Pokémon Adventures, released in Japan as Pocket Monsters: Special (ポケットモンスター SPECIAL Poketto Monsutā Supesharu?), is a Pokémon-related manga based on the video games. Satoshi Tajiri once stated that the Pocket Monsters Special series is closest to what he imagined the Pokémon world to be: "This is the comic that most resembles the world I was trying to convey." (僕が伝えたかった世界に最も近い漫画です。 Boku ga tsutaetakatta sekai ni mottomo chikai manga desu.?)
The series is written by Hidenori Kusaka and illustrated by Mato for the first 9 volumes. Satoshi Yamamoto took over from Mato (who was ill at the time) and has not stopped since. The manga was translated into English in North America by VIZ Media, but publication stopped in 2001 at Volume 7. Recently, Viz has begun re-releasing the series in the form of "The Best of Pokémon Adventures: Red" and "The Best of Pokémon Adventures: Yellow", respectively, this time for $7.95 each, $6 less than nearly a decade ago when the publisher first began to publish the manga. VIZ Media has begun to release the series again with a 2nd edition. The first volume was released on June 2, 2009., while the second volume was released in August. As for 2010, four volumes have been re-released. In Southeast Asia, Singapore publisher Chuang Yi, currently translates Pokémon Adventures into English, and continues to translate new volumes to this day, so far up to volume 33. Jilin Fine Arts, in collaboration with the VIZ Media Shanghai Branch, has translated the manga into Chinese. In Taiwan, it is published by Ching Win, who translates it into Mandarin and releases it in their monthly CoroCoro Comic magazine.
Pokémon Adventures is divided into several distinct parts, and these, in turn, are divided further into volumes and many smaller chapters. There are nine major divisions at present, with six of them completely published, and one of them partially-published, as manga in 35 volumes.
Pokémon Adventures: Red, Blue & Green
The first story is based on the Red, Green, and Blue versions of the game. It is 3 volumes long (Chapters 1 to 40) as to reflect the three original versions of the game. It shows Red, the protagonist, who gets his Pokédex from Professor Oak to start on his Pokémon journey, collecting Pokémon and battling gym leaders for the eight coveted gym badges. He later meets his rival Blue (Green in Japanese) who, oddly enough, is Oak's own grandson. Later in his journey, he encounters con artist Green (Blue in Japanese), who sells him fake Pokémon items. She has stolen a Squirtle, the one from Oak’s lab and evolved it into a powerful Wartortle.
Later, Oak had been kidnapped by Team Rocket to create a Mewtwo, and Red, Green and Blue arrive at Saffron City to take on the elite of Team Rocket. They manage to defeat Team Rocket and save Oak. Red then travels to the Indigo Plateau to battle his rival Blue, having gained seven badges, but also prevails against the evil bio-weapon Mewtwo and Team Rocket's leader and legendary missing Viridian Gym Leader, Giovanni, on the way. Red later battles Blue in the Pokémon League Championships and emerges victorious, claiming the title of champion of the Pokémon League.
Pokémon Adventures: Yellow
The next storyline is loosely based on the Yellow version of the game. This part of the story ends in chapter 90. Red has disappeared after receiving a challenge letter sent to him by Lorelei of the Elite Four. They plan to lure him to them, so as to get information on Giovanni’s whereabouts. They also needed his Earth Badge. Only Red’s Pikachu, Pika, managed to escape, Red having been encased in ice. Yellow decided to go look for Red, as Red had helped her catch a Rattata to train her in the skills of battling.
Yellow, Blaine, Blue, Green, Bill, Lt. Surge, Koga and Sabrina join forces to bring down the Elite Four together. They found out that Lance’s master plan was to use the Gym Badges and create an amplifying effect at Cerise Island to power up a mysterious Legendary Pokémon and destroy all humans in the world except themselves. They felt that humans and Pokémon were not meant to coexist. Red turned up later at Cerise Island to help Surge and Bill defeat Bruno. It is also revealed that Giovanni was the one who rescued Red from his ice coffin. The trainers send their power to Yellow, and with their combined strength she manages to defeat Lance.
