Manga Review: Pokemon Adventures Volume 22

Pokemon Adventures Volume 22 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 2006; however, it wasn’t released in North America until VIZ Media’s Perfect Square imprint released this volume in 2014.

Pokemon Adventures Volume 22
Written by: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 6, 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.

Volume 22 is the final volume for the Ruby & Sapphire arc. At the end of Volume 21, Ruby locked Sapphire in an air car and teamed up with Courtney from Team Magma. Not only do we see the two of them work together, we also learn why they’re paired up. Unfortunately, Courtney ends up being injured. But just as all hope seems lost, Ruby’s father arrives with another Legendary Pokemon; together, Norman and Ruby work together to subdue Groudon and Kyogre.

Both Ruby and the reader learn why Norman had been away from home for five years after Norman falls at the end of the battle. The leaders of both Team Aqua and Team Magma make a reappearance, and it ends up being up to Ruby and Sapphire to try to defeat them…

Volume 22 is a rather busy volume, especially with the battles that take place to reach the conclusion of the arc. There’s a breather during the portion of the volume where we see a flashback of what happened to Norman five years earlier when he had first tried to become a Gym Leader.

I also have to mention that the 80 day deadline for the two trainers to achieve their dream is an integral part of the volume right near the end. I have to give credit to Kusaka for not letting that plot element become forgotten about due to the climactic battles to save the Hoenn region.

Overall, I have to say that this was a rather satisfying conclusion for the Ruby & Sapphire arc. I really can’t think of any ways that Kusaka could’ve changed the story to make it stronger. I believe fans of this particular arc for Pokemon Adventures arc will find a lot of satisfaction in the ending of the story.

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