Archive for August 1st, 2010


Kingdom Hearts: The Manga (4/5)

I have wanted to get into Kingdom Hearts for a while, but alas, I do not own a PS2.  Nor does my PS3 play PS2 disks. (curse you Sony!)  So imagine my glee when my friend lent me the copies of his Mangas.

The basic premise is simple: Lets have a big, Disney themed crossover and throw in some Final Fantasy characters for good measure.  The story itself, however, if far from simple.  Ok, lets see if I can explain it without getting confused (or giving away spoilers):

Each disney film is a world that exists out in space.  These worlds are slowly being conquered by evil creatures known as heartless.  The worlds are then vanishing.  On a small island a young boy, named Sora, is about to set out on an adventure with his two best friends, Kairi and Riku, to see if there is there is another world on the other side of the Ocean.  The heartless attack and Sora wakes up on anther world called Tanverse town, sorta  a haven for those who have lost their worlds to the heartless.  Stuff happens and before long he realizes he has been chosen by a magical weapon called the Keyblade.  He meets up with Donald Duck and Goofy who are under orders from their king (guess who) to follow the Keyblade master.  They then set off from disney movie to disney movie.

It may sound like I am giving away a lot of the plot, but this is really only a cliff-notes of chapters 1-8.  (there are 42 total)  The fact of the matter is that for four little mangas, there is a whole lot of story.  I mean a whole lot of story.  This is cool in some ways as you can tell there is a rich mythology here however it makes it hard to follow.  However, it is not impossible to tell what it is going on, you just have to pay close attention.  (Read slowly! 😉 )

The story is actually really good.  Each world feels like its own adventure, yet you never really lose sight of the higher goal.  Of course, some of the worlds were better than others Shockingly, my favorite movies were not my favorite worlds.  For example, Alice in Wonderland was my least favorite world, yet one of my favorite Disney films.  Also it should be noted that the story gets better and better as you get further into it.  I think this is because they are struggling to set up the world in the first volume, but as you go further into it they can really start to have fun.  (This could be why I did not like Alice’s world as it is the first one they visit)

While I don’t think Disney was directly involved in the writing of these mangas, the magic is still there.  They actually manage to get away with a lot of stuff that would seem campy, corny, or even downright lame if it was not for the fact that it was Disney.  For example, without giving away and spoilers, all the clichés involving the word “Heart” are here:  Follow your heart, key to your heart, I’ll be with you – in your heart, etc.  Were this any other series, I would slam it for being corny, but with Disney it somehow works without feeling lame.  In fact, it is quite awesome.  I think it is because they take these phrases quite literally, which you don’t see very often.

One problem I had with it was the humor.  I am sure the game was funny, but the manga wasn’t.  It tried, and to some people it may have been.  I just did not get the humor, which consisted mostly of people randomly screaming things and/or making exaggerated facial expressions.  I think it may be due to the Jokes not translating well into English.

Another problem I have with the book is the characters.  While we see plenty of the main characters, and we already know the Disney characters, there are plenty of other supporting characters that help out heroes on their journey.  They seem like really interesting characters, but we never get a chance to really see them.  I know they are more fleshed out in the games, and I would like to have gotten to know them better in the Mangas.

But overall, it is a fun series.  I enjoyed it and I think you will too.

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