|Gender category:||Slash, Yaoi|
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The ship's name is a portmanteau of the Japanese-English transliteration of the characters' names, Akuseru (アクセル) and Rokusasu (ロクサス).
Axel was introduced in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (2004) and Roxas was introduced in Kingdom Hearts II (2005). Both characters have had important roles in the story, and their relationship in canon is important to each character’s development and the overarching plot of Kingdom Hearts.
AkuRoku had many young fans in its early days who were close to Roxas’s age of 15, and thought Axel was an attractive match for him.
Axel's original self, Lea, appears as a minor character in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (2010), in which he is close to Ventus' age (around sixteen years old) and visibly much younger than Axel; the events of this game took place roughly a decade before Axel and Roxas met. Many fans have supposed that this technically[note 1] places Axel's age in his mid-twenties, and consequently question whether it is appropriate to ship him with someone of Roxas’ age.
Some AkuRoku fans who took issue with the possible age problem, or who had been swayed by others, chose to instead switch their OTP to AkuSai, as Saïx’s relationship with Axel became increasingly important as the Kingdom Hearts series progressed.
Some have pointed to anti-shippers as responsible for perpetuating negativity against AkuRoku circa the release of Kingdom Hearts III (2019), and perhaps additionally for the ship's general decline in prominence.
“Buddy” vs “Partner”
The release of Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix (2013) included a cinematic version of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (2009) with additional FMVs. Among these was a tearful goodbye between Axel and Roxas. In the original Japanese version of this scene, Axel told Roxas, “See ya, partner.” In the English translation, Axel instead says “Back atcha', buddy.”
The main issue fans had with the change was that it supposedly downplayed the importance of Axel and Roxas' relationship. Many assumed it was an intentional attempt to make the scene less romantic. Others argued that no translation is perfect and the difference was minor.
Fanon and Conventions Common to Fan Works
Example Fan Works
- Canon had not definitively confirmed whether Nobodies age as of 358/2 Days. Sometime after the release of BBS, Nobodies were confirmed to age, as shown by the stark differences between the young child Ienzo and the mature Zexion.
- zettaLOL. The Most Popular KH Pairing According to Fanfiction Is... posted to KH Insider on 5 February 2020. (Accessed October 2020.)
- Ages of the characters in BBS posted to KH13 on 6 December 2010. (Accessed October 2020.)
- Forum:Do Nobodies Age? posted to The KHWiki on 6 July 2008. (Accessed October 2020.)
- KichiMiangra and 56leon. That feeling when your excited for a potential resurgence in fic for your ship but "modern shipping culture" has to ruin it for you! posted to r/FanFiction circa 16 June 2020. (Accessed October 2020.)
- YouTube. 
- YouTube.