Characters / Kingdom Hearts Destiny Islands Trio

Main Character Index | Sora | Riku, Kairi, and Data-Sora | Mickey, Donald, and Goofy | Roxas, Axel, and Xion | Terra, Aqua, and Ventus | Ansem and his Apprentices | Kingdom Hearts X(chi) Characters | Supporting Original Characters | Supporting Square Enix Characters | Supporting Disney Characters | Xehanort's Incarnations | Independent Villains | Enemy Creatures | Organization XIII | Disney Villains

Due to the lengthy periods of time passing between releases and many plot twists now being Late Arrival Spoilers, numerous spoilers, including many major ones, will be unmarked to prevent pages being dominated by large chunks of white space for decade-old spoilers. If you have not played a game in the series that was released before 2010, read at your own risk!

Sora, Riku, and Kairi are the primary characters of the Kingdom Hearts series. Raised on Destiny Islands (although Kairi was born in Radiant Garden), they dreamed of leaving their small world and exploring the other worlds. They got their wish when the Heartless consumed their world, separating them and setting them on an epic journey with the fate of all worlds hanging in the balance.
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    Destiny Islands Trio 
  • The Chosen Many: The Keyblade's chosen.
  • Dimensional Traveler: Besides the villains, they're the only people who can jump between worlds easily.
  • Generation Xerox: Sora, Riku, and Kairi have the same Theme Naming, similar personalities and inherited the powers of Ven, Terra, and Aqua respectively. The connection is most apparent between Terra and Riku: both are tricked into aiding the villains, wield the power of Darkness, and are possessed by Xehanort. In contrast, the older trio had Ven out of commission while Aqua tried to redeem Terra, while the younger had Kairi go comatose and later be Put on a Bus while Sora tried to redeem Riku.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: All of them can use Keyblades.
  • Fire and Ice Love Triangle: More specifically, Riku is aloof and icy, Sora is warm and fiery.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: Riku, Kairi, and Sora by their naming conventions.
  • Love Triangle: Both Riku and Sora have crushes on Kairi; she seemingly has picked Sora however. Sora and Riku's friendship sometimes outshines any romantic teases between Kairi and either of the two boys.
  • Magic Knight: All of them can use both magic and weapons.
  • Only One Name: They are simply "Sora," "Riku" and "Kairi" with no indication that they have a family name.
  • Original Generation: They're some of the original characters in this crossover between Disney and Final Fantasy.
  • Power Trio: The three of them form one.
  • The Team: Sora is The Hero, Riku is his Lancer, and Kairi is The Chick. Sora's optimism and friendship are able to not only pull all the worlds together, but redeem souls struggling with darkness like Riku's. Sora operates out in the open, and is the center of attention that everyone trusts, while Riku sticks to the shadows.
    • Occasionally however Riku is The Leader, Sora is his Number Two but Kairi is still The Chick. This is shown with Riku being the driving force behind their building a raft together, and being the eldest who tries to take things seriously while the other two goof off. Riku is the first of the three to become an official Keyblade Master, so he outranks Sora as well.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Sora, Riku and Kairi, later becoming ˇThree Amigos! when the tension is resolved.


Click here for Sora's page.

Click here  to see Riku as he appears in Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories
Click here  to see Riku as he appears in the 358/2 Days
Click here  to see Riku as he appears in Dream Drop Distance
Click here  to see Riku as a child in Birth by Sleep

"Once we step through, we might not be able to come back. We may never see our parents again. There's no turning back. But this may be our only chance. We can't let fear stop us! I'm not afraid of the darkness!"

Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano (Japanese), David Gallagher (English)
Young Riku Voiced by: Eiji Shima (Japanese), Ty Panitz (English)

