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Team CEMY (Cemetery) by CapricornGuy
Team CEMY (Cemetery)
The OC on the bottom right is Shuang Yu, a fisherman/bounty hunter who wields water Dust and a rod that he can use shape various weapons out of said Dust from the hook. His Semblance is Aura Pooling, in which he forms a bubble of aura around him. Yu can manipulate and redistribute the aura of anyone within this bubble, allowing him to absorb the person's aura and heal, withstand heavy attacks without consequence, as well as channel his aura through others. Yu is an extremely powerful martial artist whose style resembles Taijiquan and Eight Trigrams. (Yes, I've designed him to be archenemy to Ren, why wouldn't I?)

Shuang Yu is a man of high standards in both combat and strategy. He despises weakness of any kind with a passion and is a ruthless killer, only sparing lives under two conditions: (a) If the opponent is worth fighting a second time, or (b) if death is "too good" for them. However, Yu does maintain a sense of honor and is willing to accept defeat if he truly is down, but will stop at nothing to ensure a victory in a rematch. Additionally, he always wishes to fight an opponent at their strongest.

Yu is also easily disgusted by emotions, but the same disgust can also provoke his own anger, enough for him to use more power than necessary against an opponent, which is not something he typically does. Likewise, Yu hates concepts like friendship, love, and equality, viewing all of them as obstacles to attaining even greater power. He is pragmatic when it comes to strategizing and gaining power and wealth, but delusional when it comes to his ambitions and pride. Because of his experiences, he believes he is destined to surpass even a god, no matter how much time it takes him. Moreover, whenever Yu sets out on a mission or an attack, he always makes sure that he can reap whatever benefits he can from it--for instance, if he destroys a city, he will immediately begin rebuilding it under his own image with his own laws. All in all, Yu aspires to prove that he alone is superior to all of Remnant combined and will do anything as well as take advantage anything to further his ambitions.

Despite his cold, sarcastic, and serious demeanor, Yu has a lot of hobbies: fishing, training, calligraphy, traveling, swimming, rowing, surfing, meditating, chess, and making sushi. Because of this affinity for the water element, his ideal world is a "World of Power" in which Remnant is mostly flooded and submerged, and that only those who can survive with minimal land (like he would) are worthy of living and rebuilding the world (add that to his delusions). In other words, even if that only meant himself, Yu is willing to exist as the last/only person on Remnant so long as it's proof of his superiority over others. But above all, Yu loves fighting and would willingly take anyone on, strong or weak. 

Yu is neither a leader nor a follower by nature, but rather a lone bounty hunter who only joins Salem for money, power, and honing his skills and talents. His attitude towards Cinder, Emerald, and Mercury typically ranges between indifference and looking down on them, though he is not above helping them at all. Cinder actually fears (and hates) his power but has a grudging respect for him. They also have a lot of disagreements regarding missions and how they should be done. Emerald also fears him but is able to tolerate him, as they do converse often about a variety of worldly topics (and of course, Emerald likes his sushi). Yu gets along slightly better with Mercury as they train often together. However, they still get into banters, with Mercury still audaciously mocking him time to time despite being inferior to Yu in strength.

Now how Yu actually got teamed up with these three, I haven't fully thought of. And yes, I know, Volume 4 is already only a month away so obviously this isn't going to be a thing. Still, I've had this idea for a while so I want to share it. 
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Organization XIII Elements by CapricornGuy
While I don't necessarily hate any member of the Organization (since they are literally my favorite thing in Kingdom Hearts), I obviously do like some more than others so here are my top 13 (1-favorite, 13-least favorite). Note that I'm not going to include Xion in this because honestly, I just don't think I can do her enough justice in a countdown like this (don't really feel like explaining why either). So let's get right to it.

13. Larxene
Larxene - Sagittarius by CapricornGuy
I'm sure this wouldn't surprise too many people since she's a common least favorite (though of course I have seen some fans who do favorite her). Her personality speaks for itself and it's indeed quite a turnoff, but for me, the main reason that she's my least favorite is simply because she doesn't interest me too much compared to the other members. I mean, I like that she's the Organization's fastest member with ninja-like skills and light weapons, but she simply isn't someone I think about too often. Hell, I can't even think of anything else to say about her.

12. Vexen
Vexen - Aries by CapricornGuy
For the most part, I really like ice elementals, but I find Vexen to be a bit underwhelming for one. He has a few moves that impress me such as Slide Break and Ice Needle, but after seeing numerous ice types from other series, I just can't find him too interesting. I guess I just like ice elementals who can cover much greater range. Moreover, while I get that it's his thing, using the data to summon an Anti-Sora in his Absent Silhouette fight rather ruined the "elemental uniformity" I was hoping to get out of Vexen. I'd expect to see a fight with a pure ice elemental alone, not a shadow type as well--it really gets in the way of Vexen's element--even now, it's still a struggle to remember all of Vexen's ice techniques. Likewise, although the "cold, calculating scientist" persona does fit the ice element, at the same time Vexen is also too short-tempered for one.

Beyond that, while I do respect his intellect, he's kind of a bitch with a superiority complex and the only one who takes the rankings way too seriously (as if he isn't aware that rankings were only based on recruition time). And for a defense character to be the first to die, however the means, it's kinda pathetic. Still, he interests me just a little more than Larxene.

11. Marluxia
Marluxia - Scorpio by CapricornGuy
I like this guy's style. Hence his title, there is so much grace and elegance in his colorful techniques--Marluxia's a work of art. The way he conveys his element is quite versatile as well, exuding attributes of death and control. Marluxia is an ideal "flowers have thorns" kind of guy which I can appreciate. However, though he is easily one of the more powerful members, given he could serve as a final boss, Marluxia's vanity, narcissism, and self-entitlement can be a bit of a turnoff for me. I'd say he's way in over his head if he thought he could overthrow Xemnas even with Sora's help (if I remember correctly, Xemnas already saw through Marluxia's plan). I mean, I guess normally I could respect his adamant desire to assert his power and dominance but I'll admit I'm a little biased against most who'd try to overthrow Organization, especially when it's someone like him. Pretty flower boy should've learned his place, even with his power.

However, I do appreciate Marluxia's more mellow side. Even if it isn't necessarily sincere, Marluxia was one of the few "tutorial members" in 358/2 Days who only calmly taught Roxas how to do his job without any being even a little condescending. You'd think he was genuinely on your side, even if he had growing ulterior desires. Sure, it's a superficial trait many villains have but unless you actually experience or suffer the darker truer half, it can actually be quite comforting. That said, even if his ultimate motive is sinister, I trust that Marluxia genuinely does enjoy teaching or instructing someone (ex. Roxas in Days and Sora in Chain of Memories) because whether it's his good side or his bad side, if Marluxia is taking a superior role of any kind, he will be in a good mood. But challenge his authoritah! and he will show you who's king of the castle. That I can admire.

10. Saix
Saix - Cancer by CapricornGuy
This guy's a dick, especially in 358/2 Days, and not a very fun character overall. However, here's what I like about him; despite not knowing every secret Xemnas had beyond Organization XIII, Saix has a very clear mind nonetheless. See, as of Dream Drop Distance, it was confirmed that Nobodies like the Org members could instinctively develop a heart but prior to that, the opposite was the accepted fact. Given that, Saix was the only member who fully accepted that and acted accordingly. True, he may have been wrong, but we can see how his mind works. He is a no-bullshit guy who approaches life pragmatically, aware that he supposedly does not have a heart but can remember what it's like to have one, and using that knowledge to manipulate Sora. In addition to his pragmatism, Saix is an opportunist who knows how to take advantage of whatever he can, such as having Axel eliminate higher ranking members to raise his own influence. Cold, calm, and collected--I was wondering why Saix became second-in-command but now that I think about it, Saix is the kind of guy who can keep at least most members straight.

But then, there's his element and how he channels it. Now normally, if someone only told me a character's element was the Moon, I'd probably only have a vague idea of how he or she'd manifest that element. That in mind, I was impressed by the idea of Saix using the "lunatic" aspect of it the way he did (though I'm not sure what else I'd expect). The Moon is a rather unique element (definitely would've made him my favorites if I were younger--I would've found both his color blue and his element to be extremely cool) and the way he uses it turn himself into a berserker adds a fine dynamic to his usual self that makes him all the more interesting and memorable--it even has an element of surprise in it; gotta love it. The blue flame shockwaves he generates look sexy as well.

So yeah, while most of what I've written about him are positive, his role in 358/2 days do take points off from him, so here he is at number 10; there are still 9 more members that I like better.

9. Xaldin
Xaldin - Pisces by CapricornGuy
No doubt, the guy's unpleasant and not the easiest man to be with in terms of personality, but I actually have a lot of respect from him--oh where to begin? Described as a warrior and tactician, this guy is both very balanced and very capable almost every area--offense, defense, agility, and intelligence. And then there's his work ethic reflected by the height of his Organization seat and his dislike of laziness--Xaldin is a man of high standards, which is something to be admired (even if a bit grudgingly).

In more detail, just look him--he's tall and fit. He is a feared powerhouse in battle. He has the highest seat in Organization second only to Xemnas meaning he's completed the most missions out of all the members, including even Xigbar and Saix. He is a cunning manipulator (Beast's Castle, go figure). His mastery of the wind is just rich too: Xaldin can levitate, shield himself, and simultaneously wield six long lances all at once. Sounds like a perfectionist, does he not? That combined with his usual independence--oh this guy's a big deal in the Org! And his death--I'd imagine a heavy loss for the Org as well (not that the other members would care too much themselves).

Xaldin also embodies at least two things about Organization XIII in general that I love. One is simply that he is a kind of guy whom I like to see in every series; in his case, it's his high expectations, his belief that anything can be accomplished (besides stuff like love), and his harsh disdain for those who are "not giving it their all." Again, it makes him a difficult guy to be around, but I respect him for all these traits. The second thing would be that he's among the Org members who play a fitting role in specific worlds which is something that makes them all the more interesting, unique, and memorable.

I haven't seen Beauty and the Beast, but the way Xaldin is pretty much the main antagonist of both parts of Beast's Castle in Kingdom Hearts 2, it was just so perfectly written! Xaldin conveys a theme of despair (present in both his personality and his fighting style) that works so well with the Beast's troubles; the way he shaped or reshaped the Beast's story here and all, how he ultimately became central to the Beast's conflicts and the embodiment of his despair, and how Xaldin's role in the Castle was so deeply rooted in 358/2 Days. I don't know, the whole story surrounding Xaldin here is just unique and well-written for the lack of a better description! Sure it may have narrowed him to one world more or less, but hey, it gives him something special and memorable nonetheless, and he played his part well enough.

Xaldin's an inspiring character overall; balanced like the wind and fierce like a storm...

8. Axel
Axel - Leo by CapricornGuy
"WTF?? WHY U PUT AXEL SO LOW?! WHY AXEL ONLY 8?! WHAT'S WRONG W U MAN?! U SUCK! FLAMEBAIT!!!" I know, I know, Axel is a fan favorite but trust me, I don't like him any less than any of you guys might; again, I just simply like seven others more. And if that's not enough to calm your tits, Xaldin is my number 9 and I only gave him praises up there. So Axel? Of course I'm going to describe everything I love about him since I really don't have any faults with him (hell I'm only going to be neutral at worst!)

But yeah no shit, what's not to like about Axel? This guy's awesome in every way--he's a fun and dynamic character, a powerful well-rounded fighter, and a very reliable Org member (though not necessarily a loyal one). Let's start with his fighting style. While fire elementals are nothing new, there's always something about Axel's mastery of it that interests me. So in both appearance and combat, you know Axel has "fire" written all over him, and yet being an assassin, he's much more deceptive and versatile than most fire users I've known throughout many series I've watched. Moreover, in a series that focuses so much on light vs darkness, it's nice to see a prominent character embody a different element, even though every Org member does (it's one of my biggest reasons for liking them); again, Axel's just one of the more prominent ones. Light, darkness, and all of a sudden--fire!

