Manga Review: Pokemon: Giratina & the Sky Warrior!

Pokemon: Giratina & The Sky Warrior! is a manga adapted from the Pokemon film of the same name; this manga has the story and art done by Makoto Hijioka. 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 translated by Kaori Inoue. This edition of the manga was published in 2009. Pokemon: Giratina & the Sky Warrior! is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Pokemon: Giratina & the Sky Warrior!
Written by: Makoto Hijioka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 5, 2009

This volume follows the storyline of the film. However, since this is a printed medium instead of a visual medium, the pacing of the manga is much faster than the anime film. Also, since this English translation follows the English version of the film, the characters’ English names are utilized instead of the Japanese names.

The storyline of both the film and the manga features the Legendary Pokemon Shaymin, who ends up being caught in the middle of a battle between Dialga and Giratina, two other Legendary Pokemon. During this fight, all three of the Pokemon are catapulted into the Reverse World. Shaymin uses its “Seed Flare” ability to tear a hole in the Reverse World; Shaymin and Dialga manage to escape. But before Dialga leaves, it fires a laser at Giratina, trapping Giratina in a time loop in the Reverse World. Shaymin falls into a river in the regular world, and is found by Ash, Brock, and Dawn. After taking the sick Shaymin to a Pokemon Center to be healed, Shaymin uses its telepathic abilities to communicate that it needs to get to a flower field and rejoin its friends. Before they can get far, Team Rocket tries to capture Shaymin, and most of the characters end up being transported to the Reverse World. In the Reverse World, Ash, Dawn, and Shaymin meet a scientist named Newton Graceland, who is studying the Reverse World. He helps Ash and his friends return to the regular world, and the rest of the story follows Ash and his friends as they try to reunite Shaymin with its friends.

The character designs in this manga try to emulate the designs from the anime film, but there’s still some notable differences; however, it should be noted that Brock looks much closer to his anime counterpart in this manga than he does in the Pokemon Adventures manga series. To illustrate the Pokemon battles that appear in this volume, Hijioka utilizes both the “busy panel” and the big sound effect tropes. In a lot of respects, I would have to say that the artwork in this manga is better than the artwork in Pokemon Adventures.

I saw the anime film before reading this manga volume, and I have to say that Hijioka did a fairly decent job of capturing the essence of the film in this book. If you’re a fan of the Pokemon franchise, this is definitely worth giving a read, regardless of whether or not you have already seen the anime film that the manga was adapted from.

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

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