Pokémon Special(known as ''Pokémon Adventures'' in the official English releases) is a manga adaptation of the Pokémongames series. Creator Satoshi Tajiri has stated that it is more faithful to his original idea than any other adaptation. note Note that this comment was made on volume 1.The primary difference between it and the anime is that instead of the same main character going to a new region with different companions, the protagonist changes every time the previous protagonist's story is through. It's also somewhat violent, as it is one of the few adaptations where you actually see Pokémon and people get badly wounded and even killed.The manga series is authored by Hidenori Kusaka. It was illustrated by Mato for the first 9 volumes, and since volume 10, has been illustrated by Satoshi Yamamoto. It is published by Shōgakukan under the Ladybird Comics Special imprint. In the United States, Viz Media released only the first two chapters (corresponding to the Generation I games) originally, though they have started publishing the series again starting with reprints of Gen I and continuing from there (albeit with some quirks, such as skipping Gen III entirely until recently). While Viz is playing catch-up, the go-to official English translation is the Singaporean version by Chuang Yi Comics (which also can be found here).While there are multiple other Pokémon manga, this is the most well known (at least in English-speaking circles). If you see a Pokémon fan talk about "the manga", this is probably what they are referring to. (Some of the other manga are listed here.)Note: In general, we're using characters' English names where they're known, even if those names come from other sources and the characters haven't appeared in the English-version manga yet. Blue and Green, however, had their names switched in translation so the boys matched the English games Pokemon Red And Blue; we're using the original Japanese designations (so Green's the boy and Blue's the girl).
This manga provides examples of:
Aerith and Bob: In a world full of Japanese/Anglo names, nobody seems to comment that the Dex Holders' names are colors, jewels, and metals.
Though Ruby, Sapphire, Crystal and Pearl are not unusual as names, well, for girls anyway. Poor Ruby and Pearl. Red is also a relatively common nickname for males, so that works too.
Action Girl: All the main female 'Dex Holders are quite capable of battling and defending themselves. In fact, after Red, the next Dex holders that actually battled and won gym badges were Sapphire and Platinum.
The exception is White, who doesn't regard herself as trainer (as she doesn't train Pokémon that way and doesn't even possess any Pokémon to fight with; her Pokémon actors and actresses aren't hers, either). But she's decided to change that, embarking on a personal journey to become a trainer.
Adaptational Villainy: Lt. Surge, Koga, Sabrina, Bruno, Agatha, Lorelei, Lance, and Pryce, although some of these characters are more sympathetic than others and most of the named Gym Leaders reform, as do all of the Elite Four members sans Agatha.
All There in the Manual: There is a surprisingly large amount of information on the background of the Pokémon world in the back section of the books. Information includes the main characters' teams' levels, amount of Pokémon seen and caught, Pokédex functions, maps detailing where everything took place, etc. There was even one detailing the exact duties of the Kanto/Johto Gym Leaders.
The Pokedex pages on the netkun site provide details of various Pokémon that had been shown in the series, such as the Gym Leaders' Pokémon's genders.
Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Justified and explained in the GSC chapter, when the storage system goes down and Crystal can't drop off her captures. The Professors discuss that there's nothing stopping Crystal from carrying seven or eight or more Pokémon, but it's harder to devote enough care and attention to that many; the League recommends stopping at six for this reason and most trainers don't think highly of those who carry more.
Arc Welding: This series does an impressive job of welding all the arcs together. Volumes 29 and 38 have broken people's brains with all the different plots and characters that have come together.
Volume 40 has pretty much taken this trope and dragged it all the way to the next level, what with the Sinnoh trio receiving the Phione Egg from the Pokemon Ranger manga, and Looker jetting off to Unova to investigate the Seven Sages.
Art Evolution: Quite noticeable. Compare the Kanto group to the Hoenn or Sinnoh at the same age, the Kanto trio to them in the Sevii arc, or even Gold at the beginning to himself by the end of the GSC arc.
Both examples are justified by the fact that they are different artists. The first one's art deteriorated with time alongside her health, as you can see between the RGB and Yellow arcs and the beginning of GSC. Mid-GSC, the artist was changed by someone who imitated her style for the rest of the arc, before he was allowed to use his style in RS and onwards.
Satoshi Yamamoto seems to be recently experimenting with new types of bodies and faces to diversify the cast. He is also getting better at drawing more detailed clothing.
Diamond got chubbier throughout the DP arc, while his Lax got smaller.
Ascended Extra: Many one-off characters from the games get their roles greatly expanded here.
Author Appeal: Apparently the creators have a soft spot for human!Latias, as she's seen in every author note since her debut until volume 37. Here she is as a cheerleader◊ and here she is as an idol◊.
More like Creator of the Franchise Appeal and Paying Him Your Respects, Poliwhirl is apparently Satoshi Tajiri's favorite Pokémon, which is probably why Red's first Pokémon is Poli.
Gold also has a Poliwhirl for a time, which evolves from the Poliwag he mistakenly thought Silver had stolen. Ultimately, it evolves into Politoed, and it teams up with Red's Poliwrath in the Emerald arc, proving integral to destroying Guile Hideout's armor.
Author Avatar: In the author notes, Kusaka is represented by an Electrode, Mato a glasses-wearing Oddish holding a pencil, and Yamamoto a Swalot. There was a reference to this in the beginning of the Emerald arc in that an Electrode and a Swalot are the Pokémon Spenser and Lucy have a double battle against for the Battle Frontier's opening ceremony.
Before volume 15, Satoshi Yamamoto's avatar was a Slowpoke. Also in the RGB Chapter, Hidenori Kusaka's avatar is what one would assume is a manga version of himself. In volume 4, it's this same guy with an Electrode for a head.
The Unova film director bears an uncanny resemblance to Kusaka himself.
Awesome McCoolname: Seriously, who wouldn't love to be named Gold, Silver or Platinum? Black and Diamond are also pretty cool names.
No, Gold's Togepi takes the cake. It took down Lance's (admittedly wounded) Dragonite before launching itself right through its Hyper Beam!
Most of the protagonists when they're younger at least. And as per the course in the series, a majority of their unevolved Pokémon.
Badass Normal: When Team Rocket attack Indigo Plateau and the Gym Leaders retaliate, some of the Gym Leaders fight with their own fists alongside of their Pokémon. Among the confusion, you can see that Falkner slams one grunt to the ground, Janine performs a flying kick in a grunt's face, Clair is whipping them, and Chuck is throwing six of them at a time. Pity there was only one shot of Green apparently kicking someone off panel.
In a later panel(volume 14, page 32 to be exact) Green is explicitly shown punching someone to the ground.
A much lesser version is pretty much everybody; while trainers still generally just hang back and give orders like in the games and anime, here, some actually provide physical support. A common variation is riding your Pokémon while it's fighting. Giovanni actually says a truly 'great' trainer has to hone his own body instead of just relying on your Pokémon. This is the same advice Chuck goes by and passed down to Green.
