• This analysis assumes you're coming in with knowledge of KH, and of Akusai/Leaisa.
  • I use “Lea” and “Isa” when they're no longer Nobodies, but use “Axel” and “Saïx” when referring to 1) Axel in the past, and 2) Saïx in the present and past. I think this'll read normally enough if you're already used to KH, but it's worth mentioning.

The KH3 Clocktower Scene

You've heard of The Leaisa Scene, now get ready for…

If you know me on my KH spoiler twitter, or even just in general, you know that I'm very, very into Leaisa/Akusai. I think they're wonderful, I love their story together, I think about that scene in KH3 where Lea holds Isa as he's dying all the time. But when I was first watching through KH, I didn't ship them. Yeah, they're exes who work in the same office! But it wasn't until this very scene that they clicked for me. This is the scene that made me go oh my god, they're still in love with each other.

The scene starts with Lea moping on the Twilight Town clocktower, alone. His pre-battle plan was probably to reminisce on his memories of Roxas (and… someone else…?) there, buying three ice creams out of pure habit.

Lea sitting on the clock tower, alone. 'Roxas… I shoulda been there for you by now, but here we are.'

He's being kinda self-deprecating about it, actually! KH3 Lea mostly just seems sad. He's good at making jokes to disguise this, but he's lost a lot of friends in the past [whatever the timeframe between the beginning of KH2 and KH3 is], and it's weighed heavily on his mind— consider the scene where he sees Xion's face while looking at Kairi, and immediately starts crying. But instead of Axel's desperate attempts to keep things the same at the cost of his friends' own wants, Lea's taken up the Keyblade to get his friends back himself. But… it hasn't worked yet.

Lea likely would've continued like this, sad and alone on the night before the pivotal battle where they might all die to darkness, if something wholly unexpected (to him) hadn't happened.

A gif of Saïx approaching Lea on the clock tower, coming out from behind the main pillar. Lea, surprised, looks toward him as he begins to speak. 'Shouldn't you say goodbye to your real home?'

I wonder sometimes about how Saïx knew to find him here. Was he aware of Axel's little hangout spot during Days? It was something he shared with Roxas and Xion, Axel knew about it beforehand. Did he tell Saïx about it, and Saïx kept that knowledge without ever bringing it up? Did Axel bring him there once, in the past?

Regardless, Saïx is here now, after teleporting in. Lea recognizes his voice immediately, reacting before he walks into frame. Lea gasps and stares, because he was definitely not expecting to see Saïx here. Remember, their last interaction was at the end of DDD, where Saïx (being controlled by Xehanort) leapt to attack Lea while he was rescuing Sora. From Lea's point of view, Saïx… does not plan on coming back to him.

“Shouldn't you say goodbye to your real home?” is one hell of a line, as well. Literally, he means Radiant Garden, the place where they grew up, as opposed to Twilight Town, a place Lea happened upon, and, well, has memories with with Roxas and Xion instead of with him. But metaphorically… Knowing how attached Saïx is to Lea, and especially considering the way he seems to regard him (think the Days secret reports, his character files story, and his general jealousy), it's… somehow not impossible that he's talking about himself. The man has a terrible problem of projecting! If Saïx meant this a bit jealously, thinking how Lea would rather say good-bye to his kids who aren't there than him… it would make sense.

Saïx sits down next to Lea, while Lea looks on in shock.

Lea's just looking at him in shock, not knowing what the hell he's up to, asking why he's here, even doing a funny little glance down as Saïx makes himself comfortable. “I'm not here to fight. Relax,” he says, before further making himself comfortable and stealing one of Lea's ice creams.

At this point, it's also worth noting that there's an animation change from the Japanese to the English. Saïx's smile!


Saïx smiling, eyes squinted.


Saïx with a neutral expression, frowning.

I swear I did my best to get the same frame in each video. You can compare for yourself if you want, Japanese and English)

This happens one other time that I know of in KH3, and it's at the end— in Japanese, young Eraqus grins at young Xehanort; but in English, his mouth is closed the entire time. This is less noticeable, but it's still there.

Eraqus smiling, mouth closed, next to Xehanort. Eraqus smiling, mouth open, next to Xehanort.

That sure is a look Saïx gives him, though, huh! I tend toward referring to it as “a flirty smile”. Honestly, I would probably brush it off as a cute animation decision that didn't mean anything, if not for the fact that it was changed in the English release. Now why did that happen?

A gif of Saïx's censored smile. Text has been put onto the gif that says 'a lot of questions raised by the fact that they censored his smile that can be answered by the fact that they censored his smile'

Anyway, Saïx steals one of Lea's three ice creams. Lea, still processing that Saïx is even here in the first place, is baffled by this and bats at Saïx as he takes it. It's… not a mean gesture? From their BBS scene, we know Lea and Isa's friendship at age ~16 was a lot of being playfully mean at each other. That's the energy this motion has.

