Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Kingdom Hearts Destiny Islands Trio

Go To

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

Due to lengthy periods between releases and the prevalence of Late Arrival Spoilers, spoilers from installments before 2010 may be unmarked. 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.

    open/close all folders 

    Destiny Islands Trio 
  • Betty and Veronica: The boys to Kairi as per their Love Triangle. Sora makes friends easily and is sweet, kind, brave, energetic and idealistic, but naive and a bit immature. Riku is cool, cocky, talented, athletic, strong and good-looking to boot, but moody, aloof and a bit of a jerk. As the games progress this solidifies further with Sora becoming a true, traditional hero while Riku becomes an Anti-Hero who harnesses darkness. After some Character Development Riku makes a Heel–Face Turn and Sora matures significantly, so the trope gets downplayed.
  • 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. Eventually, this went away as Sora and Kairi's relationship became closer, with Riku content to stay on the side as a big brother figure to the two.
  • 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.


Click here for Sora's page.



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

Appearances: Kingdom Hearts | Chain of Memories | II | Birth by Sleep | 358/2 Days | coded | Dream Drop Distance | 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage- | III

"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!"
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 he appears in II
Click here  to see Riku as a child in Birth by Sleep

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.

  • 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.
  • 24-Hour Armor: Riku's clothes in The Grid.
    Riku: My clothes. Is this world special?
  • Above Good and Evil: Different version of this trope, when asked by DiZ if he'd walk the road of light or darkness, Riku determinedly decided that neither roads suit him and he'd take the middle road, the road to dawn.
  • 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.
  • A Day in the Limelight: He has his own campaign in Chain of Memories and Dream Drop Distance, the latter in which he's more of The Protagonist than Sora himself.
  • 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. He's also the only character to use emoji in the Instagram like loading screens in Kingdom Hearts 3.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: In Birth By Sleep where he was extremely perceptive and insightful at five years old, able to immediately spot an off-worlder and give Sora outstanding advice about a complicated issue.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: Riku's Character Development in Chain of Memories revolves around this trope, at first he'd try to avoid using darkness at all costs over regret of his actions in the last game but as he learns and accepts that Dark Is Not Evil, he starts using the power more which allows him to Take a Level in Badass.
  • Aloof Ally: In Kingdom Hearts II, Riku was on Sora's side but he helped them by giving them clues to where to go and was avoiding interaction with them, this was due to him having Ansem's appearence but once Kairi and eventually Sora realize it's him, he stays with them full time.
  • Aloof Big Brother: To Sora and Kairi, though they're not related.
  • Always Save the Girl: Deconstructed in Kingdom Hearts, Riku was so obsessed with saving Kairi that he ended up joining Maleficent which not only ended his friendship with Sora but also made him do things Kairi herself wouldn't approve.
  • 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.
  • Anime Hair: It's nowhere near as spiky as Sora's but his Long-Haired Pretty Boy looks in II still qualifies for this trope.
  • 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.
    • Riku also has some Classical Anti-Hero traits, he repeatedly shows signs immense regret for his previous behavior and doesn't understand how Sora is so willing to forgive him and almost refused to come back to Destiny Islands because of his shame for his wrongdoings.
  • 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 truly wanted any harm to come to Roxas or Xion and he is upset about the fact he's carrying out a mission that will only end in both of them ceasing to exist. He does so as kindly as he can, however. He spends most of Days explaining the situation to Xion in hopes she'll make a decision on her own rather than force her outright, and he seemed willing to do the same for Roxas until Roxas forced Riku's hand.
  • 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.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Riku was arrogant and condescending towards others in Kingdom Hearts and would frequently taunt Sora during their matches when they we're kids.
  • The Atoner: From Chain of Memories through to the end of Kingdom Hearts II for his fall into darkness. Part of the reason why he wants to take the Mark of Mastery test in Dream Drop Distance is even if he's forgiven, succumbing to the darkness ultimately changed him and he needs to be sure he won't fall again.
  • 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 and III is "Sorry!"
  • Awesome, but Impractical: When you play as him in Chain of Memories you actually get to use Dark Aura. Unfortunately, it tends to fall into this category - it's unavailable for a large percentage of the game because to use it you need to A) be in Dark Mode, and B) stock three 9-cards (the rarest and strongest cards) together, and you use a fixed deck. And if you can pull it off on bosses, you'll have to get them in just the right spot for them to not dodge it or break it. Still, though, it's very useful for clearing out trash mobs.
  • 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.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: He ends up in this dilemma after being released from Ansem's control in the first game. He assumes Ansem's form and dark powers again after 358/2 Days's events in order to capture Roxas, knowing full well he may be screwing himself by doing so. Thankfully, it's resolved by the end of II.
  • 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 in Distress: Like the others, he has his heart held hostage by a Lich Heartless after being swept away by Heartless and has to be rescued by Sora.
  • Badass Longcoat: While wearing an Organization longcoat In Days and KH II.
  • Bare Your Midriff: His outfit in II is a downplayed example, even though it does leaves his navel exposed, it's not a lot and barely noticeable.
  • Bash Brothers: Him and Sora are two of the strongest characters in the series and while they mostly fight separately, when they fight together they show amazing teamwork as Xemnas, Xigbar and Dark Riku can confirm.