The majority of the characters are brilliant battle strategists who make use of Pokémon and their abilities in ways most people would never even consider.
Sapphire is a pretty badass normal too, having been training in the jungle with her Pokemon since childhood, giving her Charles Atlas Superpower. So far, she has carried several people while running on foot, torn apart a steel pole, and a lot more..
Crystal is the same, having broken her arms as a kid and learned to do things with only her legs. The result: near superhuman strength in her legs, which is why she uses them so often.
Every single one of the Dex Holders is or becomes this one way or another.
Bag of Holding: Props and accessories appear to be kept in tiny capsules, which are then kept inside a prop case.
Berserk Button: Gold goes absolutely ballistic when the Masked Man tells him that Pokémon are just weapons to him. It was a lie.
Lay a hand on Blue and Silver will snap you in half.
Silver: Don't touch her with your dirty hands!!
The feeling may be mutual. After Will and Karen are shown to have fought Silver and knocked him out, Blue is so enraged she overcomes her ornithophobia, stands up to the bird that kidnapped her and fights back using the legendary bird trio.
Speaking of Blue, ruin her reunion with her parents? Watch out, Red and Green will go after you. The "berserk" part was mostly Red, Green being more concerned about his grandpa, but still.
Most Dex Holders have their own personal Berserk Buttons, but all of them will kick your ass if you harm or upset their friend or mistreat Pokemon.
As Black demonstrates in Nimbasa City. He flips when he thinks White is in danger and doesn't hesitate to bring out his whole team for an ass-kicking.
Pearl also does the same in the Platinum arc when he believes Charon has killed Dia.
Big Bad: Giovanni will pretty much throw you into a bottomless cavern and experiment with your blood if given the chance. Unless you're his son, Silver. But he will probably do the above to you if you touch the kid.
Other Big Bads include Lance, Masked Man aka Pryce, Archie & Maxie, Guile Hideout aka Archie again, Cyrus, and Charon.
In the HGSS arc, the Rocket Executives, Archer, Ariana, Petrel and Proton, are fulfilling this role as a Big Bad Duumvirate.
And in the BW arc, there's N and Ghetsis.
Big Damn Heroes: Gold emerging from his Guile Hideout disguise in Emerald Chapter certainly counts.
Regigigas, see Chekhov's Gunman
Big Eater: Diamond. He's seen eating in almost every round.
This trait is also shared with practically every single one of his Pokémon.
Bodyguard Crush: Dia to Platinum during their first meeting (although he and Pearl only became her bodyguards due to a misunderstanding).
Book Dumb: Sapphire's an interesting case. She only has basic literacy and had trouble understanding the questions in Roxanne's written gym examnote In Japanese, she knew hiragana "spellings" but couldn't read kanji of the same; in English she didn't know definitions of bigger words. but she was able to ace the exam anyway by asking an assistant to tell her what the words were.
Bowdlerize: At the end of the RGB Mt. Moon arc (in the original Viz release), Red carries an unconscious Misty out of the caves. She comes to, finds herself covered in dirt, and punches Red because she thinks he's groping her. The reprint instead extends the "dirty" complaint as the reason for the punch.
Crystal's mom no longer gives her a Dope Slap hard enough to knock her to the ground, but instead a Death Glare that makes her physically recoil.
Much like the anime, Lenora's apron was edited out. A bit pointless as she only wore it in a few shots, having taken it off right before battling Black.
Break the Cutie: Blue was kidnapped at age five by a giant bird Ho-Oh, giving her a crippling fear of birds, so that she could be forced to become the underling of a Big Bad. After eleven long years of fighting for her freedom, overcoming her phobias, and generally breaking free of her past, she locates her parents and goes off for a joyous and tearful reunion, only to have them disappear in front of her eyes. Is it any wonder she went into a near coma afterward?
White gets hit hard. Right after the highest moment of her life (working on the Pokemon Musical to the point of exhaustion to make sure it would be a hit), N reveals to her that her star actress has always wanted to battle. Then her star actress abandons her, allowing White to fall off the Ferris Wheel. White is then left barely conscious on the ground below, her eyes full of tears.
Brick Joke: In the beginning of the RS arc, Ruby makes an offhand remark how Mudkip is better than Treecko (appearance-wise, anyways). In the middle of the Emerald arc, which is two arcs later (which in-story is about a year), Ruby discovers that Emerald's Sceptile is in fact the same Treecko, which had since gone missing. He cheerfully asks the Sceptile if it remembers him, and sure enough, it turns out that it had been carrying a grudge for that remark. Ruby promptly gets punched in the face.
The Fire Red and Leaf Green saga has Old Master Kimberly looking for the Old Sea Map, the item needed to find Faraway Island which is home to the "ancestor" of all Pokémon, Mew; she passes this information on to Captain Briney, only for her to learn that he's already found the island, making all her efforts moot. Seems like a one-note joke, but... Later in the Emerald saga, soil from Faraway Island, being connected to Mew's DNA, was what helped calm down all the berserk Pokémon in the Battle Frontier.
During the GSC Arc, while the President of the Pokémon Fan Club is communicating with all his members, we catch a glimpse of a girl in a bathtub with her Tentacool, a reference to the case of Getting Crap Past the Radar below.
Something that crosses with this, unintentional foreshadowing, and Fridge Brilliance: in the GSC arc, the Masked Man Pryce says that Giovanni wanted control over matter, Lance over space, and himself over time. Guess which three people show up to stop the Creation Trio at the Sinjoh Ruins? They even fight their matches of the Creation Trio: Pryce's Swinub attacks Dialga, Lance's Dragonite attacks Palkia and Silver's Ursaring (under Giovanni's control) attacks Giratina.
Blue was based on◊ artwork◊ from when the First Gen was to have a gender option. When FR/LG were released, her artwork was retooled to make her the equivalent of the female character there.
Call Back/Continuity Nod: Quite frequently are past events brought up in the present, even if said events were hundreds of chapters ago.
Way, way back in the RBG arc, Red was led around the Safari Zone by a mechanical Pidgey. Hundreds of chapters later, there are mechanical Starly guides in the Sinnoh Battle Frontier. It also turns out that there are mechanical Hoothoot in the Johto Safari Zone.
In the HGSS arc, Gold's Togepi waves at Lance's Tyrannitar, showing that the baby Pokemon still remembers taking on the much larger Pokemon back in the GSC one.
The three vacationing video game developers who were nearly killed during the Groudon/Kyogre clash turn out to be from Unova.
Cast of Snowflakes: It was always there, but Yamamoto is really improving with this. More characters are coming out with a variety of faces and body types (with the occasion Gonk thrown in). What's especially noteworthy are the Plasma grunts; each of them look distinctly unique despite them all having the same uniform.
Characterization Marches On: Given the limited amount of personality present in the game characters, the mangaka really went out of their way to create unique and often radically different characterizations for the trainers.
Chekhov's Gun: Way too many to count. Just about every minor object introduced early in the story becomes significant later on. A noteworthy one is the book Green reads in the GSC arc...which is revealed in the FRLG arc to have been written by Giovanni.
