I’ve always wondered what manga was and looked like. I decided to get Pokemon diamond and pearl volume one to start off my collection. I was amazed. I didn’t realize how beautiful the artwork could be or how entertaining it would be to read. It’s way better than a comic book.
The front cover is phenomenal. The illustrations of the Pokemon are almost life-like and the characters are unique. Each chapter is separated by a great looking page that has a picture of the main character, Hareta, and his Pokemon, Piplup. The story is pretty interesting, so I won’t go into to much detail. It has nothing to do with the anime or characters in the anime (except the gym leaders) and it follows its own storyline. All I’ll say is it’s a laugh a minute and once you start reading, you won’t want to stop! The characters all have their own back stories and each character has a different and quite amusing personality. Hareta is a jungle-boy who has spent most of his time in the jungle with Pokemon. He can communicate with them even though some don’t listen to him. He is rather un-educated however, and he tends to not know an awful lot about technology. He doesn’t really know how to work a poke-ball and he is not used to wearing normal clothes. The other characters are interesting too as they all play their part in the story in some way.
Pokemon battles look fluid and you can tell that the illustrator took a lot of time and effort drawing them. They look better than in the anime. There are lots of random sound effects and they tend to fit well for the situation. I was not sure how to read the manga at first as it is not like normal comics. It is read back to front, from right to left, the Japanese way. The book includes a bonus section with snapshots of the various Pokemon and it has some advertisements about other Pokemon books.
I do have to talk about some of the bad things for this to be a fair review. Some of the inking is a little messed up and sometimes the story rushes ahead to quickly. There are a small amount of boring parts but there is not a lot of text so the story flows most of the time. There are points where the story is predictable and parts where you can’t wait to find out what happens next. Seeing how the characters react to situations is an added bonus, I just wish that they would take themselves seriously sometimes.
I highly recommend the book to any Pokemon or manga fan as I think it is well worthwhile. It is very cheap on Amazon and it has received many positive reviews. All in all it takes around one or one and half hours to read it and it is very re-readable. Pick up a copy as soon as you can!