Manga Monday: Games into manga = fail?

Published on October 5th, 2009

Before I get into another Manga Monday, I just want to say a quick thank you to all the readers who put up with my disappearance over the last month or so. I have now graduated from university and couldn’t have done it without all the fantastic support I have received. So without further delay….

While thinking about this week’s topic I was reminded about how much geek culture crosses over. When someone is a geek in one particular area, it is not uncommon to also find them in another. For example many manga fans are also into video games.

6a00c2252022558fdb00c22520e088f219-500piWhen looking at my manga shelf two particular mangas currently stick out. One is called Kingdom Hearts, the other is Devil May Cay. Both of these mangas are from highly successful games.

Kingdom Hearts is a cute manga that is an adaptation of a famous RPG game by the developers Square Enix, responsible for famous games such as Final Fantasy. Kingdom Hearts is a mash up of original characters, Final Fantasy characters and oddly enough, Disney characters. The hero of this story, Sora, travels to different worlds locking the gates of darkens and stopping the ‘heartless’ from taking over the worlds. If you own a Playstation2 or backwards compatible PS3, the game is very much worth your time. The manga is a direct adaptation of the story and is great if you are unsure.

Devil May Cry 3 manga is set one year before the game, because of this it is a little hard to understand if you are not already aware of the game. Devil May Cry is a stunning series that originally started life on the Playstation2. It is fast paced hack, slash and shoot game. Dante, the main character is half human and half demon and the games follow him as he does battle with the demon world. This particular manga is in three books. Part 1: Dante, Part 2: Vergil and the soon to be released Part 3: Lady. The manga explores the character history prior to the 3rd game.

The sad thing is, neither manga are particularly great. The art style appears slapdash, especially in Devil May Cry, and not crisp and clean enough. Kingdom Hearts is however better, not fantastic, but better. Both mangas reek of franchise and that isn’t surprising. However over my years I have learned that if I really love something then you don’t mind paying out money for these types of things, as long as you are a hardcore fan, it is something for the inner ‘collector’. Kingdom Hearts has a MASSIVE and loyal following, somebody who is a massive fan will happily pay out for the manga, even if sub-par compared to some I have previously discussed, because it’s a little bit extra to something they already love. That is exactly where these mangas are cashing in.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am also a gamer and a whore for the Gears of War series, so its no wonder that I own nearly all the Gears of War comic books even though a hardened comic book fan will probably tell me that they are also sub-par, yet I couldn’t stop myself Let’s face it, if you feel really passionate about something, then over looking the obvious flaws becomes a hell of a lot easier, even if everyone else can see them.

Hollie ‘fenix blood’ Bennett
Hollie@comicimpact.com