Manga Review: Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver Volume One

Article first published as Manga Review: ‘Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and Soulsilver’ Volume One by Hidenori Kusaka on Blogcritics.

Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver Volume One is a manga based on the Pokemon HeartGold and Pokemon SoulSilver video games. The manga is written by Hidenori Kusaka and illustrated by Satoshi Yamamoto. Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver is being published in North America by Viz Media’s VizKids’ imprint, and this volume was released in 2013.

Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver Volume 1
Written by: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 6, 2013

This series sees the return of the characters Gold, Silver, and Crystal. The volume opens with Gold, being accompanied by Whitney, going to the Pokeathlon Dome. Gold, along with his Pokemon, participate in the various events; Gold ends up winning quite a few medals and meeting several Gym Leaders. It’s revealed that Gold participated in the Pokeathlon so he could meet up with Lance in order to learn about Arceus. But when Lance’s Dragonite arrives without Lance, Gold makes it his mission to locate Lance.

Meanwhile, Silver goes to Lance’s secret chamber to try to find Lance. Lance isn’t there, but Silver deduces that recent mysterious events seem to have the M.O. of Team Rocket. Lance’s cousin Clair arrives, and through her, Silver gets a potential clue regarding Lance. After fighting a group of Koffing, Silver goes to the Safari Zone. Silver encounters a member of Team Rocket there, and learns about sixteen plates that Team Rocket is trying to gather together. After this encounter, Silver reunites with Crystal, and the two of them head off on a journey to try to locate the plates.

It was a bit refreshing to pick up the first volume of one of the various Pokemon Adventures manga series and to already know the characters from one of the earlier Pokemon Adventures series. Since time didn’t need to be spent establishing these characters, the story could start right away. It was also nice to see what happened to these characters after the ending of their previous story arc.

From what I’ve been able to gather, it appears that Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver is supposed to be a short story arc; in North America, there’s only two volumes that are going to be released to tell the story in this particular story arc. Knowing this, I can say that the pacing of this story is just right, and that no time is being wasted in any of the panels.

I also have to say that I really enjoyed seeing the Pokeathlon, and that there are several extra pages in this volume devoted to explaining the various events that take place during the Pokeathlon. Although I do have to say that in some respects, it felt like Gold was winning his various events a little too easily. Oh well, I still enjoyed reading this part anyway.

Yamamoto’s art style continues to impress me. Something that stood out to me in this volume are some close-up panels of some of the characters. In these close ups, it’s very easy to see how much time and detail Yamamoto went to for these particular panels.

I believe that readers who are already familiar with the Pokemon Adventures manga, especially the section of the series that focuses on Gold, Silver and Crystal, will enjoy Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver. As soon as you begin reading this volume, it feels like you’re catching up with old friends and acquaintances; this familiarity helps to make this volume an interesting, engaging and enjoyable read.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver Volume One that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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