Friday, May 16, 2008

Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure! Vol. 1

Story and Art by Shigekatsu Ihara
Released in the US by Vizkids

Slugline: It's Pokémon, it delivers exactly what you expect.

Much like porn, all-ages titles have a slightly different set of review criteria simply because you can't expect subtle characterization or complicated plotlines. Not to say if one managed to accomplish I would give it a lot of credit (and the corresponding stars.) So three stars here means slightly different than it would a typical teen romance manga, which is how well it succeeds as an all-ages title.

Okay, now that I have that out of the way, feral child Hareta that has been raised in the wild with Pokémon and who considers them his friends has been convinced to go look for a legendary Pokémon, Dialga. The professor that has been keeping an eye on Hareta has given this mission, and assigned one of his assistants, Mitsumi to go with him. Hareta has as his main Pokémon Piplup, a prideful Pokémon that Hareta eventually convinces to ally with him and they have to continually face the challenges of Team Galactic, a group of selfish Pokémon trainers who want to capture Pokémon for their own purposes.

Like the slugline says, this is Pokémon, so you can say that the plot is basically predetermined. We have a boy trainer, a girl sidekick, a slightly older trainer and their Pokémon traveling the world, facing off against a nefarious team and gym trainers from cities with dubious names. That being said, within that framework, everything it solidly constructed and it works as a Pokémon story. If you even watched a commercial for the show, you know what you are getting and it fulfills that expectation. The art is straightforward and depicts things clearly, even in the midst of the action scenes. So it is a good first or early manga, but if one wants to show off some of the more creative or offbeat stuff that manga is capable off, something else would be better.

- Ferdinand

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