While deciding what character to feature in my next “Case For” article, I took it upon myself to do a bit of research. I knew I wanted to create a case for another Square-Enix character, but I had several options on my mind. It turns out that the top 5 best selling titles from the company are as follows: Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Tomb Raider, Kingdom Hearts, and Gex. This made things a bit easier, as I had already created cases for Lara Croft and Gex, and Final Fantasy already has a representative in the game. This left me with two options: Dragon’s Quest and Kingdom Hearts. Fan demand over twitter and in our comment sections made it clear which of those franchises I should tackle. Without further adieu, here is The Case for Sora.
Originally hailing from the Destiny Islands, Sora is an adventurous and cheerful youth with a strong sense of loyalty to those he cares about. The chosen wielder of the powerful keyblade, it is Sora’s duty to traverse a multitude of worlds to to end the threat of the heartless. The fact that those worlds happen to be representations of classic and beloved Disney films just makes his journey that much more memorable.
Sora is the protagonist of the majority of the games in Square-Enix’s Kingdom Hearts series. He has played a central role in the franchise since its inception with 2002’s Kingdom Hearts on the Playstation 2. The Kingdom Hearts series is interesting as it is a collaboration between both Disney and Square-Enix, and as a result, the game features various Disney and Final Fantasy character. This can also be seen in the design of Sora himself, as he amalgamates aspects of both companies in his general appearance.
Kingdom Hearts, as a series, has been quite prolific. The franchise consists of 11 games over a variety of platforms, with a title currently being developed for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Its reach extends beyond just video games as well, with supplemental media including 6 novels, 11 books, 5 manga series.
Reasons for inclusion: Sora has quite a few things going his way. As mentioned previously, the series has been a financial success with over 22 million units sold. Kingdom Hearts has also managed to stay relevant with fairly regular releases since 2002. In this way, Sora has two very important point in his favor: a proven track record and current relevance.
Sora has also proven to be a very popular character, with various plushes, toys, and other collectibles made of his likeness over the years. His popularity is not limited to the West either, as the Kingdom Hearts games have also proven to be quite popular in Japan. To prove this point, a poll in the January issue of Famitsu magazine features Sora as the fifth most popular character of all time.
While Kingdom Heart was initially a Sony exclusive, the series has had several titles on Nintendo platforms. All of these feature Sora, and some of them are exclusive to Nintendo. This puts him in a better life then fellow Square-Enix creation Cloud, who is already part of the Smash roster. Although not a make or break point for any character, it should be noted that Sora’s cartoony, colorful anime design, would fit very well into the world of Smash Bros.
Reasons for exclusion:
Sora might seem extraneous to many people, as he does suffer a bit from “generic anime protagonist” syndrome. This is an even more prevalent issue since some would argue that many such characters already exist within Smash. Still, Sora has unique moveset potential and is a beloved and recognizable character, two attributes that would likely supersede any such complaints. Sora is also seen more as a Sony character then a Nintendo one, although the inclusion of characters like Snake and Cloud make this a moot point.
A more serious issue it the question of Sora’s ownership. Kingdom Hearts was a joint effort between Square-Enix and Disney. That means that a request for Sora for Smash would likely have to be approved by both Disney and Square-Enix. This might be a bit of an issue seeing as how Disney can be a bit protective over their intellectual properties.
What is Smash Bros. without music? Here are a few tracks you can look forward to if Sora makes it in.