Manga Review: Pokemon Adventures Volume 18

Pokemon Adventures Volume 18 is a manga based on the Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire videogames. The manga is written by Hidenori Kusaka and illustrated by Satoshi Yamamoto. This manga volume was originally released in Japan in 2004; however, it wasn’t released in North America until Viz Media’s VizKids imprint released this volume in 2013.

Pokemon Adventures Volume 18
Written by: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: September 3, 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 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.

This volume picks up where Volume17 left off, and it concludes Sapphire and Flanney’s fight with Team Aqua in Lavaridge Town. Unfortunately, Mt. Chimney has gone cold. Flannery tries to get it started again, but to no avail. Even after a member of Team Magma arrives and tries to work with her, it still doesn’t work. Sapphire, meanwhile, tries to catch Team Aqua, but they manage to slip away.

Meanwhile, Ruby is competing in the Verdanturf Town Pokemon Contest, and he wins all of the categories. Gabby from Hoenn TV follows him around, wanting to get an interview. Unfortunately, since Ruby was involved in a submarine incident in an earlier volume, he can’t allow himself to appear on camera.

After the contest, Ruby runs into Wally’s cousin, Wanda, and helps to rescue her boyfriend when a tunnel collapses. Afterward, Team Magma appears on the scene, and Ruby ends up battling with Courtney; in the end, he is able to escape by using his wits.

Flannery also calls an emergency meeting of the region’s gym leaders. Unfortunately, due to their various interactions with Team Aqua and Team Magma, they can’t come to a consensus. They’re split down the middle, with Norman being the tie-breaking vote. He decides not to side with either organization.

At the next Pokemon Contest, Ruby arrives too late to enter the Beauty Category. However, he watches as Wallace wins the Beauty Category, and decides he wants to become Wallace’s student. Ruby begins pursuing Wallace, even after Wallace says he doesn’t take any students. This section of Volume 18 is probably the most amusing, especially when Ruby first meets Wallace. This was a nice bit of humor to include, since a lot more of this volume tends for focus on the more serious side of the story than on the humor.

Sapphire has a Pokemon battle with Winona, the Fortree City Gym Leader; afterward, they both meet up with the other Gym Leaders. Wallace arrives late, with Ruby in tow.

And for anyone who’s interested, Sapphire and Ruby only have 30 days left in their challenge at the end of this volume.

This volume sees the conflict between Team Aqua and Team Magma really building up. Not only are they starting to encounter each other more, but the forces of nature are also being thrown out of balance. The sea level is rising, while volcanoes like Mt. Chimney are cooling off. As the volume goes on, the reader can tell the story is building up… but how much farther does it have to go before it reaches a conclusion? While we’re obviously not at climax of the story yet, the reader can tell that the final climactic battle is getting ever closer.

At this point in the series, it looks like we’ve actually met all of the Hoenn region Gym Leaders now. This is another reason why I’m thinking the final battle for this arc is getting closer. One of the main things that seems to be missing at this point is the arrival of the Legendary Pokemon for this particular arc.

To me, Volume 18 was just as interesting of a read as Volume 17 was. If you’ve read the previous three volumes in this story arc and liked what you read, then I think you will enjoy reading Volume 18.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures Volume 18 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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