Pokemon 4koma Gag!! Theater

I had quite a time trying to find out anything about this manga. Didn’t find out anything, most of all why “Pokemon 4koma Gag!! Theater” was never translated for us Unova fans. Which is weird, mind you. In Japan, Unova is Isshu, translated to Unova here. Surge, however, is “The American Soldier”. Pokemon world, man. Takes three years to notice an entire region literally next to yours.

Back to the 4koma. I find it odd that we get obviously inappropriate manga like… well, most of them. Adventures had the Pokemon zombies and Red stealing a Pokemon (not unlike him, considering Origins). Pikachu’s Boogaloo had boobs, boobs, boobs. Plus, let’s not forget James’ bad boys in the anime.

Sure, much was edited and cut out, but they exist. However, this manga is pretty tame. Worst I can think of is Dugtrio looking up a Lass’ skirt and Ash thinking he wet the bed. It was just a Ditto, but still.

My guess is that at the time, Japan thought we were too dumb to understand 4komas. I am, but don’t punish everyone else on my shortcomings. Honestly, it’s a shame that we never got this manga here.

Even so, the jokes are pretty understandable, despite the lack of English. Pretty much all of the jokes are based on the appearance of Pokemon. Kabuto looks like a claw, so the punchline is that Kabuto works for a claw machine game! No one will let Pikachu play in the playground! “I’ll slide on Lickitung’s tongue!” Don’t worry, Pikachu knows exactly where that tongue has been… EVERYWHERE!

I like the jokes that play on mysteries of Pokemon designs, something Unova Pokemon tend to lack. What happens if you take off Slowbro’s Shellder? You get a hundred more Shellder underneath! What happens if Grimer evolves while holding a shelf? It falls on him!

My personal favorite is the Haunter strip. Haunter lays in bed, grabbing food with its dismembered hands. Gengar cries, remembering fondly of its Haunter days. A+ strip! Give that ghost an Oscar! I don’t know, just give him the one that we planned to give to Leo!

But some strips don’t entertain well. Half of the Slowbro strips have the same punchline. “Slowbro is dumb!” Some are funny, but it gets old to see the poor Pokemon get picked on just to make the same joke. Like Meg.

I honestly believe P4kGT is superior to Black and White Pocket Comics. Even jokes I find funny in B&W are only because they’re in English, while this manga makes use of “Show, Don’t Tell”.

Obviously you shouldn’t get this. It’s probably beyond expensive, and if you’re like me, you’ll wish you had any idea why the Tentacruel strip about denting the aquarium glass is funny. Come over to my place to read it. I’ll lend you safety gloves, and all you have to do is pay me ten bucks up front.

Well, that was another uneventful April here on the blog. Take care, and I wish you well come Sunday, when your ears will bleed from hearing that “May the Fourth” joke one time too many.

Pokemon Black & White Pocket Comics

Hiya hiya hiya! Welcome to 4koma Month! Boy, we’re gonna review a lot of 4koma!

Ah. Tomorrow’s the last day of April. Hmm. Look, I had a heck of a time. Passover, being chained to a radiator, and yesterday they finally told me that I can destroy the radiator. God, I hated that radiator.

I could¬†review 4koma into next month, but I realized that there really isn’t too much 4koma in the states. Heck, this is the only Pokemon 4koma translated in the states. Sure, there’s Pikachu Meets The Press, but that’s dumb. Also, not technically a 4koma. Did I tell you how bad the physics are? They’re on par with the anime. Gary’s Rapidash uses Flamethrower on Ash’s Metapod, but Ash deflects the attack by having Metapod use Harden.¬†Fun fact: Not a thing.

So let’s look at the one Pokemon 4koma to follow the games rather than the show, “Pokemon Black & White Pocket Comics”.

Let’s be real here. I LOVE Unova games. Sure, they put more effort into story than gameplay, but these games got rid of those things we hate. Critical condition warning bells! Contests! Weather effects droning on and on and you get my point.

People complain about the designs, but I think that’s because many of them are awful. I won’t beat around the bush: The Roggenrola line has no character to me. Nobody likes the original Kami Trio formes. Cubchoo, wipe your nose. We talked about this before.

But what they lack in cuteness or coolness, they make up in rich factoids!

And they will tell you about each one.

Whoopee.

We are spared stuff like how humans used to heat themselves with Darumaka poop. Less said, sooner mended. The real issue is that any minute are thrown in. Krookodile proves his “badness” by saying he has more dark moves than ground. Pssht. Please. That’s already to the point of over-research.

Which is the main problem with the strips. The manga feels like it’s over-compensating for its ancestor’s mistakes. But the humor is gone from the picture. Not entirely, mind you, but for every strip where I crack up when Gothitelle tells Scraggy that she made him a towel for when he loses his match, there’s another strip like the Cofagrigus one.

The Cofagrigus strip baffles me like The Far Side’s Cow Tools. Two Pokemon are concerned that a Pokemon is stalking them from the ceiling and is up there because of its legs. Cofagrigus comes down and explains, “They’re not legs, they’re hands!” Strip ends.

I know Japan and America have different senses of humor, but I’m pretty sure this strip isn’t funny either. There are a bunch of strips that end weakly. I honestly prefer the Japanese gag 4koma to this. Humor is replaced by facts, and that’s no fun.

What, not enough facts for you? Well, there’s a bonus! Each page has a quiz! I like this part because some questions were pretty difficult. Too many questions were about the weight of Pokemon, but it’s still fun to quiz friends.

Now, the rest: The format is a two-page spread for each strip, which is decent, but sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s speaking first. The manga is flipped, it seems, but it IS for kids, so Viz thinks they’re too dumb to read the “OTHER SIDE!” in bold letters.

Say you want to find a certain Pokemon’s strip. Mind you, each Pokemon has one strip. Well, Throh has two. and only Unova mons included. And only Victini as far as event legendaries. How will you find, say, Audino? Alphabetical? Nope! Unova number? Ha! No way! Actually, it IS alphabetical… in Japanese. This is fine for the most part, but considering there’s no glossary, it took me a while to find Cofagrigus.

I did enjoy this, especially since there really isn’t any other Pokemon 4koma in the states. However, I believe I mentioned a Japanese Pokemon 4koma. And it’s Kanto-based! Next time, folks.