  • Bastard Understudy: Towards Maleficent to a certain degree. But ultimately subverted in that Riku himself never betrays her; instead, the Heartless of Xehanort possesses him and does the job instead because Maleficent Has Outlived Her Usefulness.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: In Chain of Memories when he fights off Ansem.
    • Cranked Up to Eleven in Dream Drop Distance where it turns out he's been fighting off the Nightmares within Sora's dream imaginings of the Sleeping Worlds. His boss fight with Ansem also takes place in the "Darkness within Darkness" of Sora's dream. Then, in the True Final Boss fight, Riku fights off the Armored Ventus Nightmare within Sora's Heart.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Riku always wished to leave Destiny Islands and explore the outside worlds so he can grow stronger, when he got that wish however, it didn't ended so good for him.
  • BFS: In Kingdom Hearts III, instead of his signature Way to the Dawn, he wields a very large steel Keyblade shaped like an old vault security key known as Braveheart.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: Shares Big Bad duties with Xemnas in 358/2 Days. Even though the two won't interact until Kingdom Hearts II and Xemnas very clearly is the overall villain, Riku is regardless Roxas's most personal enemy throughout the game despite his very clear noble intentions. The game even closes with Riku as the Final Boss.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Is deeply protective of Kairi in KH I, and both Kairi and Sora from KH II on.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After Kairi and Naminé are found by Saïx and two Berserkers, Riku appears out of nowhere before killing the two Berserkes by attacking them from behind and forcing Saïx to retreat.
  • Big Ego, Hidden Depths: While he does act like a jerk and condescending towards Sora in Kingdom Hearts, He valued their friendship enough to feel completely betrayed at the thought of Sora abandoning him and Kairi, he also admitted being jealous of Sora for his ability to just follow his heart.
  • Big "WHAT?!": After Mickey tells him that Aqua is a lot like Sora in III.
  • Bishōnen: Sure. Especially true in II and Dream Drop Distance - and even more so as of III.
  • Black Cloak: He starts wearing one in the ending of Chain of Memories to protect his heart from being worn away by the darkness. He keeps it throught all of Days and the majority of II, until he recovers his body.
  • Black Knight: In contrast with Sora's The Paladin. Riku's unique attacks are all Dark-based with some few exceptions, and his biggest advantage over Sora in terms of stats is his better offense.
  • Break the Haughty: Kingdom Hearts is filled with these for him. First, he loses the Keyblade to Sora after arrogantly taunting him over being the true chosen wielder of it, then he is possessed by Ansem and ends up in the Realm of Darkness, this makes him see the error of his actions in the game and he spends the rest of the series as The Atoner.
  • Broken Ace: To an extent, at least in the very first game. Better than Sora and the other island kids at pretty much everything; older, stronger, cooler, more attractive, and (most importantly) seemingly "closer" to Kairi, whom he and Sora—quite awkwardly for them—both have feelings for. Riku, as a result, takes position as the leader of the group. While Sora is jealous of these aspects about Riku, it turns out later in the game that Riku is the one with a massive inferiority complex to Sora, becoming very jealous when Sora finds new friends in Donald and Goofy and Sora turns out to be the one chosen by the Keyblade; and last but not least, it gets even worse when it turns out that Riku feels as though Kairi likes Sora more despite the fact that Riku has "done more for her". The villains, naturally, exploit Riku's issues with Sora soon enough and draws him into the Darkness and have the two fighting against each other.
    • Eventually, he goes through extensive Character Development in Chain of Memories when he confronts his insecurities head on. However, the sequel mostly abandons his Ace traits altogether; the plot no longer concentrates on that aspect of Riku as Sora finally takes over the leadership role permanently.
      • And THAT gets turned on its head in DDD though in a positive way. Sora and Riku end up taking the Mark of Mastery Exam in order to deal with issues in the Worlds in the Realm of Sleep. While Riku still harbored some feelings of self-doubt (which lead to Sora agreeing to take the exam in the first place), things play out interestingly enough. Throughout the game, it's Sora who ends up going through Mind Rape via the New Organization XIII. Riku, due to said Character Development and past experiences, actually got his body immune to any Darkness-based issues caused by Xehanort. In the end, after all hell breaks loose, it's Riku who ends up being named Keyblade Master over Sora. Good thing Sora is an all around Nice Guy and is genuinely happy for Riku, so no jealousy issues crop up again.
  • Beehive Barrier: Riku's Dark Barrier, whether just in front of him or around his entire body.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: He and Sora can combine their keyblades into one for their Nightmare's End/Mirage Split ability.
  • Blessed with Suck: How Riku views his dark abilities in Chain of Memories and he spends most of the game trying to hold it back, subverted once he learns Dark Is Not Evil however.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: Wears a blindfold willingly during the events of Days and most of Kingdom Hearts II (the latter in his normal form).
  • Blindfolded Vision: He wears a blindfold during Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days and part of Kingdom Hearts II to suppress the darkness inside of him. He manages to be an excellent fighter regardless, and in some scenes acts like he can still see normally.
  • Blinding Bangs: He has these in Kingdom Hearts II as part of his Long-Haired Pretty Boy appearence, no longer the case after Dream Drop Distance though as he cuts his hair short.
  • 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.
  • Bridal Carry: He holds Kairi this way in Neverland, as she has become a Empty Shell without her heart and is unable to move on her own.
  • But Now I Must Go: Throught Kingdom Hearts II, he'd help Sora,Donald and Goofy by leaving hints to them and leaving shortly after without revealing himself, he attempts this again after Sora and Kairi are reunited in The World That Never Was but the two manage to convince him to stay.
  • 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. This seems to be the case anytime he tries having a casual conversation with a girl not named Kairi.
  • Cast from Hit Points: His Sacrifice attack in Dream Drop Distance.
  • Casting a Shadow: Riku has the ability to use dark attacks like Dark Firaga, Dark Aura and Dark Volley, to name a few. Riku, in fact, is the only Keyblade wielder thus far who has managed to completely tame the darkness.
