Square Enix has released the English and Japanese versions of the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary website, containing officially translated comments from several notable members of the series' staff. We translated the Japanese versions of these comments back when the Anniversary Event initially occurred.
The website also contains the recently released Annviersary Event recap video, alongside photos of the venue.
You can view our gallery housing all of the officially released venue images below:
Further, each officially translated Memory Locker message is viewable below:
Kingdom Hearts Series Director - Tetsuya Nomura
Looking back over the past, I've always poured my all into KINGDOM HEARTS.
Perhaps that's why I feel so drained and empty every time a work is completed - but, I've always rejuvenated my heart with the thought of how I want KINGDOM HEARTS to make everyone happy.
And I've infused the story of KINGDOM HEARTS - a story about hearts - with the belief that people's hearts are always together, even if they may be far apart.
I am so grateful for your support over these past 20 years, and I hope you'll continue to lend your support in the future.
Former Kingdom Hearts Brand Manager - Shinji Hashimoto
It’s already been 20 years - how time flies!
Before I even realised, I’d arrived at retirement and found myself handing the reigns over to the next generation of staff. It came as a shock, even to myself!
And yet, as an individual producer, I am happy to have been involved with such a long running title to this day. I have nothing but thanks and gratitude for the entire team, including the director, Tetsuya Nomura!
And I am truly happy to have met and shared the emotional journey with the KINGDOM HEARTS fans, all over the world - you are the greatest treasure of all.
Although I will be stepping away from more direct involvement myself, I hope everyone around the world will continue to look after and support the KINGDOM HEARTS series.
Composer - Yoko Shimomura
Congratulations on the 20th Anniversary of KINGDOM HEARTS!!
I can’t believe it’s been 20 years already... I’m in shock to think that so much time has passed. KINGDOM HEARTS has always been deeply, intricately connected to my life. It contains so many memories for me that each song takes me right back to how I was feeling at the time when I composed it.
Music has always been there for me, in difficult times and times of joy. I hope that, in the same way, the music of KINGDOM HEARTS will always stay in the hearts of the fans.
Sora & Vanitas JP Voice Actor - Miyu Irino
Memories...I have far too many to mention here!
Because KINGDOM HEARTS is a part of my life - it’s an absolutely essential part of my own story.
But what I can say for sure is that over the past twenty years, I’ve met so many people, overcome many struggles and grown as a person, just like Sora, thanks to KINGDOM HEARTS. I’m so grateful for the miracle of being given the opportunity to be a part of something so beloved regardless of generation, that's more than just a game.
I hope to keep travelling to all kinds of worlds, together with all the different kinds of people who make KINGDOM HEARTS such a vibrant place.
My friends are our power!
Thank you for all your support - now, and into the future.
Riku JP Voice Actor - Mamoru Miyano
Congratulations on the 20th Anniversary of KINGDOM HEARTS!
I had the opportunity to work on KINGDOM HEARTS right when I was starting out as a voice actor, so it’s the work that I’ve been personally involved with for the longest. I’m really, really grateful and so happy.
At the time, I was inexperienced - but since I was able to record together with Miyu and Risa, I enjoyed myself (eating dango together, for example) at the same time as growing and improving, step-by-step. I’m grateful beyond words.
To this day, I’m delighted to be able to walk alongside Riku. I hope to be able to grow even more as an actor, and stay by his side forever!
I love KINGDOM HEARTS!!
Kairi & Xion JP Voice Actor - Risa Uchida
Congratulations on the 20th Anniversary.
I’m so happy to be able to connect with everyone through KINGDOM HEARTS, and with everyone reading this message now.
I simply can’t count the number of memories I have about KINGDOM HEARTS. One memory that made a particularly strong impression on me was when I got to visit the site of development. It made me realize again how many people have really poured their hearts and souls into working on it.
I hope that lots and lots of hearts become connected in the future, through the KINGDOM HEARTS!
Roxas & Ventus JP Voice Actor - Koki Uchiyama
Congratulations on the 20th anniversary.
The first time I was involved with the series was KINGDOM HEARTS II, released in 2005.
At the time of recording, I was in my second year of middle school. Back then, I had no idea that I would grow up to become a voice actor.