Additionally, I've always found his choice of weapons particularly unique; I mean, I'm sure chakrams are nothing new but he's honestly the first and probably still the only character I've ever seen who actually uses weapons like those--slick round shape and good for both melee and ranged attacks. And the way Axel combines it with his flames just makes him all the more interesting and intriguing in combat (Firetooth--annoying move but looks awesome).

Every Organization member has his/her own gimmick (especially in Kingdom Hearts 2) and if Axel weren't the first enemy in KH2, I probably would not have guessed what Axel's would be. Turns out he can burn the ground into lava to do provide continual damage and I'm kind of glad that it is. I mean, logically yeah someone like him would have some special trick up his sleeve and yet he often gives the impression of a simple, normal, bog standard guy when he's really... many things.

In fact, his dynamic character is often the central reason why his story is so fascinating and why Axel himself is so popular among fans. Like, what hasn't Axel been? In Chain of Memories, Axel is the Organization's trump card for doing away with the traitors as well as Saix's "partner in crime" in helping to eliminate the loyal members in Castle Oblivion above Saix in rank (namely Zexion). And yet aside from being the treacherous double agent of Castle Oblivion, he also becomes the warm, caring, and genuinely loyal friend to Roxas and Xion, acting as both a mentor and an "older brother" more or less. Finally, in Kingdom Hearts 2, he becomes an antihero betraying and interfering with the Org and trying to get Roxas back, before dying in saving Sora. Axel just happens to be involved in every side there is, whether it's between good and evil or among all the mutinous divisions within the Org that there is. But the impressive part? Even though he ultimately backstabs the sides that he has, there's no denying that in all of the parties he showed up in, Axel is a wanted ally. In killing Vexen, he not only earned Larxene and Marluxia's trust in overthrowing Xemnas, but also demonstrated to them how reliable he can be. With Zexion, however, although only because he was skeptical of Axel, he did hope Axel was on his side. Even his betrayal of the loyal members in Castle Oblivion was him doing Saix's dirty work. Likewise, regarding Roxas and Xion, Xemnas would order Axel to retrieve them whenever necessary (though granted, Axel did know those two better than the other members). Eventually Axel (and later Lea) becomes a powerful ally to Sora. As Lea, he even helps Sora and Riku out of the tight spot with the new Org XII in Dream Drop Distance, something no one had expected.

Axel is a fun, sharp-witted, nonchalant, and deceptively intelligent individual with a personality as dynamic as the very red sun he onced described to Roxas, "traveling the furthest" and shining in all places. He is someone you want on your side, definitely. (And most certainly not the opposite!)

7. Roxas
Roxas - Capricorn by CapricornGuy
It was a hard decision for me between Axel and Roxas but in the end, I voted the latter higher. Although moody and gloomy at times, Roxas is just one of those characters whom you'd just want to root for no matter what, and not just because he's the main character of 358/2 Days or Sora's Nobody. He starts out as this innocent, blank slate just learning everything and doing whatever he's told--you know the story. But by the end, my lord how he's grown! Wielding his almighty Keyblade(s), Roxas becomes what is almost an unstoppable force in the story--besting both the iron-fisted Saix and even Riku temporarily--by then, you will have rooted for him even more than you did before--you just want to cheer him on so he can hopefully defeat everyone in his way no matter who's right or wrong! Not to mention, kid even gets to lead his own species of Nobodies: friggin Samurai, go figure; even if it's given that all Org members get to lead their own kind of Nobodies, it's still so intriguing to see Roxas lead some himself (even if we barely get to see that ourselves). Roxas just exudes growth and development, man!

Another testament to his growth and full potential is his fight with Sora in Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix. Call it an illusion or a spiritual battle, but the learning newbie we've been sticking with in Days is now a boss and a powerful one at that! I may be sounding more surprised than I should but seeing such a dynamic from Days Roxas, well I don't know what to say--I didn't know he had it in him! For almost a full year, Roxas has been this guy whose oblivious to the Org's inner workings, only really caring about his friendship with Axel and Xion, and blindly following orders until it finally hit him that he's a sentient being. In short, he was a total follower. Now we know how he finally had the courage to leave the Organization, give Saix the finger, and finally go his own way, no matter how impulsively it might've been, but to see him be the boss he is just serves almost as such as shining certificate of his growth (and words alone are failing me miserably as I'm typing).

When I say boss, I don't just mean that he's a big deal opponent for us to fight. I mean "boss" like he's a commander. Even if it was spiritual, just seeing him assert some kind of authority over those badass-looking Samurai towards Sora's friends and then having the bravado to test Sora in combat couldn't be more remarkable. That's more than just growth and development! If I didn't know better, I'd have thought this dude could overthrow the Organization with just his two powerful Keyblades and his army of Samurai!

In combat, Roxas' style and abilities impress me too, especially in his ultimate dual-wielding mode where he attacks quickly and aggressively allthewhile generating those sick looking light pillars here and there; a feat that easily makes him one of my favorite light elementals out there. It's such a unique technique that I believe only Roxas (and Xion, right?) can perform; too bad we could only use it 358/2 Days. And then there's that wicked light show where he summons 13 shields as well as portals that send out a swarm of light shards. This guy doesn't mess around--he's a master bringing the fight to Sora and attacking nonstop--baby-faced tyrant is out for blood (fitting enough for a "samurai")!

But even in his earlier days, Roxas still had certain traits that remained stable throughout the series. He is a young man of action who gets shit done, takes no nonsense for an answer, knows how to stand up for himself, and can function independently. Even if some of these traits may be in part due to not knowing enough about the Org's inner workings. All in all, Roxas is a character who grows fast, learns fast, and may well fuck you up even before he knows it! (So don't fuck with this kid! Those Keyblades ain't merely for show!)

6. Xemnas
Xemnas - Capricorn by CapricornGuy
I'm sure by now I've made myself abundantly clear how much I love Organization XIII so it should come as no surprise that Xemnas is easily one of my favorite main villains in any series. Being the leader of the Org, Xemnas' got this aura of omnipotence where everything just seems to be within the grasp of his knowledge and well within his plans. And wielding the element of Nothingness, the whole theme of his castle and his forces convey a certain clean and surreal beauty to them that seems to transcend all other existences (granted, the nothingness he conveys is often seen as an overlap between light and darkness). Devoid of emotion, his manner of speech is slow, dispassionate, and yet eloquent--giving the impression of a transcendant being unfazed by anything that goes on in the universe; and indeed, he always knows exactly what he's talking about and exactly how to convey it to others to both quell them and keep any necessary secrets safe. All this combined with all the power he possesses, the first word that comes to mind regarding Xemnas is "god."

I tend to admire emotionless tyrants with divine power who can keep a very eclectic crowd together with little effort despite all their differences. Now while it may look he's forcing the Organization to conform by deceiving them into thinking they have no hearts, if anything this sort of "conformity" actually tends to bring out the differences between every member's personalities, and Xemnas knows that, which enables him to decide which member to send to which mission and the effects that may play out. For almost everything that has happened (save for maybe Xemnas' own defeat at Sora and Riku's hands), it's like Xemnas knew full well what would happen. Call it a cliche, but I honestly rather like this whole "grand plan" thing with Xemnas. Oh but how did Xemnas know what to predict or anticipate? With an extremely unique ability to place an "X" in every member's name, using that letter to track and monitor them! A name itself, let alone a single letter, shouldn't be anything substantial, but befitting his element, Xemnas could make it a thing and discreetly keep even the traitors in sight. That's only a very small part of his powers and it's already enough to impress me quite a lot.

In terms of his powers, themes, and design, Xemnas is a character who interests me enough to want to break down in more detail. I think it's cool how he can manipulate nothingness, a very vague element but one fun enough to explore. If I'm not mistaken, Xemnas' title is the "Superior of the In-Between" because he exists between light and darkness. While the two opposing forces can cooperate to create things, I can imagine that the clash of those forces can obliterate an existence--so it looks like Xemnas' element is in fact a perfect combination of light and darkness, a theme hinted by the black and white "twilight" streaks on both Nobodies in general as well as Xemnas' final form cloak. For this reason, I'd personally prefer to call Xemnas the "Superior of the Yin-Yang" instead (it's got a nice ring to it if I do say so myself!) In fact, I see yet another duality among his techniques (though it may still be considered light and darkness)... 

Aside from the black and white streaks, Xemnas also harnesses energy of different colors, specifically red and blue, which I can't help but find interesting given the whole neutral-colored aspect of Nobodies. He manifests his red energy as his Ethereal Blades--beams of hot, bright energy that are only used offensively in combat, even in physical techniques; I can call them his "yang" energy. His "yin" of course would be his blue energy, which he uses to produce energy spheres containing darkness that can both attack and defend. He's also cast the same sphere (albeit slightly different colors) to drain enemy health or ensnare his opponent in darkness. And his final move, Xemnas combines both by charging up a "yin" sphere to bind Sora and Riku in darkness, before presenting that magnificent light show with a barrage of hot red Ethereal Blades, the "yang" half of the finale. I know I sound like I'm analyzing him instead of explaining why I like him, but hey, this very intrigue about his techniques are one of the reasons for liking him. Xemnas' abilities capture my interest! If I'm right about his powers all those dual natures, it'd be awesome, but either way, I find his arsenal phenomenal. The sleak red lightsaber-like Ethereal Blades already look so badass but when Xemnas uses them, he dances! 

Sure Xemnas is a completely emotionless individual, but if you ask me, this dude's got a sense of art, not just in combat but for the whole Organization in general. I've already mentioned his exceptional ability to monitor his followers by name alone, but the aesthetics of the Nobody theme are present all over The Castle That Never Was. The clean, surreal looking architecture of greyscale colors everywhere make it stand out of all the colorful worlds found in Kingdom Hearts (not to mention the overwhelming aura of the castle's mere presence). I also like "Where Nothing Gathers", where everyone's throne is just a tall, white tower of varying lengths. Like the rest of the castle, the thrones aren't flashy, they aren't extravagant, they are simple and clean yet uniquely structured (I can't find better words than unique, I'm sorry). The whole place is art. And considering how Xemnas is both founder and leader of the Org, I credit him for all this! You run a nice place, Lord Taiji!

Being a lord of nothingness, his very personality is enough to keep at least most the Organization within his grasp. Xemnas is a leader who also serves as a neutral core for all the Nobodies who knows exactly what they're about and how to use them, without divulging too many secrets himself. That is why he knew how to talk to Roxas and at least temporarily ease him about Xion's wellbeing, unlike Saix who stubbornly stuck to his own assumptions. When Xemnas speaks, however softly or slowly, he emits gravitas--keeping calm about everything as though everyone around him are chess pieces. I don't know how else to describe it, his voice is like the voice of a god, and the message he conveys sounds like a "be nothing and you will be everything" sort of thing.

All in all, Xemnas is my kind of villain--emotionless, unique, enigmatic, and ambitious.

5. Xigbar
Xigbar - Aquarius by CapricornGuy
Oftentimes in anime/video games/the like, characters tend to sound very dramatic and don't typically talk the way you and I normally would--but you all know that. And to be fair, Xigbar also has a bit of drama in his dialogue, but honestly, I find both his voice and dialogue to be the most natural or "realistic" sounding in the series. (James Patrick Stuart, great job nailing the California Surfer accent!) I love his choice of words, his witty lines, and his casual tone. That being said, all this makes the first reason why I would like him. His lines are just so much fun to listen to!

