Difference Between Pokemon Manga And Video Games

The Pokemon series dates back to 1996 when Pokemon Red and Blue was released. Since then, there have been loads of games, as well as anime and manga. Although all of this focuses on the world of Pokemon, the materials themselves are a little different from each other.

See also: The best video game comics and manga

One of the first Pokemon manga called Pokemon Adventures came out in 1997, just a year after the release of the first game. This manga is still going strong with new releases for current Pokemon games. Here we go over the main differences between Pokemon manga and Pokemon games. Overall, if you’re a big Pokémon fan, we recommend reading the manga as well as playing the games.


7/7 death and injury

Arbok is cut in half

In the main Pokemon games, your party can get injured and faint, but with a visit to the Pokemon Center, they’ll all be healed. Fainting doesn’t actually mean the Pokemon has died, but in the manga it’s a very real possibility.

On several occasions, Pokémon get badly injured or just die altogether. For example, in the image above, you can see Arbok being cut in half and presumably dying. A scene like this would probably never appear in a game. This is from an early installment of Pokemon Adventures, and overall the manga is pretty violent and mature.

6/7 Complex stories and personalities

Cover of Pokemon sun and moon manga

After getting a brand new Pokemon game, set off from home with a Pokemon starter by your side hoping to battle every gym and become a champion. Along the way, you must defeat an enemy team that will appear everywhere you go. This describes many Pokemon games, all of which share a similar format.

The manga is a little different. First, the main character is given a personality. Rather than naming a character themselves and giving them a personality, the protagonists in the manga have their own personalities and mannerisms. However, this makes sense since video games usually adapt to you.

Related: Pokemon that use tools and weapons in battle

Story-wise, the manga fleshes out more details, adding arcs and side stories. For example, in the manga Sun and Moon, set in the Alola region, we meet two main protagonists also named Sun and Moon. Sun aims to collect 100 million yen while Moon’s goal is to deliver a Rotom to Professor Kukui. These two motifs are not part of the Sun and Moon games, making them unique to the manga.

5/7 mature art

Girl with pokeballs under the shirt

Above we showed you a scene where Arbok is hacked in half. In addition to these violent attacks, Pokemon manga can get a bit more mature, with sexual overtones. Pokemon Pocket Monsters is an episodic manga that leans heavily on slapstick humor. A Reddit user pointed out this particular panel from the manga. This is NSFW so be careful when watching!

In Pokemon Adventures, you can read about a trainer who appears to be using Pokeballs under her shirt. The truth is soon found out after her top rips off revealing the pokeballs.

4/7 Multiple main characters

Sign diamond and pearl

The main characters of the manga Diamond and Pearl aptly named Diamond and Pearl.

In the main games, you play the main character. There may be other characters that are important, but they don’t appear as often as you do. This doesn’t apply to the manga, nor does it apply to the anime. For example, we all know that Brock, Misty, and Ash travel together, which isn’t seen in the games.

Interestingly, many Pokemon manga have two main characters; one for each game. This was previously seen when we were talking about the sun and moon, the two protagonists in the sun and moon manga. Instead of having a manga for every game, the game releases dictate the names of the characters.

3/7 Peek into a Pokeball

Bulbasaur in a pokeball

The inside of a Pokeball is mysterious; In each game, you can use these unique balls to catch wild Pokémon and store them in your bank. What does a Pokemon do in the ball? How do you look?

Related: The Best Pink Pokemon

In the manga, Pokeballs have a clear top so you can see the Pokemon inside. Inside, the Pokémon is a miniature and takes up the entire ball. There isn’t much room for the Pokemon to move up, but you can quickly see who’s inside each one.

2/7 Pokémon interactions

Red talks about the brain that controls Pokémon

Pokemon interactions in the games are rare, especially in early games. Newer games let you camp and picnic with your party so they can romp around together, but in the manga, the Pokémon really interact with each other.

Instead of being crammed into a ball, we see entire parties on the move at once. Battle interactions between Pokémon are also more detailed in the manga. In the games, you can use a move, but there won’t be a unique combat attack that shows your Pokemon performing the action. In the manga, you can see exactly how a Pokémon performs the attack.

1/7 Several Pokemon series

three series of Pokemon manga

After all, there are several Pokemon series for you to read. In terms of video games, there is one main Pokemon series. Although there are several spinoff games like Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and Pokemon Pinball, when we hear “Pokemon video game” we all think of the main series.

Unlike the games, there are multiple Pokemon series. We’ve already mentioned Pokemon Adventure and Pokemon Pocket Monsters. You can also find a series titled Magical Pokemon Journey which is a shoujo manga that does not follow the story of any game or anime. In this manga, most Pokémon can also talk.

Next: The Legend Of Zelda: Differences Between Manga And Games