I would be lying if I said that Pokemon Special is the greatest shonen manga series ever written. It's a simple, straightforward enough story with common plots and themes, as well as occasional pacing problems due to it having to keep up with the long-running video game franchise it's based off of and having quite possibly the most complicated magazine release ever (and that part isn't an exaggeration). There are plenty of other Pokemon manga out there that have been written and released over the years, with more to come. And of course, there's the anime. So what does this particular take of the Pokemon games have to offer to anyone? A world filled to the brim with badassery, characters worth being emotionally attached to, competent bad guys, competent good guys, girls who can kick ass just as well as the guys, a unique take on the Mon battling system where humans are allowed, even expected, to fight alongside said Mons, and continuity in which everything/one is important and remembered (whether short-term or long-term, and when I say long-term, I mean long-term), all written by one guy who clearly loved playing through every aspect of the games and wanted to show them off as much as he could in his own, um, special way. This series is fun, plain and simple. I can read this and enjoy it so much that I don't feel ashamed for indulging in what is mostly labeled as being part of a children's franchise. I can read the older chapters and bask in my childhood nostalgia. I can read the more recent chapters and see that the franchise still has new and exciting things to offer. I can read through this entire thing, from Gen 1 to the current, feel rewarded for sticking with it the whole time, and know that there is still more to come. Even if you don't play Pokemon games, you can still possibly enjoy this series, but if you have played the games and loved them, you're in for a real treat.
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