Pokémon Adventures: Gold, Silver & Crystal
The third adventure is based on the Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, versions of the game. It features the protagonists Gold, Silver and Crystal, and is centered mostly around the Johto region. In accordance with the games, Team Rocket tries to make a comeback, but instead of being defeated before Gold reaches the Pokémon League (as it happens in the game), Team Rocket actually attacks the League. Also, the main goal in the story is not for Gold or Crystal to collect all the badges, but for Gold, it is to team up with a Cyndaquil and get Totodile back from Silver (who stole it), and for Crystal, it is to complete the Pokédex.
Pokémon Adventures: Ruby & Sapphire
The Ruby & Sapphire Saga is based on the Ruby and Sapphire versions of the game. It is also ten volumes long. It features Ruby and Sapphire, and their bet to each other: 80 days for Ruby (a Pokémon coordinator, though that title is never mentioned outside the anime) to win all the Contest Ribbons in Hoenn, and for Sapphire, a powerful trainer in her own right, to battle all the Gym Leaders for the 8 badges.
In their travels, they meet new companions like the gym leaders of the Hoenn region and the avid news reporter Gabby (or Maryann) and her cameraman Ty (who play a minor role in the games). Team Magma and Team Aqua is introduced here, as they attempt to awaken the legendary Pokémon Groudon and Kyogre to conquer the world, and Ruby and Sapphire take notice after encountering several main members in their journeys. In the end, the gym leaders, Ruby, and Sapphire must protect the Hoenn region together from the awakened Groudon and Kyogre, but importantly, will the two trainers manage to keep their bet and who will come up to the top?
Pokémon Adventures: FireRed & LeafGreen
The next story, returning to Red, Green, and Blue, is loosely based on the Sevii Islands portion of the FireRed and LeafGreen versions of the game. The plot consists of Team Rocket trying to capture Deoxys, and Red, Green and Blue’s efforts to stop them. Along the way, they must rescue Green's parents and Professor Oak, who is Blue's grandfather, who have been kidnapped by Deoxys. Despite their best efforts, they are not able to stop Team Rocket from obtaining Deoxys, even though they mastered the ultimate attacks taught by Kimberly, an old but powerful woman residing on Two Island.
Yellow and Silver are introduced into the plot halfway when the latter tried to find his parents. Knowing that his object was somewhere in Viridian City, he met up with Yellow in the forest, understanding her powers would be useful to him. Giovanni had used Deoxys's power to search for his lost son and was led to the forest when Silver and Yellow was in. It is revealed that Silver was Giovanni's son and he passed out in shock. Yellow followed Team Rocket, who brought Silver back with them to an airship.
Giovanni was challenged by Red after he went after him alone when Blue and Green stayed behind at the Sevii Islands before he could meet his son. He lost, but the airship went out of control. Together, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow as well as Silver stop it from destroying cities and populations but they were caught in an energy clash that petrified them. Though Mewtwo was also caught in the attack, his body is nowhere to be seen. Deoxys had managed to escape moments before the blast currently searching for his friend (who is also a Deoxys).
Pokémon Adventures: Emerald
This story is based on the Emerald version of the game, specifically the Battle Frontier portion. The main protagonist of this story arc is Emerald, who is hired by Crystal and Professor Oak to capture Jirachi in seven days before it is captured by Guile Hideout, the main antagonist. Emerald is also trying to accomplish his dream, which is to challenge the seven facilities of Battle Frontier and conquer them all. In the process, Emerald meets with the other two Hoenn Pokédex holders, Ruby and Sapphire.
The three Pokédex owners take on the Battle Frontier challenge, but they are interrupted by Guile Hideout, who was manipulating the head of the Battle Tower, Anabel. In an ensuing battle with Emerald, he releases Anabel from his control and reveals himself to be Team Aqua's leader, Archie. He also reveals that he has caught Jirachi, and subsequently uses it to summon a massive water-composed clone of Kyogre to flood the Battle Frontier. Archie hinted, however, that he was unable to be separated from the armor covering him for a prolonged period of time.
The three Pokédex holders escape the rising waters with the help of Gold and Crystal, who had also arrived at the Battle Frontier. Gold explains that the five Pokédex owners who were petrified — Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and Silver — were ordered to be shipped to the Battle Frontier. The hope was for them to be de-petrified through a wish to Jirachi. While Crystal trains Ruby and Sapphire to learn a powerful skill that can help stop the Kyogre, Archie abandons Jirachi, who was subsequently left in Emerald's hands.
