Review: POKEMON ADVENTURES Volume 3 Collector's Edition Bridges Two Regions

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VIZ Media sent me Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 3 earlier this month, and I’ve finally read it all. This volume contains volumes seven through nine of the original Pokémon Adventures manga. This includes the final chapter of Yellow’s adventure and the first two of Gold’s journey in Johto. It’s very interesting if you’re a fan of Pokémon, and I’d definitely recommend checking it out. I’m doing my best not to spoil any major story points, so it should be safe to read.

I struggled getting into Yellow’s adventure. It was very different and a bit too friendship-y for me at the start. As the story went on, it got better though. However, the final chapter (volume 7) really brings everything together and not only does it get better, it also works to connect all of the previous manga to the upcoming Johto journeys. We get to learn about what happened to Red, where Yellow came from, and also a bit about the past of a character I don’t want to spoil. This is definitely an instance of the conclusion of a story really giving fans some pay off.

Then, we head on over to Johto a year later and meet Gold. He’s a bit of a cocky punk and not the most lovable protagonist. He meets Joey (you know, the famous Youngster from the games with an amazing Rattata) and the two become fast friends. They go to help Professor Elm, but Silver is in the process of stealing Totodile. From then on, Gold goes around not only trying to bring Totodile back and get even with Silver, but also to work on a Pokedex for Professor Oak.

One brief thing I want to talk about is how Gold uses his Pokeballs. You see, he doesn’t always merely throw them. Instead he has a retractable pool cue that uses to move it around to strategic points. Was there a giant pool renaissance in the early 2000s that I just forgot about? Gold uses a pool cue, Merrick in Power Rangers Wild Force uses one as a weapon. I’m just saying.

The adventures in Johto are thankfully not a cookie cutter from the Kanto ones. Gold doesn’t seem as knowledgeable about Pokémon and the world as, say, Red and Blue, but he does want to grow. He’s traveling the world after Silver, but interestingly enough doesn’t seem to know or he doesn’t care about Gym Badges. We see him go through several towns and he doesn’t fight a single Gym Leader. We still meet several, but their role is not simply to be a Gym Leader. Speaking of Gym Leaders, we get to see a couple of Gym Leaders reach that rank, including Blue. At the moment, we also learn that Blue is the most recent Pokémon League Champion! It’s fun to see the throwbacks to the people in Kanto, and based on what we’ve read, there’s a lot more for all four of those characters to do.

Once again, my problem with the Collector’s Edition of the manga is that instead of grouping stories together, they’re simply doing 3 volumes each. This creates a less tidy experience for the reader. However, the more I read, the more connected I see the storylines become which means you’d probably have to keep buying them anyway to fully appreciate things.

If you’re a Pokémon fan, I would definitely recommend grabbing Pokémon Adventures Volume 3. It continues to tell interesting stories in the fan-favorite world. I know I cannot wait for Volume 4 to see where Gold and Silver go.

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