Should Kingdom Hearts Explore DATING/RELATIONSHIPS?



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SweetYetSalty

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No. But then again I prefer cheesy friendship stories over romance stories, so I'm pretty bias. I'm just not a big romance guy when it comes to fictional video game characters.

What would dating even accomplish in KH? It just means characters will become exclusive to one character which is not good for this series built on eternal friendships. The Destiny trio is a prime example. I liked it when Sora and Kairi had little crushes on each other but now? The way KH3 handled it, it just feels like favoritism on Sora and shows with Riku/Kairi. It was a friendship killer in terms of onscreen interactions.

Kingdom Hearts has shown many platonic love in the series but not so much romantic love. I prefer it this way. Romantic love is exclusive love meaning "I love character A more then character B." which nearly defeats the whole friendship angle of the series.

I personally love that Roxas and Xion are so close but nothing about them feels romantic. I prefer their BFF dynamic over Sora and Kairi's and again they aren't romantically involved. And for the most part the game tries to put them on equal footing, well whenever Roxas isn't dual wielding at least. Them dating would just turn Xion into Kairi and make her a hindrance. So no thank you.

Instead of romance I want to see everyone become best friends with all members of each trio. TAV, RAX, SRK, Namine, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy all come together and instead of being scattered weird groups of friends they form one giant circle of friendships. New dynamics established. Ventus and Namine. Aqua and Xion. Goofy and Kairi. Sora and Terra. Roxas and Donald. The list goes on and on. That's what I want. I wanna see these guys hold hands together like a big bunch of dorks. That's the kind of love I want to see in Kingdom Hearts. It's what I was hoping would happen in KH3. I eat that cheese with nachos.

Edit: I'll add this. I find fanarts of the many Kingdom Hearts ships to be adorable and I gush over them all the time. But it doesn't mean I want them canon. Leave that to the fanarts.
 
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Any

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It seems to be leaning more toward Namine and Replica Riku.
God, I love Replinami and probably the only KH Het ship I truly love. I was so happy about their relationship being implied and yeah, it’s one sided but at least we have a confirmation that both Repliku and Naminé wanted to see each other the most. I love them & I always wanted them to be together. They’re...soft.
 

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God, I love Replinami and probably the only KH Het ship I truly love. I was so happy about their relationship being implied and yeah, it’s one sided but at least we have a confirmation that both Repliku and Naminé wanted to see each other the most. I love them & I always wanted them to be together. They’re...soft.
They are very soft. It's got the bitter side with the manipulation, but they were both being used in somebody else's game. They genuinely care about each other. Namine didn't want to hurt Replica Riku and Repliku only wanted to do what was best for Namine even after he found out his memories were false. ;A;

Let them be happy, Nomura ;A;
 

Twilight Lumiair

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Instead of romance I want to see everyone become best friends with all members of each trio.
This is really be what the series should be aiming for next. Focus on making the friendships themselves more believable, and create new dynamics and platonic relationships for the audience to get invested in. There's far more potential and intrigue in that than there is in exploring surface level romance.

So for example, I'm far more interested in seeing the current relationship between Riku and Terra, Namine and Kari, or Sora and Roxas than I am in the series establishing romantic pairings. There's so much untapped potential in the familial and platonic side of this series that it's frustrating Nomura chose to pass it all up in favor of pushing the romantic subtext between two characters that hardly interact anymore.
 

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Square Enix as a whole tends to be terrible at exploring relationships in their games. Please no. I agree I'd like to see everyone becoming friends with each other. The ending scene at destiny islands showed interactions between members of different groups, I'd like future games to explore that in depth. And I'm waiting for that conversation between Riku and Terra. I can't believe KH3 didn't address it. Re:Mind better deliver some good and necesary conversations, it has to.
 

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It seems to me, but is Nomura more likely to develop a relationship between Isa and Subject X? For Isa is suspiciously interested in this mysterious girl (Much stronger than the Lea in my opinion)
This is what I expect, which is depressing for me. And possibly Riku / Namine--which wouldn't be awful, but not something I would be invested in either. The only pairings I would want to see are SoRiku, Terra / Aqua, Repliku / Namine, and Lea / Isa.

