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.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Black and White” Volume 14

Pokemon Black and White Volume 14 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 14 returns the focus on Black’s storyline. Black has his battle with Brycen, and learns the truth about the dark stone and the light stone, and that the “ideal” and the “truth” refer to the Legendary Pokemon Zekrom and Reshiram. Black is victorious in his battle against Brycen, and he decides he’ll be the one to awaken Reshiram with the light stone. Meanwhile, N is trying to befriend Zekrom.

Dryden also makes a shocking announcement. Due to the extenuating circumstances, the Pokemon League has been pushed up so it will be taking place in one week instead of in three months. However, the rule of needing to have all eight Gym Badges in order to compete remains. When Black learns of this, he’s frustrated because he doesn’t have enough badges to compete.

After Iris suggests to Black that even though he may not have enough Gym Badges, he needs to do something to impress Drayden so he’ll accept Black as a participant. Together, they look for a powerful Pokemon. They find a cave with two powerful Pokemon: Virizon and Terrakion. At the cave, they also find a girl named Princess who’s also trying to capture a powerful Pokemon and her friend Shoko.

I have to say that Volume 14 would have to be the most intense volume of the Pokemon Black and White manga at this point. With the Pokemon League being moved up and with Black learning the truth about the stones, the climax of the series seems to be rapidly approaching.

From the preview in the back, it looks like Black and White will finally be reunited in Volume 15. I hope so, because it’ll truly start feeling like that this series is both Black’s story and White’s story. So many of the recent volumes of this series has placed an emphasis on Black that it almost feels like the title of the series should be Pokemon Black (and Sometimes) White.

Even with the gripe about how little White has been appearing, I would still say that fans of the series who have been enjoying it up to this point should also enjoy reading Pokemon Black and White Volume 14.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Black and White Volume 14 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Adventures” Volume 20

Pokemon Adventures Volume 20 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.

There’s a lot of action of Volume 20, and the volume includes three different storylines that are taking place at the same time. I’m going to write this review to talk about each storyline individually, instead of trying to follow all of the action chronologically as it appears in the volume.

The first storyline focuses on the Gym Leaders and their battles with Team Aqua and Team Magma. The Gym Leaders put up a valiant fight against both teams, but they appear to be getting overwhelmed by their opponents.

The second storyline sees the return of Wally, a boy that Ruby met earlier in this section of the Pokemon Adventures manga. As he’s evacuating amidst the flooding, he is approached by Ruby’s father, Norman. After witnessing Wally rescue a Treecko, Norman takes Wally with him to train him to become a Pokemon trainer at the Sky Pillar. A whole chapter of the volume focuses on Wally’s training.

The third storyline sees Ruby and Sapphire arriving at the Seafloor Cavern. Here, they witness the leaders of Team Aqua and Team Magma with the orbs to control the Legendary Pokemon Kyogre and Groudon. They try to battle with the leaders’ Pokemon and seem to get the upper hand; however, something unexpected happens to the team leaders and the orbs that they’re holding.

Even though Ruby and Sapphire are busy trying to help to bring the catastrophes to an end, there’s still a countdown at the end of Volume 20 for how many days are left in Ruby and Sapphire’s challenge that was established early on in this arc; for those keeping track, this volume says they have 25 days left.

As I said earlier, Volume 20 is a very action-packed volume. Unfortunately, it could be a little confusing at times when the volume would jump between the Gym Leaders’ battles and Ruby and Sapphire at the Seafloor Cavern. Wally’s portion was self-contained over the course of a couple of chapters, and since there was no jumping around, it was easier to follow his storyline.

By the time I finished Volume 20, I could tell that this story arc has to be getting closer to concluding. From what I’ve seen online, it appears there’s still two more volumes left for this arc of Pokemon Adventures. From the pacing I saw in Volume 20, this would seem to be about right.

Volume 20 was an enjoyable read, even if there were portions that could be a little hard to follow due to the jumping around. While the story may have been a little easier to follow with less jumping around, I think changing the structure could have potentially weakened the story’s impact.