Sora's best friend and rival. His desire to see something greater beyond his tiny, secluded island home led to him being seduced by the forces of darkness. But once he realizes the harm he's caused, he begins working in the shadows to assist Sora in whatever way possible, eventually wielding his own Keyblade and tempering his inner darkness to channel it for the forces of light.
  • 24-Hour Armor: Riku's clothes in The Grid.
    Riku: My clothes. Is this world special?
  • The Ace: Sora is occasionally jealous of his friend for excelling at everything he does.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: As revealed in 3D, Riku's long-time exposure to darkness has rendered him immune to its corrupting influence.
  • Adorkable: This side of him pops up around girls who aren't Kairi, as shown by his meeting with Shiki in Dream Drop Distance. He even states he's not good with people.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: In Birth By Sleep.
  • Aloof Big Brother: To Sora and Kairi, though they're not related.
  • Always Someone Better: In Kingdom Hearts II, Riku and Sora admit to being jealous of the other. In particular, Riku is jealous of Sora's ability to always keep a smile on his face.
  • Anti-Hero: When working with fellow Anti-Hero DiZ in KH II. Riku is willing to use the power of darkness to achieve his goals, something most of his other allies would never consider doing.
  • Anti-Villain: In Kingdom Hearts, where he's just doing what he feels is necessary to save Kairi. However, when Sora beats him in a fight, he loses himself in darkness while trying to become stronger.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, he serves as a major antagonist, regardless of his intentions. However, he never wanted any harm to come to Roxas or Xion, and any conflict against the two was only carried out in order to protect them.
  • Arch-Enemy: Seems to have found one in Ansem, Seeker of Darkness after turning against him. Judging from how Ansem seemed to concentrate on only him in Dream Drop Distance after being freed from his body, the feeling is more than mutual.
  • The Atoner: From Chain of Memories through to the end of Kingdom Hearts II for his fall into darkness. By Dream Drop Distance, it appears he has forgiven himself.
  • Apologizes a Lot: He couldn't really forgive himself after what transpired in the first game. At least, not without a lot of soul searching and support. By 3D, he appears to be over this trait.
  • Apologetic Attacker: One of his battle grunts in Dream Drop Distance is "Sorry!"
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Of a sort. In Dream Drop Distance, he is named a Keyblade Master. Even Sora, who failed in his exam due to Xehanort's interference, is overjoyed for him.
  • Badass Biker: When riding a lightcycle in 3D.
  • Badass Boast: In 3D.
    Riku: Quality versus quantity, huh?note 
    Riku: I'm what nightmares fear!
  • Badass Driver: Of a sort, possibly coupled with Instant Expert. He seems to be extremely competent in the use of the shuttle he commandeers with Sora near the end of Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Badass Longcoat: While wearing an Organization longcoat In Days and KH II.
  • Bash Brothers: With Sora.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Is deeply protective of Kairi in KH I, and both Kairi and Sora from KH II on.
  • Bishōnen: Sure. Especially true in II and Dream Drop Distance.
  • Broken Ace: After falling into darkness in Kingdom Hearts.
  • Beehive Barrier: Riku's Dark Barrier, whether just in front of him or around his entire body.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: Wears a blindfold willingly during the events of Days and most of Kingdom Hearts II (the latter in his normal form).
  • Boring, but Practical: Doubleflight initially feels like a Useless Useful Technique, due to Flowmotion's existence. Then you find out that Riku can execute normal commands when he double jumps, allowing him to stay out of enemy range to charge up a powerful special attack, or safely heal himself. Doubleflight essentially gives Riku more offensive and defensive options, which more than makes up for not getting Glide or upgrades to it.
  • Byronic Hero: Has definite elements of this, though his Character Development shows him slowly growing out of it into a straightforward hero who happens to use Casting a Shadow type spells.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Exemplified in 3D where he becomes extremely flustered when Shiki flirts with him.
  • Cast from Hit Points: His Sacrifice attack in Dream Drop Distance.
  • Character Development: He goes through the most development of the Destiny Islands trio, going from an antagonist to a protagonist over the course of the overarching story. Kairi points it out in their scenes in A Fragmentary Passage.
  • Child Prodigy: Is surprisingly perceptive and philosophical five-year-old in Birth by Sleep. Even acknowledged by four-year-old Sora.
    Sora: I don't know Riku, you say some weird stuff sometimes, but I'll try it!
    • As of 3D Riku is also the youngest full-fledged Keyblade Master in the series. At around 17, he's only a couple years older than Ventus was in Birth By Sleep and noticeably younger than either Aqua, Terra or Xehanort when they had the opportunity to become masters.
  • Childhood Friends: With Sora and Kairi.
  • The Chosen One: Was chosen by Terra to wield his keyblade, but he got a bit too jumpy with the call and jumped at the wrong one in I, resulting in said keyblade eventually going to Sora instead, which it eventually accepted as its true master. Once Riku returned to sanity he eventually got his own Keyblade too.
  • The Chosen Wannabe: He's resentful that Sora was chosen as the keyblade master, though he eventually earns his own.
  • Composite Character: In terms of moveset - in 3D, Riku's fighting style becomes a hybrid of Terra's and Aqua's. He gains some of Terra's attack options (Meteor, Zantetsuken) but also some of Aqua's defensive and movement options (Doubleflight, Barrier, a Flash Step). Two of his Dual Link styles are also taken from Aqua's Command Styles, and one of them is shared by Terra as well. However, Riku often puts his own spin on Aqua's moves and styles, and his latest version of Dark Firaga is notably different from Terra's version, acting a lot more like one of Vanitas's attacks.
  • Cool Sword: Soul Eater from Kingdom Hearts through most of Kingdom Hearts II, though he's still able to summon it in Dream Drop Distance. This sword grows more powerful with use of darkness. Also the Way to the Dawn keyblade, which evolves from Soul Eater, is his weapon toward the end of Kingdom Hearts II and doubles as a Cool Key.