This book is mentioned to tell how to evolve Rhydon in the HGSS arc, something that wasn't revealed in the games until two generations after GSC.
Chekhov's Gunman: Almost every minor character introduced in the series becomes important later on. Some of them even become main characters.
One particularly notable case occurs at the end of the GSC arc. Oak is giving a speech over the radio (Identical to the one he gives at the beginning of the Johto games), and the director informs him there's a child who wants to see him. Oak gives him a Pokédex, apparently just to match up with the "Now what was your name again?" part of the speech and nothing more. Now fastforward a couple years, turns out the kid was Emerald, the main protagonist of the sixth arc.
That seems like more of a Retcon; we never see any glimpse of Emerald so it's likely that it wasn't supposed to be Emerald until the character was created and inserted into the manga. We do, however, get a glimpse of Emerald's trainer ID somewhere late into the RS arc.
Can't forget that the girl Red saved from a rampaging wild Dratini in the RGB arc was actually Yellow. Would have been more obvious if not for the hat...though we're not told whether Red knows Yellow's that same girl or not.
Another major one is the female scientist who was working on constructing the Green Orb, who was only shown in flashbacks. It turns out she's Platinum's mother.
Regigigas, savior of Platinum, Candice and Maylene, and also savior of the space-time continuum.
Chekhov's Boomerang: And chances are, some major or minor characters may return unexpectedly. Giovanni's statue in the Viridian Gym, Celebi in the RS saga, and Guile Hideout's true identity is Archie, for example.
Chekhov's Skill: Before a Gym battle Platinum will typically learn a new skill, which she will then have to use in said Gym Battle to beat the Leader.
Also, Green's Porygon. When he and Yellow were fighting off wild Mankey it was shown to be able to travel through electrical systems. Later on in the FRLG arc it did it again to destroy the supercomputer that was holding Prof. Oak captive.
Though some just lose interest in their original motives for villiany, Lance, Sabrina, Lt. Surge, Koga, Lorelei, Bruno, Will and Karen for example and decide to become good, while others end up getting redeemed through the situation at hand ( Giovanni and Pryce.)
Common Knowledge: Thanks to the anime, many assume the Dex Holders were ten when they all started out on their journeys. Except that only Sapphire was ten; everyone else was at least a year older. There is also no age rule for when you can go out on a journey either, although Professor Oak did think that nine is too young an age to go out on a journey, so he withheld Emerald's Dex from him until he was a little older.
Also, many fans seem to be under the impression that only one of every "starter" Pokémon exists; Kimberly has all three Johto starters, Tucker has a Charizard, and an army of Galactic grunts commanded a bunch of Charmeleon and Combuskin.
Contractual Purity: invokedWhite freaks at the idea of Tep evolving and having Gigi pair up with a different, presumably larger, not-as-adorable Pokémon. She gets over it quickly and figures out a new way to market them.
Contrived Coincidence: The entire premise of the Emerald chapter: Jirachi only awakens from its slumber for one week every thousand years. That week just so happens to overlap perfectly with the Battle Frontier's opening week.
Conveniently Empty City: Vermillion City was conveniently empty when Lance decimates it with a Hyper Beam due to a major event at the docks. However, Lance does acknowledge that there were probably a few people still inside.
Ruby: "Ahhh...it always feels good after a kind deed!!"
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Notable example are Platinum's real bodyguards: who's going to think much of two guys whose names are based on the word 'idiot' (Yuji and Paka)? Hell, you might think her dad was one for hiring them in the first place. After a few comical mishaps, the two get into a battle with Team Galactic, and you can see that they really are skilled battlers, displaying clever strategies and outwitting Saturn himself.
Ruby, who normally avoids battles in public, is a very competent battler.
Crazy-Prepared: Blue seems to be able to deal with many problems, including a few she doesn't anticipate.
Actually just teamed up to try and defeat a common enemy.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: In the games and anime, the first thing the characters attack with their Pokémon is their opponent's Pokémon. Here, if you're an evil character, it's usually the trainer you're getting your Pokémon to sic.
Unlike the anime, rather than shooting a laser at it, returning your Pokemon into its ball involves throwing the ball at it before the ball, now the Pokemon inside, automatically flies back to the trainer's hand. A Plasma grunt steals Hugh's sister's Purrloin by stepping in front of her and catching it before she did.
Another example: At one point, Emerald gets so close to capturing Jiraichi that he has it inside the ball, but Guile uses a psychic pokemon to prevent the pokeball from closing so that Jiraichi escapes.
Darker and Edgier: The tone overall remains similarly lighthearted, but it is a good deal grittier than the anime and most of the original games.
The really defining moments for this were the Pokemon zombies, and not much later when an Arbok gets cut in two.
Darkest Hour: The final battle/climax of the RS arc. Norman, Marge, Steven are all dead. Wallace gets the crap beaten out of him by Maxie and Archie who's both gone insane for destruction at this point. Winona is held hostage.
Masked Man: Hmm...You're a tough one...Ilex Forest, Lake of Rage and Indigo Plateau. Three times we've fought and three times you've lost...Despite all that, you're still coming at me. I have to give you some credit for that and remember your name.
Gold: (Panting) Open your ears and listen well then!!! Remember this, I am...(Gives Focus Bands to his Pokémon) GOLD! From New Bark Town!!
Diabolus ex Machina: The end of the Fire Red and Leaf Green arc: Team Rocket has been stopped, Deoxys has been calmed, Mewtwo has found peace, Silver has accepted his father, and no one other than Orm has died despite the intense battles and the falling airship rigged with explosives. All seems well until Sird somehow shows up and makes a last-ditch attempt to recapture Deoxys, which fails but causes the five dex holders present to be turned to stone.
Also happens earlier at the end of the Ruby and Sapphire arc. After weeks of wanton destruction and many a Heroic Sacrifice, the main cast has finally succeeded in quelling Kyogre and Groudon. So now everything's fine, right? Cue the return of Archie and Maxie, who not only don't undergo a Heel Realization like their game counterparts, but proceed to join forces, batter the weary heroes, and attempt to start the whole crisis over again.
Disproportionate Retribution: The Sinnoh Trio make a lot of noise in Mt. Coronet's caves. Cyrus's response is to bury them alive in a rock slide.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ruby running away from home because his dad won't accept he wants to be a Pokémon coordinator. Ruby is very, very camp. It honestly gets a bit awkward when Norman eventually tracks him down and beats him senseless.
To be fair, Norman would have accepted this if Ruby hadn't run away.
Double Take: When Yellow's "Uncle" sees the Mask's Rocket grunts.
Downer Ending: The conclusion of the FRLG arc. The next arc rectifies it, though.
Dragon Rider: Green and Wally both have dragon-like Pokémon.
Lance, Clair and Drake too.
Dub Name Change: The rival is Green. The girl is Blue. But in the published English version, this is reversed because of the way the Blue and Green version were released as one, making the default name for the first gen's rival Blue.