If you’ve read the previous five volumes of this story arc and liked what you read, then I think you’ll also enjoy reading Volume 20.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures Volume 20 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Black and White” Volume 13

Pokemon Black and White Volume 13 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 VizKids imprint in 2013. Pokemon Black and White is rated “A,” which means that it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Volume 13 sees Bianca and White with a young man whose dream it is to play guitar with a Pokemon called Meloetta. He’s injured and can’t play his guitar, so Bianca volunteers to play for him. However, while she tries to play, they are attacked by a Pokemon. White uses her Pokemon to prevent Bianca from being interrupted. When Meloetta starts singing along, it gets the power it needs to help fight off the intruders. After the fight, Bianca realizes what she wants to do going forward.

Then, the reader is treated to a flashback sequence of Black, Bianca, and Cheren when they were five years old. Not only do we get to see what they were like back then, but this flashback also shows the reader how Black obtained Musha and Brav. This flashback ends up encompassing the vast majority of Volume 13. I have to say that these characters looked incredibly cute back when they were five.

Right at the end of the volume, Black and Iris make it to the Icirrus City Gym. When they get there, Black learns that he must make his way through a labyrinth of ice in order to get to this fifth training session; this session will be a Pokemon battle against Brycen. I have a strong suspicion that Black’s journey through the labyrinth and battle against Brycen will end comprising most of Volume 14.

Overall, Volume 13 returns to focusing the story on Black. Yes, White does appear in the first 23 pages of the volume, but the remaining 40 pages focus exclusively on Black. It was nice getting to see white as much as we did between Volumes 12 and 13. Hopefully we won’t have to wait as long to be able to continue following White on her adventures.

I hope that the whole plot involving Bianca, White, and Meloetta will have a little more importance than to simply introduce a new Pokemon and help Bianca realize what it is that she needs to do with her life going forward. I’m hoping that Meloetta will have some kind of a role to play later in the story.

Even though quite a bit of Volume 13 focused on the flashback to Black’s youth, I thought this was very important to see. After reading it, I can start to better understand Black than I had before. However, I still have to say that the idea of Musha eating Black’s dreams to help him clear his head is rather strange.

Volume 13 was a rather decent volume of the Pokemon Black and White manga series. If you’re a Pokemon fan who has truly enjoyed reading the previous 12 volumes of the series, then I think you’ll also enjoy Pokemon Black and White Volume 13.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Black and White Volume 13 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Adventures” Volume 19

Pokemon Adventures Volume 19 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 2004; however, it wasn’t released in North America until Viz Media’s VizKids imprint released this volume in 2013.

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.

Ruby and Sapphire are reunited at the beginning of Volume 19. When it looks like Sapphire is going to be run over by a stampede of Spoink, Ruby saves her and ends up revealing to Sapphire that he has serious battle skills. Sapphire becomes angry with Ruby when she realizes that he’s lied about his battling skills all this time. After Ruby makes some rather self-centered remarks, Sapphire leaves in a huff and says that she never wants to see Ruby again.

This volume also introduces Tate and Liza, the leaders of the Mossdeep Gym. They’re trying to protect the red and blue orbs that can be used to control Kyogre and Groudon. Unfortunately, Team Magma is able to get a hold of them and the plan to release the two Legendary Pokemon gets underway.

This volume also sees Ruby getting knocked off of his self-centered high horse. He has to spend some time later in the volume figuring out if he’s really worthy of being a Pokemon trainer and what he can do to remedy his attitude.

Even though there’s a major catastrophe going on in the story, we still get a countdown of how many days are left in Ruby and Sapphire’s challenge; for those interested, there are 27 days left at the end of Volume 19.

Obviously, the return of Kyogre and Groudon and all the various disasters their return has caused are very important to this volume. However, the part that sticks out to me the most is when Ruby hears some words from Wallace that he should have heard a while ago. By the end of Volume 19, I think that Ruby has become a much better character than he was earlier in this story arc.

