Monthly Archives: October 2012

EToP, Parts 9 and 10

Chapter 9: I’m Your Venusaur

I’m fairly certain that most of you have at least passing familiarity with the Pikachu shorts that air before the first six Pokémon movies (and now the Meloetta short attacked to the Keldeo movie.)  I’ve only seen one of them recently enough to talk about, and it’s “Pikachu and Pichu,” from “Spell of the Unown.”  It’s not exactly something that I would tell all my friends to watch, but you know what?  It’s a damn fun short film, with a lot of heart.  I always enjoy watching it, mostly because it’s got this air of childhood innocence that makes it impossible to hate.

“I’m Your Venusaur” does not.

Whether it’s due to Mr. Ono still getting used to the thirty-page format, or some error with the translation, or even due to it simply being an off week when Mr. Ono wrote it, this…  is really not good.  This was the only tankobon I had for some time, and it was gathering dust in a box in the basement for many years.  I’m lucky that I didn’t come in with my critic’s goggles on when I pulled it out to read again, otherwise I may not have bothered to find the first two.

The story starts with Ash, Misty, and Brock stopping in a small town to do odd jobs to fill their wallets out a bit.  Pikachu and Bulbasaur are off on a walk when they run into an Ivysaur that the comic describes as “one of Bulbasaur’s friends.”  The odds of this meeting seem rather unrealistic, given that it seems like the group only just arrived.

Their conversations are again dubbed into English, and the Ivysaur tells a story about the massive tree that the town seems to be built around.  Apparently, a Venusaur Lord (as the translation says) protected the townspeople, and the tree grew out of its body.  The Venusaur then moved to the top of the tree, and became a guardian spirit.  Bulbasaur tells him that he’s full of crap, and the two argue.  Ivysaur attempts to produce witnesses, but none of them are credible.

Cut to Team Rocket, who have also been told of the existence of the Guardian Venusaur.  They touch down in a hovercraft, but the branch it’s on flips it away the moment they’re no longer inside to weigh it down.

The next morning, Bulbasaur and Ivysaur still haven’t finished their argument, so Pikachu suggests that they just go and have a look for themselves.  Okay, good so far, but what I don’t get is how Pikachu acts surprised when they take him seriously.  Pikachu’s delivery of his line doesn’t seem sarcastic to me, but maybe I’m reading it wrong?

Anyway, Bulbasaur and Ivysaur begin to head up the tree.  After three pages of climbing, banter, climbing, Pikachu deciding that he wants to watch, climbing, old Venusaurs telling them that they should come back down before they hurt themselves, climbing, climbing, and more climbing, they finally reach the top of the tree.  They search around for the guardian spirit for some time, but come up empty-handed.  At least, until Ivyasur randomly comes across a large wooden Venusaur in the tree.  The sight strikes me as kind of ridiculous, and apparently the ‘saurs agree with me, as they instantly dissolve into laughter.  Bulbasaur mentions that he ought to ask it for a wish- in the instant before Team Rocket shows up again.

The battle is disappointingly short.  Weezing tries to eat Pikachu, Pikachu’s electricity ignites the gas within it, explosion, blast-off.  Yawn.

The resulting explosion also sends our heroes flying, though.  Pidgeotto saves Pikachu, but it can’t grab the ‘saurs.  As he falls, Bulbasaur makes that wish he mentioned earlier- for help.  A spontaneous flower bloom (and I do mean spontaneous- as in, there weren’t even buds there before) saves them.

That’s it.  That’s “I’m Your Venusaur.”

I understand the appeal of Pokémon-centric adventures.  It gives the franchise a chance to be more light-hearted, to take a break from the typical “to be a master”-type plotline, and just to relax after a multitude of battle episodes.  However, this isn’t how you do it.  This is a chapter about tree-climbing.

Let’s look at incredibly truncated summaries of some of the Pikachu shorts for why this is a problem.  Pikachu and Pichu- Pikachu encounters some Pichu who get him in potential trouble, hijinks ensue, happy ending.  Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure- Togepi gets lost, hijinks ensue, new Pokémon are revealed, happy ending.  Santa’s Little Helpers- It’s Christmas, one of Santa’s Stantler is sick, hijinks ensue, happy ending.  Pikachu’s Vacation…

…Hijinks and shenanigans all around.

Sadly, the heart and soul of the Pikachu Shorts (the hijinks) is not present here.  There are no surprises, the comic chooses to focus on the one of Ash’s Pokémon that isn’t really that funny by himself, and the entire thing feels really, really awkward as a result.

