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Manga / Kingdom Hearts II

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The manga adaptation of Kingdom Hearts II by Shiro Amano that ran from 2007 to 2014, preceded by the manga of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and the succeeded by the manga of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. While it is the 3rd of the 4 manga based off of the Kingdom Hearts series of video games, it was put on hiatus to allow Amano to work on the 358/2 Days manga, and thus was the last one to be completed.

Like the other adaptations by Amano, the core plot is the same as the game with minor differences sprinkled throughout. There is also a greater focus on comedy, but this does not stop the story from frequently having serious moments when it is appropriate.

A hiatus took place after the release of Volume 5 as Shiro Amano did the manga adaptation for Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. The hiatus has ended, and Volumes 6, 7, and 8 have since been released, while Volume 9 was released in 2015. Tokyopop translated the first two volumes into English before losing the rights to the manga; Yen Press has since retranslated all five volumes and released them in two volumes, with Volume 3 (Volumes 6 and 7 in Japan) released in late 2014. Volume 4 of the English language translation, the final volume, after a very long wait, was finally released on May 30, 2017 and included a preview of the English release of the first installment of the Kingdom Hearts II novelization.

This manga contains example of:

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the original game Sora only has one scene where the part of Roxas inside of him causes him to start crying, while in the manga there are multiple instances where a memory related to Roxas causes him to shed tears.
  • Adaptational Badass: Kairi has a more active role in the manga. Though she is still kidnapped, she does more to attack her captors, gets A Day in the Limelight when she manages to escape her cell, and even saves Sora from Xigbar rather than a horde of Shadow Heartless after getting her Keyblade.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Sort of. The events of The Land of Dragons are more faithful to the source film than the game, but a few major scenes are still changed. One example is that Sora fights Shan-Yu on the palace rooftop rather than Mulan, but only because he was very furious with the Hun. There's also the fact that it combines both visits of The Land of Dragons by having Shan Yu summon the Storm Rider.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Axel is portrayed in a significantly more noble light here than he was in the original game, particularly in regards to his dynamic with Kairi, which was never positive in the games until after he came back to life as Lea.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Donald and Goofy are referred to as "Ronald and Zoofy" by Yuffie, much to their anger and confusion, respectively.
  • Accidental Pervert: Sora unknowingly walks in on Mulan bathing in a pond and sees her breasts, revealing her to be a woman.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Xaldin, one of the strongest members of the Organization in the games, is a total joke who gets easily beat up by Beast and then killed by a replica of Vexen in the manga.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While Sora always has been a kind hero for good people in the games, at the same time he can be disturbing ruthless against his enemies, almost always succeeding in killing them without remorse. In the manga, he is a lot kinder and is willing to spare people like Xaldin and even outright helping an agonizing Demyx in Underworld. He is also much less fantastic racist against Nobodies through the end.
  • Adapted Out: The manga adaptation cuts out 100 Acre Wood, Atlantica, Port Royal, Halloween Town and the Pride Lands.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Chapter 41 (Minion Pete) is a Villain Episode that focuses on Pete and the Gullwings trying to save their boss, Maleficent.
    • Chapter 45 (Make a Break For It) stars Kairi breaking out of her cell in The World That Never Was.
    • Chapter 65 (The Reason I Fight) stars Jiminy Cricket as he plays Luxord's games.
  • Ad-Break Double-Take: In the Yen Press version at least, the scenes at the very end of each chapter tend to be repeated at the beginning of the next chapter.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Sark, as he revealed that the only why he works for the Master Control Program is because of Terra-Xehanort banishing Ansem the Wise and taking his name, which causes Sark to believe that "Ansem" had betrayed him. Even Sora feels sorry for him.
    • Demyx. He doesn't want to fight Sora in the first place, mainly because he still considers him Roxas one way or another, and only does so when the titular hero pushes him too far. When he is finally defeated, he doesn't stop at letting out his death scream from the game, as he goes on to look at Sora and say "I don't want to fade... Roxas...!" with tears in his eyes. Sora is, understandably, rather upset by this and can't help but wonder whether Nobodies really don't have hearts.