Gold assigns Emerald to make a wish to de-petrify Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and Silver. After finally coming into terms with his real desire — to be with Pokémon and people who like them — Jirachi grants his wish, and the five Pokédex owners were cured of their petrification. Red and Gold immediately incapacitated Archie by destroying his armor. With all ten Pokédex owners now reunited, they combined their strongest attacks together and defeated the Kyogre. Archie then vanishes as a result of him being separated from his armor for too long.
Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl
This storyline is based on the Diamond and Pearl versions of the game. It features Lady Platinum Berlitz, who, for her coming-of-age ceremony, must travel to the top of Mt. Coronet in order to collect materials to create her own family emblem. Despite her vast knowledge, due to coming from a wealthy family of scholars, her father insists that she is followed by a pair of professional bodyguards. However, an identity mishap occurs as manzai comedians Diamond and Pearl believe that Platinum is their tour guide who will accompany them on a prize trip around Sinnoh, while Platinum believe that the duo are her bodyguards.
As they travel Sinnoh, Platinum becomes engrossed in Gym Battles after fighting Roark in order to up her Piplup’s confidence. She manages to obtain six gym badges within a space of 25 days, which Bryon remarks to have beaten Sapphire’s previous record of 8 badges in 80 days. While helping Platinum prepare for Gym Battles through intense periods of training, the starter Pokémon bestowed upon them by Professor Rowan gradually evolve to their final evolved form, while Platinum’s Ponyta evolves into a Rapidash.
In an encounter with Team Galactic while in Veilstone City, Platinum becomes Galactic’s ransom target, as a means to extract capital to develop a bomb, which would be used to destroy the three lakes of Sinnoh. Platinum’s center of attention causes the banishment of her real bodyguards to a different realm, causing Diamond and Pearl to continue faking as professional bodyguards, while now knowing the truth. The evidence is further solidified when the trio visit Celestic Town to find Cyrus studying the ruins there.
After battling Fantina for a gym badge, the trio learn that Platinum’s father and Professor Rowan have been kidnapped while at an academic conference in Canalave City. They immediately speed to Canalave City aboard Fantina’s Drifblim. After her father and Professor Rowan are saved, Platinum learns that Diamond and Pearl were not her bodyguards; while this causes a rift between them, Platinum reconciles with them by revealing her name as a means of declaring she recognizes the two as her friends. They resolve to continue their journey through Sinnoh in order to stop Team Galactic's nefarious plans and save the legendary Pokémon (Mesprit, Uxie, and Azelf) of Sinnoh's three lakes.
Pokémon Adventures: Platinum
The chapter follows Lady Platinum Berlitz as she enters the Battle Frontier as well as Looker, who is investigating information on the Distortion World. The cover art for the first manga in the new series was released in the June 2010 issue of CoroCoro.
Pokémon Adventures: HeartGold & SoulSilver
This arc is based on the Generation IV games, HeartGold and SoulSilver. The first chapter was recently serialized in Grade 4 in April 2010 (issue around March), and the second chapter is to be released in May 2010 (around April) issue of Corocoro Ichiban, a bi-monthly magazine. Three years after the events in the Emerald arc, the story starts when Gold and Arceus face off. In a flashback, it is shown that events similar to Team Rocket's raid have recently occurred. Silver and Gold carry out investigations to see who the mastermind behind all this is.
- Red - The first protagonist and champion of the 9th Pokémon League. Initially shown as a rash young trainer, he has matured over the course of the series. He started with a Poliwag since he was a little kid. The Poliwag, then Poliwhirl, evolved into Poliwrath to save Red from drowning. When he started his journey, he received a Bulbasaur from Professor Oak. It eventually evolved to a Venusaur, but he temporarily traded it with his rival Blue for a Charizard in FRLG, though they traded back at the end of the saga. His other Pokémon are Gyarados, Snorlax, Pikachu, and an Aerodactyl. He specializes in Pokémon Battles (The Battler).
- Blue (known as Green in Japan) - The cool-headed yet somewhat cocky rival of Red. Now, they get along pretty well. He had the starter Pokémon Charmander, now a Charizard. He excels at training Pokémon (The Trainer), even those that are not his. Current Team in the FRLG saga consists of Charizard, Golduck, Machamp, Rhydon, Porygon2, and Scizor. In G/S/C/HG/SS he has been made gym leader of Viridian city after Red declined of that offer.