I don’t often say this, but skip this chapter.  It’s honestly the least interesting chapter that I’ve read in this series.

Next time…

You know?  This was a really, really short review.  And furthermore, it was really, unbelievably negative.  Seriously, fifteen paragraphs, and eight of them are complaints!  You guys deserve better.  So, you know what?  It may be a better idea to just continue to the next chapter.  And as long as I’m doing this here…

How do you guys feel about comic-related reviews covering two chapters each?  Soundtrack reviews are going to cover four tracks per update, and the anime is going to be reviewed in three-episode updates.  It’s really not that much more work for me, so I may end up doing that.

Chapter 10: Clefairy in Space

Everybody loves at least one movie that they will admit is bad, right?  I mean, I enjoyed the Michael Bay Transformers movies.  I know people who have watched Plan 9 From Outer Space and enjoyed it (the watching, I’m not sure about the movie.)  So, with that out of the way, let’s talk about “Clefairy in Space,” which looks terrible on paper, but works thanks to rule of fun.

The story starts with a young girl watching a UFO crash.  She chases it down, just in time to see a bunch of Clefairy hop out of the wreckage.  Note the large Team Rocket R on the front- that’ll come back later.  She remarks that the Clefairy coming from a flying saucer is “Just like in the movie!”

We then cut to Ash, Misty, and Brock watching the movie in question. Misty and Brock seem to have enjoyed it, but Ash hated it.  Why?  Well, he actually knows what Clefairy are like, and knows that the movie is a total load.  Hey, continuity!  I thought we’d lost you when Brock suddenly wasn’t embarrassed by his hormones!  This isn’t an invention of the English version- we clearly see panels taken from Chapter 3 used as a reference.

Their conversation is incredibly well-timed, as out of nowhere, Oak shows up again!  He’s in town for an interview. Immediately after Oak’s re-introduction, we’re introduced to Professor Orville, author of the book behind the Clefairy movie mentioned above.  He presents evidence in favor of his theory that Clefairy are actually aliens.  Oak seems disappointed with the interview, and invites Ash to dinner that evening before up and leaving.  Brock appears to be having some kind of fangasm for Oak, only managing to muster up the courage to ask Oak to grade his Pokémon well after Oak leaves.

Oak meets Orville to discuss the latter’s outlandish theories.  Oak offers perfectly reasonable rebuttals to all of Orville’s theories.  Orville’s response?  Provoking Oak to argue with a hurricane of truly awful puns.

Cut to the girl from the beginning of the chapter, who gets frightened by Team Rocket before the scene changes to later that evening, with Ash and company eating dinner.  That is, until psychic energy starts moving the tables in the restaurant around.  Oak begins to search for the responsible Clefairy, and whips out his Sandshrew to search for it.  He manages to stun it, and has Pikachu attach a homing beacon to the Clefairy.  They let it go, and realize that what just went down was the theft of food.

Once again, we join the girl from the beginning of the chapter, as she discovers a bunch of Clefairy in her kitchen raiding the fridge.  We finally get to learn her name (sixteen pages into the chapter,) Mimi.  She takes well to the Clefairy, and has a tea party with them.

Cut back to Ash and Oak, who are following the Clefairy’s signal.  They stumble across an underground colony of hobos Clefairy.  They note the UFO, and theorize that the Clefairy somehow got it from Team Rocket.

Cut to Team Rocket, who break the fourth wall to confirm this theory.  They just so happen to come across Mimi’s house.  Inside, Mimi asks the clearly-baffled Clefairy if she can go to space with them, based on a poorly-chosen death euphemism her neglectful father dropped on her.  Before she can even guess at their answer, Team Rocket begins prowling around her house.

Orville gets a call from her, and drags Ash and Oak along.  It could just be me, but it seems that he’s more interested in the possibility of capturing a Clefairy than he is in helping the poor kid.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket breaks into her house, and captures all of the Clefairy.  Mimi’s Jigglypuff provides a distraction, and she runs away with the Clefairy’s Poké Balls.  James catches her, and grabs the Balls, not noticing when a single one drops out of his arms and pops open.  He does notice, however, when the now-unleashed Clefairy drops a Metronome on him.  Jessie and James are about to come up with another strategy, when Ash jumps through a nearby window like a ninja, somehow without injuring himself or anyone else in the area.

