This volume begins the Gold and Silver Arc of the Pokemon Adventures manga. In this volume, the only characters from the first seven volumes to make an appearance are Professor Oak and Bill. Instead, the focus is on two new characters: Gold and Silver. Gold is a boy who acts rashly and has a high opinion of his talents. Silver is a boy who appears to be a thief, and ends up becoming Gold's rival. Gold ends up in the middle of a theft taking place at Professor Elm's lab, and Gold takes one of Elm's Pokemon to help track down a Pokemon that was stolen from the lab. Several new Pokemon are also introduced in this volume, including Cyndaquil, Aipom, Teddiursa, Ursaring, Totodile, Unown, and Sunkern. Team Rocket also makes another appearance in this story arc.
The art style is the same was what appeared in the previous seven volumes of Pokemon Adventures. The new hero, Gold, also looks an awful lot like Red from the previous manga volumes; my older daughter tells me that these similarities in design come from the videogames. I found these design similarities between these two characters to be disconcerting when I was reading this volume, because I had to keep reminding myself that I was seeing Gold on the page and not Red. When it comes to the Pokemon battles in the volume, there weren't many "busy" panels; instead, Mato chose to utilize the Japanese "sound effects" characters to convey the action in the battles.
When it comes to the new elements in this volume, one thing that stood out rather quickly is that the names of all of Gold's Pokemon end with "bo": Aibo the Aipom, Exbo the Cyndaquil, Sunbo the Sunkern, and Polibo the Poliwag. Personally, I found this naming gimmick to be so cutesy as to be annoying; in fact, I found this to be a little more annoying than the cutesy gimmick of naming the main characters after colors. I found myself wishing that Gold has a little more originality when it came to naming his Pokemon. I hope the character development gets better in future volumes of this arc, because right now, I'm not quite as interested in this arc as I was in the earlier volumes of Pokemon Adventures. However, I would still recommend this volume of Pokemon Adventures if you have read and appreciated the previous seven volumes in the series.
Pokemon Adventures is rated "A," which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of this manga volume that my son checked out through the King County Library System.
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About the reviewer
Lesley Muir Aeschliman (ljaesch)
I'm a freelance writer whoserves as the Anime editor at BellaOnline; I have also had work published at Associated Content. I also maintain two blogs: AeschTunes and Lesley's Musings... on Manga. … more
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Grade 4–6—Action-packed and fast-paced, this book contains all of the video-game thrills Pokémon fans would expect. Professor Oak has created a Pokédex, a device that provides strength and attack statistics on every one of the Pokémon, a useful tool in a world in which battles are waged with the help of these small creatures. When the Pokédex is stolen by the mysterious Silver, Oak enlists the brash, wise-cracking Gold to retrieve it. Along with his Pokémon sidekick, Aibo, Gold must avoid plenty of peril in his pursuit. The cliffhanger ending might compel many young readers to pick up the next installment in the series, but it fails to satisfy. The dialogue is quick moving to the point of being hard to follow—readers may have to double back to catch everything. The black-and-white manga artwork mirrors the breakneck speed of the dialogue. The small scale of the panels, paired with the abrupt jumps in perspective, occasionally leads to confusion. This book reads right to left, back to front, to maintain the order of the artwork. Experienced manga readers will have no trouble with this, but newcomers will need time to adjust. This is not an ideal starting point, but a high-energy addition to a series with an enthusiastic following.—Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.