Pokemon Adventures Volume 1
VIZ Media (Viz Kids)
Story by Hidenori Kusaka; art by Mato
Release Date: June 2009
Rating: All ages
ICv2 rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Anyone familiar with children’s television has probably seen the animated version of Pokemon. This new series from VIZ tells the story from the start, without some of the bad jokes which fill the TV screen. The central character, known simply as Red in this manga version, is out to catch and train Pokemon, the strange wild creatures that exist in the world around him.
From childhood, he had befriended one who had saved him from possible death. Now he has begun his personal quest, to become a skilled trainer of these strange creatures. Along the way in this first volume he encounters the friends and enemies who will make the story interesting. In this manga version, both are far more interesting than in the Americanized anime. Team Rocket are villains in the style of something from Tezuka’s work, rather than being comic relief. Pikachu, destined to become his best fighting Pokemon, is portrayed more in the tradition of the untamed creature who might someday be a friend. Even Brock and Misty have actual personalities… Some may question Red’s career choice, but not his dedication.
There is cartoony violence in these stories, but no gore. Suitable for all ages.
-- Nick Smith