Reed Riku Biography & Facts
Sora (Japanese: ソラ) is a character and the main protagonist of Disney and Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts video game series. Introduced in the first Kingdom Hearts game in 2002, Sora is portrayed as a cheerful teenager who lives on the Destiny Islands and has been best friends with Riku and Kairi since childhood. When they plan to go on a journey to see other worlds, they are separated by creatures known as the Heartless, with Sora obtaining a weapon called the Keyblade. Donald Duck and Goofy then recruit him in their journey across various worlds to aid their king and his uncle, Mickey Mouse, while Sora searches for his friends. Along the way, the trio protects the worlds they visit from the Heartless and other villains.
Sora was initially designed by the Kingdom Hearts series director and character designer Tetsuya Nomura during a discussion between Disney and Square about who the series's protagonist should be. Wanting an original character, Nomura made various sketches of Sora until the design met the approval of Disney. Throughout the series, Sora has been voiced by Haley Joel Osment in the English version and Miyu Irino in the Japanese version. For his depiction as a child in the prequel Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Sora was voiced by Luke Manriquez and Takuto Yoshinaga in English and Japanese, respectively. Sora has made supporting appearances in other games from the series and reprised his role in manga and light novel adaptations of the games.
Sora's character has received a generally positive critical response due to his warm personality and adventurous spirit. His personal and martial growth in the series also received praise, especially in his appearance in Kingdom Hearts II. Since his debut in Kingdom Hearts, he has become popular among the video game community, with high rankings among character popularity polls. His prominence increased significantly in 2021 after he was added to Nintendo's fighting video game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a downloadable fighter and revealed to be the most requested fighter to appear in the Super Smash Bros. series.
Concept and creation
Original concept and design
Sora was designed by Tetsuya Nomura as the protagonist of Kingdom Hearts. He was not originally slated to be the protagonist, as Disney wanted Donald Duck to fill the role, while Square wanted Mickey Mouse. Nomura designed Sora with the concepts of the Disney characters in mind, basing his outfit on Mickey Mouse's trademark white gloves, red shorts and giant yellow shoes. Sora originally wielded a weapon resembling a chainsaw; however, the weapon was not well received by Disney, which led Nomura to redesign the weapon into a Keyblade. He was also designed with lion-like features, which were removed as the staff found them to be similar to those of Final Fantasy IX protagonist Zidane Tribal. The design was further reworked after a talk with the Disney staff, and Nomura finished it after a night's work. Because Sora was a new character in the first Kingdom Hearts, Square added Final Fantasy characters who support the protagonist.One of the main concepts of Sora's character in the series is that, according to Nomura, he is a normal boy instead of a supernatural being, even though he is deeply connected with other characters from the series. With Sora, Nomura wants to give players the message that even though they are not "important people", they have the opportunity to accomplish great things. This was emphasized in Birth by Sleep's secret ending, which Nomura hoped players would find because it showed Sora's potential to influence everyone's lives. In early versions of development of Birth by Sleep, Nomura thought that Ventus would actually be Sora before being reborn, but due to negative feedback from overseas, that plot line was discarded. Nomura has stated that Sora's name can be interpreted as "sky", since the Japanese word sora (空) means sky. This name was also chosen to symbolize Sora's role and his personality, as well as his close relationship with Riku and Kairi, making their three names together "sky, land, and sea." He was also described by Nomura as having an outgoing personality, which allows him to make friends throughout the series. Of all of the characters he has designed, Nomura called Sora his favorite, describing him as "special" after having worked to develop the character over many games. The name of Noctis Lucis Caelum from Final Fantasy XV is also a reference to Sora; Sora and Caelum both mean "sky" in their respective languages, and Nomura considered Noctis to be his latest "son". When Kingdom Hearts II included a note using Sora's handwriting, Nomura wrote it himself.
Following the first Kingdom Hearts, Nomura was worried that players would be unhappy that Sora would start Kingdom Hearts II as a weak character with few powers who once again had to be leveled up like the first title. Therefore, Nomura developed the plot of Chain of Memories to explain how Sora loses his abilities in Castle Oblivion and then starts anew. Additionally, a new mystery regarding Sora's memories of Twilight Town was added in Chain of Memories, which would be explained in Kingdom Hearts II. Sora was given a new outfit to reflect the time spent between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. The team in charge of Kingdom Hearts II expressed difficulties in animating Sora's "Valor" Drive Form for having a completely different motion except in Sora's walking animation, which is shared with his regular motion. The Anti-Form was also made to focus on Sora's dark side from the first Kingdom Hearts, where he is temporarily transformed into a Heartless. Gameplaywise, the form was created to be both powerful and troublesome. The fights Sora has with Roxas and Xemnas were meant to surprise gamers, especially in the latter when the player loses control of Sora and has Riku to save him.After finishing Kingdom Hearts II, Nomura wanted to give Sora a rest from the series in order to focus the following games on other characters from the series. Moreover, the events from the endings of Coded and Birth by Sleep hinted at a new mystery regarding Sora's character, which would be revealed in Kingdom Hearts III. Although Nomura stated in March 2010 that Sora would once again be the focus of the next title, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, he stated that Sora would share it with another character with great importance. The switches between player characters Sora and Riku across the game are meant to contrast the style from Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, which allowed the player to use three characters in their own campaigns, as well as to explain the word "Distance" in the title, because the two characters never interact across their stories. Nomura has stated that the themes of the game are trust and friendship, and that like Birth by Sleep, the story is on par with that of a numbered title. As a result of the game's plot, both Sora and Riku appear in t.... Discover the Reed Riku popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Reed Riku books.