Sora and Kairi knew each other from living in the Destiny Islands. Kairi ended up in that world from Radiant Garden and Sora decided to go meet her when she was living with the mayor. They eventually became good friends and always spent time together along with Riku. Being a princess of heart, Kairi acted as Sora's light.
Eventually, Sora and Kairi decided to try and travel to other worlds along with Riku on a raft. During the early stages of the game Sora is seen walking inside a cave on Destiny Islands, where he and the other kids usually meet up to draw on the walls. He stops in front of a drawing representing his face and Kairi's, that they made as little kids (Sora drew Kairi's face and she drew his), in order to add a hand handling her a paopu fruit. However, on the fated night, the Heartless attacked the world. Kairi lost her heart which sought refuge inside of Sora's heart. As soon as Sora was taken from the world and ended up in Traverse Town, he was determined to find her. He hallucinated seeing her at multiple points in time: he saw Yuffie as her and thought that he saw her in Deep Jungle and Merlin's hideout.
Sora eventually saw Kairi's body in a comatose state. At Hollow Bastion, Riku, who was possessed by Ansem, revealed that Kairi's heart was inside of Sora and attempted to steal it. Sora eventually stabbed himself with Riku's Keyblade to return Kairi's heart to her and was turned into a heartless. Later on Kairi embraced Sora and that allowed him to return to his normal self. Afterward, she gave Sora her lucky charm and they decided that they would always be in each other's hearts. After Sora defeated Ansem, Kairi was returned to Destiny Islands while Sora went to look for Riku. Kairi would wait patiently for Sora every day.
Right before the game ends, Kairi is seen walking inside the cave shown at the beginning of the story. She stops in front of Sora's newest addition to the old drawing (the hand giving her a paopu fruit) and sheds a tear of happiness, right before adding her own hand giving him a paopu fruit.
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
Sora and Kairi never directly interact throughout the game, yet their feelings for each other (and especially on Sora's part) are brought up more than once and are basically the main focus of the plot. Naminé (Kairi's Nobody) is sad about the fact that she's just a mere shadow of the person Sora actually loves and she's being exploited by the evil Organization XIII for it, to the point where she is forced to manipulate his memories and ends up replacing Kairi with herself. Because of this, Sora is determined to find her.
Eventually, at the end of the game Sora is able to free Naminé from her imprisonment and they make up for good. Despite her sadness Naminé accepts to fix Sora's memories and even shows him who his light truly is: Kairi.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
While Kairi is not directly present in the game, it is stated by Naminé that Xion's appearance takes after Sora's memories of her: this happens because Kairi is the most important person to him.
Kingdom Hearts II
Because of what happened during Chain of Memories, Sora had to go into a coma in order to have his memories fixed. During this period of time, most of those who were connected to Sora forgot about him. However, while Kairi forgot about his name and face, she still remembered Sora's existence. Roxas eventually connected to Kairi telepathically which in turn connected her to Sora. (Roxas also thought to himself that she must be the girl that Sora likes) This allowed her to remember Sora's name. She wrote him a letter in a bottle and placed it into the ocean.
Sora eventually woke up and traveled the worlds to search for Riku. While waiting for him to return, Kairi was captured by Organization XIII. Sora eventually learned about this and was devastated, so that he even got onto his knees and begged Saïx to take him to her. Kairi was eventually rescued and the two were reunited in the World that Never Was. Kairi immediately embraced Sora, confirming for herself that this is real and not a dream. Sora was feeling sorry for not having been able to keep his promise and go back to Destiny Islands with both of his friends sooner.
At one point, Kairi was returned to Destiny Islands while Sora and Riku were left behind to fight Xemnas. They ended up being stuck in the Realm of Darkness. However, Sora received Kairi's letter and this allowed him to open the Door to Light. He and Riku were returned to Destiny Islands and Sora was finally able to return Kairi's lucky charm to her, as promised. However, Sora was eventually called to do more work so Kairi gave him her lucky charm again and told him to hurry back.
During the credits of the game, Sora is seen walking inside the cave on Destiny Islands in a way that mirrors what Kairi did at the end of Kingdom Hearts I. He stops in front of the drawing of him and Kairi sharing a paopu fruit and smiles happily.
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
A young version of Master Xehanort is talking to Sora in what seems to be a dreamy-like sequence, Sora is brought to the Destiny Islands, specifically during the night in which the Islands fell. There, Kairi is seen flying out of "the secret place" and Sora immediately calls her name before trying to catch her, but she disappears once again, just like in Kingdom Hearts I.
Kingdom Hearts III
During Kairi‘s training sessions with Lea, she wrote a letter to Sora. Even though she states she won’t send it, she laid out her feelings on paper and admitted to Lea she likes talking to Sora. Even if it’s just on paper.