The thing is, I actually love romance in media. Even a couple I don't much care for I can endure if they're well-written and given the proper development. KH is one of the few things I'd say with certainty would not do a good job with romance. I think the real problem is Nomura can't depict women in a romance very well. I can't stand Kairi, Aerith, or Rinoa, but I like all the male characters in those pairings. FFX is the only exception from him I know (although I haven't played every game he's made). Yuna and Tidus are perfect. And while Wakka irritates me, I thought he and Lulu were written together well. Even Donna and her guardian were cute, lol.
 
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Rodin

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I'm open to KH explores themes of family and love in addition to friendship.

I don't need them to switch completely. Its not like you stop having friends or having a family when you get in a relationship

So I'm in the "maybe" camp.

Romance might work more as a subplot than the main goal.

Most romances that work in games have both members playable. Usually it's two individuals that have to work together to complete a goal.
 

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I'm open to KH explores themes of family and love in addition to friendship.

I don't need them to switch completely. Its not like you stop having friends or having a family when you get in a relationship

So I'm in the "maybe" camp.

Romance might work more as a subplot than the main goal.

Most romances that work in games have both members playable. Usually it's two individuals that have to work together to complete a goal.
Exploring family would be cool. There's a lot of potential there since we not only have found families now but also blood relatives.
 

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Exploring family would be cool. There's a lot of potential there since we not only have found families now but also blood relatives.
With how prominent Chi will be next saga I wouldn't be surprised if certain other characters aside from Eraqus were descended from Ancient Keyblade wielders
 

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So, like a few others have said, Nomura doesn't even really have a good handle on the friendship aspect of the series at the moment. He overloaded himself with a ton of characters and it has made it difficult for him to balance them all out. I'm not talking about TAV or RAX when I am talking about this, but rather the interpersonal relationships between all of these characters with each other and in relation to Sora.

Sora has a very thin connection to them all but he considers them all his friends, but how am I supposed to believe Ven and Sora are friends and not just...heart buddies? There are no scenes to show that they have any connection to each other in any other way than the convenient roles they served each other. Sora was Ven's bed for 10+ years and Ven was there to whip out a deus ex machina when Sora needed it.

Or let's look at Terra and Riku as another example. They have a connection. Terra is one of the motivations for Riku wanting to leave Destiny Islands. He is the one that eventually made it possible for Riku to even have a Keyblade. He apparently was in his heart at some point since Terra is the Guardian and Riku had the Guardian when he took on the appearance of Ansem: SoD. We see meaningful moments interspersed here and there but they never once actually interact in KH3.

Or Ven and Roxas. They just had that look and that was it.

There are no cohesive interpersonal relationships being developed and it is all passive and only has the illusion of being friendship.

This isn't me complaining about KH3, but rather just laying out that there is a genuine lack of development for these characters on their own and in relation to others throughout the entire series that would help to sell these friendships better.

Which leads me to my next point.

If Nomura can hardly balance all of these characters as friends, how in the world are we supposed to trust him to develop any romantic relationship without it being just as surface level as everything else?

I already personally find SoKai to be a dreadfully developed potential romance, with 90% of it being because Nomura can't seem to care enough to develop Kairi into something more than Sora's potential love interest or a plot device for convenient use whenever he needs somebody to fill that role (and at this point he's been using so many other characters like this that Kairi really doesn't even have this going for her anymore)

The only relationship with any meaningful and good development in this series, regardless of if you see it as friendship or in a potential romantic light, is Sora and Riku. They are the only two Nomura has really poured all of his attention into and it shows. It makes it hard to really enjoy any other relationship in this series that didn't have its own game to be developed (i.e. TAV, RAX) because these two have set the bar so high.

Nomura has to fix a lot of problems with his writing before he can even think to have any textual canon romances.

I'm fine living in my corner with soriku, terraqua, leaisa, replinami (?), namixi (?) and nothing being canon. I just want Nomura to write some really good development for everybody and make them all actual friends.



I completely disagree with this. The paopu scene was awkward and hardly sweet or romantic in my point of view. It came off as a bit like something Nomura was checking a box over.