  • The Corruptible: Initially, he had a lot of problems revolving around corruption by darkness.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Became insanely powerful by tapping into the fragment of Ansem inside himself during Days and KH II, at the expense of being unable to change his physical form back to that of his own body.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: After his Heel–Face Turn. He comes to embody it by 3D, in which he not only recovers most of the dark powers he'd lost, but is also by that time totally immune to corruption by darkness.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: He goes through this in the first game. Riku starts out using the darkness because he wants to retrieve Kairi's heart. This eventually takes second place to his jealousy of Sora — after taking the Keyblade, losing the Keyblade and getting his ass kicked, he's willing to open himself completely to the darkness if it means he can be stronger than Sora. Big mistake.
  • Deal with the Devil: His deal with Ansem, Seeker of Darkness for enough power to beat Sora in Kingdom Hearts.
  • Declaration of Protection: As of 3D, his primary motive seems to be to protect Sora and Kairi, aside from protecting the worlds. In fact, it is his concern for Sora that leads to him accidentally traveling into his dreams in 3D, rather than traveling the worlds alongside him.
  • Demonic Possession: By Ansem, Seeker of Darkness in the latter parts of Kingdom Hearts and once to destroy Lexaeus in Re:Chain of Memories. In fact, as of Dream Drop Distance, this was revealed to be an attempt to turn Riku into one of thirteen vessels for Xehanort's heart; after Riku gained the ability to reject the darkness in his heart, Xehanort turned his sights to Roxas and then Sora to take his place.
  • Deuteragonist: Of the series as a whole; he serves as the protagonist along with Sora in Chain of Memories and Dream Drop Distance.
  • Diagonal Cut: He gains Zantetsuken, which is basically this trope, in Dream Drop Distance.
  • Double Jump: His "Doubleflight" skill, which uses a burst of darkness under him as a platform for a new jump.
  • The Dragon: To Maleficent in the first game. He plays an anti-heroic version of this to Diz throughout Days and the beginning of Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Dream Walker: Unknowingly travels into Sora's dreams when he sees a robed Ansem for the majority of 3D.
  • Easily Forgiven: During the first game, he does such things as ally with Maleficent, kidnap Alice, Jasmine, and Kairi, try to kidnap Pinocchio, steal Sora's Keyblade, and try to murder Sora outright, all of which was done of his own free will, before Ansem possessed him... and both Sora and Kairi are quick to Turn the Other Cheek and accept him back immediately after Ansem is defeated; in the end, the only person who really takes any issue with Riku's heinous actions is Riku himself.
  • Elemental Powers: He has access to every element in some form or another.
  • 11th Hour Ranger: Becomes a playable party member in the final world of KH II. He's also briefly controllable during the final boss fight.
  • Enemy Within: The remnants of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, from Chain of Memories until the explosion of the Kingdom Hearts Encoder near the end of Kingdom Hearts II. It acts more like an Enemy Without by 3D.
  • Entitled Bastard: One of his biggest character flaws in the original game, as he was aware that he was meant to have the Keyblade and became insanely jealous when it went to Sora instead, ultimately leading to a Deal with the Devil. It didn't go so well for him, and his sense of entitlement is naturally absent afterward.
  • Evil Costume Switch: His Dark Mode armor in KH I, though he still uses it after his Heel–Face Turn in Chain of Memories.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Sora in the first game.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Realizes this after making a Deal with the Devil with Ansem and getting possessed as a result.
  • Evolving Weapon: By the time he came to The World That Never Was in Kingdom Hearts II, it had evolved into his Keyblade, Way to the Dawn, though he still calls it Soul Eater nonetheless, and, as shown in Dream Drop Distance, can summon either weapon.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: The length of Riku's hair is directly proportional to his angst level. It's at its longest during his phase as a wandering, blindfolded Atoner. After II, he gets an off-screen Important Haircut to reflect him being more comfortable in his own skin.
  • Expy: The protagonist's rival both in battle and for the affections of his love interest, turned evil and was controlled by the villain in part due to his love for her, broke free and fought alongside the hero to redeem himself, and eventually renounced his inner darkness and returned to the light. We're talking about Riku, not Kain Highwind. Likely a case of Author Appeal, as Tetsuya Nomura is a big fan of Kain. And in an amusing recursive instance of the trope, when Final Fantasy IV got a sequel, Kain got an Enemy Without called Dark Kain that is himself an Expy of the Riku Replica.
  • First-Name Basis: Is one of the few characters in the series to be on this with Mickey Mouse.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Sora as kids on Destiny Islands, as well as once they truly reunite near the end of Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Fusion Dance: He has the ability to Link Style with Dream Eaters in Dream Drop Distance which can give him a variety of Power Ups and Super Modes. This incidentally serves as Foreshadowing for The Reveal that, in this game, Riku is a Dream Eater.
  • Godzilla Threshold: He hits it during his fight with Roxas in Days, to the extent that he unleashes the dark powers he had been trying to hold back because it was the only way to beat him; he ends up trapped in Ansem's form for most of II as a result, but he was willing to pay that price to ensure Sora's restoration.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Xehanort wanted Riku to embrace darkness in order to turn the boy into a Soul Jar. Instead, when Riku fully embraces darkness he becomes immune to Xehanort's influence.
  • Good Weapon, Evil Weapon: From its look to its characteristics, Soul Eater is most definitely an Evil Weapon. It helps that it was implied to have first been given to him by Maleficent. However, Way to the Dawn, with its angelic wing toward the end, is more of a Good Weapon. Then it's subverted horribly with certain revelations about the eyeball motif it carries, thanks to the release of Kingdom Hearts X.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Soul Eater featured demon wings, signifying a closer alignment with the corruptive nature of darkness. On the other hand, Way to the Dawn features both a large demon wing and a smaller angel wing, signifying his redemption.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Until he gets better.
  • Guardian Entity: Riku unknowingly becomes Sora's guardian Dream Eater during the events of 3D.
