Manga Review: “Pokemon Black and White” Volume 19

Pokemon Black and White Volume 19 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 19 opens with the battle between Chili, Cress, and Cilan and the Shadow Triad. At first, it looks the Shadow Triad have the upper hand, but Chili, Cress, and Cilan receive some unexpected help from Keldeo and Cobalion. Even though the action here is good and it’s an important battle, my favorite part of this scene is seeing the flashback sequence when Lenora makes Chili, Cress, and Cilan gym leaders. I thought this made for some nice character development for these characters, and it explains why all three of them are gym leaders.

The remainder of the volume takes place at the Pokemon League Championships. Black has won the championships, but the crowds had to be evacuated due to Team Plasma crashing the event. The light stone has also evolved into Reshiram. Meanwhile, Brycen is captured by Team Plasma and is imprisoned with the other Gym Leaders.

N makes an appearance at the stadium with Zekrom, and Hood Man returns and shows that he has the Legendary Pokemon. The volume ends with N and Zekrom getting ready to face off with Black and Reshiram.

Even though there was a more serious tone to this volume and it was more focused on building up the story to get closer to its conclusion, there was a line of dialogue in this scene that made me chuckle when I saw it. The line itself was amusing, but the fact that a Legendary Pokemon delivered it made it even more funny than it would have been if the line had been delivered by one of the human characters.

As the volume progressed, I was getting the sense that the end had to be getting closer; the arrival of N and Resihram only reinforced that idea to me. So when I saw that the teaser text for Volume 20 included the words, “final volume,” I wasn’t surprised. But from the description for the next volume, it feels like that either a lot may have to be squeezed into that final volume or that the ending will have to be rushed in order to fit everything in.

I missed seeing White since she didn’t make any kind of appearance in Volume 19. The teaser text for Volume 20 says that she will be involved in the story, so I hope she has a major role to play. Over the course of the series, White seemed to go from being Black’s co-star to being a less important character for the overall story, and I have found that to be rather disappointing.

At this point, I’m just hoping that Pokemon Black and White can receive a satisfactory conclusion to make the journey through these volumes worth it.

VIZ Media Makes Holiday Shopping for Your Favorite Anime and Manga Fan Easy With New Comprehensive Gift Guide

VIZ Media presents a specially curated selection of anime releases and manga titles to suit a wide array of tastes this holiday season. Fans can review the entire list of suggested titles at: www.viz.com/holiday.

In addition, members of the VIZ Media team created a video spotlighting a few of their top holiday picks at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFXHPWcySwo.

Fans can highlight wish lists with a variety of anime releases, including Limited Edition Box Sets available on DVD and Blu-ray, such as:

SAILOR MOON Season 1 Part 1 Limited Edition DVD & Blu-ray Combo Pack Box Set

(PRE-ORDER) SAILOR MOON Season 1 Part 2 DVD & Blu-ray Combo Pack Box Set – Releases in February 2015

RANMA 1/2 Sets 1-4 – Limited Edition Blu-ray and/or DVD and/or Blu-ray Limited Edition Box Sets

BLOOD LAD: THE COMPLETE SERIES – DVD and/or Blu-ray Box Sets

GARGANTIA ON THE VERDUROUS PLANET COMPLETE SERIES – DVD and/or Blu-ray Box Sets

NARUTO THE MOVIE: ROAD TO NINJA – DVD and/or Blu-ray Set

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: BLOOD PRISON – DVD and/or Blu-ray Set

NARUTO TRIPLE FEATURE DVD Release – Features NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW, LEGEND OF THE STONE OF GELEL, and GUARDIANS OF THE CRESCENT MOON KINGDOM

BLEACH DOUBLE FEATURE DVD Release – Features BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY and BLEACH THE MOVIE 2: THE DIAMONDDUST REBELLION

Manga fans have a wide variety of titles and series box sets that add plenty of excitement to the holiday reading season, including:

Pokémon Adventures Ruby & Sapphire MANGA Box Set

Pokémon Adventures Diamond & Pearl/Platinum MANGA Box Set

Pokémon Black & White MANGA Box Set 2

THE LEGEND OF Zelda Box Set

Voltron From Days of Long Ago: A 30th Anniversary Celebration

Hello Kitty, Hello 40

The Art of Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke: The First Story

Bakuman。 MANGA Box Set

Black Bird MANGA Box Set

Death Note MANGA Box Set

Ouran High School Host Club MANGA Box Set

Vampire Knight MANGA Box Set 2

One Piece MANGA Box Set 2

Fullmetal Alchemist MANGA Box Set

Readers that prefer to enjoy their manga digitally are invited to take advantage of special bundles and holiday pricing on entire story arcs of several popular series. VIZ Media’s digital story arc promotion is available on VIZManga.com, until January 1, 2015.

