From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No. 169
Welcome back to another edition of our all-ages comics column, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! Up here on the east coast of the States winters can really suck and become depressing. Sometimes to pull myself out of a funk I’ll hunt down old hand held video games for the Neo-Geo Pocket Color and the unreleased-in-North America Bandai Wonderswan (you can find the Wonderswan pretty easily on eBay these days). Other times it is when I open a box of comics to review, like this week! As I tore open a box of manga sent to me to go through, my eyes gazed upon the manga adaptation of Pokemon The Movie: Genesect And The Legend Awakened!
Now it has been a chunk of years since I’ve felt really passionate about those little pocket monsters. However, two things intrigued me with this done-in-one graphic novel. Firstly, I just read this manga during its original run in Coro Coro a few months ago, and between laugh out loud installments in the monthly magazine of Zo-Zo-Zo-Zombie-Kun and Dangerous Ji-San (side note: Hey Viz! We know you have anime rights to Dangerous Ji-san! When the hell are we gonna see this?!), it was nice to get a serious Pokemon comic, even if it was just a movie adaptation, being the other poke-title they were running at the time was a gag-manga. So it was kind of cool to see an English adaptation so fast for me to compare with my Japanese version. The second cool/nostalgic thing is it ties into the recently released Pokemon: X and Y video games and TV anime series, and serves as a teaser to its world with the return of Mewtwo, who sports a new evolved form, and as any Pokemon fan knows there are few pokemon as bad ass as Mewtwo.
The story starts off with a pack of Genesect pokemon roaming the Earth after being brought back to life after 300 million years of extinction, looking for home, and aggressively taking out any pokemon who get in their way while doing so. They come face-to-face with Mewtwo, and after a brief battle the Genesect turn their attention to searching for a home elsewhere in the world, which takes us to New Tork City (the pokeworld version of NYC). There in New Tork at Pokemon Hills, a housing facility designed specifically for pokemon, Ash, Pikachu, Cilan, Iris, and their pokemon are paying a visit. Quickly the visit turns from good to bad as the Genesect invade, forcing the other pokemon out and building a nest. The nest, however, is draining all the electricity, and could cause a blackout across the city, which would lead to a series of catastrophic events. A battle ensues and Mewtwo shows up, revealing an evolved form for the battle!
One of the better Pokemon tales, the manga benefits from having plenty of action and quick pacing. Old fans will be happy as it hits on nostalgia points with a cameo by Team Rocket, and of course plenty of Ash, Pikachu, and Mewtwo, while new fans will love how it ties into the new world so perfectly. It also is a great exploration of the life of Mewtwo after we last saw him fly off to find peace. He has come to terms with himself somewhat, and seeing the raging Genesect forced to be in a world they may no longer be fit to be in lets him reflect on himself, creating a really intriguing semi-emotional arc for the character.
Art by Inoue looks great, all the characters looking perfectly like their anime designs, keeping everyone happy with the look across the board.
The manga adaptation of Pokemon The Movie: Genesect And The Legend Awakened is one of the stronger entries in recent years, and a great all-ages action manga to pick up and read.
Out now in print from Viz.
That’s it for this week! See you next!