This is the most disappointing part about that trio. Every time there is space to develop them, Nomura just doesn't. He'll develop Sora and Riku's friendship up to the moon and back (which I'm not complaining about. if I had it my way, they'd be the canon pair of this series but I don't have any hope about this), throw a bone for Sora and Kairi in the most non-passionate way every main game, and show Riku and Kairi together maybe every now and then, but they don't even exist as a trio at this point and that's just so disappointing and sad and altogether a waste.



Agreed. Exploring it is absolutely the worst idea, not only because I think it would only further bloat and distract from a story that has a hard time focusing itself sometimes, but also it just doesn't sound appealing? Most of what is appealing about seeing relationships in media is the lead-up to the relationship and the fleeting hints about it, not so much the actual relationship.



This is the ONLY het couple I can realistically believe in.



Roxas and Namine aren't really being pushed as a pair anymore. It seems to be leaning more toward Namine and Replica Riku.



Eeeeeh, the ending didn't really imply anything, though. It's very much a sweet and sad moment but I hardly find it to be proof of them being canon.

The difference between romance from Disney couples and romance by Nomura is that they have source material to follow for the Disney couples. They are established in their own films and media, and then injected into KH so we already have that association with them. Also the films (usually) do a better job of selling those characters as couples way better than Nomura could ever do to sell people on any other couple.



Exactly.
How do people believe in Terra/Aqua!? I feel NO romantic chemistry from them whatsoever! I see their relationship more closely to a sibling relationship.

I actually showed a friend of mine some KH cutscenes and she said "I didn't know Kingdom Hearts had gay in it" and I was like "What do you mean?" and she was like "Aren't Sora and Riku dating?" and I was like... She had no context about the series except that Sora visits Disney worlds lol. So maybe Nomura should just bite the bullet and do SoRiku.

I totally agree that Nomura should focus on the friendships first. However, I don't think everyone should be friends with everyone. I don't see why people expect Ven/Roxas to be friends just because they look like each other, and even asking the question may be a little awkward/insulting for them (especially Roxas who is trying to be his own person and finally gets to be, only to see a clone of himself who is deemed "real"). I look at a series like Lord of the Rings. There's tons of characters in that series and the good guys get along well enough, but there are closer bonds and segments to the friend group.

Would it be nice and refreshing to see Namine interact with Aqua or Roxas talk to Ven? Sure, but I think the issue goes back even further to the storytelling of the series. I'm hoping that Nomura irons it out and focuses on the story first and not just checking off boxes and/or making situations that will force interactions between characters. This may be controversial, but I honestly do not think KH3 was the game to flesh out friendships or have the characters really interact with each other. They all just returned from suffering AND have to go focus on killing Xehanort. The topic of conversation will be the one thing that brought them all together - killing Xehanort. I don't want to hear "I hate Xehanort" or "I want revenge" etc. said in a variety of ways by different characters. I want to see them become friends not because of their suffering. The group being called to action because of Xehanort works, but having them all be besties because of Xehanort -- no thanks. I can't even see Roxas being friends with Riku or Terra talking to Xion, and to me that's OK.
 

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I really think KH should stay away from original romances. I have no faith in the writing team, especially after the struggle that was KH3's friendships. KH already has a cast too big for it, so if the writing team can't balance everyone individually, I don't think they'll be able to balance characters as exclusive items (they already can't do this with the friendships!!).

Do I have my favorite ships? Of course. But I can make my own content for them. I actually think that confirming ships will make even its supporters angry because of a) the possibility of severely shortchanging one or both characters by not making the most of their dynamic/potential(s), b) the portrayed dynamic not matching up with the shippers' ideas, and c) how it may change other characters' relationships to the paired characters. Point B is particularly important in my opinion because I think that's a big part of KH3's negative reception; fans had so long to dream up their ideal version of KH3 that the real one never stood a chance. The same goes for ships, because fans have connected the dots, but Nomura/whoever would probably connect them in a very different, probably unsatisfactory way.

Something that's a shame is that, because of this, the word "love" will probably never be used in KH to signify really deep friendships or familial relationships. Love isn't just romantic.... Xion's use of "love" in her diary is absolutely heartwrenching when she writes "I love Roxas and Axel." This girl was told that she literally could not feel emotions, yet she still knew that what she felt was real, despite what others said. Now that is true, real, non-romantic love, and I would kill to see more of it in the series.