- Green (known as Blue in Japan) - A crafty and perky girl who stole a Squirtle from Professor Oak. She is a friend of Yellow’s and deceived Red into buying fake items. Now a friend of Red. Has a past with Silver. Her Squirtle has since evolved into a Blastoise. She excels at evolving Pokémon (The Evolver). Her current team comprises Blastoise, Wigglytuff, Clefable, Granbull, Nidoqueen, and Ditto.
- Yellow - The happy-go-lucky and kind-hearted protagonist. Yellow has a rare magical power to heal Pokémon (The Healer), a trait seen only in special individuals from the Viridian Forest area. She disguised herself as a boy on a mission to save Red. She also has a magical power to read Pokémons' minds, which is also from the Viridian Forest. She always sleeps after using her abilities due to their high use of her energy. During her adventures, she borrowed Red’s Pikachu. She now has her own Pikachu, a female named Chuchu. Her current team consists of Pikachu (Chuchu), Golem (Gravvy), Omastar (Omny), Dodrio (Dody), Butterfree (Kitty), and Raticate (Ratty).
- Gold - The good-hearted, but somewhat perverse, hero of the Gold & Silver saga. The third protagonist. Very rash, even more so than Red. He has the Pokémon Pichu, and is capable at hatching Pokémon (The Hatcher). His current team consists of Typhlosion, Aipom, Mantine, Politoed, Sudowoodo, Sunflora, and Pichu. As of HG/SS, he is 16.
- Silver - Gold’s cold and distant rival, and the son of Team Rocket leader Giovanni. Has a past with Green. He had the starter Pokémon Totodile (stolen, like Green’s Squirtle), now a Feraligatr. He specializes in trading Pokémon (The Trader). In HG/SS, he is 16.
- Kris Crystal - An intelligent and energetic expert at catching Pokémon (The Capturer). She has caught every non-legendary Pokémon for Professor Oak (she got the legendary Pokémon’s data with the help of the 1st generation trainers). She had a Chikorita for a starter Pokémon, which is now a Meganium.
- Ruby - The well-meaning but a bit obnoxious protagonist of The Fourth Chapter, and Gym Leader Norman’s son. He hates Pokémon battles and prefers to compete in Pokémon Contests, as a result of what had happened to him and Sapphire when they were young. Ruby received the starter Pokémon Mudkip, now a Swampert. His party last checked consists of Swampert (Zuzu), Mightyena (Nana), Delcatty (Coco), Castform (Popo), Milotic (Mimi) and Kirlia (Ruru). He previously had a Celebi.
- Sapphire - Daughter of Professor Birch and Ruby’s rival. She is very wild and often dresses in clothes made of leaves. She loves battling and thinks Pokémon Coordinators (like Ruby) are prissy, as a result of what had happened to her and Ruby when they were young. She had Torchic for a starter Pokémon, now a Blaziken. Her party last checked consists of Blaziken (Toro), Aggron (Rono), Donphan (Dono), Tropius (Pilo), Minun and Plusle.
- Emerald is the sly-minded but midget-sized central character of the fifth arc. He initially did not have any Pokémon, but later was joined by a Sudowoodo and Dusclops. He also carries a concealed gun known as an E-Shooter as a tool to calm Pokémon. Emerald was hired by Crystal to compete in the Battle Frontier to protect the legendary Pokémon Jirachi from an evil man named Guile Hideout. Emerald also stole a Sceptile from the Battle Factory. This Sceptile was none other than the same Grovyle which was blown away from Sky Pillar while awakening Rayquaza. Emerald uses Pokémon that Crystal owns in each attraction, excluding the Battle Factory, Battle Tower, Battle Palace, and Battle Arena. He also apparently has a connection to the legendary Pokémon Latios and Latias. It is suspected that Emerald is not who he appears to be as the gem seemingly attached to his forehead bears some resemblance to the "green gem" the scientists in the Ruby/Sapphire season created.
- Diamond is a new character from Sinnoh with a gluttonous and rather dim-witted personality, though has been shown to sometimes exhibit charisma in desperate situations. He is a Pokémon trainer and a very good friend of Pearl. He has a Shieldon, Lickilicky, Munchlax, and a Torterra (mistakenly given to him by Berlitz). Because of a mix-up he thinks that if he escorts Berlitz to Mt. Coronet, he’ll win a prize.
