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It stars Isamu "Red" Akai, an Expy of the first Pokemon protagonist, on his adventures around many regions.
The manga is known for its odd art style, even odder comedy, the fact that Pokemon can evolve and devolve at will, and its overall different feel from other adaptations.
This series provides examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: Protagonists and rivals; you have people like "Blue" and "Red" against people with normal names. There's a mix between randomly chosen Meaningful Names and names taken from the games.
- Art Evolution: It eventually grew out of a 90s type style and most of its Deranged Animation. Quite noticeably, Pikachu lost his green eyes and the manga started looking more like the games (even using the game!Pikachu design rather then the anime one).
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted for both the protagonist and his Clefairy.
- Continuity Cameo: It appeared as a Show Within a Show for the anime.
- Deranged Animation
- Early Installment Weirdness: All Pokemon speak human except for one and can "devolve", made up Pokemon that appear no where else, strange looking Pokemon, and probably more.
- Expy: Sapphire resembles her anime counterpart (May) quite a lot, right down to her starter choice and her being a coordinator.
- Groin Attack
- Identical Stranger: Yellow looks similar to Isamu. Red looks similar to Isamu, though less so because he's based off the remake design.
- Jerkass: Clefairy.
- Long Runner: It's been going on since 1996 and has been running for longer then any other Pokemon manga.
- Meaningful Name: Red and Green's names have kanji with their nicknames in it, which refer to their game counterparts and the original games.
- Mythology Gag: When the manga was referenced in the anime, a strip was made up with Isamu and the other characters referencing to said appearance.
- No Export for You: Only released in Japan, and briefly Singapore and Vietnam. Getting it released in the West would require a B-2 Spirit to hide all the crap from the censors.
- One Steve Limit: There's Blue, a geeky male ghost Otaku. Then there's Blue, an Expy of Leaf from the remakes of Pokémon Red and Blue. There's a kid named "Red" who is an Evil Counterpart to Isamu, based on Red's updated design in the games, who has the same name as Isamu's nickname.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Isamu and Kai are only referred to by their names once in the series. They're mostly referred to as "Red" and "Green".
- Refuge in Vulgarity: Early volumes.
- Talking Pokemon: Pokemon can talk.
- Verbal Tic: Clefairy has one along with all other talking Pokemon.
- The Voiceless: All Pokemon can talk except Isamu's Pikachu.
- Toilet Humor: Used at least once.
- Widget Series
- You Don't Look Like You: At the start of this manga, very few Pokémon resembled their official designs. Rumor has it the designs were based off what the mangaka thought the sprites looked like, which looked incredibly off. As the series went on the characters started looking more like their game counterparts, even resembling the official art better then other adaptations in some examples.
- Often incorrectly thought of as the first adaptation due to the first being a 4koma that came out one month before.