  • 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.
  • Coordinated Clothes: He and Mickey in III have the same outfit design only with inverted colors.
  • 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 16 (according to the Ultimania Guide), he's near Ven's age (16), and younger than Aqua (18) and Terra (20), or Xehanort when they had the opportunity to become masters. And he's self-taught to boot.
  • 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's master, though he eventually earns his own.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Riku knew he couldn't beat Roxas in a straight fight, even getting his wrist damaged after Roxas slashed it so instead he chooses to take Ansem's form and strangle Roxas with his Guardian to win.
  • Combination Attack: One of the Reality Shifts in 3D involves him and Sora to each summon half of an enormous, filigreed Keyblade, which they combine to perform several powerful slashes. They also use it once again in III once Sora arrives in the Realm of Darkness.
  • 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.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He easily defeats Xion in Days, by the end of their fight she's on her knees holding her stomach in pain while he's calmly walking away.
    • In the manga from the same game, he absolutely thrashes Axel who is preventing Xion from finding out the truth in Castle Oblivion (though he used the power of darkness inside him).
    • While it's not shown, his battle with Demyx in the manga doesn't end well for the latter as he's left all bandaged up in the face.
  • 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.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Riku accomplishes amazing feats in II during the Reaction Commands of the Final Battle against Xemnas which include easily slashing skycrapers in half and then throwing them and eflect millions of energy blasts.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Channeling the power of darkness was this for him and he pays a heavy price for its uncontrolled usage which gets him possessed by the Big Bad of the first game, thankfully, he manages to tame its power by the sequels.
  • 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: He gains a Dark Mode from Maleficent in Kingdom Hearts, he loses said mode after having his body taken by Ansem but is given it back by him in Chain of Memories after he manipulates the darkness in Riku's heart, the form gives Riku the ability to use darkness without the worry of being taken over by Ansem as well as a boost in speed and feeds Soul Eater's abilities, he hasn't used this mode after Chain of Memories.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments.
  • 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.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: During the Country of the Musketeers world in Dream Drop Distance, he gets tripped, then is victim to the "tapping someone on the shoulder and disappearing" trick. When it is revealed that the Holey Moley was the one doing it, Riku responds by killing it. More blatant when you realize that this is one of the easiest bosses in the game.
  • Don't Look at Me!: Riku spends most of KHII avoiding coming into contact with Sora and Kairi because he doesn't want them to see him with Ansem's face after he was forced into assuming Ansem's appearance. He even tries to run away after he helps them directly. Neither Kairi nor Sora care about it when they find out, as they are just happy to have been reunited with him.
  • 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.
  • 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, the two came from Destiny Islands and wished to leave and explore other worlds but while Sora was motivated by a love of adventures, Riku hated the islands and saw it as a prison, once they left the islands, Sora teamed up with Donald and Goofy to find King Mickey and save the worlds while Riku joined Maleficent and helped her with her plans to kidnap the princesses just so he could save Kairi. This is the reason why Riku's Keyblade went to Sora in the first place as Riku had given into the darkness which in turn made him unworthy to wield one.
  • Evil Former Friend: Although more of a Anti-Villain, he's this to Sora in KH I after Maleficent manipulates him into thinking he abandoned him and Kairi.
  • 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 haircut to reflect him being more comfortable in his own skin and it get shorn even shorter again after the Demon Tide swallows him.
  • 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.
  • Fighting from the Inside: He does this against Ansem when he decides to go after Kairi, leaving his body as a spirit to physically block Ansem's way.
    Riku: No! You won't use me for this!
  • Fighting Your Friend: He fights against Sora twice in I, the first time was by his own will, but in the second time it was Ansem using his body to fight against him.
    • Their fight in II is a subversion, Sora attacks Riku thinking he's a Organization member, but Riku directs his attacks towards the Heartless around them rather than towards Sora.
    • Once again in 3D where Riku is forced to fight against Sora as the Armored Ventus Nightmare, so he can save Sora from the darkness Xehanort placed in his heart.
  • First-Name Basis: Is one of the few characters in the series to be on this with Mickey Mouse.
  • Flash Step: The Ghost Drive Link Style allows Riku to move fast enough that he leaves after images of himself.
  • Foil: He and Sora contrast each other very well, Riku is calm and collected while Sora is impulsive and extroverted, they both share a zest for adventures but Riku is due to a sense of ambition while Sora's is driven by a sense of wonder, Sora has more natural charisma to interact with others but Riku is more focused and goal-oriented, how they handle with their emotional problems also contrast, they'll both get the job done regardless but Riku is more prone to showing Angst while Sora will put up a brave face and a smile.
  • Foreshadowing: His outfit in Dream Drop Distance has the Dream Eater symbol on it's back which foreshadows him becoming a Dream Eater himself so he can save Sora from the nightmares.
  • 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.
  • Glass Cannon: Riku has no reliable source of healing in Chain of Memories, just a few enemy cards and the Mickey Friend Card, and his reliance on Sleights in Dark Mode makes him liable to wear his deck out fast. However, he can quickly rack up a lot of damage and his Dark Mode attacks are devastating.
