Akuroku

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Pairing
Pairing: Akuroku
Alternative name(s):
Gender category: Slash
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Canonical?: No.
Prevalence:
Archives:
Other:
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Axel and Roxas on the Twilight Town Clocktower, art by nijuuni
Akuroku is a popular ship between Axel (also known as Lea) and Roxas from the Kingdom Hearts series. Axel was introduced in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Roxas was introduced in Kingdom Hearts II. 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.

The name of the ship comes from the spelling of Axel and Roxas’s names in Japan, Akuseru and Rokusasu.

In 2010, Akuroku was the most popular Kingdom Hearts ship on fanfiction.net[1], though as of 2020, it is only the second most popular KH ship posted on Ao3, following Soriku.

In Canon

“Buddy” vs “Partner”

The release of Kingdom Hearts 2.5 included a “movie” version of 358/2 Days that had more animated and voice acted scenes than the original game version. Among these was a tearful goodbye between Axel and Roxas. In the original Japanese version of this scene, Axel told Roxas, “See ya, partner.”[2] In the English translation, Axel instead says “Back atcha', buddy.”[3]

A popular akuroku fanartist, nijuukoo made a Tumblr post explaining her frustration with the changes made in the translation, which made many other fans aware of the discrepancy.[4]

The main issue fans had with the change was that it downplayed the importance of Axel and Roxas relationship. Many assumed it was an intentional attempt to make the scene less romantic.[5]

Others argued that no translation is perfect and this change was a minor change.

Axel’s Age

Akuroku had a lot of young fans in its early days who were close to Roxas’s age of 15, and thought Axel was an attractive match for him.

Since then, Axel appeared in Birth by Sleep, which takes place 10 years before his friendship with Roxas, as Lea, around 16 years old. Some fans have wondered what Axel’s age currently is, and consequently if it is appropriate to ship him with someone Roxas’s 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 Siax’s relationship with Axel became more important with every new game released.

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.