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Why do some fans hate the idea of Riku being a Keyblade master?



Well-known member
May 23, 2020
(cont.) that is, Aqua fought for ten years (time dilated) and hasn't shown a SIGN of being physically overpowered. An Aqua that wandered on and on, whose last respite was just before fighting Terranort. She fought Darksides IN THE ROD, she fought demon towers, water/earth/flame cores, neoshadows, on and on and on. Her spirit nearly faltered from time to time, but 0.2 makes absolutely no mention of how shit tier heartless get a crazy boost. This plot point was brought up specifically to butcher the in universe fact that Riku and Mickey are above Sora in terms of Keyblade mastery, and to justify them getting bodied for no good reason.

Moving on, Masters Riku and Mickey try again to rescue Aqua, only for Anti-Aqua herself to appear in the midst of a poorly choreographed demon tower attack. This shocks Mickey, who laments that Aqua's apparent descent into darkness was his fault for not staging a rescue attempt earlier, but Riku seemingly displays some resolve to carry her back. I mean...listen to this.

(start @ 2:25) Riku CLEARLY understands Aqua's position, HAVING BEEN THERE, IN THOSE SHOES, HIMSELF. Like, Square, how do you mess this up? We all know what happens. Instead of Riku fighting AntiA, he gets c$#@blocked by the demon tower that he...loses to...for no reason. And what happens after that? The rule of SORA begins. Yup, everybody's favorite Keyblade Jesus (who is also an idiot per KH2-DDD) appears through a giant magic door, helps Riku use Nightmare's End, and gets to solo Anti Aqua ripping away Riku's agency, destroying the notion of KEYBLADE MASTER, and spitting in the face of DDD's ending. Forget what you know.

I could go on and on about how Riku didn't actually do anything in the Not!Keyblade War, how he was barely instrumental even in ReMIND, etc. But that would be a waste of time. My problem again with this Keyblade Master thing is that the title doesn't mean squat. It just doesn't. We know Sora got whisked away to a new world, but you know what? He'll just plot coupon himself back to the RoL one way or another.


New member
Nov 15, 2021
A large portion of the fanbase has a weird fixation with Sora being acknowledged as the greatest Keyblade wielder in the history of forever, despite him saying flat out that he doesn't even care about being a Master. He didn't even want to take the exam in 3D until Riku said he wanted to.
I used to be really salty that Riku got the title of master and not Sora, but reading this made it make so much more sense, Sora never wanted the title of master he saw it as just a formality that he didn’t need, even in three he didn’t seem overly distraught that he wasn’t named master, only a little bummed


Bronze Member
Jan 4, 2010
Random addition about a year late, but I believe the Mark of Mastery exam in Birth by Sleep wasn't "normal" either. If I recall correctly via the secret Xehanort reports, Eraqus wasn't even going to hold a Mark of Mastery exam and was just going to graduate them into full keyblade wielders/masters when he felt they were ready. But Xehanort convinced Eraqus to hold an actual test claiming that "Boo hoo, I think one of your students kinda stinks of darkness and so maybe a test is necessary to ease your doubts!"

If we think about wielding a keyblade like the old samurai and/or ninja ways in Japanese culture, every teacher/family had their own secret methods and tests for their respective professions. There was no "one way" to train, it really depended on which family you were born in or the proximity to them you were. In that way, any keyblade "master" or wielder who takes a new one under their wing can teach them and tell them whatever the heck they want.

BbS still gets criticized for introducing the concept of a "keyblade school", but I don't think it was ever intended to be "the only way" to do it. It's just one way. Every old samurai anime has the properly trailed swordsman vs the wild child right? Ok there's only 1 I can think of and it's Samurai Champloo.

Anyway, I was also never bothered that Riku got the title of master and Sora didn't. It was a parallel to BbS, except Sora didn't sulk in his failure like Terra ended up doing. A nice break in the parallel which is always nice. But just like with Terra, we already know Sora is strong even if he faltered, the title itself doesn't really mean anything. Yen Sid could've given Riku a "Good job" sticker and it'd have the same value.

Now that KH3 has already arrived, obviously the purpose of making Sora fail was to make him start at level 1 AND to prevent him from accessing the main plot for 2/3rds of the game. The most upsetting part of all this isn't even the title. It's the plots constant insistence that Sora NEEDED the power of waking to save everyone WHEN HE DID NOT. HE ONLY NEEDED IT TO SAVE VEN VEN.

If they were going to force Sora to not participate in the actual main plot for most of the game, it would've been nice to allow Riku to accomplish something to prove how supposedly important the power of waking is to save everyone. :rolleyes: All they really did in KH3 is prove once more that the title doesn't mean anything at all. Sora is still the golden boy with or without that title.

If Riku wasn't meant to save Aqua, let him do something else worthy of his time. Wasn't he a spy for like, a year? Would've been nice if he and Mickey used those skills to track down the org again and figure out their plans. Or even fight a couple of them before the final battle or something? I dunno.
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Be Wiser Than the Serpent
Nov 4, 2012
To the thread title's question specifically: Because Soul Eater was awesome. For what it’s worth, I hate any character other than Sora being a Keyblade Master because it devalued the weight of the Keyblade as well as making the cast less interesting. I liked when Riku had his Soul Eater and dark powers, Kairi had PoH, Namine had memory abilities, etc. Now everyone is the same. It’s sort of like that quote from The Incredibles—if everyone’s special, then no one is. I preferred the Keyblade as this rare, almost-mythical object that has to be *earned* in a sense (the reason Riku lost it at the beginning of KH1) similar to the sword in the stone, Excalibur.