If you are looking for information regarding KB's ranks, levels, and generations of wielders, you have come to the right place! Everything is organized by category below and has been carefully and painstakingly reworded and reorganized for clarity and cohesion. The generational information has also been consolidated and condensed, and I have added a few options to the higher ranks, both within the Academy and without, so be sure to check those out if you get the chance. (; If you still have any questions regarding any of the things discussed below, you may ask in a comment here!
The Academy is more than just a school for young wielders in need of guidance - it is a tight-knit community of students, teachers, active mentors, and higher-level wielders who stay at the Academy for the training opportunity, safety, and solidarity it provides them. Wielders at the Academy are divided into one of four ranks according to ability level and responsibilities awarded them, all of which are discussed in-depth below.
Wielders of the greatest ability level and expertise at the Keyblade Academy, Professors are highly skilled, well-trained, and generally older (the youngest profs tend
to be no younger than 30), and typically come from the first generation of wielders. There are two sub-categories of professors: active professors
, who teach a class or classes to a group or groups of students, and auxiliary professors
, who choose to stay on at the Academy but do not teach any classes there. Both are of the same level of ability and experience.
Active professors teach one or more classes and anywhere from two to eight sections of class a day, and tend to have an area of expertise or specialty in which they teach (a professor-level wielder with a lot of background in stealth operations, for example, might teach a class on how to operate covertly to gather information). Auxiliary professors tend to fill odd jobs around campus as needed (such as cooking and cleaning), help the mentors with guard duty, and use the facilities to train, corroborate with other wielders, and for the safety and solidarity of living with and around other wielders that the Academy provides.MENTOR
The second-highest ranking position at the Academy, Mentors are second only to Professors in their level of ability and experience. They are typically either from the first or second generations of wielders, and are highly skilled and well-trained. There may be a few mentors from the third wave of wielders but they will be few and far between. They tend to be slightly older, though not quite as old as the profs, and are generally 20 or more (human) years in age. There are two sub-categories of mentors at the Academy - active mentors
and auxiliary mentors
, both of which are discussed below.Active mentors
are mentor-level wielders currently paired with an apprentice, a student-level wielder at the Academy who is chosen for their perceived potential, natural talent, and/or personal compatibility with their mentor. Said student (now considered an apprentice) is trained by his or her mentor in an intense, one-on-one environment, outside of class time, on and/or off-campus, and can either be assigned to a mentor by the head of the Mentor Department, Jade Devos, or selected personally by their mentor. Auxiliary mentors
, on the other hand, are mentor-level wielders typically fulfilling additional duties on campus (auxiliary staff positions, such as secretarial or janitorial jobs) while awaiting assignment of or searching for an apprentice; they may choose to take on an apprentice at a later time (at which point they would become "active" mentors), or may stay apprenticeless for the duration of their stay with the Academy. (Many active mentors choose to take on additional duties, as well, but since their primary job is considered to be mentoring their individual apprentice, they are still referred to as "active" mentors.) All mentors help with guard duty and serve as a defensive and, as needed, offensive guard for the Academy.APPRENTICE
These are student-level wielders attending the Academy who get taken on by a Mentor. They are usually identified by their perceived potential and inherent skill, but can also be identified by the power of their keyblades. Apprentices are trained intensely in one-on-one sessions with their Mentors outside of school hours doing both practical (field training) exercises as well as gaining additional lecture- and text-based instruction regarding keyblading and battle tactics. Ideally these student-level wielders are being trained to become the next generation of Professors and Mentors, and potentially to form an elite guard for the Academy, eventually acting as both fighters of darkness and defenders of the school, helping to make it a safe place to learn and train.STUDENT
Rookie-level wielders from the third and occasionally second generation of keybladers, they are typically very inexperienced as they have only have their keyblades for a relatively short period of time. They also tend to be younger, aging between 10 and 20 years old on average, and require a lot of training in order to master their new abilities and learn the keyblade's true potential.
All wielders operating outside the domain of the Academy are considered "Rogues" and are referred to as such by all Academy staff and student body members. They may be acting entirely independently, or in a small group; they may be acting as such because they despise the bureaucracy of the Academy, because their morals are less than "up to par," or just because they aren't aware of the Academy's existence. All of the ranks have equivalents within the Academy, however they have different titles in order to mark them as separate them from the Academy itself.
