Manga Review: “Pokemon Adventures” Volume 23

Pokemon Adventures Volume 23 is a manga based on the Pokemon FireRed and Pokemon LeafGreen videogames. The manga is written by Hidenori Kusaka, and illustrated by Satoshi Yamamoto. This manga volume was originally published in Japan in 2006; however, it wasn’t released in North America until Viz Media’s Perfect Square imprint released this volume in 2014. This portion of Pokemon Adventures places the focus back on the characters of Red, Blue, and Green.

In Volume 23, Red and Blue return to Pallet Town; when they do, they find that Professor Oak is gone. However, they find fame checkers and envelopes addressed to Red, Blue, and Green. The fame checker has a message from Professor Oak telling them that he needs to take their Pokedexes away and to put them in the storage system. Red and Blue head to Vermillion City and take Green’s fame checker and envelope with them.

Green, meanwhile, boards the Seagallop in order to go to One Island, one of Kanto’s Sevii islands, in order to meet her parents for the first time. Blue and Red also make it onto the ferry, where they reunite with Bill. Green is attacked by a mysterious Pokemon, and her parents are sucked into a dark hole created by the mysterious Pokemon.

Quite a bit of volume focuses on Red and Blue receiving training in order to become stronger and take on the mysterious Pokemon, which they learn is Deoxys. The two trainers end up under the tutelage of an old woman known as Ultima so she can teach them a special move. After the training, they go to Four Island, where they encounter Lorelei, one of the Kanto Elite Four. By the end of the volume, Red, Blue, and Lorelei find themselves battling against Team Rocket.

This volume establishes the new storyline for the Pokemon Adventures series, and so there’s a bit of exposition that takes place during it. However, there’s enough action mixed in with the exposition that it’s not a boring read.

There were a lot of familiar faces, but there were also new characters introduced. Most notable of the new characters if Ultima; personally, I thought she was rather weird and I didn’t care much for her. About the only good thing to come out of her introduction is the fact that Blue and Red got to have a pretty awesome Pokemon battle against each other. We also meet some new members of Team Rocket; but, honestly, none of them truly left much of an impression on me.

At this point, I’m very curious to find out what happened to Green’s parents and I wonder when her reunion with them will finally take place. While the other story plots are decent, that’s the main thing that left an impression on me and makes me want to continue on in order to find out the answer.

If you’ve read the various volumes of the Pokemon Adventures series and enjoyed them, I expect that you’ll also enjoy reading this volume as it establishes a new story arc with much-loved characters from earlier in the series.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures Volume 23 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Platinum” Volume 11

Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum Volume 11 is a manga based on the Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl video games. The manga was written by Hidenori Kusaka, and the art was done by Satoshi Yamamoto. Viz Media released this manga in North America through its VizKids imprint in 2014. Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.


Volume 11 opens with Paka and Uji in the Distortion World witnessing Giratina landing on the statue of Dialga and Palkia in Eterna City. They try to escape through the hole that Giratina made, but discover the dimension’s gravity pulls them back. They then find an unconscious Dialga and Palkia, who are trapped in a crystal-like prison. Charon arrives and says he has no intention of saving Paka and Uji.

In Eterna City, Diamond and Pearl discover Giratina. Reg leaps out of Diamond’s backpack to attack Giratina. While Red is distracted, Charon sends out Heatran to attack Reg. During the battle, Diamond pushes Pearl out of the way of a Shadow Force and falls unconscious. After this happens, Reg leaves the area. Reg later returns with Rotom, which uses its forms to attack Charon. Reg battles with Giratina and injures it. When Giratina escapes into the Distortion World, Charon follows. Diamond’s body also disappears in a flash of light; he later awakens in the Distortion World.

Meanwhile, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter plan to find Cyrus in the Distortion World. At the same time, Thornton fixes the camera machine; Platinum, Palmer, Riley, Mira and Cheryl head out to trace the camera’s aura. Volkner and Flint also head to the Distortion World. The volume reaches its climax as most of the characters assemble in the Distortion World.

Volume 11 is the final volume of the Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum series. Overall, I thought this volume did a good job wrapping up the various loose ends and stories that were presented over the course of the series. Although it’s interesting to note that there is a “postscript” featuring Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, and the old couple running the Pokemon day care in Solaceon Town. This postscript serves as a lead-in for the two volumes of the Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver manga that Viz Media released back in 2013.

