Pokemon Black & White 1

December 28, 2011

Hidenori Kusaka / Satoshi Yamamoto – Viz – 2011 – 7+ volumes

Not that it really matters to anyone reading this, but this is actually a later volume of Pokemon Adventures. Pokemon Adventures is actually a nearly 40-volume series that is a pretty loyal adaptation of all the main RPGs and remakes in the Pokemon series, and it covers all of the games/characters in order. Pokemon Diamond & Pearl/Platinum is another section of the series being released in English simultaneously. My guess is that this just helps capitalize on the popularity of the current games. It works fine for me.

Actually, the fact that this is Pokemon Adventures should matter a little bit to anyone reading this, because that’s the best Pokemon manga in English. Hands down. Not that it would appeal to anyone looking for anything other than a Pokemon manga, but this is at least a fairly engaging and adorable story, rather than being a bland and abridged adaptation.

This volume is pretty par for the course in this series. We start off at the beginning of the Black/White game, with Professor Juniper deciding three young trainers named Black, Cheren, and Bianca should be the recipients of the three starter Pokemon from those games. Tepig escapes, and this effectively ruins the Pokedexes for Cheren and Bianca and puts Black ahead of them on the path to the Pokemon League.

This is an abridged volume, containing 100 pages and 4 chapters, so not much else aside from introductions and wacky hijinx from Tepig transpires. Black battles one trainer, and chases the temperamental Tepig into two different wild Pokemon battles after misunderstandings. Having said that, I think the smaller, kid-friendly volumes are a good fit for this series. The shorter length suits the much younger audience that’s likely to pick them up, and the price tag is also lower, making them a wallet-friendly purchase for kids as well.

I tend to like the Pokemon Adventures series best because of its close proximity to the plot of the video games, and the charm of the trainers and Pokemon in the stories carry over nicely, too, with nothing more dark than the bad trainers that pop up in the games making for fairly friendly villains that are always willing to show off more of the vast number of Pokemon. The subject matter isn’t deep or challenging, but it is exactly what it should be in a Pokemon adaptation. As a fan of the games, I enjoy reading these volumes occasionally, and again, the subject matter, format, and price all strike me as a great fit for kids. Plus, it’s not an insufferable chore to get through if you happen to have a young child that wants it read to them, or want to read it along with a child.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

One Response to “Pokemon Black & White 1”

  1. […] Aeschliman on vol. 3 of Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum (Blogcritics) Connie on vol. 1 of Pokemon Black and White (Slightly Biased Manga) Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 2 of Psyren (The Comic Book Bin) Connie on vol. 3 […]

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