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Pokemon Adventures Review/Thoughts Discussion - Black & White/BW2 (Gen 5)

Discussion in 'Pokémon Manga Discussion' started by shoz999, Dec 28, 2018.

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How would you rate the Black & White saga?

  1. 5/5

    4 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. 4/5

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. 3/5

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
  4. 2/5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. 1/5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. shoz999

    shoz999 IT WAS ME! SETETH!

    Pokemon Adventures Review/Thoughts Discussion - BW/BW2 Arc (Gen 5)
    This is a discussion thread to talk about the many awesome, fun, hilarious, and questionable moments of Pokemon's Black & White and Black & White 2 arcs. So please, lay out your thoughts of some of the best chapters of Pokemon Adventures!

    [​IMG]
    Pokemon Adventures Quick Summary - Black & White Chapter
    A young boy, Black, and a young girl, White travel across the Unova region to make their dreams come true. Black dreams of becoming the Pokemon Champion while White dreams of raising the best Pokemon actors, owning the BW agency. Together these two encounter all sorts of people and Pokemon from different walks of life, from the famous Gym Leaders of Unova to the mysterious N, the supposed leader of Team Plasma aiming to liberate Pokemon from humanity.

    [​IMG]
    Pokemon Adventures Quick Summary - Black & White 2 Chapter
    At a school at Aspertia City, two trainers are not who they seem to be. A boy named Blake is secretly a member of the International Police, working with Looker to search for the members of Team Plasma following the events of the Black & White chapter. A girl named Whitley is secretly a former member of Team Plasma attending school, safekeeping a mysterious locket from N, the man she most admires. Soon things take a swift turn for the worst when Colress, the new appointed leader of Team Plasma enters the scene, Hugh, a friend of Blake's has some old scores to settle with Team Plasma and N? He's nowhere to be found.


    Guidelines/Notes
    • All the Review/Thoughts Discussion Threads are excluded from the 60 days limit rule. So have no fear if you want to talk about the chapters if this thread goes over the 60-day limit.
    • There is no recommended review system. Instead I recommend you come up with your own review systems, from 5/5s to 10/10s, to give people a quick idea what you generally think of the story arcs as a whole.
    • There is however a 5/5 review system for the entire Gen 5 two-parter for the first time.
    • This is both a review and thoughts thread. So if you don't want to rate and review a story arc but instead express your thoughts of certain moments or scenes. That's fantastic and is encouraged!
    • Please alert others with a "Spoiler Warning!" if your review or thoughts does indeed have potential spoilers.
    • Have fun discussing the many amazing, funny or even questionable moments you've seen in the fifth generation of Pokemon Adventures! The complete first epic! And the second incomplete sequel!
    Links to other current Review/Thoughts discussion threads
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  2. mehmeh1

    mehmeh1 Neutral force of Meh

    I loved the BW arc, black kinda felt like a condensed version of ash in a way, white had somewhat of a slow start, but also ended up being great, bianca sadly was shafted, as was cheren between the cold storage and the league, N and Ghetsis here are easily their best versions, the ending was amazingly done (sadly I had it spoiled so it wasn't a surprise for me), and I'm a big fan of how black vs drayden was handled, the anime should at some point do a "literally last minute gym battle". The b2w2 arc started kinda slowly and for its original run it felt it was going nowhere, but the first time it got revived the plot really began to unfold and I started liking blake, whitley, and hugh (especially hugh) more, I hope the last few chapters are a good conclusion (I'd talk about youknowwhat but I've been warned)
     
    shoz999 likes this.
  3. Lucky3

    Lucky3 Well-Known Member

    BW isn't really among my favorites arcs. The reason for it that it's basically just the story of the games. Black collects badges to enter the Pokemon league and beats Team Plasma in his way, and everything goes pretty much the same way(with some exceptions, obviously). I know BW had the best story of any Pokemon game, but that only applies to the games. Pokespe has done far better than that. To be fair, I still think the manga version is superior to the games. N acts like a creep and Ghetsis seems nice at first glance, so the twists around them are actually engaging. But I just can't get that much into a story if a know 90% of what's going to happen.

    Black isn't a particularly interesting character to me. He wants to get all badges and win the league? That might be a first for Pokespe, but Ash Ketchum has been running that trope into the ground for a solid 20 years. And Red already kinda did that, too. White being a businesswoman is cool but she just doesn't do anything. The BW Agency only matters for the relatively short time they spend together and then she goes off in her own journey that doesn't really impact the main story in any way. Overall I think both the story and the characters would have benefited if these two had spend more time together.