Despite being Rank 2 in the Organization, Xigbar likes to actually go out there in the universe and perform hands-on missions instead of asserting any authority, which is something I duly respect. You see, while I do like masterminds who pull strings from behind the scenes, sometimes the high rankers who like to go out there, explore the worlds, and get their hands dirty are much more fun. What this demonstrates is that Xigbar is a very open minded individual, befitting his element of space, and I mean he's open to just about anything. As both a sniper and a master of recon, Xigbar maintains a very curious mind, going wherever he can to obtain information of even potential value, as shown in his habit of eavesdropping. His willingness to receive whatever knowledge he can get and ultimately knowing more than most of the Org separates him from the others (though it may also be due to his close ties with Xehanort). And the more knowledge and openness one has, the more confidence he or she will have, and I can see that in Xigbar. But of course, Xigbar may also be a bit too open; I don't really care for his willingness to drop his individuality in favor of wielding a Keyblade. And yet, it wouldn't surprise me if Xigbar ultimately maintains his individuality after all; I still wonder if his "own plans" which he spoke of to Young Xehanort goes beyond merely becoming a Xehanort clone and wielding a Keyblade.

I really hope the latter is the case because Xigbar just has way too much individuality to just become someone else entirely; it'd be so out of character for him. He's always been very free and independent minded, even having the most amount of humor out of all the Organization and arguably out of all the characters in the series hands down. Xigbar is always cracking jokes and even uses similar slang in more serious discussions, which only expands on his distinguishes him even further from everyone else. In general, Xigbar has both the scope of an open-minded explorer and the pragmatism of a sniper, a fine combination that makes Xigbar a particularly sharp individual. So when you've got qualities like that, an abundance of knowledge, and the power to bend space, how can you not be relaxed and confident most of the time?

So let's talk about his powers. His manipulation of space gives him all kinds of freedom; most impressive is his ability to walk upside-down on midair/empty space to shoot. That coupled with his ability to control the trajectory of his shots via his element, makes Xigbar both eccentric and unpredictable in combat. It's one of the things I like about snipers in general--they are very precise and yet heavily instinctive, and Xigbar is easily one of my favorite snipers in any series hands down. As such, his fighting style reflects his personality pretty well--he keeps a keen eye everywhere and makes use of everywhere he can, freely, deftly, and efficiently.

To expand on his knowledge, Xigbar's knowledge of Keyblade warriors of older generations suggests two things. (1) Xigbar knows better than all the other members besides Xemnas about what to expect when going up against one. (2) While it's true that Xehanort did feed him (or his original counterpart Braig rather) a shitton of valuable information, ask yourself this: Why do you suppose the old man chose Braig first? He must have saw something special in him. And a hunger for knowledge is something that both Xehanort and Braig/Xigbar have in common.

Xigbar, where have you not been?

4. Lexaeus
Lexaeus - Taurus by CapricornGuy
I fucking love this brute's power! It's raw, pure, unadulterated, and so beautifully ridiculous! And he's not all brawn and no brain as one may believe either; no, Lexaeus is the strong and silent type, which I absolutely respect. Now we may have seen a whole lot about Lexaeus, but he's already making me so many impressions in the very few cutscenes that he's appeared (seriously, they really should've given him more!)

Matching his element of earth, Lexaeus is very pragmatic individual who values and views power separately from personality and emotions. When first watching Reverse/Rebirth, I remember criticizing Riku for fearing his rich dark power and trying to reject it. And as soon as Lexaeus berated him for that; well, he spoke exactly what was on my mind (which is basically the epic message for Riku's story--embrace your power and it will be a blessing instead of a curse, something like that). But what else about those few words made me like Lexaeus so much? Well combined with his few words from earlier cutscenes, you can tell that Lexaeus is a man of action over words, but when he does speak, Lexaeus is blunt, concise, insightful, hits his mark, and rarely ever allows any bias to come in. He is a rational man, and when combined with his tremendous power, Lexaeus is a solid, stable, no-bullshit figure!

So now the part where everyone's expecting--his monstrous power. Yes, I've already spoken a little bit about it before but here are the details. It's always amusing to see Lexaeus singlehandedly whack others to their limits, like he did with both Riku and Roxas. With Riku, he was already weakened, but when the former tried to finish him off, BOOM! Epic comeback with that one swing of his fuck-you Axe Sword and Riku's blasting off into the ceiling! (Love that scene!) And then there's Roxas in the Limit Break tutorial where Lexaeus was chosen to mentor him for the most obvious of reasons. But I'll spell it out anyway because I want to: He slams Roxas in the face and the kid's ready for Limit Break. Not only does this further emphasize his action-over-words gimmick, but it emphasizes how much Lexaeus stresses both power and determination. You see, while every member has a Limit Break, the fact that Lexaeus is chosen also implies that he may also be a very persistent combatant who will never stop mustering more power and will keep fighting until his last breath--the former may be suggested in his Absent Silhouette battle and the latter merely fits his element perfectly. I admire characters with such unbending will and whether it's proven or not, I see Lexaeus as that kind of individual.

His battles are also fun to watch. I enjoy the look of those myriads of boulders (which are surprisingly finely structured in my opinion) jutting out of the ground for every slam of that tomahawk of his. I also like how Lexaeus can also get those boulders to jut in patterns sometimes as well as that technique where the boulders come out surrounding him, at he shatters them to send them out like hard-hitting projectiles, a creative move. Also memorable is that massive, multi-colored (and very interesting choice of colors by the way!) power aura that Lexaeus generates in his Absent Silhouette fight. When he accumulates enough power and his aura expands tremendously, boy does it become a show! Oh but not just a show either since Lexaeus really does become that strong! This guy is power.

And let's not forget about his notorious weapon! As I've mentioned before, that tomahawk (which he wields with only one hand) is fuck-you material. It's huge, even heavier than it already looks, and that peculiar block-like shape sends out a message of despair: Don't fuck with this guy unless you want a free trip to the ceiling... or a whole new world entirely. Romantic, no?

3. Demyx
Demyx - Virgo by CapricornGuy
Easily one of the most entertaining characters in Kingdom Hearts overall for me--the infamous coward of the Organization who loves nothing more than to chill all day long, Demyx is a really likable character! He doesn't enjoy fighting and sweating, but both his laziness and cowardice belies a wicked-ass warrior who would've been so easy to underestimate, and I find that epic!

When everyone else in a group seems to be this serious operative who means business, you just gotta love the one guy who is downright lazy, nonviolent, and easygoing. Chill and humble, Demyx seems like someone you can get actually get along with despite being on the enemy's side, and frankly, that makes him a break from the rest of Org. Demyx is not antagonistic in nature, he's just a relaxed dude who just wants to kick back and play his sitar instead of going out there to kick someone's ass; a loveable, gentle guy who somehow ended up in the Organization's ranks and is thrown into a world that won't get off his back. He even ends up becoming the butt of the Org's jokes to extent--even Roxas likes to make fun of him. Hell, he and Xion are the only two members Roxas can actually lead. Sure that emphasizes how pathetic a wuss he is, but hey, it makes him fun. And even though Demyx wouldn't aid Roxas inside the Olympus Colliseum, he's still not a bad guy. He's comfortable enough to be around.

Now while I do like Demyx very much for all these traits, I am aware that it may all just be an act given his Nobody status. But even still, when he reveals himself to be a ruthless and capable fighter after all, Demyx is still awesome--maybe even better that way! See, we've known Demyx to be an incompetent coward, and yet when he drops that and fights you with everything he's got, Demyx shows us just how much many of us might've underestimated him. From what I've seen, he's a pretty tough opponent to boot. But while this side him may contrast with his "lazy coward" personality, together both sides portray Demyx as a somewhat humble individual who knows his limits and is not willing to show too much of what he's got to the enemy until it's really necessary. Either way, Demyx strikes me as something of an underdog that I'd want to root for.

I absolutely enjoy watching his fights too. The water that Demyx summons look nice, clean, and crisp whether in clone forms, notes, bubbles, or geysers, so his show is visually pleasing. Moreover, being a musician, Demyx has got showmanship! It's so much fun to see him dance around the field, jamming to the music he plays, while unleashing rows or series of geysers that follow rhythms but appear in various spots, making him at least somewhat unpredictable. I love some of his movements to his music while summoning the geysers--they just look cool and it makes me love his style all the more. In fact, one thing I enjoy doing when watching Organization XIII fights is playing certain music that I think would fit the member in battle. But with Demyx, I like to try various songs and soundtracks, even those with no fight in it at all, but surprisingly, Demyx's moves often match the beat and rhythm of the music. That's what I love about how Demys fights--there's art, there's style, and there's entertainment (even if it annoys the player). Again, he puts on a show! (Really makes me wish that I could unleash a multitude of geysers out of nowhere for every step I take in a dance to a music that I love!)

Laid-back, coy, and deceptively powerful, it would certainly please me to see Demyx actually win against Sora (thinks he so tough with his Keyblade! :P) But too bad he faded like a tragedy. (Also, Square, why couldn't you have Demyx be in Atlantica? Not only would he fit perfectly in that world but he would've made the whole story there a shitton more interesting too! Like, have him steal the trident, magically merge it with his sitar to form an electric guitar or some shit, and have epic rock musical fight with him singing and stormy waves everywhere--it'd be the shit!)

...Which reminds me, say what you will about Demyx, but it's implied that stole shit from friggin' Zeus in Kingdom Hearts 2! All the more proof that he's not as weak as he often leads people into believing. (So stealing Triton's trident? Why the fuck not?)

2. Zexion
Zexion - Gemini by CapricornGuy
I've always really liked the intelligent, enigmatic, and secretive types and Zexion's certainly no exception. He has a cool personality and cool powers, and his design overall is just intriguing. However, my reasons for liking him go beyond just that since quite a bit about his role in the series has given him quite a place in my heart. To say the least, knowing how I was as a little kid, I know for a fact that if I were exposed to this series at that age, Zexion would be my favorite character hands down let alone favorite Org member (though of course, my current opinions do differ a bit).

Ever since his first scene in Reverse/Rebirth, I was already very intrigued by Zexion. Prior to watching it for the first time, it hadn't already occurred to me that Riku's story would feature other Org members besides the ones we've seen in Sora's story in Chain of Memories. Antagonists exclusive to Riku's story--oh I just knew Team Zexion would be a particularly fascinating party (so add that to why I like Lexaeus as well). And the best part was, I couldn't even guess what Zexion's element would be; he was a mystery but a young, calm, polite, soft-spoken, and eloquent individual with an authentic loyalty to the Organization. Needless to say, I liked him already.

Although I wasn't too familiar with the Organization rankings yet, it was clear that Zexion was calling the shots in his faction, despite being the youngest of the three. What I liked about his position was that despite it, Zexion didn't try to act superior in any way; he merely planned things objectively for what he believed would truly benefit the Organization--an unbiased leader in his own right. So later in Reverse/Rebirth as we'd expect, Zexion would be the third and final Org member of his group to reveal himself topside to Riku. He still maintained his composed demeanor but with some more assertion. And when the quiet little mastermind from below shows up and starts the spotlight, oh you know it's time to buckle up! That said, the next part is where it got exciting for me...

