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Review: Pokemon Adventures (Vol. 07)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

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

Synopsis: “On her search for famous Pokémon trainer Red, Yellow Caballero finds both human and Pokémon friends–and enemies. Now Yellow must team up with other trainers, gym leaders, and even evil Team Rocket to fight the Elite Four! Yellow Caballero, prepare to battle the Elite Four’s top trainer, Lance…!”

Red returns to the team in full force in this volume, bringing together the cast that’s been evolving up to this pinnacle point of the series to date. After following his adventures in the earlier volumes, it’s been interesting having Red in the background this entire time while following Yellow. It’s proven even more so because of the near legend-like status he’s earned for himself in the process. While the familiar face’s return is enjoyable, he also doesn’t overshadow everything (or everyone) that’s already present. Blue continues his battle with the ghost-wielding Agatha, Green with the psychic-powered Sabrina and Yellow working with Blaine to reach the final boss.

As always with this incarnation of the franchise, prepare for a few scenes that will may be cause for a double take, especially with the cute art style. Pokemon battles continue to thrive with an unexpected sense of realism, as far as fighting with small trained creatures you contain in hand-sized cases can get anyway. The trainers battle the opposing Pokemon as much as their Pokemon do, and take the hits to prove it. The real danger of the situations they find themselves in, be it in the middle of a lava flow or overtop a boiling pit of electrically charged water, provides a whole new level of suspense to the battles when it really feels there’s something at stake. It’s not uncommon for a trainer to leave a battle scraped, cut, bruised, burnt and maybe with a few broken bones for good measure.

This volume’s pinnacle battle is that of a fight against Lance – the strongest member of the Elite Four and a trainer of dragon Pokemon. Utilizing the power of the gym leader badges and a giant power amplifier, he unleashes a powerful, though mysteriously unrevealed Pokemon, with intent to claim it and destroy the world. Through a series of surprisingly not-inevitable events, Yellow ends up being the one left to face off against Lance. The battle between a team of first-level Pokemon and a professionally trained group of dragons definitely leans one-sided but the little-trainer-who-could continues to persevere with refreshing ingenuity. Granted the final strike is a little cheesy with a sort of everyone-lend-me-their-generic-power-to-defeat-the-enemy cop-out but the lead-up to the moment still helps it succeed with the intended climatic resolve.

When you step back and look at it, there’re so many characters in this volume now that all the different factions of the story have come together. You have the leads – Red, Blue, Green and Yellow – while also the head members of Team Rocket, the Elite Four and those they’ve all encountered along the way, from the gym leaders to the more personal of travel-acquaintances such as Bill the Pokemon expert. Despite the bulky cast, it never feels like it falls victim to over cluttering. The design of each is so distinct and their activities so individually defined, while still remaining a piece of the greater whole, that everything just works smoothly scene to scene. They all bring their own to the table – whether it’s being funny, admirable or just downright creepy.

Unfortunately this extra-thick volume of Pokemon marks the end of Yellow Callibro’s Pokemon journey, or at least our following of it as the story’s forefront focus. While fans of the series will still be pleased to have more to look forward to, the loss of such an amiable character definitely hits home as a loss. Talented, determined and cute as a proverbial button, Yellow was a fine Pokemon trainer and a great lead character. End scenes between Yellow and Red also prove heart-mushingly adorable – alas the one-sided love!

Remaining a finite balance of action, humour and franchise-familiarity, Pokemon Adventures brings together all the entertaining aspects of Pokemon past the gotta-catch-em-all material. Perfect for the existing fan or someone from the outside looking in, the series is still a bundle of entertainment and highly recommended for a fun, high-energy read. It’s already sad watching Yellow and the group go their separate ways from us but hopefully our next group of heroes – Silver and Gold – will offer all the same charm that made the original story such an addictive endeavour.

Review written May 30, 2009 by Lissa Pattillo
Book purchased at Anime North

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Kuriousity.ca. 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.

Kuriousity does not condone or support the illegal distribution of manga online.
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12 Responses

  1. […] Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of My Darling! Miss Bancho (Manga Xanadu) Lissa Pattillo on vol. 7 of Pokemon Adventures (Kuriousity) Michelle Smith on Ristorante Paradiso (Manga Recon) Todd Douglass on vol. 1 of Saturn […]

  2. Connie C. says:

    I won't lie, you've convinced me to start following this series. I'm too old, and I have a feeling I'll feel a little guilty, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it.

    • Lissa says:

      Mwaha! Er, I mean, I hope you like it :) I really do adore it, a mix of nostalgia, crazily cute art and fun times in general. It's a series I'm sad other bloggers don't read if only because I hope there're vocal readers other than me out there who really enjoy it so I can hear their thoughts. VizKids and Pokemon label seem to scare off most, though perhaps not without reason to a point ^^;

  3. […] Graphic Classroom) Johanna Draper Carlson on Jughead #201 (Comics Worth Reading) Lissa Pattillo on vol. 7 of Pokemon Adventures (Kuriousity) Snow Wildsmith on Prime Baby (Graphic Novel Reporter) Sterg Botzakis on Resistance, […]

  4. Dakota says:

    Oh! Btw, Yellow is 14 in FR/LG, and Gold, Silver and Crystal are 16 in HGSS as well as Yellow is 17 and Red, Blue and Green are 19. Blue is the girl and Green is the boy in Japan, I think I might have already said. And Yellow, Red Blue and Green also appear in the GSC arc, FR/LG arc, the Emerald arc, and now the HGSS arc. So yeah, enjoy!

