Manga Review: “Pokemon Black and White” Volume 18

Pokemon Black and White Volume 18 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.

Volume 18 focuses on the Pokemon League Championships. First, there’s a match between Black and Iris; not only do we get to see the match between these two, we also see a flashback of Iris’ that provides some background and character development for her. After seeing this backstory, it made me realize that I like the Iris that appears in the videogame and manga much more than the Iris that’s portrayed in the Pokemon anime. I feel her character is much stronger and better developed here when compared to her anime counterpart.

White is also important in this volume as she tries to investigate Hood Man. While White is doing this, we see Inspector Looker watching her investigation. Looker’s appearance in the Unova region had been hinted at during the end of the Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum manga series, so it’s nice to see that VIZ’s Pokemon Black and White releases that have come out since the final volume of Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum have included Looker in them. I don’t know if this was simply a coincidence, or if VIZ Media had tried to time the releases to work out that way. Either way, I have to say that this was well played.

Up to now, it had also been hinted that something was different about Black’s friend, Cheren. After Cheren wins his match and becomes Black’s competitor for the finals, the truth about Cheren and his recent behavior are revealed. I hadn’t predicted the reason for Cheren’s change, but I should have known that it would somehow tie in with Team Plasma. Near the end of the volume, something surprising happens during Black and Cheren’s battle; it’s also hinted that something major is about to happen.

Unfortunately, since this volume focused exclusively on the Pokemon League Championships, we didn’t get to see anything in regards to what happened to Cilan, Cress, and Chili with their battle against three members of Team Plasma. However, since I did mention in my review for Volume 17 that I was most interested in seeing how the story around the Pokemon League Championships would evolve, I wasn’t disappointed in how this volume focused on that aspect.

Fans of the series who have enjoyed reading it up to this point will probably also enjoy reading Pokemon Black and White Volume 18.

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

Manga Review: “Pokemon Adventures” Volume 24

Pokemon Adventures Volume 24 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 primarily focuses on Red, Blue, and Green; however, Yellow and Silver also make appearances in Volume 24.

At the end of Volume 23, Red is hit by Deoxys’ Psycho Boost while he’s battling against this mysterious Pokemon, which ultimately brings about Red’s defeat. Red takes the loss hard, and this usually hot-headed Pokemon trainer becomes unsure of himself and spends some time in this volume contemplating why he’s a Pokemon trainer. This was such an interesting change for Red, and I think this provided a great opportunity for some character growth.

Meanwhile, Green reveals to Red the truth about why Professor Oak took away their Pokedexes, and she also enlists Ultima’s help to practice Hydro Cannon. Red also gets some unexpected help from Mewtwo.

Giovanni gets his hands on Deoxys with the intent on using the Pokemon’s special ability, and then lures Red, Blue and Green to Trainer Tower in order to keep them from disrupting his plan. And Yellow has an unexpected meeting with Silver in Viridian City.

I was actually surprised to see that Green’s reunion with her parents took place in this volume. But at the same time, seeing how the action and revelations have built up over the course of this volume, I expect that this particular arc may be on the shorter side. But I have to say that I do like how the story is progressing, and I especially enjoyed seeing the character development that Red underwent in this volume. I also liked seeing Yellow making a return to the series, because it had been a while since we last saw her.

And I find it interesting how much more Deoxys has been developed here in comparison to the anime. Of course, this is probably due to the fact that this story is based on the videogames rather than on the anime, so the Deoxys that’s presented here will have the attributes and traits of the Dexoys that appears in the videogames.

I expect that Silver will be learning the truth about his family rather quickly in the remaining portion of this arc, and I’m very curious to see how he reacts when he learns about it. I’m also curious to see how this arc will ultimately conclude.

If you’ve read the various volumes of the Pokemon Adventures series and enjoyed them, I expect that you’ll also enjoy reading the story that’s presented in this story arc. And I think that long-time readers of this series will feel rewarded and pleased by some of the revelations and plot points that appear, as well as the characters who reappear in Volume 24.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures Volume 24 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Pokemon Black and White” Volume 17

Pokemon Black and White Volume 17 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.

Volume 17 opens with the quarterfinals for the Pokemon League Championships. Black and his opponent, Lou Karr, are the first up. After a little bit of a battle, Black beats Lou to move on. Later, it’s revealed that Lou Karr is actually Looker in disguise, and he’s trying to locate the seven sages.

I found it kind of amusing to see Looker show up in the Unova region, since it wasn’t that long ago that I read Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum Volume 11, and a reference was made to Looker being called to the Unova region to investigate the the seven sages. In my review for that volume, I said, “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.” It looks like Volume 17 of Pokemon Black and White answered my question!

Cheren is in a battle and easily wins, and Black notices that his childhood friend’s behavior has changed drastically. Like Black, I wonder what’s brought about this change in Cheren. Hopefully a future volume of Pokemon Black and White will answer that question.

The other two challengers to progress in the quarterfinals are the mysterious Hood Man and Iris. After Iris’ win, the volume changes its focus from the tournament to three Pokemon: Terrakion, Virizion, and Cobalion. Three members of Team Plasma try to capture these Pokemon, but are unsuccessful. The reader is also introduced to Keldeo, a Pokemon who is training under the other three. We’d already seen Terrakion, Virizion, and Cobalion in an earlier volume of the series, and I suspect that they will somehow play an important role as the story progresses. I suspect Keldeo will as well, although at this point in the story, this Pokemon is depicted as being young and eager and not quite ready to truly fight with the others.

Right at the end of the volume, the same three members of Team Plasma we saw earlier are found by Cilan, Cress, and Chili, and a battle ensues.

As I predicted in my review for Volume 16, Volume 17 had a strong focus on the quarterfinals for the Pokemon League Championships. However, it wasn’t entirely as action-packed as I thought it would be; this is primarily due to the fact that only slightly over half of the volume focuses on this point in the story. After this, it’s primarily Terrakion, Virizion, and Cobalion talking, with only a couple of action sequences with the members of Team Plasma.

From the write-up at the end of this volume to preview Volume 18, it looks like the series will be returning its focus to the Pokemon League Championships. It also teases a potentially interesting battle between two of the characters. At this point, I’m most interested in seeing how the story around the Pokemon League Championships will evolve.

Fans of the series who have enjoyed reading it up to this point will probably also enjoy reading Pokemon Black and White Volume 17.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Black and White Volume 17 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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.