I also found it interesting that near the end, it’s mentioned that Looker is assigned to go to the Unova region to track down an organization called the Seven Sages. It makes me wonder if at some point during the Pokemon Black and White manga series, Looker will make a re-appearance as he’s trying to track down the Seven Sages. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open for this as I continue reading Pokemon Black and White.

It’s funny to me to realize how much my opinion of this series changed since I started reading it back in 2011. At the time, I found the protagonists to be shallow, and that Diamond and Pearl’s comedy routines came across as lame. Fortunately, I didn’t give up on the series after that volume, and I was rewarded with some good character development, and I came to care about characters who I once thought of as being shallow. Also, the comedy routine bits were cut back on quite a bit as the series continued, so that helped me to better appreciate the story. As I read Volume 11, I found myself not wanting to put the volume down so I could find out what everything was leading up to.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 10 volumes of the Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum manga series, then I think you’ll really enjoy reading Volume 11 and finding out what everything was leading up to and how the story ultimately comes to an end.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum Volume 11 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Black and White” Volume 16

Pokemon Black and White Volume 16 is a manga based on the Pokemon Black and Pokemon White video games. The manga was written by Hidenori Kusaka, and the art was done by Satoshi Yamamoto. Viz Media released this manga in North America through its Perfect Square imprint in 2014. Pokemon Black and White is rated “A,” which means that it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Pokemon Black and White focuses on two Pokemon trainers: a boy named Black and a girl named White. Black dreams of winning the Pokemon League, and White’s dream is working with Pokemon in showbiz; but after her Tepig Gigi decides to stay with N, the leader of Team Plasma, White trains in order to participate in Pokemon Battles.

In Volume 16, Black, White, and Professor Juniper’s father are battling with N. N starts espousing his talk about liberating Pokemon and how trainers can’t understand their Pokemon. This talk muddles Black’s brain; when Munna tries to eat his dream, it doesn’t want to eat it because the flavor has changed. Munna then leaves, and Black falls unconscious.

When Black awakens, Munna’s desertion causes him to start doubting himself and whether or not he’s ready to become a Pokemon champion. Black also feels that he’s gotten in way over his head between Team Plasma, the orb, and Legendary Pokemon. Black plans to give up on his dream since he only managed to get seven badges. I have to say that this was probably some of the best character development I’ve seen in Pokemon Black and White, and I genuinely felt bad for Black.

The Pokemon League Championships are about to begin, even though Alder has disappeared. Black sees the news coverage and wistfully talks about wishing he was there. And with some prodding from his Pokemon, Black decides to take on Drayden in order to earn his eighth badge and enter the championship…

Compared to some of the more recent volumes, Volume 16 is less action-packed and more character-driven. But I think this is a good thing, because this allows the reader to get to see that there’s more to Black than the cocky kid who’d appeared in the series up to this point. The one major drawback to how small these volumes are is the fact that it takes longer for character development to happen, and the action feels like it’s taking longer than it really is.

There’s obviously still a ways to go in the story, but getting to the Pokemon League Championships is a step in the right direction toward bringing this series to an end. Volume 16 ends with the eight finalists being selected, so I suspect that Volume 17 will focus very heavily on their eight finalists’ Pokemon battles, and will end up being another action heavy volume.

Fans of the series who have enjoyed reading it up to this point will probably also enjoy reading Pokemon Black and White Volume 16.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Black and White Volume 16 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Adventures” Volume 22

Pokemon Adventures Volume 22 is a manga based on the Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire videogames. The manga is written by Hidenori Kusaka, and illustrated by Satoshi Yamamoto. This manga volume was originally released in Japan in 2006; however, it wasn’t released in North America until Viz Media’s Perfect Square imprint released this volume in 2014.

This section of the Pokemon Adventures manga is set in the Hoenn region, and features the characters of Ruby and Sapphire. Ruby dreams of being a Pokemon Coordinator and winning all of the Pokemon Contests in the region. He’s the son of the Petalburg City gym leader, Norman; unfortunately, his father doesn’t agree with his son’s dream. Ruby runs away from home in order to pursue his dream and to try to make it come true.

Sapphire is the daughter of Professor Birch, and she wants to battle of the Gym Leaders in the Hoenn region. Ruby and Sapphire become rivals, and Sapphire issues a challenge to Ruby: prove which one of them can achieve their dream first within 80 days. Ruby agrees to the challenge.

