The Unova Region has enveloped a lot of my life over the last few days.
First there was the start of my fanfiction.
Then the locale of Pokémon Black & White came up again when I was wandering Barnes & Noble with my sister and discovered a book of Santa Harukaze comics, put out by Viz Media.
I put off buying it because money, but figured if I saw the book again I might give it another thought.
Then we went to a different bookstore and the fateful book was there too.
I’m not one to tempt fate.
So here I am, reading through 300+ pages of comedic manga-style comic strips about Unova Pokémon, ready to teach you the gospel.
Just consider this my equivalent of Brian David Gilbert’s Skyrim Book Report.
The first thing you need to know is these are “comedic” comics. Like Family Circus or any other traditional funny page staple, some of these one-off jokes are funnier than others.
It’s telling that the Stunfisk comic was my favorite of the bunch.
That’s peak comedy.
This comic is emblematic of what 70 percent of the collection is: Jokes about a design element or Pokédex entry.
The appearance bits are usually blasé, like Galvantula having too many eyes to cover in case of a surprise.
But I quite like seeing aspects of these Pokémon that I’d always disregarded as innocuous details:
Another repeat detail throughout these comics are Pokémon being treated meanly, often for no reason.
Apparently everyone in Unova is a mischievous trickster like Scraggy or in the wrong place at the wrong time like Oshawott.
Though these are Pokémon, so it’s not very surprising that they battle and act aggressively. What is surprising is the way we playing with continuity.
The creatures spend a lot of time playing with or referencing human technology:
Their confusion suggests these guys are still animals.
But… They sure do spend a lot of time talking and having personalities like in the Mystery Dungeon games.
So maybe these comics take place in that universe?
Except then this page comes along and ruins everything.
But then there’s the weird stuff.
Oh boy is there a whole lot of weird stuff in these comics. And it’s the best part.
Some of these are far better out of context. Trust me.
One thing I don’t fully understand about the collection is how nonsensically ordered it is. Though the individual comics are segmented by focusing on different Pokémon, they don’t proceed through the book in number or alphabetical order.
It seems entirely random, and that’s compounded by the fact that two-part comics can appear pages apart.
There’s a particular comic about Woobat and Yamask that’s referenced more than 50 pages later and has a disclaimer telling readers to go back.
Why not just order the pages to avoid that kind of problem if there’s no sensible ordering scheme in the book?
Though there’s a much more important question buried in these pages.
Why is Throh the only Pokémon with a two-part comic in which he is the named focus on both parts?
The. Only. One.
Why Throh of all Pokémon?
Like I’m glad the collection has cool tidbits and quizzes on the sides of each page where I can learn things…
But I’m not sure I can forgive Santa Harukaze for making me feel this tumultuous about Throh.
So, in summary:
Is it worth reading through every Pokémon Black & White Pocket Comic in an afternoon?
Honestly… Not really.
The world of Unova comics has highs are pretty high, but the lows are very, very low. So much so that I don’t think I’d recommend reading through all of them except that you can only find the true gems that way.
I suppose I’d still recommend the book as something of a coffee table read to put out if you have Pokémon-loving guests. But as a Pokémon fan, I’m not sure I would buy the Kalos edition after this one.
That’s a real downer note to end a Pokémon-related post, so here’s a picture of Alyson ruining my attempt to get a Featured Image.