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Ho Yay / Kingdom Hearts

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"It's like each of you is holding on to a little part of the other.
Your hearts are always in tune, so they're free to sing."
With one of the largest LGBT+ followings in gaming and TONS of hints of homosexual attractions, was it no secret that this series between Square and Disney could be such a goldmine for Ho Yay that it gets its own page?


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    Kingdom Hearts 


  • In the first game's intro, the lyrics "Don't get me wrong I love you" play with Sora and Riku on screen with Riku reaching out a hand for Sora to take. Sora also runs out to Riku when he's holding out his hand to him as a big wave comes crashing down.
  • Later, when the Heartless come to the island, Sora comes across Riku. Sora was worried about him and looks on in concern when darkness threatens to envelop Riku. Riku again gestures at Sora to take his hand, and Sora chooses to go with him but he disappears before their hands can touch.
  • In the early part of the game, there's a scene in which Riku hands Sora a paopu fruit and explains to him that when two people share such a thing it entwines their destinies. He finishes this with: "Come on, I know you want to try it." Kairi's name is not mentioned at all in this scene, so if you take it out of context it comes across as Riku asking Sora to share a paopu fruit with him. The manga also somehow manages to make this scene even more questionable. While it's clearer that Riku is talking about sharing the paopu fruit with Kairi, this appears alongside a panel of him leaning in closely to Sora's face as he speaks. And then a couple pages later, it's shown that Sora brought the paopu fruit Riku tossed him home, instead of throwing it into the ocean like in the game. Sora blushes as he recalls Riku telling him about the legend.
  • When Sora and Riku have their race after Sora wakes up on the beach Riku is shown watching and smiling at Sora while the two are running.
  • Riku gives off the air of a cool guy and can be cocky. Sometimes with shipping goggles on, it kinda seems like, coupled with his teasing of Sora, that he’s flirting with him.
  • Also in the first game, Riku gets pretty mad when he thinks Sora has "dumped" him for Donald and Goofy, his new comrades. In fact, Maleficent is able to persuade Riku into working for her and corrupt him and his heart because she wrongfully convinced him that Sora no longer cares for him and Kairi.
  • Some interpretations of Riku in this game make him seem kinda like a Yandere of sorts towards Sora and Kairi.
  • Riku makes a point to mess with Sora after being corrupted by darkness, leading Maleficent to accuse him of still caring for Sora. Riku doesn’t entirely sound convincing when he denies this. He actually still sounds hurt at the thought that he and Sora might no longer have a connection due to Sora supposedly “rejecting” him for his new friends, and that they are enemies now when they were so close before.
  • When Sora calls out for Riku after the second battle with the Parasite Cage, the staging of the scene is identical to when Aladdin called out for Jasmine after defeating Jafar in Agrabah: the Hero frantically calling out for their Love Interest as the room collapses around them while their allies drag them to safety.
  • Riku sounds hurt when he asks Sora in Neverland (after Sora got separated from Donald and Goofy and asks where they are) if Donald and Goofy are that important to him now, more important than old friends, that is.
  • Riku acts catty in Monstro to Sora, teasing him and imploring him to follow/catch him to find out what he knows and taking Pinocchio by the hand to “play” with him, almost like he’s trying to get a rise out of Sora or make him jealous perhaps since he was bitter over Sora making new friends.
  • Riku may have had mild feelings for Kairi but he sure spends a lot of time focusing on Sora in the first game almost to the point of obsession, to say nothing of Sora’s focus on him and his constantly calling out for Riku while also having feelings for Kairi. His moments in this game of getting back at Sora seems to go hand in hand with him saving Kairi. At times it feels like Riku was jealous of Kairi stealing Sora's attention (as the two boys were already best friends before meeting her), and so he twisted those feelings into a weird desire for Kairi romantically, just to spite Sora and make him jealous in return.
  • When Sora feels like he's done for in the battle against a superpowered Ansem, he imagines (or somehow hears) Riku speaking encouraging words to him and regains the resolve to fight again. What makes the scene even better is that Sora is failing to fly and falling- but once he hears Riku's voice, he starts flying again. And what makes you fly in the canon of the Peter Pan movie (alongside some pixie dust)? Happy thoughts.
  • Later when they have to close the door to Kingdom Hearts and Sora finds himself losing the strength to continue, Riku shows up to encourage Sora again and says together they can do it with Riku pulling the door closed from the other side. Sora agrees and before the door closes Sora is hesitant because that means he would again become separated from Riku.
  • As the Door to Darkness is closed, Riku tells Sora to take care of Kairi. And a few moments later, Sora is given the opportunity to do just that and return with her to the Destiny Islands. But what does Sora do instead? He decides to leave her behind and set off on a journey to rescue Riku, despite being told by him to do the exact opposite. Both the Riku Replica and the original Riku even point this out in Chain of Memories.
    Repliku: YOU'RE the one who forgot. I told you at Kingdom Hearts when we closed the door... 'Take care of Kairi.'"