  • 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 Armor, Evil Armor: When Riku tries controlling the darkness (and in-turn allowing Ansem, Seeker of Darkness to possess him), he gains a suit that would later be labeled his "Dark Mode" form. In this form, his torso, arms, and legs are covered in black and purple material that resembles muscle tissue. On his chest is a symbol of the Heartless, except that the cross is not there, and he has a white cloth around his waist.
  • 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 χ.
  • 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: Toward Sora, until he gets better.
  • Guardian Entity: Riku unknowingly becomes Sora's guardian Dream Eater during the events of 3D.
  • Guile Hero: When Riku is surrounded by six members of Organization XIII in the Days manga, instead of fighting them all, he tricks them into attacking each other so he can escape.
  • Hades Shaded: While on Castle Oblivion's Halloween Town floor, Riku's skin takes on an ashen and slightly decayed look. Unlike Sora, Donald, and Goofy's drastic costume changes, Riku's outfit remains otherwise the same as normal. These changes also apply to his Soul Eater and Dark Mode as well.
  • 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). As of the DDD and 0.2 secret endings which lead into the scenario for KHIII, Riku is still wearing the brace on his wrist.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: It went from Heel as Rival Turned Evil to Face to Anti-Hero Face to solid Face again.
  • Hero Antagonist: Despite being a good guy by that point in the story, he is still Roxas's primary obstacle throughout 358/2 Days, repeatedly hounding him. The game culminates with him being the Final Boss.
  • Hero of Another Story: Has an entirely unique story campaign all to himself in Chain of Memories, exploring his own experiences in Castle Oblivion.
  • The Hero: Finally takes a main role in Dream Drop Distance alongside Sora, though as noted above he was earlier the hero of Reverse/Rebirth in Chain of Memories.
  • Hero Antagonist: In Days, due to Roxas and Xion's statuses 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: His best friend Sora is the primary example as the two have been friends for years and Dream Drop Distance really highlights how close the two are.
    • He also developed a similar bond with Mickey after he helped Riku deal with his problem over his inner darkness, to the point he trusted him enough to reveal who he was after being stuck as Ansem and trusted him not to tell Sora and Kairi.
  • Hopeless Suitor: For Kairi.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: In the first game, he trusts the Obviously Evil Maleficent, believing her words that Sora has abandoned him and Kairi for Donald, Goofy, and the Keyblade, and believing that Maleficent would let him rescue Kairi and leave.
  • 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.
  • Hypocrite: In the KHII manga, after reuniting with Sora, he tells Sora that he shouldn't cry because it's pathetic. Cue the shot panning to Riku (while he looks like Ansem) who is a wibbling snotty mess.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: In Days, Riku spends the entirety of the scenario chasing after Xion and Roxas and essentially trying to either convince them or force them to destroy themselves because they're made up of pieces of Sora that are needed for Sora to be conscious. Riku does so without hesitation, although it's also clear he's not happy with the situation.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Platonic example,but this is what Maleficent uses to manipulate him to turn against him Sora by saying he replaced him and Kairi with Donald and Goofy,Riku even takes it as far as saying Sora doesn't care about Kairi anymore when asked about her by Sora.
  • 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.
  • In the Hood: Spends most of II like this, as he didn't want Sora and Kairi to see what he has become after using the power of darkness.
  • Ineffectual Loner: After he returns to normal in Kingdom Hearts II, he get's told by Sora that he doesn't has to do everything by himself as he has his friends to help him.
  • 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.
  • Irony: He wore bright shades of yellow during his struggles with the darkness and his more brooding phases. Come Kingdom Hearts III, representing overcoming those and representing the good aspects of darkness and overall Character Development, he
  • Invisible Parents: Riku mentions his parents a few times, but they are never seen.
  • 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, however , Riku's attempt to do so are what ended up making him miss it in the first place.
  • Kick the Dog: He does lots of these in the Monstro world of Kingdom Hearts, from taking Pinocchio from Gepetto to even accusing Sora of not caring about Kairi twice.
  • 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: Riku has "Darkstrom" on the debatably canonical Mission Mode-only. It allows him to perform a dash within strands of darkness to attack enemies in the way. The Final Limit transforms Riku's weapon into a sword of light that he uses to slash enemies.
    • We also have Limit Storm in Dream Drop Distance, which allows Riku to perform a spinning attack that deals additional damage if he is low on HP.
  • 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.
  • Manly Tears: During his reunion with Sora in the KHII manga, he's crying and snotting, he says that he just has a runny nose.
  • Master of Unlocking: His Keyblade lets him open pretty much anything.
  • Master Swordsman: Is extremely skilled with both a sword and a keyblade. Even in his youth on Destiny Island he could easily trounce the other kids wielding a wooden sword one-handed. For more, see Awesome Moment of Crowning above.
  • Meaningful Echo: Three times in Dream Drop Distance.
    • After defeating Ansem, he says "Strength, to protect what matters". In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Riku tells Terra that he's searching for strength to protect the things that matter.
    • During his conversation with the digitized Ansem the Wise, this one was intentional on the part of Ansem the Wise, and acknowledged with a grin by Riku. Compare the lines below.
      Ansem the Wise (as DiZ) in Kingdom Hearts II: But first, perhaps you could tell me your true name?
      Riku, in the form of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness: It's Ansem.
      Data-Ansem the Wise, in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance: Young man! I do not believe you told me your name.
      Riku: It's Riku.
    • He also repeats his "road to the dawn" line from Chain of Memories to Ansem SOD and Young Xehanort.
  • Meaningful Name: "Riku" is Japanese for "land".
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Riku sort of accidentally-on-purpose doing this to his own world triggered the plot of Kingdom Hearts I. Apparently all he was trying to do was get out and see the universe, and while destroying his world wasn't his intent, calling the darkness forth that did destroy it was a deliberate action so that he could escape his world, which he viewed as a prison.