See, Riku's entire visit to his memory of Destiny Islands was something I found so surreal because it gave me deja vu; particularly in a way that I knew exactly how I'd react to this whole chapter as a child (and Zexion is of course a big part of why, but I'll get there in a moment.) I was a quixotic little brat who always wished to escape reality and enter a pretty, enigmatic dream world that I'd never want to leave (not now though!) Destiny Islands sort of had that atmosphere--bright blue beach, serene atmosphere, and absolutely beautiful music... and then Zexion, who fast forwards Riku's memory of the place into the night of darkness where the Darkside emerged, and the fact that Zexion chose to demoralize Riku without fighting him head on continued to make him a mystery (though not as much as earlier). But once the Darkside was destroyed, we see "Sora" standing by. The area's silent, only the wind can be heard, the area was dark but still a pretty purple... it was no longer like the beautiful daylit Destiny Island from just a few minutes ago, but it was still mysterious and surreal enough for me to enjoy. Now a part of it was indeed unsettling, from the silence to "Sora" bitterly attacking Riku, but when Riku finally snaps out of his fear and embraces his dark powers, he pierces the "Sora" illusion and unveils Zexion. Now, don't get me wrong, I still loved Zexion more, but at the same time I was feeling pretty good about Riku's development and how the mystery is finally cleared to reveal a new and different kind of beauty: Zexion's true prowess!

So we now know that Zexion's element is illusion; he's no longer a mystery but his element is still very enigmatic in nature and in battle, he continues to surprise us with a variety of fancy tricks. Uniquely enough, Zexion's weapon is a book which he can use to weave his illusions. He has the uncanny ability to steal his enemy's moves with a sick-looking black tornado and create clones who use those abilities against his opponnent. It's also cool to see Zexion and his clones travel around the stage with perpendicular energy beams, a powerful, epic, and aesthetic feat. Clearly Zexion is a brain-over-brawn kind of fighter who doesn't like getting his hands down. And yet ironically, against Riku, Zexion does on occasion grab and strangle Riku with his bare hands to drain his HP! Hell, I did not think someone like Zexion had it in him to perform such a savage technique, but fuck he did and I find it absolutely amusing! (Nice knowing that the little bookworm can be so no-chill if he wants to be!)

All in all, Zexion's made quite a lot of impressions that truly appealed to me. And whether it was Zexion himself or just the epic story surrounding him, it's more than enough to make him a memorable character for me. I'll always remember him for his role in Reverse/Rebirth, especially that surreal, climactic chapter that is Destiny Islands. But even beyond Reverse/Rebirth, Zexion still has a few moments in other games that also impress me. In 358/2 Days, Zexion was the one who mentored Roxas about the bonus mission completion gauge (or whatever it was called), reflecting his own work ethics and his genuine desire to support the Organization. In one of the 2.5 exclusive scenes in Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, Zexion's portrayal as a very rational man is still emphasized--his interaction with the carefree Xigbar shows that he is someone who knows how to keep himself in line with his duty as opposed to being distracted (though I was not at all against Xigbar describing what he did since they were actually very meaningful to the series as a whole). I just like listening to him talk, you know? It's so refreshing to listen to someone objective speaking and explaining things smoothly and in great detail sometimes. Pity we couldn't get any more with Zexion, though it was still nice to see him in Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, even if it was only a flashback. Welp, hopefully Kingdom Hearts 3 will at least feature a bit more of Ienzo as well as all the other Org's somebody counterparts.

His Absent Silhouette fight did not impress me quite as much as his Reverse/Rebirth one, but his final illusion with the three spotlights was still an interesting touch.

1. Luxord
Luxord - Libra by CapricornGuy
And now, at long last, I finally get to talk about my favorite Organization member hands down: The Gambler of Fate - Luxord! So before I ever even seen him, I've been reading up on Organization XIII members just out of curiosity. Luxord in particular interested me because there were already three things about his powers and themes that I liked (though at the time, I didn't read too much about his personality yet). (1) His element is my favorite: Time. (2) He is a summoner. (3) He is a gamer. But of course, now I have even more reasons to like him.

I may not be a fan of real-life gambling, but that of course won't stop me from liking Luxord because he's just so interesting and eccentric! Whether it's gambling or not, the fact that Luxord treats everything as a game intrigues me and it's an attitude that I admire. He is always very optimistic about everything that goes on around him; even if something may seem like a curse, he's the type of guy who'd turn it into a blessing. What makes me say that? The fact that he is gambler means that he is open to any possible outcome and willing to try new things to see where they take him, allthewhile acknowledging the risks. In his own words, "there are odds to everything," so if there's even a slim chance of him getting the best out of a predicament, I'm sure Luxord can find a way to seize that golden opportunity (except for winning against Sora, but honestly, who could?)

But even then, look at the Org members whom Luxord has outlived (something only the manga has ever pointed out, by the way)! Now for Luxord to have survived for so long, it could just have been the creator's call and/or dumb luck. However, when you account that along with how Luxord views the universe, it may be both less surprising and rather more inspiring. You see, Luxord is someone who knows his place very well within the Organization, accepting the fact that he more or less a "pawn" in the group. Though many of us (including myself) would hate to be "on the bottom of the food chain," Luxord merely uses his position as all the more reason to fulfill his role within the Org, and so he patiently does his job at his own pace with his own methods and goes with the flow. Better yet, Luxord continues to treat every mission as a game or puzzle where obstacles are merely rules. As such, we've got a patient, open, and optimistic "pawn" who ultimately outlives every member except for the leader, his adjutant, and arguably the almighty Keyblader of all members. Even big deals like Axel and Xigbar didn't make it that far, but Luxord? For someone of his rank and role, that's a lot even for dumb luck! So if his optimistic attitude is a factor of it, there's stuff to be said about such a person! ("But what about Saix? He's so cynical/pessimistic but he's outlived even Luxord!" Well Saix is the second in command, so there's no surprise that he'd have such a privilege regardless.)

While I go into more detail about his missions, here's the next thing I absolutely love about Luxord--he fits so perfectly with the worlds that he visits! Now while the same can be said about some other members (ex. Xaldin in Beast's Castle), Luxord's roles and placements in both Wonderland and Port Royal are just the most entertaining and fun to watch in my opinion! With Wonderland, while the obvious match between Luxord and the world is the card theme, the latter is also an eccentric world that invites intrigue (hence its name), another thing that suits an explorative gambler like Luxord (for instance, I love how he doesn't appear confused by the Cheshire Cat's riddles at all; you'd think the Cat was his spirit animal or something). It was also nice to see Luxord working with Roxas and giving him unique tips in their missions together. For example, he accepts Roxas' curiosity the rabbit that ultimately became a quick lead to the three Heartless they were hunting and guiding Roxas through the labyrinthine rose garden with his tips (just love the way they were worded). I credit Roxas for the curiosity and the Heartless killing, but the thing I love about Luxord in his Wonderland roles is how his openness to others' and his own determination to follow through with it even through supposedly precarious conditions (such as the Playing Cards' vigilance) helped find the two a shortcut in the mission. How many other members (besides Axel and Xion) would be as willing to listen to Roxas as a real partner rather than talk down on him (or in Demyx's case, use him like a tool)?

However, his role in Wonderland is nothing compared to his epic (albeit ephemeral) appearance in Port Royal! First time seeing and hearing Luxord anywhere, he's made some fine first impressions! As soon as I heard Luxord speaking rhetorically in that neat British accent in that rather "poetic" world, boy did I know I was in for a treat! (By the way, that's the other thing I like about Luxord--his artful dialogue!) They could not have put a more perfect fit for a world than Luxord in Port Royal. Even more so than Xaldin in Beast's Castle, Luxord sounded (and dare I say looked) like he belonged in that world! Again, the British accent, the slang, and the specific events that occur in that scenario, I can't stress its fit enough. I especially loved Luxord's banter with Jack Sparrow--it was a brilliant exchange of words between witty, eloquent speakers followed by a theme of guile and trickery that I doubt is uncommon in Pirates of the Carribean (I've seen some of the movies or at least parts of it, but my memory's of what happened are rather vague). Usually Luxord's just a chill guy with an air of neutrality, but when he's playing the villain that he is, he's a crafty and ruthless badass! After stealing the four medallions and Jack's ship (emphasis on Jack's), Luxord gives orders (huh, who exactly did he order) to fire the cannons at the other ship nearby to keep the heroes at bay... literally. My point? I'm not sure I've seen any other member play around with a world's physical features as much as Luxord did. And as if that's enough fun for him, all that Sora, Jack, and co. have to go through next becomes a pirate adventure that Luxord himself has initiated. Even the Heartless that he ultimately summons becomes a unique game of its own. But after all that trouble, Luxord collects the Heart that he needs after crafting such an elaborate scenario that tempered even Jack's cool. As his enemy, we'd deem him an asshole afterwards, but as an Organization XIII member, none have impressed me more than him, especially in this world in this one scenario.

Forcing people into one's own game has always been something I wish I could do--tormenting and trolling people for the fun of it with a series of crafty gimmicks. Go figure, that's what I love about Luxord in both his methods and his abilities. (Sure, it can backfire, but needless to say, there's always a fair chance of Sora failing in a game as well.) The fact that his weapons can be used to do both that and attack directly easily makes him perhaps the most versatile and eccentric Org member to face. Furthermore, Luxord can summon as many cards as he wants and each one can be resized however he likes at will. What more can I say? I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but I love this guy's style thoroughly! Again, time, summoning, and gaming--I want these powers.

In addition to being a "pawn" that outlives most of the Organization, I also feel like Luxord may not be as oblivious to certain things as most members may seem. If Luxord can catch on quickly to the secrets/mysteries of the worlds he goes to, I can see him slowly catching to a few secrets of the Organization as well, even if he himself doesn't realize it. See, during his conversation with Xemnas, Xigbar, and Saix regarding Axel's death, Luxord's the only one who suggests that Axel was able to "win" or achieve something. But what? Luxord may not know what it is that Axel "won," but we as the viewers can interpret that whatever it is, it has to do with Axel's loyalty to Roxas (i.e. his heart). Now, Xemnas' big secret to most of the Org is that all of these 13 Nobodies all develop a heart instinctively. Axel may not have known this, but he felt it, which is why he willingly sacrified himself for the sake of his friendship. Luxord would know even less and yet he acknowledges that what may not be of value to any other member may still be of "victorious" value to Axel; so either way it's something, heart or no heart. So while Xigbar and Saix dismissed Luxord's remark based on the assumptions of a Nobody, only Luxord would think about Axel's perspective to look for what the other members may have missed. However, out of all of the remaining members, only Xemnas did not seem to disagree with Luxord, even implying that there was some value in Axel's actions (such as "awakening Roxas.") So what does that all mean for Luxord? Yes, his comment on Axel may be attributed to his own optimism, but Luxord's own eccentric way of thinking and viewing everything can suggest that even without knowing the full truth, he can at least sense what even the higher up members could not. Say what you will, but in his own way, Luxord's a philosopher.

Translation? Luxord may not know that Axel (and any of his fellow Nobodies) has a heart, but he can at least sense it as something, in his own unique perspective on everything. That's not something most members would've sensed. All that in mind, it just makes me wonder what else out of everything would Luxord's spinning lens will find for him.

Luxord, you never cease to intrigue me.

Last Words 

So yeah, that was my countdown. Again I love all the members, I love Organization XIII in general so it's not always easy for me to make such a countdown. Although I described my opinions as much as I could for each member, I'll admit that I couldn't really compare one member to another, though I generally have more to say about members that I like more. But even when I'm writing these for each individual member, I often can't find the exact words and phrases that I need to justify my opinions. And sometimes, words alone just don't capture how I feel so that may make it for others to really understand how I weigh my choices. 

Truthfully, I don't have a standard system or criteria for ranking my favorites because my reasons for liking different members may also differ greatly. With some, it's more story role; with some it's more character; with some it's more powers and abilities; my impressions towards any of these all just depends on the individual.

Organization XIII may be bounded by supposedly emotionless beings, but their differences couldn't be more blatantly colorful. (All the more reason they do too have hearts.)

