Frozen 2 Manga is a Fan's Personal Adaptation of the Movie

It's normal to expect all sorts of tie-ins to Frozen 2: kid's picturebooks, novelisations for young readers, and when a Disney movie is hugely popular in Japan, it gets a manga adaptation as well. What you don't expect is that veteran mangaka Arina Tanemura makes it feel like a personal project.

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"Frozen 2" manga cover, Viz Media

Is there any child left on the planet who hasn't already seen Frozen 2 at the movies? The story remains the same. What happens after the "happily ever after" of the first movie? Some time has passed. Elsa rules as the queen of the kingdom, and Anna is preparing to marry Kristoff, but all is not well for long. Elemental spirits awaken to threaten the kingdom. The queen and princess must venture forth to solve the mystery of Elsa's powers and a secret in the kingdom's history that hides an injustice screaming to be corrected. The story ends up dealing with betrayal and colonialism, lost tribes and reconciliation, and Elsa's true coming of age.

Manga adaptations of popular movies or TV shows, even video games, are usually extremely faithful to the original story. The publishers know what fans want, which is to relive the story in comics form. At around 200 pages, Viz Media's manga version might have enough room to give the story the pacing it deserves. Arina Tanemura is a self-confessed fan of Frozen 2 and not only stays true to the movie's story but turns it into a personal fan project where she's also examining her relationship to the story. The movie had huge, epic vistas. Tanemura takes a more intimate approach to home in on the sisters' emotions to emphasise their relationship more closely than the movie did. She uses close-ups and characters instead of wide shots; the movie's action set-pieces are more low-key to concentrate more on Elsa and Anna rather than the action. It's the same story, but the manga is in a dialogue with the movie, each reflecting off the other in a metanarrative. The result is Frozen 2 as a shoujo manga that doesn't change the movie's story at all and should be a fun read for any child or fan looking to relive the movie in manga form.

About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist who just likes to writer. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.

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