Dub-Induced Plot Hole if you notice it makes that scene in FRLG arc when Red and Green traded their starters with one another a bit strange. After Red traded his Venusaur for Green's Charizard, Mewtwo commented, "FireRed and LeafGreen, eh?"...Yet Green was called Blue.
There's some trouble with the manga-exclusive characters who of course have no English name. Some go with Coronis's translations while others go with Chuang Yi's. Though Chuang Yi is technically the "official" version, they have given new names to characters that did actually have official English names. Many stick to Coronis's as his translations are much more faithful.
Viz getting back in the game as a third (and second "official") translation could complicate matters.
Dub Induced Plothole: The Viz versions rarely used nicknames in the RGB arc, so when the Yellow arc rolled around, Red's Pikachu seemingly got one out of nowhere and everyone acted like it always had one. To make things worse, they kept switching back and forth between nicknames and actual names. Even in the same chapter. Thankfully, as of the GS arc, the translators have become more consistent with nicknames.
The Sinnoh Trio started their journey on September 28th, the day the Diamond and Pearl games were released in Japan. The Viz translators caught on to the reference and changed it to April 22nd, the day the games were released in America. However, this shows that Viz doesn't read ahead, as of this point of the story winter is rapidly approaching Sinnoh, necessitating the change into the Platinum outfits. Apparently in Sinnoh, it starts snowing in May.
Granted, in Hokkaido, which is what Sinnoh is based off of, does have winters lasting up to half a year, but May is still pushing it.
In her battle against Blue, Sabrina hypnotizes her to see her greatest fear: a pagoda surrounded by birds. i.e.Johto's Bell Tower.
In the RGB arc, right before the start of the Pokemon League, a few GS trainer classes are seen in the crowd.
Riley during the Jirachi arc. He can be seen on one panel after Scott makes his wish.
As well as Archie's last sentence being "Galac-."
The Masked Man's plan is to capture time itself in a Pokéball. Now with Gen IV out, who does that sound like?
Manaphy is mentioned and seen in silhouette in the Emerald arc. Azelf from the Diamond/Pearl series is believed to be the Pokémon used to turn the gang to stone at the end of the FRLG arc.
As it turns out, it wasn't Azelf. It was Darkrai.
Or how about the line said by Sird to Archie after she gives him the sword and armor? "If you bear your sword to bring harm upon us, with claws and fangs, we will exact a toll," a quote from a Sinnoh myth. (Well, the Diamond and Pearl games were already out at that point, so it's less meta of an example than the others.)
There was also that point where Giovanni had discovered Rhydon's evolution, Rhyperior.
Near the end of FRLG, Deoxys mentions going to a faraway land that has a meteor that can help Deoxys change forms at will. In Sinnoh's Veilstone City, perhaps?
Easily Forgiven: Team Galactic. Easy to understand with Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter because they were misled all along (by both Cyrus and Charon), but Dia pretty easily forgives Cyrus for trying to kill them once he finds out he's made a Heel Face Turn. Subverted with Charon, though; all his cowardly attempts to weasel forgiveness out of anyone ends with his comeuppance.
Elephant in the Living Room: Notable for actually making use of the main "implied but never stated" facet of the franchise ("Pokémon are Pocket Monsters, and pose a threat to humans who can't defend against them because they lack (conscious) Pokémon") instead of putting it in the background.
Enemy Mine: Red, Green, and Blue team up with the three admins of Team Rocket against three of the Elite Four.
And later they team up with one of the Elite Four against three new Team Rocket admins...
Exposed to the Elements: Lampshaded and discussed during the Diamond/Pearl/Platinum chapter around Snowpoint, as the three major characters there are all underdressed for snow: Platinum simply hasn't received the warmer clothes she ordered and nearly freezes to death before they come in, Candice puts fashion over practicality and credits her ability to deal with it to being able to focus, and Maylene can't afford extra clothes and stays active to keep warm.
Gambit Pileup: The end of the Yellow Chapter started with Evil Plan, continued into some heroicGambit Roulettes, and in the end Giovanni's apparent Big Damn Heroes moment actually turned out to be part of Lance's plan and Yellow somehow managing to outwit him. It gets crazier later on. Suffice it to say everyone gets to play Xanatos Speed Chess at some point - even Guile HideoutGOLD disguised as Guile Hideout!
Also we're all pretty sure Sird/Storc has one. She's just so good that we still don't have much of a clue what it is.
And at the end of the 37th volume, it looks like she's baaaaaack...
And, another heroic one for Gold in the Emerald Chapter. Sure, he probably made some of it up as he went along, but he got a fake arm from Emerald before he even needed it and somehow had a perfectly good fake copy of Guile's armor despite their being only really obscure legends about it. And, although it was coincidence, the fact that Guile landed RIGHT nearby the fake copy only makes it more shocking.
The implied cursing from everyone, including the young protagonists. There's also Blue technically flashing Sabrina.
Crystal's introduction sees her dropping her skirt in order to take on some Slugma, with Professor Oak getting flustered. We don't see until the next page that she's got bike shorts on underneath.
The GSC arc shows Sabrina get out of the water at some hot springs with only some Censor Steam covering her rear. Then at the end of the arc Gold accidentally gropes Blue's butt. Again, Viz didn't do any sort of cleaning up to either incident.
Dahlia's introduction at the Battle Arcade starts with her dancing behind. The next page, it's pretty obvious what Looker is staring at.
Gondor Calls for Aid: GSC finale. Trainers from all over Kanto and Johto send all of their Pokémon to Ilex Forest through Bill's transporter system, to assist in calming down Ho-oh and Lugia.
Gratuitous English: In the original Japanese volumes, Lt. Surge, Gold, Ruby, Jupiter and Saturn are just a few examples of characters who inexplicably use words such as "OH MY GOD!!!" and "BOSS!" in plain English when the rest of the text is in Japanese.
Steven, Platinum, and her mother all even sign their names in English.
Quite a bit of English is randomly splattered around. Whether or not it is grammatically accurate/correctly spelled is another matter entirely.
Gratuitous Spanish: In the English translation of the Yellow chapter (aka "Yellow Caballero"). Early on, Yellow uses a fake name of "Amarillo del Bosque Verde". Unfortunately, the Paper-Thin Disguise didn't work, as everyone hearing it knew it meant "Yellow of the Viridian Forest". (In the original Japanese, she just gives her real name from the start.)
Harmful to Minors: The flashback in the RS arc pretty much confirms everyone's fears that the world of Pokémon would be an incredibly dangerous place to live for little kids...Little Ruby gets his head slashed open by a Salamance!
Heel Face Turn: The Team Rocket executive trio (Sabrina, Koga, Lt. Surge), Blaine and Mewtwo, the Kanto Elite Four (save for Agatha), Will and Karen, Pryce, Courtney, Tabitha, Amber, Deoxys, Cyrus and all the Team Galactic commanders (except for Charon.)