    Riku: That's it. When this slacker wakes up, I'll tell him off. I told him to take care of Kairi, and here he is just taking a nap!
  • The KH character files state that part of why Riku gives into the darkness is because of his 'complex feelings towards Sora'. That's... one way to put it. The other part is his 'impatience to save Kairi'— with no mention of any such feelings toward her.


  • Donald and Goofy’s Undying Loyalty towards their King, Mickey, can have this vibe.
  • Donald has a dynamic of being the Only Sane Man and implied Tsundere towards Goofy with the latter’s initial antics.
  • Sora, Donald, and Goofy's friendship in general involves a lot of heartwarming moments with the two growing closer with him and resolving to stay by his side and fight with/protect him even though Riku is the true Keyblade master and Mickey gave them the order to follow the keyblade master.
  • Sora and Donald bicker Like an Old Married Couple a bit in the Deep Jungle world, going as far as holding hands gleefully upon reuniting, and then realizing what they’re doing before giving each other the silent treatment.
  • Ansem and Riku have this. Something about Ansem constantly talking about Riku letting him into his heart...
  • Ansem has a bit with Sora as well. He lures Sora to him to fight in the end by briefly taking on Riku’s form, and looks angry and disappointed that Sora doesn’t see things his way about the darkness in people’s hearts. During the battle he can have his heartless take a swipe at Sora or restrain him while approaching and saying “Submit!” or “Come, open your heart!”
  • Peter Pan is initially skeptical/suspicious of Sora but ultimately grows friendlier with him and even gives Sora the honor of watching over Tinkerbell, his fairy.
  • Sure Sora is chivalrous and heroic but he was sure insistent on helping Aladdin (reunite with his true love) and worrying about Beast when the latter was hurt after fighting Riku.
  • Tarzan wanting to help Sora and his friends because he takes one look at Sora and can feel that he needs him (to help find Riku and Kairi).
  • Ursula has her subtext with Ariel, ignoring her personal space, calling her by Terms of Endangerment, and subtly trying to “tempt” her into making a deal with her.

    Chain of Memories 


  • Probably the biggest amount of consistent Ho Yay, (throughout the Re: Chain Of Memories, and with the most questionable dialogue,) was between Sora and Replica Riku. Repliku kept acting like some sort of heart broken lover in regards to Sora, using phrases like, "You never cared about me!" and "You're only ever worried about her!" It's a big Flanderization of Riku's relationship with Sora in the first game. The pinnacle of this pure Yaoi Fodder was this little exchange.
    Repliku: Sora... You're always trying to worm your way into my heart!
    Sora: Hold on...When did I ever do that?
    Repliku: Oh, so you forgot about THAT too?! You never cared...IT NEVER MATTERED TO YOU! (runs off, might as well be crying angry tears.)
  • The Ho Yay between them is taken one step further in the novel adaptation, which heavily implies that reason that both Sora and Repliku remember the promise they made to Naminé on the night of the meteor shower was because the real memory was Riku making the promise 'to Sora'.
    • The necklace theory is a popular fan theory revolving around the meteor shower promise. It postulates that, instead of Sora/”Riku” promising to protect Naminé and being given her star charm in return on the night of the meteor shower, Riku swore to protect Sora and gave him his iconic crown necklace. And now we have solid evidence that Sora’s necklace might really have been a gift from Riku after all. In the KH1 Ultimania, it says that during development, Sora was originally meant to be given the keychain for Oblivion by Riku, in the same vein of Kairi giving you her wayfinder for Oathkeeper. It goes on to state that that's why Oblivion's keychain is a black version of Sora's necklace- the implication here being that, somehow, Riku is connected to the piece of jewelry.
    • There's very heavy subtext in the original dialogue of the game, thanks to specific pronoun use, that the person most special to Sora that Naminé is replacing in his memories isn't in fact Kairi, but Riku. When Sora meets the other kids in his memory of the Destiny Islands, the pronoun they use for his 'special person' is aitsu (アイツ). The pronoun is casual and gender neutral but more masculine leaning (think of referring to someone as 'guy', regardless of gender), and it's generally considered rude/insulting to use the pronoun towards a girl. When Sora realizes Naminé has been tampering with his memories, she uses neutral pronouns to describe the person most special to him. However, in both Japanese and English, Sora assumes she means Kairi. But the full extent of Sora's misunderstanding is all but lost in the English translation, as it translates aitsu to feminine pronouns. In fact, the last time Sora sees the Riku Replica, he refers to him by aitsu in Japanese, but in English, just calls out his name instead. There is an attempt in the English translation of the Chain of Memories novel to rectify this at least, as the subtext from the game is mostly preserved, while also going further and implying that the memory of the meteor shower promise Naminé tampers with was actually between Sora and Riku, as stated above. You can read about it in more detail here. Sora also uses aitsu to refer to Riku in KH2, when he sees him at the top of the mountain in The Land of Dragons. This time, it's translated more accurately to "That guy..."
    • If the meteor shower promise really happened, it can be argued that the whole reason for Repliku's (continued) devotion to Naminé in the first place is because of Naminé replacing Sora with herself in that memory. Naminé made herself Repliku’s Sora, and Sora's Riku- which means Sora is Riku's most precious person just as much as the subtext implies Riku is Sora's. The scene at the end of KH3 in Radiant Garden with Riku taking Namine's hand, which Nomura confirmed he does on behalf of Repliku, even mirrors Riku reaching out for Sora's hand in the intro of KH1.
  • Also, if one thinks about how the subplots of the Disney worlds in Chain of Memories are Namine's attempt to warn Sora about her role in manipulating his memories, the Hollow Bastion segment parallels Sora and "Riku" with Beauty and the Beast.
  • Similar to above, Sora and the "real" Riku are directly paralleled with Aladdin and Jasmine in the Agrabah segment.


