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Manga Review: Pokemon Black and White Volume Seven by Hidenori Kusaka

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Pokemon Black and White Volume Seven 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 2012. Pokemon Black and White is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Volume Seven begins with Black and White trying to travel on Route 4, but they’re having trouble due to a sandstorm. Black encounters a man who is a casino dealer that also has a talent for Pokemon battles; after spending some time with him, Black realizes who he is. When the man asks to battle with him and make a wager, Black ends up becoming so stressed that he passes out. Unfortunately, the mystery man gets away before Black awakens.

After this, Black and White are in Nimbasa City, where White is finally working on the upcoming Pokemon musical. During rehearsals, Black meets Elesa, the Nimbasa City Gym Leader; she’s helping out with the show. The major story elements at this point in the story focus on White as she’s getting everything ready for the musical, and Black having a Gym Battle with Elesa.

After Team Plasma got a lot of focus on Volume Six, the group almost entirely vanishes in Volume Seven. Their main appearance is during the first story in this volume, when Black and White are traveling on Route 4. Compared to Team Rocket in the first Pokemon Adventures manga series, Team Plasma doesn’t seem to be quite as important since they show up in Pokemon Black and White so inconsistently.

When I read this volume, I was glad to finally see an emphasis put on the Pokemon musical, since it had been referenced for at least two volumes prior to this one. While I was glad to reach that point, I noticed that there were a couple of significant time skips in this volume in order to reach that point. While there may have been time skips in some of the previous volumes, there were at least two in this one; in some respects, this made Volume Seven feel a little rushed.

The first story in this volume felt a little forced. It seemed to me that it was there more to introduce a particular character than it was to truly progress the plot. This is the story where Team Plasma makes an appearance, but it was never made clear what Team Plasma was truly trying to accomplish during their appearance in this volume.

After the quality of this series had gone back up with Volume Six, I was a little disappointed with how Volume Seven turned out. However, with the ending of Volume Seven being what it is, there’s potential for Volume Eight to be better. Here’s hoping that Volume Eight lives up to that potential.

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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.