Friday, April 18, 2008

Kingdom Hearts by Shiro Amano Part 2

Sora is missing Riku and Kairi, and to make up for it, Goofy and Donald let him fly the Gummi ship, but he rams them into a meteor, and they have to return to traverse town for repairs by Cid. Leon/Squall explains that the keyhole Sora found and locked leads to the heart of a world. If the heartless can steal the heart of a world, it will disappear. Only Sora can lock the worlds, saving them from the heartless.

Meanwhile, Cid sends Sora, Daffy and Goofy on a mission to deliver a book to Merlin, the wizard. Sora sees Kairi at the Wizard's house, but she disappears when Merlin arrives. Merlin says he is there to train the three of them, but especially Sora, in the art of magic, at the behest of King Mickey, who is trying to save all the worlds.

When Sora leaves, he encounters Riku. Sora is happy to see Riku, but when he introduces Daffy and Goofy as his friends, Riku leaves. We see him next to Malificent, who is telling him that it is as she told him, that Sora didn't waste any time replacing Riku and Kairi as his friends, and that he evidently cares for them more than he did Riku and Kairi. She tells him to forget Sora and come with her.

Sora is worried and takes heart that at least Riku is okay. Leon/Squall and Yuffie tell Sora that Maleficent is in town, and that she is the witch who is using the heartless. Nine years ago, she helped the heartless take over and destroy their world. Ansem was their king and was studying the heartless, but when their world was destroyed, the report was scattered and lost. Sora agrees to look for parts of the report. But when they are back in the ship, he reveals he is still worried that Riku might have been angry at him.

Meanwhile, Sora and friends must save Aladdin and Princess Jasmine from the machinations of Jafar, with the help of the Genie of the Lamp. Aladdin agrees to free the genie from the lamp with his last wish, and the genie is overjoyed, but doesn't quite believe him. Jafar is working with Maleficent, and when he captures Jasmine, Maleficent takes her. Jafar then captures the Genie's lamp and uses the Genie to hurt Aladdin, Sora, Daffy and Goofy. But as his last wish, he wishes to be made an all-powerful genie, and that is when Sora grabs his lamp and orders him back into it, because he who has the lamp controls the genie. The Genie congratulates Sora on a savvy move, and buries Jafar's lamp, while Sora locks the keyhole to the world.

But then Jafar's palace starts to collapse, and Aladdin uses his second wish saving Goofy. After they are safe, Aladdin is depressed about Jasmine, and the Genie reminds him that he still has one wish left. Aladdin agrees, and with his last wish, frees the Genie. The Genie is overjoyed, and Aladdin asks to come with Sora and the others to rescue Jasmine, but Daffy explains that they can't. Aladdin agrees and the genie gives Sora his lamp, telling him that while he no longer is tied to it, they can still rub it to recieve his advice.

They also find a piece of Ansem's report, which they fax to Cid so that Aerith can translate it, then move on to the next world, which is that of Hercules. Sora wants to enter the Hero's tournament, but Phil refuses him without a ticket. Hades shows up and gives Sora a ticket, then appears to Riku and tells him he only has to take down Hercules.

With the Ticket, Phil is forced to let Sora, Daffy and Goofy into the tournament, but he takes time out to train them in his own way. But when Hades lets loose Cerberus from the underworld, Sora decides to help Hercules...

Well, the mix of Disney characters and anime/mangs characters continues in this volume of Kingdom Hearts. The author did a good job of mixing the two, and generally succeeeds as making them look as if they can be sharing the same world. But not always. Occasionally, the Disney characters look much more kiddie-fied than the Manga characters, and occasionally the tableaus look extremely... strange.

The story, on the other hand, does do well at mixing the various characters together. In fact, the strange mix works best with the villainous characters from Disney, who look less Juvenile and more manga-esque, and thus work better when integrated into a seamless whole. Not so much the hero characters. Still, the story works, and even with the somewhat grown-up nature of the story, this comes off as a successful story, art and style issues aside.

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