I Wish Kingdom Hearts’ Sora Was More Like Yakuza’s Ichiban Kasuga

Because I work for a video game website, I have many playful, if sometimes heated, debates about games with my colleagues. We recently reviewed the best Kingdom Hearts characters, and surprisingly, some of us excluded Sora from the crème de la crème. One defender, however, backed up Sora’s only good trait, his overwhelming positivity. In response, I jokingly said if optimism is all Sora offers, it should be replaced with a superior beacon of positivity: Ichiban Kasuga, star of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. We laughed heartily and moved on, but the idea stuck in my head.

I’ll preface my next statement with this revelation: I like Kingdom Hearts. Now that the knockback immunity is on I think Sora is lame. He’s a good boy with a great heart, and he’s fun to use in Super Smash Bros. However, Kingdom Hearts III made me finally accept that I haven’t really liked Sora as a personality since (maybe) Kingdom Hearts II. A lot of this probably has to do with his dialogue; it’s unbearably terrifying at times. Not to mention he also has a bad case of Ash Ketchum Syndrome; The guy has tons of games and still isn’t an officially recognized Keyblade Master? More than anything, though, I find Sora boring.

Let’s paint a hypothetical picture where Square Enix decided to retire Sora alongside his goofy clown shoes and decided to go wild. I can’t think of a better replacement than Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s Ichiban Kasuga. Why? In short, he’s quite Sora, but cooler and far more loveable. Like Sora, he values ​​his friendships, is fiercely loyal, has an inspirational doer attitude, has a great moral compass, and is a total jerk. Also, I’d love to see Ichiban interact with all the Disney freaks. But of course that can’t happen, so the next best thing is Square Enix looking at Ichi to build a better Sora.

Ichiban is buggy. Despite being an absolute sweetheart, he readily joins and works with organized crime syndicates. However, that inner turmoil drew me to him because you knew that beneath the smiling puffy haired surface the guy had some baggage that he needed help sorting through. Yakuza: Like a Dragon does a great job fleshing out his upbringing as an orphan to provide context for his beliefs and relatively bright outlook on life. As a result, Ichiban’s optimism feels more deserved and inspirational than obligatory. Like a Dragon spends a lot of time developing its happy hero, as well as the overall storyline, and gives me someone I really wanted to root for.

Sora has never felt so convincing. He was raised on the Nick Jr. version of the island of Lord of the Flies, so he had it pretty good compared to Ichiban. That’s not to say that Sora needs tragedy to be interesting, but I want more from him. Square Enix has spent more time making Kingdom Hearts fiction as complicated as possible, but hasn’t given Sora’s characterization the same TLC. He’s grown a bit, of course, but I still see the boy we met in 2002 – only taller and with suppressed puberty in his voice. And on a show that’s about friendship, heartbreak, and loyalty, that becomes more evident the older I get. You can do “brave lucky dude” and still make him captivating instead of easily scratching.

I also don’t want Sora to become some kind of Edgelord. Rikku already meets this quota as an “emotionally damaged good-then-bad-now-good-again hero”. I just want Kingdom Hearts IV to find out who Sora is, what makes him tick, and develop him into a more complete person. I think Ichiban is a great template to study from because the two crazy-haired heroes are so alike. If that’s not an option for Square, then take my suggestion earlier and put Ichiban in play instead. I’d like to see him have a drink with Donald and Goofy.

https://www.gameinformer.com/2022/05/30/i-wish-kingdom-hearts-sora-was-more-like-yakuzas-ichiban-kasuga I Wish Kingdom Hearts’ Sora Was More Like Yakuza’s Ichiban Kasuga

Sarah Ridley

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