    This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I like BW2 way more. Both Lack-two and Whi-two are very unique and interesting as protagonists, and I find the premise really cool. There is a lot of potential here, but, sadly, I feel this arc needed to be longer to realize it. But it's still not over, so we'll see how it ends. For now the only thing that has really disappointed me was that there wasn't enough drama when Lack-two and Whi-two realized the truth about each other. This was supposed to be the moment that the entire first volume was building to, but it lasts for a couple pages and then we move to the next scene just like that. I blame it on the need to rush things.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
    shoz999 likes this.
  4. lolipiece

    lolipiece Ya did good, Twerp. Staff Member Moderator

    To be fair, I feel that this is less the fault of the arc itself and more an inevitability given how expansive the Pokemon games have been getting with each new installment.

    I like to call BW "Pokespe the game" because that's basically what it is.

    You have Rivals that grow and develop as people over the course of the game. They have their own story arcs and everything.

    The Gym Leaders are actual characters instead of bosses whose sole purpose is to be defeated. They have actual jobs outside of Gym stuff. They even get involved with the plot.

    The villains have actual backstories and depth ('cept for Ghetsis, who's just evil).

    Pokespe has never had the technical limitations that the games did, so it's been doing these things from the very beginning.
     
    04n70n10 and shoz999 like this.
  5. shoz999

    shoz999 IT WAS ME! SETETH!

    Black and White Review and Thoughts Post
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    If you never read the BW Chapter, this looks pretty cool and epic right? To those who read the chapter... yeah...

    So to start it off. I'm gonna keep the non-spoiler review short including the bullet points. Pokemon Adventures Black & White is definitely one of my favorite story arcs. Some people think it's one of the less original story arcs because this one actually nearly completely adapts the Pokemon Black and White games. I disagree. In fact I think this is actually in some ways superior than the Pokemon Black & White games in some areas. For starters, we get established main characters that drive the story. This isn't the story of you, the player character, but the story of Black who dreams of becoming the Pokemon Champion and White who dreams of owning a successful Pokemon acting agency. That's one of the central themes here, follow your dreams. The two other highlights is the emotional weight that Pokemon Adventures Black & White carries and what I personally think does the subject of Pokemon better than any other Pokemon medium.

    • It features the teenage protagonist Black who dreams of being Pokemon Champion and White who dreams of embracing Pokemon's talent in the spotlight.
    • This is certainly one of the more emotional and expressive stories of Pokemon which takes the game's story to the next level.
    • Pokemon arguably play a far more immense role in Pokemon Black & White than any other Pokemon story medium including the games.
    • I love the Gym Leaders, Black's multiple rivals and friends, N and his interesting viewpoints on listening to your Pokemon and Ghetsis. Oh Ghetsis, you scumbag. The Adventures manga will make you hate Ghetsis even more.
    [​IMG]
    The story is often told through more expressive and emotional means.

    The second is facial expressions and emotion. The Black & White games were a far more grandiose cinematic expression and even featured animated facial expressions but it was largely limited to it's 2D sprite-work. The thing is the Black and White games surprisingly achieved a lot of emotion from it's storytelling through the limitations of that sprite-work. You could feel how happy and shocked characters are from just sprites and because of that Pokemon Adventures Black & White takes such emotional storytelling to the next level with more vivid facial expressions, body-language and a beautiful background full of hills and trees. We see Black run up the cliff and shout his dreams to the world in excitement alongside his Pokemon. In one of the most famous shocking scenes of Pokemon Adventures Black & White, we see White just horrified and falling into a coma at the Ferris Wheel in Nimbasa City. We the readers feel much more disturbed by this Ghetsis than the one in the games through his gentlemanly facial expressions as he speaks of using people as tools. We don't get the impression that he's a generic control freak like the games but a disturbing sociopath who believes his own words from this expression-based storytelling alone. We the readers feel delighted that the introverted straight-faced N smiles upon a realization that Pokemon can be happy with Pokemon trainers. When White hears this, she can't help but cry in joy that N realizes the truth that Pokemon can be happy with humans. We feel what White is feeling and are happy for N upon realizing this and it goes even deeper than that actually. N explains why he represents "Ideals" in this canon and not "Truth". His "truth" wasn't truth but were his ideals. He just couldn't accept Black's truth that Pokemon could be happy with people. He did knew this was true but he had a difficult time accepting it because of his father's manipulative nature. We see much more emotion and weight into N's words. He just wanted to be a hero to Pokemon but instead feels like he may have done the opposite, that he may have actually hurt Pokemon by being Ghetsis's puppet. Despite all this, Black forgives him with a smile while tucking his hat, claiming that he believed that despite how much he hated N for what he did previously, he just wanted what was best for Pokemon. This is the kind of emotional weight that surpasses the games personally.