  • Handicapped Badass: Roxas slashed his left wrist during their fight in Days. In KH II he wears a bandage around it for support and doesn't move his left arm much unless casting dark magic. As shown in his brief time in the waking world with Sora in DDD, he is still wearing the cast, meaning he never got it set properly. The injury is even indicated in the opening of DDD, when in the recap of the final fight with Xemnas in II after the laser spam attack, Riku is shown very gingerly flexing his left hand, as the flipping and deflecting the lasers apparently agitated it (and jamming it into Xemnas' hand to stop the latter's Agony Beam from ripping Sora's heart out probably didn't help, either).
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: It went from Heel as Rival Turned Evil to Face to Anti-Hero Face to solid Face again.
  • The Hero: Finally takes a main role in Dream Drop Distance alongside Sora, though he was earlier the hero of Reverse/Rebirth in Chain of Memories.
  • Hero Antagonist: In Days, due to Roxas' status as a Punch-Clock Villain.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Is prone to this in Dream Drop Distance even long after he earned his Heel–Face Turn. For instance, after giving a pep talk to Quasimodo about not letting his fear of the outside world hold him back, he quietly adds "Wish I could take my own advice."
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Sora.
  • Hopeless Suitor: For Kairi.
  • Human Aliens: Like all human protagonists, Riku can be considered one. Though it's played completely straight in The Grid, as he's a program there.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Spent his whole life dreaming of excitement and adventure beyond his little island town, only for The Keyblade to pick Sora instead because of it.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: As of 3D, he can't be corrupted by the darkness anymore, as he's mastered it. Unusually, this is not due to being without darkness, but rather being able to control it due to repeated use.
  • Instant Expert: He completely masters the Keyblade in an extremely short time-span. It helps that he already had access to some extremely potent dark powers and an immunity to darkness to back him up.
  • Invisible Parents: Riku mentions his parents a few times, but they are never seen.
  • Important Haircut: His shortened hair in Dream Drop Distance comes with his acceptance of his friends' forgiveness and development away from an Anti-Hero.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: "Take care of her."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's not exactly "nice" to people who aren't named Sora or Kairi, and even teases Sora a little bit in the first game. However, when the chips are down, he's willing to give up everything just to save his friends.
  • Jumped at the Call: Wanted more than anything to leave Destiny Islands in the first game.
  • Kirk Summation: Subverted. In Dream Drop Distance, when Riku asks Esmeralda if Claude Frollo was always an evil bigot and requests to know where he could be located so that he could speak to him, it is subtly implied that Riku intends to try to reason with Frollo, having fallen into the darkness once himself. However, when Riku sees Frollo trying to burn down a villager's home because the inhabitant was suspected of harboring gypsies, he concludes the man is so deranged that he will ultimately have to stopped by force.
  • The Lancer: To Sora.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Riku suffers for his deal with Ansem with a Trauma Conga Line that lasts up till the end of Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Leitmotif: "Riku" in KH II.
  • Le Parkour: Only in certain areas, such as The World That Never Was (which has questionable physics at best) and the Sleeping Worlds (with their in-universe Flowmotion system).
  • Let X Be the Unknown: In KH I, the straps on Riku's chest form an X. KH3D suggests that this was a Recusant's Sigil, considering how Riku got turned into a Xehanort vessel in the first game and how Sora almost became one himself in 3D.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Fast, strong, and has great offensive and defensive options, both as a boss and a playable character.
  • Limit Break: Aside from the debatably canonical Mission Mode-only "Darkstrom", we have Limit Storm in Dream Drop Distance, which deals more damage the less health Riku has remaining.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy. In all games till Dream Drop Distance, when he cuts it short. This includes his almost-Peek-a-Bangs, meaning his eyes are now always clearly seen.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Joins The Dark Side in order to save Kairi.
  • Love Redeems: However, it is when Ansem is poised to finish Kairi who had served her purpose that Riku sees the error of his ways.
  • Love Triangle: With Sora for Kairi in Kingdom Hearts.
  • Master of Unlocking: His Keyblade lets him open pretty much anything.
  • Master Swordsman: Is extremely skilled with both a sword and a keyblade. For more, see Awesome Moment of Crowning above.
  • Meaningful Name: "Riku" is Japanese for "land".
  • Mr. Fanservice: Riku is well-built, never wears a shirt with sleeves, and his KHII outfit gives the viewer a peek at his naval while his 3D outfit leaves a very noticeable gap between his top and his trousers.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Clashes with Sora in the first game, largely because of his obsession with saving Kairi.
  • Mutual Envy: At the end of Kingdom Hearts II, he and Sora have a heart to heart and come to the understanding that they were both always jealous of each other, each wishing to be like the other. When they both realize that they're fine the way they are, this conversation ultimately repairs their friendship for good.
  • Mysterious Protector: In II for both Roxas and Sora.
  • Not Good with People: Claims this in 3D when talking to Shiki. It might be because Kairi is the only girl he really got to know.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Becomes more an Aloof Big Brother to Sora and Kairi than a love interest to the latter by Kingdom Hearts II.
  • The Nose Knows: He has the ability to smell darkness and light, and can differentiate between the light or darkness of different individuals, to the point of being able to distinguish Kairi from Naminé, or to sense Ansem, Seeker of Darkness at a distance. However, this only comes up in Chain of Memories.
  • Not Quite Flight: When in his Rising Wing Link Style in Dream Drop Distance, Riku descends slowly towards the ground, allowing him to glide through the air for a limited time.
  • Older Than They Look: In KH3D, Riku is 17, but spends most of the game in his 15-year-old body.
  • Personality Powers: A Byronic Hero who primarily wields darkness.
  • Post-Final Boss: In Days for Roxas to Xion's more traditional Final Boss.
  • Power Limiter: Throughout Days, he wears a blindfold to suppress his dark powers and Ansem's influence. When fighting Roxas and losing, however, he was forced to remove the blindfold; doing so traps him in Ansem's form, but he nonetheless manages to one-shot Roxas.
