What's Pokemon Adventures?

While many know of the Pokemon games or anime, not so much is known about the "Pokemon Special" series that's being released via Manga. When brought over to the US under Viz Media, a major manga translator distribution company, they renamed it instead to "Pokemon Adventures". Finding the series, I bought a box set of the first 7 volumes, and was quickly infatuated, finishing it within the span of 2 weeks. It wasn't long before I got a second box set featuring the Gold&Silver Chapters, and discovering that only up volume 15 was released. Yet, while the series was only up to volume 15 of the 43, there were many additional Pokemon Adventure manga's out, which led me to doing some research.

Originally translated by Viz Media in July of 2000, Pokemon adventures appeared in a form far different than the current 2nd edition Looking at a 1st edition copy, one can immediately take note of many differences, starting at the cover itself. While the current 2nd edition has a tranquil aqua blue color, featuring Red's Pikachu, Poliwhirl and Bulbasaur running along with him, the original release was a more posed shot, Misty in the back and Pikachu at his side with a more sky blue background. It as well enjoyed a addition subtitle, Desperado Pikachu.

Upon further inspection, you'll quickly discover that in addition to the different cover art, Pokemon adventures came out in a graphic novel format rather than manga. By this I mean, the reading stile was flipped for western audiences, with the adventure reading from left to right unlike the traditional manga style of right to left.

For what ever reason, Pokemon adventures met a short life, with all plans on continuing the localization after the end of the Yellow saga. Yet the Manga wasn't lost to the west, and after a 6 year hiatus, Viz Media chose to release the manga series in its current form. As of now, Pokemon Adventures are being produced in 3 Publishing lines. While the current translation is mostly the same as its predecessor, some notable censoring has come up, with the most famous being the removal of pokeballs that a character hid inside their bra at one point. While this was confusing and awkward, luckily the censorship’s are few and far in between, making it a trivial factor when picking up these books.

As of June 2013, up to Volume 16 of the main publishing line is released, which is only 2 Volumes into the Ruby and Sapphire chapters. Following this line, Viz Media chose to skip to Volume 30 and release the Diamond & Pearl storyline, resetting the volume counter at 1, despite it technically being volume 30. Coming up along the release line, Black & White is being localized nearly it's released in Japan. At last, like the sudden Jump into the Diamond and Pearl volumes, Heartgold and Soulsilver is enjoying its own release as well. Needless to say, thanks to all this publishing lines enjoying releases, things can get a bit confusing.

Lets sum up the production lines.

Pokemon Adventures (Red Blue Green Chapters, Yellow Chapters, Gold and Silver Chapters, Ruby & Saphire and Emerald Chapters.)
Original Publishing line: Volumes 1 to 29 with up to only Volume 16 released as of June 2013
Diamond, Pearl & Platinum Line: Volume 30-40 with only 8 volumes of 10 released, with a counter that starts at volume 1.
Heartgold & Soulsilver: volumes 41-42, coming out as volume 1 and 2
Black & White: Volume 43 to 45 (Ongoing), coming out as Minivolume 1-13+

As Black and White are currently ongoing manga's, Viz in effort to keep up with its release, is collecting them into mini volumes under the title of “Special Edition”, in itself going up through 13 volumes despite there only being 3 full volumes currently out. Understand all that? Good, because it took me awhile to figure it out myself.

Regardless of potential confusion that may arise due to Pokemon Adventures peculiar history, it's a solid buy, featuring a far more adult world than depicted at the anime. Pokemon are flat out killed, team rocket is a legitimate threat, and the survival of our heroes are in question. Despite this, it's still friendly to audiences of all ages, while staying closer to Satoshi Tajiri's original vision for the series he created.

While that might be a good history lesson, that still leaves the question, what exactly is Pokemon Adventures? Many might not know, so before I begin writing and discussing the volumes itself, let me explain its background a bit. 1982 Satoshi Tajiri with the help of his friends formed a gaming magazine called Game Freak, a very familiar name if you've ever played the Pokemon games. While many anime find its origin based upon a manga series, whether it's a cash in on the sensational success, or a gamble that may or may not of prospered, Pokemon does not owe its origins to a manga release. In fact, the first appearance of Pokemon was on the famous handheld known as Gameboy.

While the concept of Pokemon became Satoshi Tajiri's dreamchild, it at first was met with heavy skepticism. When the idea was first brought to Nintendo, Satoshi Tajiri met repeated disapprovals, until Miyamoto caught wind of his idea where at last, he was given funding for his project. While Pokemon went through many stages before its subsequent released, Pocket Monsters, or Pokemon as we know it in the states, was finally released. Needless to say, it was a sensation.

Following the success of the video games, Pokemon was picked up with a year and half contract run. While the original arch of the anime followed the video game that it was adapted from, more or less respectfully, it began its deviation to the form it is in now. While It may have followed Satoshi's vision at one point, the anime has become a strong breathing creature in its own right.

Following the Anime's success, Satoshi has expressed disappointment with the direction the anime has been going. Where the Pokemon Anime seems like it will continue to have Ash at the age of 10 for another 10 years, the Manga; Pokemon Adventures sets off to be far more down to earth. When Satoshi discusses Pokemon Adventures (Also known as Pocket Monsters Sepcial), he's expressed great approval with it carrying on his vision respectfully.

So here we have a Pokemon Adventuers, featuring Red as the primary Protagonist, with Blue and green as reoccurring Rivals. At least at first. As we begin venturing into later chapters, we shall see an onslaught of familiar faces, especially to those who've played the games! While I could get into a whole tangent on a number of things I've stated thus far, we'll save that for later. Till then, lets discuss Pokemon Adventures!

Red Green and Blue Chapters
Pokemon Adventures Volume 01 (Coming Soon!)
Pokemon Adventures Volume 02 (Coming Soon!)
Pokemon Adventures Volume 03 (Coming Soon!)

Yellow Chapters
Pokemon Adventures Volume 04 (Coming Soon!)
Pokemon Adventures Volume 05 (Coming Soon!)
Pokemon Adventures Volume 06 (Coming Soon!)
Pokemon Adventures Volume 07 (Coming Soon!)

God, Silver and Crystal Chapters
Pokemon Adventures Volume 08 (Coming Soon!)
Pokemon Adventures Volume 09 (Coming Soon!)
Pokemon Adventures Volume 10 (Coming Soon!)
Pokemon Adventures Volume 11 (Coming Soon!)
Pokemon Adventures Volume 12 (Coming Soon!)
Pokemon Adventures Volume 13 (Coming Soon!)
Pokemon Adventures Volume 14 (Coming Soon!)