Helping Would Be Kill Stealing: Averted, as all (good) Gym Leaders and Elite Four members actively take part in the battle against whatever evil is plaguing their region, though the Dex Holders will still eventually be the ones who will have to take down the current Big Bad.
Heroic BSOD: Gold gets one when he thought Professor Oak was telling him to stop pursuing the Masked Man despite everything that he has done.
Red has two. One is in the first chapter of RGB where he was defeated by Mew and later in FRLG when he was defeated by Deoxys.
Ruby had one after what had happened to his Feebas in RS.
Don't forget Silver in FRLG. He obviously had trouble snapping out of his.
And what about Crys in GSC? After she fails at catching Suicune AND failing to understand it, she gets a pretty bad one. She looses her ability to catch even the weakest of Pokémon; it takes a slap from her mom and training from scratch to snap out of it.
And it looks like White gets a major one when Gigi willingly decides to go with N for recognizing her battling potential. White falls out of the Ferris Wheel, and lies on the ground with her eyes blank and full of tears.
Bill gets a short one in GSC when he starts feeling useless due to his inability to get the transfer system to work again, meaning that he can do nothing to help the Dex Holders in their fight. As Daisy tries to calm him down (as he had been injured earlier while protecting her), he ignores her and his injuries in order to angrily try to get the system up, before just breaking down, crying, and yelling in frustration.
Heroic Sacrifice: In GSC Gold gives the Rainbow and Silver wings to Crystal and Silver to ensure their safety in the voids of time as he goes of alone without protection to go after Pryce. But he manages to get back out fine.
Two in the RS saga. To stop the rampaging Groudon and Kyogre, Norman and Steven awakens Rayquaza and the Regis respectively at the cost of their lives. But in the end they were revived due to Celebi.
Is no one going to mention Red in FRLG? He stayed behind the airship in order to safely land it. Although he got out alright.
Even though he's not a hero, Giovanni gains one for shielding his son from a raging inferno which Deoxys dumped them into.
Dia nearly has one in the finale of the DP arc, jumping in the black hole Dialga and Palkia made with his Mamoswine to try and seal it before Regigigas stopped him.
Dia does it yet again in the Platinum arc, pushing Pearl out of harm's way as Giratina's Shadow Force hits him. Yes, he really was that close to dying.
Heroic Second Wind: Don't expect any protagonist, or anyone fighting for good, for that matter, to win the match without taking a bad beating first.
Hey, That's My Line!: Red brags to Blue about his two badges. She steals them, and when Team Rocket catches up to her she brags about "her" two badges. Red's not happy to see she's stealing his possessions and his lines.
Entei eventually fixes this. And in any case, it was always more of a problem for his trainer than for him.
Yellow's Pokémon can count too. She can make their levels rise when she "synchronizes her spirit with them". Given how fast this drains her stamina, this isn't something she can do often.
A House Divided: Both Team Magma and Team Aqua manage to convince several Hoenn Gym Leaders of their righteousness. Since both teams are well known enemies, the gym leaders nearly turn on each other before realizing both teams are evil.
Hypocritical Humor: In the Ruby & Sapphire chapter, the Pokemon Fan Club President asks Ruby to use his battle prowess as a trainer to escape from being kidnapped by Team Magma. Not wanting to battle as usual, he asks the President why he doesn't battle them himself. When the he claims that he's scared of battles, Ruby accuses him of getting others to do the things he doesn't like.
Iconic Item: Some of the Dex Holders have at least one. Examples are Blue and Silver's gloves, Yellow's hat, Gold's goggles and Crystal's earrings.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: chapters are called "rounds", and "arcs" are called "chapters". The chapters rounds themselves are called "Vs. Monster of the Week" when translated directly (except rounds in the fifth chapter), while the official translation always had new titles which incorporated the 'mon's name for the first three chapter (though they usually weren't some sort of reference like they are in the anime's dub) after which they just started making up entirely new titles.
The original Viz printing of Chapter 12 literally translates Razor Leaf as "Leaf Cutter".
Chapter 26 translates it as "Pokémon House", not Pokémon Mansion.
Viz couldn't make up their minds with the Pokémon's nicknames until they finally got consistent in the GS arc.
In volume 6, Green's sister was referred to as May. In volume 14, she was correctly identified as Daisy.
Viz isn't sure whether or not one member of the Team Rocket Elite Trio is named Ryo or Al.
Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt/Conveyor Belt-O-Doom: The first one is justified as part of Fuego Ironwork's defense system, which is primarily supposed to just be the transport system, although it quickly seems like the second one and overkill when Pearl accidentally steps on the one that goes straight into the furnace.
Indy Ploy: How some of the protagonists foil the villain's plans. Especially Gold.
After doing said Indy Ploy Gold will claim that it was all part of the plan, despite that it obviously wasn't.
Gold: I knew that having a fake suit of armour would come in handy!
It's All My Fault: How Hugh feels about Team Plasma stealing his little sister's Purrloin. She just wanted to be with it, but he made her battle. He blames it on his own weakness—after all, if he was strong, he wouldn't have lost to the Plasma grunts and Purrloin wouldn't have been taken away.
It's Up to You: Gold says this to the RSE gang after he and Crys get pummeled by the Jirachi wished Kyogre.
Jerkass: Quite possibly Volkner, who uses up so much electricity running his gym just because he's bored...resulting the rest of Sunyshore to go into a total blackout.
Oh, Blue and Green, so much in the first arc. With Green, he spends alot of his time acting smug and superior to Red, and constantly refuses to change even after working with him several times. And as for Blue, it gets pretty far out when, a lot of chapters after she returns the badges she had stolen from Red, reedeming her a little, it turns out those were fake. The both of them finally change their behavior at the Pokémon League tournament though. Character Development at it's most noticable, as they go on to become Red's best friends.
Karma Houdini: Karen and Will. They tried to Mind Rape Blue, beat Silver senseless, mocked Blue for caring about him, made it very clear that they're working for the Big BadFor the Evulz, and the only reason why they stopped working for him was not because they saw the light...it was because they got scared shitless. And though it may match up with the games, are these the kind of people you want in your league-recognized Elite Four? Geez, at least Koga helped out the good guys a few times and had enough moments where he redeemed himself. And Bruno's more sinister involvment in the Kanto Elite Four was due to mind control. Will and Karen have no such excuse.
Agatha is an even worse example. She masterminds the plan to commit mass genocide on all humanity, escapes without punishment, and is never seen again.
Kid Hero: However, the eldest of the protagonists (Red, Green and Blue) are now in their twenties.
Kick the Dog: The criminal organizations are all generally guilty of this in some form, but Team Rocket's especially bad with this due to their experiments during the original R/G/B arc, most notably Eevee.
Erika seems to do that too, until Red learns that it was a test; a rare subversion.
What N's Zorua does to Alder's Accelgor is just plain messed up.
The Leader: Considering its Geodesic Cast, there are several. Notably Trainers Red, Gold, and Platinum of their respective branches of the Dex holders. Also Erika is the leader of the Kanto Gym Leaders.