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix reveals that his heart was sent to the Realm of Darkness after Sora defeats Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, who was possessing Riku's body, in Hollow Bastion. Sora's defeat of Ansem SoD allowed Riku to prevent Ansem SoD from corrupting his heart, but that heart was expelled from his body because Ansem fully controlled Riku's body. Therefore, Riku essentially became an benign sentient heartless like Sora did after Kairi restored the latter's heart until Sora reunited with Roxas. He later unwittingly became a Spirit Dream Eater in 3D.
  • Refused by the Call: Seems like he refused the Keyblade, which caused it to choose Sora as its wielder instead.
  • Reverse Grip: In II, he wields Way to the Dawn this way when chasing after Xemnas's dragon in The World That Never Was in an emergency shuttle and driving, and also wields the keyblade this way in Dream Drop Distance when he attempts to strike Ansem, Seeker of Darkness when Riku's pinned down by him. It is unknown if he can actually fight this way, however.
  • The Rival: To Sora, but he got over it.
  • Sanity Slippage: Even from the start, there are signs Riku has darkness in his heart, with him sometimes acting like a jerk for no real reason, and even Kairi mentions he's changed as of late. However, after joining with Maleficent and letting darkness into his heart, the influence of darkness starts to warp his mind more and more, making him delusional and violent, and ultimately leading up to his attempts to kill Sora.
  • Save the Villain: While there is no instance of this applying to the real Riku in the series, Data-Riku from coded, who currently does not have his own entry on this character page, saves Maleficent and Pete from getting killed by Data-Sora's Heartless.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Through out the first game, he repeatedly ignores all of the obvious evidence that Sora didn't abandon him and Kairi for the Keyblade, Donald, and Goofy, and is spending every waking moment trying to find them. It isn't until he's possessed by Ansem, as well as Sora's Heroic Sacrifice to save Kairi, that he finally realizes the truth. It seems to be the influence of the darkness, for the most part, that's twisting his mind and making him delusional.
  • Self Deprecating Humour:
    "Sora never did pick the brightest friends." -Riku, Sora's best friend.
  • Signature Move: Dark Aura.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Dispatches Rinzler this way in 3D.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: He only wears them when he's in Dark Mode or an Organization cloak.
  • Socially-Awkward Hero: He can talk down to villains any day of the week, but when a cute girl like Shiki Misaki starts flirting with him, he's at a loss for words.
    Shiki: Aren't you my knight in shining armor? Well? (winks)
    Riku: K-knight? You've got the wrong idea.
    Shiki: (exasperated) Ohmigosh, I was so just kidding. You get out much?
  • Spin Attack: The Maelstrom attack in Chain of Memories, and various attacks in Dream Drop Distance. He can use the vertical variant too, like "Shadowbreaker".
  • Summon to Hand: Like all Keyblade wielders, he can summon his keyblades at will.
  • Take a Third Option: Chose "The road to dawn" between darkness and light, instead of wielding just one.
    DiZ: Will you take the road to light — or the road to darkness?
    Riku: Neither. I'm taking the middle road.
    DiZ: You mean the twilight road to nightfall?
    Riku:'s the road to dawn.
  • Teleport Spam: In Dream Drop Distance, his Dark Splicer attack and Shadow Slide/Shadow Strike abilities let him do this. His Dark Aura attack is also this.
  • Thinking Up Portals: From his siding with Maleficent to the destruction of the Kingdom Hearts encoder, he had the ability to form Corridors of Darkness. He is no longer able to do this due to not being that in tune with darkness.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Barrage in Chain of Memories with the Soul Eater, and Strike Raid and some variants in Dream Drop Distance. It works because of the Summon to Hand characteristic.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the original Kingdom Hearts, until the Laser-Guided Karma he receives brings him back to his senses.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After much Character Development Riku is a pretty nice guy to the people he cares about. Especially apparent in 3D.
  • Toyless Toy Line Character: Despite being a main character since the beginning, he's usually pressed for merch — especially after KHII, which saw Roxas and Axel get stuff before him, often multiple times in the same line. The articulated figures take this to the extreme — even Ursula got a KH-branded figure before he did!
  • The Unchosen One: Had to go through a lot to become a Keyblade wielder again.
  • Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: His death cry in Kingdom Hearts II is to call out for Kairi indicating he isn't quite over her even if he is not actively pursuing her.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Maleficent in KH 1
  • Villain Teleportation: Riku significantly loses the ability to summon Corridors of Darkness once he completes his journey back to being a good guy. 3D shows he still has all his old darkness-based attacks, plus some new ones, but this ability is still off-limits.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice changes subtly over the course of the series.
  • Weapon of Choice: Once he gets the Soul Eater, he only ever changes weapons once, when he manages to steal Kingdom Key from Sora. Otherwise, he has always used some permutation of Soul Eater.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the first game, Riku just wants to save Kairi, despite committing evil deeds to do so.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: A villainous version in Kingdom Hearts, but an Anti-Hero one from Chain of Memories through Dream Drop Distance.
  • Yandere: To Kairi and, to a far lesser degree, Sora in the first game. He wants to save Kairi by any means necessary, and was very upset when Maleficent made him think Sora deserted him for newer friends, to the extent that he tried to kill him.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: He can wield the power of darkness as well as light.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Feels this way about both Kairi and Sora. He's perfectly content to walk the path of darkness if it means keeping them safe, and at the end of KHII he seems to accept dwelling in the Realm of Darkness with relative ease, seeing as how Sora is there with him.
    Riku: If the world is made of light and darkness...we'll be the darkness.
  • Younger Than They Look: After embracing the power of DARKNESS to defeat Roxas at the end of 358/2 Days, he gets Shapeshifter Mode-Locked in the form of "Ansem", Seeker of Darkness and ends up looking like a ~30-year old man when he's actually a 17-year old boy.

