Friday, October 20, 2017

Kingdom Hearts Primer - Birth By Sleep - Episode 15 - Sora Will Save Everyone

Here it is, the final episode of the Birth By Sleep segment of the Kingdom Hearts Primer.

Sam and I harp on this a lot, and it's one of our biggest problems with the reveal in Blank Points: One of the easiest ways to lose me in the plot of a big franchise is to give is to negate loss or death in some way. In order to have happy endings, a lot of stories where a major character makes a sacrifice or gets killed off will have their death or the cost of their sacrifice "restored" in some way.

Get away from the primer for a second, this is one of my least favorite storytelling devices. I won't pretend to speak for Sam, but for me I never cared for this saccharine view of loss. In the real world, when people make sacrifices, it is highly unusual for those sacrifices to be reversed. And when they are, they usually come with a bigger cost. In my opinion, I've always found the view that "nothing is ever truly lost" to be a very dangerous lesson to teach to young people, because it doesn't give them the skills to cope with loss, and doesn't prepare them to value what they have.

That said, I'm not adverse to happy endings. Loss doesn't have to mean the end, and in the real world most people do cope with loss and move on. They learn for their mistakes and grow into better people for it. So for me, when I saw this scene that promises all the people who have ever sacrificed or suffered in this franchise will one day be saved by Sora (in Kingdom Hearts 3), a part of me was frankly annoyed by the suggestion. In my view, the basically invalidates all the suffering those people went through, and robs the significance of what they did.

Despite my misgivings, I did tear up at seeing everyone full of hope that they would be saved by Sora in the end. Say what you will about Nomura (lord knows I do), but the man knows who to touch the heartstrings. Kingdom Hearts is a good franchise, but I wonder how much further he can push it before it gets too ridiculous for ever die-hard fans like myself to handle.

No comments: