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Kingdom Hearts is a series that can be a bit of a hard sell, especially to new players. Even at the time of release, many were skeptical as to whether a Disney meets Final Fantasy collaboration would really draw a crowd. However, thanks to some of the most action-packed and intuitive JRPG gameplay you are likely to find on the market and a story that, while being pretty cheesy and kid-friendly, was gripping and touching for all ages, the game made quite an impression. Then combine this with a wealth of Disney licenses, iconic worlds, and characters, and one of the most phenomenal soundtracks in all of gaming, and you have a recipe for success. The series has gone on to produce two mainline sequels and a wealth of spin-off titles, which have gone some way to making this series relatively impenetrable for new players unless they start from the beginning, at least from a narrative perspective. However, those that have been around from the get-go have a lot of love for this game, and they aren’t afraid to show it, me included.
So what do you do when you love something? That’s right; you express it in any way that you can. That might be urging friends to play the KH series. That might come in the form of merchandise, plushies, and other memorabilia, or if you want to take your love for this magical series to another level, you might want to ink for skin and load up with some incredible artwork that you can wear on your body forever. Yes, we are talking about Kingdom Hearts tattoos here. This isn’t the 1950’s when tattoos were taboo, they are the norm now, and they are, at least in my opinion, very cool. Although, I’m rather biased as I have fifteen of them.
Though enough about me, as you’ll probably be wondering what kind of options there are out there for a Kingdom Hearts fan that wants to get inked up. Well, that’s exactly what we are going to discuss today. In this article, we will offer varied tattoo styles and offer interesting ideas, all linking back to the KH series. So join us as we run through the best Kingdom Hearts Tattoo Ideas!
Things to Consider Before Selecting A Tattoo
Before you consider getting a Kingdom Hearts tattoo, or any tattoo for that matter. There are a few considerations that you have to take into account before you get a lifelong piece of artwork etched onto you. So before we get into things, here are some key things to consider:
The first thing that you should research before you try to pinpoint your KH tattoo is the style that you want to go with. If you aren’t interested in tattoos, you may not be aware that there are tonnes of styles that are very distinctive and can alter the look of your tattoo drastically. For example, you may want a Traditional tattoo that has heavy lines, block color, and often some script. Picture a heart with an arrow through it and the word ‘Mother’ in the middle, and you won’t be too far away. Alternatively, you might want something from the ‘Fine Line’ school of tattooing that you often see with dainty floral designs. It’s a matter of preference but something to consider for sure. Here is a quick list of styles you should check out:
- New School
- Stick and Poke
Ultimately, this often depends on how tenured of a tattoo enthusiast you are, as anyone with tattoos in the double figures won’t be too precious about placement, but for new tattoo-getters, placement is key. Not only does it have to be placed in a position where it looks good on its own. It also has to be in a position where you can handle it. I personally got my first tattoo on my ribs and I’ll tell you now, I regret that decision. We would suggest picking a spot like your arm or leg, somewhere safe and relatively tolerable before you take on more nippy areas.
Size doesn’t always matter, but in the case of tattoos, it really does. There are two things to consider here: the tattoo design and the price point. When we consider the design, if you are getting a simple design with maybe a logo or some script, we would say that you should keep that small. Whereas if you are getting a colorful, detailed design, you’ll want to blow that up as a signature piece. Then with regards to price, the bigger you go, the more time it takes and, therefore, the more you will pay. So be sure to stick to your budget.
This sort of piggybacks on the style entry, but you can do just about all the styles mentioned with or without color. So you have to consider if you want a vibrant design, a monochrome design, or something in between. This will also depend on the other tattoos you have surrounding the potential new one and, of course, if you like to color or blackwork. I personally have a color arm and a blackwork arm, but you do what works for you.
Then lastly, I want to throw my top tip into the mix. Your tattoo artist is key to a great tattoo. While most tattooists you encounter are professionals and will do a fine job, there are only a select few that can truly create the perfect piece that you have in your head. Some tattooists are more comfortable with certain styles, and asking them to go outside this comfort zone isn’t exactly the best use of their skill set. For example, if you walk into a parlor and ask a blackwork specialist to do a cartoon-style color piece, you probably won’t get the perfect design, and that’s no fault of their own. So do your research and pick an artist that works for the piece you want.
Then secondly, I would also urge you to find a tattoo artist that works hard to make you feel comfortable and creates a relaxing environment to work in. Getting tattoos is a stressful enough experience without you feeling squirmy and on-edge. I have two tattooists that I routinely go to, one for blackwork and one for colorful pieces. These are Em Dowdeswell at Bad Tooth/Skullduggery Tattoos and Andy Train and Giraffe Stairs Tattoos, respectively. These pros do their utmost to make getting tattoos fun, relaxing and enjoyable with ambient tunes, great conversation, and as gentle of touch as someone with a pulsating needle can have. So be sure to find someone that creates a wonderful environment for you to get inked.
Okay, so with that admin done and dusted, let’s break down the selection criteria we have used to pick these incredible Kingdom Hearts tattoos. Check it out below:
- The tattoo in question has to relate to the Kingdom Hearts franchise
- The tattoo has to be of the highest quality
- The tattoos need to be perfectly placed
- The tattoo should ideally capture the magic of the series
Our Selection: The Best Kingdom Hearts Tattoos
My Personal Entry: Tribal Keyblade Design
Before we get into the super creative and genuinely awe-inspiring tattoos, I need to throw my humble little Keyblade into the mix. This design is placed on the left side of my ribs, and believe it or not; it was my first tattoo that I got at the age of sixteen. There were many things I would have regretted getting tattooed at that age, but this is not one of them. This design features the iconic Keyblade in a tribal, black design and a subtle little Disney charm hanging off the end for good measure. If you are looking for a simple design that allows you to showcase your love for this series, feel free to take this one and use it for yourself.
If you are going to get a tattoo of the goofy protagonist of the series, Sora, then I would say that there are few better options than going with the iconic title screen rendering from KH2. This is, in my opinion at least, the coolest Sora has ever looked in any game, and again, in my personal opinion, this is the game that I remember most fondly and offered the best gameplay and moments within the series. To do this one justice, you’ll have to dedicate a large space to this design, but if you have room to spare, we can think of no better way to use it.
This design created by the super talented Ochrefoxtattoo is a wonderful way to get both of the Destiny Islands boys on your person in one compact little design. This design is a portrait that showcases half of Sora’s face and half of Riku’s face, with the character designs clearly being based on the original game in the series. The design also used watercolor blues and purples to signify the battle between light and darkness as Riku succumbs to the darkness in the opening game in the series. It’s a stellar design and one that any color tattoo fan or fan of the original Kingdom Hearts title will love.
I’ll level with you; for the first few games, I personally found Kairi to be an uninspired, one-dimensional character. So while Kingdom Hearts III had its flaws, I did appreciate that the game made Kairi feel like a certified badass that showcased that girls can wield a Keyblade just as competently as any man can. For that reason, I would love to have included a KH3 related design, but when I came across this one, I was blown away by the quality of the design and the detail involved in this piece, so I had to choose this as my leading Kairi tattoo. This showcases Kairi, as seen in the opening sequence of KH2, where she has been waiting for Sora’s return and has aged quite a bit from when we last saw her in KH1. Then as a nice added touch, the artist has placed a little Papou Fruit in the bottom left of the design. Overall, it’s a super tattoo and one that any Kairi fans should consider replicating.
We couldn’t have a dedicated character section without including the wonderful trinity that is Sora, Donald, and Goofy. This merry band of misfits has been on quite a few adventures throughout this franchise’s twenty-year run, and even with two decades of battling until their belt, they are still hungry for more. This charismatic trio is captured beautifully in this design as the artist really presents the comradery and silliness of each character. Plus, due to the nature of the design, it would work amazingly as a signature piece on your arm or leg. Overall, a solid choice for anyone that wants the main trio.
We could have gone generic here with the trio of Organisation members sitting atop the clocktower in Twilight Town, but we wanted to offer something a little different here. As KH fans will know, Sea Salt Ice Cream is strangely at the center of a lot of the interactions between the residents of Twilight Town, whether that be Hayner, Pence, Olette, and Roxas, or with Roxas, Xion and Axel. This is reportedly due to Tetsuya Nomura’s fascination with the salty but sweet treat. So with all this in mind, why not get a tattoo of melting Sea Salt Ice Cream forming the silhouettes of the iconic characters. It’s quirky, different, and it looks great.
Birth By Sleep was a title that I owned but never truly engaged with fully until the remastered collections began to hit the shelves. For whatever reason, the story of these three heroes on their quest to become Keyblade Masters didn’t grab me. However, the second time around, I saw what everyone else did, and I fell in love with this trio of wonderful characters. This design is simple in its execution and features all three of these characters without the need to be a huge tattoo, and you could easily do this piece in color or blackwork, depending on your preference. Plus, the cross keyblade design is really slick and ties the whole piece together. Overall, a lovely, simple KH tattoo for all you BBS fans.
