Manga Review: Pokemon Adventures Volume 16

Pokemon Adventures Volume 16 was published in North America by VIZ Media’s VizKids imprint in 2013.

Pokemon Adventures Volume 16
Written by: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 7, 2013

This section of the Pokemon Adventures manga is set in the Hoenn region, and features the characters of Ruby and Sapphire. Ruby dreams of being a Pokemon Coordinator and winning all of the Pokemon Contests in the region. He’s the son of the Petalburg City gym leader, Norman. Unfortunately, his father doesn’t agree with his son’s dream. Ruby runs away from home in order to pursue his dream and to try to make it come true.

Sapphire is the daughter of Professor Birch, and she wants to battle all of the Gym Leaders in the Hoenn region. Ruby and Sapphire become rivals, and Sapphire issues a challenge to Ruby: prove which one of them can achieve their dream first within 80 days. Ruby agrees to the challenge.

In this volume, Sapphire finishes her battle with Roxanne, and then heads to Dewford Town to fulfill a promise she made in the previous volume. Ruby, meanwhile, awakens and finds himself on a boat. After having an adventure on the boat, Ruby ends up in Dewford Town and runs into Sapphire. The rest of the volume focuses on what happens to Ruby and Sapphire while they’re in Dewford Town.

As someone who is more familiar with the Pokemon franchise through the anime series, I’m still finding myself having a hard time accepting the character of Sapphire, since the two look so much alike. When this character was Haruka/May in the anime series, her character and personality were drastically different than the character that is portrayed as Sapphire. Hopefully I’ll be better able to separate the two characters as this story arc progresses in the manga. And when it comes to Ruby, he’s starting to come off as a little less annoying in comparison to how he came across in Volume 15. Hopefully, the annoying aspects of Ruby’s character will continue to be downplayed over the course of this story arc.

Something I noticed in this volume is that since there is that 80 day challenge that’s part of the plot, you will see a countdown that appears occasionally in this manga volume. At the end of Volume 16, it says there are only 60 days remaining, which means that roughly 20 days have passed in “story time.” This countdown really reminds me of the countdown that appeared in the Quest for Iscandar series in the Star Blazers anime. Unlike the previous volumes of Pokemon Adventures, this countdown calendar helps to show how much time has actually passed in the story, and it also potentially shows the reader just how much more of the story is left in this particular story arc.

After reading Volume 16, I’m still not entirely sold on this story arc for Pokemon Adventures. Hopefully as this arc progresses, I will become a little more interested in the story. However, if you’ve read Pokemon Adventures Volume 15 and enjoyed it, then I think you’ll also enjoy Volume 16.

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