Light Is Not Good: Dragonite in all of its appearances. A cute, gentle-looking, cream-colored dragon who always poses a threat to the protagonists.
Limited Wardrobe: Most of the characters pretty much stay in the same outfits all the time with minor allterations between arcs until future games give them new threads.
Justified in that they usually spend their time roaming around.
Taken to extremes when in the RS arc we're given a peek inside in Ruby's closet...and all his spare clothing is completely identical to his normal outfit - so much so that he didn't really miss out on anything when he made a more civil outfit for Sapphire!
Load-Bearing Hero: the GSC heroes' starters vs. Lugia in the Whirl Islands. The effort allowed the starters to evolve to their final forms.
Tomboyish Ponytail turned Compressed Hair for Yellow. Nearly no one can tell that Yellow is a girl unless she isn't wearing her hat. Red, Gold, Crystal, and Blaine were all shocked when Yellow's hat is removed, suddenly realizing she was a girl the whole time.
Long Runner: Despite the many different Pokémon manga made over the years (and many are still being made), only Pokémon Special (and a gag manga that never reached American shores) started when the franchise did and will likely continue for as long as it has to.
Magic Skirt: Pretty much every character who has a skirt.
Male Gaze: Elesa is first formally introduced with her on her knees and her rear facing the audience.
With White's daisy dukes, it's hard not to pay attention to her butt from any angle.
Bianca appears to be incapable of standing up straight as her rear is almost always thrust out. It's all the more pronounced whenever she falls down (which is often).
Skyla's hot pants are indeed short enough that part of her rear is visible.
Man Child: Crystal's hyper mother, who jumps around, has Girlish Pigtails, wears clothing someone her age normally wouldn't wear, and has a Verbal Tic, though she can be serious when the time comes for it. She is also the one who forced Crys into her HGSS outfit.
In a sense, the mangaka. Reading the author notes in the volumes will tell you what an Adorkable fanboy of the games he is.
Market-Based Title: Besides renaming the series from "Special" to "Adventures" in Singapore and the US, Viz also gave the Generation IV and V chapters "Diamond and Pearl/Platinum" and "Black and White" subtitles and numbering them from the beginning in order to set them apart from each other and the Generation II/III chapters, as multiple arcs were being published at once (and briefly all three at the same time). Generations II and III themselves have "Gold & Silver" and "Ruby & Sapphire" labels on the covers, but continue their numbering from the previous chapters.
Master-Apprentice Chain: Averted. Crasher Wake was the one who trained Palmer, Pearl's father. Then after that, Palmer was the one who taught Pearl the basics of Pokemon battling and the one who taught him "Move Prediction". Years after that, Wake takes on Pearl as his new apprentice to polish his skills even further.
Meido: Latias's initial human disguise. Later on she's a journalist, then a nurse. All of them are rather modest, but really cute.
Blue is also a Mythology Gag to a then unreleased female protagonist. Considering the timing of the manga, she was put into it way after she was canceled.
Blue's bubble microphone and Pika's babysitting of Yellow's Caterpie are homages to the Hey You Pikachu game.
The feature added to the pokedex midway through the Yellow arc, which allowed the adventurers to vaguely read pikachu's thoughts and emotions, is a homage to the Pokemon Yellow game, in which a similar feature is present.
Todd is given a job to take pictures at Pokémon Snap's Pokémon Island.
Guile's plans in the Emerald chapter are pretty much identical to Butler's, but with Kyogre instead of Groudon.
Heck, there are a few shout outs to the Anime such as Mewtwo's limiting armor from the Fire Red Chapter, hell Mewtwo himself has a personality similar to the Mewtwo from Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns.
The "eyelash of Mew" fossil from the first movie was retconned into Mewtwo's backstory in Special, as well.
Sird is based on a design from the Pokémon trading card game.
It turns out that, much like in the anime's first movie, several characters were turned to stone due to Mewtwo using a blast to cancel out another Pokémon's attack.
Hayley, from My Pokemon Ranch, makes a cameo appearance during the battle at Sky Pillar. Likewise, earlier during the FRLG arc, Bridgette from Pokemon Box Ruby & Sapphire is an important supporting character.
When the Shadow Triad are discussing about the Dark Stone and Zekrom, said Pokemon is depicted in a pose reminiscent of Ryouga's first transformation from Pokemon Reburst.
Grimsley plays Card Flip, a minigame that hasn't appeared since Gen II.
Old Lady Kimberly too or she'll hit you hard with her staff.
Nice Hat: Except for the 'Rival' Dex Holders (except Bianca), Emerald, and Blue (in the first 3 arcs), all of the main characters have a hat. Yellow's is the most ornate, though. It also has the most plot significance, as, during her arc, it hides her real gender and also contains a microphone for Blue to listen in on her journey. Later, during the GSC arc, it's revealed that the two feathers adorning it are really the Rainbow Wing and Silver Wing.
Ruby's hat also covers a scar that he got from rescuing Sapphire from a Salamence when they were younger.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Buck tries to protect the Magma Stone from Team Galactic. By doing so, he awakens their true target, Heatran, and leads them right to it.
Everything that the Johto trio did to get Arceus away from Team Rocket in fact allowed the bad guys to capture and control it.
The Dark Stone is protected in Lenora's impenetrable underground office/gym and the only key is destroyed. Black, however, remembers how to get in from his Gym challenge and a Plasma grunt disguised as Brycen tricks him into opening it.
The Nicknamer: Gold aside, most of the Dex Holders (and a couple other characters) nickname their Pokémon.
Averted with Green, Silver, Platinum and Emerald (though in Emerald's case it's somewhat justified since he wasn't expecting to keep the Pokémon that eventually became his main team.)
Silver outright states that some Pokémon prefer not to be nicknamed, which is probably why some trainers don't do it.
No Export for You: For years, only Generation I chapters were available in the US. More recently, Generation III was left in limbo for about a year and a half after Gen II concluded.
No Infantile Amnesia: Subverted, Blue remember being abducted at age of 5 by the legendary birds, which later causes her ornitophobia. Silver, however, doesn't, because he was just 2 years old when that happened.
No Ontological Inertia: Averted in the first gen chapters. Team Rocket introduced a mass amount of non-native and over-leveled Pokemon into the Viridian Forest as to breed the ultimate army. Even after Team Rocket is defeated the first time and all their schemes no longer active, the Pokemon are still in the Forest, occasionally rampaging and attacking people.
No Name Given: Lady Platinum Berlitz's first name was unknown for the first part of the D/P section of the series, likely because Kusaka was waiting for confirmation on the third game's title before naming her.
A few reoccurring characters don't get formally named, such as Crystal's mother.
Non Human Side Kick: There's the heroes' Pokémon team, but this most possibly applies to their first ones (Ex. Gold's Aipom and Silver's Sneasel).
Red's Pika to Red and Yellow, later Chuchu to Yellow (and to a lesser extent Ratty/Ratchan), being the series mascot probably helps.