So far, I think Volume 19 has probably been the best volume so far for the Ruby and Sapphire arc for the Pokemon Adventures manga series. I’m actually looking forward to reading Volume 20, and I hope to find out what Sapphire and Ruby will try to do to save the Hoenn region from the twin disasters brought about by Kyogre and Groudon.

If you’ve read the previous four volumes of this story arc and liked what you read, then I think you’ll really enjoy reading Volume 19.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures Volume 19 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver” Volume Two

Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver Volume Two is a manga based on the Pokemon HeartGold and Pokemon SoulSilver video games. The manga is written by Hidenori Kusaka and illustrated by Satoshi Yamamoto. Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver is being published in North America by Viz Media’s VizKids imprint, and this volume was released in 2013.

At the beginning of Volume Two, Silver figures out what the 16 plates represent while he and Crystal are in the middle of a battle with Ariana, one of the four Team Rocket executives. When he makes this realization, he heads off to Ecruteak City to see Morty, leaving Crystal alone to battle Ariana. During their battle, the other three Team Rocket executives appear, along with Arceus. Crystal tries to capture Arceus; its heart seems to open to her slightly, but she is unable to capture it. Arceus  gets away, but Crystal follows it and the Team Rocket executives follow Crystal.

Meanwhile, Silver gets to Ecruteak City to see Morty and is reunited with Gold. Morty is able to use his ability to see into the future to locate the remaining plates, which allows Silver to collect them all. But before that, Arceus arrives at the Ecruteak City Gym and attacks. Gold fights with Arceus and Gold ends up following the Legendary Pokemon. The story reaches its climax when all of the important characters reach the Sinjoh Ruins; not only does the climax take place here, but some surprising facts are learned here as well.

This volume also provides an explanation for how the Pokeathlon, which played in important role in Volume One, had come to be. This explanation becomes important for a plot point that takes place in the Sinjoh Ruins.

The very end of this volume takes the reader right to the beginning of Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum. In addition, there are also a hints dropped in this volume for a couple of concepts that appear in Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum. By seeing this, it tells me that Viz Media released Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver and Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum in the wrong order. Oh well, at least now I’ve read the bridge piece between the Gold and Silver of Pokemon Adventures arc and Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum.

Overall, I thought that this volume wrapped up this story arc as well as it could be. However, with something that happens at the end with Silver, it leaves open the possibility of continuing Gold, Silver, and Crystal’s adventures at some point in the future. However, that would all depend on whether or not Nintendo would release any more Pokemon video games that are set in this particular region, since the manga series is based on the video games.

In some respects, Yamamoto’s art in Volume Two wasn’t quite as impressive as in Volume One, but I did find the occasional panel that stood out. There’s a well-drawn panel of Morty on the top of page 29, Gold and Silver’s reunion on pages 30-31, Crystal’s look of surprise on page 40, a closeup of Arceus on page 93, the three leads going against three of the Team Rocket executives on pages 128-129, and a closeup of Giovanni on page 168.

This volume also includes title page illustrations for some of the chapters upon first publication in the Japanese children’s magazine, Corocoro Ichiban. While I thought it was a neat thing to include, I am at a loss to understand why this was placed in between two chapters in the volume rather than being included at the end. By including these between two chapters, I thought it broke the flow of the story.

I believe that this volume will be a satisfying read for those who have already read Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver Volume One. And I also believe that the Pokemon Adventures manga series as a whole will appeal to readers who play the Pokemon video games.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Black and White” Volume 12

Pokemon Black and White Volume 12 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 VizKids imprint in 2013. Pokemon Black and White is rated “A,” which means that it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Volume 12 opens with Black running into Brycen on top of the bridge that the subway runs through. Brycen demands Black to tell him what happened. After Black gives his explanation, he tries to run off to save the Gym leaders; however, Brycen’s Cryogonal wraps an ice chain around Black’s leg.

