Manga Review: Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum Volume One

Pokémon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum Volume 1 is written by Hidenori Kusaka and the art was done by Satoshi Yamamoto. 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 Katherine Schilling. This volume of the manga was published in 2011. Pokémon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum Volume 1
Written by: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 1, 2011

This volume is set in the Sinnoh region, and we are introduced to three new characters. The female lead, who looks a lot like Dawn from the anime series, is simply known as “Lady Berlitz.” Pearl looks a lot like Barry from the anime, and he has a sidekick named Diamond (who goes by Dia for short). At the beginning of the manga, Lady is headed to Mt. Coronet to acquire the substances she needs to make an emblem of her family crest. Diamond and Pearl enter a Comedy Grand Prix in Jubilife City, but Diamond and his Pokémon mess up the routine. However, the judges decide to give Diamond and Pearl a special merit prize. As they head back inside, they collide with Professor Rowan, who is helping to make arrangements for Lady’s trip. Both Professor Rowan and Pearl drop similar looking envelopes, and a mix up happens. Instead of their intended prize, Diamond and Pearl end up with the instructions for the bodyguards who are supposed to be guarding Lady. Not realizing there’s been a mistake, Diamond and Pearl end up accompanying Lady on her journey. They encounter several Pokémon and Pokémon trainers during their travels.

I have to admit that I found myself having a hard time getting into this manga, due in large part to how shallow the protagonists are. I really have a hard time cheering for a stuck up and snobby girl, an annoying loudmouth boy, and an idiotic and gluttonous boy. Also, the volume relies too heavily on Diamond and Pearl doing lame comedy routines together; I found this to be rather annoying after a while. Also, since I already have familiarity with “Lady” as Dawn in the anime series, I hard time reconciling the snobby character on the page with my perception of her alter ego from the anime. Pearl is very similar to Barry, so I had a little easier time accepting his character in the manga. I have been told that the characters are supposed to get better in future volumes of this manga series; however, by the end of this volume, I’m really not sure if I want to invest the time to read future volumes of the series.

The one strong point this manga has going for it is the art. Since Satoshi Yamamoto did the art instead of Mato, the characters start out with a realistic look instead of the “squashed chibi” look that Mato was giving the characters in the early volumes of the Pokémon Adventures manga.

If you enjoy the Pokémon franchise, then you might find enjoyment in Pokémon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum. However, with this first volume at least, don’t expect anything in the way of character development or any truly compelling plot points to entice you to continue reading any further in the series.

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

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