Manga Review: Pokemon Black and White Volume 19

Pokemon Black and White Volume 19 is a manga based on the Pokemon Black and Pokemon White video games. It focuses on two Pokemon trainers: a boy named Black and a girl named White. Black dreams of winning the Pokemon League, and White’s dream is working with Pokemon in showbiz. But after her Tepig Gigi decides to stay with N, the leader of Team Plasma, White trains in order to participate in Pokemon Battles.

Pokemon Black and White Volume 19
Written by: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 2, 2014

Volume 19 opens with the battle between Chili, Cress, and Cilan and the Shadow Triad. At first, it looks the Shadow Triad have the upper hand, but Chili, Cress, and Cilan receive some unexpected help from Keldeo and Cobalion. Even though the action here is good and it’s an important battle, my favorite part of this scene is seeing the flashback sequence of when Lenora makes Chili, Cress, and Cilan gym leaders. I thought this made for some nice character development for these characters, and it explains why all three of them are gym leaders.

The remainder of the volume takes place at the Pokemon League Championships. Black has won the championships, but the crowds had to be evacuated due to Team Plasma crashing the event. The light stone has also evolved into Reshiram. Meanwhile, Brycen is captured by Team Plasma and is imprisoned with the other Gym Leaders.

N makes an appearance at the stadium with Zekrom, and Hood Man returns and shows that he has the Legendary Pokemon. The volume ends with N and Zekrom getting ready to face off with Black and Reshiram.

Even though there was a more serious tone to this volume and it was more focused on building up the story to get closer to its conclusion, there was a line of dialogue in this scene that made me chuckle when I saw it. The line itself was amusing, but the fact that a Legendary Pokemon delivered it made it even more funny than it would have been if the line had been delivered by one of the human characters.

As the volume progressed, I was getting the sense that the end had to be getting closer; the arrival of N and Resihram only reinforced that idea to me. So when I saw that the teaser text for Volume 20 included the words, “final volume,” I wasn’t surprised. But from the description for the next volume, it feels like that either a lot may have to be squeezed into that final volume or that the ending will have to be rushed in order to fit everything in.

I missed seeing White since she didn’t make any kind of appearance in Volume 19. The teaser text for Volume 20 says that she will be involved in the story, so I hope she has a major role to play. Over the course of the series, White seemed to go from being Black’s co-star to being a less important character for the overall story, and I have found that to be rather disappointing.

At this point, I’m just hoping that Pokemon Black and White can receive a satisfactory conclusion to make the journey through these volumes worth it.

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