So yeah I have you enjoyed reading this countdown. If you're interested in what else I've got for Organization XIII, I've got these two that I'm rather proud of:

Organization XIII vs Konoha 13In case you're wondering who I'm referring to by "Konoha 13" that's everyone from the Leaf that's in Naruto's generation including both Sasuke and Sai. If you ask me, I'm seeing quite some similarities between Organization XIII and the Konoha 13 and thought it'd be fun to match them one on one as if in a fight. In most matches the two are very similar but in some, they might be more or less the opposite, enough to create a dynamic.
1. Xemnas vs Sasuke 
With Sasuke being the most powerful among the Leaf 13 here along with Naruto, there's no better match for Organization XIII's leader. And I pick Sasuke over Naruto to fight Xemnas because both are cold, ruthless, dark, and godly powerful. As such, Sasuke seems to associate with the main villains in Naruto (whether in alliance or battle) even more so than Naruto.
2. Xigbar vs Tenten
Both excel in long range combat and don't usually miss their targets. Moreover, Xigbar's placement in the Land of Dragons in KH2 can parall
 

Organization XIII AstrologyI am almost certain that the personalities of the Organization XIII members are based on astrological signs. The signs correlate to their ranking number, which can represent the month the sign occurs the most at. For example, Month 1 is January and it is Capricorn that occurs at two thirds of the month, so Rank #1 would be Capricorn, #2 would Aquarius, and so on. With that in mind, I can at least try to guess and rationalize as to why the Organization members may present their respective signs. I may not be able to justify every one of them fully, but here’s what I’ve got.
Xemnas - Rank 1 - Capricorn

At least on the web, Capricorns are described as being intelligent, practical, ambitious, and unemotional. This certainly defines Xemnas pretty well, for he is emotionless in every sense of the word and seeks to rule the universe. Capricorns love to climb to the top, and Xemnas, who obviously has a god complex, certainly fits tha
Organization XIII Elements by CapricornGuy
While I don't necessarily hate any member of the Organization (since they are literally my favorite thing in Kingdom Hearts), I obviously do like some more than others so here are my top 13 (1-favorite, 13-least favorite). Note that I'm not going to include Xion in this because honestly, I just don't think I can do her enough justice in a countdown like this (don't really feel like explaining why either). So let's get right to it.

13. Larxene
Larxene - Sagittarius by CapricornGuy
I'm sure this wouldn't surprise too many people since she's a common least favorite (though of course I have seen some fans who do favorite her). Her personality speaks for itself and it's indeed quite a turnoff, but for me, the main reason that she's my least favorite is simply because she doesn't interest me too much compared to the other members. I mean, I like that she's the Organization's fastest member with ninja-like skills and light weapons, but she simply isn't someone I think about too often. Hell, I can't even think of anything else to say about her.

12. Vexen
Vexen - Aries by CapricornGuy
For the most part, I really like ice elementals, but I find Vexen to be a bit underwhelming for one. He has a few moves that impress me such as Slide Break and Ice Needle, but after seeing numerous ice types from other series, I just can't find him too interesting. I guess I just like ice elementals who can cover much greater range. Moreover, while I get that it's his thing, using the data to summon an Anti-Sora in his Absent Silhouette fight rather ruined the "elemental uniformity" I was hoping to get out of Vexen. I'd expect to see a fight with a pure ice elemental alone, not a shadow type as well--it really gets in the way of Vexen's element--even now, it's still a struggle to remember all of Vexen's ice techniques. Likewise, although the "cold, calculating scientist" persona does fit the ice element, at the same time Vexen is also too short-tempered for one.

Beyond that, while I do respect his intellect, he's kind of a bitch with a superiority complex and the only one who takes the rankings way too seriously (as if he isn't aware that rankings were only based on recruition time). And for a defense character to be the first to die, however the means, it's kinda pathetic. Still, he interests me just a little more than Larxene.

11. Marluxia
Marluxia - Scorpio by CapricornGuy
I like this guy's style. Hence his title, there is so much grace and elegance in his colorful techniques--Marluxia's a work of art. The way he conveys his element is quite versatile as well, exuding attributes of death and control. Marluxia is an ideal "flowers have thorns" kind of guy which I can appreciate. However, though he is easily one of the more powerful members, given he could serve as a final boss, Marluxia's vanity, narcissism, and self-entitlement can be a bit of a turnoff for me. I'd say he's way in over his head if he thought he could overthrow Xemnas even with Sora's help (if I remember correctly, Xemnas already saw through Marluxia's plan). I mean, I guess normally I could respect his adamant desire to assert his power and dominance but I'll admit I'm a little biased against most who'd try to overthrow Organization, especially when it's someone like him. Pretty flower boy should've learned his place, even with his power.

However, I do appreciate Marluxia's more mellow side. Even if it isn't necessarily sincere, Marluxia was one of the few "tutorial members" in 358/2 Days who only calmly taught Roxas how to do his job without any being even a little condescending. You'd think he was genuinely on your side, even if he had growing ulterior desires. Sure, it's a superficial trait many villains have but unless you actually experience or suffer the darker truer half, it can actually be quite comforting. That said, even if his ultimate motive is sinister, I trust that Marluxia genuinely does enjoy teaching or instructing someone (ex. Roxas in Days and Sora in Chain of Memories) because whether it's his good side or his bad side, if Marluxia is taking a superior role of any kind, he will be in a good mood. But challenge his authoritah! and he will show you who's king of the castle. That I can admire.

10. Saix
Saix - Cancer by CapricornGuy
This guy's a dick, especially in 358/2 Days, and not a very fun character overall. However, here's what I like about him; despite not knowing every secret Xemnas had beyond Organization XIII, Saix has a very clear mind nonetheless. See, as of Dream Drop Distance, it was confirmed that Nobodies like the Org members could instinctively develop a heart but prior to that, the opposite was the accepted fact. Given that, Saix was the only member who fully accepted that and acted accordingly. True, he may have been wrong, but we can see how his mind works. He is a no-bullshit guy who approaches life pragmatically, aware that he supposedly does not have a heart but can remember what it's like to have one, and using that knowledge to manipulate Sora. In addition to his pragmatism, Saix is an opportunist who knows how to take advantage of whatever he can, such as having Axel eliminate higher ranking members to raise his own influence. Cold, calm, and collected--I was wondering why Saix became second-in-command but now that I think about it, Saix is the kind of guy who can keep at least most members straight.

But then, there's his element and how he channels it. Now normally, if someone only told me a character's element was the Moon, I'd probably only have a vague idea of how he or she'd manifest that element. That in mind, I was impressed by the idea of Saix using the "lunatic" aspect of it the way he did (though I'm not sure what else I'd expect). The Moon is a rather unique element (definitely would've made him my favorites if I were younger--I would've found both his color blue and his element to be extremely cool) and the way he uses it turn himself into a berserker adds a fine dynamic to his usual self that makes him all the more interesting and memorable--it even has an element of surprise in it; gotta love it. The blue flame shockwaves he generates look sexy as well.

So yeah, while most of what I've written about him are positive, his role in 358/2 days do take points off from him, so here he is at number 10; there are still 9 more members that I like better.

9. Xaldin
Xaldin - Pisces by CapricornGuy
No doubt, the guy's unpleasant and not the easiest man to be with in terms of personality, but I actually have a lot of respect from him--oh where to begin? Described as a warrior and tactician, this guy is both very balanced and very capable almost every area--offense, defense, agility, and intelligence. And then there's his work ethic reflected by the height of his Organization seat and his dislike of laziness--Xaldin is a man of high standards, which is something to be admired (even if a bit grudgingly).

In more detail, just look him--he's tall and fit. He is a feared powerhouse in battle. He has the highest seat in Organization second only to Xemnas meaning he's completed the most missions out of all the members, including even Xigbar and Saix. He is a cunning manipulator (Beast's Castle, go figure). His mastery of the wind is just rich too: Xaldin can levitate, shield himself, and simultaneously wield six long lances all at once. Sounds like a perfectionist, does he not? That combined with his usual independence--oh this guy's a big deal in the Org! And his death--I'd imagine a heavy loss for the Org as well (not that the other members would care too much themselves).

Xaldin also embodies at least two things about Organization XIII in general that I love. One is simply that he is a kind of guy whom I like to see in every series; in his case, it's his high expectations, his belief that anything can be accomplished (besides stuff like love), and his harsh disdain for those who are "not giving it their all." Again, it makes him a difficult guy to be around, but I respect him for all these traits. The second thing would be that he's among the Org members who play a fitting role in specific worlds which is something that makes them all the more interesting, unique, and memorable.

I haven't seen Beauty and the Beast, but the way Xaldin is pretty much the main antagonist of both parts of Beast's Castle in Kingdom Hearts 2, it was just so perfectly written! Xaldin conveys a theme of despair (present in both his personality and his fighting style) that works so well with the Beast's troubles; the way he shaped or reshaped the Beast's story here and all, how he ultimately became central to the Beast's conflicts and the embodiment of his despair, and how Xaldin's role in the Castle was so deeply rooted in 358/2 Days. I don't know, the whole story surrounding Xaldin here is just unique and well-written for the lack of a better description! Sure it may have narrowed him to one world more or less, but hey, it gives him something special and memorable nonetheless, and he played his part well enough.

Xaldin's an inspiring character overall; balanced like the wind and fierce like a storm...

8. Axel
Axel - Leo by CapricornGuy
"WTF?? WHY U PUT AXEL SO LOW?! WHY AXEL ONLY 8?! WHAT'S WRONG W U MAN?! U SUCK! FLAMEBAIT!!!" I know, I know, Axel is a fan favorite but trust me, I don't like him any less than any of you guys might; again, I just simply like seven others more. And if that's not enough to calm your tits, Xaldin is my number 9 and I only gave him praises up there. So Axel? Of course I'm going to describe everything I love about him since I really don't have any faults with him (hell I'm only going to be neutral at worst!)

But yeah no shit, what's not to like about Axel? This guy's awesome in every way--he's a fun and dynamic character, a powerful well-rounded fighter, and a very reliable Org member (though not necessarily a loyal one). Let's start with his fighting style. While fire elementals are nothing new, there's always something about Axel's mastery of it that interests me. So in both appearance and combat, you know Axel has "fire" written all over him, and yet being an assassin, he's much more deceptive and versatile than most fire users I've known throughout many series I've watched. Moreover, in a series that focuses so much on light vs darkness, it's nice to see a prominent character embody a different element, even though every Org member does (it's one of my biggest reasons for liking them); again, Axel's just one of the more prominent ones. Light, darkness, and all of a sudden--fire!

Additionally, I've always found his choice of weapons particularly unique; I mean, I'm sure chakrams are nothing new but he's honestly the first and probably still the only character I've ever seen who actually uses weapons like those--slick round shape and good for both melee and ranged attacks. And the way Axel combines it with his flames just makes him all the more interesting and intriguing in combat (Firetooth--annoying move but looks awesome).

Every Organization member has his/her own gimmick (especially in Kingdom Hearts 2) and if Axel weren't the first enemy in KH2, I probably would not have guessed what Axel's would be. Turns out he can burn the ground into lava to do provide continual damage and I'm kind of glad that it is. I mean, logically yeah someone like him would have some special trick up his sleeve and yet he often gives the impression of a simple, normal, bog standard guy when he's really... many things.