  • Alternate Universe: Mushu is the only character who seems to be aware that the manga and games are two different continuities. He has memories of fighting alongside Sora and his friends, but they never met him in the manga adaptation of the original game.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Although the manga has stopped at just four games covered, Mickey's bottle still reaches the Destiny Islands, confirming that, yes, the events of games not covered will still happen. This is further hinted with Xigbar, who still has the "half the hero the others were" line, indicating Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep happened in the manga continuity.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Sark only has a minor role in the game, but the manga gives him more prominence and some extra backstory.
    • The Gullwings (Yuna, Rikku, and Paine) only showed up in the dead middle of the game with very minimal screentime. Their roles as Maleficent's minions for hire is expanded and fleshed out more in the manga, with the three of them even getting to interact with Pete and Maleficent.
  • Are We There Yet?: Sora says this on the train to Yen Sid's tower. He gets upset when told that it's already been two hours.
  • Banging for Help: After being locked in a broom closet by DiZ, Naminé is forced to bang on the door to attract help. She (along with a rat) is rescued by Axel.
  • Big Damn Heroes
    • Sora pulls this by saving the Emperor of China from Shan Yu. Of course, he had a good reason to be there.
    • When Sora and his friends are rendered unconscious by Sark, who plots to execute them on the spot, Tron breaks free of the Strafters holding him and sends them back to Hollow Bastion while telling them his user's name (Ansem). Sora regains consciousness just at the moment, and is able to hear Tron, but also witness him being tortured by Sark.
      Tron: I'm counting... on... you.
    • They later repay him, unintentionally, by crushing Sark upon reentering the computer after Tron makes a mocking comment on the MCP.
  • Big Eater: Several characters get their moment. Humorously, a phantom Shadow created by Yen Sid even attempts to eat a heart-shaped cupcake before it's stopped by Donald.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted, as the Beast actually bleeds a bit while fighting the Shadow Stalker with Sora. Some of the blood is even on Belle's clothes. Not to mention Xaldin's bloody nose later on.
    • Played straight with Tron, as he is shown to be cracked after being tortured. Justified, as he is a program, and thus, does not have any blood.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mushu takes out the manga for the first game to prove he was in it... and is angry that he was cut out.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": A minor gag has Sora, Donald and Goofy mistaking the coincidental "A" pattern on Auron's armor for this, much to his chagrin.
  • The Cameo: The Sultan of Agrabah appears twice with Jasmine when Jafar picks up the palace, intending to destroy it, much to Pete's anger.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • A character original to this story is the Vexen Replica, returning from the Chain of Memories manga. This is Vexen Replica No. 44, the final Vexen replica. He's running around in The World That Never Was and ends up being the one to kill Xaldin, freezing him. He then appears after Kairi escapes to Twilight Town from her kidnapping by Axel, saying that it may be his only chance to study a creature that has no darkness in its heart. He observes her becoming fast friends with Hayner, Pence and Olette, something he figures he could never do even if he had a heart. Then Saïx shows up to kidnap Kairi and he decides he'd better book it before Organization XIII discovers his continued existence. Finally, he is seen in the ending of the manga, with a completed Vexen Report.
    Vexen Replica: "The heart blends with others to generate enormous strength. The power doesn't spring from one alone...... Will that suffice, Vexen...? Now my long journey finally... ...comes to an end. With all my respect for the warriors of the Keyblade..."
    • In the case of the Land of Dragons, Chi-Fu is present with the soldiers, and Khan makes a cameo appearance when he helps the party reach the city. Neither Chi-Fu or Khan appear in the game.
  • Captain Crash: Barely averted when Sora, again, tries to pilot the Gummi Ship.
