Riku (Kingdom Hearts)

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Name: Riku
Occupation: Keyblade Master
Relationships: Sora and Kairi (best friends)
King Mickey (friend)
Donald and Goofy (acquaintances)
DiZ (ally)
Naminé (friend)
Riku Replica (clone)
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Other: Voiced by Mamoru Miyano (Japanese)
David Gallagher (English)
Eiji Shima (Japanese: child)
Ty Panitz (English: child)
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Riku is a main character in the Disney/Square Enix video game franchise Kingdom Hearts and its related media.


Riku is Sora and Kairi’s best friend from childhood. He and Sora grew up together on the Destiny Islands, with Kairi joining them after her arrival on the islands 9 years before the events of Kingdom Hearts (2002). After the islands are swallowed by darkness, Sora journeys across the worlds to find him and Kairi. Meanwhile, Maleficent takes Riku under her wing and manipulates him into aiding her goals by convincing him that Sora has abandoned him for new friends, and promising to help him save Kairi alone.

This causes him to clash with Sora across various worlds, culminating in Riku temporarily stealing the Keyblade from Sora at the entrance to Maleficent’s stronghold. After Sora takes the Keyblade back, Riku is possessed by Ansem, the game’s main antagonist. After losing control of his body, Riku comes to his senses, and together with King Mickey helps Sora close the Door to Darkness, sealing himself and Mickey inside the Realm of Darkness to protect the worlds.

He escapes in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (2004), where he becomes a playable character in the Reverse/Rebirth segment, which chronicles his efforts to overcome his inner darkness and begin the journey to redeeming himself for his actions in the previous games.

Riku spends the majority of Kingdom Hearts II (2005) trapped in the form of Ansem after unleashing his darkness to capture Roxas so that Sora could be woken from a year-long coma, with 358/2 Days (2009) showcasing Riku's efforts to protect Sora while he slept and hasten his recovery. Once Sora awakens, Riku spends most of KH2 keeping an eye on both Sora and Kairi anonymously from the shadows.

He eventually reunites with them both in The World That Never Was later in the game, and is restored to his true form shortly afterward. After defeating the Organization’s leader together, Riku and Sora find stranded in the Realm of Darkness, where they have a heart-to-heart on a beach at the edge of the dark realm before a message in a bottle from Kairi arrives and allows them both to return home through the Door to Light.

In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (2012), Riku travels with Sora to the tower of retired Keyblade Master Yen Sid to take the Mark of Mastery exam and formally earn the title of Keyblade Master. Riku comes to terms with his darkness in the course of the exam, and after rescuing Sora from the clutches of Organization XIII, is officially named a Keyblade Master. In a post-credits scene, he brings Kairi to Yen Sid’s tower so that she can receive training.

After being informed of Aqua’s fate in Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- (2017), he and Mickey set out to rescue Aqua from the Realm of Darkness during the course of Kingdom Hearts III (2019). When Sora disappears at the end of III, Riku spends the next year working alongside their friends in order to find him and bring him home before the game's DLC reveals that Riku's dreams as the key to saving Sora. After determining in Melody of Memory (2020) that Sora is in Quadratum, a place outside of their reality, Riku heads there alone to search for him.

Fanon & popular tropes

"Riku Is..." by jokerjester77 (2006)

Because Riku was originally chosen to become a Keyblade Master from a young age rather than Sora, it’s common for fics to portray Riku as coming from a wealthy family. AU fics often portray him as a prince, knight, or a child of nobility.

Many fanworks focused on Angst like to explore Riku's feelings of insecurity that led to his fall to darkness in KH1, as well as his guilt and shame over his actions during and after his redemption arc.

Dream Eater Riku

The reveal in Dream Drop Distance that Riku became a Dream Eater in order to protect Sora sparked a variety of fanart and fanfic exploring the concept and what this means for him, with some focusing more on humor and others more on angst.

Due to Riku's gameplay depicting him combining with Dream Eaters to access new attacks, some fanart portrays Riku fusing with different Dream Eaters and gaining their features as a result, with Komory Bat, the Dream Eater most associated with him in cutscenes, being one of the most common ones due to their in-game fusion giving Riku wings.

The game's use of the Dream Eater emblem on the back of Riku's shirt to foreshadow the reveal has prompted many fans to headcanon that the marking is present on his skin as well as on his clothing.

In AU fanfiction it’s common for authors to translate his Dream Eater status into Riku being some type of supernatural being.


As the deuteragonist of the series, Riku is popular with both slash and het shipping within the fandom. The pairing of Sora/Riku is one of the franchise’s most popular slash pairings. Fans of Sora/Kairi often ship Riku with either Naminé or Xion as a way to Pair the Spares.

Since the fandom commonly regards Kairi as Sora’s endgame love interest, the lack of a confirmed canon love interest for Riku leads to him being shipped with Original Characters that are often fan writer self-inserts. This also makes him popular for fan writers to use in Crossover Pairings. Most crossover ships involving Riku are with female characters from other franchises, however over the first 2 decades of the series’ existence, slash pairings have gradually become more common among Kingdom Hearts crossovers.

Notable Pairings

Fan works


Fan fic



Other Fanworks


Links and Resources