cbr11bingo – Two Heads Are Better!
Pokemon X•Y is a brief manga series inspired by the video games of the same name. A tween came to my library and asked why I didn’t have any and insisted I buy them. So I did. Ha! for the library, not myself. When I read of the “two heads” task for Cannonball, I thought it would be fun to review these with a kid. I have never read a manga nor a Pokemon book. I didn’t know where to find the kid who demanded I buy them, but I knew my friend’s 6 (almost 7!)-year-old son Charlie was gobbling them up volume by volume. So he and I chatted Pokemon X•Y over dinner last night.
I asked Charlie to start off our summary of the series – he has read up to volume 7 so far, but I have only read up to volume 2. He summed up the main conflict: bad guys are trying to destroy the city with an ultimate weapon powered by Legendary Pokemon. It’s up to five friends to save the day: young trainer X with his friends and fellow trainers Y, Trevor, Shauna, and Tierno. One problem, though, is X is deeply depressed and refusing to engage with Pokemon training or even leave his house. His friends need to get him out in the action again especially as this new danger and intrigue arrives in the form of the Legendary Pokemon – whose powers may be connected to X and his own Pokemon (Kanga and child).
Charlie and I talked about reading manga. I had tried and failed in the past, because I didn’t realize the dialogue and panels also were read right to left in addition to the pages. Once I had that knowledge, I found the adjustment a lot easier. And in some ways it was a cool new reading experience as I couldn’t let myself drift off at all. Charlie said it’s a little weird and can be confusing, but he’s pushing through the series very fast, so it’s clearly not an obstacle.
Here’s some stuff we liked about the story: I liked that there was an emotional conflict, which I didn’t expect (of X shying away from fame and his friends having to deal with that). Charlie likes that the comics have a lot of detail and a lot of story, but not so many words that he wouldn’t be able to read it.
The artwork is cute, in black and white like most manga. I prefer a full-color graphic novel myself, but Charlie likes the black-and-white artwork because he can fill in how the Pokemon look with his imagination.
Some things he and I didn’t like as much about the story: I could have used longer volumes and more time with X and his reasons for hermiting himself away. Charlie thought some of the comic was creepy and gross, specifically the Togepi Pokemon which was sporting a pretty evil smile in some pics, as well as some gross illustrations in later volumes.
As the Pokemon expert between the two, I asked Charlie for some further insight, and he added that his favorite Pokemon in this was Xerneas which give life, and his favorite character is X because he is the strongest Pokemon trainer.
Two thumbs up for young Pokemon fans!