REVIEW: ‘Pokémon Adventures,’ Collector’s Edition Volume 5

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Pokémon Adventures Volume 5

Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 5 (hereafter Pokémon Adventures Volume 5) is a brand new edition of the original Pokémon Adventures manga.  Viz Media is handling publishing for these omnibus editions. Additionally, Pokémon Adventures Volume 5 includes three single volumes: volumes 13, 14, and 15. It also concludes the Gold, Silver & Crystal adventure arc, and finishes readers’ time in the Johto region. 

Pokémon Adventures Volume 5 also kicks off the next region: Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald’s Hoenn. In fact, ten of this omnibus’s chapters are dedicated to it, which makes this volume a good jumping-off place if you’ve read the first two arcs but haven’t gotten into Ruby & Sapphire yet.

Pokémon Adventures Volume 5 was written by Kusaka Hidenori with art by Yamamoto Satoshi. Inoue Kaori handled translation for this volume. Annaliese “Ace” Christman did the lettering. Sam Elzway handled the original series design, with Annette Roman serving as the origins editor. For this new collector’s edition,  Christy Medlin handled the production art, with Julian “JR” Robinson handling design. Finally, Joel Enos served as the editor for this edition.

Pokémon Adventures Volume 5 picks up right at the end of volume 4 with the Gym Leader Exhibition Match featured at the tail-end of Pokémon Adventures Volume 4. Now that all the gym leaders have been matched via a lottery, it’s time to kick off the fight with Kanto’s Brock and Johto’s Jasmine!

Brock and Jasmine’s battle was probably one of the most interesting if only to demonstrate how different Kanto and Johto are. Their battle styles are distinct, and for a while, it seems like Brock is a shoo-in to win. That is until Jasmine reveals her trump card and utterly wrecks him, soundly establishing Johto as a strong contender to the Kanto leaders.

There’s something so enjoyable -and exciting- about seeing the Kanto and Johto leads face off against each other. I think that’s because they don’t engage a lot in the games. Seeing them face off against one another and showcase their skills is downright thrilling. I think that’s something that makes Pokémon Adventures Volume 5 stand out so much from the games. After all, the games pit gym leaders against you, the trainer. You never get to see them face off against one another, at least not in this capacity.

Tournament aside, Pokémon Adventures Volume 5 packs a lot of punch as the Johto arc reaches its climax. The legendary beasts seen in volume 4 make a return, only to wreak more havoc. Every encounter with them feels thrilling, especially since there’s a solid sense of the story building towards something big. When the plot follows through, it feels satisfying for the reader.

And wow, is Pokémon Adventures Volume 5 packed with satisfying plot elements! My fingers couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. As I mentioned in my review of Pokémon Adventures Volume 4, part of the fun of this world is seeing characters in a new light. Crystal and all of the trainer characters readers encounter while in Johto are all so well-fleshed out, making them feel authentic and very human. It’s hard to let them go so I can start the next adventure.

Still, knowing that these characters will continue to exist and do good is so meaningful to me, even if this is just a manga. I like to think that as we shift into Hoenn, they’ll continue to explore Johto, and maybe appear in later volumes in the series.

Speaking of later volumes, as I said above, this omnibus introduces the Hoenn region to readers. In fact, you’ll find ten chapters, all of which introduce Ruby and Sapphire, our male and female protagonists, respectively. Once again, Pokémon Adventures Volume 5 does an excellent job of fleshing out the characters. 

I can already tell I’ll probably be a big fan of both Ruby and Sapphire. Just like Crystal, they’re really headstrong, intensely likable characters. Plus, they share a unique gender-flipped perspective. Ruby, for example, is very into Pokémon contests and styling his partners. On the other hand, Sapphire is much more action-oriented, wanting to take on all eight Hoenn gyms. It’s a nice, refreshing take on a protagonist pair.

Overall, Pokémon Adventures Volume 5 serves two purposes. It’s first and foremost, a conclusive end to the Johto adventures, as well as a solid transition volume into Hoenn. It’ll be exciting to see more adventures with Ruby and Sapphire! Additionally, this series remains a great All Ages series that I definitely recommend for tween and young teen comic fans. Some of the darker elements of the series may not be good for young readers. However, I think if you have a 12 to 15-year-old who loves Pokémon in your life, this might be a series to consider sharing with them. It’s definitely worth any trainer’s time.

Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 5  is available now wherever books are sold.

Pokémon Adventures Volume 5
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TL;DR

Pokémon Adventures Volume 5 serves two purposes. It’s first and foremost, a conclusive end to the Johto adventures, as well as a solid transition volume into Hoenn. It’ll be exciting to see more adventures with Ruby and Sapphire! Additionally, this series remains a great All Ages series that I definitely recommend for tween and young teen comic fans. Some of the darker elements of the series may not be good for young readers. However, I think if you have a 12 to 15-year-old who loves Pokémon in your life, this might be a series to consider sharing with them. It’s definitely worth any trainer’s time