  • There's this exchange from Re:Chain of Memories which screams No Yay like a banshee.
    Ansem: Riku... I can see your heart...
    Riku:'s not. Darkness this foul could only...only be—
    Ansem: That's it, remember me... Let me drift into your heart...
    Riku: Ansem!
    Ansem: You called out my name. You have been thinking about me... You're afraid of the darkness I command. Good... The more you think of me, the closer my return draws. And when I have awoken, I will take hold... Your heart will be mine!
  • Implied in Chain of Memories and the only report made by Lexaeus that there's a hint of Ho Yay directed towards Zexion, his last words apologizing to Zexion for his failure and ultimate death and the entry shows that, out of the entire Organization, Zexion is the only one Lexaeus trusts. Lexaeus and Zexion are even hanging around each other as Aeleus and Ienzo when returned back as their Somebodies.

    Kingdom Hearts II 


  • Sora spends a lot of time during the game asking what seems to be every single character whether they've seen Riku or not, as well has having to be reassured by some characters that he’ll find him and once he does find Riku it culminates in Sora falling to his knees while holding Riku's hand and openly sobbing.
    Sora: (while falling to his knees) Riku! It's Riku. Riku's here...I looked for you!
    Riku: C'mon, Sora. You've got to pull it together.
    Sora: I looked everywhere for you!
  • Furthermore, when Sora finds Kairi just a few scenes earlier he acts as if just found an old friend; despite the fact she was lost just like Riku at this point (admittedly, he did at least know she was alive for a fact, unlike with Riku). While the two exchange a somewhat intimate hug, Kairi is the one who has to initiate it.
  • There's also the fact that when he cries at the end of his second visit to Land of Dragons, it's because seeing Mulan and Shang together makes him think of Riku. (Something which is made even more explicit in the novels).
  • Speaking of the KH2 novels, there's a scene exclusive to them where Axel asks Riku what Sora really is to him, and Riku is so taken aback by the question, Naminé has to answer for him that they're best friends. Yes, really. And immediately preceding that bit of dialogue is Axel commenting on how happy Riku has become after seeing Sora in The Land of Dragons.
  • The two exchange some pretty bubbly praise for each other while wandering around in the Realm of Darkness.
  • When Riku is too weak to stand after defeating Xemnas, Sora supports him, with his hand much closer to Riku's rear than is necessary.
  • The opening of Kingdom Hearts 2 has Sora sleeping next to and holding hands with both Kairi and Riku.
  • Not to mention the parallels between Riku/Sora and Beast/Belle...
  • There's more than a few parallels between them and Ariel/Eric as well.
  • Or how insistent Riku was to spare Sora the sight of him in Ansem’s form.
  • Heck, just the fact that Riku was willing to give up his normal form (possibly forever) if it meant he could save Sora shows the extent of his devotion.
    Ansem the Wise: If that was what it took to awaken his friend, he was ready to live in darkness.
  • Nomura stated in the KH2 Ultimania that the opening theme song, "Sanctuary" ("Passion" in Japanese), was written with the theme of Sora and Riku's reunion in mind. Which adds a whole new meaning to the (infamous) backwards lyrics, "I need more affection than you know"...


