10-year-old Satoshi, after finding a Pikachu messing with the wiring in his house, is on a journey to become the greatest Pokemon Master and to beat out his rival, Shigeru. Along the way, he meets with many other Pokemon trainers and advisors, including water-based trainer (and gym leader) Kasumi, ground- and rock-based trainer (and gym leader) Takeshi, and others.
Dengeki! Pikachu was published in English as The Electric Tale of Pikachu by Viz Media, first in sampler editions included with home video releases of Pokemon, then as sixteen monthly issues, from November 1998 to February 2000 and, finally, in four volumes, from September 5, 1999 to August 10, 2000.
Aside from the home video samplers, the first two chapters were released in a collection entitled Special Signature Edition Red Version, included with a Pokemon Video Suitcase promotional set.
At the time of its release, the first volume was the best-selling manga and best-selling comic book of any type in the United States.
Funny story about this one; Many people will say that you must have watched the Anime to understand the manga adaptation, otherwise you will be lost. I came into this read expecting to know nothing and get nothing, because I had not been a watcher of the show in my child years and knew only a few bits and pieces from what I had managed to tune into; I was more familiar with the games.
And yet, out of the all the Pokemon manga, this one turned out my favorite (Special fans, please don't stone me).
Story: For a comic that was supposed to be an
adaptation of a show, EToP does an excellent job of holding itself without any support, even sprinkling in plenty of game references but standing perfectly well alone. The storyline flows on a more episodic, "Day in the life of-" structure rather then having an over-arching plot of epic length like it's more popular other, so there is only very basic continuity between the chapters; This works so that you can crack open any of the shorts and read a complete story with a solid beginning, middle and end. The stories themselves vary in tone, you read an emotional and touching chapter first and be immediately followed up by over-the-top silliness, or you can get everything in the same chapter- some silliness here, then an action scene and some drama and even darkness, followed by mood and emotion before turning back to silliness. This can be done with just as equal variation in quality- sometimes these chapters work, the mood flowing very easily throughout with no bumps in the road; Other times the transitions feel awkward and out-of-place, taking you out of the story- which unfortunately detracts a point. There also moments of "Tell, and not show-" that is, things happen off-screen that are explained rather than shown, which is where you start remembering that this is an adaptation, and doesn't fit in with the rest of the series that tries to tell it's own story with no outside help, and that takes off another point. The pacing itself is sometimes good here, and then rushed there, and going back-and-forth between the two but mostly staying on the better side of things.
One of the highlights of EToP, for me at least, is the world-building, which stands out as unique in the whole of the Pokemon franchise. The author really outdid himself trying to establish this near-future environment with hover-vehicles, advanced machinery and Pokedexs that act like holographic smartphones. This manga also dives into explaining things like "Trainer's leave"- an official school break that gives young trainers time to journey with their Pokemon in the league before returning to their studies, back-stories on places and events, and snippets into the biology of the monsters themselves. All of these seemingly minor details work to breath life into this comic, making it that much more engaging as a story.
Story overall: 8
Art: Ono's art is regarded as being one of the best, if not the best, of the Pokemanga. And it is true- his semi-realistic portrayal of Pokemon, especially that infamous Gyarados and Haunter, is one-of-a-kind among the licensed products. He attempts to keep his characters in very dynamic poses, in ways that are fun to watch as well as keeping the story flowing clearly. This makes the action scenes, when they happen, to come across as exciting and engaging, even the cute and cuddly Pikachu is drawn as a hissing beast when the scene requires it. Among the things that are great about the art are the backgrounds and designs- the panels are usually drawn with some sort of background illustration that, like I explained above, give the story it's identity. The designs vary between futuristic or cultural, all interesting in their own right, and it makes the world feel big and expansive.
However, Ono's anatomy can sometimes get odd-looking; And I'm not talking about the fan-service, everybody knows about that and frankly, I don't care. His Pokemon illustration sometimes change appearance in an inconsistent manner unlike the one described above- eyes and body types can be drawn in either the stylized style of Ono and then change abruptly to the simplified style more reminiscent of Ken Sugimori's official art, within the span of a single page! This may not be a big deal to some, but I found it a bit jarring, and for that am I forced to take off a point.
Art overall: 9
Character: This one is a bit spotty. On one hand, the reoccurring characters with the exception of Ash don't receive much development at all, remaining the same throughout the story. On the other, this works due to the episodic nature of the series and the fact that it takes place mostly from a third-person viewpoint of Ash, meaning the rest of the characters are not as important and do not need development, being entertaining enough to be enjoyable and memorable as they are.
Ash's development from bratty, bumbling novice trainer into a competent battler with a fair knowledge of tactics is rather realistic and even somewhat subtle, with Ash slowly maturing but retaining his personality enough to be a good protagonist. The rest of the characters are one-shot, hit-and-miss types, so when you have a chapter with good and funny characters, you also get those that grate on your nerves. A good cast, but I think a full 10 wouldn't really be fitting.
Characters overall: 9
Enjoyment: Shortest review of all: This series knows what it wants to be: A fun read that tugs at heartstrings, tugs at nightmares or draws a laugh from the audience. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but the pros outweigh the cons enough to give this category a full score.
Dengeki Pikachu is based off the Pokemon Anime, but with a handful of twists that, in my opinion, make it more enjoyable.
One of my favorite things about Dengeki Pikachu is that the author makes it more "realistic". By that I mean Ash has to pass a test to get his trainer's license, going to school is discussed, and the more "technical" aspects of being a trainer are further explained.
Also, the artwork is more realistic. Pidgeotoo looks much more like a bird, and Butterfree looks a lot more like a real butterfly
The characters are developed more than they are in the anime. Its still
Pokemon so you can't expect too much, but by Pokemon standards, its pretty good.
Gary and Ash have a lot more interaction in this manga as well. Gary has a sister which is a source of comic relief (on Ash's part)
Overall its pretty funny and interesting. Misty and Brock don't always travel with Brock either, letting Ash do a bit more developing on his own.
The first 3 sets of 4 each volumes take place on Ash's journey in Kanto and the last 2 issues of the 3rd volume is the closure of the first season of the cartoon. However, volume 4 contains Ash's journey, also in its own way, through the orange islands, aka season 2.
All of the story is unique and has a fresh look at the Pokemon world. Ash however does not necessarily catch the same pokemon and also does not use the same tools nor training methods as used in the cartoon. Although he still uses a Pokedex, it looks much more futuristic as does a
lot of the world in the storyline.
It is a great read, if you can find a copy of the comic that is.
A good addition to any collection or for any fan whether they are just starting out or an old-time fan. You don't need to know anything about Pokemon to be able to understand this manga.
There is also a more in-depth story line than the one presented in the anime that not only makes connections to the real world, like talking about school and how there is a test to get one's license to become a Pokemon Trainer, but also a more in-depth look at the Pokemon world as a whole and more detailed information on how everything works.
It is a twist on the anime
that delves a little deeper into both the reality, making it easier to connect to our world, and the technology of that world itself.
In anime, we often see characters with their eyes closed. despite the fact that they aren't blind. Which leaves us with the question: why? Does this look have any symbolism? Let’s learn more about this famous anime trope and get to know some anime characters who made it popular!
The song says “Gotta catch’em all”, but not all Pokemon can be caught, especially when you are faced with the dilemma of two versions of the same game with different rare Pokemon for each (Pokemon X and Y). This is a question that can only be answered by taking a closer look at both games.