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Literature / Kingdom Hearts II

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Volume 1
What is a heart? I don't know. Sora... Do you know? The mystery of the one great heart...Kingdom Hearts. It doesn't make sense to me. Hey, Sora... Can you tell me?

The novel adaptation of Kingdom Hearts II. Whereas the novelization of the original Kingdom Hearts was released in two volumes in Japanese and a single volume in English, there are at least three volumes of the Kingdom Hearts II novel in Japanese, being released in two English volumes by Yen Press under its Yen On imprint. The first English volume was issued on June 20, 2017, with the story concluded in the second novel that was released on December 12, 2017.

Tropes relating to this novel:

  • Adaptation Expansion / Compressed Adaptation: Yes and yes. The book cuts out a lot of the visits to various Disney worlds and zooms in on the main plot first involving Roxas's story and later the machinations of Organization XIII, with Halloween Town/Christmas Town, Atlantica, Pride Lands and Winnie the Pooh storybook worlds all having been excised from the story. On the other hand, the story delves much deeper into some stuff not explored in the game, presenting many scenes involving Axel, Naminé, Mickey Mouse and Riku, including for the first time depicting the show in which Riku makes Mickey promise not to reveal to Sora and the others what happened to him.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: This was Kanemaki's first real foray into inventing things for the story whole-cloth, and naturally this ends up creating problems when later games contradict it. One of the biggest cases is Axel's role, where Kanemaki turns him into more of a hero who becomes close friends with Riku and Naminé and who outright attempts to rescue Kairi from her prison cell in the World That Never Was. Come Axel's return as Lea in Dream Drop Distance, Riku is surprised to see him actually helping them and shows that he had a low opinion of the guy before this, while in 0.2 Birth by Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage, Kairi is nervous at the prospect of training with Lea because all she remembers of Axel was him kidnapping her, whereas if he had mounted a rescue she would have already known he was a good guy now.
  • Alternate Continuity: The Olympus Coliseum was not depicted in the original Kingdom Hearts novel, but is in this one. As such, all of the characters behave as if they're meeting each other for the first time. Also, most of the behind-the-scenes stuff runs contrary to what was inferred in the game and shown in later games. In one notable instance, Riku is shown calling for a meeting with Maleficent to try to aid Sora, something that was never seen in either the original game or the manga.
  • Canon Immigrant: A few of the scenes here, such as Riku sending Axel and Naminé off from Twilight Town, conversations between the members of Organization XIII, and the scene between Roxas and Axel following the latter's death, eventually were canonized in Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix, albeit with some differences note 
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The novel almost seems to be written to some degree as if for those who have already played Kingdom Hearts II, as well as some of the latter installments as well. It is much more open about certain things that in the game are not revealed until much later on or are obscured at best, such as that Riku is the hooded figure working DiZ and Naminé at the beginning of the game, that the Organization is using Sora/Roxas to collect hearts and contrary to what they think Nobodies actually can have hearts, something that is only made clear in Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]. Saïx ponders over the fact that Axel has managed to gain a heart, and Naminé tells him point blank that he too has one, though he doesn't realize it.
  • Novelization: To Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: In the original game, the Struggle in Twilight Town had a mechanic involving knocking your opponent about, then collecting colored orbs that seem to come out of the Strugglers' bodies, with the winner being the one with the most orbs. In the manga adaptation, this was depicted as the Strugglers wearing suits of these orbs. For the novel, the rule is "fight with the provided weapons and whoever gets knocked over first loses."

"Looks like my summer over." As he spoke, a soft light enveloped them. A sweet, peaceful light. A light that was complete. "Sora..." At Roxas's whisper, he awoke.