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Favorite character journey arc among the main characters?



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Foxycian

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Main characters
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Sora’s journey arc
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Riku’s journey arc
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Kairi & Namine’s journey arc
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Roxas’s journey arc
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Axel & Isa’s journey arc
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Xion’s journey arc2B9D62A8-F029-49B9-886C-E60AA827E70C.jpeg

Ventus’s journey arc6830172E-6194-418B-B29F-E2C278A4583F.jpeg

Aqua’s journey arc92BA3AED-3675-4F8C-BF02-3CEC7D5DD76D.jpeg

Terra’s journey arc94D2217C-5B18-4F67-A1F1-2DF41A7B77B3.jpeg
 

okhi12

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I'd say Riku. His arc through KH1 to Dream Drop Distance was amazing. KH3 ruined it a bit by turning Riku and Mickey into incompetent idiots in the Realm of Darkness who had to depend on Sora to save Aqua... at least Riku redeemed himself by not giving up and protecting Sora in the keyblade graveyard.

Sora's arc is also good. He's matured more than people give him credit for, it's a shame the other characters keep making fun of him in KH3. I'm not counting DDD because he was extra dumb in that game for no reason.

Kairi had no arc at all. She's been three different girls with different personalities, that's not development or personal growth.

Roxas has the most development outside the Destiny Islands trio, from a zombie-like insecure boy who doesn't understand anything to a level headed guy who cares about his friends and knows what is right. And he's always been cool.

Axel/Lea is not consistent, just like Kairi. I understand his developmemt from CoM-Days to KH2, but in DDD and KH3 he's like a different character who acts forced, like he's trying too hard. Must be the name change or something.

I never liked Isa much. I guess he deserves some recognition for helping in the shadows in KH3, but he was a bad friend to Lea and mistreated Roxas and Xion. Jealousy is a poor excuse. I don't care much about him or Axel but let's see how the Subject X subplot unfolds...

Xion has been the same since she developed a personality, so there's not much to say. She doesn't need to change, but more screen time would've been great.

I liked Naminé's moral dilemma and all the mistery around her in CoM and her brief appearances in Days and KH2 showed she is a wise person. A bit of a generic character due to her lack of screentime but there is something unique about her. I wish it's not too late for her to appear again.

Ventus is just like Sora when Sora is annoying but with Roxas's face. I wish he had something unique to him beside Vanitas or the Union X past. I don't hate him but he's the character I like less from the main trios.

Aqua was this motherly and seemingly perfect (and a bit entitled) young woman in BBS, then sacrificed herself for Terra and in the Realm of Darkness there was some interesting insight about her and her insecurities. She found resolve in the end of 0.2 which became nothing after being turned into Anti-Aqua and suffering PTSD in the keyblade graveyard. I guess that counts as development, but I would have liked for her to remain strong. KH3 didn't treat her very well but I still like her a lot.

Terra was a fool who trusted obviously evil people because they told him what he wanted to hear. Maleficent manipulated him and he became wary of Hades when he tried to do the same but still trusted Xehanort until Eraqus was killed. But he remained loyal to his friends and apparently he learned the lesson and overcame his own darkness like Riku did. Some of his development comes from the Lingering Will but it's there. He had no time in KH3 to be developed further.
 
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SweetYetSalty

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Roxas's character arc and journey is my favorite. It wasn't always. Back in the day I didn't enjoy his role in KH2 much, but after games like Days, Re:Coded and even DDD he not only became my favorite character of the series, but I can now appreciate the KH2 tutorial much more, though it's still a slog to play lol. In addition from his growth from his friends and even enemies I love the development Roxas got from the Disney Worlds he visited and made a entire post about it years ago titled "Roxas's Character Evolution Through Disney Worlds"

Riku would be next. He had the best redemption arc, because good writing, time and dedication went into it. Looking at how he started as the "cool kid" on Destiny Island to the mature leaderlike figure he is now is amazing. He might have gotten a little stale at times, he's still got a great character journey.

Sora's journey has some bumps on the road but I standby he was great in KH1, CoM, KH3, and if it counts Re:Coded. I think he's at his greatest when interacting with certain characters and Disney ones. When he earns his Keyblade back from Riku, that remains one of the greatest moments in the series for me.

