Pokémon Adventures is a manga series set in the Pokémon universe, with the story written by Hidenori Kusaka and the artwork by Mato. Those familiar with the Pokémon TV series will find the protagonist, Red, to be similar to Ash Ketchum, but Red has his own unique personality and Pokémon friends before he meets Pikachu. Throughout the story, the plot continues to diverge from the games and TV show. Red wants to catch every last one of the Pokémon that inhabit his world, but he’s going to have to survive battles against people who genuinely want to kill him and his Pokémon on the way.
The Pokémon designs are appealing and the series features one of the cutest, roundest versions of Pikachu I have ever seen. Battling is a major part of the Pokémon universe, and the fights in this series are exciting and fast-paced. The artwork shines during the fights, showing creative uses of Pokémon powers. There are plenty of familiar faces, like Brock and Misty, but their roles are quite different from the games and the show. As the story continues, other protagonists get the spotlight, like Blue, who is Red’s rival, and Green, a thief. Yellow is a kindhearted soul who rounds out the cast with the ability to understand Pokémon!
Before I had played a single Pokémon game, this series captured my imagination. The focus on the fun characters and exciting battles makes Pokémon Adventures a treat to read. I recently reread it as an adult, and was delighted all over again. It presents a unique take on the Pokémon world, and I highly recommend it to both fans and people who are interested in experiencing a fun fantasy adventure.
To find Pokémon Adventures, check your local bookstores! A fun fact: Many local and used bookstores are able to order books on demand.