Click here  to see Kairi as she appears in Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories
Click here  to see Kairi as a child in Kingdom Hearts and Birth by Sleep

"Don't ever forget. Wherever you go, I'm always with you."

Voiced by: Risa Uchida (Japanese), Hayden Panettiere/Alyson Stoner (English)
Young Kairi voiced by: Sumire Moroboshi (Japanese), Ariel Winter (English)

A close friend of Sora and Riku who came to Destiny Islands from Radiant Garden, which sparked their interest in other worlds. She's one of the Seven Princesses of Heart, meaning she bears no darkness in her heart. Though she mostly remains out of the fighting, she's plucky, determined and courageous in her own right, and eventually acquires her own Keyblade.

For more information on Princesses of Heart, see Kingdom Hearts: Supporting Disney.

  • Adaptational Badass: In the KH2 manga, less from any real changes to her and more because she gets more screen, er, panel time to show her stuff.
    • The most notable instance is her imprisonment in The Castle That Never Was. Like the game, she still has to be rescued by Namine. Unlike the game, however, she actually got HERSELF and Pluto out first on her own, with a little improvised and near-perfect trickery of the Dusks that Demyx (who actually survives up to this point in the manga) left to guard her. She only blew her cover that very instant because she vocally thanked them, tipping the Dusks off that despite her wiggling, she wasn't one of them. She DOES get cornered by Demyx just as she's about to reach THE CASTLE'S EXIT...who then sends his Dusks away and pathetically pleads her to just come back with him (out of fear of being punished by Saix). She physically refuses at first, but then, out of (disgusted) pity, relents. THAT is the only reason why she needed Namine to save her.
    • In addition, she openly pulls an Eyelid Pull Taunt on Axel on Destiny Islands, and is active alongside Riku-Ansem and Sora against Xigbar.
  • The Artifact: From Kingdom Hearts II until the end of 3D in which the Princesses of Heart are brought back into the series plot AND Kairi's aspiring Action Girl state is finally carried forward.
  • Badass Adorable: Very much so.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Her outfit in the first game, though it's more noticeable in her official artwork.
  • Barrier Maiden: As a Princess of Heart.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: A cute redhead with Incorruptible Pure Pureness.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Redhead to Naminé's Blonde and Xion's Brunette.
  • Boyish Short Hair: In the first game. In the second she switches to Long Hair Is Feminine.
  • Cheerful Child: As seen in Birth by Sleep, she was like this when she still lived in Radiant Garden.
  • The Chick: Serves as the emotional support and inspiration for both Sora and Riku.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Sora.
  • Childhood Friends: With Sora and Riku.
  • Cool Sword: The Destiny's Embrace keyblade, which doubles as a Cool Key obviously.
  • Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose: Just more friendly than flirty.
  • Damsel in Distress: In I she loses her heart when Destiny Islands is destroyed, leaving her body an empty shell. The degree of distress is debatable, as both heart and body stay safe with Sora and Riku respectively for the most part. In II Axel and Organization XIII kidnap her to use as leverage against Sora.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Sora never saves her in II. First she gets away from Axel, then she gets away from the Organization by herself and help from Naminé... who technically IS her.
    • Better in the manga version. As stated above, she got HERSELF and Pluto out on her own, but her jailer (re: Demyx) being so pathetic that she begrudgingly relented to return to her cell.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: In Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Declaration of Protection: In Kingdom Hearts when Sora becomes a Heartless and she protects him from the harmful ones.
  • Demoted to Extra: After II. She isn't in Days, barely appears in Birth by Sleep, doesn't have a data version in Coded and only makes two short non-speaking appearances in Dream Drop Distance as an apparition, as well as a third in The Stinger as her real self.
  • Demoted to Satellite Love Interest: In Kingdom Hearts she had limited screentime, but still managed to have her own personality and character arc, concerning her anxiety and fear of change based around her Dark and Troubled Past. In Kingdom Hearts II, almost all her scenes and actions revolve around Sora and her love for him and little else (though to be fair, she does have a few short friendship moments with Riku as well.)
  • Designated Victim: Xehanort will always target Kairi, as she's one of the Seven Princesses of Heart who can open the door to Kingdom Hearts. The Stinger of 3D shows that she's gonna be ready for him next time.
  • Dude Magnet: Sora and Riku both want her, as does... Seifer in the KHII manga.
  • Empty Shell: Her body after losing her heart at the start of Kingdom Hearts. Sora temporarily turns himself into a Heartless to restore her to normal.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: One of the Seven Princesses of Heart.
  • Faking Amnesia: In the first game, she claims to remember "nothing at all" about her home world. The way the scene is framed is classic Japanese cinematagrophy indicating she's not being truthful. She later owns up about it....while inside of Sora's heart, no less!
  • Flat Character: Due to getting Demoted to Extra, all that we know of her personality is that she's a Nice Girl and not much more than that, though the original game showed more sides that she presumably still has. However, this isn't the case in the KH2 manga adaptation, as mentioned before.
  • Flower Motifs: Her Keyblade, Destiny's Embrace, uses one, and she's seen picking flowers as a child in Birth by Sleep.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Her reaction speaks this when told by Mickey that her partner in Keyblade training will be Lea, who she knows as Axel. She needs some reassuring by Riku and Mickey that Lea is no longer the same guy who tried to kidnap her after a long chase through worlds (and inadvertently got her captured by the Organization), and is on their side now.
  • Girliness Upgrade: She's somewhat of a tomboy in I, far less so in II.
  • Girl Next Door: On Destiny Islands.
  • Girly Run: In I and at one point in II. Bonus points for Holding Hands with Namine at the same time. Strangely, she has a normal run in the rest of the game.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Played for humour in the KHII manga, where she bites Axel's arm for kidnapping her, and even pulls an akanbe on him.
    • In a later scene, she intimidates Demyx while he's offering her food in her jail cell, which she's only still in since she took pity on him. Axel then shows up to rescue her, after having abandoned her before...something she immediately begins kicking at him for in anger while complaining about how long it took him. Beware the Nice Ones indeed.
  • Hair Flip: In sense of "Thanks" when praises her for her bravery against the Heartless. It can also be argued she did to seem cute in front of Sora, given her intake of breath after seeing him.