Axel is a weird one. I absolutely love his arc from CoM-KH2-Days, but despise him in everything else as Lea. I liked him in the early games when he wasn't a traditional "good guy" but a gray area character who had his friends and orders but never put any of them above his own desires and survival. It made him unpredictable and interesting to watch. Lea ruined him.

Xion was the first of the Kairis I truly got invested in. We spend a lot of time with her so her character journey is mostly on screen and she had numerous arcs. I still don't think she gets enough credit for what she brought to RAX. Her biggest weakness is lack of appearances and relevance outside her friends.

Namine is a character who I've changed opinions on over the years. I wasn't a big fan of hers at first, but as time goes on I grew to appreciate her story and character more and more. Problem is she peaked too early.

Kairi, oh Kairi. I love Kairi, and what she's contributed to the series. But she doesn't have a character journey...yet. I'm foolishly hopeful that in this new arc Kairi is gonna have a great character journey.

Terra's arc is half and half. I enjoyed Terra's story vs Master Xehanort and how his dedication to freeing himself and to reunite with his friends kept his heart alive for years and also created Lingering Will. Unfortunately it's bogged down by him constantly learning lessons that don't really matter in the end. But that's BBS's story structures fault more then Terra's.

Ventus, where do I start? I didn't hate him, but didn't like him that much at first. He was way too burrowed from Sora and Roxas and it felt like he didn't stand on his own. It didn't help that I wasn't digging the TAV friendship when BBS first came out. He's a good kid overall, but I think I enjoy him with everyone besides his main trio. He's great when interacting with Vanitas.

Aqua was another character I wasn't that attached to at first in BBS. Then 0.2 came and she became a compelling character. There was a lot of missed opportunity with the Anti-Aqua thing, and even picking Kairi as a true successor over what they actually did, but Aqua had a solid enough journey thanks to 0.2. I like what she brings to the group.

Isa...Isa doesn't have a character arc. He's a extension of Lea's story. His development is entirely offscreen where he got over his insane jealousy and bigotry, two defining traits of his character as Saix. You know I praised him when KH3 first came out, but as time goes on I realize just how messy of a story Isa/Saix has, it's all over the place. The Subject X thing doesn't help either given we have no context of their relationship and Subject X doesn't even have a face right now.
 

Elysium

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Riku, Isa / Saix, Aqua, and Namine.

Riku's is of course the most developed and it's the best story KH has managed to tell, imo. Namine gets so little time and yet there does feel a noticeable difference in her from the point we meet her and the later games. She is much more self-assured in 2-onwards compared to the self-effacing and self-hating character we meet in CoM. She clearly values herself (and Roxas) even despite having to put up with DiZ's vitriol. Compare to that how she seemed to agree with Larxene's hateful insults whenever she would say she (Namine) was worthless. It's a shame Namine doesn't get more screentime post-2.

Isa's story to me is a bit like a lesser version of Riku's, only with a few differences. Like Riku with Sora, Isa was overly attached to Lea and lost control of himself when he felt he was being replaced (replace D&G with Roxas & Xion), only then to try to make up for it later with self-sacrifice in 3. With both Riku-Sora and Lea-Isa, all of that only begins once they're thrown off their worlds because of the Heartless (only in the latter's case, they become Nobodies rather than the world being destroyed). Both Isa and Riku were very cutting with their words, too.

With Aqua, her story is generally not one of a signifcant flip from one thing to another so much as one of endurance, but it's interesting to see her finally crack and become fragile in 3 (becoming Anti-Aqua) after having always been the strong one trying to hold everything together as it falls apart from the beginning of BbS and throughout her trek in the WoD. RAX's arcs are all fine, I guess, although I think Roxas really only has one in 2's prologue. I know he's the protagonist in Days, but he's such a passive zombie in that game compared to Axel and Xion that I don't feel he has much of an arc other than he gets angry at the end? But his anger feels direction-less and inchoate there. 2's prologue is where most of his arc is, imo, with him accepting that Sora is more important than he is.

Btw, the pictures are very pretty. I especially love Namine sitting on the arm of Kairi's "throne."