  • Everything else seems to pale in comparison to Axel and Roxas' subtext-that-might-as-well-be-text in Kingdom Hearts II and 358/2 Days (very chiefly on Axel's part in both cases, as Roxas is shown to be too naive to fully grasp the idea of love).
  • Axel will do anything to save Roxas in KH2, even going against the Organization and performing a suicide attack to save him.
  • Not just that—Axel by all accounts goes completely bonkers when he realizes Roxas doesn't remember him in the Twilight Town simulation.
  • In the novels Axel was planning on burning down the mansion he and Roxas fought in so that they would die together rather than be separated again. He ultimately couldn't go through with it, but still.
  • One of the bonus scenes in the Japanese-only Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix, in which Axel and Roxas' spirits meet up one last time on the clock tower after Axel's death, where Axel questions the fact that they're not supposed to have hearts, and seems absolutely heartbroken that this will be the last time he can ever see Roxas. When they say goodbye for the last time, Axel addresses Roxas by the Japanese word for partner, and a single tear falls from his eyes.
    Sora: Axel? What were you trying to do?
    Axel: I wanted to see Roxas. He was the only one I liked. He made me I had a heart.
  • Roxas reaction to Sora indirectly being the reason for Axels death, because Axel died to save Sora, is to attack Sora furiously with the intent to kill in a major battle. He even seems angry that Axel basically picked Sora over him.
  • Or how about this one:
    Roxas: No one would miss me.
    Axel: That's not true! (quietly) I would...
  • To say nothing of the fact that the first thing Axel does when he's realized that Roxas has become Sora is to track down Kairi and kidnap her, complete with very loaded dialogue. It's strongly implied by Axel's last words that he was planning on using Kairi to transform Sora into a Heartless, and thus release Roxas again.
    Axel: We've got something in common, Kairi. You and I both miss someone we care about.


  • Axel gets some with Sora even. He gives his life to save Sora and he says as he’s dying that Roxas made him feel like he had a heart and he liked him and that Sora kind of makes him feel that way as well.
  • Then there's the hintings of Axel having some kind of deep relationship with Saïx before they both become Nobodies. The first few times Saïx appear, he mentions Axel to some degree, often mocking him for his betrayal.
  • Like in the original film The Lion King, Timon and Pumbaa live together and even raise Simba together.
  • Upon seeing Sora again Simba tackle hugs and nuzzles Sora with affection. Sora also used Tough Love to encourage Simba to take up the mantle of king when the latter was doubting himself.
  • Sora is tackle hugged and nuzzled by Donald and Goofy in the ending sequence. And Mickey jumps in Riku’s arms who spins him in the air and hugs him.
  • Donald acknowledges that Sora’s lion form when in the Pride lands is cute, saying Kairi would probably think so as well.
  • Demyx has a Sissy Villain vibe, playfully banters with Sora during their fight, calls Sora a “traitor” with a catty look, has a limit battle with him where the two stand back to back and dance with their bishonen looks making them look like members of a boy band, and he is initially hesitant to fight Sora, resulting in the other organization members to be surprised he’s acting like he has a conscious.
  • Some fans had fun with the scene where Saix orders Sora to show him how important Kairi is to him and Sora kneels/bows in front of him begging him to let him see Kairi.
  • There's even some mild Ho Yay between Setzer and Roxas at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts II. And a bit between Setzer and Sora during their battle, where he playfully banters/teases Sora while doing a hair flip, making it seem like he’s flirting with him.
  • Oh, and then there's Seifer's "Isn't this ROMANTIC!?" line, in the battles against Roxas or Sora, although the line is a reference to his Final Fantasy VIII counterpart. It Makes Sense in Context, less so here where the themes make it come off a tad more literal.
  • Hayner and Roxas are quite close in the simulation world of Twilight town and Hayner briefly gives off a “hurt boyfriend” vibe when Roxas forgets about a promise he made to him. Also, when Roxas is about to go on the train in Twilight, Hayner grabs his arm and looks concerned, informing him he’ll get hurt as the train hasn’t actually arrived yet.
  • Hayner shows some concern for Sora when he shows up in Twilight town out of nowhere, decides to help Sora with the others and Sora gets tearful when he thinks he won’t see Hayner or the others again.
  • When Marluxia used a curse on Sora in their battle he activates it by whispering it into his ear.
  • Sora complements Auron's fighting skills and asks if he is a hero. He playfully asks Sora if he needs a guardian, but Sora politely declines. Auron is also ordered to defeat Sora and the gang by Hades but Auron refuses making Hades force Auron into a doll form and make him fight Sora and the others. Sora saves Auron and restores his free will. Also, when the two do their limit they stand back to back and simultaneously fight.
  • Kairi and Namine hold hands while doing the Girly Run while escaping from The Castle That Never Was. Also Namine helps rescue Kairi from Axel by reaching out to her from a portal in her cell and imploring her to believe in herself. Kairi grabs her hand in response. One of the puzzle games also has a picture of Kairi and Namine holding hands.
  • Also, Sora does show some worry towards Tron during the second (technically third) trip to Space Paranoids when the latter is fighting for his life in the game grid. And then, the heartwarming hug scene after defeating the MCP...He hugs Goofy and Donald as well.
  • Some of Soras limit scenes with other Disney male characters have this vibe:
    • His limit ability with Jack Skellington (Dance Call) involves a dance number together where Jack briefly catches and holds Sora in his arms and dances very close almost chest to chest with him.
    • It’s worth noting that Sora has had an imagine spot of dancing with Kairi when he watches Jack dancing with Sally. Since dancing in the games tends to have romantic connotations attached, Sora dancing with Jack is somewhat interesting.
    • Sora has to be the Straight Man to Jack when the latter gets too focused on Christmas and he ushers Jack away when he pesters Santa about it by pushing on Jack’s back and pulling him along by the arm. It gives off a domestic vibe somewhat.
    • Soras limit (Speedster) with Aladdin begins with Aladdin leaning on Soras shoulder, and winking at him. They also fight back to back and give each other a high five after defeating enemies using their limit. And when Sora worries about Riku again Aladdin gets close to him, putting his hands on his shoulders, and reassuring him he’s definitely going to see Riku again.
    • Soras limit (Bluff) with Jack Sparrow includes a shot where Sora and Jack get very close to each other’s faces after Jack puts a bomb in a chest as a pre finishing move against enemies.
  • Outside of combat Goofy comments on how Jack and Sora are kind of alike and the two simultaneously say “Are not!” before laughing at each other.
  • Pete refers to Sora’s lion form in the Pride Lands as “cute”. And in Timeless River, past Pete is kind to Sora somewhat and Sora does his best to help Pete.
  • Sora goes to great lengths to ensure Prince Eric is happy with Ariel and upon seeing him destroy Ursula with a finishing blow he praises Eric, calling him a “brave” and “great” guy.
  • Ursula has her usual creepy subtext with Ariel here, wrapping her arms around Ariel and caressing her face with a tentacle while saying "Now dearie... let's see how beautiful you are when I'm through with you!"