Over the course of Black’s training this this volume he has to be freed from the ice chain, Black’s Munna and Galvantula have to face off with Brycen’s Vanillish, and Black has to face off against a motorcycle gang. He is also introduced to Dayden, the leader of Opelucid City, and his assistant, Iris.

The last chapter of Volume 12 finally sees the story return to a focus on White… remember her? She is finishing off her training on the subway with Ingo and Emmet. When she gets off for a break, she hears coming from a flutel when White finds out who’s playing it, she is reunited with Bianca.

White finds out Bianca is on the run, trying to get away from her overprotective father; he doesn’t want Bianca to go on her journey and wants to bring her home. White takes Vianca to Café Sonata, so Bianca can play her flute with a friend of hers, but they find her friend has been attacked by a Vyllaby. The Legendary Pokemon Meloetta is also introduced.

My first impression is: Thank goodness White is back in this volume! I have nothing against Black and his storyline, because it’s important. However, after having two complete volumes are two-thirds of a third volume focused on Black, getting to see White and her storyline was a refreshing change of pace. Unfortunately, with how short these volumes are, it’s more likely for situations like this one to occur.

It was also nice to see Bianca make a return to the series. She doesn’t seem quite so annoying at this point, and the manga is now bringing in her overprotective father. I remember that element also being in the Pokemon Black and White anime series, so I already knew to expect this concept from seeing the anime.

Of course, Iris has a very different role between the manga and anime versions of the adventures that take place in the Unova region. From what I’ve seen in the manga, I think I like Iris’ portrayal in the manga better than I do in the anime.

On the one hand, I kind of like the fact that these volumes are shorter than the typical Pokemon manga, because it allows me to read through it rather quickly. However, I don’t like the shorter volumes because it takes longer for the story to develop and be told.

Volume 12 was a rather decent volume of the Pokemon Black and White manga series. If you’re a Pokemon fan who has truly enjoyed reading the previous 11 volumes of the series, then I think you’ll also enjoy Pokemon Black and White Volume 12.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Black and White Volume 12 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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

Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum Volume Nine 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 2013. Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Volune Nine is split into two sections. The first four chapters complete the “Diamond and Pearl” section of the story, while the remaining six chapters follow the “Platinum” section of the story.

In the first four chapters, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum must somehow find a way to stop Cyrus’ plan, which includes trying to battle Dialga and Palkia. The time-space distortion spreads and starts causing some funky things to happen. Not only thay\t, when Cyrus makes his appearace he looks so freaky and he seems to have completely lost his mind.

This volume also makes a tie back in with the main Pokemon Adventures manga series through the character of Sird. It turns out that she joined Team Rocket as a spy so she could try to capture Deoxys. A couple of other characters are also seen in passing in this portion of the volume, and they become more important characters in the “Platinum” portion of the story.

After Diamond, Pearl and Platinum are able to bring Cyrus’ plan to an end, Platinum realizes she’s at the peak of Mt. Coronet and can get the blossom bearing her family crest. She also decides that she wants to locate the two bodyguards who were supposed to be guarding her and to investigate the Distortion World.

Right at the end of the first section of the volume, we see Volkner at the Battle Zone.

The “Platinum” section of the volume sees Platinum parting ways with Diamond and Pearl in order to conduct her investigation. Platinum teams up with Looker from the International police; he’s one of the characters we had seen in passing earlier in the manga. I have to say that I’m personally not too fond of Looker, because he appears to be rather idiotic for someone who’s supposed to be a police officer. They have teamed up together in order to learn about the Distortion World and what people may know about Team Galactic.

This portion of the story takes place at the Battle Zone, and Platinum has to battle in the various areas in the Battle Frontier in order to talk with the various Frontier Brains.