I haven’t come across a lot of people in my time that would say that the title Chain of Memories was one of the highlights in the series, but it has to be said, a small portion of the KH fan base does have a soft spot for this card-based entry in the series, and while many struggled to get on board with the gameplay on offer. You have to admit that the narrative and the introduction of Organisation XIII in this game are top-notch. So if you fall into that category, you may appreciate this wonderful design that showcases the final battle between Marluxia and Sora, only in this rendering, Sora is on all fours in his Dark/Heartless form. It’s a fun design and one that is perfect if you want to literally wear your love of Chain of Memories on your sleeve.
Very rarely am I blown away by a tattoo design as, if you have done due diligence like myself and scouted around before selecting your own KH tattoo, you feel like you have seen them all. However, this rendering of Aqua is staggeringly beautiful. The blend of vibrant blues and pinks, along with a more animated, cartoon-style design, makes this a stand-out piece amongst any other Aqua tattoos you might come across. So if realism and authenticity aren’t on the top of your list of priorities, we would suggest something along these lines.
We can’t have a Kingdom Hearts tattoo article without a mention of The King himself, Mickey Mouse. He’s not just the king of the Disney Empire in this world. He is also the king of the realm in the Kingdom Hearts universe, and as the series has gone on, he has played a more and more central role. However, in KH1, Square Enix was only given a license to include him in one scene, where he would work with Riku and Sora to close shut the Door to Kingdom Hearts and keep the Heartless at bay. It’s a truly iconic moment, and if you want to have it emblazoned on your shoulder, as seen in the picture here, then this design is phenomenal. The mix of gold and crimson is stunning, and the rare sight of The King not in his Black Coat as seen in later games makes this piece even more unique. In short, this is an eye-catching piece and our pick of the King Mickey options out there.
We mentioned the remarkable clocktower from Twilight Town above, and while having the Sea Salt Trio on top of it might have been a little generic, we think that this fine line rendering of the landmark within the series is outstanding. This offers a very detailed sketch of the Twilight Town Clocktower, complete with the huge bell hanging off to the side. The level of detail almost makes you feel like the artist stood before the tower and drew it freehand in their sketchpad before returning to their parlor and etching it on this person’s skin. It’s a beautiful design and one that KH fans should definitely consider replicating.
While I personally wasn’t the biggest fan of Kingdom Hearts III, I could see why others did, and at certain moments, the game did shine bright. One of those moments was the final battle with Xehanort on Scala Ad Caelum. This area gave me huge Final Fantasy Vibes, and it was breathtaking in terms of scale and design. So for that reason, this location would make a killer tattoo for those that really loved this final battle and loved KH3 in general. This design showcases Scala Ad Caelum as light and beautiful location on the surface, but below the surface, we see the darkness that rules this majestic City.
If there try to recall one location in Kingdom Hearts that remains a constant throughout the entire series, it would probably be Hollow Bastion, which later becomes Radiant Gardens. This area goes through some pretty drastic changes throughout the series, but one thing remains throughout. It always looks super cool, and amazing things happen there. Honestly, Hollow Bastion is usually the highlight of a Kingdom Hearts game and the place you will enjoy visiting the most. This design shows Hollow Bastion in the early days when it was corrupted by the Heartless and is designed using some incredible dotwork shading. It’s a real showstopper, and if you find yourself thinking about that 1,000 heartless battle time and time again, this is something that you should really consider using as the inspiration for your KH design.
We aren’t going to pretend that Kingdom Hearts is the only great game that exists as there are a wealth of amazing games out there, and if you are a Legend of Zelda fan or a Ratchet and Clank fan, you are going to love this. This tattoo design showcases Master Sword, Ratchet’s Wrench, and the Kingdom Key on a keychain, acting as a means of displaying some of gaming’s coolest weaponry all in one neat, compact design. This is a great concept and could easily be tweaked to include other interesting weapons like Cloud’s Buster Sword from Final Fantasy VII perhaps. We will leave the details up to you.
Now here is a crossover you never knew you needed until now, Pokemon and Kingdom Hearts. Just imagine that instead of smacking those little creatures with a Keyblade that you could throw a Pokeball at the Heartless and use them to do your bidding. It would be a game-changer for sure. Well, in this design, you can clearly see that someone wants this fantasy to become a reality. The design shows a purple Pokeball with the Heartless insignia on the front and some ominous blue smoke surrounding the design, acting as set dressing. It’s a peculiar pairing, to say the least, but we love it all the same. Maybe this will give you the courage to combine one of your other passions with KH to create a unique tattoo.
