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Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix Manga Volume 1 Impressions

FEATURES By Spencer Aug 07, 2013 at 12:18am (EST)

Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix will be making its first official release outside of Japan with the release of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix this fall. In case you can't wait till next September, Yen Press has answered many fans prayers by acquiring the rights to the Kingdom Hearts Manga earlier this year. The Kingdom Heart: Final Mix manga is the first to release and here is what we thought of Volume 1.

In case you never followed the rather slow Tokyopop release of the manga back in 2005, this re-release features a brand new translation and a few new pages. The bonus chapter in Volume 1 is a very short side story of Sora and Riku exploring the mysterious cave on Destiny Island for the first time as kids. It helps add a little more to Riku's story and really who doesn't want to see kid Riku and Sora again?

The Kingdom Hearts manga is drawn and written by Shiro Amano. Amano finds a way to strike the perfect balance between humor and telling a serious story that comes with Kingdom Hearts. The story is never a direct copy of the game and adds a lot of its own silly elements that make me wish it was sometimes like that in the game.

In case you are new to the story of Kingdom Hearts or have been addicted for over a decade now, the manga has something for everyone. Newcomers to the series will be getting a streamline version of Kingdom Hearts and hopefully will get you interested enough to want to play the games the manga was based off of.

If the manga had to have any faults, it would have to be that not every world is at least shown off. Using the first volume of Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix as an example, excluding the Tarzan world skipped over one of the best parts early on in the game's story. The argument between Sora and Donald gives a nice look at how stubborn both friends can be, but still learn to forgive each other.

A big positive that the manga has against the game is the fact that there a much larger focus on the Final Fantasy characters in Traverse Town. Cid, Leon, Yuffie, and Aerith act as a sort of support team. Cid has even included communications system on the gummi ship (along with a fax machine) and helps translate the Ansem reports that Sora finds in different worlds.

Many fans have always mentioned that the different Final Fantasy characters in Kingdom Hearts never seem to play a big enough role and the manga does a good job of finding a good balance with both franchises.

It is hard to believe that after all of these years, the manga adaptation still holds up so well. It really is a testament to the story of Kingdom Hearts and especially Amano's wonderful artstyle. Having Yen Press re-release the manga with an even better translation now gives everyone a brand new way to experience one of the best manga adaptations of a video game in a long time. This first volume of Final Mix is a definite must have to any fan of Kingdom Hearts and great manga.

You can order a physical copy of the book now for $12 and there is even an option to pick up a digital copy of the game to read on your iOS devices with the Yen Press app.

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If you have read the Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix manga, be sure to post what you think about it in the comments below. If you also have any questions about the manga feel free to post them below and I will respond to as many questions I can answer.

Stay tuned next week for impressions of Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix Volume 2!

Source: Official Kingdom Hearts Manga Website