Reviews: Pokemon Special
It's sadly not that good
I'll admit, Pokespe IS good. Memorable characters, almost nonstop action, and takes plenty of liberties with the source material. The problem is that there are still flaws in and around those concepts. Though to keep short I'll just be deconstructing/nitpicking the above three points. 1: Deadpan, Polyanna, Runt, Simple, Neutral, Hero Archetype, Aloof, Ojou, Witty, Magnificently Domineering, Tsundere, Camp, Hyper, Wild, and Determinedly Protective. What I've done here is sort the main protagonists up to the BW arc randomly via a description of how best I could sum up their character traits. If you were to match them up with the proper protagonists, even if you got some wrong, you'd probably be at least 60% correct no matter what if you've read the manga all the way through. Unfortunately, the fact is that these personas usually end up whitewashed into "generic shonen hero" once arc climaxes start, and that even then, apart from comic relief characters like Dia's Munchlax and the 7 Pikaclones, there is no reflection of personality in the Pokemon that do all the real fighting for them. Of course, this is a flaw of Mon series to begin with, but let's move on. 2: Nonstop action might keep the story from seeming slow-paced, but when there's never any time for characters to relax and expand, the repetiveness of Monster of the Week battles ends up boring and predictable. 3: Kusaka is an excellent madman. Creating subtle hints to future game content, and forging actual characters for protagonists other than stereotyped shonen heroes can be compelling. Yet he can tend to get a little ridiculous and annoying about this. Celebi/Shaymin ex Machina? An unexplained Hive Mind Team Galactic? Turning N into Light Yagami? A Dracula reference with magical powers, hidden agendas, and possession of Darkrai? Small, strange deviations like that can turn off a fan of the source material faster than you'd think it does, people. All in all, it's stuff like that that's made me lose hope in Pokespe. I'll still read it, but only because I'm committed to it, and because I have nothing better to do with my free time. All criticisms and/or insults of my opinion (For example: "What did you expect from a story based on Pokemon?!") are welcome.
Giving You A Story
One could argue the reason why this Manga is likable is because as fan of the series it brings a new dimension and interpretation of the series. Could argue that itís a typical Shonen manga with Pokemon added on it and one could argue that this is the main drive for those who read it You would be right. And itís absolutely fantastic What this series does for itself is essentially give each of the character personality; it gives them their own stories and Character Development. It gives character to those than in the games had little to no personality and truly makes me invested in everything they do and how they evolve and develop. Each of these character are the hero or the villains of their own story and each of their stories are interesting in their own way. And for a game series that was pretty static and low in terms of story telling, the fact that this came along really made Pokemon all the more likable for me Sorry if I sound like Iím gushing about it, but I have so very little problems with this all around good tale that made me even more interested in a part of my childhood
Worth every bit of it
This is the only Pokemon manga, other than Pocket Monsters, that has managed to come so far, starting from the RB arc all the way into the recent BW arc. And it has been a wonderful journey. Rather than focusing on one person's story alone, Hidenori Kusaka provides insight into every single character that gets his/her spotlight in their game arc. Everyone, even the gym leaders and the elite four, have their own shining moment, and someone will definitely be pleased to see their favourite NPC as a recurring character to the plot. The best part of it would be the little easter eggs throughout the whole series. For someone that has played the Pokemon Games, you can recognise familiar scenery that your player character has travelled through, and see the characters of Pokemon Special go through those same ridges, cross those bridges, talk to that familiar musician sitting at the cafe, and so on. It's all in there. You can tell the author has worked hard to implement these little things into the manga to make it connect towards the gameverse, and that he's loving every bit of it. It's not hard to love this series even you don't play the games or watch the anime. But for those that do. It's very entertaining to see the regions, routes, characters, and pokemon you love so much appear in this wonderfully illustrated manga, and I really cannot recommend it enough. Because no matter how long the pokemon series stretches, no matter how many pokemon and people are created for this franchise, you can be sure that this manga is going to live on and make us laugh and smile for years to come.
A fun ride!
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.
Worth checking into
Who didn't love the anime when it first came out and in its peak of the Pokemon hype? Unfortunately, a lot of us has gotten bored with it for the simple reason that nothing has really changed since then. Hence, why I love this series. With every new region the focus changes to new characters, ensuring that we'll never get bored with any of them. Nobody's a carbon copy of another, not to mention for most of them, all of them have different goals so that we'll be given a new story each time. All the characters eventually grow and mature, not to mention actually age. Not only that, nearly every aspect in the games is referenced to, really connecting you to the games, but at the same time, the plot line will divirge so that we are kept guessing to where it's going to go next. The action's fluid and creative, and at times I'm really amazed what some of the Pokemon here can do without seeming like an asspull. If someone beats another, it's usually because it's a battle of wit rather than brute strength. All in all, Pokemon Special is a great series for its plot and connection to the games.