What would dating even accomplish in KH? It just means characters will become exclusive to one character which is not good for this series built on eternal friendships. The Destiny trio is a prime example. I liked it when Sora and Kairi had little crushes on each other but now? The way KH3 handled it, it just feels like favoritism on Sora and shows with Riku/Kairi. It was a friendship killer in terms of onscreen interactions.
I absolutely agree. It doesn't accomplish anything, because the usual function of a romantic relationship in media (motivating a character to do something impossible) is filled in KH by Sora's overwhelming friendliness and his attachment to everyone he meets. The puppy crushes in KH1 were cute, I agree! But Sora's crush on Kairi was never a unique motivator, since he was also looking for Riku in KH1 with the same amount of determination because they were both his friends. Hell, Sora would drop everything to save someone he doesn't even know, as evidenced by his commitment to trying to help literally every single person he encounters, so introducing romance to KH would be like stapling two sheets of paper together twice: it's redundant, unnecessary, and looks bad.
 

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Exploring family would be cool. There's a lot of potential there since we not only have found families now but also blood relatives.
I keep thinking Ven and Gula are gonna be related- like they are twins or something.
 

Face My Fears

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Square Enix as a whole tends to be terrible at exploring relationships in their games. Please no. I agree I'd like to see everyone becoming friends with each other. The ending scene at destiny islands showed interactions between members of different groups, I'd like future games to explore that in depth. And I'm waiting for that conversation between Riku and Terra. I can't believe KH3 didn't address it. Re:Mind better deliver some good and necesary conversations, it has to.
What about the epic Snow/Serah pairing? And the first lesbian Square Enix relationship Fang/Vanille?
 

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What about the epic Snow/Serah pairing? And the first lesbian Square Enix relationship Fang/Vanille?
I really miss the 13 cast :(

I love Snow and Serah, but I think the biggest issue with them was how the latter was primarily just a damsel/goalpost for two out of the three games in the trilogy, and Snow felt like he was almost always in anguish about rescuing/not being able to rescue her. While that does a great job showing Snow's loyalty to her, they could've greatly benefited from having more on screen time together as a couple. It didn't feel like they were ever on even footing outside of FF 13-2, and they barely interact in that game. Not to say they weren't a good pair, all the scenes that were dedicated to them felt authentic and genuinely heartwarming, but it unfortunately still suffered from a lot of outdated, stereotypical tropes for the most part. At least, from my understanding. Maybe I'm just nitpicking though.🤷🏾‍♂️

While I enjoy Fang and Vanille, I've always been indifferent on their actual relationship. Not sure why, but it never clicked with me personally. If someone else has thoughts on that I'd be curious.
 
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Oracle Spockanort

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I really miss the 13 cast :(

I love Snow and Serah, but I think the biggest issue with them was how the latter was primarily just a damsel/goalpost for two out of the three games in the trilogy, and Snow felt like he was almost always in anguish about rescuing/not being able to rescue her. While that does a great job showing Snow's loyalty to her, they could've greatly benefited from having more on screen time together as a couple. It didn't feel like they were ever on even footing outside of FF 13-2, and they barely interact in that game. Not to say they weren't a good pair, all the scenes that were dedicated to them felt authentic and genuinely heartwarming, but it unfortunately still suffered from a lot of outdated, stereotypical tropes for the most part. At least, from my understanding. Maybe I'm just nitpicking though.🤷🏾‍♂️

While I enjoy Fang and Vanille, I've always been indifferent on their actual relationship. Not sure why, but it never clicked with me personally. If someone else has thoughts on that I'd be curious.
It’s a mix of the developers having wanted them to be in a relationship but not fully committing to it (clearly juxtaposing them to Snow and Serah but also never having them kiss like Snow and Serah, talking about their relationship in interviews but never coming out and saying definitively that they were a couple) and also how they interact with each other within the story.

