Manga Review: Pokemon Adventures Volume 20

Pokemon Adventures Volume 20 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 2005; however, it wasn’t released in North America until Viz Media’s Perfect Square imprint released this volume in 2014.

Pokemon Adventures Volume 20
Written by: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 7, 2014

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.

There’s a lot of action of Volume 20, and the volume includes three different storylines that are taking place at the same time. I’m going to write this review to talk about each storyline individually, instead of trying to follow all of the action chronologically as it appears in the volume.

The first storyline focuses on the Gym Leaders and their battles with Team Aqua and Team Magma. The Gym Leaders put up a valiant fight against both teams, but they appear to be getting overwhelmed by their opponents.

The second storyline sees the return of Wally, a boy that Ruby met earlier in this section of the Pokemon Adventures manga. As he’s evacuating amidst the flooding, he is approached by Ruby’s father, Norman. After witnessing Wally rescue a Treecko, Norman takes Wally with him to train him to become a Pokemon trainer at the Sky Pillar. A whole chapter of the volume focuses on Wally’s training.

The third storyline sees Ruby and Sapphire arriving at the Seafloor Cavern. Here, they witness the leaders of Team Aqua and Team Magma with the orbs to control the Legendary Pokemon Kyogre and Groudon. They try to battle with the leaders’ Pokemon and seem to get the upper hand; however, something unexpected happens to the team leaders and the orbs that they’re holding.

Even though Ruby and Sapphire are busy trying to help to bring the catastrophes to an end, there’s still a countdown at the end of Volume 20 for how many days are left in Ruby and Sapphire’s challenge that was established early on in this arc; for those keeping track, this volume says they have 25 days left.

As I said earlier, Volume 20 is a very action-packed volume. Unfortunately, it could be a little confusing at times when the volume would jump between the Gym Leaders’ battles and Ruby and Sapphire at the Seafloor Cavern. Wally’s portion was self-contained over the course of a couple of chapters, and since there was no jumping around, it was easier to follow his storyline.

By the time I finished Volume 20, I could tell that this story arc has to be getting closer to concluding. From what I’ve seen online, it appears there’s still two more volumes left for this arc of Pokemon Adventures. From the pacing I saw in Volume 20, this would seem to be about right.

Volume 20 was an enjoyable read, even if there were portions that could be a little hard to follow due to the jumping around. While the story may have been a little easier to follow with less jumping around, I think changing the structure could have potentially weakened the story’s impact.

If you’ve read the previous five volumes of this story arc and liked what you read, then I think you’ll also enjoy reading Volume 20.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Pokemon Adventures Volume 20 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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