Title: Disney Frozen 2: The Manga
Author: Arina Tanemura
Release Date: February 10, 2021
Publisher: VIZ Media
I think by now everyone knows what Frozen is and has probably had one of the songs from the animated film stuck in their head for a few days. Disney has never been shy about bringing their IPs to other mediums if it means spreading awareness, so it was only a matter of time before they licensed a Frozen manga. Even though the first entry didn’t receive the same treatment, Disney Frozen 2: The Manga still caters to the Disney otaku fans with detailed illustrations that follow the film’s narrative.
Disney Frozen 2: The Manga begins as Elsa and Anna again have settled into the life of ruling over the kingdom of Arendelle. Anna and Elsa are living happy lives surrounded by the people of their empire. Elsa hears a mysterious voice calling out to her, eventually leading her on an adventure into the Enchanted Forest to discover her history and origins of her powers to save a threat to the kingdom.
This adaptation tells the story almost verbatim to the film. The pacing doesn’t feel too rushed through the panels, but it does exclude some unnecessary dialogue. The scenes depicted show the film’s more emotional beats, and it manages to present a concise retelling of the events.
The artwork is pretty, and I enjoyed the feminine and cute shojo illustration style as it is true to the illustrator Arina Tanemura’s line of work. Her style provides a well-detailed layout of the film’s scenes using her unique character illustrations. Unlike typical shonen manga, Frozen 2: The Manga tells a full story, so the illustrations don’t have that rushed design. Each page is full of sufficient detail and perfectly displays the movement of the characters through the scenes.
I appreciated the liberties Tanemura-san took with some of the character designs as she implements some characters’ adorable chibi panels. Further, she provides a reasonable amount of expression on the character’s faces to sell the more emotional scenes. I feel like some of the more nuanced sounds of the film weren’t easily translated into manga, such as the tune that calls to Elsa. If you haven’t seen the movie, these “ah-ah” words may fall on deaf ears.
Disney Frozen 2: The Manga is a great addition to anyone’s Frozen collection. The illustrations take a few liberties in terms of presentation, but you’re mainly getting a summarized retelling of this charming adventure. Still, not many corners were cut in terms of filling up each panel with highly detailed scenes that depict such a large-scale adventure. What’s more impressive is how it still manages to hit the important emotional beats that the film provides.
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