrative - everything she does is for the male characters, Ven and Terra. She doesn’t have any catalyst that is unrelated to Ven/Terra pushing her for her own development. I think the OP concluded with their observation that many actually hated the weak writing of the female characters.
Reading and thinking about it made me realize that yeah, it’s the writing that I hate. Namine I was indifferent about since she had very little screentime in KH2, and I didn’t play KHCoM to know about her.
Aqua got a pass because she could fight and didn’t need rescuing.
Also her Ghost Drive was super rad Xion I hated just because she reminded me so much of Kairi lol.
I’ll say though, after coming to this realization I tried watching re:COM cutscenes until I realized that I hated how Namine was written and couldn’t stand to watch lol. Everything that I said I hated above, Namine was that too. But Namine had the buffer of me actively knowing that it was the writing/the type of characterization that I hated, while Kairi didn’t (same with Xion).
I won’t say that I actively like Kairi now, but she’s okay. I don’t hate her and I don’t cringe when I see her. I really like Kairi’s design and I try to think more positively about her. 10+ years of not liking a character is hard to turn around quickly :’)
Still don’t care for Sora+Kairi romance though.