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Manga The Electric Tale of Pikachu

Discussion in 'Pokémon General' started by BZRich64, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

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    The Electric Tale of Pikchu is a Pokémon manga series from the late '90s that loosely adapts the Pokémon anime series. It stars Ash Ketchum and Pikachu as they travel the Kanto region (and later the Orange Islands) to become a Pokémon Master. Sometimes he's accompanied on his journeys by Misty and/or Brock, though in a surprising twist he spends most of his time without traveling companions. Other major differences include Ash trying to hit on basically every girl he meets like Brock does in the anime, having a slightly different team lineup (most notably he has a Fearow instead of a Pidgeotto) and even naming his Pokémon (although that was only brought up once, Pikachu's name was Jean-Luc Pikachu if anyone's curious). The series also had some interesting additions to the lore, such as having trainers mark their Pokéballs with numbered stickers so that they know which one has which Pokémon in it.
    It even explains just what in the world a "Pokémon Master" actually is and how you can become one. Everything that a trainer does, from catching Pokémon to winning battles, will allow them to earn a certain number of points depending on the rarity of the Pokémon, the strength of the other trainer, etc. There are different ranks of Pokémon trainer determined by how many points you have, with the highest being Pokémon Master.
    However, if you've heard of this series before it will have been in the context of one of two things:
    1. The series canonized Rocketshipping. The epilogue shows that Jessie and James have left Team Rocket, settled down together and are expecting their first child.
    2. The artwork. Pokémon is notorious for its all ages brand image, meant to appeal primarily to children. The Electric Tale of Pikachu is very, very off-brand. The artist/writer of the series is mostly known for his *ahem* adult works and it really shows. Every female character (this includes underage characters like Misty) is drawn with... exaggerated proportions and often wear skimpy outfits. The most notorious example probably being the swimsuit that Misty wears during her Gym battle with Ash. Now, the official English release by VIZ Media censored most if not all of this out so you don't have to worry about it if you can find the official release. What they didn't censor, however, was the violence. The series can be just as violent as Pokémon Adventures, if not more so. The best example of this being with Ash's Charizard who goes from lazy in the anime to being a complete berserker here who absolutely brutalized another Charizard in a fight at one point. In fact, the English release even includes some minor swearing here and there, because VIZ was perfectly aware that this series was not aimed for the same young demographic that most Pokémon stuff is.

    Anyway, anyone here actually familiar with this series? If so, what were your thoughts on it? If you didn't know about it, then do think you might be interested? Sadly, I don't think the series will ever get a reprint and the old copies can be really hard to get a hold of (especially the last volume, due to the aforementioned bit with Team Rocket).
     
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  2. RadEmpoleon

    RadEmpoleon certified EPIC Gamer™ (they/them)

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    That sounds... interesting... yeah while I’ve heard of it, I haven’t read it. I’m actually somewhat interested to maybe read some of it.
     
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  3. Hraesvelgr

    Hraesvelgr Snek in Your Boot

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    I've read some of it, unfortunately I haven't been able to find the last volume anywhere to read, which is a shame because I wanted to finish it.
     
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  4. Minty Electric

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    *skids in* Did somebody say Electric Tale of Pikachu?!

    Man, I love that series. The art (twelve-year-olds in skimpy bikinis aside) is absolutely amazing, the humor is great, and even those emotional notes feel deeper and strike harder than their counterparts in the anime. (The clefairy dance, for example?)

    But more importantly in my book, it offered up a lot of lore, a huge chunk of which answers questions that the other canon universes don't even touch. Like ... how do TMs work? What does one have to do to get a trainer's license? Do ten-year-olds really just leave school and never come back? (Spoiler alert on that last one: No, you are literally on vacation for a limited time. And that's a cool idea.) Plus, it has some really fascinating takes on things that do get covered, like how a trainer can tell which Pokémon is in which ball or how they're healed so quickly, thanks to that really rad mash-up of Pokémon and hard sci-fi. (Glowy screens everywhere.)

    Also? Some of that lore applies to characters too, with some really fun takes on a few of 'em. Like, realtalk, best Bill. (And unlike most canon universes, we get all kinds of fun Bill stuff, including actual backstory. This has excited the fangirl in me for ages, let me tell you.) But also, while animeverse, gameverse, and Specialverse Sabrina are all really cool in their own ways, it's hard not to like sweet, sensitive, but misguidedly vengeful Electric Tale Sabrina. And I could go on, but this post is already hella long, so let's just say the characters, man.

    In short, yes. Yes, I've read it. And yes, I highly recommend that other people read it too. 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
     
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  5. Kano

    Kano whelp

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    I used to read this manga all the time as a kid!
    Even though it was aimed at older fans, I didn't really realize that or give it much thought. I read it every day and brought it to school with me. I think we might've noticed Misty's build being more exaggerated than in the anime, buuuut at the same time, we were like "ah japan is just weird like that" LOL. I loved that the battles were so hardcore.
     

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