Then lastly for crossovers, we have the most obvious of crossovers, Kingdom Hearts, and Final Fantasy. Honestly, there are endless options when it comes to tattoos of this nature, but we had to go with this super cute example right here. This design shows a Moogle wielding the Kingdom Key and the Buster Sword. It’s cute, it satisfies a need to support both franchises, and it’s super vibrant and eye-catching. How could you ask for more?
Other Fun Ideas
Organisation XIII Weapons Tattoo Design
Now we have one that is perfect for those that love all the Organisation members and don’t want to choose just one to be featured in your tattoo design. This blackwork design showcases all of the weapons that each organization member uses, such as Demyx and his Sitar, Axel and his Chakram, Marluxia and her Scythe, and so on. This is a design that could be tweaked and altered to fit just about anywhere on the body, or you could take one weapon and use it as a smaller tattoo if you like. There is plenty to work with here, so if you want to support one of your favorite Nobodies, this is the way to do it.
Next up, we have a tattoo that showcases the fodder enemy of the series, the standard Heartless. However, this design also makes a subtle nod to the events in Kingdom Hearts I when Sora loses his heart when battling Riku at Hollow Bastion. This design shows this Heartless wielding the Kingdom Key, Sora’s weapon of choice. So if you put two and two together, this can only mean that this is Sora is a heartless in this design. This Design also has a vibrant rendering of the Kingdom Hearts logo in the background and overall, this all ties together to create a wonderful piece and one of the best featuring a Heartless in our opinion.
If you are looking for a KH tattoo that is simple, minimalist, and perhaps one that you could get as a matching tattoo with a friend or loved one, then this watercolor Papou fruit design is a wonderful option. In the game, when two people share a Papou Fruit, their lives are forever bound together, and if that’s not a great sentiment that translates into a matching tattoo, then I don’t know what is. This design in particular is very eye-catching as the vibrant color choices and the watercolor effects add subtle details to the simple design to evaluate the overall quality. There are plenty of similar designs out there featuring Papou Fruits that may suit others better, but for us, this is the pick of the bunch.
Then lastly, we have the stained glass character designs that fans will remember from the beginning of just about every entry in the franchise. It’s an area between worlds that serves as a tutorial of sorts but also plays host to some incredible stained glass platforms that display important figures and logos from the series. This one, in particular, is one that players will encounter in KH1, displaying all of the core characters from the first game. There are tonnes of these out there so if you wanted a BBS-themed one, or an Organisation XIII-inspired one, that almost certainly exists. So feel free to browse what is out there and choose a beautiful stained glass KH tattoo design that you want.
Simple and Clean Designs!
As you can see from the selections above, there are so many styles of tattoo which relate to the Kingdom Hearts series, which would look amazing on your skin. I speak from experience as I have my own Keyblade on me at all times, and it serves as a reminder of all the great moments and fond memories that this series has offered over the years. If I had to pick my favorite of the bunch, it would probably have to be the Twilight Town Clocktower Fine Line piece. While I personally think the cartoon-style Aqua piece is most jaw-dropping, it’s just not my style. We hope that this guide serves as the catalyst you needed to get moving on this, and we hope that this has offered inspiration and pointed you toward something that you would really like to get tattooed. As always, thank you for reading RPG Informer!
Question: Where Is The Best Place to Get Your First Tattoo?
Answer: Honestly, it depends on your pain threshold and what kind of tattoo you want to get. However, as a general rule of thumb, pinch the area where you intend to get the tattoo and see how thick/thin that area feels. If the skin is tight in that area with no muscle or fat to act as added protection, then that will be an area that will hurt a lot more. So that is definitely something to consider. Personally, I would suggest that people new to the tattoo world get one on their arm or leg, to begin with, and then build from there.
Question: How Long Does a Tattoo Take?
Answer: That is like asking how long a piece of string is; it depends. However, if we use a piece from this article, my Kingdom Hearts tattoo, as an example. I sat in the chair for one sitting, and it took just over one hour. However, with these larger, more detailed, and more colorful pieces, you could be looking at 4-5 hour sittings, full-day sits, or multiple sessions, depending on the tattoo in question. So be sure to talk to your artist and see how long they estimate each piece will take.
Question: Are Colour Tattoos More Expensive?
Answer: The simple answer is yes. This isn’t due to added difficulty or due to the colored pieces taking longer. This added price tag is to cover the cost of equipment. You see, with blackwork, you can use one needle for the whole piece and usually only use one capsule of ink. However, with color tattoos, you have to use separate needles for each and open more capsules to complete the piece, hence the higher overall price.
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