Mimi gets out, and Ash and Team Rocket throw down.  A pity it’s not very effective, as Team Rocket ends up using the PokéSpe tactic of attacking the trainer.  Mimi’s Jigglypuff pops in, and uses Sing, putting absolutely everyone to sleep, in what feels like a real cop-out- I mean, you have a small army of Metronome-capable fairies at your disposal!  Why not use them?

Anyway, it seems that the Clefairy have all fled.  Mimi is despondent, but Ash tells her that they’ll probably meet again.

Well…

Um…

I’m going to be completely honest with you, folks- this is probably the stupidest chapter I’ve read.  But you know what?  It’s oodles of fun.  It’s like a Kanto-era filler that seems like it could never fly on paper, but unfurls its cartoonishly-oversized wings in practice.  I really can’t say much more than reading this chapter made my evening.

Next time, at the bare minimum, we’ll have Pokémon’s equivalent of Chuck Norris dropped on us!

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EToP, Part 7

Chapter 7: Pikachu’s Excellent Adventure

What in the exalted name of Arceus did I just read?

No, seriously.  Was it “The Kangaskhan Kid?”  “Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village?”  “Ditto’s Mysterious Mansion?”  “Island of the Giant Pokémon?”

The answer, bafflingly, is all of the above and more.  This is the first example of the series playing so fast and loose with the source material, it ends up being based on multiple episodes.  It rarely happens after this chapter, but you know what?  No matter how good any other chapter is, no matter how close or far from the source it is, no matter if it’s an original tale, or if it’s a word-for-word parallel to the anime, no other chapter will ever reach the level of quality seen here.

I’m dead serious.  In particular, I believe “The Kangaskhan Kid” to be a sin against humanity, something that I would rather watch Highlander 2 in place of.  And yet, I can read and enjoy this with no problems.

As a side note, this is the last chapter with black-haired Misty.  We’ll miss you, kiddo.

Our chapter kicks off in a Pokémon Center, where a girl named Duplica (Ditto’s Mysterious Mansion) puts on a show with her Ditto.  We’re treated to a Power Rangers joke from Joe to Giselle (The School of Hard Knocks.)  Misty talks with Duplica about how awesome Ditto is, and Duplica offers to take her to the place where she caught hers.  Misty’s ecstatic, and is interested in bringing Ash along, but he’s too busy discussing local rumors with AJ (The Path to the Pokémon League) and Samurai (Challenge of the Samurai) to care.

We are now three pages into the story.

The rumors being discussed are about a Pokémon Paradise, with all kinds of high-level, high-rarity Pokémon just sitting there, waiting to be captured.  Supposedly, they’re protected by a Pokémon goddess.

When Ash decides to insult Ditto, Misty decides that physical harm is the only justifiable punishment. Ash and Brock decide to let Misty go off on her own, and they head off for a bus.  Along the way, Pikachu is distracted by a shell sitting on the ground.  He decides to poke it for a while, until a Squirtle pokes its head out of the shell.  As a side note, there’s a picture of Gary bafflingly placed below it.  Is this supposed to imply that this is Gary’s Squirtle?  It is supposed to be saying that the Squirtle is similar to Gary?  It’s really not.

Confusing stuff.  Anyway, Pikachu and the Squirtle converse for a while, until the comic does us a huge favor, and translates their conversation.  Turns out, while Pikachu was busy talking up a storm with a random stranger, Ash and Brock boarded the bus, and have now departed.  Squirtle assumes that Pikachu’s been abandoned, in spite of his claims to the contrary.  His evidence?  Apparently, this is a really popular place to dump off unwanted Pokémon, as there just happens to be a recently-abandoned Charmander lying by the side of the road.  The Charmander claims that his trainer dropped him off here, and told him to just wait.  Wait a minute, this sounds familiar (Charmander- the Stray Pokémon.)

Pikachu commiserates with the Charmander for a while, before the Squirtle makes an offer- he’ll let them travel with him.  Where’s he going?  Conveniently enough, he happens to be headed for that secret village that was mentioned earlier.  Charmander agrees outright, and Pikachu decides to tag along, if only for the possibility of finding Ash.

Cut back to Ash, who’s so very distraught over losing Pikachu, he appears to have run all the way back to the Pokémon Center, searching for his friend.  He calls up Misty, just to be sure that Pikachu didn’t tag along with her, and Misty decides to head back to help him search.

Meanwhile, Pikachu and company trek through the wilderness for a few panels before stopping to rest (apparently, after only a half-hour.)  They’re surprised to run into a young boy dressed as Tarzan who speaks Pokémon.  They’re even more surprised when a Kangaskhan follows him out of the underbrush, and he refers to it as his mother.  The Kangaskhan explains that she discovered the boy (who introduces himself as Tommy) abandoned as a child.  She then goes on to reveal that she just happens to know where the Pokémon Paradise is, and their party expands to five members.