    [​IMG]
    Pokemon play a immense role in this storyline, arguably surpassing it's game counterpart through more expressive scenes like this.

    Finally there's the third subject that I believe Pokemon Adventures Black & White does does the subject of Pokemon itself better than any medium, including the games it's adapting from. We seen the Black & White games dive into the issues surrounding Pokemon through it's yin-n-yang themes and it's also here in the manga but much more refined and much more impactful than before carrying a lot of emotional weight that affects Pokemon. We, the readers, understand why Black finds Team Plasma's goal to "liberate" Pokemon disturbing and infuriating. These are not wild Pokemon they mostly speak of but Pokemon who have lovingly been in the warmth and care of their trainers for a while and to see the trainers release them believing this is the right thing without actually considering what their Pokemon think is quite sad. Through facial expressions, emotion and tone we actually see these trainers question their motives if their Pokemon are truly happy being with them and just like that, they set them free after hearing Team Plasma's speech early on in the story. The thing is, they haven't actually considered what their Pokemon actually thinks. Others simply head back to the wild but some Pokemon who were once happy with their trainers feel abandoned, scared and alone in the city as strays, unsure of what to do. This is disturbing as the former Pokemon trainers sincerely think what they're doing is the best for them and Black is furious at Team Plasma because of this. We see just how angry and happy Black is when he meets a Galvantula. This "wild" Galvantula is a recently released Pokemon into the city and it's a fairly-trained Pokemon that is causing havoc because it too is scared and unsure of what to do in the city. However not everything is depressing. We definitely see the fun subjects of Pokemon, especially through the character Black. Braviary has great memories of being Black's very first Pokemon. Galvantula as mentioned previously was a stray Pokemon that was recently released and happily joins his team after feeling abandoned by his previous trainer. Carracosta is much older than Black and like a grumpy old man, ignores his actions and it's funny how Carracosta does the opposite of what Black wants. There's also Tepig who is just annoyed at Black not "hearing his voice" at first, not understanding him at first that Tepig doesn't want to be nicknamed after his final evolution. He's not an Emboar, he's an Tepig and he doesn't find Black's first nickname acceptable. Black is surprised but happily accepts Tepig the way he is, giving him three seperate nicknames based on his three different evolutions. We also see Black's Munna. Not only is Black's Munna one of his oldest childhood friends but Black's Munna helps Black think clearly through dream-eater.

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    Black the Dreamer

    What I find interesting about Black is that he's essentially the most OP Pokemon trainer to start his Pokemon journey having already a lot of early experience and knowledge in Pokemon battles. As a child, he tried to impress Prof. Juniper into giving him a Pokedex as she's distracted with her research, repeatedly yelling out, "NOTICE ME SENPAI!" through the window with no luck. It's because of this that Black actually starts off his journey with both the experience and knowledge and has even laid out a plan of how his journey could possibly go. So how do you balance such an OP protagonist, simple. Black is a very intelligent kid but he has day-dreaming problems, dreaming about the Pokemon League so much that he cannot focus on his goals and that's where Black's Munna comes in to eat his dreams. Not only does he prove to be quite a powerful Pokemon battler early on, he also puts on his Detective Pikachu hat (joking he doesn't actually do that) and solves various mysteries related to Pokemon and this is a central theme about Black. He loves Pokemon and loves to interact with them and it's not just interacting with his team of Pokemon but also interacting to new and wild Pokemon do we, the readers, see Black's interactions with Pokemon as a huge part of Black and White's strong subject of Pokemon. Another way of interacting with Pokemon of course are Pokemon battles. Black battles all eight Unovan Gym Leaders and they are exciting, fast and action-packed but personally my favorite part is actually the times Black interacted with the Gym Trials itself which are big gigantic puzzles within the Gym itself. I laughed when Skyla says she wasn't joking about sending Black away all the way to his home-town by cannon-fire. Black's horrified reaction that she wasn't kidding was hilarious.

