Advertisement
All Ages Manga

Gotta Read ‘Em All: Your Guide To The Pokémon Manga

By 5 Comments

This page contains affiliate links for eCommerce websites. How to Love Comics may recieve a small commission on purchases you make. Find out more about it here.

For more than 20 years, Pokémon has been a worldwide phenomenon. A sensation that has spawned dozens of video games, television shows, movies, trading card games, toys, and merchandise. Another thing that it has branched out into is manga (comics that originated from Japan).

From almost the beginning, manga has been produced about these exciting creatures and their human companions. They’ve been so popular that they continue to this day.

In fact, the creator of Pokémon, Satoshi Tajiri, has gone as far as to praise the series, saying “This is the comic that most resembles the world I was trying to convey.” Now that’s a strong endorsement!

With new games being released all the time, you might be interested in checking out some of the manga for either yourself or a young one in your life. If that’s the case, then you’re in the right place!

This comprehensive guide will give you everything you need to know about the Pokemon manga. This includes how to read it, the differences are between each series, and where to find them.

Gotta catch ’em all!

Is The Manga Based Off The Television Show?

If you’re looking for comics based on the television show, then you’re going to be a little disappointed. Most of the comics use the games as inspiration for their material. That being said, many of the stories told in the manga have an episodic feel to them. As a result, if you or a loved one likes the television show, then there’s enough familiarity to these stories that you’re likely to enjoy them.

That’s not to say you can’t read manga based on Ash and his friends, but these are limited to movie adaptations and the Pokémon Journeys series. You can find more about these towards the very bottom.

So, They’re Based On The Video Games?

That’s right. The stories told in the Pokémon manga take inspiration from the video games. Depending on the volume, each story is set in a region that’s introduced in the video game. You’ll see locations and familiar Pokémon from that region too. The main characters are styled on the characters you play in the game and are usually named after one of the default names eg. Red, Blue, X, etc.

How Do I Read Pokémon Manga?

It can be intimidating to see that there have been so many different series and volumes. Don’t worry, it’s quite easy to jump on in.

As these stories are made for younger audiences, they tend to be structured in an episodic manner or short arcs. Each tale has a beginning, middle, and end, making it easy to pick up almost anywhere. Even better is that you often get multiple adventures in each volume, with some having more than 10 in a single book!

You don’t have to begin with Pokémon Adventures: Red & Blue to enjoy the Pokémon manga. You could start with any series you like. It’s very similar to how the games have a standalone factor, so do these manga series.

In the case of Pokémon Adventures, you don’t have to start with Volume 1. Each story tends to be standalone and doesn’t deal with heaps of continuity.

The volumes also have a few summary pages at the start. These explain who the characters are and any other bits of information that readers may need to know if they’ve missed a chapter.

It’s also worth noting that the Pokémon comics read right-to-left instead of the traditional left-to-right. This is because they were made for a Japanese audience before being translated into English.

Don’t worry if you’ve never read any manga before. Reading right-to-left is not as tricky as it sounds and, after a few pages, it becomes second nature.

Where Can I Find The Pokémon Manga?

The Pokémon manga can be found at all good comic book stores, selected book stores, online stores, digitally on Kindle/Google Play/iBooks, eBay, and at your local library.

What Are The Different Pokémon Manga?

As you’ll soon see, there is a lot of Pokemon manga. This guide lists all the series available and their volumes.

As I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to read the previous series to understand later ones. Just like how you can pick up a Pokémon game without having played the prior generations.

Pokémon Adventures

Pokémon Adventures is the original manga series. It doesn’t solely focus on one character and will shift protagonists when it comes time to base the material on a different video game. As a result, each new game the series focuses on can be treated like a season of the TV show, one that will shift the focus to different characters and regions – similar to that of the games.

Pokemon Adventures: Red & Blue Volume 1 cover by Mato.
Pokémon Adventures: Red & Blue Volume 1 cover by Mato.

Red & Blue

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Mato.

Series status: Complete

These volumes are inspired by the first generation of Pokémon games and follow the adventures of characters Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow. Along the way, they’ll have to stop the criminal Team Rocket organisation from using Pokémon for illegal activities.

  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 1
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 2
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 3
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 4
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 5
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 6
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 7

Buy: Amazon/Kindle | eBay

Pokemon Adventures: Gold and Silver Volume 10 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.
Pokémon Adventures: Gold and Silver Volume 10 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Gold & Silver

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Mato (Volumes 8 and 9) and Satoshi Yamamoto. (Volume 10 onwards)

Series status: Complete

These volumes are inspired by the second generation of Pokémon games. They follow trainers Gold, Silver, and Crystal as they search for Legendary Pokémon in the Johto region.