  • The Heart: Quite obviously, given her status as a Princess of Heart.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: It lets her bring back Sora after he becomes a Heartless, as well as makes her immune to the corroding effects of the Dark Corridor and is implied to be how her message in a bottle reaches Sora and inspires him to open the Door to Light. Though Kairi hasn't made use of it, six of the Princesses of Heart working together were able to hold back a tide of Heartless that included a Behemoth using their abilities. There is potential for use.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: She forms a friendship with Pluto in KHII.
  • Human Aliens: She's technically an alien, being from another world than Destiny Islands, or any of the other worlds she visits, though she's still actually human.
  • I Will Find You: She decides I Will Wait for You is not enough in KHII and decides to look for Sora and Riku instead.
  • I Will Wait for You: At the end of Kingdom Hearts, she stays in Destiny Islands waiting for Sora and Riku to return...
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: As one of the Seven Princesses, she has absolutely no darkness inside her heart and can never have any.
  • The Ingenue: Although, while very sweet, she can also be quite snarky and headstrong.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Depending on the game, her eye color shifts, though it tends toward blue.
  • Joshikousei: Sports a school uniform in the opening of the second game.
  • The Lady's Favour: The Oathkeeper. It also doubles as a Memento Macguffin in Chain of Memories.
  • Leitmotif: "Kairi." She's also the only character to have one in the first game.
  • Light Is Good: She is a Princess of Heart, one of the seven pure lights in all the worlds and is undoubtably and incorruptibly on the side of good.
  • Light 'em Up: Specializes in light magic, being a Princess of Heart.
  • Little Miss Snarker: She tends to join Riku in cracking a lot of jokes at Sora's expense, especially in Kingdom Hearts.
  • Love Interest: For Sora.
  • Magic Skirt: It manages to stay down even during major battles and cut-scenes, but can be subverted in the original release of KHII.
  • Meaningful Name: The "Kai" in Kairi's name means "sea". Incidentally, it can also mean "seashell," and the entire name can mean "nautical mile."
  • Morality Pet: For Riku in the first game, as his reason for becoming an Anti-Villain in Kingdom Hearts is to save her.
  • Ms. Fanservice: From KHII onwards; not as much as Aqua, but it's still there.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: With the exception of the first game, where she has her own backstory and has no association with males, Kairi's entire role and personality is to be the Morality Chain for both Sora and Riku, and a Love Interest for the former. Even her growth into an Action Girl still qualifies, because she only gains the skills because of Yen Sid and Merlin, although to be fair this is also the case for Lea.
  • Nice Girl: And she's so cute!
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A Keyblade-wielding Princess of Heart.
  • Official Couple: With Sora, or at least implied as such in the credits of KHII and the secret ending of Birth by Sleep.
    • The credits of 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue take the 'implications' Up to Eleven by ending a montage of romantic couples with a series of clips from scenes between Sora and Kairi.
  • Panty Shot: Can be done by rotating the camera in a certain area in KHII. They are apparently fully modeled.
    • Final Mix actually removes them. (No, not like that! If you look, you'll see that she doesn't have a pelvis and her legs aren't connected to anything.)
  • Parental Substitute: She was adopted by the mayor of Destiny Islands.
  • Pink Heroine: As of KHII.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Her outfit in the second game.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: Well, the jailer, rather, in the manga, but she found Demyx's groveling so pitiful that, even after socking him in the face in refusal, she just couldn't stand it and willingly let herself be recaptured.
  • Plucky Girl: As Axel points out, the girl's got a lot of guts. She was even prepared to fight Saix unarmed!
  • The Pollyanna: She tries to be positive as often as possible, even though sometimes her inner worries slip out anyway, especially in the original game where an early scene shows that she's near Stepford Smiler territory.
  • The Power of Love: Uses this to restore Sora when he is turned into a Heartless.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: In KHII.
  • Protectorate: To both Sora and Riku.
  • Protective Charm: Aqua placed one on her necklace that lead her to Sora when Xehanort cast her into the darkness between worlds as a child.
  • She's Got Legs: Especially noticeable with KHII outfit and its Dangerously Short Skirt
  • Single Tear: At the end of KHI, after seeing Sora's addition to the paopu drawing.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Kairi only has eyes for Sora, rather than Riku.
  • Skirt over Slacks: In her first incarnation.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Axel easily kidnaps a struggling Kairi in KHII by grabbing her by the wrist and pulling her away.
  • Sword over Head: A very unique and weaponless instance in the KHII manga. An entire issue is dedicated to telling the story of Kairi's attempt to escape captivity in the World That Never Was. She almost succeeds, but Demyx, who was instructed to guard her on pain of death, begs her to return to her cell after multiple bites to the face from Pluto. She is initially incredulous that Demyx would be executed for failure, but in the end she complies out of pity after he falls to his knees and starts bawling.
  • Tomboy: In Kingdom Hearts, where she sports Boyish Short Hair and Skirt over Slacks. Even after her Girliness Upgrade in II she still wears sneakers rather than more girly shoes.
  • Tomboy Princess: She's a tomboy as mentioned. She's also a princess, it turns out.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Becomes a Keyblade wielder at the end of Kingdom Hearts II. This makes her the only Princess of Heart who fights at all.
    Kairi: This time, I'll fight.
    • Even before this, she shows increased athleticism compared to the first game. According to Word of God, this is something she worked on during the year she spent on Destiny Islands apart from Sora and Riku.
    • As of The Stinger in 3D, she's set to take another one, with A Fragmentary Passage revealing that she and Lea will both be undertaking professional Keyblade training from Merlin in Radiant Garden.
  • True Sight: She can see Riku's true appearance even when he has Ansem's face.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: While she has unmatched and incorruptible light inside herself as a Princesses of Heart, she still ends up losing her heart when Destiny Islands gets destroyed, and doesn't seem to utilize this power in battle at all.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: In Kingdom Hearts, beneath her skirt.
  • Xenafication: After becoming a Keyblade wielder.
  • Zipperiffic: If her outfit is any indication.


