Manga Review: Pokemon Adventures Volume 15

Pokemon Adventures Volume 15 is a manga wpublished in North America by VIZ Media’s VizKids imprint.

Pokemon Adventures Volume 15
Written by: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 5, 2013

This portion of Pokemon Adventures is set in the Hoenn region and features two new characters: Ruby and Sapphire. Ruby is the son of Norman, the new Gym Leader at the Petalburg City gym. Ruby has a dream of being a Pokemon Coordinator and winning all of the Pokemon Contests in the region. However, his father is against the idea, and wants Ruby to be part of the world of Pokemon battles and training.

Ruby runs away from home, and runs into Professor Birch and his daughter, Sapphire. Sapphire helps her father out with his Pokemon research, but she’s a wild country girl who acts like she’s lived in the jungle or the forest. Unlike Ruby, she is all about Pokemon battles and wants to battle all of the Gym Leaders. Sapphire makes a challenge to Ruby: prove which one can achieve their dream in 80 days first. After some reluctance, Ruby agrees to the challenge.

If you’ve seen the Pokemon anime before reading this volume of Pokemon Adventures, then you might have a hard time reconciling the fact that Sapphire is basically May from the anime series, except for the fact that she’s Professor Birch’s daughter here instead of being Norman’s daughter and that the personalities of the two characters are nothing alike. Because I was so familiar with May from the anime series, I found Sapphire to be a little jarring as I read this volume. Hopefully this will subside as I read future volumes of this story arc and become more accustomed to Sapphire.

When it comes to Ruby, I found him to be a little on the annoying side. I thought he came across a little on the “prissy” side, because he doesn’t have his Pokemon help out when it’s needed in order to keep them from getting dirty. However, Ruby does redeem himself a little bit by the end of Volume 15, when he tries to help a boy who wants to be a Pokemon trainer try to catch his first Pokemon.

When it comes to the art style for this arc of Pokemon Adventures, it’s basically what I’ve come to expect from the series since Satoshi Yamamoto stepped in to provide the illustrations. However, I don’t quite see the same level of detail that Yamamoto gave to the artwork in the Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum series. Some of the artwork in this volume is a little on the rough side, but I’m hoping that it might improve as this story arc continues.

As of right now, I don’t feel like I’m entirely sold on this arc for the Pokemon Adventures series. However, I thought the same thing when I first started Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum, but my opinion improved on that series as the story progressed. Hopefully as this arc of Pokemon Adventures continues in future volumes, I might end up being sold on this story as well.

Die-hard fans of Pokemon will probably enjoy this story that takes place in the Hoenn region right off the bat. However, if you’re more of a fan of the anime than you are of the videogames, then you might end up being like me and having a hard time separating the characters of Sapphire and May. However, if you’ve followed the previous 14 volumes of Pokemon Adventures and liked what you read, then you might enjoy Volume 15 as well.

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