In the next scene…

…Okay, I will try say this with a straight face.  Are you guys ready?

Back with Ash, we discover that Pikachu’s disappearance seems to have had a profound effect on Ash’s emotional stability, as he has literally cried a lake of tears.  Brock shouts that he and Misty need to keep Ash hydrated, so they have Starmie use Water Gun what the hell am I reading, seriously?

…I’m just going to skip this, alright?

So, Pikachu and company run into a Meowth, who also just happen to be heading for the hidden village.  They offer to bring him along, and he offers them breakfast.  We then cut away to the Meowth’s campfire, where we find…

Team Rocket!

Jessie’s upset because Meowth’s taking so long to bring back food.  She vents her (considerable) fury on the nearby sleeping James, who attempts to placate her with his charm.  No sell, and she’s about to force him to try and conjure up some breakfast, when Meowth shows up again.  Pikachu’s group follows them into the campsite, and Jessie is terrified by the Kangaskhan.  She’s further caught off guard by…  Well, the Viz translation claims that he begs to “ride in her pouch,” but everyone’s reactions seem to imply that he’s sexually assaulting her.

Meowth breaks up this ridiculousness, and tells Jessie and James that this group knows where the paradise is.  Team Rocket is ecstatic over this revelation, as the whole reason that they’re out in the wilderness in the first place is to find it for Giovanni.  They offer their friendship and a sob story about being outcasts, and in spite of Squirtle’s misgivings, Pikachu’s group brings them along on the logic that they can take Team Rocket in a fight if they stir up trouble.

Now, I want to spend some time discussing the next panel.  We’re told that their adventures along the way include the events of The Ninja Poké-Showdown and Dig Those Diglett.  Okay, fair enough, but the text box says, “See the Pokémon TV series for details!”  But here, we run into a problem.  FIrst off, this comic has made an immense effort so far to stand on its own.  Yes, it’s an adaptation, but after “Haunting My Dreams” and “To Evolve or Not To Evolve That is the Question,” it’s pretty clear that it’s not going for a straight adaptation.  So, why rely on the anime to explain the story?  Second- the longest Ash was away from Pikachu in the Kanto series that I remember was “Island of the Giant Pokémon.”  As such, Ash was both present in those episodes, and had Pikachu with him during those events.  It’s tough to imagine the events of those episodes without Ash present, and asking us to imagine a scenario that not only removes Ash, but also restructures the events in the way Mr. Ono would write it just seems lazy.  This is really the most negative point of the chapter, so I figured that I should bring it up.

Eventually, however, they arrive at the paradise, and meet Melanie (Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village.)  The Pokémon settle down and enjoy themselves, as Team Rocket begins window shopping.  They’re about to start chucking Poké Balls when Jessie is hit in the face with a Razor Leaf.  A nearby Bulbasaur has heard their conversation, and is ready to fight them to defend the place.  Jessie and James are undeterred, and they pull out Ekans and Koffing to take out any who oppose them.

Cut to a few minutes later, as Charmander alerts Melanie, Pikachu, and Squirtle to Team Rocket’s actions.  The Pokémon stay and fight, while Melanie runs off to wake up Kangaskhan.  The Pokémon don’t last long, and are about to be captured, when Kangaskhan charges out of nowhere, catching an airborne Pikachu on her head.  Pikachu hits Team Rocket with a Thundershock, and Kangaskhan follows up with a Mega Kick.  What follows is Team Rocket’s first (and goofiest) blast-off in the comic, as Officer Jenny tries to get them to pull over (in midair, from a helicopter.)

Back at the paradise, another human wanders in.  Charmander recognizes him immediately as Damian, his old trainer, complete with the bad Australian accent they gave him in the anime.  Turns out, this Damian, rather than being the abusive jackass seen in the anime, had left his Charmander there- right before ending up comatose in a hospital.  Well done, idiot.  Regardless, he’s here to pick Charmander back up, and travel with him again.  This inspires Pikachu to go back and look for Ash.

Pikachu ends up taking an accidental shortcut down a turbulent river, and finds Ash in a matter of hours.  Ash hugs Pikachu, and Brock and Misty close the comic with some sentimentality.