    Birth By Sleep 
  • Terra and Ven also qualify here, especially from Ven's side. Ven spends the majority of his story chasing after Terra because he doesn't want to be left behind, and refuses to believe that Terra has done anything wrong until the last moment. When Terra discovers that Master Eraqus is about to kill Ven he absolutely loses it and attacks Eraqus with the intent to kill.
  • Master Xehanort and Terra have a following. They are also No Yay as Xehanort is interested in Terras body and his potential, as a new form for him to possess.
  • Aqua manages to have this with Cinderella, by taking the man's place in the scene where, in the movie, the Duke takes her hand and guides her to a chair. Then by shielding her with her body when they're attacked. Then by helping her up with a lingering hand on her ass. Watch 2:06, and from 4:03 to 4:25 if you don't believe me.
  • As hinted in II and 358/2 Days, Lea and Isa were once best friends who were never seen apart from each other.
  • Zack of Final Fantasy comes across Terra during his story in Olympus and Hades has to control his body to make him fight Terra. Terra quells that darkness in Zack and afterwards Zack expresses his gratitude, sizing Terra up and telling him he looks like a hero. Also, he tells him that he is his hero for saving him.
  • Ven and Zack also have a couple moments together.
  • Both of Aqua and Terra's scenes with Sora and Riku as kids are rife with fuel for Sora/Riku, as well as with the scene of Sora and Riku together in Ven's route.
    Aqua: Sora, do you like Riku?
    Sora: Of course I like him, he's my best friend!
    Aqua: Good. So then, if something happens, and Riku is about to get lost- or, say, he starts wandering down a dark path alone- you make sure to stay with him and keep him safe. That's your job, Sora, and I'm counting on you to do it, okay?

    Dream Drop Distance 


  • The Ho Yay continues in Dream Drop Distance, as Riku subconsciously dives into Sora's dreams to protect him from darkness's influence. It doesn't help that the two constantly reference each other.
    Riku: I'm going back to the real world, and then to Sora's side.
  • Some of Mickey's comments add to this:
    Mickey: Riku and Sora. The Sound Ideas you set free joined together. And when they did, they made a great and powerful harmony.
    Mickey: It’s like each of you is holding on to a little part of the other.
  • So what song did Sora and Riku's Sound Ideas combine to make? That also plays during Riku's speech before he dives back into Sora's heart to awaken him? Why, Dearly Beloved, of course.
  • Let's face it, 3D really played up Sora and Riku's "bromance" for all it was worth. Especially in Riku's aforementioned speech. The examples in earlier games can be chalked up to Platonic Writing, Romantic Reading, but this time it feels like they knew what they were doing here. There's also a slightly different meaning to some of what Riku says during his speech in Japanese; instead of "I'm doing it for me, too." he says, "I have to be the one." A more word-for-word translation is "It won’t work. / He won’t wake unless I go." Meanwhile, "He needs me." is "I WANT to go." It's more or less a direct parallel to what Prince Phillip says about Aurora in BBS.
  • From Riku's visit to The Castle That Never Was on, the game is basically just his Roaring Rampage of Rescue to save Sora from becoming Xehanort's vessel.
  • In the very first world they visit, Riku reaches out to touch the hologram Sora's face. He could have touched anywhere else to see whether it was real, but he chose to try and touch Sora's cheek.
  • Riku is a Dream Eater for Sora. How do you make Dream Eaters stronger? By petting and...ahem...rubbing them.
  • Sora and Riku's joint Reality Shift is a merged rainbow-colored Keyblade....with a heart at the tip of the blade and a paopu fruit as the handle's charm.
  • Who does Sora call out to when Young Xehanort is telling him just how badly things have been screwed up? When he's fading into darkness and about to be used as the thirteenth dark vessel? Riku.
  • When Riku wakes up, Sora is so overjoyed to see he's okay that he tackles Riku with a two-part hug that lasts at least 10 seconds.
  • Similarly, when Riku is declared a keyblade master Sora is completely ecstatic, throwing an arm around his shoulder (as seen in the page image) and saying that he knew Riku could do it. Goofy even says Sora is acting like he's the one who passed.
  • During Riku's first visit to Traverse Town, we get this interesting bit of conversation:
    Beat: I just... wanna protect the one person who matters.


