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Manga / Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days

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The fourth series of the manga adaptation of the Kingdom Hearts franchise, adapted from Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days.

Like all the other Kingdom Hearts manga, the 358/2 Days manga largely follows the plot of the source material (in this case, Roxas's time in Organization XIII before Kingdom Hearts II) while making minor changes and additions. It's also, in general, Denser and Wackier, being far more comedic than the game it's based on, although it is also arguably more heartfelt due to a greater expansion on character perspectives beyond Roxas.

As of February 2015, the entire five volume series is available in English, Japanese, and German.

This manga contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: As opposed to both the games and the Disney film he was originally from, Captain Hook is a Friendly Enemy to Peter Pan, and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who (after some convincing from Axel) helps Roxas and Peter Pan defeat the Ruler of the Sky.
  • Adaptational Context Change: The manga re-orders several events that happen compared to the game, changing the context they happen in and affecting their overall mood. Most noticeably, Axel, Roxas, and Xion's promise to go to the beach on their next day off ends up happening much later in the story. In the game, the promise is simply one they made in happier times which sadly never comes to pass. In the manga however, by the point it's brought up, both Axel and Xion are aware that the days they can spend together are numbered. As a result, it comes off as more of an Empty Promise they make to humor Roxas, and one that symbolizes the future they want, but know probably will never be.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • Xion is a lot more peppy and expressive than her game counterpart, who is somewhat solemn.
    • In the game, Xaldin is composed, intelligent, and always completely serious. In the manga, he's comically boisterous and a fool that can't understand how to operate a computer.
    • Saïx, while still generally The Stoic like in the games, is far more likely to express his anger due to Demyx's antics. He also comes off as even more spiteful about Roxas and Xion's relationship with Axel, which is saying something since he was already incredibly unpleasant towards them in the source material.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Halloween Town and its characters are completely absent, just like the other Kingdom Hearts manga adaptations. As a result, the illusion battle between Roxas and Xion is moved to Never Land.
    • Unlike in the game and HD cutscenes, Xigbar doesn't see Xion as Ventus while being attacked by her.
    • The story in Neverland is changed to include Peter Pan in the story. As a result Pete, who was a somewhat important character in this world, was written out completely.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Some scenes of the Organization members are expanded upon in the manga, giving more time for the other characters to shine. Demyx and Luxord's camaraderie with Roxas is very apparent here, which leads to the Kingdom Hearts II manga, where both are shown asking why would Roxas turn on the organization and even showing disappointment when Roxas was gone. There are also additional scenes in the manga that help makes sense of some of the more vaguely shown plot points in the original game, such as Riku intercepting Axel when he's trying to stop Xion from entering Castle Oblivion, which would explain why Axel wasn't able to catch up to her. It's also explicitly shown that Xemnas did something to Xion before her final battle with Roxas, placing her in a pod of fluid like a mad scientist's experiment.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Xigbar, Xaldin, Demyx and Luxord are given larger roles in this adaptation, where they serve as mostly comic relief. In several parts of the manga, they help Roxas and Axel out (such as pull a Big Damn Heroes moment to stop Riku from escaping with a renegade Xion). Luxord even gets A Day in the Limelight in Volume 3.
    • Riku plays a larger role in the manga than the game; at one point, he encounters Roxas in an ice cream shop, and has to restrain him to prevent a fight in public.
    • This could be said for every character who isn't Roxas. The game version of the story is told almost exclusively from Roxas's perspective, with only limited and often taken-out-of-context scenes of other characters. The manga gives a little more space for the other characters to have some of the spotlight.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: After taking a bite out of a mushroom in Wonderland, Roxas grows into a giant that towers over the forest and forces Luxord to ride in his ear. Luxord later finds some mushrooms during the croquet match to become a giant himself, which he uses to destroy the Queen of Heart's castle.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Xigbar, Xaldin, Demyx and Luxord join Roxas and Axel in Twilight Town to confront Riku when he helps Xion escape. Unfortunately for them, Riku escapes after tricking the four into attacking each other.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In one translation, when Genie helps Roxas and Xion with fighting the Antlion in the middle of a sandstorm, he mentions that "[they're] running out of pages!"
  • Butt-Monkey: Demyx never does anything successfully and is frequently mocked by the other Organization members.