This chapter is absolutely the best in the series.  We get to see so many small cameos that make it seem less like an adaptation, and more like a homage to the source material.  There are a few slip-ups (like the line about watching the anime to understand their journey,) but the pros far outweight the.  It made The Kangaskhan Kid enjoyable.

I don’t think I’m ever going to enjoy an adaptation as much.

Now, normally, this is where I end the review.  However, I made you guys wait for this one, and that was hardly fair.  So, as a special bonus, here’s…

Chapter 8: You Gotta Have Friends

Okay, how many of you cried when watching “Pikachu’s Goodbye?”

…That many of you, huh?

…Excuse me, I need to remove about 20 jokes here…

…Okay, done.

To be completely honest, I didn’t watch a lot of Pokémon when I was younger (for reasons that are no fault of mine.)  I started watching with the Kanto episodes online when I was 14, but I didn’t have the patience to watch more than 20 episodes at a time until much more recently.  For reference, I’m almost 19 now.  That means that while many of you have sweet memories of the episode that this chapter is based on, I don’t.  I saw the episode, wasn’t particularly wowed by it, and moved on.  As far as episodes go, Kanto had better (like the Porygon Episode,) and later series did the tearjerker thing much better, imo (for instance, A Poached Ego from Advanced Generation.)  That’s just my two cents, and you’re free to disagree with me.

Moving past my author tract up there, this chapter…  eh.  It’s not particularly good, especially considering what we’re coming off of (four incredible chapters in a row is frankly a tough act to follow.)  It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but an okayish chapter feels like a letdown after Pikachu’s Excellent Adventure.

As a side note, this chapter starts the trend of thirty-page chapters, as opposed to forty-page chapters.  Less material tends to mean a more rushed story, so from here on out, good chapters are probably going to stand out more.

We kick off with Pikachu winning a battle and collapsing.  Ash rushes it to a Pokémon Center, and is told to give Pikachu a break, and to take him out into the countryside for a while.  They go, but Pikachu’s too tired to share Ash’s strange amount of enthusiasm about getting rest.

For comparison, that’s the first three pages of this chapter.  You remember that last chapter, the relevant paragraph was about twice as long, and took place over a few minutes rather than a few days.  It feels rushed, is my point.  Thankfully, this won’t last, but I wanted to demonstrate my point from above.

A large group of Pikachu come out of a nearby thicket, and Pikachu tries to say hello to a large one, which appears to be the leader.  After the initial contact, the crowd nonchalantly runs away as fast as they can, and Brock theorizes that they don’t like the smell of human on Pikachu.  Ash attempts to make the situation better by charging at them.  This has something close to the predictable effect (which is a massive group Thundershock,) and the Pikachu herd runs away even faster.  Ash has an incredibly over-the top sad reaction, and Pikachu attempts to comfort him.

As a side note, Ash seems really, really off in this chapter.  Everything he does is punctuated by massive mood swings, even where it’s not warranted.  It doesn’t match up with the first six chapters, nor anything after this one (but fits perfectly with Chapter 7,) so it’s particularly weird.

Ash’s misery is interrupted by a scream from where the Pikachu were headed.  We’re treated to an image of an absolutely psychotic-looking Pinsir attacking the herd.  Ash’s Pikachu charges in and oneshots it.  The herd is shocked by this development, and they all stop to stare, including a young Pikachu with a flower behind her ear.  Unfortunately, she happens to be standing on a slippery log, and falls into a turbulent river.  Okay, that’s two chapters in a row that this has happened.  What’s  with Mr. Ono’s obsession with electric mice in turbulent rivers?

The river ends at a waterfall, so Pikachu dives in to save her.  They’re about to both go over, when the rest of the herd makes a giant chain of bodies to drag both of them out of the water.  Once on the shore, Pikachu is hailed as a hero.

Cut to Team Rocket, who were watching these events transpire.  They decide to capture the herd, based on their teamwork displayed during the rescue.

Cut to Ash later, who’s majorly bummed because Pikachu’s spent the day with his new friends, and hasn’t returned yet.  Brock and Misty give some genuinely good reasons why Pikachu might be out late…  that fall flat as Pikachu doesn’t return during the next night either.  On Day 3, Ash decides to search around for Pikachu, but has no luck.  After hearing some Pikachu in a bush run away, he decides to have fun with his other Pokémon in what I interpret as an attempt to make Pikachu jealous.  However, his Pokémon proceed to attack both him and each other, so he gives up.

