Manga: Pocket Monsters
The second adaptation of Pokémonnote A Slapstick Shōnen manga by Kosaku Anakubo that originally vaguely resembled the games it is based on.It stars Isamu "Red" Akai, an Expy of the first Pokemon protagonist, on his adventures around many regions. Unlike any of the official protagonists, he starts out with a Clefairy... aaaaaand it all goes downhill from there. While Red is pretty much the standard Pokemon Protagonist, Clefairy is a lazy bum who can't be arsed to know any actually useful moves.Not long after, they find Clefairy's cousin Pikachu, who is smart and competent - and not even in comparison - and the trio is formed. They set out on the standard Pokemon Journey... while trying to stay one step ahead of the trouble Clefairy causes, sometimes through his own machinations, sometimes accidentally.The manga is known for its odd art style, even odder comedy, the fact that Pokemon can evolve and devolve at will, and its overall different feel from other adaptations.
This series provides examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: Protagonists and rivals; you have people like "Blue" and "Red" against people with normal names. There's a mix between randomly chosen Meaningful Names and names taken from the games.
- Adaptational Badass: Okay, Badass might be pushing it, but Clefairy is a lot stronger than his game counterparts ever were. He racks up an impressive record over the series, beating Pokemon he really shouldn't have a chance against.
- Art Evolution: It eventually grew out of a 90s type style. Quite noticeably, Pikachu lost his green eyes and the manga started looking more like the games (even using the game!Pikachu design rather than the anime one).
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted for both the protagonist and his Clefairy.
- Combat Pragmatist: Clefairy, lacking any useful techniques, will use absolutely any tactic to win when his back is to the wall. (He's probably done everything under Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty at one point or another.)
- Continuity Cameo: It appeared as a Show Within a Show for the anime.
- Early Installment Weirdness: All Pokémon speak human except for one and can "devolve", made-up Pokémon that appear nowhere else, strange-looking Pokémon◊, and probably more.
- Expy: Sapphire resembles her anime counterpart (May) quite a lot, right down to her starter choice and her being a coordinator.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: Between Pikachu and Clefairy in one chapter. Pikachu quickly masters Clefairy's abilities and puts them to surprisingly productive use; Clefairy... doesn't.
- Groin Attack
- Hidden Depths: Not too hidden for Pikachu - who's an out-and-out genius - but Clefairy is a good cook and has a number of other physical talents, notably building and structure construction.
- Identical Stranger: Yellow looks similar to Isamu. Red looks similar to Isamu, though less so because he's based off the remake design.
- Jerk Ass: Clefairy.
- Jerkass With A Heart Of Gold: The same.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Clefairy will generally try to get out of fighting - but when he does fight, he's actually pretty strong for his size, which when combined with his cleverness and stubbornness means there's surprisingly few foes (not just Pokemon) he can't take down one way or another.
- Long Runner: It's been going on since 1996 (including sequels) and has been running for longer than any other Pokémon manga.
- Meaningful Name: Red and Green's names have kanji with their nicknames in it, which refer to their game counterparts and the original games.
- Mythology Gag: When the manga was referenced in the anime, a strip was made up with Isamu and the other characters referencing to said appearance.
- One Steve Limit: There's Blue, a geeky male ghost Otaku. Then there's Blue, an Expy of Leaf from the remakes of Pokémon Red and Blue. There's a kid named "Red" who is an Evil Counterpart to Isamu, based on Red's updated design in the games, who has the same name as Isamu's nickname.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Isamu and Kai are only referred to by their names once in the series◊. They're mostly referred to as "Red" and "Green".
- Pokemon Of Mass Destruction: Clefairy, albeit only as much as a Normal-type could be expected to be. More than a few chapters end with the team hastily leaving a town or area that he's (usually accidentally) destroyed.
- Sword and Sorcerer: Sums up Clefairy and Pikachu's fighting styles.
- Talking Pokemon: Pokémon can talk.
- Toilet Humor: Used at least once◊.
- Verbal Tic: Clefairy has one along with all other talking Pokémon.
- Widget Series
- You Don't Look Like You: At the start of this manga, very few Pokémon resembled their official designs. Rumor has it the designs were based off what the mangaka thought the sprites looked like, which looked incredibly off◊. As the series went on the characters started looking more like their game counterparts, even resembling the official art better than other adaptations in some examples.