  • Missed the Call: Riku was so eager to rush into adventure that he jumped too soon, and at the wrong opportunity. How soon? The second after Riku disappears into darkness, Sora gets the Keyblade that Terra had promised for Riku in Birth By Sleep.
  • 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.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ever since Chain of Memories, Riku lives with immense regret over his actions in the first game and believes he doesn't deserve to be forgiven by Sora and Kairi, going to the point he was hesitant to return to Destiny Islands because he couldn't face everyone after what he did.
  • 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.
  • Oh, Crap!: His reaction when he finds himself surrounded by six members of Organization XIII in the Days manga, four of whom just pulled a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Older Than They Look: In KH3D, Riku is 16-17, but spends most of the game in his 15-year-old body.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Riku is almost always with a serious expression and he rarely smiles, the scenes where he does though are quite heartwarming.
  • Personality Powers: A Byronic Hero who primarily wields darkness.
  • Playing with Fire: Every Keyblade wielder has fire magic and Riku is no exception,however,he also has a different variation of said magic by mixing it with his control over darkness, creating Dark Firaga.
  • 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.
  • Promoted to Playable: He had an entire campaign to himself in Chain of Memories, and later in Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, there is also two sections in III where you play as him. He is also temporarily playable in II during a certain stage of the Final Boss, though with a limited moveset.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the Byronic Hero, calm and thoughtful Blue Oni to Sora's All-Loving Hero, impulsive and extroverted Red Oni. Sora is also much more of a straightforward Action Hero that directly takes on any threat to the worlds and his friends while Riku is more of a Aloof Ally that works behind the scenes, leaving clues to his allies and protecting them from afar. this is reflected in their clothing.
  • 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.
  • Rival Turned Evil: He's the current page image. He was Sora's rival in Destiny Islands, both in fighting and when it comes to Kairi's affections but after the Islands fell to darkness, he joined Maleficent and became a enemy to him, taken even further after he's posessed by Ansem. Being freed from the possession at the end of the game makes him deal with the consequences throught Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II.
  • 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.
  • Satellite Character: As "Ansem" in KHII's prologue, presumably to hide the obvious twist that it is Riku. All he does is repeatedly ask questions of DiZ in a monotonous voice, allowing DiZ to exposit at him.
  • 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.
  • Shadow Walker: In 3D Riku gets the unique Dark Roll dodge which has him transform into a shadow to dodge, for his brief playable appearance in III he retains this ability.
  • Ship Tease: A bit with Naminé in III. Especially in the game's ending where he personally picks her up from Radiant Garden after she gets her own body. Sora even emphasizes a special someone who won't let her down, with him being the only one not mentioned by named about missing her.
  • Signature Move: Dark Aura, It allows him to rush enemies repeatedly from all directions in Teleport Spam fashion, finishing by plunging their weapon into the ground, releasing columns of energy radially.
    • II has a different version of the attack where Riku launches spheres of dark flame at the opponent, a technique similar to Dark Firaga.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Dispatches Rinzler this way in 3D.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: To Maleficent's group in Kingdom Hearts, after he's possessed by Ansem.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: He only wears them when he's in Dark Mode or an Organization cloak. The jacket he wears in III does have sleeves, but just barely.
  • Smug Smiler: Pratically all of Riku's smiles in Kingdom Hearts are done in a smug and condescending manner, it's not until the end of the game where we see a genuine smile from him, this does not apply to the later games though.
  • Smug Super: After Riku takes Sora's Keyblade for himself, he's quick to taunt Sora over it and rub salt in the wound by giving him his wooden sword, when Sora confronts him later, he taunts him once again over not having a weapon and after Sora says his heart is his weapon, he scoffs it as weak, the Keyblade goes back to Sora shortly after.
  • The Snark Knight: In Dream Drop Distance where nearly all of Riku's interactions with the Organization members have him being painfully sarcastic with them.
  • 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".
  • Stealth Mentor: He acts as one to Xion in Days.
  • Stock Shōnen Rival: He fits the archetype in the first game. At the beginning of the game he's the stronger, prettier, aloof best friend who competes with Sora constantly and ends up pulling a Face–Heel Turn out of resentment. He mellows out considerably in later installments of the franchise, but remains Sora's angstier foil.
  • The Stoic: After Kingdom Hearts II, Riku is a downplayed example, his emotions are clearly shown but not nearly to the same extent as the others as he's usually straight faced and serious, he does has his Not So Stoic moments though.
  • Strong and Skilled: As noted under Lightning Bruiser, Riku is very strong and fast during combat and he's also very skilled, knowing a lot of magic attacks and using them with great skill and power.
  • Summon to Hand: Like all Keyblade wielders, he can summon his keyblades at will.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Literally in Volume Four of the Days manga, Riku is ambushed by six members of the Organization, and winds up surrounded. His way of escaping? Tricking four of them into attacking each other.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Even after everything Ansem put him through, Riku shows sympathy for him in his last moments, going as far as saying he thinks he'll miss him, as strange as it sounds.
  • 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.
    • This statement is pretty much Riku's character arc in a nutshell.
  • Take Up My Sword: After Terra meets him and sees his determination to leave the islands so he can grow strong enough to protect his friends and everything he holds dear, Terra choses to perform the bequething ceremonies with Riku having effectively passed on their roles in the story to them.
