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Ho Yay / Kingdom Hearts

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Remember when Sora and Riku argued over sharing a paopu fruit with Kairi in the first game? Yeah, well...

And thus, the Homoerotic Subtext begins!
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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?


Examples:

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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 choose 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. Erm...
  • Also in the first game, Riku gets pretty mad when he thinks Sora has "dumped" him for Donald and Goofy. Sure, it's technically a friendship thing, but there are some who look at it differently...
  • When Sora feels like he's done for in the battle against a superpowered Ansem he imagines Riku speaking encouraging words to him and regains the resolve to fight again. Later when they have to close the door to Kingdom Hearts and Sora finds himself loosing 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.
  • 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 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 giving each other the silent treatment.
  • Ansem and Riku have this as well as Foe Yay. Something about Ansem constantly talking about Riku letting him into his heart...

     Chain of Memories 
  • There's this exchange from Re:Chain of Memories which screams No Yay like a banshee.
    Ansem: Riku... I can see your heart...
    Riku: No...it'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!
  • 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 Foe Yay with Sora in the first game. The pinacle 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.)
  • 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.
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     Kingdom Hearts II 
  • 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 feel...like I had a heart.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sora spends a lot of time during the game asking what seems to be every single character whether they've seen Riku or not, 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 he 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.
    • 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 holding hands with both Kairi and Riku.
    • Not to mention the parallels between Riku/Sora and Beast/Belle....
  • There's even some mild Ho Yay between Setzer and Roxas at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts II.
  • 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.
  • Kairi and Namine hold hands while doing the Girly Run while escaping from The Castle That Never Was.

     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.
  • Vanitas and Ven share some very intense Foe Yay, to say the least.
  • Aqua in 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.

     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 played during Riku's speech before he dives back into Sora's heart? Why, Dearly Beloved, of course.
    • Let's face it, 3D really played up Sora and Riku's "bromance" for all it was worth. Especially Riku's speech before he dives into Sora's dream the second time. The examples in earlier games can be chalked up to Relationship Writing Fumble, but this time it feels like they knew what they were doing here.
    • 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.
    • Pictured above: 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 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.
      Riku: I know the feeling.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 side are all male. The subtext doesn't even "need" explaining here.

     Kingdom Hearts III - ALL SPOILERS ARE UNMARKED 
  • Hayner becomes instantly infatuated with Roxas when he learns of him, being very insistant 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 in this situation sounds 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.
  • 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.
  • 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) is a 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.
  • 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.
  • The Foe Yay between Ventus and Vanitas continues. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Xion and Naminé looking for shells together in the ending is pretty adorable.

     Other 
  • 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.
    • 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.
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