  • Call-Forward: One of the prizes for collecting enough "Winner" sticks is an Easter Island Head tissue dispenser. In the Kingdom Hearts II manga, Roxas ends up broke because he spent his money on the same item.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Peter Pan. He didn't appear in the game. Plus the mermaids, who never appeared in any of the games.
    • And there's also the Caterpillar, though his appearance is more of a cameo.
  • Christmas Episode: In a bonus chapter. During a rather cold day in The World That Never Was, several members decide to take a day off, much to Saïx's displeasure. Though they decide to work anyway due to a bad smell, which they blame on Vexen. It actually came from some soybeans that Zexion was fermenting with the table heater.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: When Roxas throws his Keyblade out the window in a fit of anger, it reappears in his hand.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Riku absolutely thrashes Axel, foiling Axel's attempt at preventing Xion from finding out the truth about her origins in Castle Oblivion (though he used the power of darkness inside him).
  • Cuteness Proximity: When Xion first see Pluto the dog, she gets excited and squees.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Luxord gets plenty of focus during the "Wonderland Gambler Trilogy".
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Axel calls Saïx a jerk in Chapter 18, completely unaware that Saïx was right behind him.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: When Saïx angrily confronts Demyx for hacking into his computer to steal other members' reports, Demyx tries to sweet talk his way out of punishment by praising a poem that Saïx had hidden in the computer. This only serves to enrage Saïx further.
  • Disguised in Drag: Roxas attempts to disguise himself as the White Rabbit's maid, Marianne, by throwing on an apron from a French Maid Outfit over his Black Coat. The Rabbit isn't fooled, so Roxas gets arrested.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Saïx's solution when he finds out that Demyx was snooping around in his computer? Send him to the Colosseum to "train" and beat him to an inch of his life.
  • Distressed Dude: On the trip to Wonderland, Luxord gets shrunk down to the size of an ant. He proceeds to get seperated from Roxas and tormented by the Cheshire Cat. Later on, while trying to save Roxas from a trial, he finds himself being used as a croquet ball by the Queen of Hearts.
  • Elopement: During the time when Xion loses her ability to summon the keyblade and she's worried about what will happen if the organization no longer finds her useful, Roxas suggests that in worst case scenario he and her run away and live together, and they also decide that they want to invite Axel. When the subject is brought up, Axel actually accepts their proposal, realizing that he wouldn't mind such a scenario.
  • Face Doodling: The Dusks that are put in charge of taking care of Roxas while he's in a coma make various drawing on his face.
  • Freak Out: Played for Laughs. Xion has a bit of a comedic breakdown when she's planning on what to do with Roxas and Axel for vacation. She later has another one when she realizes what they've been doing during their one day vacation (sitting on the clock tower eating ice cream) is simply the same thing they already do almost every day.
  • Friendly Fire: Riku, after being ambushed by half of Organization XIII, tricks Xigbar into attacking Demyx by lifting his blindfold up, and dodges the bullets. They start fighting, and he escapes.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Xaldin asks for the weather in Saïx's computer like it was a magic mirror, and threatens to smash it when it doesn't do anything.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Belle gets concerned about Xion going with Roxas after the Heartless, since she's an unarmed little girl. Cogsworth immediately points out that Belle was just going around Beast's Castle hunting Heartless herself, and she's less qualified due to lacking combat experience.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Roxas and Luxord both shrink when they drink a bottle in Wonderland.
  • In the Hood: Almost all of the members of Organization XIII are seen with their hoods up at one point or another. Xion in particular wears her hood up 80% of the time when she's not just around Axel or Roxas.
  • Jackass Genie: After Luxord fails to free Roxas from his cage in Wonderland, Roxas asks the Cheshire Cat for help. The cat does so by throwing a hedgehog towards the Queen of Hearts, causing her to order Roxas' immediate execution by guillotine.
  • Level Grinding: Referenced by Roxas when he and Demyx are being trained by Phil.
  • Lighter and Softer: In general the manga is filled with much more lighthearted and comedic moments than the game. However, the ending is just as dark and depressing (if not arguably more so due to the manga expanding upon certain scenes and having a greater flexibility in showing facial expressions).
  • Mythology Gag: At one point in Kingdom Hearts II, Sora chases after a hooded man, thinking him to be Riku. When he finally catches up to the figure, it's Xigbar. Here, Roxas chases after another hooded figurine, also thinking him to be Riku. This time, it's Demyx.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Riku manages to defeat Demyx offscreen, leaving Demyx all bandaged up in the face. Xigbar mocks him for being "weak".