  • 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 as well as his Darkstrom in Days.
  • 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.
  • Token Good Teammate: To Maleficent's group in the original Kingdom Hearts, as he only joined her group in order to help Kairi regain her heart, not to take over any of the worlds like the rest of group.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Riku was very arrogant Smug Smiler in the original game, his experiences after throught it left him as a Broken Ace that lives in guilt over his past actions. the only reason he even accepted the Mark of Mastery in Dream Drop Distance was to see whether or not he is worthy of wielding the Keyblade after his past with the darkness.
  • 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!
  • Trash Talk: He used to do this a lot when he and Sora were younger, he'd constantly taunt him when they're competing on race or swordfighting.
    Riku: Giving up already? C'mon Sora, I thought you we're stronger than that!
  • Troubled, but Cute: A Broken Ace with a tendency to try to do things alone that's also a Bishōnen Mr. Fanservice.
  • True Companions: Riku may not be Sora but he also has made similar bonds throught the series.
    • The most obvious examples are Sora and Kairi, his two best friends since childhood and this was shown when they we're both capable of seeing him even after he was stuck in Ansem's appearence.
    • He also has this relationship with Mickey, he's the only one he entrusted with telling who he was after he took Ansem's form, Mickey was also the one that helped Riku with his struggle over his inner darkness in Chain of Memories.
  • The Unchosen One: Had to go through a lot to become a Keyblade wielder again.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Scoffs Sora's heart as a weak little thing and taunts him before their fight in Hollow Bastion because of him having taken the Keyblade from him, he ends up both losing the Keyblade to him and is defeated in their fight.
  • The Unfettered: A tragic example, but Riku was this in Kingdom Hearts, when he had a goal in mind, he'd do anything to reach it; He called upon the darkness to leave Destiny Islands, destroying it in the process, he joined Maleficent to rescue Kairi's heart and when he wanted to become stronger than Sora after losing to him, he opened his heart to darkness allowing Ansem to possess him, thanks to his Character Development, this is no longer the case in the later games.
    Hook: What is Maleficent planning, anyway?
    Riku: Who knows? As long as it means getting Kairi's heart back, I couldn't care less.
  • 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.
  • Villain Respect: After Ansem's death in III, Riku admits he'll miss him and Ansem acknowledges Riku and Sora as being stronger than the darkness, and encourages them to move on and find something new to seek after.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice changes subtly over the course of the series.
  • We Can Rule Together: A variant, he offers to join forces with Sora and find Kairi, being confident they can find and save her together, Sora is having none of it and chooses to fight him while blatantly saying Riku is on the wrong side.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Sora and Riku we're best friends and rivals as kids for 10 years or probably more but after Riku is tricked by Maleficent into thinking Sora abandoned him and Kairi, the two become enemies, thankfully they manage to set things straight by the end of the game.
  • 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. Eventually he winds up with a new keyblade called Braveheart.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the first game, Riku just wants to save Kairi, despite committing evil deeds to do so.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Subverted, he seems to have this opinion in Kingdom Hearts, scoffing it as a "weak little thing" when Sora refers to it as his weapon but in Kingdom Hearts II he reveals that he was always jealous of Sora's ability to just follow his heart.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Riku is baffled at Sora choosing to fight him over Pinocchio, coldly referring to him as a puppet with no heart.
    • This is averted in Chain of Memories after he defeats his replica as Riku tries to comfort the dying Replica, even promising that his soul will go to the afterlife just like his own's eventually will.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: Riku saw Destiny Islands as a prison surrounded by water and wanted more than anything to leave it and explore other worlds, this ends up calling the Heartless at the beggining of the series, causing Destiny Islands to get destroyed.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: A villainous version in Kingdom Hearts, but an Anti-Hero one from Chain of Memories through Dream Drop Distance.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He sees no problem in tag teaming Ursula with Sora in Dream Drop Distance.
  • Wrecked Weapon: In Kingdom Hearts III, Way to Dawn is broken from the top portion of the blade when facing a Demon Tower, requiring Riku get a new blade. Riku plants the ruined keyblade in the sand of the Dark Ocean.
  • 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. A lot of his actions come off as him wanting to keep Kairi for himself as a friend in order to spite Sora for allegedly replacing him with Donald and Goofy.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: On his own he doesn't typically use much light oriented abilities with his darkness ones, but teamed with Mickey or Sora he can do Combination Attacks combining their prowess with the light with his with the dark.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: He receives a lot of this from Sora and Mickey to help him deal with his struggles over his past actions and his inner darkness.
    • III turns it around, having Riku give one to Sora after his breakdown about him being nothing without his friends after everyone besides the two are dragged by the Heartless in the Keyblade Graveyard.
  • 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.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: He has white hair which is a unnatural color for a teenager his age to have.
  • 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 16-year old boy.
  • You Remind Me of X: He gets this with both Xion and Roxas, which especially hurts his conscience given that he's trying to wake Sora, and they can't exist if Sora's to be woken. Xion is a double whammy for him since not only is she part of Sora, she physically resembles Kairi, and they are both people Riku holds dear. Roxas only resembles Sora facially, but Roxas's fight with Riku gets more personally charged when Roxas ends up quoting something only Sora would say.