  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 8
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 9
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 10
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 11
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 12
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 13
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 14

Buy: Amazon/Kindle | eBay

Pokemon Adventures: Ruby and Sapphire Volume 15 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.
Pokémon Adventures: Ruby & Sapphire Volume 15 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Ruby & Sapphire

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Series status: Complete

These volumes are inspired by the third generation of Pokémon games. They follow rivals Ruby and Sapphire who are trying to complete all the Pokémon contests and gyms in under 80 days. Along the way, they’ll have to face the evil Team Magma organisation.

  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 15
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 16
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 17
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 18
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 19
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 20
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 21
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 22

Buy: Amazon/Kindle | eBay

Pokemon Adventures: FireRed & LeafGreen Volume 23 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.
Pokémon Adventures: FireRed & LeafGreen Volume 23 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.

FireRed & LeafGreen

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Series status: Complete

The characters of Red & Blue are back! In these volumes, they’re off to the Sevii Islands to in order to rescue Professor Oak from Team Rocket.

  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 23
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 24
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 25

Buy: Amazon/Kindle | eBay

Pokemon Adventures: Emerald Volume 26 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.
Pokémon Adventures: Emerald Volume 26 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Emerald

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Series status: Complete

These chapters follow Emerald who is competing in the Battle Frontier – even though he has no Pokémon!

  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 26
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 27
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 28
  • Pokémon Adventures Volume 29

Buy: Amazon/Kindle | eBay

Pokemon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 1 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.
Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 1 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Diamond & Pearl/Platinum

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Series status: Complete

These volumes are inspired by the fourth generation of Pokémon games. These adventures follow the trainers Platinum, Diamond, and Pearl.

  • Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 1
  • Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 2
  • Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 3
  • Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 4
  • Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 5
  • Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 6
  • Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 7
  • Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 8
  • Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 9
  • Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 10
  • Pokémon Adventures: Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Volume 11

Buy: Amazon/Kindle | eBay

Pokémon Adventures: HeartGold and SoulSilver Volume 1 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.
Pokémon Adventures: HeartGold and SoulSilver Volume 1 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.

HeartGold & SoulSilver

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Series status: Complete

Gold and Silver are back to take on the reformed Team Rocket. Can they save the day?

  • Pokémon Adventures: HeartGold & SoulSilver Volume 1
  • Pokémon Adventures: HeartGold & SoulSilver Volume 2

Buy: Amazon/Kindle | eBay

Pokémon Adventures: Black and White Volume 6 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.
Pokémon Adventures: Black and White Volume 6 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Black & White

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Series status: Complete

These volumes are inspired by the fifth generation of Pokémon games. They follow trainers Black and White, who are on a quest to become Pokémon Champion.

  • Pokémon Adventures: Black & White Volume 1
  • Pokémon Adventures: Black & White Volume 2
  • Pokémon Adventures: Black & White Volume 3
  • Pokémon Adventures: Black & White Volume 4
  • Pokémon Adventures: Black & White Volume 5
  • Pokémon Adventures: Black & White Volume 6
  • Pokémon Adventures: Black & White Volume 7
  • Pokémon Adventures: Black & White Volume 8
  • Pokémon Adventures: Black & White Volume 9

Buy: Amazon/Kindle | eBay

Pokémon Adventures: Black 2 & White 2 Volume 2 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.
Pokémon Adventures: Black 2 & White 2 Volume 2 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Black 2 & White 2

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Series status: Complete

Blake, a trainer and member of the International Police go on a quest to track down the remaining members of the criminal organisation Team Plasma.

  • Pokémon Adventures: Black 2 & White 2 Volume 1
  • Pokémon Adventures: Black 2 & White 2 Volume 2
  • Pokémon Adventures: Black 2 & White 2 Volume 3
  • Pokémon Adventures: Black 2 & White 2 Volume 4

Buy: Amazon/Kindle | eBay

Pokemon X/Y Volume 5 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.
Pokemon X/Y Volume 5 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.

X•Y

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Series status: See below

A group of kids must take on Team Flare who are trying to capture the legendary Pokémon Xerneas and Yveltal and use them to power their weapons.

  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 1
  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 2
  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 3
  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 4
  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 5
  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 6
  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 7
  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 8
  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 9
  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 10
  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 11
  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 12

It’s worth noting that the above 12 volumes are mini-collections at ~90-100 pages each in comparison to 250-300+ page editions of most Pokémon Adventures volumes.