Volume 22 is the final volume for the Ruby & Sapphire arc. At the end of Volume 21, Ruby locked Sapphire in an air car and teamed up with Courtney from Team Magma. Not only do we see the two of them work together, we also learn why they’be paired up. Unfortunately, Courtney ends up being injured. But just as all hope seems lost, Ruby’s father arrives with another Legendary Pokemon; together, Norman and Ruby work together to subdue Groudon and Kyogre.

Both Ruby and the reader learn why Norman had been away from home for five years after Norman falls at the end of the battle. The leaders of both Team Aqua and Team Magma make a reappearance, and it ends up being up to Ruby and Sapphire to try to defeat them…

Volume 22 is a rather busy volume, especially with the battles that take place to reach the conclusion of the arc. There’s a breather during the portion of the volume where we see a flashback of what happened to Norman five years earlier when he had first tried to become a Gym Leader.

I also have to mention that the 80 day deadline for the two trainers’ to achieve their dream is an integral part of the volume right near the end. I have to give credit to Kusaka for not letting that plot element become forgotten about due to the climactic battles to save the Hoenn region.

Overall, I have to say that this was a rather satisfying conclusion for the Ruby & Sapphire arc. I really can’t think of any ways that Kusaka could’ve changed the story to make it stronger. I believe fans of this particular arc for Pokemon Adventures arc will find a lot of satisfaction in the ending of the story.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures Volume 22 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Black and White” Volume 15

Pokemon Black and White Volume 15 is a manga based on the Pokemon Black and Pokemon White video games. The manga was written by Hidenori Kusaka, and the art was done by Satoshi Yamamoto. Viz Media released this manga in North America through its Perfect Square imprint in 2014. Pokemon Black and White is rated “A,” which means that it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Volume 15 opens with Black, Princess, and Shoko are facing off with three Legendary Pokemon: Virzion, Terrakion, and Cobalion.An explosion takes place, causing a fire. Princess and Shoko argue with each other as they escape. The Three Legendary Pokemon take the humans’ Pokemon, due to beliefs they have about Pokemon, humans, and fighting that come from the past. Black explains things to the Legendary Pokemon, and they end up getting their Pokemon back.

Meanwhile, N, the king of Team Plasma, is battling Unova Champion Aldur. During their battle, Black is reunited with Iris and White, and also meets Professor Juniper’s father. Also, when Zekrom is out with N, Black’s light stone activates, but Black hasn’t been able to turn it into Reshiram yet.

The battle between N and Aldur sees N beating the champion, but the Pokemon he uses to achieve his victory surprises White. Right at the end of Volume 15, Black, White, and Professor Juniper’s father are ready to battle N, with the hope of defeating him and learning the whereabouts to Team Plasma’s castle.

And now that N has defeated the Unova Region champion, what kind of an effect could this have on the series? Will this give N more of a platform to advance Team Plasma’s ideology of releasing Pokemon back into the wild?

With the various Pokemon battles going on, this is an action-packed volume. And with how short these particular volumes are, they end up being a quick read. It’s just really getting going when it comes to an abrupt halt.

It was also nice to see White finally rejoining Black for the main storyline. Hopefully she’ll stick around for the rest of the story and appear more regularly in the Pokemon Black and White manga series. Even though she’s one of the title characters, there was a stretch of at least two or three volumes where White either hardly appeared or didn’t appear at all. I ultimately blame this issue on how short these Pokemon Black and White manga volumes are.

Fans of the series who have enjoyed reading it up to this point will probably also enjoy reading Pokemon Black and White Volume 15.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Black and White Volume 15 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Adventures” Volume 21

Pokemon Adventures Volume 21 is a manga based on the Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire videogames. The manga is written by Hidenori Kusaka, and illustrated by Satoshi Yamamoto. This manga volume was originally released in Japan in 2005; however, it wasn’t released in North America until Viz Media’s Perfect Square imprint released this volume in 2014.

This section of the Pokemon Adventures manga is set in the Hoenn region, and features the characters of Ruby and Sapphire. Ruby dreams of being a Pokemon Coordinator and winning all of the Pokemon Contests in the region. He’s the son of the Petalburg City gym leader, Norman; unfortunately, his father doesn’t agree with his son’s dream. Ruby runs away from home in order to pursue his dream and to try to make it come true.

Sapphire is the daughter of Professor Birch, and she wants to battle of the Gym Leaders in the Hoenn region. Ruby and Sapphire become rivals, and Sapphire issues a challenge to Ruby: prove which one of them can achieve their dream first within 80 days. Ruby agrees to the challenge.