In fact, his dynamic character is often the central reason why his story is so fascinating and why Axel himself is so popular among fans. Like, what hasn't Axel been? In Chain of Memories, Axel is the Organization's trump card for doing away with the traitors as well as Saix's "partner in crime" in helping to eliminate the loyal members in Castle Oblivion above Saix in rank (namely Zexion). And yet aside from being the treacherous double agent of Castle Oblivion, he also becomes the warm, caring, and genuinely loyal friend to Roxas and Xion, acting as both a mentor and an "older brother" more or less. Finally, in Kingdom Hearts 2, he becomes an antihero betraying and interfering with the Org and trying to get Roxas back, before dying in saving Sora. Axel just happens to be involved in every side there is, whether it's between good and evil or among all the mutinous divisions within the Org that there is. But the impressive part? Even though he ultimately backstabs the sides that he has, there's no denying that in all of the parties he showed up in, Axel is a wanted ally. In killing Vexen, he not only earned Larxene and Marluxia's trust in overthrowing Xemnas, but also demonstrated to them how reliable he can be. With Zexion, however, although only because he was skeptical of Axel, he did hope Axel was on his side. Even his betrayal of the loyal members in Castle Oblivion was him doing Saix's dirty work. Likewise, regarding Roxas and Xion, Xemnas would order Axel to retrieve them whenever necessary (though granted, Axel did know those two better than the other members). Eventually Axel (and later Lea) becomes a powerful ally to Sora. As Lea, he even helps Sora and Riku out of the tight spot with the new Org XII in Dream Drop Distance, something no one had expected.

Axel is a fun, sharp-witted, nonchalant, and deceptively intelligent individual with a personality as dynamic as the very red sun he onced described to Roxas, "traveling the furthest" and shining in all places. He is someone you want on your side, definitely. (And most certainly not the opposite!)

7. Roxas
Roxas - Capricorn by CapricornGuy
It was a hard decision for me between Axel and Roxas but in the end, I voted the latter higher. Although moody and gloomy at times, Roxas is just one of those characters whom you'd just want to root for no matter what, and not just because he's the main character of 358/2 Days or Sora's Nobody. He starts out as this innocent, blank slate just learning everything and doing whatever he's told--you know the story. But by the end, my lord how he's grown! Wielding his almighty Keyblade(s), Roxas becomes what is almost an unstoppable force in the story--besting both the iron-fisted Saix and even Riku temporarily--by then, you will have rooted for him even more than you did before--you just want to cheer him on so he can hopefully defeat everyone in his way no matter who's right or wrong! Not to mention, kid even gets to lead his own species of Nobodies: friggin Samurai, go figure; even if it's given that all Org members get to lead their own kind of Nobodies, it's still so intriguing to see Roxas lead some himself (even if we barely get to see that ourselves). Roxas just exudes growth and development, man!

Another testament to his growth and full potential is his fight with Sora in Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix. Call it an illusion or a spiritual battle, but the learning newbie we've been sticking with in Days is now a boss and a powerful one at that! I may be sounding more surprised than I should but seeing such a dynamic from Days Roxas, well I don't know what to say--I didn't know he had it in him! For almost a full year, Roxas has been this guy whose oblivious to the Org's inner workings, only really caring about his friendship with Axel and Xion, and blindly following orders until it finally hit him that he's a sentient being. In short, he was a total follower. Now we know how he finally had the courage to leave the Organization, give Saix the finger, and finally go his own way, no matter how impulsively it might've been, but to see him be the boss he is just serves almost as such as shining certificate of his growth (and words alone are failing me miserably as I'm typing).

When I say boss, I don't just mean that he's a big deal opponent for us to fight. I mean "boss" like he's a commander. Even if it was spiritual, just seeing him assert some kind of authority over those badass-looking Samurai towards Sora's friends and then having the bravado to test Sora in combat couldn't be more remarkable. That's more than just growth and development! If I didn't know better, I'd have thought this dude could overthrow the Organization with just his two powerful Keyblades and his army of Samurai!

In combat, Roxas' style and abilities impress me too, especially in his ultimate dual-wielding mode where he attacks quickly and aggressively allthewhile generating those sick looking light pillars here and there; a feat that easily makes him one of my favorite light elementals out there. It's such a unique technique that I believe only Roxas (and Xion, right?) can perform; too bad we could only use it 358/2 Days. And then there's that wicked light show where he summons 13 shields as well as portals that send out a swarm of light shards. This guy doesn't mess around--he's a master bringing the fight to Sora and attacking nonstop--baby-faced tyrant is out for blood (fitting enough for a "samurai")!

But even in his earlier days, Roxas still had certain traits that remained stable throughout the series. He is a young man of action who gets shit done, takes no nonsense for an answer, knows how to stand up for himself, and can function independently. Even if some of these traits may be in part due to not knowing enough about the Org's inner workings. All in all, Roxas is a character who grows fast, learns fast, and may well fuck you up even before he knows it! (So don't fuck with this kid! Those Keyblades ain't merely for show!)

6. Xemnas
Xemnas - Capricorn by CapricornGuy
I'm sure by now I've made myself abundantly clear how much I love Organization XIII so it should come as no surprise that Xemnas is easily one of my favorite main villains in any series. Being the leader of the Org, Xemnas' got this aura of omnipotence where everything just seems to be within the grasp of his knowledge and well within his plans. And wielding the element of Nothingness, the whole theme of his castle and his forces convey a certain clean and surreal beauty to them that seems to transcend all other existences (granted, the nothingness he conveys is often seen as an overlap between light and darkness). Devoid of emotion, his manner of speech is slow, dispassionate, and yet eloquent--giving the impression of a transcendant being unfazed by anything that goes on in the universe; and indeed, he always knows exactly what he's talking about and exactly how to convey it to others to both quell them and keep any necessary secrets safe. All this combined with all the power he possesses, the first word that comes to mind regarding Xemnas is "god."

I tend to admire emotionless tyrants with divine power who can keep a very eclectic crowd together with little effort despite all their differences. Now while it may look he's forcing the Organization to conform by deceiving them into thinking they have no hearts, if anything this sort of "conformity" actually tends to bring out the differences between every member's personalities, and Xemnas knows that, which enables him to decide which member to send to which mission and the effects that may play out. For almost everything that has happened (save for maybe Xemnas' own defeat at Sora and Riku's hands), it's like Xemnas knew full well what would happen. Call it a cliche, but I honestly rather like this whole "grand plan" thing with Xemnas. Oh but how did Xemnas know what to predict or anticipate? With an extremely unique ability to place an "X" in every member's name, using that letter to track and monitor them! A name itself, let alone a single letter, shouldn't be anything substantial, but befitting his element, Xemnas could make it a thing and discreetly keep even the traitors in sight. That's only a very small part of his powers and it's already enough to impress me quite a lot.

In terms of his powers, themes, and design, Xemnas is a character who interests me enough to want to break down in more detail. I think it's cool how he can manipulate nothingness, a very vague element but one fun enough to explore. If I'm not mistaken, Xemnas' title is the "Superior of the In-Between" because he exists between light and darkness. While the two opposing forces can cooperate to create things, I can imagine that the clash of those forces can obliterate an existence--so it looks like Xemnas' element is in fact a perfect combination of light and darkness, a theme hinted by the black and white "twilight" streaks on both Nobodies in general as well as Xemnas' final form cloak. For this reason, I'd personally prefer to call Xemnas the "Superior of the Yin-Yang" instead (it's got a nice ring to it if I do say so myself!) In fact, I see yet another duality among his techniques (though it may still be considered light and darkness)... 

Aside from the black and white streaks, Xemnas also harnesses energy of different colors, specifically red and blue, which I can't help but find interesting given the whole neutral-colored aspect of Nobodies. He manifests his red energy as his Ethereal Blades--beams of hot, bright energy that are only used offensively in combat, even in physical techniques; I can call them his "yang" energy. His "yin" of course would be his blue energy, which he uses to produce energy spheres containing darkness that can both attack and defend. He's also cast the same sphere (albeit slightly different colors) to drain enemy health or ensnare his opponent in darkness. And his final move, Xemnas combines both by charging up a "yin" sphere to bind Sora and Riku in darkness, before presenting that magnificent light show with a barrage of hot red Ethereal Blades, the "yang" half of the finale. I know I sound like I'm analyzing him instead of explaining why I like him, but hey, this very intrigue about his techniques are one of the reasons for liking him. Xemnas' abilities capture my interest! If I'm right about his powers all those dual natures, it'd be awesome, but either way, I find his arsenal phenomenal. The sleak red lightsaber-like Ethereal Blades already look so badass but when Xemnas uses them, he dances! 

Sure Xemnas is a completely emotionless individual, but if you ask me, this dude's got a sense of art, not just in combat but for the whole Organization in general. I've already mentioned his exceptional ability to monitor his followers by name alone, but the aesthetics of the Nobody theme are present all over The Castle That Never Was. The clean, surreal looking architecture of greyscale colors everywhere make it stand out of all the colorful worlds found in Kingdom Hearts (not to mention the overwhelming aura of the castle's mere presence). I also like "Where Nothing Gathers", where everyone's throne is just a tall, white tower of varying lengths. Like the rest of the castle, the thrones aren't flashy, they aren't extravagant, they are simple and clean yet uniquely structured (I can't find better words than unique, I'm sorry). The whole place is art. And considering how Xemnas is both founder and leader of the Org, I credit him for all this! You run a nice place, Lord Taiji!

Being a lord of nothingness, his very personality is enough to keep at least most the Organization within his grasp. Xemnas is a leader who also serves as a neutral core for all the Nobodies who knows exactly what they're about and how to use them, without divulging too many secrets himself. That is why he knew how to talk to Roxas and at least temporarily ease him about Xion's wellbeing, unlike Saix who stubbornly stuck to his own assumptions. When Xemnas speaks, however softly or slowly, he emits gravitas--keeping calm about everything as though everyone around him are chess pieces. I don't know how else to describe it, his voice is like the voice of a god, and the message he conveys sounds like a "be nothing and you will be everything" sort of thing.

All in all, Xemnas is my kind of villain--emotionless, unique, enigmatic, and ambitious.

5. Xigbar
Xigbar - Aquarius by CapricornGuy
Oftentimes in anime/video games/the like, characters tend to sound very dramatic and don't typically talk the way you and I normally would--but you all know that. And to be fair, Xigbar also has a bit of drama in his dialogue, but honestly, I find both his voice and dialogue to be the most natural or "realistic" sounding in the series. (James Patrick Stuart, great job nailing the California Surfer accent!) I love his choice of words, his witty lines, and his casual tone. That being said, all this makes the first reason why I would like him. His lines are just so much fun to listen to!

Despite being Rank 2 in the Organization, Xigbar likes to actually go out there in the universe and perform hands-on missions instead of asserting any authority, which is something I duly respect. You see, while I do like masterminds who pull strings from behind the scenes, sometimes the high rankers who like to go out there, explore the worlds, and get their hands dirty are much more fun. What this demonstrates is that Xigbar is a very open minded individual, befitting his element of space, and I mean he's open to just about anything. As both a sniper and a master of recon, Xigbar maintains a very curious mind, going wherever he can to obtain information of even potential value, as shown in his habit of eavesdropping. His willingness to receive whatever knowledge he can get and ultimately knowing more than most of the Org separates him from the others (though it may also be due to his close ties with Xehanort). And the more knowledge and openness one has, the more confidence he or she will have, and I can see that in Xigbar. But of course, Xigbar may also be a bit too open; I don't really care for his willingness to drop his individuality in favor of wielding a Keyblade. And yet, it wouldn't surprise me if Xigbar ultimately maintains his individuality after all; I still wonder if his "own plans" which he spoke of to Young Xehanort goes beyond merely becoming a Xehanort clone and wielding a Keyblade.

I really hope the latter is the case because Xigbar just has way too much individuality to just become someone else entirely; it'd be so out of character for him. He's always been very free and independent minded, even having the most amount of humor out of all the Organization and arguably out of all the characters in the series hands down. Xigbar is always cracking jokes and even uses similar slang in more serious discussions, which only expands on his distinguishes him even further from everyone else. In general, Xigbar has both the scope of an open-minded explorer and the pragmatism of a sniper, a fine combination that makes Xigbar a particularly sharp individual. So when you've got qualities like that, an abundance of knowledge, and the power to bend space, how can you not be relaxed and confident most of the time?