Fang spends a lot of time taking about Vanille and wanting to save Vanille and Vanille kinda of spends a lot of it whenever she is around to witness it being passive about it until she isn’t anymore and voices her opinion and then Fang goes back to talking about protecting Vanille. It can be a bit grating since it plays on the damsel trope a lot.
I’m rambling a bit since I’m really tired but yeah. There is just a thing about it that makes it come off weird if you don’t click with the pair immediately
 

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I keep thinking Ven and Gula are gonna be related- like they are twins or something.
Kinda doubt they'd pull the "omg this person is connected to someone else you know" stunt with Ven again. I do like to believe he was a Leopardos player though.
 

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Maybe but its fun to think about. Plus i prefer it to other fan theories like Namine is Streltzia, Xion is Skuld and Ienzo is Blain. Those are painful to read.

There's a fan theory that Kadaj, Loz, Yazoo are Riku's older brothers and I want that bossfight.

I liked giving Sora a connection to Sion who was the main character of the Bouncer.

In terms of love I'd prefer if you did the structure of FF13-2 and between new characters or someone existing/new.

Im not too big on pairings within the main cast. So i rather they find someone outside their circle.
 
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Nukara

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So, like a few others have said, Nomura doesn't even really have a good handle on the friendship aspect of the series at the moment. He overloaded himself with a ton of characters and it has made it difficult for him to balance them all out. I'm not talking about TAV or RAX when I am talking about this, but rather the interpersonal relationships between all of these characters with each other and in relation to Sora.

Sora has a very thin connection to them all but he considers them all his friends, but how am I supposed to believe Ven and Sora are friends and not just...heart buddies? There are no scenes to show that they have any connection to each other in any other way than the convenient roles they served each other. Sora was Ven's bed for 10+ years and Ven was there to whip out a deus ex machina when Sora needed it.

Or let's look at Terra and Riku as another example. They have a connection. Terra is one of the motivations for Riku wanting to leave Destiny Islands. He is the one that eventually made it possible for Riku to even have a Keyblade. He apparently was in his heart at some point since Terra is the Guardian and Riku had the Guardian when he took on the appearance of Ansem: SoD. We see meaningful moments interspersed here and there but they never once actually interact in KH3.

Or Ven and Roxas. They just had that look and that was it.

There are no cohesive interpersonal relationships being developed and it is all passive and only has the illusion of being friendship.

This isn't me complaining about KH3, but rather just laying out that there is a genuine lack of development for these characters on their own and in relation to others throughout the entire series that would help to sell these friendships better.

Which leads me to my next point.

If Nomura can hardly balance all of these characters as friends, how in the world are we supposed to trust him to develop any romantic relationship without it being just as surface level as everything else?

I already personally find SoKai to be a dreadfully developed potential romance, with 90% of it being because Nomura can't seem to care enough to develop Kairi into something more than Sora's potential love interest or a plot device for convenient use whenever he needs somebody to fill that role (and at this point he's been using so many other characters like this that Kairi really doesn't even have this going for her anymore)

The only relationship with any meaningful and good development in this series, regardless of if you see it as friendship or in a potential romantic light, is Sora and Riku. They are the only two Nomura has really poured all of his attention into and it shows. It makes it hard to really enjoy any other relationship in this series that didn't have its own game to be developed (i.e. TAV, RAX) because these two have set the bar so high.

Nomura has to fix a lot of problems with his writing before he can even think to have any textual canon romances.

I'm fine living in my corner with soriku, terraqua, leaisa, replinami (?), namixi (?) and nothing being canon. I just want Nomura to write some really good development for everybody and make them all actual friends.



I completely disagree with this. The paopu scene was awkward and hardly sweet or romantic in my point of view. It came off as a bit like something Nomura was checking a box over.



This is the most disappointing part about that trio. Every time there is space to develop them, Nomura just doesn't. He'll develop Sora and Riku's friendship up to the moon and back (which I'm not complaining about. if I had it my way, they'd be the canon pair of this series but I don't have any hope about this), throw a bone for Sora and Kairi in the most non-passionate way every main game, and show Riku and Kairi together maybe every now and then, but they don't even exist as a trio at this point and that's just so disappointing and sad and altogether a waste.



Agreed. Exploring it is absolutely the worst idea, not only because I think it would only further bloat and distract from a story that has a hard time focusing itself sometimes, but also it just doesn't sound appealing? Most of what is appealing about seeing relationships in media is the lead-up to the relationship and the fleeting hints about it, not so much the actual relationship.