I can definitely say that the “Platinum” portion of the series has a different feel than the “Diamond and Pearl” portion of the story. With both Diamond and Pearl being written out of the story, Platinum is on her own. Yes, Looker is there, but there’s a difference; while I think Looker is the type of character he is in order to replace both Diamond and Pearl, he brings a different kind of interaction for Platinum. Overall, Platinum has become more sure of herself as a Pokemon trainer; however, her main issue now is trying to manage the Castle Points she earns as she wins battles, because she’s not use to having to manager her money. But Platinum seems to have some brains about her, so I have a feeling that over the course of the story, she will become better at managing her Castle Points.

And while I’m glad to finally see the resolution to the main storyline in the “Diamond and Pearl” portion of the story, I thought that what happens during those last few chapters felt rather trippy. Oh well. At least that portion of the story was finally resolved, even if it did seem to be kind of strange. The one positive thing I can say for these first four chapters is that Yamamoto did have some very impressive close-up panels of some of the characters. The most notable close-ups are one of Dia on page 30, Sird on page 35, Dia on page 71, and Dia and Pearl on page 81. These particular close-ups really stand out from the other panels on their respective pages and makes the reader pay attention to them.

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

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

Manga Review: “Pokemon Adventures” Volume 18

Pokemon Adventures Volume 18 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 2004; however, it wasn’t released in North America until Viz Media’s VizKids imprint released this volume in 2013.

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.

This volume picks up where Volume17 left off, and it concludes Sapphire and Flanney’s fight with Team Aqua in Lavaridge Town. Unfortunately, Mt. Chimney has gone cold. Flannery tries to get it started again, but to no avail. Even after a member of Team Magma arrives and tries to work with her, it still doesn’t work. Sapphire, meanwhile, tries to catch Team Aqua, but they manage to slip away.

Meanwhile, Ruby is competing in the Verdanturf Town Pokemon Contest, and he wins all of the categories. Gabby from Hoenn TV follows him around, wanting to get an interview. Unfortunately, since Ruby was involved in a submarine incident in an earlier volume, he can’t allow himself to appear on camera.

After the contest, Ruby runs into Wally’s cousin, Wanda, and helps to rescue her boyfriend when a tunnel collapses. Afterward, Team Magma appears on the scene, and Ruby ends up battling with Courtney; in the end, he is able to escape by using his wits.

Flannery also calls an emergency meeting of the region’s gym leaders. Unfortunately, due to their various interactions with Team Aqua and Team Magma, they can’t come to a consensus. They’re split down the middle, with Norman being the tie-breaking vote. He decides not to side with either organization.

At the next Pokemon Contest, Ruby arrives too late to enter the Beauty Category. However, he watches as Wallace wins the Beauty Category, and decides he wants to become Wallace’s student. Ruby begins pursuing Wallace, even after Wallace says he doesn’t take any students. This section of Volume 18 is probably the most amusing, especially when Ruby first meets Wallace. This was a nice bit of humor to include, since a lot more of this volume tends for focus on the more serious side of the story than on the humor.

Sapphire has a Pokemon battle with Winona, the Fortree City Gym Leader; afterward, they both meet up with the other Gym Leaders. Wallace arrives late, with Ruby in tow.

And for anyone who’s interested, Sapphire and Ruby only have 30 days left in their challenge at the end of this volume.

This volume sees the conflict between Team Aqua and Team Magma really building up. Not only are they starting to encounter each other more, but the forces of nature are also being thrown out of balance. The sea level is rising, while volcanoes like Mt. Chimney are cooling off. As the volume goes on, the reader can tell the story is building up… but how much farther does it have to go before it reaches a conclusion? While we’re obviously not at climax of the story yet, the reader can tell that the final climactic battle is getting ever closer.

At this point in the series, it looks like we’ve actually met all of the Hoenn region Gym Leaders now. This is another reason why I’m thinking the final battle for this arc is getting closer. One of the main things that seems to be missing at this point is the arrival of the Legendary Pokemon for this particular arc.

To me, Volume 18 was just as interesting of a read as Volume 17 was. If you’ve read the previous three volumes in this story arc and liked what you read, then I think you will enjoy reading Volume 18.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures Volume 18 that I checked out through the King County Library System.