Diamond apparently knew that he and Pearl weren't supposed to be following Platinum around the whole time.
The Ojou: Lady Platinum Berlitz, Misty, and Erika.
Off Model: During Ruby's Kamehame Hadoken style releasing of Celebi, they keep drawing his left thumb on the wrong side of his hand.
In Jupiter's debut...well...erm...legs do not connect to the body that way.
Quite a few instances depict Platinum with her diamond ring on her right hand and her pearl ring on her left (when it should have been vice versa).
There actually have been a couple instances where it looks like the artist has a hard time with females' hips and legs.
Oh Crap: That Aqua Elite Mook had a nice one when Sapphire totally owned him in a situation, where all things considered, he really should've won had he not inadverdantly given her time with his Evil Gloatingand the means to escape.
And there's Yellow's Omanyte, who had a rather cute, comical one when a Tentacruel shows up. Complete with censored speech bubble.
Darach absolutely freaks when Caitlin momentarily loses control over her psychic powers.
Old Master: Professor Oak certainly counts. Juan and E4 Drake too.
Once a Season: More like once a generation finishes, so far. Someone (usually Red) will suggest doing something together and the rest of the cast will suddenly turn all chibi and surprised.
Also Green's 'obnoxious girl' comment on Blue.
Which is followed by a glare from Silver.
Played straight with Dia and Pearls' Manzai routines.
One Steve Limit: Averted in the Viz version as it followed game accuracy; a construction worker has a Psyduck named Yellow.
Averted with a few of the chapter names. Both chapters 13 and 367 are named "Vs. Psyduck".
Both chapter 27 and chapter 32 are "Vs. Kadabra" and chapters 25 and 31 are are both "Vs. Articuno."
Orwellian Retcon: Sometimes minor to major details (art and dialogue) from the magazines get changed around in the official volumes. For example, Platinum's scarf, Pokédex, Pokétch, and bike were originally pink, but they were changed to red later.
Out of Order: It's pretty hard to piece together a timeline from the magazine releases alone due to the confusing way they're released. Fans have to wait until the volumes come out to figure out when what happens.
Viz didn't start releasing the Gen III chapters until Gens IV and V had already started. There's also the fact that for a few years now they've been publishing multiple arcs concurrently in order to catch up to the Japanese releases, so following that release schedule means you're skipping around quite a bit.
Pacing Problems: Both the Platinum and HGSS chapters ran into this, even with being serialized in multiple magazines.
Parental Abandonment: For some reason all the 'Dex Holders, except for Ruby and Blue, either has only one parent or none at all (and the latter two don't exactly have perfect family histories).
Platinum also turns out to have both a mother and father.
Strangely enough, Red is the most well-adjusted Dex Holder despite the fact that he has absolutely no relatives; none have ever been mentioned or hinted at. It's interesting in the FLRG arc when he muses that he probably isn't fighting as hard as Blue and Green because he doesn't have any family to protect/rescue.
Personality Swap: One story had Red and Green's Pokémon swapped. By the end, even their attitudes were switched around.
Pet the Dog: Giovanni is pretty much EVIL, but he actually really likes his son, and will even rescue his mortal enemies if he is in a good mood. (One wonders what sort of odd honor system the guy has...)
The formerly evil gym leaders get some in the GSC arc. Koga shows up with Bruno to save Red and Green, Lt. Surge helps free the brainwashed Team Rocket soldiers from the Masked Man's control, and Sabrina helps out Red, at the same time asking if Eevee is well, showing regret on how helping to torture it years ago.
Playing Possum: At one point Koga captures Green and has a Grimer restraining him; when Green tries to fight back Koga has his Golbat use Razor Wind on Green. Green is seemingly knocked out from this, but it later turns out that the pendant he was wearing at the time protected him, and he was just lying still because he knew if he pretended he was passed out Koga would eventually call off the Grimer. It worked.
Police Are Useless: As per with the rest of the franchise. Except for Falkner, but that's only because he's a Gym Leader as well. On the plus side, it's actually expected of the Gym Leaders to handle criminal organizations.
Precision F-Strike: Varies with the translator, but Captain Eldritch has one when he forgets to steer the ship and it heads towards the rock.
Prequel: Despite being written afterwards, the HGSS chapter in fact happened before the DP Pt ones, setting up many events for the Sinnoh saga.
Pronoun Trouble: In the Chuang Yi version, Yellow is referred to as "he" by her uncle and Professor Oak when they speak to Crystal. In the Japanese a genderless pronoun was used. It's much harder to hide her gender when talking about her in English.
Somewhat averted in the Viz version, as Oak and Wilton avoid using pronouns when they talk to Crystal about Yellow. Surprisingly, they do it in a way that doesn't sound too awkward.
The Rival: Red and Green (Blue in the US version), Gold and Silver, Crystal and Eusine, Ruby and Sapphire.
Scissors Cuts Rock: Red's Pikachu is able to take out Brock's Onix with a well-placed Thundershock.
Rule Of Cool: "Team Rocket's Battleship has transformed into a mid-air battle stadium!"
Rummage Fail: Neatly averted as the top half of the Pokéballs are transluscent so you can see the Pokémon inside. Handy!
Running Gag: In the early parts of the DP arc, Platinum would try to imitate some actions that seem new and interesting to her. But quickly stops when Pearl notices. And when confronted by Pearl about said action:
Pearl: (Sweatdrops) You did a (Action she was doing a while ago) just now, didn't you?
Platinum: (Nonchalant) I did not.
Pearl: You definitely did!
Platinum: I definitely did not. Stop being a pest.
Pearl: I'm the funny man and you're the stooge!
Pearl: Put the food down already!
(Viz's English version changes the wording but otherwise keeps both gags intact.)
Also, Yellow's height. In the GSC arc there are several recurring scenes where a 'Dex Holder is surprised by Yellow's shortness, normally realizing that Yellow is actually older than they are and yet she's somehow shorter than them. It also happens once in the FRLG arc.
Also, this was attempted with Crys, when "he" accepted Oak's request to complete the Pokédex. However, the effect was ruined by the fact that Crys had not only been shown on the cover, but also on several pages leading up to the actual occurrence.
Also at the GSC Finale: "GOLD!!" and "Argh, RED!!"
Selective Localization: A bit of an inversion, as Viz chose not to alter Unown's messages in the Ruins of Alph. Instead they just added notes of what it translates to ("Ananuke = Escape", for instance). It's not clear why they didn't bother, considering how they often alter art for Bowdlerization purposes.
Sempai Kohai: Gold considers the RGB gang, most notably Red as his seniors and the RSE gang as his juniors.
By the end of the FRLG arc, Silver refers to Green as sempai as well.
Series Continuity Error: At one point early on in the series, Blue asks Red how many Pokémon he thinks there are. He responds that it's common knowledge that there are 150, but she informs him that there's actually a 151st Pokémon—Mew. However, the 150th Pokémon is Mewtwo, and at this point in the story he's still being created. Of course, casual fans probably would've been confused if they switched the two's numbers, so it's forgiveable.