- Pearl is a new character from Sinnoh with a hasty personality and has a habit of butting into conversations and exploding with rage if someone doesn't give him eye contact. He is a Pokémon Comedian (like his friend Diamond) and has a Chatot, a Luxray, and an Infernape (mistakenly given to him by Berlitz). Because of a mix-up he thinks that if he escorts Berlitz to Mt. Coronet, he’ll win a prize.
- Platinum Berlitz is a new character from Sinnoh. She is the elegant but a bit spoiled descendent of a very wealthy and important family, and she has to travel to Mt. Coronet as part of a ritual. She receives three Pokédexes, three Pokétches, and the three starters (Turtwig, Chimchar, and Piplup) from Professor Rowan to give to her partners. She owns an Empoleon, a Rapidash, and a Lopunny. Throughout the early portions of the story, her first name is omitted and not revealed.; however, later her name is revealed as Platinum, to concide with the latest game, Pokémon Platinum version. She is known to enter many competitions, such as Super Pokémon Contests and battling gym leaders.
When writing the series, Hidenori Kusaka always tries to add elements of amazements and excitements with the idea that the readers would feel they are playing a video game. Some parts from the story are based on Kusaka's thoughts of the Pokémon video games such as the weapons' designs or the areas were wild Pokémon live. His biggest focus in the manga is to make the Pokémon to look attractive so that readers would appreciate them more. He also tries to balance the number of Pokémon trainers and Pokémon in order to be faithful to the game. Illustrator for volume 10 onwards, Satoshi Yamamoto, commented that when he started drawing Pokémon he had little knowledge about Pokémon, but still he was focused in the drawing for the new protagonist, Crystal. After working for a year, he was surprised with Kusaka's stories and wanted to make his pictures give a good impression. During the fourth story arc, Yamamoto mentioned that several of the disasters happening in the Hoenn region that he drew are based on his favorite horror and monster movies.
Japanese volumes from series have been featured in the Japanese comic ranking various times. Viz's first volumes edition from the manga, "The Best of Pokémon Adventures", appeared on ICv2's Top 20 Graphic Novels from April 2008. It also won the first Nickelodeon Magazine Comics Awards in the category "Favorite Manga Series".
ICv2's Nick Smith gave the first a volume 3.5 stars out of 5, commenting that several parts from the manga make it more interesting than the anime such as the Team Rocket's appearances or Pikachu's rebelled personality. Although he still noted there was more violence in the manga than in the anime, he still recommended it for all ages. A similar opinion was give by Activeanime's Scott Campbell who liked how different is Yellow's character from Ash Ketchum due their differences of personalities, abilities, making such the former character very interesting for readers. The artwork was described as "fairly cutesy and fun, but still of a very high quality" while fights received positive response due to the Pokémon's movements.
- ↑ "Pokémon Adventures Characters." Viz Media. June 22, 2000.
- ↑ "Pokémon - Book: Manga." Akacool.com. Feb 11, 2009.
- ↑ Kusaka, Hidenori; Mato (2000). Pokémon Adventures, Volume 1. Viz Media. p. 2. ISBN 978-1569315071. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- ↑ Kusaka, Hidenori; Mato (2000). Pokémon Adventures, Volume 2. Viz Media. p. 2. ISBN 978-1569315088. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- ↑ Kusaka, Hidenori; Mato (2002). Pokémon Adventures, Volume 4. Viz Media. p. 2. ISBN 978-1569317105. Cite uses deprecated parameter
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- ↑ "Japanese Comic Ranking, November 26-December 2". Anime News Network. December 11, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
- ↑ "Japanese Comic Ranking, March 31-April 6". Anime News Network. April 8, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
- ↑ "BookScan’s Top 20 Graphic Novels for April". ICv2. April 30, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
- ↑ "Pokémon Wins Nickelodeon Mag's Favorite Manga Award". Anime News Network. March 27, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
- ↑ "Review of ‘Pokemon Adventures' Vol. 1 (Manga)". ICv2. March 23, 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
- ↑ Campbell, Scott (May 4, 2007). "THE BEST OF POKEMON ADVENTURES - YELLOW". Activeanime. Retrieved October 15, 2009.