Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 TP (Manga)
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: May 2013
Price: $12.00 (ea.)
Creator(s): Shiro Amano, based on an original concept by Tetsuya Nomura
Format: 272 pgs. (Vol. 1), 304 pgs. (Vol. 2), B&W, Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-3162-5420-5 (Vol. 1) and 978-0-3162-5421-2 (Vol. 2)
Age Rating: All ages
ICv2 Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
The concept of Kingdom Hearts must have seemed like finding a money tree.  Taking video game characters and blending them with major Disney characters.  How could it lose?  In fact, kids loved this series in its original Tokyopop edition, and Yen Press filled a need by reissuing and repackaging the story.
That said, it's only good and not great, in terms of a story.  Mickey Mouse is given a noble role, but is entirely offstage.  Donald Duck is given a role which, frankly, doesn't make any sense in terms of the 70+ years of the character, and the dialogue fails to capture his personality entirely.  Oddly, Goofy and Pluto are the only ones who sustain their Disney images in this story.  The other weakness is a weapon that does whatever the writer needs for that scene, and it's used that vaguely throughout.
The artwork is top-notch, including some portraits of famous Disney characters that are basically pinups.  Most major Disney characters, good and evil, make their way into this tale in one form or another, from Princess Jasmine to Captain Hook, so the story gets pretty crazy at times.  The ones who aren't in the story are in the chapter headings, with more pin-ups.  Still, school-aged kids who love both Disney characters and video games will get a lot of enjoyment out of the books.
--Nick Smith: Librarian Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.