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The saddest story in all of Pokemon is from a manga no one remembers

Blackjack Gabbiani

Clearly we're great!
I posit to you that the absolute saddest story this franchise has ever told is Hill of the Lone Star Tree from Magical Pokemon Journey. In it, we meet a Quagsire who's very old and clearly suffering from dementia. He can barely remember who he is, but he remembers a promise he made to a friend a long time ago, and he and his trainer are trying to fulfil it.

In his youth, the Quagsire had been friends with Mandy the Charmander, and they would play on a hill with a distinctive star-shaped tree. They had promised to meet again there someday. But Quagsire can't remember where the hill is.

They meet a girl who says she knows where the tree is, that it was very important to her family's Charmander--the very same Mandy! But...when they get there, they find Mandy's grave. The girl says that Mandy had always said that someone important to her was supposed to meet her there, but he never showed up.

Quagsire starts sobbing his beady little eyes out and sputtering about their promise. Just then, a spirit manifests before him and calls him by name (turns out his given name is Cyrus). Mandy's spirit seems to welcome him and guide him to the afterlife, and they vanish together.

However, turns out that this was just his spirit and he was somehow astral projecting because he's too old to travel. The real Quagsire is still alive...and has already completely forgotten everything that happened. The entire journey, including reuniting with Mandy's spirit, was utterly forgotten, and he's left still wanting to find her.

There are a lot of woefully sad stories in this franchise but this is the only one I can't even describe without bursting into tears. Oh yeah and this is the story that Viz ended their English run of this series on! This is the last impression most English speaking fans ever got of what had been mostly a lighthearted slice of life.
 

Maxim

Beyond repair
Hey, I do remember Magical Pokemon Journey... although not as thoroughly to remember this story fully, though I did remember there was some elderly Quagsire there.

To be honest, MPJ is something that I didn't really appreciate back in the day. I felt that it was "not my cup of tea". But it's aged like wine for me - the stories are kinda naive but charming, the characters are likeable (though often somewhat weird), the artstyle is totally unique and it does has that "old Pokemon" charm. MPJ is definitely an inseparable part of the first Pokemon mania nostalgia. It's something that we don't get in Pokemon anymore...
And Yumi Tsukirino really seems to be a Pokemon fan - she showed a lot of franchise-consciousness, especially in side stories and "between the lines" moments. I liked it a lot.
 
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