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Manga Review: Pokemon Black and White – Volume Nine by Hidenori Kusaka

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Pokemon Black and White Volume Nine is a manga based on the Pokemon Black and Pokemon White 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 2013. Pokemon Black and White is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Volume Nine begins with Black and White heading their separate ways and going on their own adventures. The volume opens with Black on his way to Driftveil City, but is unable to get there due to a bridge malfunction. Black learns there’s more going on than a simple bridge malfunction, and finds himself tangled up in a Pokemon battle.

Meanwhile, White is on the Battle Subway, where she’s training in order to try to improve her skills for Pokemon battles. While she’s on the subway, White finds a stowaway who claims to write books about Pokemon. During their ride, legendary Pokemon appear, and it’s revealed the writer is more than simply just a writer.

The volume ends with Black arriving in Driftveil City and running into his friend, Cheren. The two friends find themselves caught up in a battle with Team Plasma, the antagonists of the series who believe in liberating Pokemon.

Story-wise, what I read in Volume Nine is essentially the type of stories I have come to expect from the Pokemon Black and White manga series. It was also nice to see Team Plasma show up again during this volume, because I do like the idea of an antagonist group thinking they’re fighting for a cause like Pokemon liberation. Unfortunately, at this point in the series, I don’t think that Team Plasma is utilized as much as they should be in order for this motivation to be as strong as it should be. I keep hoping that Team Plasma will have a bigger role to play as the series progresses.

Probably my favorite portion of this volume is the story that takes place on the Battle Subway. I thought I had an idea who the writer was really affiliated with, but I was surprised when I discovered that my guess was wrong. While I think the three Legendary Pokemon that appear in this portion of the story are a little on the ridiculous side, I liked the overall execution of that storyline.

And to me, the weakest portion of the volume was the story about the bridge; in the long run, it doesn’t appear to add anything important for the series. Perhaps I will discover later on that there was more significance to that storyline than there currently appears to be on the surface.

If you’re a Pokemon fan who has enjoyed the previous eight volumes of Pokemon Black and White, I think you’ll also enjoy Pokemon Black and White Volume Nine.

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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.