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Kingdom Hearts Final Mix #02 Manga Review

3 min read
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix Volume 2
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix Volume 2

Still sweet and charming, with an added level of emotion.

What They Say:
World collide as Sora, Donald, and Goofy continue their quest to save the universe from darkness and reunite with their friends! Wherever the trio goes, the Heartless seem to follow, manipulated from the shadows by powerful villains. But while his enemies seem to prove no match for Sora’s heart or his Keyblade, the Heartless aren’t the only ones Sora has to worry about…because before he can find his friends, one of them unexpectedly finds him! With Riku now playing for the dark side, will Sora succeed in saving him, Kairi, and Kingdom Hearts?!

Writer and Artist: Shiro Amano
Original Concept: Tetsuya Nomura
Translator: Alethea and Athena Nibley
Lettering: Terri Delgado, Alyssa Blakeslee

The Review:
Sora, Donald, and Goofy continue their journey to save their universe from the Heartless. Traveling from world to world, they find out more about their enemy and the masterminds behind the darkness. Along the way they fight the sea witch Ursula alongside Ariel, free Peter Pan and cross swords with Captain Hook, and reach the end of their quest. However, the cost of victory may be more than they want to pay.

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix volume 2 is the second of a two volume set of manga adaptations of the popular first game in the Kingdom Hearts series by Square Enix and Disney. As I said in my review of the first volume, a great deal of the joy in reading this comes from seeing characters from different franchises interact. Who would have ever thought to see Donald Duck talking to Cid from Final Fantasy VII? However, some of the same issues I had with the first volume also continue here. The pacing of the story is a little better, but it still jerks around without solid transitions more often than I like, and the quality of the artwork is a bit cluttered at times to the point where I have trouble discerning the action.

That being said, I did enjoy this volume a bit more, mainly because the emotional stakes feel more developed and plot threads begun in volume one come to fruition here. The character arc for Riku in particular was quit compelling, and it’s hard not to feel some of Sora’s pain at the darkening of his friend’s soul. The story builds up to a very satisfying climax that contains a great deal of tragedy and heroism.

In Summary:
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix 2 is the second of the two volume manga translation of the popular Square Enix game. Sora, Donald, and Goofy reach the end of their quest after fighting the sea witch Ursula and Peter Pan’s nemesis, Captain Hook. At Hollow Bastion, Sora is finally reunited with his friend, Riku, who has now gone over to the Heartless. The pain that Sora feels at this change in his friend adds a nice level of pathos that was started in volume one, but didn’t really pay off until now. While the manga still contains problems with pacing, transitions, and cluttered art, it was still fun to read and volume two is actually more enjoyable than the first. Again, this will probably appeal more to Kingdom Hearts fans than anyone else, but it’s still a fun read. Mildly recommended.

Grade: B