The Gym Leaders continue to fight against Team Aqua and Team Magma. Steven, the current Pokemon Champion, arrives to ask Wallace a favor. Steven, along with the Elite Four, are trying to decipher a stone plate that explains how to summon Regirock, Regice and Registeel. It’s believed that summoning these three Pokemon should help end the battle between Kyogre and Groudon.

Ruby and Sapphire, meanwhile, come to. The piece of meteorite that Sapphire found at Mt. Chimney is used to try to seal away the power inside the leaders of Team Aqua and Team Magma. The power seems to affect the leaders, but it also causes an explosion. Steven rescues Sapphire, and she’s finally able to deliver the letter from his father she’s had all this time. The letter ends up being the key to solving the mystery of the stone plate, and Sapphire has the exact Pokemon that are mentioned on the plate. In the midst of the confusion, Sapphire and Ruby disappear.

The two trainers find themselves on Mirage Island with Gym Leaders Tate and Liza, along with Wallace’s teacher, Juan. They spend some time training with Tate, Liza, and Juan until it’s time to return to the battle. Some revelations are made, some backstory is given, and Sapphire makes a confession to Ruby.

There’s a lot that takes place in Volume 21, both in terms of the action of the story and the various information and backstories that are revealed. This volume provides some more backstory for both Sapphire and Ruby, and it was interesting to see how different these two characters were when they were younger children. They both looked so cute when they were younger!

The ending of the volume is a major cliffhanger, and I found myself wondering what exactly Ruby is doing. I have a feeling we’ll get an answer to that question during Volume 22.

With how the story is progressing, it’s gotten to the point that the end of this arc is just about upon us. It’ll be interesting to see how this arc ultimately comes to an end.

If you’ve read the previous six volumes of this story arc and liked what you read, then I think you’ll also enjoy reading Volume 21.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures Volume 21 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum” Volume 10

Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum Volume 10 is a manga based on the Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl video games. The manga was written by Hidenori Kusaka, and the art was done by Satoshi Yamamoto. Viz Media released this manga in North America through its VizKids imprint in 2014. Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Volume 10 follows Dia and Pearl as they head on a journey to search for the other Legendary Pokemon, while Lady takes on the challenge of the five Battle Frontier facilities in the hopes of earning the privilege to ask the Frontier Brains about where Paka and Uji have been transported.

Dia and Pearl are approached by the chairman of the Sinnoh Region Pokemon Association and three of the four members of the Elite Four. They are told some of the information that was discovered after deciphering Charon’s notes. After this, Dia, Pearl, and the chairman begin their journey to find the other Legendary Pokemon. They are soon joined by Dr. Footstep, the guy who likes to study footprints they met earlier in the series. Why, oh why did they bring Dr. Footstep back? I didn’t care for him when he was introduced, and I’m still not that fond of him as a character now.

Quite a bit of this volume focuses on Lady and the challenges she faces at the Battle Frontier. For the most part, Lady seems to sail through it rather easily; while a couple of the Frontier Brains give her a little more of a challenge, it overall felt like she was breezing through rather easily. During her time at the Battle Frontier, she meets the following Frontier Brains: Dahlia, Thorton, Palmer, and Argenta. It turns out Palmer has a connection to one of the main characters of the series.

OK, now is it just me, or is Thorton kind of creepy looking? I know he’s supposed to be a smart guy who tries to use logical thinking, but his character design is so stoic-looking that it’s nearly creepy.

This volume also sees a young man named Buck accidentally freeing Heatran. This storyline ends up dovetailing with Lady’s storyline at the Battle Frontier. Right at the very end, there’s a brief scene of Paka and Uji in the Distortion World, as well as getting a glimpse of a Legendary Pokemon.

As I read Volume 10, I had a pretty strong feeling that we have to be getting rather close to the end of the story, especially with the more intense tone that seemed to appear throughout this volume. When I saw the page at the end that previews Volume 11, it says right on it that the next volume is the conclusion for Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum.

My only disappointment with this volume is the fact that there’s a scene that tries to utilize Dia and Pearl’s comedy routine. It was even lamer than the comedy routines that appeared earlier in the series. Pearl says he hoped it would help relax them, but to me, it felt more like a way to kill time.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous nine volumes of the Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum manga series, then I think you’ll really enjoy reading Volume 10.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum Volume 10 that I checked out through the King County Library System.