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • During one of Xion's attempts to clean a comatose Roxas' face from Face Doodling vandalism, she has a bit of a freak out when she finds out that it was done in permanent ink.
    • Second, by both Roxas and Xion when told that they are to be in separate missions during the time Xion was unable to use her Keyblade. Fortunately, Axel was able to win them one more day together by claiming that he can wear down the one in Beast's Castle for awhile.
    • Riku even gets this when he finds himself surrounded by six members of Organization XIII, four of whom just pulled a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Hook helps defeat the Ruler of the Sky since he thinks it was going to kill Peter Pan, which is his job.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Demyx helps Xion watch over the comatose Roxas.
    • After destroying the Queen of Hearts' castle and seeing how he upset her, Luxord wipes away her tears and makes a giant card castle as a replacement.
    • Saïx is usually a jerk towards Xion, but he allows her to keep Pluto the Dog. Axel is surprised, and Saïx remarks that he let it slide because he liked dogs when he was a human.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Most of the members of the Organization prefer to chill out in the lobby or some other place instead of doing their jobs, and Saïx has to force them to work. It's even shown that nearly everyone is bored from Xemnas' speech apart from Saïx.
  • Running Gag:
    • The Elixirs Roxas keeps getting are past their expiration date.
    • Demyx keeps on failing to submit a report of an acceptable standard and is forced to re-do them. This becomes a semi-important plot point when he leaves Saïx's computer on after stealing a report, allowing Xion to access some sensitive files.
    • Saïx getting angry over his comrades' antics.
  • Series Continuity Error: Belle remembers Sora, even though he's sleeping at this point, and the game outright states that everyone he knew before had forgotten about him while he slept for a year.
  • Shout-Out: Among the many faces the Dusks doodle on Roxas while he sleeps is that of Groucho Marx.
    • Also, Demyx at one point squirts water by doing Spider-Man's signature hand gesture. Appropriately enough, the character he uses it on, Hercules, is portrayed in both the original movie and the Kingdom Hearts series as a Superman Substitute.
  • Ship Tease:
    • The possible attraction between Roxas and Xion goes from being subtext in the game to being all but them admitting it, they almost seem like an Official Couple. Examples include:
      • Xion saying holding Roxas' Keyblade feels like she's holding his hand.
      • One of the two saying can you imagine us doing anything other than eat ice cream, cue both of them giving each other awkward stares.
    • Also, the Threesome Subtext between Axel, Roxas, and Xion is about as unsubtle as you can get in a story aimed a children's audience, with the three concluding they want to live the rest of their lives together. While this also happens in the game, it was merely a brief suggestion that wasn't explored further. Here though, we have Roxas suggesting it, Xion agreeing that she would love it if they live together like that after finishing their job with the Organization, and then Axel describing the whole thing as one would describe a marriage arrangement. The whole scene is presented in a way that's also weirdly reminiscent of a marriage proposal (Both Roxas and Xion look like they're nervous and blushing when they bring it up, and Axel literally saying at the end "I accept your proposal"). Also Xion's last line:
      • In the scene where they promise to go to the beach together on their next day off, Roxas cheerfully declares "it's a date!"
  • Stay in the Kitchen: When the Heartless take control of Beast's Castle, the servants try to convince Belle to stay in her room, but she refuses and helps fight the Heartless. Surprisingly, she later tries to convince Xion to due the same thing, due to her younger appearance.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Fighting in public will draw attention from nearby people, especially police officers, which Riku knows, and tells the elderly woman at the ice cream shop that he and Roxas were fighting over who pays for ice cream to avoid publicity.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: This literally happens to Riku in Volume Four after half of the Organization ambushes and surrounds him. He tricks them into attacking each other to escape.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The old woman at the ice cream shop seems to find nothing strange with Roxas and Riku, both of whom are in black cloaks (and a blindfold in Riku's case). Her only comment is about them fighting, which Riku tries to dismiss as them simply arguing over who pays for the ice cream.
  • Way Past the Expiration Date: The Elixirs that the Moogle sells to Roxas are always expired.
  • With Catlike Tread: Roxas is this when he had his first recon mission with Vexen. He gets better...
  • Workaholic: Saïx spends his one day off by doing some unspecified work with the Dusks.