Since then, I've also had the good fortune to be involved with several other works in the series. It’s left a record of my journey into adulthood. I can’t think of anything that would make me happier.
Terra & Setzer JP Voice Actor - Ryotaro Okiayu
Congratulations on the 20th anniversary.
The first time I got to join the fray in earnest was as Terra in Birth By Sleep. I made multiple trips to the studio with my heart full of feelings for Ven and Aqua. I was constantly thinking about the two of them.
And yet, when I met Koki, who played Ven, after recording had finished, he came across as really matter-of-fact. It immediately brought to mind memories of the lonely journey (lol).
In the brass orchestra concert, when we still didn’t know how things would turn out, I remembered those unrealized emotions and that journey alone - and performed as Terra in front of everyone.
That meeting with Naminé had a somewhat mystical atmosphere, and it’s a truly wonderful memory.
And I haven’t forgotten Setzer either (lol).
Aqua JP Voice Actor - Megumi Toyoguchi
In these games, plenty of time is spent on each and every line, and they’re all recorded with great care.
There were quite a lot of takes of Aqua’s final line in Birth By Sleep, “There’s always a way.”
At the time, I felt so drained - but simultaneously, this feeling came welling up: a sense of how enjoyable it had all been. It was a real honor to have been involved with such a meaningful and fulfilling project.
Cloud JP Voice Actor - Takahiro Sakurai
I’m Takahiro Sakurai, and I play Cloud Strife.
Congratulations on the 20th Anniversary of KINGDOM HEARTS.
I first met Cloud and KINGDOM HEARTS at the same time. It was like a dream - in that moment, it felt like I was under a spell.
With a combination of nerves and excitement, the recording felt like it was over in an instant. It didn’t feel real until the game actually came out.
In the twenty years since then, the world of KINGDOM HEARTS has grown ever more expansive.
I hope it continues to work new magic in the future.
Sephiroth JP Voice Actor - Toshiyuki Morikawa
I’ve worked as a voice actor for a long time, but I really think that Sephiroth is the most iconic character that I play.
FINAL FANTASY is known and loved by many people, all around the world. To me personally, I think that FINAL FANTASY and Sephiroth are the most representative parts of Japanese sub-culture. His presence looms extremely large in my mind. I was very surprised to learn that he would be entering the fray in KINGDOM HEARTS!
The world and the atmosphere the characters have is are entirely different, so at first I had my doubts, haha.
Recording the ad-lib breathing for fights during combat scenes and the ad-libs for taking damage left a great impression on me - that is to say, it was difficult. I hadn’t ever recorded those kinds of ad-libs for the super-human Sephiroth, so it was quite hard to visualize.
Donald Duck, Beast, Genie, Stitch, and More JP Voice Actor - Koichi Yamadera
Congratulations on the 20th Anniversary of the KINGDOM HEARTS series!
I’m absolutely delighted to have had the chance to play many characters thanks to the game - not only Donald Duck, a regular character, but all kinds of characters from other films as well.
What a delight it is for different characters I voice to converse with each other!
From the bottom of my heart, I hope that KINGDOM HEARTS will continue to be loved by fans the world over!
Manga Arist - Shiro Amano
Something that left an impression on me was how Organization XIII, which first appeared in II, suddenly felt much more familiar after 358/2 Days - they were no longer just enemies.
Honestly, I thought, “Isn’t thirteen people too many? Drawing this as a manga will be so difficult...!” But, that wasn’t the case at all. Each and every member was wonderful, with their own charm. When Roxas, Axel and Xion reunited in III, I genuinely sobbed.
Novelist/Scenario Writer - Tomoko Kanemaki
Not only was my direct request to Mr Tetsuya Nomura in a development meeting adopted (“I want to see a black-haired girl drawn by Mr. Nomura!”), I even named her Xion.
“Xion” is a combination of an imaginary number (No. i) and X. It can also be read in Japanese as “the sound of the tide”, in contrast to the alternate reading of Naminé, “the sound of waves”. Finally, Xion is pronounced the same as the Japanese name for Aster tataricus, a purple flower which means “I won’t forget you” in the language of flowers.