    [​IMG]
    White the Dreamer

    Black isn't he only main character. There is also the character White who also helps drives the story and Black's Pokemon journey. Black & White have an employee and employer relationship. In fact Black often nicknames White as "Prez" because White is the president of the BW Agency which serves to help bring out the talent in Pokemon. She had this dream ever since she was a little girl who saw a wild Pokemon climb on a stage and perform. From that moment, she realized that Pokemon love being in the spotlight. Like Black, she's very hardworking and tries to meet deadlines. One of the trends I have noticed in Pokemon Adventures, is that there's always a character that represents an entirely new feature in the games that the player character can participate in. In Gen 2, Gold represents the new breeding mechanic at the time. In Gen 3, Ruby represents the new Pokemon Contest mechanic. Gen 5 introduces Pokemon Musicals and it's in this canon that White is the creator of Pokemon Musicals. To be honest I completely forgot about Pokemon Musicals existed at the time until how they introduced it in Pokemon Adventures BW. It took me by surprise that White, the President of the BW Agency, is literally the creator of Pokemon Musicals here and what an ingenious way of cementing White's role in the Pokemon Adventures universe even further.

    [​IMG]
    N and Tepig.

    With Black & White's happiness in the first half of the Pokemon Adventures manga, nothing lasts forever. As mentioned before, Ghetsis is just a scumbag and I applaud GameFreak for successfully make Pokemon fans hate this villain in the first place. In the games, we see his organization, Team Plasma, causing very horrible consequences in the Unova region but in the Pokemon Adventures manga, not only does Team Plasma have region-affecting consequences but it becomes way more personal to our main characters and the readers. What Ghetsis's manipulation over the organization does is just quite awful. If Team Plasma's speech was one thing, it continues on with one of Bianca's Pokemon stolen. We see White losing her Tepig and falling into a coma because of N offering Tepig a choice to choose her own path. We see Black absolutely horrified that his childhood Pokemon friend, Munna, just leaves him after N explains that Munna only wanted to be with him because of his tasty dreams. We see Black's best friend Cheren who wants to get stronger manipulated by Team Plasma. We see N himself facing the horrible realization that he may have actually hurt the Pokemon he loves, not liberated them, that he was just a puppet to Ghetsis. Ghetsis is a huge scumbag and he does all this with an angelic smile on his face believing everything he does is right and it's because of this that he's such a great villain.

    [​IMG]
    One of the most powerful scenes in Pokemon history.

    However as dark as this is, it's also happy to see them overcome them or even accept them. For our heroes, there were lessons to be learned from this. Although Black thinks of N as the villain, it's good that N helped White's Tepig choose her own path. It helped White become a stronger Pokemon trainer and it helped her listen to her Pokemon's voices, understand them better and White actually thanks N for that experience which actually surprises him and makes him feel a little happy during his darkest moment. Black also has come to the realization that N isn't a bad guy. He was just trying to help Pokemon and that the real villain is Ghetsis. Cheren comes to his senses, Bianca is reunited with his Pokemon and one of the most powerful scenes in Pokemon history is when we see not the Gym Leaders but ordinary Pokemon trainers who have different jobs and dreams stand-up to Ghetsis, one of the strongest Pokemon trainers in the world, just to rescue the Gym Leaders and believing that they all have a chance to become something more. Also Iris. I freaking love this take on Iris. She's not Black's companion but his rival and quite a sassy one at that. However the most memorable scene, one that I notice that even casual Pokemon fans found awe-inspiring even though they never read the manga, was the surprised realization that Black's team of Pokemon actually believe in his dreams during his darkest moment. It was a reminder that they have been through so much together on countless adventures across different lands against different opponents and Black's Pokemon wanted to see Black finish this Pokemon journey from the beginning to the very end. This was a very powerful moment as it showed how much Black's Pokemon had faith in him and in-turn Black understood this and had faith in them as well. It just wasn't his Pokemon. Black's friends believed in him too. White, Bianca and Cheren believed in his dream. This powerful moment doesn't end here. When Cheren admits he wants Black to succeed, we see a familiar pink mist and Black realizes who is coming. He smiles and welcomes his Munna, now a Musharna, to his team. Black finally understood why Munna left him, it was to get stronger in order to make Black's Dream of being the Pokemon Champion come true. It's from this that Black can hear his Pokemon's voices, he understands them and Reshiram has finally awakened because of this. Reshiram's awakening is also a powerful moment, signifying an untold requirement for him to be awakened. The one in possession of his light ball has to hear their Pokemon's voices and Black can hear them.

    [​IMG]
    Black & White reunited.

    This is overall definitely one of the more happier and light-hearted adventures despite the more mature content and you'd think that such a great epic adventure that nearly exactly follows the games would get a happy ending but you have to remember that this is Kusaka were talking about. He always has a surprise for us and what happens at the end is honestly pretty dark. I haven't seen this sort of ending since the time the Pokedex Holders turned to stone in Gen 3 and this just makes you think further that Ghetsis is just freaking scum, even worst when White expresses her sadness at the end after being reunited again and that is Black is being pulled into Reshiram's light ball, giving one last smile to White as he reveals his BW Agency shirt that he's wearing to promote White's new company. The next panel ends with White walking to a sealed light ball silently in disbelief. A lot of fans just couldn't' believe what happened and they hope that one day, Black makes a big return in BW2.

    So overall, Black & White is an amazing adaptation and I personally think it surpasses that of the games and deals with the subject matter of Pokemon better than any Pokemon adaptation I know of.
     
  6. BenLee really not taken

    BenLee really not taken Captain Obvious

    I don’t have much to say for this arc, but I realized something specific about the main characters.
    Black is a deconstruction of “stock Shonen protagonists” as someone else has said, where he is shouty and hotheaded, but has deep knowledge on Pokémon and uses intelligence to solve problems.
    As for White, she is also a deconstruction for “stock useless females” as seen, first from how she screams from Pokémon battle, and can’t catch a Pokémon as she never battled before. Where, the Ferris Wheel scene highlights the deconstruction.
    Lastly for Blake, he is a deconstruction for “Gary Stu,” as one chapter even says “Mr. Perfect,” and how he lacks emotion and doesn’t hesistate for any decision.
    I’m not sure about Whi-Two as in deconstruction. Perhaps another twist of “damsel in distress,” such as when Blake holds her in his hands multiple time. Or, a twist on “criminal females” as she isn’t enjoying the crimes, but believed Team Plasma’s action was morally correct.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
    shoz999 likes this.
  7. Got around to reading the BW chapter (and the two volumes of B2W2 available in English). Appropriately, I read them on a flight back from New York, and now I want to traverse the Unova region again to pretend I'm still in the Big Apple.

    Having known ahead of time that this chapter would basically follow the plot of the original games much more closely than other chapters and just expand on it, I was looking forward to this round, and it definitely delivered. The Unova games have by far and away the best plot of the series, so I was interested to see what else the manga could bring to the table.

    Once again, I liked both main characters more or less equally. Black is pretty damn cool – after several generations of dex holders with varied goals and skill sets, it’s a refreshing call back to the series’ roots to have a protagonist with the classic goal of “beat the Pokemon League and be the best trainer ever”. His lineup were all used well and decently fleshed out; Black’s team were all used well and fleshed out, I liked Tula especially which surprised me since it’s not a Pokémon I’m fond of (can’t stand spiders). I was wondering if it would be reunited with its trainer, or if we’d ever even find out who that was. I found the rationale for why he and White had to stick together kind of forced, but the dynamic of them both having a Tepig was cool and fresh and the contrast between them was interesting.

    If I have a gripe, though, it bothered me how much of White’s story was passed over, and how she filled out her team mostly offscreen – once again, that annoying tendency Pokemon Adventures has to add three or four Pokemon at once and barely develop them at all rears its ugly head. However, on a conceptual level, her transition from total weakling into badass Pokedex holder was probably one of the most satisfying of all the protagonists so far (if not the most) because it’s so rare to see a protaognist go from complete novice to competent battler (I think the last one was Yellow?). I particularly liked that she tried the Subway multiple times before improving – I have to admit I was expecting to complete it first time on a fluke, but I’m glad that didn’t happen.

    There’s actually surprisingly little to say about the story since it cleaves so closely to the games, but I was surprised how readily the Muskedeers and the Genies were implemented into the story considering that they’ll be more relevant to the B2W2 section. As usual, it’s fun to see minor characters like Shoko the Patrat girl and Hiker Andy given greater prominence – I didn’t find their appearance at the end quite as stirring as the arrival of the Gym Leaders in the games, but it was touching nonetheless. The early cameos from Marlon and Colress were cool (more Marlon in general would be good, I haven’t heard much about his appearance in the B2W2 chapter). Oddly, N actually felt quite underused to me – the games really fleshed him out more, and he’s shoved in the player’s face a lot more often. I also felt that Alder got the short end of the stick – he was an intriguingly complex character in the games, but not so much here. The twist with Cheren was super cool, though.

    The early snatch I’ve seen of B2W2 was good, but I’ll hold off discussing that until the chapter finally concludes in 2025.
     
    shoz999 likes this.
  8. shoz999

    shoz999 IT WAS ME! SETETH!

    I really wanted to see more of White's story, especially how her Stunfisk, Alomomola and Solosis battle style are. I really want to see those three Pokemon can do as odd of a group they are but question? What's your favorite part of the Unovan League? So many good battles in one area.
     
  9. Iris vs Black was probably my favourite, I really like Iris so it was great seeing her work her way up. But like you said, so many good battles!
     
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