This is the ONLY het couple I can realistically believe in.



Roxas and Namine aren't really being pushed as a pair anymore. It seems to be leaning more toward Namine and Replica Riku.



Eeeeeh, the ending didn't really imply anything, though. It's very much a sweet and sad moment but I hardly find it to be proof of them being canon.

The difference between romance from Disney couples and romance by Nomura is that they have source material to follow for the Disney couples. They are established in their own films and media, and then injected into KH so we already have that association with them. Also the films (usually) do a better job of selling those characters as couples way better than Nomura could ever do to sell people on any other couple.



Exactly.
Replica Riku is gone. And the credits 2.8 came out also quite long ago.
Therefore, I can believe in this couple. They could insert Roxas into the scene with the same Xion (With the same Axel lol), but they took this very moment as the romantic basis for the credits. Nothing is done just like that.
 

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Replica Riku is gone. And the credits 2.8 came out also quite long ago.
Therefore, I can believe in this couple. They could insert Roxas into the scene with the same Xion (With the same Axel lol), but they took this very moment as the romantic basis for the credits. Nothing is done just like that.
Nobody is ever really gone in KH. Replica Riku also still has Way to Dawn which was something of a hint about him eventually getting the chance at being his own person.

Yeah, exactly. 2.8’s credits came out a long time ago. That is plenty of time for Nomura to change his mind. Also Roxas and Namine never interact at any point in KH3, and instead they decide to focus on Namine and Replica Riku’s connection and make that a focal point of the scene when Riku reaches out to Namine. That was meant to represent the promise Replica Riku made to Namine.
 

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How do people believe in Terra/Aqua!? I feel NO romantic chemistry from them whatsoever! I see their relationship more closely to a sibling relationship.

I actually showed a friend of mine some KH cutscenes and she said "I didn't know Kingdom Hearts had gay in it" and I was like "What do you mean?" and she was like "Aren't Sora and Riku dating?" and I was like... She had no context about the series except that Sora visits Disney worlds lol. So maybe Nomura should just bite the bullet and do SoRiku.

I totally agree that Nomura should focus on the friendships first. However, I don't think everyone should be friends with everyone. I don't see why people expect Ven/Roxas to be friends just because they look like each other, and even asking the question may be a little awkward/insulting for them (especially Roxas who is trying to be his own person and finally gets to be, only to see a clone of himself who is deemed "real"). I look at a series like Lord of the Rings. There's tons of characters in that series and the good guys get along well enough, but there are closer bonds and segments to the friend group.

Would it be nice and refreshing to see Namine interact with Aqua or Roxas talk to Ven? Sure, but I think the issue goes back even further to the storytelling of the series. I'm hoping that Nomura irons it out and focuses on the story first and not just checking off boxes and/or making situations that will force interactions between characters. This may be controversial, but I honestly do not think KH3 was the game to flesh out friendships or have the characters really interact with each other. They all just returned from suffering AND have to go focus on killing Xehanort. The topic of conversation will be the one thing that brought them all together - killing Xehanort. I don't want to hear "I hate Xehanort" or "I want revenge" etc. said in a variety of ways by different characters. I want to see them become friends not because of their suffering. The group being called to action because of Xehanort works, but having them all be besties because of Xehanort -- no thanks. I can't even see Roxas being friends with Riku or Terra talking to Xion, and to me that's OK.
Because if a girl and a guy are friends, why not bring them together, if a guy and a guy are friends, why not bring them together?
Previously, I also acted in many respects on this principle, until I began to explore shippings in more detail.
So now, looking at SoRiku, IsaLea, AkuRoku, Xehanort / Eragus, I involuntarily experience feelings of deja vu, remembering NaruSasu, Natsu and Gray and other shipp of the Shionen genre that Japanese people like to do this type of relationship that alas, as if many did not want to, never does not become a canon under any circumstances.
However, as they said above, this does not interfere, regardless of the canon, to ship the heroes. (How do I shipps AkuRoku, and someone SoRiku or LeaIsa)
And as for TerraAqua, I agree with you that no matter how I like this shipping, their relationship is still purely platonic.
 
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