  5. ~Dakota says:

    Hey! Not to rush you, but where on Earth are your reviews for Pokemon Adventures volume 8 and 9? Have you not got them yet? Also…don't get too attached to Mato's art; volume 10-onwards a new artist, Satoshi Yamamoto will take over. Don't worry though, he's a lot better. His art is very detailed, more realistic, and less 'chibi'.

    Also, as a heads-up, the release next year for Pokemon Adventures Platinum is connected to this same Pokemon Adventures series here. It's originally meant to be volume 30 though, and the D/P arc of it. (the Platinum arc happens after it)

    • I wrote a review for Pokemon (Vol. 08) for AnimeNewsNetwork but it's a may-or-may-not get posted article. I did like the new arc though, even if I'm really sad to see the usual leads disappear for a bit! I haven't picked up volume nine yet but I'm looking forward to it ^^

      I knew about the artist change and I'm already sad about it – I adore Mato's art purely because it isn't very detailed, less realistic and adorably chibi – all while doing a great job telling the story in a way that's true to the game. Very slick.

  6. ~Dakota says:

    Oh cool! You replied. :) Wasn't expecting it, but thanks. It's timely too. Oh you did? Well if it does let me know because I'd love to read it. I hope it does. *fingers crossed for you* I'm glad you do — trust me, the series REALLY picks up from this point onward. As someone who has read it all and is caught up to Japan — I must say GSC, R/S and some of the latter arcs like FR/LG, Emerald or D/P are some of my favorites. And don't worry (be warned, tiny spoiler ;), the Kanto dexholders Red, Blue, Green and Yellow all appear later on in the arc as well. I'm glad to hear it. ^^ So glad you like the series!

    Oh you do? I didn't know if you did, so just thought I'd imform ya. Really? I liked Mato's art, but I definitely prefer Satoshi's. I think I like his because it's more detailed and realistic, and characters more of look their age and like their concept arts. I also think I like it since it constantly improves and is different every arc, and has a very cinematic feel to it. I also think it helped Kusaka to branch off his later stories to do more, since he had a more versatile artist. Don't worry though, I'm sure you'll still like it when you read it and for the rest of GSC he tries to stay true to Matos' style, but with hiw own twist. I guess so, but I do think the change kind of fits better now though, since as time goes on the game graphics constantly improve and become more detailed and realistic. I mean there are arcs for this new games too, DP, Platinum, HGSS and even B/W now in Japan. I will say though, even though I do prefer Satoshi, I do feel sorry that Mato had to stop after 9 because she got sick and couldn't draw anymore.

  7. ~Dakota says:

    Oh, I'm sorry for the double post, and sincerely hope you'll approve it as well (since I believe I've tried posting on this site before but sometimes it doesn't work), but I wanted to clear up something up above if it didn't make sense. Red, Blue, Green and Yellow appear in the GSC as well. ^^ They play more of side characters this arc to let the focus be on Gold, Silver and Crystal — but they still do quite a bit. Heck, you'll seel Red, Green (the guy) and Yellow in volume 9 even. And don't worry — they appear in other arcs too. =] Like in FR/LG, they appear, and Red, Green and Blue are even 16 there, while Yellow is 12. They also appear in the Emerald arc as well. And, they might even appear in the HGSS arc in Japan right now, Green (the guy rival) alread appeared as his 19 year old self in a flashback cameo in it so far.

    *I use Green since in Japan, the cocky rival was Green while Blue was the pesky trickster girl.

    **I'm sorry if you already know all this, just posting since I don't know how much you know. XD

  8. ~Dakota says:

    Cool! Your review for 8 was finally posted. :D Glad to read it, a nice review. So, do you plan to do reviews for volumes 9, 10 and the rest of the series as time goes on? I assure you it only continues to get better from here.

    • Thanks, glad you liked reading the review :) I've been enjoying hearing from those who enjoy the series as well in ANN's forum comments section.

      I do plan to review the remainder of the series – I've read volume nine already, just working out the review. Loving that the old cast has already returned! Looks like a great multi-angle plot forming.

  9. ~Dakota says:

    You're welcome! :) I always love reading reviews of the series, and now that Viz is continuing it I'm so curious to see how everyone who has never read past Viz's first edition volume 7 thinks of the new releases and 'new' volumes. And I can't wait to see your reviews for future volumes as well. And I bet!

    Sounds good. Can't wait to see your review for it as well! Yep! Blue (boy), Red and Yellow have already returned, and (minor spoiler), Green (girl) will be returning as well soon enough here. One of the great things about the Gold/Silver/Crystal arc is it manages to connect Kanto and Johto nicely, as well as feature old faces still doing great things but not overshadowing the new faces who still need the focus more. Really nice. And yes, the plot of Gold/Silver/Crystal is fantastic, like you said, very multi-angled, as well as very original.

    Oh yeah, out of curiosity, have you picked up volume 10 yet? I plan to do so as soon as I can. I know you'll still miss Mato and understandably so; but, I've been dying to know what you think of Mr. Satoshi Yamamoto's art. :3 I realize it's quite the change, but I really do hope you'll like it as well, because it is good, and only continues to get better from here. I'd best describe it myself as staying truer to the Sugimori artwork (which is part of game canon), as well as it has a very cinema feel and anime feel to it, like an anime movie of sorts, if you will. Very dramatic and nice in it's own special way.

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