Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Pokemon Adventures Red/ Green/ Blue Arc: It's Kanto as you always imagined it

I hope you like Pokemon, because you're going to see a lot of it in the next few months. So to kick start the spa... I mean content, lets take a look at a part of the franchise that, while it gets more attention then some, its nowhere near as known as the main three, being the games, TCG and anime. The franchise has had several Manga incarnations, but the one that many bring up is Pokemon Adventures. I get the feeling some are going "But its the first of the month, why is this not a comic review?!" To answer that, its pretty simple. I see comics and manga the same way as I see western animation and anime, in that they're basically the same except for a few changes. The main differences between them? Manga are normally longer then standard comic books, in that Manga are almost small novel sized, where as comics, before getting their complete arc releases, tend to be no bigger then a magazine, being generous. Manga also tends to mimic the anime art style, but to my knowledge, primarily stay black and white, in that there is no colour in them outside of the front and back covers. Are there more differences? Yes, but most of them are culture based. Yes US, there are more countries in the world then yours, or was the .au in the web address for this site not enough of a clue? I know I don't talk with an auzzie bogan accent but still.

One other thing I should point out, as this will save me a lot of headaches, clarification, and double ups later down the line. This person here, from the image below:

I'm going to be referring to him as Blue, and this girl:

I could not find a decent enough size of the official image this is based on. Link to the original artwork can be found here:
As Green. Why? Because there was a localization "error", and depending on who you talk to, Blue is Green and Green is Blue. I should also note for those who don't know the development history of Gen 1, a quick summary (and feel free to read this in an intentional speed until the end of the ""): "In japan, the first two games in the series was Red and Green, with a third Blue version serving as the G1 equivalent of Crystal, Emerald and Platinum, featuring updated sprite work and stability coming later. This third version being what Pokemon Red and Blue were based on in the localization process, hence why Blue in Japan is called Green. On top of that, early concept art shows that Green was planned to be in Generation 1, and was most likely cut due to development issues, as such she was brought into the main games in 2004 with the release of Fire Red and Leaf Green, where she was given the name "Leaf"". Thankfully this is the only time I need to do this, as the later arcs are no longer synced (in terms of English dub) with the release of the games, so much so that according to Bulbapedia, we're still on X and Y. Don't worry, this'll be the last time I bring this up, but this isn't the last time we'll see Red, Blue and Green. See:
This is from the ORAS arc for the record

So what's the plot of the story? Well, basically the plot of Red/Blue with more detail. Overall it sticks close to the story, focusing on Red's journey through Kanto, with detours to give attention to characters like Blue, Green and more, taking out the 8 gyms, defeating Team Rocket, becoming the champion, just like the games. Well, there is more. Things like Blaine being the one to make Mewtwo, which thanks to using his DNA gives him a bond with Mewtwo, akin to Ash Greninja in the anime (maybe someday). Other noteworthy changes include Team Rocket actually being a threat... but still lose to other teams, including the Elite 4 (wait until I get to Yellow). Lt. Surge, Koga and Sabrina are members of Team Rocket, Green existing in the first place and... lets just say she know how to get what she wants... not in that kind of way! The other major change, kinda, is the concept of the "Pokedex holders". In the Adventures universe, to give a reason for why you in the games are given an encyclopedia that is full in every other version of the franchise, a Pokedex is only given to a trainer who is very gifted in a particular aspect of Pokemon, both in games and in this universe.Here, Red is known as the Fighter, as he excels in Pokemon battles (probably from being the player character), Blue is known as the Trainer, as he excels in training Pokemon, knowing how to raise them for battle, just not the bigger battle picture. Green is known as the Evolver, excelling in knowledge in how to evolve Pokemon. Are there more? How many main series games are there? Of course there's more!
Sad thing is, to some fans, that panel in the bottom left corner would be the most material they've ever seen Misty wear, and the first time out of her gym, and the first time she hasn't been wearing swimwear. Feeling old yet generation 1 fans?

The plot itself is enjoyable, with the enjoyment coming from how similar, yet different it is from the games. Considering how bare bones most Pokemon games are, this feels like an extension on how the story of Pokemon Generation 1 would play out if it had more detail, if it could flesh out characters, all of which are entertaining. Visuals wise, most of my potential issues with it aren't with the manga, but manga itself. Manga relies more on shading then colour, as the main book doesn't use colour which while it looks nice, the lack of colour can be a issue. The only way its an issue for me is that I can't help but wonder what it would be like if coloured, as this could look beautiful. I'm not going to compare this to the ORAS page, this was done in 1997, that's like comparing Transformers Generation 1 to RID 2015. I'm fine with how it is, I just can't help but wonder. For now, I need to finish 06. On twitter at the link here ( you can find a poll for a potential "marathon". Want to see more of Adventures quickly, or not, please vote here, as voting ends next Tuesday night. And for Sunday (Yes I will go back to that), lets blitz through the rest of Combiner Wars, now that Titans Return is out, lets just get Sky Reign out of the way.

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