  • Lea's first thought after he wakes up is understandably "Where...what happened to me?" His second thought, though, is "Roxas?" Priorities, everyone. Not to mention that before he woke up Lea was dreaming about Roxas. And that everything he's doing for the heroes is really for Roxas.
  • Young Xehanort seems quite amused/pleased at the thought of Sora thinking he is part of Sora's dream, and right before Sora falls into a coma from submitting to the darkness he leans in rather suggestively... Heck, that scene has creepy tones in general. Young Xehanort kept following Sora all throughout the dreams, he even wanted Sora to be his new vessel so much that he beat up Riku really badly.
  • Axel/Lea and Saïx/Isa tend to act like a divorced couple.
  • Roxas and Sora hold hands and "merge".
  • Joshua wastes no time in flirting with both Neku and Riku whenever he sees them.
  • Less so, but Joshua subtly flirts with Sora as well and asks for his help, asking him if he can count on him. He also says he is starting to be like Neku more everyday, who he definitely holds affection for.
  • A constant theme of the game is the dreameaters: cute bouncy creatures that are primarily Pink in both good and evil forms. Many of them have symbols of hearts (More valentine style than the standard KH affair) and have very colourful attacks; often rainbow coloured. Also the only characters using these creatures on screen are all male. The subtext doesn't even "need" explaining here.
  • Riku's reaction to Shiki's obvious flirtation with him during their first meeting can make him come off as a bit... uninterested.
    Riku: I'm bad at this. Sorry.

    Shiki: Aren't you my knight in shining armor? Well? [winks]
  • In a similiar vein, towards the beginning of Riku's visit to La Cité des Cloches, he asks Quasimodo if it was really Frollo keeping him from leaving the cathedral, or if it was his own self holding him back. Later, after Quasimodo thanks him for the advice, Riku admits that he was speaking from personal experience. Phoebus responds by saying he probably still keeps a lot inside, and Esmeralda reassures Riku that everyone does that sometimes. She then follows up with, "There are just some things we need to keep separate from the world at large, at least until we have time to figure them out." Which sounds very much like something you'd say to a queer person upset with themself for not coming out yet. And that's not even going into Esmeralda persecuted for being Romani, as in the source material.