Voiced by: Risa Uchida (Japanese), Hayden Panettiere (English, KHI, KHII, Birth by Sleep), Alyson Stoner (English, Re: Chain of Memories, 358/2 Days, 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-, KHIII)
Young Kairi voiced by: Sumire Moroboshi (Japanese), Ariel Winter (English)

Appearances: Kingdom Hearts | Chain of Memories | II | Birth by Sleep | 358/2 Days | coded | Dream Drop Distance | 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage- | III
Click here  to see Kairi as she appears in Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories
"Don't ever forget. Wherever you go, I'm always with you."

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

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.

  • Action Girl: In KH2, when Sora is dogpiled by several Shadow Heartless, Kairi tells them to "Leave Sora alone!" and jumps off the castle balcony then, the instant Riku hands Kairi her Keyblade, she cuts down at least two Shadow Heartless despite having no prior fighting experience.
    • In KH3, she fights Xion, a very experienced Keylade wielder who was a Boss Fight at the end of 358/2 Days and after locking blades with Xion even manages to physically SHOVE her opponent away from herself. During that time (when Kairi is a member of Sora's party), she is shown to be a Magic Knight with Flower Shot, Spiral Blossom and Cura. Unfortunately, she gets to fight only once (aside from killing a few Heartless in a cutscene in KH3); see Faux Action Girl below for details.
  • 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.
  • Advertised Extra: She appears on the main art of Coded, but there is no Data version of her at all, and the real one's only appearances are in a flashback and the ending, and she doesn't have any lines in either scene.
  • 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. Additionally, Kairi indirectly saves everyone's lives in KH3 as SHE saved Sora's life therefore giving him the opportunity to save everyone else's.
  • Back from the Dead: She's killed by Xehanort in order to motivate Sora into attacking him but she is saved by Sora and brought back to life in the game's epilogue, this however results in Sora vanishing.
  • 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.
  • Battle Couple: With Sora at one point in the Keyblade Graveyard part of KH3.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: A cute redhead with Incorruptible Pure Pureness.
  • Big "WHAT?!": When Kairi's told she'll be training alongside Lea, clarified to her that it's Axel, she's shocked and offended considering that her last interaction with Axel was him kidnapping her.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Redhead to Naminé's Blonde and Xion's Brunette.
  • Boyish Short Hair: In the first game. In II, she switches to Long Hair Is Feminine. In III, she splits the difference by getting a new haircut which is longer than her original one but shorter than her previous one.
  • Character Death: Temporarily, by Xehanort. Sora undoes this with the Power of Waking, only for him to bite the bullet instead.
  • 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.
  • Cooldown Hug: She gives one to Sora to bring him out of his Heartless form.
  • 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.
  • 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 and Kingdom Hearts III
  • Declaration of Protection: In Kingdom Hearts when Sora becomes a Shadow 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 and a few brief encounters with Pluto and Naminé). This issue persists in Kingdom Hearts III, although she does have some portions of the game that also focus on her fire-forged friendship with Axel/Lea and mentions wanting to save Naminé (unfortunately, Kairi's talk about saving Naminé doesn't go anywhere). However, Kairi does save Sora's life which in turn results in him saving everyone else.
  • Delivery Not Desired: Kairi writes letters to Sora that she never intends to send to him in III; when Axel points out that Merlin would send them for her, she replies that she writes them more for herself then she does for him.
  • 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. Even after becoming a full fledged Action Girl, she still gets kidnapped by Xemnas and then killed by Xehanort to forge the thirteenth key he needs to complete the X-Blade. Sora even Lampshades it afterwards.
    • Even without her status as a Princess of Heart, twice now both versions of the Organization has targeted her because they know it's the best way to manipulate Sora.
  • Dude Magnet: Sora and Riku both want her, as does... Seifer in the KHII manga.
  • Eager Rookie: In III where she is quite enthusiastic about being able to finally wield her own Keyblade.
  • Energy Ball: Her Flower Shot spell in III is more or less identical to Mickey's Pearl spell, since there is no proper Light element it does Fire damage instead.
  • 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, and she (recognising him despite him being a Shadow Heartless) risks her life shortly afterwards when Heartless attack them thereby restoring him to normal because of being a Princess of Heart.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: One of the Seven Princesses of Heart.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: One of her favorite attacks in III is a jump forward while performing a corkscrew attack in the air for multiple hits, which is incredibly effective at juggling enemies in the air.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Her outfit in Kingdom Hearts III gives her a skirt that is pleated on one side and ruffled on the other.
  • Faux Action Girl: In Kingdom Hearts III, she receives training to become a professional Keyblade wielder. She only succeeds in defeating basic enemies, showing that for all her training, she doesn't have a lot of experience in life-or-death situations, unlike Sora or the others. Otherwise, she freezes up in fear against Terra-Xehanort and requires protecting, and is only a party member for one fight before being promptly defeated and then kidnapped again, this time leading to the most tragic consequence of being the Designated Victim. At least she successfully holds her own against Xion despite Xion being far more experienced than Kairi.
  • Flat Character: Due to getting Demoted to Extra, all that we know of her personality post Time Skip is that she's a Nice Girl and not much more than that, although the younger Kairi in the original game showed more sides such as a cheeky sense of humour) 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. This carries over to her abilities in III where all three of her abilities are floral themed.
  • 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.
  • Genki Girl: Something of one at the start of the first game. It doesn't last.
  • 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.
  • Healing Hands: As a party member she can cast Cura.
  • 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. Although 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, which happens in KHIII, as Kairi prevents Sora from fully dying and she uses light-based magic attacks as part of her Keyblading style.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: She forms a friendship with Pluto in KHII.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Platonic version; Lea, Kairi's partner in training during Kingdom Hearts III,is much taller than she is.
  • Iconic Item: Her silver bead-shaped necklace, which she's only seen without when in her school uniform in II. It's to the extent that in III, Aqua is able to recognize Kairi after over ten years by her necklace.
  • 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 exact eye color shifts, although it is always some shade of blue.
  • 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...
  • 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 undoubtedly and incorruptibly on the side of good.
  • Light 'em Up: Unsurprisingly her fighting style involves using light offensively for firing light bullets and enchanting her Keyblade.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Xehanort kills her this way so Sora would engage to battle out of grieving rage.