ONE PIECE, East Blue Saga Vols. 1-11
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $44.00 for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

NARUTO, The Test of a Ninja Vols. 1-16
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $64.00 for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

BLEACH, Reaper’s Road Vols. 1-21
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $84.00 for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

SHAMAN KING, Spirit Voyage Vols. 1-15
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $60.00 for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

ZOMBIE POWDER, Vols. 1-4
Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens
Cost: $8.00 for the entire bundle at $1.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

THE EARL AND THE FAIRY, The Journey to the Fairy Kingdom Vols. 1-4
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $8.00 for the entire bundle at $1.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

DEATH NOTE © 2003 by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata/SHUEISHA Inc.

New Manga Releases: December 2, 2014

Here are the new manga releases for December 2, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Alice in the Country of Joker: Nightmare Trilogy GN 2
Assassination Classroom GN 1
Dragon Ball Omnibus GN 7
Food Wars! GN 3
Happy Marriage?! GN 9 (18+)
Honey Blood GN 2
Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You) GN 20
Knights of Sidonia GN 12
Manga Dogs GN 2
Millennium Snow GN 4
Naruto GN 68
New Lone Wolf & Cub GN 3 [this title is being released on December 3, 2014]
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan GN 24
Pokémon Black and White GN 19
Pokémon XY GN 1
Sankarea: Undying Love GN 10
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign GN 3
Toriko GN 25
Vampire Knight: Fleeting Dreams GN
World Trigger GN 3
Voice Over! Seiyu Academy GN 8
Yukarism GN 1

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.

New Manga Releases: October 7, 2014

Here are the new manga releases for October 7, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Apple and Honey GN (18+)
Food Wars! GN 2
Happy Marriage?! GN 8 (18+)
Honey Blood GN 1
Kamisama Kiss GN 16
Knights of Sidonia GN 11
Manga Dogs GN 1
Missions of Love GN 9
My Love Story!! GN 2
Naruto GN 67
Natsume’s Book of Friends GN 17
A New Season of Young Leaves GN (18+)
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan GN 23
One Piece Omnibus GN 10
Oresama Teacher GN 17
Pokémon Adventures: Platinum GN Box Set
Pokémon Black and White GN 18
Strike Witches: 1937 Fuso Sea Incident GN 2
Toriko GN 24
Twittering Birds Never Fly GN (18+)
Vampire Knight GN 19
Vampire Knight GN 19 Limited Edition
Vinland Saga GN 5
Voice Over! Seiyu Academy GN 7
World Trigger GN 1
World Trigger GN 2
ZE GN 9

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.

New Manga Releases: September 2, 2014

Here are the new manga releases for September 2, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Alice in the Country of Clover: Knight’s Knowledge GN 2
Bleach Omnibus GN 9
A Centaur’s Life GN 4
Dawn of the Arcana GN 13
Dragon Ball Omnibus GN 6
Library Wars: Love & War GN 12
Mayo Chiki! GN 7
Midnight Secretary GN 7 (18+)
Naruto Omnibus GN 9
Nisekoi: False Love GN 5
Noragami: Stray God GN 1
One Piece GN 72
Phantom Thief Jeanne GN 4
Pokémon Adventures GN 24
Pokémon Adventures GN Box Set 3
Pokémon Black and White GN Box Set 2 (9-14)
Ranma 1/2 Omnibus GN 4
Seraph of the End GN 2
Skip Beat! GN 33
A Strange Kind of Woman GN 2 (18+)
Time Killers: Kazue Kato Short Story Collection GN
What Did You Eat Yesterday? GN 4
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s GN 6
Zero’s Familiar: Chevalier GN 2