    • Donald even gets a turn when he accidentally grabs hold of a Magnum Loader and drives it all over the Canyon while refusing to let go, as Sora and Goofy try to help him. Hilarity Ensues... until he crashes into Tron.
  • Cardboard Prison: Kairi's cell in The World That Never Was has gaps between the bars large enough for her to squeeze through, and she's able to trick the Dusks guarding her into helping her out.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: In the Land of Dragons, Sora temporary leaves the party after receiving a Paopu Fruit from Riku, which triggers a Heroic BSoD. He is absent for several pages while his allies continue the battle without him. Not long afterwards, Shan-Yu takes the Emperor hostage, and just as he prepares to assassinate him, Sora pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment to save the Emperor. Of course, Sora is really furious with the villain, blaming him for not allowing him to speak with Riku. He only calms down after encountering Xigbar.
  • Damsel in Distress: Maleficent becomes one when her overconfidence lead to the Heartless to destroy a tower in her castle. Pete saves her with the help of Yuna, Rikku, Paine, and a conveniently-placed cannon.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Kairi is able to break herself out of her cell in The World That Never Was by squeezing through the bars and tricking the Dusks guarding her into thinking she was one of them.
  • Death Row: It's confirmed by Tron that Sora and his friends have been sentenced to derezolution by the Master Control Program just for messing with the computer.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Sark goes through this when Ansem apparently betrays him.
  • Disappointed in You: Like in the game, a bunch of weak Heartless capture Donald and Goofy when the party wind up in Space Paranoids. While he tells them to "show them who's boss" in the game, Sora's reaction in the manga is very different.
    Sora: Come on, guys! You let the Heartless get you?
    • Earlier, Xemnas shows signs of disappointment when Demyx bails out of his mission in Olympus Coliseum. Xigbar, on the other hand, is clearly angry.
  • Distressed Dude: Tron, though he does become more powerful later on thanks to friendship and teamwork
  • Dual Boss: Unlike in the game, both Saix and Luxord ambush Sora and his friend at the same time. After Luxord trap Kairi, Riku, Donald, and Goofy in his playing cards, Sora is forced to fight both organization members in a one-against-two battle.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Pete would go as far as to turn innocent people into Heartless, and arrange the murders of two of his former Musketeer cadets and a teenager, but he will not resort to terrorism, as shown when Jafar tries to destroy Agrabah.
  • Festival Episode: The eleventh chapter has the party attend the end-of-summer festival (which got a brief mention in the game) just after waking up. Sora runs off to have some fun while Goofy tries a Goldfish Scooping Game, both against Donald's wishes.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Kairi bites Axel in the arm while trying to escape from him.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Pete is stripped to his polka dot underwear due to extreme Clothing Damage several times over the course of the story.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Xigbar shooting Shan Yu is done off-panel, with Sora's horrified expression shown instead of the deed itself.
  • Hand Gagging: Xigbar pulls this on Kairi to stop her from revealing that "Ansem" is Riku.
  • Happiness Is Mandatory: Once again, the Gummi Ship, as smiles are required to power it.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Sora enters one during a major battle in the Land of Dragons after receiving a Paopu Fruit from Riku, causing him to abandon the fight and go after him. Within time, Sora returns under fury and blames Shan-Yu for what happened after taking out the Storm Rider in one hit. The angry teen beats Shan-Yu in battle and sends him falling off the palace roof, where the Hun is finished off by Xigbar.
    • Donald and Goofy nearly enter one when they begin to fear that they'll be permanently trapped inside the computer world after Donald accidentally grabs hold of a Magnum Loader and rams it intro Tron, causing him to destroy the required data needed to get the trio out of the computer. Sora quickly snaps them out of it... and manages to repair the needed data!
      • Tron himself enters one at the same time after stating that they were lucky to have found the data piece that was destroyed, and that it would not be possible to find another.