  • Little Miss Snarker: She tends to join Riku in cracking a lot of jokes at Sora's expense, especially in Kingdom Hearts.
  • The Load: In KHIII, she doesn't make any significant contributions the final battle aside from fighting Xion once, and even becomes a liability when she is kidnapped and killed by Xehanort in order to provoke the final clash needed to forge the X-Blade. This is especially ironic since her Keyblade training took place in a place without time so that she could grow strong at her own pace, but this didn't seem to do her any good in the end. Especially since Kairi saving Sora's life, which resulted in Riku and the others being saved, wasn't based on her fighting skills.
  • Love Interest: Becomes an Official Couple with Sora in III.
  • 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."
  • Missed Moment of Awesome: Two potential cool moments for her in KH2 are sadly left offscreen: escaping Axel all by herself, and getting back through the door to Kingdom Hearts to help fight the Nobodies.note 
    • This happens to an almost comical degree in KH3. Her Keyblade training is entirely off-screen, her fighting a horde of enemies alongside Lea is entirely off-screen, her keeping Sora alive and aiding him in rescuing the others' hearts is entirely off-screen to the point where it's almost an Informed Attribute, and we only see her in action as a party member for one fight, Kairi doing well against Xion before she's overpowered by Saix, kidnapped by Xemnas and murdered by Xehanort.
  • Modesty Shorts: Due to being in a somewhat more action oriented role in III Kairi has taken to wearing shorts under her skirt.
  • Morality Pet: For Riku in the first game, as his primary reason (besides jealousy of Sora) for becoming an Anti-Villain in Kingdom Hearts is to save her.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Grows into it from II onwards as her appearance matures. She's still quite conversative in terms of sex appeal, but is definitely an attractive young lady that walks around in minidresses to show off her legs.
  • 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.
  • Odd Friendship: She ultimately develops one with Lea, the complete human incarnation of her former kidnapper, Axel.
  • 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.
    • KHIII made it official when they exchanged Paopu fruits with each other.
  • 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.
  • Petal Power: Her attacks with Destiny's Embrace emit blue and pink blossoms, as well as gold-glowing flower petals; her Spin Attack lets off a flurry of them so thick it can make it difficult to see her. Her projectile attack is even named "Flower Shoot"!
  • Pink Heroine: As of KHII.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Her outfit in the second and third 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.
  • Reality Ensues: In III, for all her training, she's still only had one combat situation that was truly life-or-death, with enemies that weren't actually specifically attacking her. As such, she freezes up when facing a seriously dangerous enemy (Terra-Xehanort) and is quickly defeated by the True Organization.
  • She's Got Legs: Especially noticeable with KHII outfit and its Dangerously Short Skirt.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Kairi spends the majority of KHIII training with Lea be the remaining Guardians of Light, wanting to join Sora to take on Organization XIII. She also wants to bring back Naminé. When Kairi finally fights with Sora against Saix and Xion, Xemnas intervenes by kidnapping her claiming that they don't need her as one of the guardian's anymore once Xion snaps out of it. At the end of it all, Kairi gets killed by Xehanort for the purpose of enraging Sora and Kairi isn't the one to rescue Naminé, leaving her resolve completely pointless.
  • 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.
  • Spin Attack: One of her special attacks as a party member is Spiral Bloom which lets her pirouette at an enemy or in an upward angle with her keyblade.
  • Standard Female Grab Area:
    • Axel easily kidnaps a struggling Kairi in KHII by grabbing her by the wrist and pulling her away.
    • Despite the fact that Kairi is now a Keyblade Warrior, Xemnas is able to easily restrain her like this during KHIII by painfully TWISTING HER ARM upwards so that her elbow juts out at an awkward angle, and he promptly disappears through darkness and so Kairi is kidnapped yet again.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Or at least what amounts to this trope for a series like this. Since the first game, whenever it seems like Kairi and Sora will be together, something happens to keep them apart. An upset Sora Lampshades is at the end of KHIII.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: She is killed by Master Xehanort in III in order to better "motivate" Sora into giving it his all in fighting him. Sora is able to restore her to life, but at a great cost to himself.
  • 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.
  • Teens Are Short: She's about the same height as Sora in II, making her just around 5'2" and therefore dwarfed by practically every adult character in the game (and even some of the other teenagers, like Riku).
  • 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, and in III her hair is shorter again and she's upgraded to what look like combat boots.
  • Tomboy Princess: She's a tomboy as mentioned. She's also a princess, it turns out.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Despite her tomboyish personality, she is also very giggly, wears pink, and has a penchant for making jewelry out of seashells.
  • 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. While all she fights are Shadows, it's impressive that she is able to kill them in one hit as just a rookie, as when Sora was just starting out it would take several hits to do the job.
    Kairi: This time, I'll fight.
    • Even before this, she shows increased athleticism compared to the first game. According to Nomura, this is something she worked on during the year she spent on Destiny Islands apart from Sora and Riku, saying that in his character notes for the game it says Kairi is the strongest person on the islands in Sora and Riku's absence.
    • As of The Stinger in 3D, she and Lea undertake professional Keyblade training from Merlin in Radiant Garden, and by the time of Kingdom Hearts III she has completed her training and is officially a Keyblade wielder, and acquits herself relatively well in a two on two battle with Lea against Saix and Xion, particularly the latter whom she is on a relatively even playing field with.
  • True Sight: She can see Riku's true appearance even when he has Ansem's face.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A small, odd example: she unwittingly instigates the doom of a villain, Xigbar, in KH2. By taking the attention of all the Heartless summoned to kill Sora away from Sora and onto her, she forces Xigbar to step in to finish Sora off instead, which leads to Xigbar's demise at Sora's hands.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the secret ending of Birth by Sleep she gives Sora her lucky charm again before he and Riku head out to see Yen Sid. It's never been brought up again since. Possibly justified as it would have been a blatant retread, but it's still a bit jarring after how important it was earlier in the series.
  • 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 appears unable to utilize this power in battle at all until KHIII, where a common attack she uses in battle is shooting light magic out of her Keyblade.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: In Kingdom Hearts, beneath her skirt.
  • Xenafication: After becoming a Keyblade wielder, especially in the manga.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: In Kingdom Hearts III, her personality has mellowed into this.
  • Zipperiffic: Oh, boy, her KHII outfit is stocked full of them.



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.


Example of: