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- This article is about the manga series. For the Pokémon franchise as a whole, see Pokémon. For other uses, see Pokémon (disambiguation).
Pokémon Pocket Monsters (Japanese: ポケットモンスター Pocket Monsters) is a shōnen Pokémon manga based on the Pokémon games by Kosaku Anakubo. It was also the first true Pokémon manga. It stars a Pokémon Trainer named Red and his rude Clefairy. It is chiefly a gag manga, using crude humor and slapstick. It has five sequels: Pokémon Ruby-Sapphire (which takes place in Hoenn), Pocket Monsters DP (which takes place in Sinnoh), Pocket Monsters HGSS (in which the main characters return to Johto), Pocket Monsters BW (which takes place in Unova), and Pocket Monsters XY (which takes place in Kalos).
Pocket Monsters was serialized in CoroCoro magazine. Including its sequels, it is the second longest running manga in CoroCoro. It is also the longest running Pokémon manga ever based on its starting date. It started with The Strange Pokémon Pippi (ふしぎポケモンピッピ) in the April 1996 issue of CoroCoro Comics' sister magazine, CoroCoro Special.
The series diverges somewhat from the Pokémon video game and anime canon in that most Pokémon can speak human language and regular animals (like birds and fish) appear alongside Pokémon. Evolution is also significantly different in Pokémon Pocket Monsters. Pokémon can evolve at any time, and they are also able to reverse the evolution. Green's Charmander also seems able to skip the Charmeleon stage and evolve directly into Charizard.
Red, his Clefairy, and his Pikachu make a cameo appearance in the anime episode Lights, Camerupt, Action!. They are the only characters from any Pokémon manga to make an appearance in the anime.
Pokémon Pocket Monsters was translated into English by Chuang Yi in Singapore, as well as its first sequel, Pokémon Ruby-Sapphire. This translation is now out of print, although it is still listed on Chuang Yi's website.
Chuang Yi announced a planned North American release in the late 1990s; however, this never happened. The series and its sequels have never been translated into English by VIZ Media in Western regions. There is much speculation by fans as to the reason for this, as the manga is quite popular in Japan. Theories range from the fact that the art style is so different (many of the Pokémon and characters can be unrecognizable) as well as the fact that Red and Clefairy's genitalia are visible at the end of the second chapter.
In Greater China, the manga was translated by Da Ran Culture to Traditional Chinese (Taiwan version) under the title 神奇寶貝 and to Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong version) under the title 寵物小精靈 by its Hong Kong subsidiary, Da Ran Culture (Hong Kong). However, Da Ran went out of business in 2005, and only published the first seven volumes. Later on, Ching Win took over the publication, but only published Pokémon Ruby-Sapphire in Hong Kong under the title 爆笑寵物小精靈R·S編 and Pocket Monsters DP in Taiwan under the title 神奇寶貝歡樂祭 鑽石·珍珠篇. In 2005, the first eight volumes were also translated by Jilin Publishing Group in Mainland China under the title 神奇宝贝, with the first six volumes using the translation provided by Da Ran. Volume 9 to 14 were also translated by Jilin under the title 神奇宝贝【金银·篇】. In 2006, Jilin also translated the first five volumes of Pokémon Ruby-Sapphire under the title 神奇宝贝 红宝石·蓝宝石篇.
Pokémon Pocket Monsters has been translated into Indonesian by Elex Media Komputindo since 2001. Unlike the other translated manga, most Pokémon names are changed based on their pronounciations in Indonesian. After Volume 12 was released in April 2003, the manga was not continued for several years until the last two volumes were released in 2010.
The series has also been translated into Korean by Daewon C.I..
Volume 13 cover artwork in Indonesian