The day before their battle with Xehanort at the Keyblade Graveyard, Kairi and Sora are sitting together. Kairi gives Sora a paopu fruit so they can share one. Kairi tells Sora she wants to remain a part of his life no matter what and Sora feels the same. They promise to keep each other safe and share the fruit, finally bringing their own drawings to life.
The next day, at the Keyblade Graveyard, when Terra-Xehanort tries to attack Kairi, Sora immediately runs over to her and hugs her to keep her safe. When Sora is near death from Xehanort, he reaches a place called the “Final World”: it is where a heart goes when it has something in life to cling onto. Sora finds out something in life is clinging onto him: Kairi. She believed he wouldn’t fade. Sora happily reunites with her and states he feels strong with her. Kairi in response turns her head to blush and then holds his hand. It is also at this time that Sora realizes that what Kairi did was her act of true love for him, and she reassures him again that she will protect him, as a callback to the promise she made him during the paopu fruit exchange.
During their battle with Xehanort's darknesses, Kairi gets kidnapped by Xemnas and Sora gives chase. As soon as he catches up he demands to know where she is. After Ansem, Xemnas and Young Xehanort disappear, Xehanort summons Kairi and murders her infront of Sora for “motivation“. Sora in response questions why he would target her while attacking Xehanort and crying. Following the defeat of Xehanort, Sora states his journey is far from over, as he must now find Kairi. He goes off alone to find her, stating his journey began the day he lost her and thought they could finally be together, and doesn’t want her to be alone for one more second. Soon after on Destiny Islands, all of Sora's friends notice Sora and Kairi holding hands and sitting on the paopu fruit tree. They look at each other, and Kairi soon sheds a tear and smiles. Sora then fades away, making it clear that he gave his own life in order to bring her back.
Kingdom Hearts III ReMind (DLC)
After Kairi's heart got destroyed by Master Xehanort, Sora decided to use the Power of Waking another time to bring her back, ignoring Chirithy's warning that he would have never made it back to the others if he did, thus starting a whole new journey on his own.
In order to recover the 7 fragments of Kairi's heart, Sora has to go back in time to when he and the others arrived at the Keyblade Graveyard for the final battle, then visit Scala ad Caelum and connect with the hearts of the Guardians of Light. After recovering all the fragments, he and Kairi finally reunite. They are seen reaching for each other in the starry sky, then hug tenderly as Kairi rests her head on Sora's shoulder and he caresses her hair, before the two look at each other while holding both their hands. Right after they fight and manage to defeat Master Xehanort for good, with the help of the other Guardians as well, and then they leave to go to the Final World. Axel, noticing that Sora and Kairi are missing, asks where they went: Riku replies to him by saying that as long as they're together, they'll be fine.
When they reach the Final World, Sora is seen holding onto Kairi protectively, and then take her hand in his. Stunned by the beauty of the world they are in, Kairi states that "It's so pretty", to which Sora doesn't verbally reply, but instead keeps looking at her for a few moments, before noticing that Chirithy is missing and calling out for him. Chirithy appears and tells him that he only wanted to give them some privacy, to which the two giggle while looking at each other. Sora then proceeds to state that he wants to take the little creature home with them, to meet his friends, because he now knows that when you spend time and share moments with someone you care about (in his case, Kairi), everything is better. Chirithy gets emotional and gladly accepts the offer.
The DLC ends by playing the Kingdom Hearts III ending again, only that this time we see that Sora and Kairi were present the entire time, in what seems to have been their first and last date (for now): at Disney Castle, looking up at fireworks, at the Land of Departure, nudging Chirithy to go to Ventus, at the Clock Tower, eating sea-salt ice creams, and at Radiant Garden, to free Naminé's heart from Kairi's. When they appear together on the Paopu tree at Destiny Islands, Sora is seen telling something to Kairi, which makes her shed a tear right before he disappears.
Kingdom Hearts III Limit Cut Episode (DLC)
Believing that her heart is the key to find Sora again, Kairi has been asleep for over an year.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory
With the help of Ienzo, Even, Ansem the Wise and Riku, Kairi is still trying to think of a way to find Sora. Determined to go look for him with Riku, she eventually decides to wait and complete her training first.
There are a number of instances in which the feelings between Sora and Kairi are brought up in the official manga and novels. For example, in the Kingdom Hearts I manga, it's heavily implied that Sora and Kairi kissed right after Kairi gave her good luck charm to Sora. Shiro Amano has also worked on a Saint Valentine-themed desktop wallpaper displaying Kairi gifting Sora and Riku some heart-shaped chocolate. Unlike Riku, Sora blushes heavily when he sees the gift.
