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Webcomic / Knite

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KNI风E or Knite is a flash webcomic on DeviantArt by Yuumei. Set in China, the story follows a curious group known as the Knites, who fly kites with lights attached to them into the night sky from tall buildings to give a semblance starlight to the smog filled Chinese city below, from which the protagonist, Sen, is a member of. The story begins on a morning when another boy, Kai, unexpectedly shows up to "thank" Sen, but things are not as they seem... The characters are realistic yet deeply flawed and the story explores important themes relevant today. Coupled with the artist's skill, it is a beautiful and poignant story.


Yuumei has annouced that Knite will probably span 8-10 chapters, with 4 chapters and omakes that have been released so far. It can be read on the dedicated DeviantArt account. If you like Knite, then it is most likely worth it to check out Yuumei's other work.


  • Abusive Parents: Sen's stepmom tried to strangle him because of a remark he made.
  • Animal Motifs: So far Kai has been associated with a squirrel, Min-Min a bunny, and Sen a swallow.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Kai
  • Bilingual Bonus: The rather odd "t" in "Knite" is actually the chinese character 风, which means "wind"
    • If you understand Chinese, Kai's name (sometimes present on the shirt he wears as the character 开) means "open" and Sen's name (生, which can be seen on the back of his shirt instead) means "birth"
  • Book Dumb: Sen. If his test scores are anything to go by...
  • Children Are Innocent: Min-Min
  • Class Representative: Ling.
  • Cool Big Sis: Fei can qualify.
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  • Corrupt Politician: Kai and Min-Min's father is one.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Sen, Kai, Min-min, fact most, if not all of the characters fall under this trope as Yuumei colours their hair in pretty realistic hair colours.
  • The Cynic: Sen's attitude suggests he has some aspects of this, and surprisingly, this is who Kai really is.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: When Fei, annoyed by Sen's antisocial behaviour and refusal to let Fei and Ling help him put stars in the sky, she proves to Sen how she can put more stars in the sky because of her friends. Sen relents and this is how the Knites were formed.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Sen has this attitude.
  • Empathic Environment: Chapter 3. After Sen lost all his kites except one, his stepmother nearly strangles him, Sen refuses Kai's help and Kai leaves, there's a thunderstorm outside.
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  • Freudian Excuse: Sen has that attitude of his because his mom left him when he was five, his dad gives him up as hopeless and he has to live with his abusive (and probably slightly deranged) stepmom.
  • Green Aesop: Has one about political and corporate corruption and how industrial conditions unchecked hurt more than the environment, they hurt people, too.
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: Sen has this moment with Kai. Kai tells him to close his eyes and then flicks his forehead.
  • Hope Springs Eternal /For Happiness: Sen's out look on life.
  • Hot-Blooded: Sen, in the sense that he's quick to anger and fight.
  • Heroic BSoD: Sen after Kai's "The Reason You Suck" Speech before his departure to US
  • Ill Girl: Kai's sister, Min-Min, who is terminally ill.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: How the first chapter starts off. It is a real Chinese song from the 1950s when China was industrializing, and what makes it truly ironic is that they really did not know the detrimental effects industrialization would have on the environment at that time.
    • Chapter 3, the song that Sen's stepmother sings is a Chinese nursery tune "世上只有妈妈好" (translation: Mother is the best in this world) Draw some parallels as to how Sen's stepmother is singing this to her imaginary child (she is infertile), how Sen's real mom left him and to Yuumei's past of parental divorce.
  • Jerkass: Sen comes off as one. Kai isn't much better, only that it's hidden under his amiable facade.
    • Dickson is one as well, flying his own kite at night just so he can cut the Knites' down to make his statement about how the Knites are just hopeless dreamers.
  • Meaningful Name: Kai in Chinese means "open". Kai, the charismatic, teasing, sociable guy who is open to everyone.
    • Also Dickson. Three guesses why, and the first two don't count.
  • Misplaced Retribution: The business of Kai's corrupt father causes environmental degradation. Guess who ends up paying for it? Min-Min. Oh, and lots of women who end up infertile or have miscarriages, like Sen's stepmother
  • Missing Mom: Sen's mother left when he was five years old.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Kai. Dear god, Kai. The comments of fangirls throwing themselves at him will not stop.
    • Sen can qualify, because of Yuumei's art style.
  • Motion Comic: Made with Adobe Flash, the comic uses a bit of motion to be read. Is classified as a Flash Webcomic.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Kai's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Sen.
  • Not Good with People: Sen, goes without saying. He keeps to himself, always frowns, and will get into fights if he feels provoked.
  • Parental Neglect: Sen's mom left him when he was five, and his father has given him up as hopeless, on top of leaving him to care of his abusive stepmother.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Sen. then again, if you had a home situation like his, you wouldn't be smiling either. It's hard to say how many times he smiled but he's been frowner since he was 5.
  • Portmanteau: The title is a combination of "night" and "kite." And then it has the Chinese character of "wind" in its official logo.
  • Rainbow Speak: Important words and objects tend to be red.
  • Rage Against the Author: Yuumei drew a comic where Sen had learned that Knite was going to be published, and was worried that people wouldn't be able to read it online for free anymore.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kai gives one to Sen about how the Knites' actions have resulted in excess battery use and further pollution, and how Sen is ignorant and naive and would not understand anything about environmental conservation because he doesn't go to school. Also a Wham Line which shows his Hidden Depths
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sen's Red to Kai's Blue. The former is quick to upset, while the latter is more calm and amiable.
  • Scenery Porn: Knite is written/drawn by Yuumei. Duh.
  • Secret Test of Character: Why Kai offers money whenever he first meets a person.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Kai asks Sen how he goes to school if he stays out all night flying his kites.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Dickson, which is why he cuts the Knites' kite down with his own.
    • Kai has this moment with Sen. Yuumei then Lampshades it in The Rant almost word for word.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: It looks like Sen and Kai are on opposite ends of the scale.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: The webcomic is always swinging between the two extremes. One moment it's Kai teasing Sen and laughs to be had...then the next it's a Mood Whiplash back to the cynical themes the webcomic embodies.
    • The Chapter 4 beta pages. The scene can be as angsty as hell but the author's comments will just kill the moment.
  • The Smart Guy: Kai, who is streetwise, resourceful and savvy. He can fall into Crazy-Prepared, because you can be sure that by meeting you he's surely done some "research" on you...
  • Soap Opera Disease: Min-Min's illness. It is not known what she has, although it has been guessed at, however, it is terminal and she doesn't really have a very long time in which to live.
  • Speech Bubbles: While there are no bubbles, each character so far has their own unique font, possibly a visible shorthand for their voices.
  • Truth in Television: There are people in China who fly kites into the air with Christmas lights attached to them, but it is unclear whether or not they do it to put the stars back in the sky.
    • The corruption and environmental degradation present should ring a bell.
  • Wham Line: Kai's entire "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Sen.
    • Kai: "I won't be in this country by tommorrow."
    • Kai: "Min-Min never had a future to begin with...."
  • Wicked Stepmother: Sen's stepmother was willing to choke him over a Jerkass comment.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Sen. Yes, he's anti-social, a jerkass, Not Good with People, but he still believes he can fill the night sky with artificial stars.
  • With Friends Like These...: How Sen sees Kai and Ling, though that's because he's an antisocial loner with attitude problems.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: While none have appeared in the Knites, the number of people shipping Kai with Sen is rather astonishing.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Min-Min, being terminally ill.


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