Manga Review: Pokemon Adventures Volume Eight

Pokemon Adventures Volume 8 is written by Hidenori Kusaka and the art was done by Mato. Vizkids, an imprint of Viz Media, holds the North American rights to distribute the manga in the United States. This English adaptation, which is presented as an “unflipped” release, was done by Gerard Jones, with a translation done by Kaori Inoue. This edition of the manga was published in 2010. Pokemon Adventures is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Pokemon Adventures Volume 8
Written by: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 3, 2010

This volume begins the Gold and Silver Arc of the Pokemon Adventures manga. In this volume, the only characters from the first seven volumes to make an appearance are Professor Oak and Bill. Instead, the focus is on two new characters: Gold and Silver. Gold is a boy who acts rashly and has a high opinion of his talents. Silver is a boy who appears to be a thief, and ends up becoming Gold’s rival. Gold ends up in the middle of a theft taking place at Professor Elm’s lab, and Gold takes one of Elm’s Pokemon to help track down a Pokemon that was stolen from the lab. Several new Pokemon are also introduced in this volume, including Cyndaquil, Aipom, Teddiursa, Ursaring, Totodile, Unown, and Sunkern. Team Rocket also makes another appearance in this story arc.

The art style is the same was what appeared in the previous seven volumes of Pokemon Adventures. The new hero, Gold, also looks an awful lot like Red from the previous manga volumes; my older daughter tells me that these similarities in design come from the videogames. I found these design similarities between these two characters to be disconcerting when I was reading this volume, because I had to keep reminding myself that I was seeing Gold on the page and not Red. When it comes to the Pokemon battles in the volume, there weren’t many “busy” panels; instead, Mato chose to utilize the Japanese “sound effects” characters to convey the action in the battles.

When it comes to the new elements in this volume, one thing that stood out rather quickly is that the names of all of Gold’s Pokemon end with “bo”: Aibo the Aipom, Exbo the Cyndaquil, Sunbo the Sunkern, and Polibo the Poliwag. Personally, I found this naming gimmick to be so cutesy as to be annoying; in fact, I found this to be a little more annoying than the cutesy gimmick of naming the main characters after colors. I found myself wishing that Gold has a little more originality when it came to naming his Pokemon. I hope the character development gets better in future volumes of this arc, because right now, I’m not quite as interested in this arc as I was in the earlier volumes of Pokemon Adventures. However, I would still recommend this volume of Pokemon Adventures if you have read and appreciated the previous seven volumes in the series.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of this manga volume that my son checked out through the King County Library System.

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