Saïx then pokes fun at Lea for buying three ice creams. I've never decided whether this was 1) purely a joke on Lea's behalf because Saïx doesn't remember Xion at all, or 2) a purposeful implication about Xion's existence, perhaps to try helping Lea to remember her, since Saïx is working toward her restoration. Not sure, but certainly possible! Also, the fact that he says “One for Roxas, and two for good luck?” implies that Saïx doesn't expect Lea to eat a single one. Funnily enough, he's right!

Lea looks annoyed toward Saïx, who is beginning to enjoy his ice cream. 'Why are you here?'

Lea decides that his attitude toward Saïx in this scene is going to be “annoyed and angry”, to hide his complex feelings toward Saïx and everything that's been going on, because by god, Lea is not going to be vulnerable in front of his ex right now. Simple question that pokes fun at him? “I dunno. ‘Cause I felt like it, okay?” He's a little all over the place. He doesn't know how to react, and turns away from Saïx.

Lea overdoing the anger in this entire scene is... well, funny, for one, but I do think it's at least partially a front so he doesn't have to deal with his feelings about the man now sitting next to him. Keep that in mind!

Saïx says “Got it memorized?” back at him. In the Japanese, Saïx says it in a much more polite form than Lea normally does, since Saïx's speech is more formal than Lea's general rudeness.

The very next line also has an interesting note about it in the Japanese. In English, Saïx says “Back when we were still friends…”, but in the Japanese, he uses shinyuu, which is “best friend”. So… the original line is “Back when we were best friends.” That's been on Saïx's mind, huh?

Saïx looks away from Lea as Lea looks at him. 'Back when we were still friends, we used to sneak into the castle.'

Saïx goes on to talk about a girl they met after sneaking into the Radiant Garden castle— Subject X. I do wish this plot thread had been integrated better into KH3, because I think it's an interesting way to make (presumably) Skuld relevant to the characters in the current day. (It also makes me think that Lea & Isa (and, hopefully, the whole Sea Salt Family) will get to be relevant in the future, which is always a plus.)

A bit of a Subject X tangent, while I'm analyzing Leaisa: A lot of people seem to be under the impression that she's going to end up in a relationship with Isa, or Lea, or both, when this is really not KH's wheelhouse. This is rich coming from the guy writing whole Leaisa scene analyses, but there's no canon pairings (between original characters) in KH at this point. They want to save her because she's a peer, a friend, who is literally trapped in an evil scientist cage! It was Lea's plan, too, as stated in the KH3 Secret Reports (Saïx's “memoirs”). Isa went along with this plan because it was what Lea wanted. Which… is the kind of thing that makes me go “you can't understand Isa without understanding that he's very in love with his best friend”.

Anyway, Saïx reminds Lea (and tells the audience) about their plan to get information on where in the world(s?) she went, by becoming high-ranking members of the Organization. Lea responds with “Yeah, and we failed. One day she was just gone!”, to which Saïx responds that Lea gave up. He's taken aback by this, and… while writing I realize he goes through a lot of different emotions right here.

Lea turns away from Saïx, conflicted. 'I did not give up.'

(tries to defend himself) He was looking at Saïx when he said that, but through this shot, completely turns away from him again. [holy shit lea has almost been entirely focused on saix until he says this] [defending himself, taken aback]

[camera switches to saix upon “nobodies”] [lea seems to be in his own head until “i couldn't keep up with you!”, until he switches back to looking at saix when he starts talking again]

[TURNS AWAY AGAIN AT “you wish. im getting her back. all of them!”]

  • "i realized i could be stronger" i think this is just a lie. like, maybe he genuinely believed this at one point, but i don't think it… makes sense? i don't think he believes this in the current day
  • "wise up already and just quit!" yeah? you want your friend back lea? yeah?
  • "face it. roxas is just like our other friend" i think lea was starting to be ready to believe they could go back to The Old Days here, before saix starts riling him up purposefully
  • "gone forever. you need to accept that" lea is SO PISSED at this accusation. at this point i bet saix knows this is a sore point? asshole
  • lea isnt eating his ice cream bc he is SO focused on saix, i think
  • saix purposefully riling lea up (as shown in the re:mind scene he is perfectly capable of doing htis)
  • "im even dragging YOU home!" im so normal. im so normal. lea still wants his friend back he misses him they miss each OTHER
  • oh, saix doesn't answer lea's question and just moves onto something else, which is something he also does in the re:mind scene. this is purposeful
  • "told you theyd stop you from being a crybaby" "SHUT THE FUCK UP ILL KICK YOUR ASS" "i know <3"
  • augh he says "i expect no less" so softly
  • oh shit lea untenses when saix leaves
  • lea is alone now, so he can admit to himself that he misses his ex……..
  • bring up how vexen mentions saix's hands are tied, to demyx, meaning that saix was likely taking a risk meeting lea here
  • They Both Think They Might Not Survive Tomorrow. saix especially. he wanted to see lea again before the end…
  • work in a joke about how i have these scenes………… memorized
  • saix had a purpose here, lea absolutely did not bc he came here to mope. saix wanted to see him again (and rile him up for the final battle), but really he reminded lea that lea still loves him and wants his best friend back…

Started Writing Page Created Last Updated
March 14th, 2022 April 11th, 2023 February 13th, 2024