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Review: Pokemon Adventures (Vol. 05)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

Author: Hidenori Kusaka
Manga-ka: Mato
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: All Ages
Release Date: February 2010

Synopsis: “Pokémon trainer Red has vanished… Trainer Yellow Caballero and Red’s faithful Pikachu are off to rescue him. But it will take smarts, skills, and a lot of help from friends and other Pokémon to find and rescue Red! And watch out for the Elite Four, Yellow Caballero… Are you a strong enough Pokémon trainer to defeat all of them?”

Yellow continues to be the best thing about this series since trailer causality (what can I say- it adds an appreciated new level of suspense!). Thanks to Yellow we’re never just threaded along by over-simplified fights; Yellow’s empathy and creativity always makes their methods and the exact outcome of their Pokemon battles a surprise. To the series’ credit, you could say the same for nearly all of its confrontations, but Yellow takes Pokemon ingenuity to inspiring new levels.

The book starts off with Yellow requesting that Blue train him in the way of the true Pokemon trainer. It’s almost impressive how little Yellow knows about it. Though their lack of knowledge seems an obvious hindrance, t also serves to showcase some of Yellow’s most admirable traits – their honest wish to befriend Pokemon and do their best to never cause harm to one. It creates an amusing situation in which Blue tells Yellow to capture a Pokemon. As anyone whose ever played a game of Pokemon knows, its near impossible to catch a wild Pokemon without attacking it first – so suffice to say, Yellow has some problems.

Soon however Yellow is on the road again, determined to find Red and stop the evildoers behind this whole situation. It’s not going to be easy though, for if Team Rocket wasn’t bad enough before, now Yellow and the other affiliated trainers around the continent have the Elite Four to handle. In this volume we’re introduced to the Elite Four’s strongest – the dragon-wielding Lance. His focus and brutality tells you right away that he’s a force to be reckoned with but it’s their underlying dark purpose in attacking towns and their residents that poses the real concern.

It’s great watching this big plot come together. Finding Red, who’s been missing after being called out to a battle, seems to be the key to unravelling the mystery but despite everyone’s best efforts they can only get so close to figuring out where he’s gone. The little clues and hints they find are threaded throughout their more immediate concerns and the story does a really coherent job of keeping everything running smoothly. And while lacking it’s previous main character, there’s certainly no lack of characters in his absence as all the familiar faces from throughout the series continue to make cameos. Serving as both allies and enemies to the persevering Yellow, these include the personal agenda-holding Green and the Team Rocket genius, Blaine.

By the end of the book each trainer finds themselves up against seemingly unbeatable odds as an army of Pokemon wages war against the world at the Elite Four’s beck and call. But while they battle to protect its inhabitants, Yellow and his new-partner Pika finds themselves face to face with the return of Team Rocket – what else could go possibly go wrong?

Building up a great sense of suspense and enthusiasm for the outcome in a sea of pocket monsters, Pokemon Adventures continues to earn every inch of its name. How the series can be so sweet and innocent one moment and full of trial and trepidation the next is never short of pure fun and entertainment. Keep moving forward and fighting the good fight, Yellow – your readers are more than happy to follow.

Review written February 18, 2009 by Lissa Pattillo
Book purchased from Strange Adventures

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

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