Viz are currently rereleasing Pokémon X•Y as Pokémon Adventures: X•Y, with editions that are ~300 pages long. These are the current volumes available:

  • Pokémon Adventures: X•Y Volume 1
  • Pokémon Adventures: X•Y Volume 2
  • Pokémon Adventures: X•Y Volume 3 [Available 13th September, 2022]

It appears that these new editions collect three volumes of the prior editions so there will likely be four in total.

Buy: Amazon/Kindle | eBay

Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire Volume 1 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.
Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire Volume 1 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Series status: Complete

The gang from Ruby and Saffire are back to explore the secrets behind Mega Evolution.

  • Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire Volume 1
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire Volume 2
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire Volume 3
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire Volume 4
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire Volume 5
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire Volume 6

Buy: eBay | Amazon

Pokémon Sun & Moon Volume 1 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.
Pokémon Sun & Moon Volume 1 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Sun & Moon

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Series status: Complete

Based on the 3DS games of the same name. Those looking for the UltraSun and UltraMoon series should read this manga as Viz appears to have included it at the end of Sun & Moon.

  • Pokémon: Sun & Moon Volume 1
  • Pokémon: Sun & Moon Volume 2
  • Pokémon: Sun & Moon Volume 3
  • Pokémon: Sun & Moon Volume 4
  • Pokémon: Sun & Moon Volume 5
  • Pokémon: Sun & Moon Volume 6
  • Pokémon: Sun & Moon Volume 7
  • Pokémon: Sun & Moon Volume 8
  • Pokémon: Sun & Moon Volume 9
  • Pokémon: Sun & Moon Volume 10
  • Pokémon: Sun & Moon Volume 11
  • Pokémon: Sun & Moon Volume 12

Buy: eBay | Amazon

Pokémon: Sword & Shield Volume 1 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.
Pokémon: Sword & Shield Volume 1 cover by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Sword & Shield

Written by Hidenori Kusaka. Art by Satoshi Yamamoto.

Series status: Ongoing

This series focuses on Casey and Henry as they try to dodge every obstacle in their way – such as wild Dynamax Pokemon, train disruptions, and Team Yell – to become the Galar regional champions.

  • Pokémon: Sword & Shield Volume 1
  • Pokémon: Sword & Shield Volume 2
  • Pokémon: Sword & Shield Volume 3
  • Pokémon: Sword & Shield Volume 4

Buy: eBay | Amazon

Other Pokémon Manga Series

Along with the mainline Pokémon manga, Pokémon Adventures, there are a bunch of other series that Viz has released in English. These tend to be shorter and self-contained, and don’t require any prior reading. You can see all of them below.

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! Volume 1 cover by Shigekatsu Ihara.
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! Volume 1 cover by Shigekatsu Ihara.

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure!

Written and art by Shigekatsu Ihara.

Series status: Complete

Inspired by the fourth generation of Pokémon games, this series follows Hareta and Mitsumi as they go on a quest to find the legendary Dialga.

  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! Volume 1
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! Volume 2
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! Volume 3
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! Volume 4
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! Volume 5
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! Volume 6
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! Volume 7
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! Volume 8

Buy: eBay | Amazon

Pokémon Horizon: Sun & Moon Volume 1 cover by Tenya Yabuno.
Pokémon Horizon: Sun & Moon Volume 1 cover by Tenya Yabuno.

Pokémon Horizon: Sun & Moon

Written by and art by Tenya Yabuno.

Series status: Complete

Akira is trying to become a Pokémon trainer, but are thrown into a situation where they have to stop Team King’s evil plans for world domination!

  • Pokémon Horizon: Sun & Moon Volume 1
  • Pokémon Horizon: Sun & Moon Volume 2

Buy: eBay | Amazon

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Ginji's Rescue Team cover by Makoto Mizobuchi.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Ginji’s Rescue Team cover by Makoto Mizobuchi.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Ginji’s Rescue Team

Written and art by Makoto Mizobuchi.

Series status: Complete

This one-volume series is based on the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon video game. It stars a Ginji, who one day wakes up as a Torchic!

  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Ginji’s Rescue Team Volume 1

Buy: eBay | Amazon

Pokémon Pocket Comics: Classic cover by Santa Harukaze.
Pokémon Pocket Comics: Classic cover by Santa Harukaze.

Pokémon Pocket Comics

Written and art by Santa Harukaze.

Series status: Likely others in the future

Pokémon Pocket Comics are colour graphic novels which are full of 4-panel gags strips about Pokémon. Each volume is based on a particular theme.

