- “Got it memorized?”
- ―Lea/Axel's signature catchphrase
Lea is one of the major characters of the Kingdom Hearts series. Lea has a desire to achieve his own ideal of immortality by having everyone remember his name. He was once Axel, a member of Organization XIII who served as its assassin, until the destruction of both Axel and his Heartless that allowed Lea to be reborn. Since then, Lea has become an ally of Sora and was revealed to be able to wield a Keyblade.
Lea is both childish and competitive, providing a perfect dichotomy with his close friend Isa. He is quite sarcastic and smug, but is friendly nonetheless. Despite his lightheartedness, Lea is dedicated to his wish to become immortalized. To him, living on through people's memories is the key to eterna life, hence his use of the phrase, "Got it memorized?" on multiple occasions.
As a Nobody, Axel acts upon the memories of Lea; he is sarcastic, cocky, and laid-back but is known for being cold and merciless, and at worst apathetic for his comrades' lives. However, his cold personality changes when he strikes a friendship with Roxas, which slowly causes him to develop emotions that Nobodies would normally lack. As his alliance with the Nobody of Isa, Saix, despite their past friendship, weakens while his friendship with Roxas and Xion grows stronger, Axel demonstrates a kind, heartful side, acting like an older brother towards them and helping them out, even completely abandoning Saix in favor for them. This eventually causes him to become much more humane towards others and betrays the Organization to help Sora, who is Roxas' human form, and his friends, indicating how much his friendship with Roxas means to him.
As an adult, Lea has a mixture of both his and Axel's personalities due to retaining his memories as Axel. As a result, Lea becomes as cocky as his Nobody counterpart, to the point that he challenges Master Xehanort while defending Sora. However, Lea retains his younger self's traits, such as his competitiveness, especially when he learns how to wield a Keyblade. Above all, he continues to care deeply for his friends, considering Sora to be a friend as he was friends with Roxas and crying upon almost remembering Xion. Even though he and Isa became estranged due to how far Isa changed, Lea appears to immediately put it in the past upon being resurrected, as he is quick to be concerned when Isa vanishes and goes to search for him, appearing upset when Isa has become a Nobody again. He even refuses to give up on Isa despite everything he put him through, promising to beat and bring him back and trying to reason with him when they finally dueled. He does show regret and remorse over abandoning Isa for Roxas and Xion as Saix died.
Lea is a slender young man with fair skin, blue-green eyes, and bright spiky, shoulder-length red hair with a widow's peak. As a teenager, his hair was similar to his current age, but shorter and with the spikes styled upward. He wore a sleeveless orange jacket with a white, sleeveless shirt underneath, and tan, baggy pants with red and white sneakers and black socks.
His Nobody, Axel, is nearly identical to his former self, however there are facial differences: unlike Lea, Axel's eyes are a strong emerald color, and he has purple reverse-teardrop shaped marking under each eye. Like other Organization members, Axel wears the basic black attire, however his black coat is slimmer than others and fits his slim build. Axel's Organization uniform remained as Lea's attire after he was reborn.
Powers and Abilities
Axel uses twin chakrams named "Eternal Flames", and has the ability to control fire. Using these in unison, Axel can perform a variety of complex fire attacks, such as summoning pillars of flame, surrounding his chakrams in flame to strike foes, and finishing off opponents in rapid attacks. These chakrams can also act as a detonator of sorts by lighting on fire from afar, as seen in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories. Axel is a powerful member of the Organization, arguably even stronger, or at least a better fighter, than Saïx. This is seen when Saïx is defeated by Roxas, but Axel was able to defeat Xion at the Old Mansion, who at the time absorbed much of Roxas's power. As a high-ranking Nobody, Axel also has control over the Assassin Nobodies.
Upon reaching adulthood following his Nobody and Heartless' destruction, Lea inherits the chakrams, and after Sora and Riku's Mark of Mastery exam comes to an end, he becomes a Keyblade wielder by revealing his ability to wield a flame-themed Keyblade due to receiving a magically compressed training session from Yen Sid, Merlin, and the three fairies.
- To call Axel's weapon a chakram is a fallacy; in real life, chakrams are small razor-edged throwing disks. Axel's chakrams bear more of a resemblance to Chinese wind-and-fire wheels, wheel-shaped weapons that are used strictly as melee weapons.