Manga Review: Pokemon Black and White Volume 12

Pokemon Black and White Volume 12 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 2013. Pokemon Black and White is rated “A,” which means that it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Pokemon Black and White Volume 12
Written by: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 1, 2013

Volume 12 opens with Black running into Brycen on top of the bridge that the subway runs through. Brycen demands Black to tell him what happened. After Black gives his explanation, he tries to run off to save the Gym leaders; however, Brycen’s Cryogonal wraps an ice chain around Black’s leg.

Over the course of Black’s training this this volume he has to be freed from the ice chain, Black’s Munna and Galvantula have to face off with Brycen’s Vanillish, and Black has to face off against a motorcycle gang. He is also introduced to Dayden, the leader of Opelucid City, and his assistant, Iris.

The last chapter of Volume 12 finally sees the story return to a focus on White… remember her? She is finishing off her training on the subway with Ingo and Emmet. When she gets off for a break, she hears coming from a flutel when White finds out who’s playing it, she is reunited with Bianca.

White finds out Bianca is on the run, trying to get away from her overprotective father; he doesn’t want Bianca to go on her journey and wants to bring her home. White takes Vianca to Café Sonata, so Bianca can play her flute with a friend of hers, but they find her friend has been attacked by a Vyllaby. The Legendary Pokemon Meloetta is also introduced.

My first impression is: Thank goodness White is back in this volume! I have nothing against Black and his storyline, because it’s important. However, after having two complete volumes are two-thirds of a third volume focused on Black, getting to see White and her storyline was a refreshing change of pace. Unfortunately, with how short these volumes are, it’s more likely for situations like this one to occur.

It was also nice to see Bianca make a return to the series. She doesn’t seem quite so annoying at this point, and the manga is now bringing in her overprotective father. I remember that element also being in the Pokemon Black and White anime series, so I already knew to expect this concept from seeing the anime.

Of course, Iris has a very different role between the manga and anime versions of the adventures that take place in the Unova region. From what I’ve seen in the manga, I think I like Iris’ portrayal in the manga better than I do in the anime.

On the one hand, I kind of like the fact that these volumes are shorter than the typical Pokemon manga, because it allows me to read through it rather quickly. However, I don’t like the shorter volumes because it takes longer for the story to develop and be told.

Volume 12 was a rather decent volume of the Pokemon Black and White manga series. If you’re a Pokemon fan who has truly enjoyed reading the previous 11 volumes of the series, then I think you’ll also enjoy Pokemon Black and White Volume 12.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Black and White Volume 12 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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