(Perfect Square FCBD 2015)
Writer: Hidenori Kusaka
Illustrator: Satoshi Yamamoto
Summary: In these three Pokemon Adventures stories from three eras in Pokemon history, we get introduced to X, Y, Emerald, and Black _ all names for the main characters based around the game they come from. Just like the three starter Pokemon you’re usually given on your journey, here you’re given three stories from which to start your own Pokemon manga journey. Choose wisely.
Review: We start out with X/Y, centered around the characters from the one of the most recent big games to come out in the last few years. X is the guy, and Y is the girl, but the other characters are named as they regularly would be in the games. Why did they do this? It’s because the Pokemon Adventures manga has a long history of naming its main characters after the games they came from. It’s silly, but it’s also easy to get over.
What I was surprised by was how… adult the X/Y story. It’s still very kid friendly, but its unlike anything you’d see in the manga or the games. It was mature, and I was very happy with that. Things weren’t dumbed down, and I didn’t feel like I was watching a toddler’s cartoon come to life (disclaimer: I like the Pokemon anime, I’m talking American toddler cartoons).
It features X having locked himself away in his room for a few years after he was bombarded by the media for his excellent battling skills. His friends have tried their best not to move on without him, but all are pursuing their dreams while he is left behind. And to me that is a great start-up story for a Pokemon story. I want to read more of this manga, and thankfully it starts you from the beginning instead of dropping you right in the middle. This was good.
The Emerald story is the second one, and it’s only a few pages long. Even at a few pages long, two things are apparent from the get-go: 1. I hate Emerald’s look. It’s just ridiculous, even for me. He has main character syndrome really rather badly, and his look makes Yu-Gi-Oh hairstyles look tame. 2. We’re once again dropped into the middle of a scenario that makes absolutely no sense, even if you know Pokemon.
We see Emerald helping a trainer that looks an awful lot like Todd Snap the photographer from the Pokemon anime and Pokemon Snap the game. But really I have no idea what he’s doing. This whole preview is just a train wreck and doesn’t make me want to read Emerald’s storyline at all. Oh, and there’s a scene where he shows Todd Sudowoodo’s Pokedex entry to prove to him that Pokemon doesn’t like water, and if you read the entry, it doesn’t mention water in the slightest. Just a big ol’ fail.
The final preview is of Black and White, featuring the main character Black. I’m really not sure if we’re dropped into the middle of story or starting from the beginning. The way it reads it could be either, but the preview isn’t bad, just nothing really happens. Black gets a package in the mail and I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s the reveal of what’s in the package that has me so confused by the nature of this story.
I won’t spoil, but just know I really don’t know how to feel about the reveal. Compared to X/Y, these other two stories just don’t compare. Black & White isn’t bad, it’s just… there. Emerald however is outright abysmal.
The art for all three stories is innocent, and very rounded. Totally kid friendly, and it’s a nice, soft style to be honest. But you definitely tell from Emerald to X/Y it’s been refined quite a bit. You can almost see the evolution of Yamamoto’s art style in this book when you think about it.
This isn’t a bad output for FCBD, but the most noteworthy story in here is X/Y, and I might as well just save you the trouble and tell you to skip this comic and go straight to the main product. Go out and get volume 1 unless you really want to know what the story is like, then just read that preview on the shelf and then get something else.
Final Score: 3 Great Pokemon Games out of 5
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