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Kingdom Hearts (manga)
The first series was based on Kingdom Hearts. It was released in four separate books and was translated to English by TOKYOPOP. This series differs from the others in a few ways: while the other manga were drawn and printed to read right-to-left, the first series was drawn and printed to read left-to-right; the chapters are also much shorter, usually only lasting six or seven pages of content; and there is an extra section at the end of each book (the first book featuring an art section, the second and third featuring 'Kingdom Bites' yonkoma, and the last book featuring an extra chapter set in 100-Acre Wood). The series was re-released in three volumes in Japan in December 2006 as "Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix".
The second series was based on Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. It was released in two chapters and translated to English by TOKYOPOP and into German by Egmont Manga & Anime. The Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Manga has a much lighter tone than that of the game, with many random scenes, such as Vexen asking the other underground members if they liked his homemade pickles and Namine wearing a safety helmet when Axel and Marluxia face off. The storyline is slightly different than the orignial story, for example Zexion is killed by the real Riku on the fake Destiny Islands, leaving behind a single pickled daikon. The final battle with Marluxia occurs in his flower garden where Namine is being held prisoner instead of the upper level of Castle Oblivion. Larxene is killed by Sora, Donald, and Goofy when Sora and Donald use Blizzard and Fire to create a giant water sprinkler, soaking Larxene when she summoned her Thunder and electrocuting her. Sora, Donald, and Goofy also disguise as genies in order to help Aladdin save Jasmine from Jafar as the real Genie was set free.
Bonus Feature: Strange News of Riku-Strange Story of the Replica
A short four-page two-part epilogue following the story of the Riku-Replica ends the second Chain of Memories manga. During the first part, the Replica finds a piece of meat that Namine took a bite out of and keeps it as his lucky charm to fulfill his duty to protect her. He then runs into the real Riku, saying that he is better because his shoes make him taller. After Riku says, "Good for you..." and walks away, the Replica promises to be his shadow for as long as he lives, and then is dragged along the floor attatched to Riku's feet.
The second half opens as the Replica asks Vexen's gravestone why he was created, then "hits the road" to find himself. As he walks away, dozens of failed Vexen replicas follow him to find their purpose as well.
The third series was based on Kingdom Hearts II. It currently consists of six books, with a hiatus taken between the fifth and sixth to draw the 358/2 Days manga. Initially, the first two volumes were released in English by Tokyopop, which has since lost the rights to distribute it. The first five volumes have been released in German by Egmont Manga & Anime and in Italian by Disney Manga. Kingdom Hearts II seems to take a more serious tone than Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, but still has some humorous scenes.
In March 2013, American manga publisher Yen Press announced a re-release of the Kingdom Hearts, Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II Mangas in omnibus form. So far 2 omnibuses of the Kingdom Hearts II have been manga released. The first omnibus contains volumes 1 and 2, as well as a portion of volume 3, and the second omnibus contains the rest of volume 3 along with volumes 4 and 5 in their entirety.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Further translation to English and publication in the United States has been postponed—no release is currently planned for Kingdom Hearts II volumes 3, 4, and 5, or for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. This is due to Tokyopop having lost the license to the manga. Disney and Square Enix have made no public comment on the future of the manga series.
In March 2013, Yen Press (North America) announced they had acquired the rights to the Kingdom Hearts Manga series, including the Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, and Kingdom Hearts II series. Just over a week after their announcement of the new licensing rights, the manga was made available for preorder on online stores Amazon and RightStuf. The release date for each manga volume is as follows:
- Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix Volume 1 & 2: May 28th 2013
- Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories: June 25th 2013
- Kingdom Hearts II Volume 1: July 30th 2013
- Kingdom Hearts II Volume 2: August 27th 2013
- Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Volume 1: November 19th 2013
- In the Kingdom Hearts CoM manga, in the bottom of the screens that Marluxia is using to monitor Sora is written Nomura, obviously referring to last name of the director of Kingdom Hearts, Tetsuya Nomura.
- The CoM manga also features Nomura Fried Chicken.
- In the 358/2 Days manga, Hayner, Pence, and Olette are seen at an ice cream stand called Nomura Dairy.
- Curse words are much more prevalent in the manga series than they are in the games. Characters that curse in the manga include Axel, Captain Hook, Hades and Sora.