Part 61: Side Notes #16: Time For Adventures!Side Notes 16: Time For Adventures!
Okay, let's see if this one sticks this time, since I left my laptop for about ten seconds and it restarted for updates, losing any progress I was doing. So anyway, Pokemon Adventures, or Pocket Monsters Special, is the manga based off the games. It's different to the anime in that it releases about once a month and is more focused on following the games, instead of the anime's own thing, though it does have its own story as well, with the mechanics of the setting fitting more with the games. We'll be focusing this time on the Red, Blue and Green chapter, the very first one.
Adventures was first released in August 1997, four months after the first episode of the anime and follows a headstrong trainer named Red who, along with his rival Green, spots the mysterious Mew. He then heads to Professor Oak to learn how to be a better trainer and gets his starter Pokemon, Bulbasaur, complimenting his actual first Pokemon, Poliwhirl, nicely. From there, he travels Kanto, collecting badges and foils the plans of Team Rocket, who attempted to create an army of unstoppable primal Pokemon in Viridian Forest and use the power of the badges to fuse the three legendary birds in Saffron.
Pokemon Adventures is something you should try and read at least once. Due to being manga, it can be a quick read and can offer a much faster paced experience then even the games or the anime. Though the plot greatly differs, it still uses the same characters as the games and is another way to enjoy the franchise. It's therefore a much more realistic interpretation of the games then the anime ever will be and has a variety of protagonists to keep things fresh. Also, Red becomes the Pokemon League Champion, something Ash will never really do, since that keeps the money train rolling.
Each chapter is released as a round, simply titled, VS ______, usually with one Pokemon being the focus of that chapter. And a couple times during the year, these chapters will then be collected into volumes. Fans of the games may also enjoy the manga as it features darker themes then the mostly clean anime, though some interpretations of characters can be a bit strange. Regardless, I would heartily recommend that you read the manga, it is a lot of fun. There's a real push to give every Pokemon and move its time in the spotlight and so far, nearly every Pokemon has been featured and nearly every move has been used, been helpful and explained in one way or another. The first chapter really gives Kanto more of a personality, since the games are very light on plot. So we have side characters like Bill and Oak being a bigger part of the story and the Gym Leaders and Elite Four being a much greater part of the plot. And we even have a female protagonist.
Blue deserves her own section since she would have most likely been a part of the games had there been space. Or maybe they just never got around to it. Regardless, Blue in Adventures is real good at evolving stuff, whereas Red is good at battling and Green is good at leveling stuff. She's a trickster and good at manipulating people to benefit her, though she has a real fear of birds due to being kidnapped at a young age with Silver. Oh, uh, that's getting ahead of myself. Anyway, she gets Leaf's clothing when those chapters come around, but she's a necessary third addition to the cast. After all, who else would get Squirtle? Oh yeah, the whole naming crap. I'm using the Japanese names since it's just easier for Adventures. I've never really thought of Blue as Green, so she's Blue. Sure, the names have a better thematic sense when Blue is Red's rival, since water beats fire, but their starters don't match up no matter what the names are, so it's pointless.
Overall, Adventures is pretty damn good, since not a lot of people have read it and there's quite a bit of it, so just dive right in. It definitely won't disappoint.