Aces are the Rogue equivalents of the Academy's Professors, although they lack the active-professor teaching option available through the Academy, since, by their definition, the Rogues have no student body to teach. Despite their lack of an organized student body to teach they hold the same level of ability, skill, and expertise as their academic counterparts and as such are equally as dangerous. Aces may occasionally get together a small group of wielders and unofficially (or officially) lead it, however these groups often lack the structure and systematic policies assumed by the Academy, and tend to be more like loose bands of wielders held together by trust, kinship, bonds of friendship/affection, and/or similar interests and beliefs regarding keyblading. Unlike the Academy's profs, Aces can also take on individual student-level wielders as their apprentices.SPECIALIST
The Rogue equivalents of Mentors, these are more experienced Rogue wielders operating independently of the Academy who, like their Academic counterparts, may or may not decide to take an individual Rookie under their tutelage. (Specialists who choose to take on an apprentice are known as Trainers
.) They are typically only slightly less experienced than the Aces and just about rival them in ability/skill. They usually come from the same wielding generations (overwhelmingly the first or second and occasionally the third), and like the Mentors, they tend to be slightly older, usually at least 20 (human) years in age.TENDERFOOT
Rookie-level Rogue wielders who show enough promise to older, more experienced wielders to be taken on as an apprentice. Tenderfoots are typically trained personally and intensively by their Specialist- or Ace-level mentors to improve their skills in battle as well as their ability with and knowledge of their keyblades, though they may also be used as lackies by their older, more experienced trainers. Both Aces and Specialists may take on a Tenderfoot as their apprentice.ROOKIE
The student-level equivalent within the Rogue ranks. Typically younger in age (~10-20) and belonging to the second or third generation, relatively inexperienced and probably in need of training to develop/hone their abilities. May be taken under a Specialist or an Ace's wing as a Tenderfoot independently of the Academy.
There are essentially three "waves" or "generations" of keybladers currently existing in the KB universe - the first, second, and third. Each generation has certain time/chronology and age requirements and may contain both Academy and Rogue wielders. For clarification on the order in which these generations emerged and how they relate to the current Nu-verse timeline, please click on the thumbnail provided below.
The first wave of wielders, these keybladers began gaining their keyblades about two months after Organization Nu was officially founded, when the darkness was only just beginning to ooze over into the worlds of this universe. Wielders belonging to this generation tend to be older (over the age of 20 or 30) and more experienced due to having had more time with their keyblades. This group is composed entirely of professor- and mentor-level wielders and is completely devoid of students and rookies. The first generation lasted about four months, and no wielders who gained their keyblades after this specified period of time are considered first gen wielders.SECOND (Interim) GENERATION
About two months after the first generation officially "ended," these guys started showing up. During the two months between these two generations no keyblades were matched to anyone
. They are the smallest of all three waves, though they gained their keyblades over the longest period of time (the generation lasted for about ten months). Wielders from this group are usually mentors or students, though a few of the more experienced and skilled of this generation may be profs. These wielders tend to be a bit awkward with their keyblades and abilities as they seem to be either premature thirdies or late-to-the-party firsties, and have neither the sense of solidarity of the first gen wielders nor the built-in tutelage provided to those of the third generation. The last wielders of this generation received their keyblades about three and a half months before the first third generation wielders began receiving their keyblades. Jim founded his school, the Keyblade Academy, some time after the first wielders of this generation started showing up, at about ten months after Year 0 on the timeline provided above.THIRD GENERATION
The third and final wave of wielders, these "warriors of light" received their keyblades most recently (approximately two months before the "present" on the above-linked timeline), after the organization had already grown quite significantly and the darkness had spread to most all of the worlds. Wielders of this generation are typically inexperienced as they have had much less time to get acquainted with their new weapons, and tend to be younger than their first and second generation counterparts (usually ranging from 10 to 20 years in age). These wielders are predominantly student-level but may have a few mentors as well (who would have to be particularly gifted wielders with natural talent and ability, as well as potentially stronger keyblades). This generation is currently ongoing and more wielders gain their keyblades every day.