It could be that he was quoting an estimate since not even Prof. Oak knows all the Pokémon thus why he gives out pokedexs. 150 could be a rough estimate of native Kanto Pokémon.
Dia has a Wii and all its different controllers in his room. Similar to the games where the player character always has the current Nintendo console in their room.
In the HeartGold and SoulSilver chapter, a character named Jet resembles Jet Link from Cyborg009. He even has the same name!
Show Within a Show: Proteam Omega, a mecha anime that Diamond is a massive fan of. The Goldenrod Radio director created the show by basing it off of Red's team. Turns out Silver is a massive fan as well.
Shown Their Work: Everything that Pokémon do is based on some bit of flavor text from the games (generally accompanied by Pokédex citation), and any inconsistency with the game mechanics is explicitly Hand Waved as a special case.
Some rather noticeable inconsistencies aren't Hand Waved though.
The rental Pokémon Emerald uses at the Battle Factory? Yes, those are actual rental Pokémon straight out of the games. Also, Emerald himself is quite the meta-gamer, using and acknowledging many game mechanics and strategies used in competitive battling.
Soap Opera Disease: Giovanni; the only reason we know he has anything is a comment of his that "this body is wasting away". Celebi treats him in the HGSS chapter.
Stockholm Syndrome: N has Gigi abducted along with her handler, then has her dropped into a Servine's waiting coils to be strangled. This makes Gigi realize her battling potential, so she willingly decides to side with him.
Story Arc: Several, each based on a game in the main series.
Stealth Pun: In the BW chapter, White gets a Sandile to cry at any scene in a movie. Crocodile Tears!
Suicidal Gotcha: In the HeartGold & SoulSilver chapter, Silver lets go of a bridge he was dangling over in his battle against Petrel only to rise back up on his Gyarados.
Superdickery: On the netkun site's previews, it looked like Skyla just killed Black by shoving him off the Celestial Tower. Reading the actual chapter shows that her Swanna was there to catch him.
Surprise Creepy: The artwork, especially Mato's, is rather cutesy, the plot usually starts out lighthearted, it's Pokémon for god's sake, so it's a bit of an eye-popper when some of the more violent actions come up.
Also, Emerald's Sceptile and Sudowoodo show remarkable skill in cooking and once faced off against each other in a cook-off for Emerald's attention.
Take a Third Option: Koga gives Green the choice to be used as a hostage to persuade Professor Oak to work for Team Rocket, or die painfully. Green decides to go down fighting and sics his Scyther on Koga.
A better example would be his Pokédex, which Yellow also takes. She gives it back, though (along with Pika) but in GSC she gets her own Pikachu and in FR/LG her own Pokédex.
Actually, she gets Red's original Pokédex back, as Red got a new one from Professor Oak.
Another example happens in FR/LG. Inside the tower, when Mewtwo's power was being suppressed by the suit, Green convinces Red to trade their Charizard and Venusaur under the guise that Green, being the better tactician, would be better off controlling the most wounded Pokemon (Venusaur) when they attempt to triple-attack the suit to free Mewtwo. After the attack, the building collapses, and Mewtwo reveals that the real reason for the trade was that so Red could have a flying Pokemon (Charizard) to go ahead and escape with.
Taught by Television: Crystal uses Mr. Mime's barrier strategy in the Emerald chapter. She learned it from watching Sabrina's match with Bugsy in the GSC chapter.
Three Amigos: Each set of regional Dex Holders, except for Kanto with the eventual inclusion of Yellow.
Title Drop: in the FRLG saga, Mewtwo when he saw Red and Green trade their starter Pokémon.
FireRed and LeafGreen.
Too Dumb to Live: Blue's parents. Maybe. We don't know how visible Deoxys's black holes are. Blue saw one of them clearly even without her Silph Scope, though...why didn't they see that? Or their daughter in a weird and unnatural pose? What were they thinking?!
Potentially justified, their daughter was missing for 11 years, maybe presumed dead, to find out that she's right there, the entire world may've just disappeared to them.
Took a Level in Badass: Needless to say, what with the Special universe being a World of Badass and all, everyone receives this treatment at some point or another in the course of the story.
Maxie, who died in a no-holds-barred battle for a cursed suit of armor against...
Archie, who was erased after being isolated from the armor for too long.
Orm/Oca, who fell to his death from the Team Rocket Air Ship.
Unresolved Sexual Tension: Winona and Wallace had a falling out before the story started, though Wallace is obviously still interested in continuing their relationship. Unfortunately for him, Winona is not a Best Her to Bed Her type of girl and feels insecure about having a Champion for a boyfriend. Numerous hints are given about their past relationship and possibilities of a new one, but their last appearance in the Emerald arc has Winona simply musing about just that. We'll never know if they actually try again.
As if their proteges, Ruby and Sapphire, aren't any better. Sapphire very much wants to bring up their feelings again, but Ruby's supposed amnesia of their confessions prevents the relationship from advancing.
"With Our Swords" Scene: After the Sinnoh Gym Leaders get thrashed at Spear Pillar, three of them pass on one of their Pokémon to Platinum so that she can fight in their stead. Subverted in that the Pokeballs immediately get busted so that she can't call them out. Double-subverted in that she's allowed to keep them anyways for another mission.
The Worf Effect: Whenever Platinum brings out Ponyta to a gym challenge, expect the poor horse to be quickly beaten to the ground.
Poliwhirl/Poliwrath tends to suffer from this in Red's battles.
Worf Had The Flu: The reason Petrel managed to beat Lance? Petrel disguised himself as the person Lance is afraid of the most: Yellow.
Silver: Why have you come this far...? Do you even have a reason to battle at all? Is it for...me...?
Gold: Don't be stupid! Who's fighting for you? ...I've been thinking...the reason why I chose to battle... I can't say whom I'm fighting for...it's too mushy for me! But in my battles, I fight for myself! And I don't care if by fighting my own battles, I end up helping people. If you've benefited from my selfish acts, then so be it. Silver, Crys, after meeting you guys...I've been able to travel to different places, meet different people. We've had our share of battles, and it's been really fun...I've enjoyed myself!
Would Hurt a Child / Would Hit a Girl: Generally, nobody has problem smacking anyone else down, regardless of who that person is if s/he is in the way of saving/destroying the world.
Year Outside, Hour Inside: According to Juan, zigzagged with Mirage Island, but played straight while Ruby and Sapphire are unconscious on it. Three days pass by on the island and three weeks in the real world.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Out of all the 'Dex Holders, only Crystal and Platinum have unnaturally dark blue hair. Aside from the rest of the cast, there's Wallace, Claire, Brawly, Riley and other characters that also have unnaturally colored hair.
You're Insane!: Yellow says screams this to Lance at the end of her saga.
Lance:This was my object from the beginning—to take control of this Pokémon! To ride the one that no one has ever been able to tame!
Yellow:Turn that Pokémon against the world...?! No! You can't! LANCE, IT'S INSANE!!