So let's talk about his powers. His manipulation of space gives him all kinds of freedom; most impressive is his ability to walk upside-down on midair/empty space to shoot. That coupled with his ability to control the trajectory of his shots via his element, makes Xigbar both eccentric and unpredictable in combat. It's one of the things I like about snipers in general--they are very precise and yet heavily instinctive, and Xigbar is easily one of my favorite snipers in any series hands down. As such, his fighting style reflects his personality pretty well--he keeps a keen eye everywhere and makes use of everywhere he can, freely, deftly, and efficiently.

To expand on his knowledge, Xigbar's knowledge of Keyblade warriors of older generations suggests two things. (1) Xigbar knows better than all the other members besides Xemnas about what to expect when going up against one. (2) While it's true that Xehanort did feed him (or his original counterpart Braig rather) a shitton of valuable information, ask yourself this: Why do you suppose the old man chose Braig first? He must have saw something special in him. And a hunger for knowledge is something that both Xehanort and Braig/Xigbar have in common.

Xigbar, where have you not been?

4. Lexaeus
Lexaeus - Taurus by CapricornGuy
I fucking love this brute's power! It's raw, pure, unadulterated, and so beautifully ridiculous! And he's not all brawn and no brain as one may believe either; no, Lexaeus is the strong and silent type, which I absolutely respect. Now we may have seen a whole lot about Lexaeus, but he's already making me so many impressions in the very few cutscenes that he's appeared (seriously, they really should've given him more!)

Matching his element of earth, Lexaeus is very pragmatic individual who values and views power separately from personality and emotions. When first watching Reverse/Rebirth, I remember criticizing Riku for fearing his rich dark power and trying to reject it. And as soon as Lexaeus berated him for that; well, he spoke exactly what was on my mind (which is basically the epic message for Riku's story--embrace your power and it will be a blessing instead of a curse, something like that). But what else about those few words made me like Lexaeus so much? Well combined with his few words from earlier cutscenes, you can tell that Lexaeus is a man of action over words, but when he does speak, Lexaeus is blunt, concise, insightful, hits his mark, and rarely ever allows any bias to come in. He is a rational man, and when combined with his tremendous power, Lexaeus is a solid, stable, no-bullshit figure!

So now the part where everyone's expecting--his monstrous power. Yes, I've already spoken a little bit about it before but here are the details. It's always amusing to see Lexaeus singlehandedly whack others to their limits, like he did with both Riku and Roxas. With Riku, he was already weakened, but when the former tried to finish him off, BOOM! Epic comeback with that one swing of his fuck-you Axe Sword and Riku's blasting off into the ceiling! (Love that scene!) And then there's Roxas in the Limit Break tutorial where Lexaeus was chosen to mentor him for the most obvious of reasons. But I'll spell it out anyway because I want to: He slams Roxas in the face and the kid's ready for Limit Break. Not only does this further emphasize his action-over-words gimmick, but it emphasizes how much Lexaeus stresses both power and determination. You see, while every member has a Limit Break, the fact that Lexaeus is chosen also implies that he may also be a very persistent combatant who will never stop mustering more power and will keep fighting until his last breath--the former may be suggested in his Absent Silhouette battle and the latter merely fits his element perfectly. I admire characters with such unbending will and whether it's proven or not, I see Lexaeus as that kind of individual.

His battles are also fun to watch. I enjoy the look of those myriads of boulders (which are surprisingly finely structured in my opinion) jutting out of the ground for every slam of that tomahawk of his. I also like how Lexaeus can also get those boulders to jut in patterns sometimes as well as that technique where the boulders come out surrounding him, at he shatters them to send them out like hard-hitting projectiles, a creative move. Also memorable is that massive, multi-colored (and very interesting choice of colors by the way!) power aura that Lexaeus generates in his Absent Silhouette fight. When he accumulates enough power and his aura expands tremendously, boy does it become a show! Oh but not just a show either since Lexaeus really does become that strong! This guy is power.

And let's not forget about his notorious weapon! As I've mentioned before, that tomahawk (which he wields with only one hand) is fuck-you material. It's huge, even heavier than it already looks, and that peculiar block-like shape sends out a message of despair: Don't fuck with this guy unless you want a free trip to the ceiling... or a whole new world entirely. Romantic, no?

3. Demyx
Demyx - Virgo by CapricornGuy
Easily one of the most entertaining characters in Kingdom Hearts overall for me--the infamous coward of the Organization who loves nothing more than to chill all day long, Demyx is a really likable character! He doesn't enjoy fighting and sweating, but both his laziness and cowardice belies a wicked-ass warrior who would've been so easy to underestimate, and I find that epic!

When everyone else in a group seems to be this serious operative who means business, you just gotta love the one guy who is downright lazy, nonviolent, and easygoing. Chill and humble, Demyx seems like someone you can get actually get along with despite being on the enemy's side, and frankly, that makes him a break from the rest of Org. Demyx is not antagonistic in nature, he's just a relaxed dude who just wants to kick back and play his sitar instead of going out there to kick someone's ass; a loveable, gentle guy who somehow ended up in the Organization's ranks and is thrown into a world that won't get off his back. He even ends up becoming the butt of the Org's jokes to extent--even Roxas likes to make fun of him. Hell, he and Xion are the only two members Roxas can actually lead. Sure that emphasizes how pathetic a wuss he is, but hey, it makes him fun. And even though Demyx wouldn't aid Roxas inside the Olympus Colliseum, he's still not a bad guy. He's comfortable enough to be around.

Now while I do like Demyx very much for all these traits, I am aware that it may all just be an act given his Nobody status. But even still, when he reveals himself to be a ruthless and capable fighter after all, Demyx is still awesome--maybe even better that way! See, we've known Demyx to be an incompetent coward, and yet when he drops that and fights you with everything he's got, Demyx shows us just how much many of us might've underestimated him. From what I've seen, he's a pretty tough opponent to boot. But while this side him may contrast with his "lazy coward" personality, together both sides portray Demyx as a somewhat humble individual who knows his limits and is not willing to show too much of what he's got to the enemy until it's really necessary. Either way, Demyx strikes me as something of an underdog that I'd want to root for.

I absolutely enjoy watching his fights too. The water that Demyx summons look nice, clean, and crisp whether in clone forms, notes, bubbles, or geysers, so his show is visually pleasing. Moreover, being a musician, Demyx has got showmanship! It's so much fun to see him dance around the field, jamming to the music he plays, while unleashing rows or series of geysers that follow rhythms but appear in various spots, making him at least somewhat unpredictable. I love some of his movements to his music while summoning the geysers--they just look cool and it makes me love his style all the more. In fact, one thing I enjoy doing when watching Organization XIII fights is playing certain music that I think would fit the member in battle. But with Demyx, I like to try various songs and soundtracks, even those with no fight in it at all, but surprisingly, Demyx's moves often match the beat and rhythm of the music. That's what I love about how Demys fights--there's art, there's style, and there's entertainment (even if it annoys the player). Again, he puts on a show! (Really makes me wish that I could unleash a multitude of geysers out of nowhere for every step I take in a dance to a music that I love!)

Laid-back, coy, and deceptively powerful, it would certainly please me to see Demyx actually win against Sora (thinks he so tough with his Keyblade! :P) But too bad he faded like a tragedy. (Also, Square, why couldn't you have Demyx be in Atlantica? Not only would he fit perfectly in that world but he would've made the whole story there a shitton more interesting too! Like, have him steal the trident, magically merge it with his sitar to form an electric guitar or some shit, and have epic rock musical fight with him singing and stormy waves everywhere--it'd be the shit!)

...Which reminds me, say what you will about Demyx, but it's implied that stole shit from friggin' Zeus in Kingdom Hearts 2! All the more proof that he's not as weak as he often leads people into believing. (So stealing Triton's trident? Why the fuck not?)

2. Zexion
Zexion - Gemini by CapricornGuy
I've always really liked the intelligent, enigmatic, and secretive types and Zexion's certainly no exception. He has a cool personality and cool powers, and his design overall is just intriguing. However, my reasons for liking him go beyond just that since quite a bit about his role in the series has given him quite a place in my heart. To say the least, knowing how I was as a little kid, I know for a fact that if I were exposed to this series at that age, Zexion would be my favorite character hands down let alone favorite Org member (though of course, my current opinions do differ a bit).

Ever since his first scene in Reverse/Rebirth, I was already very intrigued by Zexion. Prior to watching it for the first time, it hadn't already occurred to me that Riku's story would feature other Org members besides the ones we've seen in Sora's story in Chain of Memories. Antagonists exclusive to Riku's story--oh I just knew Team Zexion would be a particularly fascinating party (so add that to why I like Lexaeus as well). And the best part was, I couldn't even guess what Zexion's element would be; he was a mystery but a young, calm, polite, soft-spoken, and eloquent individual with an authentic loyalty to the Organization. Needless to say, I liked him already.

Although I wasn't too familiar with the Organization rankings yet, it was clear that Zexion was calling the shots in his faction, despite being the youngest of the three. What I liked about his position was that despite it, Zexion didn't try to act superior in any way; he merely planned things objectively for what he believed would truly benefit the Organization--an unbiased leader in his own right. So later in Reverse/Rebirth as we'd expect, Zexion would be the third and final Org member of his group to reveal himself topside to Riku. He still maintained his composed demeanor but with some more assertion. And when the quiet little mastermind from below shows up and starts the spotlight, oh you know it's time to buckle up! That said, the next part is where it got exciting for me...

See, Riku's entire visit to his memory of Destiny Islands was something I found so surreal because it gave me deja vu; particularly in a way that I knew exactly how I'd react to this whole chapter as a child (and Zexion is of course a big part of why, but I'll get there in a moment.) I was a quixotic little brat who always wished to escape reality and enter a pretty, enigmatic dream world that I'd never want to leave (not now though!) Destiny Islands sort of had that atmosphere--bright blue beach, serene atmosphere, and absolutely beautiful music... and then Zexion, who fast forwards Riku's memory of the place into the night of darkness where the Darkside emerged, and the fact that Zexion chose to demoralize Riku without fighting him head on continued to make him a mystery (though not as much as earlier). But once the Darkside was destroyed, we see "Sora" standing by. The area's silent, only the wind can be heard, the area was dark but still a pretty purple... it was no longer like the beautiful daylit Destiny Island from just a few minutes ago, but it was still mysterious and surreal enough for me to enjoy. Now a part of it was indeed unsettling, from the silence to "Sora" bitterly attacking Riku, but when Riku finally snaps out of his fear and embraces his dark powers, he pierces the "Sora" illusion and unveils Zexion. Now, don't get me wrong, I still loved Zexion more, but at the same time I was feeling pretty good about Riku's development and how the mystery is finally cleared to reveal a new and different kind of beauty: Zexion's true prowess!

So we now know that Zexion's element is illusion; he's no longer a mystery but his element is still very enigmatic in nature and in battle, he continues to surprise us with a variety of fancy tricks. Uniquely enough, Zexion's weapon is a book which he can use to weave his illusions. He has the uncanny ability to steal his enemy's moves with a sick-looking black tornado and create clones who use those abilities against his opponnent. It's also cool to see Zexion and his clones travel around the stage with perpendicular energy beams, a powerful, epic, and aesthetic feat. Clearly Zexion is a brain-over-brawn kind of fighter who doesn't like getting his hands down. And yet ironically, against Riku, Zexion does on occasion grab and strangle Riku with his bare hands to drain his HP! Hell, I did not think someone like Zexion had it in him to perform such a savage technique, but fuck he did and I find it absolutely amusing! (Nice knowing that the little bookworm can be so no-chill if he wants to be!)