  • Pokémon Pocket Comics: Classic
  • Pokémon X • Y Pocket Comics
  • Pokémon Pocket Comics: Legendary Pokémon
  • Pokémon Pocket Comics: Black & White
  • Pokémon Pocket Comics: Sun & Moon

Buy: eBay | Amazon

Pokémon Journeys Volume 1 cover by Machito Gomi.
Pokémon Journeys Volume 1 cover by Machito Gomi.

Pokémon Journeys

Written and art by Machito Gomi. Original concept by Satoshi Tajiri, Junichi Masuda & Ken Sugimori. Supervised by Tsunekazu Ishihara.

Series status: Ongoing

This is an adaptation of the television series of the same name. This series comes recommended if you’re looking for a series featuring Ash and Pikachu.

  • Pokémon Journeys Volume 1
  • Pokémon Journeys Volume 2
  • Pokémon Journeys Volume 3
  • Pokémon Journeys Volume 4 [Available 8th November, 2022]

Buy: Amazon/Kindle | eBay

Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! cover by Ryo Takamisaki.
Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! cover by Ryo Takamisaki.

Pokémon Movie Adaptations

Written and art by Kemon Kawamoto, Makoto Mizobuchi, Ryo Takamisaki, Makoto Hijoka, Momata Inoue, and Kenji Kitamura.

Series status: They will keep coming as long as there are still Pokémon movies

These graphic novels adapt some of the more recent Pokémon movies. As they’re based on the movies, they feature Ash, Pikachu, and their friends as the main characters.

  • Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction
  • Pokemon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened
  • Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice
  • Pokémon the Movie: Zoroark: Master of Illusions
  • Pokémon the Movie: The Rise of Darkrai
  • Pokémon the Movie: Ranger and the Temple of the Sea
  • Pokémon the Movie: Giratina & the Sky Warrior!
  • Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!
  • Pokémon the Movie: Arceus and the Jewel of Life
  • Pokémon the Movie: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel
  • Pokemon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages
  • Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us: Zeraora’s Story
  • Pokémon the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution
  • Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle – Another Beginning

Buy: Amazon/Kindle | eBay

Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 1 cover by Mato.
Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 1 cover by Mato.

Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Editions

Viz Media has repackaged the original Pokémon Adventure series in larger 3-in-1 editions. They collection the first 29 volumes over 10 collections – which covers Red & Blue, Gold & Silver, Ruby & Safire, FireRed & LeafGreen, and Emerald.

These are perfect for those who love to binge read or do not want to go to the effort of tracking down older volumes.

Series status: Complete

  • Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 1 (Collects volumes 1-3)
  • Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 2 (Collects volumes 4-6)
  • Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 3 (Collects volumes 7-9)
  • Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 4 (Collects volumes 10-12)
  • Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 5 (Collects volumes 13-15)
  • Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 6 (Collects volumes 16-18)
  • Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 7 (Collects volumes 19-21)
  • Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 8 (Collects volumes 22-24)
  • Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 9 (Collects volumes 25-27)
  • Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 10 (Collects volumes 28-29)

Buy: eBay | Amazon

Which Pokémon Manga Should I Read?

It’s totally up to you! Although, if you’re undecided, here are some questions to help you make a decision:

  • Do you have nostalgia for any particular Pokémon generation?
  • Which are your favourite Pokémon?
  • Do you want a short read or a longer one?
  • Do you need to have Ash and Pikachu in the comics?

Happy reading!

Have Your Say!

Have you found this guide helpful? Which guide should I do next? Share your thoughts in the comments below or via Facebook or Twitter.

Advertisement

Have your say!

Your email address will not be published.

Comments (5)

  • Awesome list! We stumbled upon lots of these books at our library this year and I didn’t know if there was a certain order which we’d need to read them all! Thank you so much for this breakdown of all the series!

  • i am anime lover and following the series episode – episode. I am watching pokemon Journeys right nowm Suggest me manga that will finish the story of world championship

  • This is the best explanation I’ve ever read for Pokemon manga! I’m a children’s librarian in charge of graphic novels and I’ve always been so intimidated by Pokemon manga because there is so much of it! Thanks so so much!

  • Thank you so much for this guide! I’ve been watching the Pokemon anime when I was in middle school and really wanted to get back to reading the manga but I didn’t know where to start. This really helped!

Sign-up to the newsletter

Don’t miss out on our email newsletter full of comics recommendations, lists, reading orders, tips and more.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter too.

Sign-up to the newsletter

Don’t miss out on our email newsletter full of comics recommendations, lists, reading orders, tips and more.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter too.