Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Kingdom Hearts Primer: Kingdom Hearts 1: Episode 12: Sacrifices

Today, we talk about one of the most legendary scenes in Kingdom Hearts 1:

I've talked about my feelings regarding how Kingdom Hearts' combat feels more plausible than that of its sequels way back when I thought I was good at writing game reviews without scores. (Also, holy shit, that was two years ago.) Generally, the more like DBZ fight scenes become, the more I detached I get from the anime/game I'm watching/playing. There's nothing wrong with those kinds of fights, and they look really cool, but they don't have the same weight to me.

The other thing we really need to talk about is Kairi's place in the game.
It's really common in fiction for female characters to have a dramatically reduced level of agency in the story. Kairi is, unfortunately, not an exception to this rule. As we have seen, she spent most of this game as an empty shell, her heart locked inside of Sora's for safe keeping.

But after fighting Riku possessed by Ansem, Sora frees her heart and allows her to finally take action. And when she's able to, we see that she's not just some fragile flower. She stops Donald and Goofy and absolutely refused to leave until she's able to go back and save her friend, Sora. (Sorry, Riku) She restores his human form and is even able to use her light to knock back the heartless.

So when Sora doesn't take her along because it's "too dangerous" and she would "be in [his] way," it is a little annoying. I understand the underlying reason is that we've already got an established party that's gotten through the most of the game, but it does feel like some token effort could have been put in.

This gets even worse in the context of Kingdom Hearts 2, but I'm not ready to get into that just yet.

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