All in all, Zexion's made quite a lot of impressions that truly appealed to me. And whether it was Zexion himself or just the epic story surrounding him, it's more than enough to make him a memorable character for me. I'll always remember him for his role in Reverse/Rebirth, especially that surreal, climactic chapter that is Destiny Islands. But even beyond Reverse/Rebirth, Zexion still has a few moments in other games that also impress me. In 358/2 Days, Zexion was the one who mentored Roxas about the bonus mission completion gauge (or whatever it was called), reflecting his own work ethics and his genuine desire to support the Organization. In one of the 2.5 exclusive scenes in Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, Zexion's portrayal as a very rational man is still emphasized--his interaction with the carefree Xigbar shows that he is someone who knows how to keep himself in line with his duty as opposed to being distracted (though I was not at all against Xigbar describing what he did since they were actually very meaningful to the series as a whole). I just like listening to him talk, you know? It's so refreshing to listen to someone objective speaking and explaining things smoothly and in great detail sometimes. Pity we couldn't get any more with Zexion, though it was still nice to see him in Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, even if it was only a flashback. Welp, hopefully Kingdom Hearts 3 will at least feature a bit more of Ienzo as well as all the other Org's somebody counterparts.

His Absent Silhouette fight did not impress me quite as much as his Reverse/Rebirth one, but his final illusion with the three spotlights was still an interesting touch.

1. Luxord
Luxord - Libra by CapricornGuy
And now, at long last, I finally get to talk about my favorite Organization member hands down: The Gambler of Fate - Luxord! So before I ever even seen him, I've been reading up on Organization XIII members just out of curiosity. Luxord in particular interested me because there were already three things about his powers and themes that I liked (though at the time, I didn't read too much about his personality yet). (1) His element is my favorite: Time. (2) He is a summoner. (3) He is a gamer. But of course, now I have even more reasons to like him.

I may not be a fan of real-life gambling, but that of course won't stop me from liking Luxord because he's just so interesting and eccentric! Whether it's gambling or not, the fact that Luxord treats everything as a game intrigues me and it's an attitude that I admire. He is always very optimistic about everything that goes on around him; even if something may seem like a curse, he's the type of guy who'd turn it into a blessing. What makes me say that? The fact that he is gambler means that he is open to any possible outcome and willing to try new things to see where they take him, allthewhile acknowledging the risks. In his own words, "there are odds to everything," so if there's even a slim chance of him getting the best out of a predicament, I'm sure Luxord can find a way to seize that golden opportunity (except for winning against Sora, but honestly, who could?)

But even then, look at the Org members whom Luxord has outlived (something only the manga has ever pointed out, by the way)! Now for Luxord to have survived for so long, it could just have been the creator's call and/or dumb luck. However, when you account that along with how Luxord views the universe, it may be both less surprising and rather more inspiring. You see, Luxord is someone who knows his place very well within the Organization, accepting the fact that he more or less a "pawn" in the group. Though many of us (including myself) would hate to be "on the bottom of the food chain," Luxord merely uses his position as all the more reason to fulfill his role within the Org, and so he patiently does his job at his own pace with his own methods and goes with the flow. Better yet, Luxord continues to treat every mission as a game or puzzle where obstacles are merely rules. As such, we've got a patient, open, and optimistic "pawn" who ultimately outlives every member except for the leader, his adjutant, and arguably the almighty Keyblader of all members. Even big deals like Axel and Xigbar didn't make it that far, but Luxord? For someone of his rank and role, that's a lot even for dumb luck! So if his optimistic attitude is a factor of it, there's stuff to be said about such a person! ("But what about Saix? He's so cynical/pessimistic but he's outlived even Luxord!" Well Saix is the second in command, so there's no surprise that he'd have such a privilege regardless.)

While I go into more detail about his missions, here's the next thing I absolutely love about Luxord--he fits so perfectly with the worlds that he visits! Now while the same can be said about some other members (ex. Xaldin in Beast's Castle), Luxord's roles and placements in both Wonderland and Port Royal are just the most entertaining and fun to watch in my opinion! With Wonderland, while the obvious match between Luxord and the world is the card theme, the latter is also an eccentric world that invites intrigue (hence its name), another thing that suits an explorative gambler like Luxord (for instance, I love how he doesn't appear confused by the Cheshire Cat's riddles at all; you'd think the Cat was his spirit animal or something). It was also nice to see Luxord working with Roxas and giving him unique tips in their missions together. For example, he accepts Roxas' curiosity the rabbit that ultimately became a quick lead to the three Heartless they were hunting and guiding Roxas through the labyrinthine rose garden with his tips (just love the way they were worded). I credit Roxas for the curiosity and the Heartless killing, but the thing I love about Luxord in his Wonderland roles is how his openness to others' and his own determination to follow through with it even through supposedly precarious conditions (such as the Playing Cards' vigilance) helped find the two a shortcut in the mission. How many other members (besides Axel and Xion) would be as willing to listen to Roxas as a real partner rather than talk down on him (or in Demyx's case, use him like a tool)?

However, his role in Wonderland is nothing compared to his epic (albeit ephemeral) appearance in Port Royal! First time seeing and hearing Luxord anywhere, he's made some fine first impressions! As soon as I heard Luxord speaking rhetorically in that neat British accent in that rather "poetic" world, boy did I know I was in for a treat! (By the way, that's the other thing I like about Luxord--his artful dialogue!) They could not have put a more perfect fit for a world than Luxord in Port Royal. Even more so than Xaldin in Beast's Castle, Luxord sounded (and dare I say looked) like he belonged in that world! Again, the British accent, the slang, and the specific events that occur in that scenario, I can't stress its fit enough. I especially loved Luxord's banter with Jack Sparrow--it was a brilliant exchange of words between witty, eloquent speakers followed by a theme of guile and trickery that I doubt is uncommon in Pirates of the Carribean (I've seen some of the movies or at least parts of it, but my memory's of what happened are rather vague). Usually Luxord's just a chill guy with an air of neutrality, but when he's playing the villain that he is, he's a crafty and ruthless badass! After stealing the four medallions and Jack's ship (emphasis on Jack's), Luxord gives orders (huh, who exactly did he order) to fire the cannons at the other ship nearby to keep the heroes at bay... literally. My point? I'm not sure I've seen any other member play around with a world's physical features as much as Luxord did. And as if that's enough fun for him, all that Sora, Jack, and co. have to go through next becomes a pirate adventure that Luxord himself has initiated. Even the Heartless that he ultimately summons becomes a unique game of its own. But after all that trouble, Luxord collects the Heart that he needs after crafting such an elaborate scenario that tempered even Jack's cool. As his enemy, we'd deem him an asshole afterwards, but as an Organization XIII member, none have impressed me more than him, especially in this world in this one scenario.

Forcing people into one's own game has always been something I wish I could do--tormenting and trolling people for the fun of it with a series of crafty gimmicks. Go figure, that's what I love about Luxord in both his methods and his abilities. (Sure, it can backfire, but needless to say, there's always a fair chance of Sora failing in a game as well.) The fact that his weapons can be used to do both that and attack directly easily makes him perhaps the most versatile and eccentric Org member to face. Furthermore, Luxord can summon as many cards as he wants and each one can be resized however he likes at will. What more can I say? I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but I love this guy's style thoroughly! Again, time, summoning, and gaming--I want these powers.

In addition to being a "pawn" that outlives most of the Organization, I also feel like Luxord may not be as oblivious to certain things as most members may seem. If Luxord can catch on quickly to the secrets/mysteries of the worlds he goes to, I can see him slowly catching to a few secrets of the Organization as well, even if he himself doesn't realize it. See, during his conversation with Xemnas, Xigbar, and Saix regarding Axel's death, Luxord's the only one who suggests that Axel was able to "win" or achieve something. But what? Luxord may not know what it is that Axel "won," but we as the viewers can interpret that whatever it is, it has to do with Axel's loyalty to Roxas (i.e. his heart). Now, Xemnas' big secret to most of the Org is that all of these 13 Nobodies all develop a heart instinctively. Axel may not have known this, but he felt it, which is why he willingly sacrified himself for the sake of his friendship. Luxord would know even less and yet he acknowledges that what may not be of value to any other member may still be of "victorious" value to Axel; so either way it's something, heart or no heart. So while Xigbar and Saix dismissed Luxord's remark based on the assumptions of a Nobody, only Luxord would think about Axel's perspective to look for what the other members may have missed. However, out of all of the remaining members, only Xemnas did not seem to disagree with Luxord, even implying that there was some value in Axel's actions (such as "awakening Roxas.") So what does that all mean for Luxord? Yes, his comment on Axel may be attributed to his own optimism, but Luxord's own eccentric way of thinking and viewing everything can suggest that even without knowing the full truth, he can at least sense what even the higher up members could not. Say what you will, but in his own way, Luxord's a philosopher.

Translation? Luxord may not know that Axel (and any of his fellow Nobodies) has a heart, but he can at least sense it as something, in his own unique perspective on everything. That's not something most members would've sensed. All that in mind, it just makes me wonder what else out of everything would Luxord's spinning lens will find for him.

Luxord, you never cease to intrigue me.

Last Words 

So yeah, that was my countdown. Again I love all the members, I love Organization XIII in general so it's not always easy for me to make such a countdown. Although I described my opinions as much as I could for each member, I'll admit that I couldn't really compare one member to another, though I generally have more to say about members that I like more. But even when I'm writing these for each individual member, I often can't find the exact words and phrases that I need to justify my opinions. And sometimes, words alone just don't capture how I feel so that may make it for others to really understand how I weigh my choices. 

Truthfully, I don't have a standard system or criteria for ranking my favorites because my reasons for liking different members may also differ greatly. With some, it's more story role; with some it's more character; with some it's more powers and abilities; my impressions towards any of these all just depends on the individual.

Organization XIII may be bounded by supposedly emotionless beings, but their differences couldn't be more blatantly colorful. (All the more reason they do too have hearts.)

So yeah I have you enjoyed reading this countdown. If you're interested in what else I've got for Organization XIII, I've got these two that I'm rather proud of:

Organization XIII vs Konoha 13In case you're wondering who I'm referring to by "Konoha 13" that's everyone from the Leaf that's in Naruto's generation including both Sasuke and Sai. If you ask me, I'm seeing quite some similarities between Organization XIII and the Konoha 13 and thought it'd be fun to match them one on one as if in a fight. In most matches the two are very similar but in some, they might be more or less the opposite, enough to create a dynamic.
1. Xemnas vs Sasuke 
With Sasuke being the most powerful among the Leaf 13 here along with Naruto, there's no better match for Organization XIII's leader. And I pick Sasuke over Naruto to fight Xemnas because both are cold, ruthless, dark, and godly powerful. As such, Sasuke seems to associate with the main villains in Naruto (whether in alliance or battle) even more so than Naruto.
2. Xigbar vs Tenten
Both excel in long range combat and don't usually miss their targets. Moreover, Xigbar's placement in the Land of Dragons in KH2 can parall
 

Organization XIII AstrologyI am almost certain that the personalities of the Organization XIII members are based on astrological signs. The signs correlate to their ranking number, which can represent the month the sign occurs the most at. For example, Month 1 is January and it is Capricorn that occurs at two thirds of the month, so Rank #1 would be Capricorn, #2 would Aquarius, and so on. With that in mind, I can at least try to guess and rationalize as to why the Organization members may present their respective signs. I may not be able to justify every one of them fully, but here’s what I’ve got.
Xemnas - Rank 1 - Capricorn

At least on the web, Capricorns are described as being intelligent, practical, ambitious, and unemotional. This certainly defines Xemnas pretty well, for he is emotionless in every sense of the word and seeks to rule the universe. Capricorns love to climb to the top, and Xemnas, who obviously has a god complex, certainly fits tha

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CapricornGuy
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I like to write stories and blogs here. Other hobbies include video games, drawing, piano, and table tennis.

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