Sora (Kingdom Hearts)
|Relationships:|| Riku and Kairi (best friends)|
Donald Duck and Goofy (friends)
Leon (friend), Yuffie (friend), Cid (friend), and Aerith (friend)
King Mickey (friend)
Ventus (heart roommate)
|Other:|| Voiced by Miyu Irino (Japanese)|
Haley Joel Osment (English)
Takuto Yoshinaga (Japanese: child)
Luke Manriquez (English: child)
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At the start of Kingdom Hearts (2002), Sora and his friends Riku and Kairi are building a raft to sail away from their home on the Destiny Islands to explore the worlds beyond their tropical paradise. When their home is consumed by darkness, Sora comes into possession of a mystical weapon known as the Keyblade and lands in a world called Traverse Town, a place where refugees have gathered following the destruction of their worlds.
While there, he meets Donald Duck and Goofy, along with an assortment of Final Fantasy characters including Cid, Leon, Yuffie, and Aerith, who explain to the trio more about the origins and history of the Heartless threat. Sora sets off with Donald and Goofy in search of his friends and the missing King Mickey.
In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (2004), Sora, Donald, and Goofy come upon a mysterious fortress known as Castle Oblivion in their search for a way to bring Riku and Mickey home
In Kingdom Hearts II (2005), The trio awaken from a year long coma and after a brief reunion with Mickey, continue their search for Riku.
In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (2012), Sora and Riku are summoned to the tower of retired Keyblade Master Yen Sid to take the Mark of Mastery exam and formally earn the title of Keyblade Master. Sora is led off the path by Young Xehanort as part of a plan to turn Sora into the final vessel of Master Xehanort’s heart. Sora falls into a coma as a result of this scheme before being eventually awoken by Riku.
In Kingdom Hearts III (2019), Sora returns from saying goodbye to his Dream Eaters at the end of Dream Drop Distance and is sent out on a quest to unlock the Power of Waking and recover the strength he lost at the conclusion of the exam.
Following the final defeat of Master Xehanort at the end of Kingdom Hearts III, Sora disappears after abusing the Power of Waking to restore Kairi when Xehanort shattered her.
Popularity and reception
In a 2010 Famitsu poll, respondents voted Sora fifth among their favorite video game character of all time. In another Famitsu poll from 2011, Sora was voted as the most popular Kingdom Hearts character, with his fight against Roxas in Kingdom Hearts II ranking as the best scene from the series. He also placed 15th in a 2010 Game Informer poll of best characters from the 2000s. In a 2010 ASCII Media Works poll in which fans voted selected whose video game or manga character would like to name their children after, Sora's name ranked second in the male category. According to a 2017 Famitsu Weekly feature covering Kingdom Hearts' fifteenth anniversary, Sora ranked first in a popularity poll of ten male characters, with 284 votes.
Among gaming fans, Sora has been a popular nominee for joining the Super Smash Bros. roster. According to a September 2019 analysis of Twitter by Reddit user zelcf, Sora was the top most-wanted character in the U.S. and Europe, and the second-most wanted character in Japan. In a Feburary 2020 poll run by Inside-Games, Sora was the most requested character among Japanese Smash fans. Source Gaming’s March 2020 poll considered responses from 4,327 players, who were asked to give an unordered list of six characters they wanted to see in Smash, and ultimately submitted the names of 1,423 unique characters; Sora placed sixth.
As of 23 June 2021, out of all the characters originating from the Kingdom Hearts series, Sora has been tagged in the greatest number of fan works on Archive of Our Own (AO3).
Fanon & popular tropes
A "Sorta" is a character that is sorta Sora. The Sortas include Roxas (Sora's Nobody), Xion (a being shaped by Sora's memories, even taking on Sora's physical appearance near the end of 358/2 Days), Ventus (Sora's heart tenant, who is identical to Sora in appearance), Vanitas (who is almost identical to Sora, except in coloring), and Data Sora. In fanon, Sortas often have sibling-like relationships with Sora, and may appear as his siblings, cousins, or other relatives in AUs.
Soranort - A subset of angst/darkfic that became popular after 3D. The normally bubbly and friendly Sora succumbs to Xehanort's dark influence, often revealing that he's been hiding deep psychological pain caused by the stresses of his adventures.
As the main protagonist of the series, Sora is naturally popular in both het and slash shipping within the fandom. Since they were established as childhood friends in the first game, the most popular ships are those which pair Sora with Riku, Kairi, or both. Shipping Sora with a Sorta has often been considered a form of incest.
In a sample of 816 Kingdom Hearts stories published to FanFiction.Net (FFN) between 13 October 2013 and 5 October 2017, Sora was most frequently listed in the pairing filter with Riku (42%), followed quite closely by Kairi (40%), then Roxas (9%), Naminé (4%), and several other characters—Leon, Axel, Xehanort, Vanitas, and Princess Jasmine— at around 1%. In a sample of 1 122 KH stories published to FFN between 13 October 2013 and 10 March 2020, Sora was most frequently listed in the pairing filter with Kairi (47%), followed by Riku (38%), then Roxas (8%), Naminé (3%), and the other aforementioned characters again at around 1%. As of 23 June 2021, the Riku/Sora tag (3 235 works) has over triple the volume of works compared to the Sora's next most popular relationship tag, Kairi/Sora (1 025 works), on AO3.
Other fan works
Fan communities and archives
- FanFiction.Net (FFN): Kingdom Hearts stories and crossovers featuring Sora
- DeviantArt (DA):
- Archive of Our Own (AO3): Sora (Kingdom Hearts) tag
- Pixiv: #ソラ(キングダムハーツ)
- Gifford, Kevin. Snake Beats Mario, Is Coolest Video Game Character Ever published to 1UP on 10 February 2010. (Archived 11 August 2014).
- Gantayat, Anoop (2011-07-13). "Famitsu's Readers Want Kingdom Hearts on PS3". Andriasang. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14.
- Vore, Bryan (2010-12-03). "Readers' Top 30 Characters Results Revealed". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2015-05-25.
- "20 Most Popular Anime/Game Names to Give Children". Anime News Network. 2010-08-12. Archived from the original on 2010-08-31.
- Cecily. "KINGDOM HEARTS 15th Anniversary Feature in Famitsu" published to KH Insider on 5 April 2017. (Accessed June 2021.)
- https://old.reddit.com/r/SmashBrosUltimate/comments/d1dxbz/popular_fighters_by_comments_on_official_nintendo/ posted to r/SmashBrosUltimate on 8 September 2019
- https://www.inside-games.jp/article/2020/02/26/127623.html 28 February 2020 https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2020/02/sora_named_most_wanted_smash_bros_ultimate_dlc_fighter_in_recent_japanese_poll
- "Mega Smash Poll Ultimate: The characters YOU want for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter Pass 2!" published by Source Gaming on 20 June 2020.