  • In what could possibly be a parallel to the first entry listed in KH1 above, during the ending scene on Destiny Islands, the lyrics "You're only everything I ever dreamed of" play while Riku is looking at Sora.
  • Also, while a lot of fans seem to think Don't Think Twice is about Sora and Kairi, it's worth mentioning that the Japanese version, Chikai, has the lines, "Light flows in from the opened door / I want to stay by your side forever after this too". What does that evoke imagery of?
    Riku: Do you remember before? We stood facing each other on opposite sides of that door. Now we stand side-by-side. Let’s go home together this time.
  • And the line "Let's dance, our heartbeats becoming one" sounds eerily similiar to one of Mickey's infamous remarks about Sora and Riku in DDD...
  • In Arendelle after Anna tells Sora about her and Elsa’s relationship, Sora immediately thinks of Riku.
    • And right before he thinks about how Elsa is like Riku, he says to Anna, "I'm sure she knows how much you love her." This could be the game's attempt to paint Sora and Riku like siblings, but after several gay moments between the two in pretty much every game so far... it falls a little flat. Also notable in that the word love itself is very rarely used in the games.
    Sora: [smiling] If anyone can help her, it's you.
    • Continuing from the above, even if the game did intend to draw a comparison that Sora and Riku are like siblings, considering the fact that in their home movie Anna and Elsa are often shipped together due to their (in)famous amount of Les Yay with each other drawing a comparison between the two pairs doesn't help much.
    • And now we have some insight from the character files as to whether or not Sora and Riku actually do see themselves as brothers. The former (directly in comparison to Anna and Elsa) says he doesn't know for certain, while the latter says at some unknown point he stopped trying to be Sora's older brother and became something else, also unknown.
    • Also, it should be noted that one of the big twists in Frozen was that Anna wasn't dethawed by her love interest, but by her love of someone else she was close with. Sora even thinks about the moment when traveling through the tunnel of light with Kairi. If we look at this in comparison to Sora, Riku, and Kairi, in regards to the ending of III, then it shouldn't be Kairi (aka the love interest) who brings Sora back to life, but Riku. Adding even more fuel to the fire is Sora being frozen solid if you lose the Yozora fight in Re:Mind, just like Anna was.
    • Adding to the strange Frozen subtext is Sora thinking about Elsa and Anna when he's in the light tunnel with Kairi, alongside Official Couple Rapunzel and Eugene. If, as others have speculated, he was imagining these pairs in comparison to himself and Kairi (romantically), then drawing a parallel between them and the sisters has some... unfortunate implications. note 
  • Another comparison is made between Eugene and Rapunzel, an official couple in the game and movie canon, and Riku and Sora.
  • And another comparison between Riku and Sora and an official Disney couple, Herc and Megara. In Japanese, anyway.
  • And yet another comparison to Eugene and Rapunzel (albeit from DDD). At this point, it's starting to seem intentional.
  • Late in the game, Riku and Mickey are overwhelmed by the Demon Tide in the Dark World, with the former saying Sora's name to himself as he struggles to fight back. note  Then Sora suddenly dives in and lands next to Riku. And without a second thought, the two of them summon the joint Reality Shift Keyblade to banish the Demon Tide- complete with Dearly Beloved playing in the background. Unlike in 3D, the Keyblade is part of the cutscene.
  • For anyone at home who missed it, the Reality Shift Keyblade (officially just referred to as the Combined Keyblade while fanon refers to it as the Gayblade) is a rainbow-colored keyblade made from both Sora and Riku's powers (Riku's is the blue half while Sora's is the yellow). When combined the blades form a heart at the blade and it bares a dangly Paopu fruit for the keychain- with Dearly Beloved as its leitmotif!
  • Let’s not forget the conversation between Riku and Mickey in the Dark World early in the game where it’s heavily hinted at Sora being the entire reason for Riku’s character development and his strength. Riku also says “The strength to protect what matters” after a flashback image of him and Sora followed by him referencing his promise (presumably) to Terra on the beach back when he and Sora were kids. And remember, his promise to “protect what matters” was before Riku met Kairi, Mickey, and the others. If it wasn’t clear from previous games, it should now be clear that Sora is Riku’s most important person.
  • In the video game store at Galaxy Toys, Sora sees Yozora (the character Rex thinks he's a toy of) for the first time and says, "Well, I never looked this good." And... Yozora looks exactly like Riku. Which Sora acknowledges himself in a social media post. As it turns out, in Japanese, Donald actually says "Very good-looking, huh." after Goofy says Yozora looks like Riku. Given the context, he's basically teasing Sora about saying someone who looks like Riku is good-looking. But, once again, it seems to have been mistranslated as "Must be him!" in English.
  • In the original Japanese text of the aforementioned social media post, Sora says he feels a connection to Yozora because he looks like Riku.
  • When Sora insists (again) he should be the one to rescue Aqua from the Realm of Darkness, Riku puts a hand on his shoulder and tells him he knows Sora's worried about him and Mickey going there alone, but he truly needs the power of waking before he can join them. Sora begrudgingly agrees with him, and behind his back Goofy whispers to Donald that he wishes Sora listened to Yen Sid like he listens to Riku.
    Sora: Yeah, all right. But be safe. No reckless stunts!
    Riku: [chuckles] Yes, sir.
  • During the above scene, Sora actually says 「でも 無理しないで 何かあったら呼んでくれよ」 in Japanese, which translates to, “But don't overdo it. Call me if anything happens.” As stated above, calling Sora for help (by simply uttering his name) is exactly what Riku does when he gets overwhelmed by the Demon Tide in the Realm of Darkness, during the infamous "Press △ to Sora" scene. After all, Goofy did say Sora always listens to Riku.
  • After Aqua is rescued from the Realm of Darkness everyone goes to wrap her in a group hug as she begins to cry from joy and relief... except Riku, who puts one hand on her shoulder and the other in Sora's hair. Not to mention that Sora himself has one hand on Goofy's shoulder, and the other on Riku's waist.
  • Sora's conversation with the Nameless Star more or less confirms that while Kairi is the reason Sora retains his body, Riku is the reason his heart survived (a point that is made clearer in the original Japanese dialogue).
    Sora: I thought it was all over for me, but a friend of mine looked me in the eye and said, "You don't believe that."