Voiced by: Miyu Irino (Japanese), Haley Joel Osment (English)
Appearances: coded

A digital recreation of Sora based on the information contained in Jiminy's Journal, this version only appears in Kingdom Hearts coded. Nonetheless, he's just as heroic and self-sacrificing.
  • Artificial Human: Like all of the digital characters in coded.
  • Cloning Blues: Averted. He's well aware that he's just a computer program and a copy of Sora, but doesn't really mind it.
  • Colony Drop: Meteor Rain.
  • Doomed Protagonist: Data-Sora was created to find and stop the cause of the bugs and glitches in Jiminy's Journal, and has to be erased once he's done. Subverted in the end, as both Data-Sora and the world inside the Journal live on.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Only Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Chip, and Dale know the full story of his adventure, with Maleficent and Pete remembering parts of it.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: After Data-Sora's Data-Keyblade is destroyed, the power of the heart he's grown forms a real one.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Once Sora's Heartless is defeated and the bugs fixed, the journal has to be formatted to put everything right again, erasing his memories of the game's events. Though he does get better.
  • Light 'em Up: Just like the real Sora.
  • Magic Knight: Like his original incarnation, he is skilled with both Keyblade and magic, though not emphasizing either of them.
  • Only One Name: Unless you count "Data" as a part of his name, it's the same deal as Sora, sans Lampshade Hanging.
  • The Red Mage: Like his original incarnation, he can use both elemental magic and healing powers.
  • Save the Villain: After defeating Maleficent and Pete and foiling their plan, Data-Sora resolves to save their lives from the Data-version of his Heartless in what at first appears to be the endgame. Despite Data-Riku's arguments against the decision on the grounds that it isn't worth his artificial life, Data-Sora arrives just in time to watch them apparently die. In actuality, Data-Riku saved them using a rift in the Datascape and informs Data-Sora of this after the imminent threat is neutralized. In fact, Data-Sora seems unusually overjoyed when he sees them alive and well. Maleficent's response is predictable.
  • Shout-Out: Can get both Cloud's Meteor Rain and Squall's Blasting Zone Limit Breaks as Overclock Finishers.
  • Standard Status Effects: He has some, though the amount compared to those that the enemies can inflict is small. He can inflict "Freeze", "Stop", "Confused", "Burn", and "Slow".
  • Sword Beam: Judgement Triad
  • Sword over Head: After Data-Roxas is defeated in the final battle, he tries to goad Data-Sora into finishing him off. Instead, Data-Sora shows mercy, explaining that he sensed and empathized with Data-Roxas' deep emotional pain while they battled and would be willing to share it if it would help lessen it any.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: "Dodge Roll", like his original incarnation.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Is a digital copy of the real Sora. Nonetheless, he eventually gets a heart of his own and a real Keyblade to go with it.
  • What You Are in the Dark: His final trial in the last level. He has to pass a series of Secret Test of Character trials, and is encouraged to take the easy way past them by lying and being mean because it'll be faster. The characters he meets are just chunks of data that will vanish when he leaves, his memories of them will be erased, and no one else knows about any of this, so who cares what he does to them? Turns out, he still can't bring himself to not help them, because even if he forgets the memories, his heart knows the truth.