Remember how I was saying back in Chapter 2 that EToP has a horrible habit of pushing Ash’s captures offscreen?  During that last scene, we see that Ash now owns the Kanto Starters, an Oddish, and Fearow.  At least Chapter 2 bothered to give vague descriptions of the captures- here, all we’re given is “Ash has been busy since the last comic!”

*eye roll*

Anyway, cut to the next night, where Ash is majorly apathetic when Pikachu shows up, asking for food.  The facade cracks when Pikachu decides to share the food with Flower-Head Pikachu, and he SHOWS PIKACHU HIS RAGE!

Later that night, Pikachu dreams of Ash, and begins to wonder if now that he’s unwittingly devastated the poor boy’s emotions, it’d be a good time to return.  Back with Ash, the sound of a hovercraft wakes him up, and he hears the sound of the Pikachu herd being attacked.  He runs off pantsless to try and protect them.

Team Rocket’s having the time of their lives catching wild Pikachu, until Jessie gets a rock chucked at her.  They turn to see Ash, and…

All rise for the Team Rocket Motto.

Anyway, both groups banter back and forth until Ash releases the recently-captured Flower Head Pikachu.  Meowth doesn’t take this well, and Arbok and Weezing are released (apparently, Ash’s captures/evolutions aren’t the only ones that happen offscreen.)  Pikachu does fairly well at first, until Arbok and Weezing actually start attacking.  Oh, wait, no.  Pikachu gets back in and starts making fools of them right away again.  The herd of now-released Pikachu approach Team Rocket, and gives them the large group Thundershock we’ve been waiting on since the beginning of the chapter.  Team Rocket gets the hell out of Dodge.  Ash starts to celebrate with Pikachu, but Flower Head calls Pikachu over to celebrate with her, and Ash feels crushing despair.

The next day, the group decides to move on, and Ash begins to get some emotional closure over the whole thing.  This is probably the closest the comic ever comes to character development, as it teaches that everybody has to part ways at some point, and it’s something Ash may have to learn the hard way.

I say that he “may have to learn it the hard way,” because he doesn’t.  Because status quo is God, Pikachu decides to spontaneously reunite with Ash.  They leave, the herd of Pikachu waves goodbye, and we move on to the next volume.

Where do I begin with this chapter?

Well, I’ll start with the good.  Team Rocket are really quite amusing in this one.  The art for the wild Pinsir is really good.  Those paying close attention will notice that Ash may have gone through the five stages of grief.  No seriously-

Denial- Ash constantly waits for Pikachu over the first few nights (In denial over whether Pikachu may like it anywhere but by his side.)

Anger- Showing Pikachu his RAGE!!!

Bargaining- Possibly switched up a bit, as one instance (giving Pikachu the food) occurs before anger.  This could be interpreted as a possible bargain for Pikachu to come back.  Another possibility is that Ash hoped that by helping to save the herd, Pikachu might want to come back.  This is honestly the weakest link in support of the argument.

Depression- After bargaining fails the second time.

Acceptance- Leaving Pikachu at the end.

This is probably not what the author intended, but it’s certainly interesting to think about.  However, we do also have to look at the cons here.  The biggest con in my opinion is the ending.  Yes, I know that Pikachu has to go with Ash.  However, even with the new chapter length, Mr. Ono should have built up Pikachu’s decision a bit more (such as putting Pikachu’s dream later in the chapter, perhaps?)  On, alternatively…  What if Mr. Ono had thrown us a curveball, and separated the two for a few chapters?

Another con is how rushed everything feels.  It doesn’t help the story to make the chapters shorter, and it’s unfortunate that it continues for the rest of the series that I own.

Overall, not a bad chapter, but it still feels like a disappointment after so much good had happened in the last four.  Next time, we’ll be looking at thirty straight pages of climbing a tree.

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Update for the Sake of an Update

Hey, guys!  Sorry about the absurdly long wait for the next review!  It’s close to done, and will be up before Sunday.

 

So, it looks like the official website goes through the Orange Islands arc.  While this will be useful down the road, I have to say that it’s damned inconvenient now.  So, there’ll have to be some more reviews between the end of EToP and the start of the anime.  At the current time, I can only do the Base Set from the TCG, 2B A Master, or Pokémon Pinball.  That’s assuming that you guys won’t want to wait a while for the library to track down a bunch of the volumes of PokéSpe.  Unless of course, you’re okay with me bouncing around between generations.  I would like to know your thoughts on this, so please leave a comment below telling me which you think I should do next.

 

In other news, PETA sucks, and B2W2 are apparently really good.  Can’t wait until I get my hands on them!  B2W2, of course.  Not PETA.

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