Manga Review: Pokemon Black and White Volume Five

Article first published as Manga Review: Pokemon Black and White Volume Five by Hidenori Kusaka on Blogcritics.

Pokemon Black and White Volume Five is a manga based on the Pokemon Black and Pokemon White video games. The manga was written by Hidenori Kusaka, and the art was done by Satoshi Yamamoto. Viz Media released this manga in North America through its VizKids imprint in 2012. Pokemon Black and White is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Pokemon Black and White Volume 5
Written by: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 3, 2012

Volume Five picks right back up with Black’s battle against Lenora; during the battle, Black learns an important lesson from her. After the battle, Lenora receives a phone call from another gym leader about an object he found and wants Lenora to look at. While Lenora is out, a fossil and some artifacts on display at the Nacrene City Museum is stolen. Black and White aid in the search for the missing museum items, and are joined by an artist named Burgh.

I was actually rather surprised to see Burgh introduced this way in the manga. His introduction is very different here in comparison with the anime. To be honest, I’m not sure if I liked his introduction better in the manga or in the anime.

After Black and White crack the case, they head on their way to Nimbasa City, where White will be putting on a Pokemon musical. As they about to cross a bridge, the two of them are suddenly attacked. While on the bridge, they encounter a janitor who challenges Black to a Pokemon battle.

Personally, I thought this story was a little on the odd side, especially with the identity of the janitor. I understand that the point of this story was to introduce a Legendary Pokemon, but I thought the execution was a little on the lacking side.

The final story in this volume is a short one. After reaching Nimbasa City, Black encounters a little boy who looks like he’s lost. Black tells his Tepig to watch the boy while he goes to get some help. It turns out the little boy is a Pokemon named Zorua in disguise. Tep and Zorua try to battle each other.

While I understand this story was included to introduce Zorua, the story really felt unnecessary and out of place in the volume. I wish the manga had found a better way to introduce Zorua in the series.

When it comes to Volume Five, I enjoyed the stories that took place in Nacrene City. However, after Black and White left Nacrene City, I thought that the volume went downhill. Hopefully Volume Six will begin showing us what White is doing to prepare for the Pokemon musical in Nimbasa City.

Personally, I’ve found the Pokemon Black and White manga series to be rather “hit and miss.” My 14-year-old daughter, who considers herself to be a Pokemon fan, doesn’t like this particular Pokemon manga series; in her opinion, Pokemon Black and White strays too far from the story in the Pokemon Black and Pokemon White video games. However, if you are a fan of the Pokemon Black and White manga series, then you will probably like Volume Five.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Black and White Volume Five that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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