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

Viz Media’s Perfect Square Imprint Announces Three New Pokemon Manga Box Sets

Viz Media’s Perfect Square imprint will be releasing two Pokemon manga box sets early in September 2014, and will release a third box in early October 2014.

The Pokemon Adventures Ruby & Sapphire Box Set and the Pokemon Black and White Box Set 2 are scheduled for release on September 2, 2014. A new Pokemon Adventures Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Box Set will be available on October 7m 2014. Pokemon manga are rated ‘A’ for All Ages and each of the forthcoming sets also features a collectible full-color poster.

POKÉMON ADVENTURES RUBY & SAPPHIRE BOX SET ·
MSRP: $59.99 U.S. / $79.99 CAN · Rated ‘A’ For All Ages ·
Available September 2, 2014

Ruby’s father Norman is the new Gym Leader of Petalburg City. But Ruby doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps – he wants to win Pokémon Contests! Sapphire’s father Professor Birch is the local Pokémon researcher. But Sapphire is tired of gathering scientific data – she wants to win Pokémon Battles! When Ruby and Sapphire meet, they’re more likely to hit each other than hit it off. But then Sapphire challenges Ruby to a competition! Which of them will achieve their dreams in just eighty days?! The box set contains the complete Ruby & Sapphire arc (Vols. 15-22) of the bestselling Pokemon Adventures series and a collectible color poster!

POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE BOX SET 2 ·
MSRP: $25.99 U.S. / $29.99 CAN · Rated ‘A’ For All Ages ·
Available September 2, 2014

His entire life, Black has dreamed of winning the Pokémon League! Now he embarks on a journey to explore the Unova region and fill a Pokédex for Professor Juniper. White has an exciting career as the Trainer of a talented troupe of performing Pokémon. She dreams of making her Tepig Gigi a star! Together, Black and White continue on their journey… What surprising new Pokémon – and people – will they meet along the way?! The manga set includes Pokemon Black and White Volumes 9–14 and a collectible color poster!

POKÉMON ADVENTURES DIAMOND & PEARL/PLATINUM ·
MSRP: $89.99 U.S. / $115.99 CAN · Rated ‘A’ For All Ages ·
Available October 7, 2014

The box set contains the complete Diamond & Pearl/Platinum story arc (Vols. 1-11) of the bestselling Pokemon Adventures series and a collectible color poster! Pokémon Trainers Pearl and Diamond are starstruck! Their goal? To perfect their Pokémon comedy act. So how do they wind up as bodyguards to a pampered little rich girl on a quest to reach the peak of Mt. Coronet? Thrills and laughs are guaranteed as the Pokemon Adventures series continues with Pokemon Diamond & Pearl/Platinum.

“POKÉMON fans are guaranteed to have hours of fun with the latest multi-volume box set releases for three of the property’s most popular manga series including POKÉMON ADVENTURES RUBY & SAPPHIRE, POKÉMON DIAMOND & PEARL/PLATINUM, and POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE,” says Beth Kawasaki, Senior Editorial Director. “We look forward to this collection of imaginative adventures that feature dynamic characters and exotic new Pokémon complementing the late summer reading season and opening fall for readers of all ages!”

New Manga Releases: August 5, 2014

Here are the new manga releases for August 5, 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 Joker: Nightmare Trilogy GN 1
Black Rose Alice GN 1
Bleach GN 61
D-Frag! GN 1
D.Gray-man GN 24
Dragonar Academy GN 3
Food Wars! GN 1
Gantz GN 32
Happy Marriage?! GN 7 (18+)
High School Debut Omnibus GN 3
Kaze Hikaru GN 22
Knights of Sidonia GN 10
Kokoro Connect GN 1
MPD-Psycho GN 11
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan GN 22
Pokémon Black and White GN 17
Rosario+Vampire Season II GN 13
Spell of Desire GN 1 (18+)
Toriko GN 23
Voice Over! Seiyu Academy GN 6

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.