• Lea, aka Axel, should finally get the spotlight he deserves in Kingdom Hearts 4, especially after doing so little at the end of Kingdom Hearts 3.
  • Fans hope to see a more significant role for popular characters like Lea and Kairi in the upcoming game, with Lea long overdue a chance to shine.
  • The new Lost Master Arc in Kingdom Hearts 4 could offer exciting developments for Lea’s character thanks to ties to the timeline of Union X, so hopefully Axel gets to be more than a side character.

Delving into a new saga known as the Lost Master Arc, Square Enix’s upcoming Kingdom Hearts 4 established an evolution of art style and overall presentation as a whole in its 2022 reveal trailer. Many fans have been outspoken about the characters they would like to see return within the changed dynamic of Kingdom Hearts 4‘s concept of Unreality, but the especially popular reformed antagonist Axel might be one of the most deserving of the spotlight.

The wasted potential of Kairi and her chance to find a more significant role in Kingdom Hearts 4 has sparked a lot of discussion within the community, but Lea, better known as Axel, has also found himself in a similar position after a lackluster pay-off to his Dark Seeker Saga arc conclusion in KH3. His most recent appearances may not have achieved the level of spectacle and importance that fans of the character have hoped for, but hints concerning Axel’s place in the expanding lore of KH‘s future and past show that he could remain one of the franchise’s most memorable characters through an important connection to the timeline of Union X.


Kingdom Hearts 4 Should Break the Mold on a Big Franchise Convention

While Kingdom Hearts 4 seems set to bring several huge changes to the series, expanding one area in particular would be a natural evolution.

The Role of Axel in Kingdom Hearts 3 Left Some Players Disappointed

A Mixed Bag of Character Development as Lea

The transition from Organization 13 member to a Guardian of Light is an inherently compelling concept that has made Axel interesting throughout his smaller roles in recent years, but there are some fans who have expressed that this redemption arc lacked the impact it ultimately deserved. Though the pair train together for most of the game, Kairi’s major playable moment in KH3 Re Mind emphasizes her growth, while Lea has been relegated to much more of a supporting role.

Lea Felt Auxiliary Among the Seven Guardians of Light

Practically every key character gets shown off in the set of ensemble fights that compose the final battle against Xehanort, but most of them end up eventually taking a backseat to Sora and Kairi’s more central roles. Lea’s arc in particular seems to feel wrapped up as soon as he reunites with Roxas and Xion, as there isn’t much screen time left for them once the ending of Kingdom Hearts 3 kicks into full gear. The other Guardians of Light have essentially all had more substantial presences during pivotal moments of the series’ lore by now, but one unresolved plotline makes a solid case for Lea having a bigger impact in the future.

Axel’s Potential to Finally Shine as Lea in Kingdom Hearts 4

The Set-Up of Subject X’s Importance to Luxu Could Indicate Major Roles for Lea and Isa

Given the past of Axel and Saix as the young Lea and Isa during the time of Birth by Sleep, it makes sense that they are able to find moments of peace together despite being enemies in KH3. The pair’s cryptic discussion implies that they originally ended up in the Organization due to apprenticing under Ansem in an effort to rescue a girl known as Subject X, theorized to be Union X‘s Skuld. Luxu’s reveal as Xigbar and apparent upcoming key role in Kingdom Hearts 4 might be a signal that Lea could be returning in his most important capacity yet, as Subject X is said to have disappeared after Luxu as Braig abducted her from Radiant Garden.

Placing Lea among a trio of himself, Isa, and Subject X would not only provide him with a new sesne of purpose in KH4, but finally allow him to escape the shadow of his resolved struggle to reassemble his friend group with Roxas and Xion. Considering the likelihood that Luxu brought Subject X to Quadratum, or somewhere in Unreality, however, finding her might require venturing into this unknown world. Characters seem to be mostly concerned with looking for Sora beyond reality, but Kingdom Hearts has done all the set-up to mark Axel’s rise as a Keyblade wielder embarking on his own quest at the same time.


Kingdom Hearts 4

Kingdom Hearts 4 is an action RPG developed by Square Enix and represents the fifteenth installment in the franchise. Players once again are put in the shoes of Sora who is suddenly trapped in a more realistic world called Quadratum, with companions like Donald and Goofy attempting to rescue him. Kingdom Hearts 4 is a direct sequel to Kingdom Hearts 3 and Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory. 

Kingdom Hearts
PS5 , Xbox Series X|S


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