SoKai is a rather popular Kingdom Hearts ship. This pairing is often regarded as being canon due to the romantic references and the fact that the two were deeply connected through their hearts. Many fans found the ending of the first game to be sad since the two were separated and were happy when they finally got a sequel in which they were reunited.
Thanks to Kingdom Hearts III and various merchandising pieces, the ship has been given even more fuel in the last few years.
- In Kingdom Hearts II, it was implied that Sora has feelings for Kairi. He blushed when he saw Will and Elizabeth together and Donald and Goofy mentioned that he was thinking about her. When he saw Jack and Sally dancing, he imagined himself dancing with her in their place. Roxas also mentioned that Kairi is the girl that Sora likes.
- Kairi is often referred to as Sora's light that guides him through the darkness.
- At the end of the official World of Tres concert, a montage of all SoKai scenes from Kingdom Hearts I to Kingdom Hearts III is shown and accompanied by an instrumental version of Don't Think Twice/Chikai.
- In Kingdom Hearts II Olette mentions how "wonderful" their story is (it was mistranslated into romantic in the English version). Moreover, in Kingdom Hearts I, Selphie tells Sora that she thinks sharing a Paopu with someone is a romantic thing to do.
- Riku teases Sora about Kairi more than once during Kingdom Hearts I, just like how Donald and Goofy do in Kingdom Hearts II.
- During the credits of Kingdom Hearts 2.8, a series of official Disney pairings is shown. Among them, however, RokuNami and SoKai are also displayed.
- One of Kairi's quotes was cut out in the English version of the Kingdom Hearts I ending: in the original (aka the Japanese) version of the ending, when she's looking at the horizon and closes her eyes, she can be heard saying something along the lines of "Don't worry Sora, your feelings have reached me".
- One of the trophies in Kingdom Hearts III is specifically dedicated to Kairi. It's called "No matter what" (reference to her line during the paopu exchange scene) and, in order to achieve it, the player (aka Sora) must simply reunite with Kairi.
- The trophy you get after completing the first portion of the ReMind DLC for Kingdom Hearts III shows a picture of Sora and Kairi on the Paopu tree.
- During the loading screens of the ReMind DLC for Kingdom Hearts III, you get to see Kingdomgram (= our Instagram equivalent in the Kingdom Hearts universe) posts from Sora and Kairi, and they both reference the moment they shared a Paopu fruit, in hopes to never be separated again.
- During their fight against Master Xehanort, Sora and Kairi share an attack called One Heart, in which they grow a pair of wings and fly together. You can see that the feathers of their wings all contain the memories they shared together. Furthermore, the symbolism is a reference to Tanabata (Japanese festival about two mythical star-crossed lovers) and Jianjians (birds born imperfect, with only one eye and one wing, that can only fly when they act as one, thus representing husband and wife).
- The updated main menu for Kingdom Hearts III (and the Japanese PlayStation 4 theme that comes with the pre-order of the DLC) displays a picture drawn by Tetsuya Nomura himself of Sora and Kairi holding to the Paopu fruits they shared and walking in the sea together.
- Before the release of Melody of Memory, Tetsuya Nomura worked on a picture of Kairi sitting on a throne just like Sora does, implying them to be respectively queen and king. This was also suggested by a specific transition involving the chess pieces that can be seen in the Kingdom Hearts III opening.
- The promotional material for a specific Saint Valentine-themed event in Kingdom Hearts X focused a lot on SoKai.
- The official Square-Enix social media accounts have posted SoKai hints more than once. For example, on November 7th (2020), the japanese account @sqex_cafe has posted some pictures dedicated to Melody of Memory. The first one shows the plushies of Sora and Kairi looking at eachother: Kairi has a few hearts on her head, possibly as a response to Sora's hinted winking.
- The official Sora and Kairi Nendoroid action figures are shown holding hands in the promotional material.
- Destiny Trio refers to the ship between Riku, Sora and Kairi
|SHIPS||het||AkuNami • AkuShi • Larxel • RepliNami • RiKai • RikuNami • Rion • RokuNami • RokuShi • SoKai • Sorapunzel • Sorariel • SoNami • SoXion • Terraqua • Terrella • Venqua|
|slash||AkuRoku • AkuSora • CLeon • LeaIsa • RikuRoku • SoHiro • Soriku • Sorneka • SoRoku • TerVen • VanVen • XemXig • YoSora|
|femslash||Aquarella • KaiNami|
|poly||SorElsAnna • Daybreak Trio|
|non-binary||PlayAva • PlayEphe • PlaySkul • PlayStreli|
|CHARACTERS||m/f||Axel • Naminé • Player • Riku • Roxas • Sora|
|cameos||Anna • Ariel • Cinderella • Cloud Strife • Elsa • Hiro Hamada • Rapunzel|