    • Sora enters another one after seeing his friends, two of whom he just reunited with, turned into cards and cut into pieces. He then concludes that Nobodies really have no hearts, and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Saïx.
  • Ignored Enemy: Xigbar takes Kairi as a hostage to make sure Sora attacks Riku (who's still in Ansem's form), completely forgetting that Donald and Goofy were right there. They attack him and save her, lampshading how he forgot them.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Axel attempts this on Sora after the Battle of the 1000 Heartless in the hopes of awakening Roxas. At first, it works, as Sora remembers Axel... as the one who kidnapped Kairi.
  • Lighter and Softer: Many parts of the manga when compared to the game, especially the portrayal of the Organization save for Xemnas, Saix, and occasionally Xigbar.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Roxas is revealed to be inside a digital Twilight Town and all his memories in there are fake as a way for him to be hidden from the Organization until Namine can sort out Sora's memories.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Later on, in retaliation for Tron changing the DTD password, the MCP gives all his functions to Sark, which enlarges him, to the horror of everyone, including Leon and Mickey outside. He then grabs Tron and attempts to crush him. Then Aerith installs Cid's MCP Eradication Program, destroying both villains and saving Tron.
  • Megaton Punch: Happens to an unfortunate titan in Olympus Coliseum.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Hades vs. Pete vs. Auron, with a Bound and Gagged Megara in the middle.
  • Mythology Gag: The Heartless from the card Jiminy accidently while playing Luxord's "game" is a White Mushroom.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Sora's shouting despite Donald's warnings ended up causing a horde of Heartless to attack them in Beast's Castle. Donald is understandably livid with the teenager.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Demyx spends most of his time being the manga's resident Butt-Monkey and generally never managing to do anything right, to the extent that his game self seems semi-competent in comparison. This doesn't stop him from completely snapping at Sora and company when they push him into fighting him, the last straw ultimately being them calling him a liar for saying he has feelings. Cue a giant explosion of water.
  • Off with His Head!: Auron's Statue, courtesy of Pete
  • Oh, Crap!: Sora gets this when the painting of Terra-Xehanort is falling and about to crush him.
    Sora: (disoriented) Ansem strikes back.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Master Control Program. He would've succeeded had Tron not changed the password microcycles ago.
  • Only in It for the Money: Yuffie mutters that she's going to send a bill to a woman she just saved from a bunch of Shadows. Leon calls her out on it.
    • Same goes for the Gullwings, who only joined Maleficent's side so that they will get rewarded. Though when they see Maleficent scolding Pete for saving her, they imminently quit and, after being tricked, join the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee.
  • Peaceful in Death: Subverted. It looked like Pete was killed trying to save Maleficent from the Heartless that destroyed the castle tower, but then Yuna approaches him...
    Yuna: Chief... He looks... so peaceful.
    Pete: [waking up] I ain't dead!!!
  • Petal Power: Megara is mistaken to believe that Sora is fighting the Heartless with a bouquet of flowers. He actually bought them to give to Hercules as a present.
  • The Power of Love: It's Belle's love for the Beast that brought him out of Xaldin's control, saving him from becoming a Heartless and a Nobody.
    • Love is also what caused Hercules to go after a Bound and Gagged Megara and save her from the Underworld's deepest dungeon.
  • Pride Before a Fall: Sora's pride at his skills causes him to register for the Hades Cup. He gets beaten by the Ice Titan in the very first round.
  • Rocket Ride: Happens to Donald with a Magnum Loader, though against his will.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The curse of the Underworld drove Demyx to bail on his mission, despite Sora lending him his Olympus Stone.
    Xigbar: You bailed on your mission?!
  • Second Chapter Cliffhanger: For a while, the manga entered a hiatus as Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days was written. It leaves the Power Trio in their Gummi Ship, trying to get Cid Highwind, who has just announced that they've found Ansem's Computer —which contains the world Space Paranoids. Meanwhile, Kairi and Pluto are in prison in The World That Never Was.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: At separate points, Sora is referred to as Kairi's boyfriend and Kairi is referred to as Sora's girlfriend. Both deny it, but it's very clear that they are romantically interested in each other.
