True Pokémon fans will know that the franchise is a lot more than just the video games and the anime series. Namely, the Pokémon franchise has a lot of different products. Although not as popular as most other products of the franchise, several manga series have also been produced as part of the global Pokémon brand. The manga usually follow different protagonist in adventures similar to those of Ash Ketchum in the anime or the unnamed protagonists of the video games. In this article, we are going to rank the 10 best Pokémon manga you can buy.
1. Pokémon Adventures
Original Run: March 1997 – present
Number of Volumes: 61
The main character, Red, is a young boy who is quite presumptuous about his ability to train Pokémon. However, he will open his eyes after a crushing defeat against the legendary Pokémon Mew. He will then meet Professor Oak who will give him a Bulbasaur. He will travel through Kanto to become the best trainer, but also to fulfill the mission entrusted to him.
The professor has indeed asked him to capture all the Pokémon in order to complete the Pokédex, an electronic encyclopedia intended to contain information on all Pokémon. But the scientist’s grandson, Blue, is also trying to complete a Pokédex, and therefore serves as Red’s first rival. On the other hand, Red must also fight against Team Rocket, an organization of Pokémon thieves using them for unscrupulous purposes.
2. Pokémon Black and White
Original Run: July 5, 2011 – February 3, 2015
Number of Volumes: 9
Pokémon Trainer Black meets White, a Pokémon Trainer who runs a growing talent agency for performing Pokémon. Will Black catch show biz fever too? Meanwhile, mysterious Team Plasma is urging everyone to release their beloved Pokémon into the wild! What are they thinking?! All your favorite Pokémon game characters jump out of the screen into the pages of this action-packed manga!
Meet Pokémon Trainer Black! His entire life Black has dreamed of winning the Pokémon League… Now he embarks on a journey to explore the Unova region and fill a Pokédex for Professor Juniper. Time for Black’s first Pokémon Trainer battle ever! Meet Pokémon Trainer White! Her entire life White has dreamed of making it in show biz. Now she runs a thriving talent agency for performing Pokémon. Will she make her favorite Pokémon, Tepig Gigi, into a star?
What will happen when Black and White cross paths with each other…and then with mysterious Team Plasma? (Official Syopsis)
3. Pokémon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu
Original Run: April 1997 – December 1999
Number of Volumes: 4
The story is closer to cartoons than video games. There are many stories from different episodes collected in one chapter, but some other details are left out. For example, during the passage to Mt. Moon, Ash is alone, since Brock and Misty have remained in their respective arenas, and Seymour (episode 6) is absent, replaced by Professor Oak and Bill.
Team Rocket doesn’t appear until much later, and isn’t present during Lara Laramie’s race (episode 33), and Ash is the only one in the race. Ash goes through all of Kanto in the first 2 volumes and participates in the Pokémon League in the 3rd. Like in the cartoon, he loses to a new friend (Richie) and leaves for the Orange Archipelago in the 4th. He also participates in the league he wins.
4. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Ginji’s Rescue Team
Original Run: December 2005 – October 2006
Number of Volumes: 1
Ginji is a young boy who wakes up as a Torchic in a Pokémon world. Helped by Gobou, a very fearful Pokémon, he forms a rescue team, in order to save the Pokémon from earthquakes which occur throughout the region and more and more often. Together, they face Électhor in order to go see Xatu, accompanied by Gengar, and find out what happened to Ginji.
He tells them that a dark future awaits him. A legend tells that a young boy touched the tail of a Fenard, and that this one cursed him. The boy’s friend, a Gardevoir, stepped in and sacrificed herself. When Feunard asked the boy if he wanted to help his friend, the human ran away. Feunard then launches the prediction that the human would reincarnate 1000 years later in Pokémon and would try to destroy the world.
Ectoplasma then begins to tell everyone that the human in question is Ginji, including Sulfura and Articuno, whom Ginji and Gobou (who gains confidence in his abilities as the adventure progresses) come across while going seek explanations from Feunard. They’re aided by Absol, who knows what it’s like to have unfounded rumors that push others aside, due to its status as a Disaster Pokémon.
When Ginji and Gobou finally arrive near Feunard’s lair, they are attacked by the team formed by Charizard, Tyranitar and Alakazam, who believe what Gengar has told them. It takes Feunard’s intervention to stop them. This one reveals to them that the human in whom we cannot trust has reincarnated in Ectoplasm, and that this one intends to destroy the world by awakening Groudon.
Its awakening is at the origin of the earthquakes. Ginji then leaves with Gobou, the Alakazam team and everyone in the Pokémon Village to defeat Groudon and stop Gengar. The fight against the legendary Pokémon is titanic, and it is defeated thanks to a combined attack of all the Pokémon, including Gengar, who understood that it was necessary to help its friends when seeing Gobou protect it from a landslide due to an attack of Groudon.