  • Hayner becomes instantly infatuated with Roxas when he learns of him, being very insistent on bringing him back and planning on taking him to the beach. The whole thing comes off as puppy love.
  • Near the end of Toy Box storyline, Young Xehanort keeps the group away from the Darkness-caged Buzz and proceeds to use him as an example of the Darkness inside one’s Heart. This makes Woody livid, and then he delivers a rather epic Shut Up, Hannibal! towards Young Xehanort in response.
  • During the San Fransokyo storyline. Sora introduces himself, Donald, and Goofy as “Keyblade Hero 3” while making awkward poses. Baymax notices that they were exhibiting weird muscle contractions and offers to give each of them a hug while warming them with his internal heat source. Baymax is a robot but the context of this situation makes it sound more suggestive than it actually is.
  • After Hiro gets the first Baymax model back and frees it from the control of Organization XIII, Sora begs Hiro to let him keep one of the Baymaxes since Hiro now has two of them, which Hiro repeatedly declines.
  • More of Ventus and Vanitas. In Monstropolis, Vanitas acts like a complete Yandere towards Ven by taunting and insulting him like a possessive and abusive stalker/ex-boyfriend who found where their object of desire was hiding, demanding Ventus to be returned to him, and getting so distracted trying to rip Ven's heart out of Sora that he fails to sense Sulley's ambush. Vanitas even calls him “Venty-Wenty” in a rather playful manner at the Land of Departure.
  • Saïx peacefully disintegrates in Lea’s arms after admitting to his old friend that he was jealous of Roxas and Xion. And then they call each other by their own original names. The Ho Yay between them in this game is so blatant that a good many fans have dropped Axel/Roxas altogether in favor of Axel/Saïx.
  • When Ansem is finally defeated, Riku says that he will miss him. Ansem's parting words to Riku almost come across as encouraging: "What? It is time to move on, boy... There is more to seek... so go forth now, and seek it..."
  • As Master Xehanort tries to fight back even after Sora defeats him, Master Eraqus’ Heart appears from inside Terra and tells his old friend to stop. After Eraqus has some parting words with his apprentices, he carries the dying Master Xehanort by arms. Then, their appearances change to their younger selves, and they share a look at each other’s face before they ascend to Kingdom Hearts as glowing balls of light.
  • Xion and Naminé looking for shells together in the ending is pretty adorable.
  • When dancing in the world of Tangled with everyone, Sora grabs Eugene by the hand at one point to get him to join in.
  • Sora can dance with both girls and guys in the Tangled universe.
  • In Secret Report #2, Xehanort notes that Eraqus had asked to take the same pilgrimage as himself, but was denied. That's all he says about in the English version of the game. In the Japanese version, however, his sentiment is different—he admits that he had hoped for Eraqus to come along with him.
  • In the novelization of KH3, there's a scene where Kairi puts on her new outfit from Yen Sid and looks in the mirror. After thinking about how Riku has gotten a haircut, Kairi wonders if Sora would like her hair better shorter. She then decides to cut it to shoulder length.

  • In 2013, series producer Shinji Hashimoto stated in an interview about KH3 that the main focus of the series is Sora and Riku's relationship, and how it evolves over time. Seriously.
  • In the 358/2 days manga, after Roxas and Xigbar find out the impostor is really Demyx with his hood up and Xigbar starts scolding him, asking him if he's "firing blanks". In English this has a VERY different colloquial meaning than what Xigbar actually meant.
  • Coded has plenty of questionable lines/moments between Data-Riku and Data-Sora, not least of which when Sora proclaims that he's "inside Riku" and has to find a way out.
  • In Kingdom Hearts χ, Strelitzia’s obsession with the Player doesn’t change even if they’re female. In a flashback (or dream), Lauriam teases Strelitzia about having a crush on Player regardless of Player's gender.
  • Also, Strelitzia's closest thing to a friend (and vice-versa) was Elrena, her mission partner. Elrena is surprised when Lauriam says that Strelitzia mentioned her fairly frequently, and it seems to touch her enough to get her more invested in searching for Strelitzia's whereabouts, even calling out her name in emotional distress when she sees a hologram of her right before her death play before her eyes.
  • χ also gives the players yet another scene very clearly paralleling Belle and the Beast (now the Prince) with Sora and Riku- which was, of course, once again left out of the English translation, despite "We'll go together" being prominent Arc Words of the series.
    Belle: There are various worlds inside this book that sound wonderful.
    Belle: One day I'd really love to visit them.
    Beast/The Prince: That's right. We'll go together.
  • In the "4 years later" scene in the end of Chapter 1 of Dark Road, Eraqus tries to stop Xehanort from leaving, and deliberately miscounts his own wins just to get Xehanort to turn around to look at him, looking very sad to see Xehanort go.
  • In the novelization of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, it's implied that when Riku finds Xion on the Destiny Islands, he sees her very briefly as Sora.note 
    "Feeling uneasy, Riku lifted his blindfold just a bit to look at her. And just for an instant… she looked like someone else. Not Kairi or Naminé— but him."
  • Both the KH2 and DDD novels have a couple lines that seem to imply Riku is still keeping something hidden from Sora.
    KH2: The things that mattered the most were what he couldn’t tell Sora. It had always been that way.

    DDD: Of course, Riku couldn’t tell him everything, but Sora was still a friend with a special place in his heart.