Many popular video games often get adapted into a manga series. It was done with Pokemon, it was done with Mega Man and it was done with Kingdom Hearts.
The manga series I will be focusing on comes from my favorite video game series Kingdom Hearts. Released in 2002 the game has had a number of titles ( in order) Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 2, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Kingdom Hearts 358/2, Kingdom Hearts Coded, Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts Unchained X, Kingdom Hearts .02 A fragmentary passage(to be released January 24,2017 USA) and FINALLY, somewhere on the horizon, with 6 games and many remakes and restoration games Kingdom Hearts 3 (eventually)
The Kingdom Hearts series is ultimately ( to easily sum it up) a boy who travels to many different worlds fighting darkness and to defeat the mastermind behind the long intertwining plot of the game Master Xehanort. You travel to many worlds in these games some based off of popular disney properties. Some inhabited by characters from Square Enix’s other popular property the Final Fantasy Series. BUT Anyways back to the manga series.
I got into the manga series after stumbling across it one day in Barnes and Nobles. The first Kingdom Hearts manga is pretty much straight from the game piece by piece following the plot and split into 4 volumes. However, the games made into manga after the first volume stray away from the plot quite a bit. The games adapted into manga are the first Kingdom Hearts game, Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories,Kingdom Hearts 358/2, and Kingdom Hearts 2. The artist of the manga series Shiro Amano, has expressed this is all he wishes to do from the series, but you never know he could be convinced to do more ($$)
Something special about these manga are the creative liberties given to Shiro Amano. In some cases he is allowed to add plot that isn’t the initial game, for example in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 he adds a whole story/level that isn’t featured in the games and to a fan it is genuinely. Being able to “read the games” adds so much to it. There is an extra boost of humor, an extra boost of genuine emotion you feel for these characters that you already feel connected to. You have already played through there stories and you know how they play out, but reading through them, you almost hope for a different ending because you can get inside the characters head, in the video game you cant always see what the character is thinking and here you can and it can be devastating.
The last volume of the Kingdom Hearts 2 manga was released in Japan about two years ago with no plans to be released overseas. I am happy to announced that I will be able to complete my manga series because the last edition will be released in the United States this May. Honestly I would recommend the manga series to anyone, even if they don’t play the games. Even without prior knowledge of the games it is well written, well drawn piece of literature.