Ginji wakes up at home, human. He told himself that it was all just a dream. He then finds the first aider badge that Gobou had given him. He then thinks that the latter must be helping Pokémon. He takes the badge, attaches it to his satchel and runs to school.
5. Magical Pokémon Journey
Original Run: July 1997 – February 2003
Number of Volumes: 10
The protagonist of the manga is Hazel (Hazel in English, Maron in the original version), in love with the coach Almond (Almond). The girl wants to conquer the young man through a love potion created by her grandfather. In return, the latter wants her niece to catch all existing Pokémon. Hazel then decides to start her adventure in the world of Pokémon with the help of a Pikachu. The story of the manga is not inspired by that of video games.
6. Pocket Monsters RéBURST
Original Run: March 9, 2011 – October 10, 2012
Number of Volumes: 8
The story follows the adventures of Ryouga, a boy from a small village whose only desire is to find the mysterious Arcades. Together with him will join Miruto, a girl who is investigating the mysterious organization GG (Great Gavel), and Yappy, who has the desire to become the greatest journalist in the world and who will initially betray the protagonists several times. GG will be a great enemy for the duration of the story, as Ryouga has an original Burst Heart, a stone that allows the boy to merge with a Pokémon.
7. Pokémon Zensho
Original Run: April 1998
Number of Volumes: 1
Satoshi is a young man with the dream of being a Pokémon master, for this reason, he goes in search of wild Pokémon but, not having a companion Pokémon, is attacked by a group of Pidgey and Rattata. Professor Ookido makes a timely appearance of him saving the young man and invites him to his lab.
Once there, Satoshi and his future rival Shigeru choose their respective starter Pokémon; the protagonist chooses Charmander and as expected Shigeru chooses Squirtle. Both trainers have their first battle and receive their Pokédexes.
After this everyone goes on their journey to get the gym medals. Along the way Satoshi must deal with the evil Team/Team Rocket and go through various obstacles. The story ends when the main characters go to face Mewtwo but not before having defeated the High Command.
8. Pokémon Pocket Monsters
Original Run: November 1996 – April 2003
Number of Volumes: 14
The manga follows Red, a young boy who competes with a rival, Green, to complete the Illustrated Pokémon Encyclopedia/Pokédex and become the Pokémon Master. In this manga, Pokémon are capable of human speech. A Pippi/Clefairy is believed to be the main character, though she is only a follower of Red.
He is obnoxious but adorable, and his big mouth sometimes gets him into trouble. Surprisingly, he comes up with some clever ideas to help Red and Pikachu. In the early manga, Red’s team only consists of Pikachu and Pippi/Clefée. However, Red also later gains a valuable companion in Tyrogue. Pikachu itself cannot speak.
The story also moves to the Johto region, where Red is introduced to coaches Gold and Silver, apparently based on the characters from the video game. The story then shifts to Hoenn in the final volume where Red considers getting an Achamo/Torchic and quitting Pippi/Clefairy. After that, the story continues as Pokémon Ruby-Sapphire, starting with volume number 1.
9. Pokémon Gotta Catch ‘Em All
Original Run: 1999
Number of Volumes: 5
The story is that of Shū, who, like Ash in the cartoon, is a 10-year-old boy who decides to leave his mother to go on a great journey into the world of Pokémon. His goal is to complete his Pokédex. At first he is alone, then, while exploring a forest struck by lightning, he discovers an abandoned Pokéball containing a strong-willed Pikachu, which becomes his best Pokémon and friend.
Shū has in his possession a kind of headset with microphone called a translator given to him by his missing father, which is supposed to allow him to understand and communicate with all Pokémon (in short, he understands what they say despite the that they can only say their name). Unfortunately, since he doesn’t know how to use it well, Pikachu is the only Pokémon he can talk to.
Shū and Pikachu therefore leave for a wonderful adventure, despite their frequent disagreements and disputes for a yes and for a no, but everything always works out, with humor and friendship. On their way, they will meet Shū’s father (Sacha never had the chance to meet his) who will explain to them why he was absent almost all of Shū’s life: he was looking for Mew.
10. Pokémon Horizon
Original Run: February 28, 2017 – September 7, 2020
Number of Volumes: 2
Akira, a young boy from Professor Spurge’s family comes to see him in Alola during the holidays. There he meets a particular Rockruff, wearing a strange stone around his neck. On the advice of Professor Euphorbe, he decides to carry out the Tour of the Islands.
He will be accompanied by Mana, a young girl with a Brindibou. Together, they will cross paths with Team Kings, a criminal organization wishing to dominate the world, and Tokio, a charismatic and mysterious Trainer.