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Manga Review: Pokemon Adventures Volume 13 by Hidenori Kusaka

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Pokemon Adventures Volume 13 is a manga based on the Pokemon video games. The manga was written by Hidenori Kusaka, and the art was done by Satoshi Yamamoto. Viz Media released this manga in North America through its VizKids imprint in 2011. This series is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Volume 13 continues the “Gold & Silver” arc of Pokemon Adventures. The main focus of this volume is the gym leader exhibition that was called together by the Pokemon Association, where the gym leaders from the Kanto region are battling with the gym leaders from the Johto region. On the surface, it appears to be just a fun event being done for the fans. However, after discovering metal from a gym leader badge after a battle Gold had with the masked man, the Pokemon Association is using the tournament as a way for Gold to try to identify who the masked man is.

In addition to the tournament, we also find out what happened to Yellow after she disappeared. We also see some more answers as to what Silver has been up to.  Also in this volume, we also finally see what happened to the character of Red through a flashback that Sabrina has; Red basically hasn’t been seen since Volume Nine, so it was nice to finally learn what had happened to him.

From the storytelling in this volume, it’s pretty obvious that this storyline is winding down. While there are still some big secrets left to be revealed, there are some minor revelations made over the course of this volume. While the primary focus of this volume is on the battles between the gym leaders, it’s still an interesting read; if this volume hadn’t started winding down the story, I’m sure the focus on the battles would have felt a little more tedious.

The art in this volume of Pokemon Adventures is consistent with the previous volumes in the series that Yamamoto has illustrated. Since the focus of this volume is on the gym leaders battling each other, there’s a lot of emphasis on “busy” action panels and “sound effects.” There also seems to be a focus on shocked reactions throughout this volume, due to people being surprised by what they see in the gym leader battles or by information that gets revealed.

There is one particular panel in the battles that stands out to me for being one of the best drawn panels I’ve seen in this series. On page 130, Erika is in her gym battle. The petals from her Bellossom are using petal dance, and the petals are floating around her. The expression on Erika’s face, Erika’s hair moving in the wind, the petals floating around her, and the framing of the panel combine together in such a way that it attracts the reader’s eye.

If you’re a fan of the Pokemon games and have read and enjoyed the Pokemon Adventures manga series prior to this point, you won’t be disappointed by what happens in this volume.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.