New Manga Releases: April 1, 2014

Here are the new manga releases for April 1, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Alice in the Country of Clover: Nightmare GN
Bleach GN 60
Dance in the Vampire Bund Omnibus GN 5
Dictatorial Grimoire: Red Riding Hood GN 3
Dragon Ball: Full Color GN 2
Hana-Kimi Omnibus GN 8
Happy Marriage?! GN 5
Hunter x Hunter GN 32
Library Wars: Love & War GN 11
Naruto GN 65
Nura: Rise of The Yokai Clan GN 20
Pokemon Black and White GN 15
Strike Witches: Maidens in the Sky GN 2
Sweet Rein GN 2
Toriko GN 21
Voice Over! Seiyu Academy GN 4

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.

New Manga Releases: February 4, 2014

Here are the new manga releases for February 4, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Air Gear GN 30
Alice in the Country of Joker: Circus and Liar’s Game GN 4
Blade of the Immortal GN 28
Bleach GN 59
A Centaur’s Life GN 2
A Devil and Her Love Song GN 13
Dragon Ball Full Color Edition GN 1
Dragonar Academy GN 1
Happy Marriage?! GN 4
High School Debut Omnibus GN 1
Kamisama Kiss GN 14
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan GN 19
One Piece Omnibus GN 8
Pokémon Adventures: Diamond and Pearl/Platinum GN 10
Pokémon Black and White GN 14
Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura GN 12
Toradora! GN 6
Toriko GN 20
Voice Over!: Seiyu Academy GN 3

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.

Viz Media Announces the Digital Launch of Multiple Pokemon Manga Series

Viz Media has announced that several Pokemon manga series are now available in North America for the NOOK, Kindle Fire, and Kobo e-readers. They are also available in the iBooks and GooglePlay Stores. The volumes will be offered with an MSRP of $3.99 or $4.99 per volume.

The following Pokemon volumes are currently available digitally:

  • Pokémon Adventures Volumes 1-14
  • Pokémon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum Volumes 1-4
  • Pokémon Black and White Volumes 1-4

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: December 1-7, 2013

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of December 1-7, 2013, according to the New York Times.

1. One Piece Volume 69 by Eiichiro Oda
2. Attack on Titan Volume 9 by Hajime Isayama
3. Attack on Titan Volume 3 by Hajime Isayama
4. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
5. Pokémon Black and White Volume 10 by Hidenori Kusaka
6. Attack on Titan Volume 2 by Hajime Isayama
7. Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume 2 by Naoko Takeuchi
8. Demon Love Spell Volume 5 by Mayu Shinjo
9. Maximum Ride: The Manga Volume 7 by James Patterson and NaRae Lee
10. Naruto Volume 63 by Masashi Kishimoto

New Manga Releases: December 3, 2013

Here are the new manga releases for December 3, 2013. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Alice Love Fables: Toy Box GN
Dance in the Vampire Bund: The Memories of a Sledge Hammer GN 1
Demon Love Spell GN 5
Dengeki Daisy GN 13
Devil and Her Love Song GN 12
Dragon Ball Omnibus GN 3
Fairy Tail GN 33
Happy Marriage?! GN 3
Hunter x Hunter GN 31
Kanokon Omnibus GN 3
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan GN 18
One Piece GN 69
Pokémon Black and White GN 13
The Sacred Blacksmith GN 3
Skip Beat! GN 32
Slam Dunk GN 31
Toriko GN 19
Voice Over!: Seiyu Academy GN 2

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.

New Manga Releases: October 1, 2013

Here are the new manga releases for October 1, 2013. If you see any errors or omissions in this listing, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Bakuman. Complete Box Set (Volumes 1-20)
Black Bird GN 17
Bleach GN 58
Claymore GN 23
Dawn of the Arcana GN 11
A Devil and Her Love Song GN 11
Hana-Kimi Omnibus GN 6
Happy Marriage?! GN 2
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan GN 17
One Piece Omnibus GN 7
Pokémon Adventures: Diamond and Pearl Platinum GN 9
Pokémon Black and White GN 12
Rosario+Vampire: Season II GN 12
Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura GN 11
Slam Dunk GN 30
Toriko GN 18
Voice Over!: Seiyu Academy GN 1

Manga Review: “Pokemon Black and White” Volume 11

Article first published as Manga Review: ‘Pokemon Black and White’ Volume 11 by Hidenori Kusaka on Blogcritics.

Pokemon Black and White Volume 11 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 11 is the second volume in a row that completely focuses on Black; in fact, not only does White not appear anywhere, she’s also never mentioned anywhere within this volume. I really hope that White will make a return to the story somewhere in Volume 12.

The vast majority of Volume 11 takes place at the Nacrene Musem, where Team Plasma is trying to get its hands on a mysterious Dark Stone in order to summon a Legendary Pokemon named Zekrom.

The Pokemon battle between Skyla and Black finishes in this volume, and Black proves himself to be worthy to join the Gym Leaders in defending the Nacrene Museum against Team Plasma. The majority of this volume focuses on the battle between Team Plasma and the Gym Leaders. Black assists in the battle, but something unexpected ends up happening near the end of the volume.

This volume also marks the first time that the character of N has appeared in the storyline for a while. The last time I recall seeing N is when White’s Tepig, Gigi, leaves her and goes off with him. To be honest, N had been gone from the story so long that I almost forgot this character even existed. That is definitely an issue with how small these volumes of Pokemon Black and White are; the story doesn’t progress very quickly, and characters seem to disappear from the storyline for longer than it would have felt like if these volumes were closer to the traditional size for a manga volume.

This is a decent enough volume, and it does its job to tell the story that needs to be told, I personally didn’t find this to be a stellar volume for the Pokemon Black and White series. However, if you’re a Pokemon fan who has truly enjoyed reading the previous 10 volumes of the series, then I think you’ll also enjoy Pokemon Black and White Volume 11.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Black and White Volume 11 that I checked out through the King County Library System.