SweetYetSalty said:
Axel is a weird one. I absolutely love his arc from CoM-KH2-Days, but despise him in everything else as Lea. I liked him in the early games when he wasn't a traditional "good guy" but a gray area character who had his friends and orders but never put any of them above his own desires and survival. It made him unpredictable and interesting to watch. Lea ruined him.
I feel like Axel has been three different characters. The Axel we meet in CoM feels bloodthirsty, calculating, and kind of nuts, completely unrepentant about the harm he causes--in fact he seems to get off on it and is having a fun ol' time, and doesn't seem too concerned about how anything turns out. To me, he always felt like the true villain of CoM more than anyone else, only to be dealt with "later."* I really liked that Axel and was interested in where it would go. Cut to KH2 and Axel is a puppy dog with no real bite within 5 minutes. And then Axel in KH3 is almost child-like annoying to me, the way he is in BbS--he reminds me of Hayner, now I think of it. The sort of would-be badass schtick that's a little bit cringe and gets on your nerves combined with maxed out enthusiasm. Days tries to thread the needle between those wildly different characters... It's not bad, but very imperfect. Part of me wishes Axel hadn't changed from what came before; most of the villains in CoM are much better than those that came later, imo. Saix and Xaldin are the only other ones that were on their level, imo. Young Xehanort in 3D, too, although not in 3.

* To me, Xigbar is sort of what CoM Axel was simply moved over into a different character. A sort of playful chessmaster villain-behind-the-villain type, who is much older than he seems and has much wider-spanning motives than any of the characters could ever guess. Only Xigbar doesn't really do it for me the way CoM Axel did, maybe it's the voice-acting or the design, IDK. CoM Axel felt more unhinged and out-of-control. Either way, Nomura was clearly thinking of the Brain Foreteller-connected character back in CoM, at least to me, although his approach of not planning ahead lead to some detours and re-routing.
 
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SweetYetSalty

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I feel like Axel has been three different characters. The Axel we meet in CoM feels bloodthirsty, calculating, and kind of nuts, completely unrepentant about the harm he causes--in fact he seems to get off on it and is having a fun ol' time, and doesn't seem too concerned about how anything turns out. To me, he always felt like the true villain of CoM more than anyone else, only to be dealt with "later."* I really liked that Axel and was interested in where it would go. Cut to KH2 and Axel is a puppy dog with no real bite within 5 minutes. And then Axel in KH3 is almost child-like annoying to me, the way he is in BbS--he reminds me of Hayner, now I think of it. The sort of would-be badass schtick that's a little bit cringe and gets on your nerves combined with maxed out enthusiasm. Days tries to thread the needle between those wildly different characters... It's not bad, but very imperfect. Part of me wishes Axel hadn't changed from what came before; most of the villains in CoM are much better than those that came later, imo. Saix and Xaldin are the only other ones that were on their level, imo. Young Xehanort in 3D, too, although not in 3.

* To me, Xigbar is sort of what CoM Axel was simply moved over into a different character. A sort of playful chessmaster villain-behind-the-villain type, who is much older than he seems and has much wider-spanning motives than any of the characters could ever guess. Only Xigbar doesn't really do it for me the way CoM Axel did, maybe it's the voice-acting or the design, IDK. CoM Axel felt more unhinged and out-of-control. Either way, Nomura was clearly thinking of the Brain Foreteller-connected character back in CoM, at least to me, although his approach of not planning ahead lead to some detours and re-routing.
Well he kind of is like three different characters...more then three probably. I will not defend DDD or KH3 "Lea" but I will say something about KH2 Axel. I didn't find him as a "puppy dog" at least no more then KH2 Riku. Axel still does some messed up crap in that game, which again is why I don't call him a "good guy" and the idea of him as a immediate Guardian of Light is very questionable. Axel was still calculating in Days and KH2, he was gonna kill Roxas if he didn't comply with the Organization, and was gonna turn Sora into a Heartless. He's also harsher in his arguments with R-X in the original DS game as opposed to the Days Movie where, yeah he is a puppy. But that's a problem KH suffers from in general when trying to show a reformed villain/anti-hero in a past story. I noticed that with BBS Riku.

I don't mind the change to Axel. His journal entries do talk about the events in CoM and he regrets some of his actions, especially with the Replicas for obvious reasons. But I understand the appeal of CoM Axel, he was entertaining as that secondary antagonist. I personally have always liked the "Assassin growing a heart" story with Axel in Days and KH2. I was always a sucker for those. And it separates him from the other Organization villains. It was when they brought him back in DDD that I started to dislike him throughout it and KH3.
 
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