  • Shout-Out: The heading page for Chapter 40 is a shout out/parody of a film poster for TRON.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Jafar survives the events of Agrabah instead of blowing up, but he is now eternally trapped in his lamp in a sealed off concrete box in the dungeon.
    • Subverted with Demyx. He never shows up to the Battle of the 1000 Heartless to fight Sora like in the game, but he gets killed off later when they fight in The World That Never Was.
    • Vexen, or rather his clone, is shown in a few scenes and even had the honor of killing Xaldin. And he was able to complete the original's research by the end of the manga.
  • Stunned Silence: Twice. First by Sora when he finds out about "Ping's" gender; later by Tron when he witnesses Sora using his Keyblade to unlock the barrier that's keeping them both inside the Pit Cell.
    Tron: What... what did you do?
  • Talk to the Cannon: When Yao says nasty stuff about Ping, he gets a rocket cannon jabbed into his face.
  • Tap on the Head: Happens to Sora when he punches the painting of Ansem (Xehanort) out of frustration, causing it to fall down and crush him. He gets better just a moment later.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Kairi saves Sora from Xigbar in the Castle That Never Was by throwing her Keyblade at him.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: After being saved from the Heartless by Pete and the Gullwings, Maleficent "rewards" them by zapping them with thunder spells. The Gullwings quit right away.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Mulan's decision to take a bath in the lake results in Sora seeing her breasts, much to his shock.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Sora enters this when he fights Shan-Yu, even going as far as to kill the Storm Rider in just one hit. He is still under fury after sending the villain falling, and it had to take Xigbar revealing himself to calm the teenager down.
    • He gets into an even worse one after watching Luxord trap all of his friends (except Jiminy) into cards. The cards he thinks are his friends are destroyed as Saix shows up, who then taunts Sora into fighting. It worked... too well.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Averted. Unlike the old woman from the ice cream show, Riku's blindfold is acknowledged by Sora, who is slightly freaked out by the sight and calls him "weird" with it on.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Sora lost consciousness the first time he got zapped into a computer world and awoke inside it, finding out that he's wearing armor and his friends have been captured. Sora's attempts to attack "Commander" Sark results in him being electrocuted back into unconsciousness, and he wakes up again in the Pit Cell.
    • This also happened in the game, except that he remained conscious when taken to the Pit Cell.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The final chapter shows what happened to the friends Sora makes throughout the manga: Hayner beats Seifer in a Struggle match, Mulan and Shang catch Yao, Chin-Po and Li (and Mushu) spying on them in a romantic moment, Beast and his servants have become human again, Hercules has fixed the Coliseum while Auron looks up to the stars and smiles for the first time, Cid and Tron are working together on a security system, Yuffie is handing out Sea Salt Ice Cream, the Gullwings are pestering Leon on the treasure that the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee supposedly has, Cloud is reunited with Aerith and Tifa, Aladdin and Jasmine are on another flying date that Genie and Iago interrupt, Donald takes Daisy on the promised date (which ends badly) as Goofy looks on, Mickey and Minnie are reunited, Yen Sid has a tea party with Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, Maleficent scolds Pete once again, the 44th Vexen Replica finishes his journal, and Sora, Kairi and Riku are given a letter from Mickey.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Parodied. One of the outfits that Sora ends up wearing before receiving his iconic Drive attire is a ball gown, complete with tiara. Technically subverted, as he ends up wearing it by accident, and his reaction clearly shows that he hates it.
  • Xenafication: Kairi's status as an Action Girl begins before she obtains her Keyblade here, by giving Axel an Eyelid Pull Taunt, later biting him in the arm, and then punching Demyx in the face. And when she gets it, she saves Sora from Xigbar.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The reason why Xigbar shoots Shan-Yu in the head.