Manga Review: Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver Volume Two

Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver Volume Two 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 2
Written by: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 29, 2013

At the beginning of Volume Two, Silver figures out what the 16 plates represent while he and Crystal are in the middle of a battle with Ariana, one of the four Team Rocket executives. When he makes this realization, he heads off to Ecruteak City to see Morty, leaving Crystal alone to battle Ariana. During their battle, the other three Team Rocket executives appear, along with Arceus. Crystal tries to capture Arceus; its heart seems to open to her slightly, but she is unable to capture it. Arceus  gets away, but Crystal follows it and the Team Rocket executives follow Crystal.

Meanwhile, Silver gets to Ecruteak City to see Morty and is reunited with Gold. Morty is able to use his ability to see into the future to locate the remaining plates, which allows Silver to collect them all. But before that, Arceus arrives at the Ecruteak City Gym and attacks. Gold fights with Arceus and Gold ends up following the Legendary Pokemon. The story reaches its climax when all of the important characters reach the Sinjoh Ruins; not only does the climax take place here, but some surprising facts are learned here as well.

This volume also provides an explanation for how the Pokeathlon, which played in important role in Volume One, had come to be. This explanation becomes important for a plot point that takes place in the Sinjoh Ruins.

The very end of this volume takes the reader right to the beginning of Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum. In addition, there are also a hints dropped in this volume for a couple of concepts that appear in Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum. By seeing this, it tells me that Viz Media released Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver and Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum in the wrong order. Oh well, at least now I’ve read the bridge piece between the Gold and Silver of Pokemon Adventures arc and Pokemon Adventures Diamond and Pearl Platinum.

Overall, I thought that this volume wrapped up this story arc as well as it could be. However, with something that happens at the end with Silver, it leaves open the possibility of continuing Gold, Silver, and Crystal’s adventures at some point in the future. However, that would all depend on whether or not Nintendo would release any more Pokemon video games that are set in this particular region, since the manga series is based on the video games.

In some respects, Yamamoto’s art in Volume Two wasn’t quite as impressive as in Volume One, but I did find the occasional panel that stood out. There’s a well-drawn panel of Morty on the top of page 29, Gold and Silver’s reunion on pages 30-31, Crystal’s look of surprise on page 40, a closeup of Arceus on page 93, the three leads going against three of the Team Rocket executives on pages 128-129, and a closeup of Giovanni on page 168.

This volume also includes title page illustrations for some of the chapters upon first publication in the Japanese children’s magazine, Corocoro Ichiban. While I thought it was a neat thing to include, I am at a loss to understand why this was placed in between two chapters in the volume rather than being included at the end. By including these between two chapters, I thought it broke the flow of the story.

I believe that this volume will be a satisfying read for those who have already read Pokemon Adventures HeartGold and SoulSilver Volume One. And I also believe that the Pokemon Adventures manga series as a whole will appeal to readers who play the Pokemon video games.

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