pokemon red & blue manga

Pokemon Red & Blue Manga Guide: Where It All Started!

Maybe it isn’t as famous as the anime series or the games, but the Manga series (also known as Pokémon Adventures) is very important for the Pokémon franchise. 

Thanks to Pokémon Adventures, we can really understand how Satoshi Tajiri (the man behind the Pokémon concept) envisioned the Pokémon world. And probably, without the Manga, Pokémon wouldn’t have the interesting lore it has right now. Probably, I won’t be writing about this franchise, either. It’s harsh to think about it. 

But I digress. Everything has a start, and Pokémon Adventures is not an exception. So, to understand the basis of the best depiction of the Pokémon world, it’s time to travel to Kanto, when it all started. 

Key Info Up Front

  • Chapter Name: Pokémon Adventures: Red, Green & Blue Chapter.
  • Release Date: August 8th, 1997, in Japan, July 6th, 2000, in the USA. 
  • Released By: Shogakukan in Japan, VIZ Media in the USA. 
  • Volumes: Three. Volume 1, named Desperado Pikachu, contains Episodes 1 to 14. Volume 2, named Legendary Pokémon, contains Episodes 15 to 27, and Volume 3, named Saffron City Siege, contains Episodes 28 to 40. 

Also, if you are wondering, this Chapter is the first one in chronological order, followed by the Yellow Chapter. 

Where to Read the Red, Green & Blue Chapter? 

After some research, I can recommend you three approaches if you want to take a look at this Chapter: 

The Casual Approach 

If you are just an occasional reader who wants to get a taste of Pokémon Adventures, you can opt to look for digital copies on Google. They are as easy to find as typing “where to read Pokémon Adventures Chapter 1.” Then, you are ready to go! 

But consider that the only price to pay to read these free copies is to eat ads to the hilt.  Seriously, you’ll find ads about wretched and sketchy betting games or ads where mysterious ladies claim to be around your location. I should close my doors and windows! 

Also, you can find translated copies in any language you wish if you look deeper on the internet. Pokémon fans seem to hate VIZ Media somehow, as they claim that VIZ Media translations aren’t as accurate as they can be. Hence, the fans do their own translation, and those copies can be found on platforms like Wattpad. 

The Legal Approach 

If you don’t want to find weirdly-done translations from fans, or you wish to read the original product, you can buy a copy of the first three volumes of Pokémon Adventures on the VIZ Media official webpage. Every volume costs about $10, and you’ll find literally the same content as you can find on some sketchy web pages. 

Anyway, you can presume you owe an original copy to your friends (even if these aren’t hard to find, there should always be a reason to brag!)

The Collector Approach 

If you are a die-hard Pokémon fan, then you can try to buy an original print of these volumes! They aren’t hard to find; you only have to research on platforms like eBay, and the prices aren’t crazy; you’ll find copies starting from $5!

Red, Green & Blue Chapter Plot; A Comprehensive Resume

I’m very sure you are curious about this Chapter’s plot, so I’ll keep going for you. It’s fair to say that this will contain major spoilers, so if you want to read the Chapter by yourself, you should skip it. Let’s get started! 

Volume 1: Desperado Pikachu 

The Phantom Pokémon 

The story starts with some kids trying to catch a Nidorino by throwing some Poké Balls directly at its head. Poor little thing!  That’s when a kid named Red appears and teaches the kids how to catch a wild Pokémon. “To catch a Pokémon, first, you have to weaken it!” 

Red claims to be the best trainer around the place, again reinforcing that there should always be a reason to brag around your friends.  After bragging with his friends and trash-talking Professor Oak (I’m sure we all have done it at least once), Red returns to his home. But then, he sees some Team Rocket members talking about a “Phantom Pokémon.”

Red then decides to explore the Western Forest in a chase for this Phantom Pokémon. When he arrives at the place, he sees a trainer battling with a Charmander against this mysterious Mon, which is none other than Mew.  The trainer withdraws Charmander before it falls fainted, so Red gets pissed and sends his Poliwhirl to the battle. Quickly, the Poliwhirl gets its respective beating, and Mew flies away. 

Being devastated by its failure, Red realizes that he needs to train to improve. The best way to do it is by getting some classes from Professor Oak. It wasn’t a good idea to trash-talk him, right? 

Saur 

Red gets to Oak’s Lab without getting invited (his mother did not teach him manners), and Oak scares the little kid by accusing him of being a thief. During the quarrel, some of Oak’s Pokémon, including a cute Bulbasaur, escaped from their Poké Balls. Red gets some responsibility and goes to the rescue. 

The Bulbasaur made all his way up to the Viridian City’s Gym, which was in the darkness. Being totally scared by the place, Bulbasaur hides in a corner. Meanwhile, Red tries to comfort it, but it gets suddenly attacked by a wild Machoke. 

With some effort, Bulbasaur saves Red’s life, and both start battling against the Machoke.  Oak sees potential in the kid, so he lets Red keep Bulbasaur and gives him a Pokédex. Both get back to the Lab, and Red meets the mysterious trainer who was fighting against Mew. He’s Blue, Professor Oak’s grandson, and both will be rivals from now on. 

Pika 

Red starts with his adventure, with Pewter City as his first destination. In the city, Red finds a troublesome Pikachu being chased by the citizens as the Pokémon is a berry stealer. Red then challenges Pika to a battle, only to catch it. 

But Pikachu, now named Pika, is rude and giddy and doesn’t want to listen to its new trainer’s orders. Blue then appears, talking to Red about the Gym Challenge and challenging him to get the first badge against Brock. Red accepts, and the rivalry between the two kids gets more interesting. 

With a new objective, Red challenges Brock, who is demonstrated to be a strong rival. Thanks to Pika, who finally accepted Red as his trainer, Red gets the Boulder Badge.  

Misty and Gyara 

Red then heads to Cerulean City, but he finds a girl battling against an enraged Gyarados. The girl is about to get defeated, but then Red and Saur appear, saving the day. The girl, who presents herself as Misty, explains that Gyarados was hers, but it got kidnapped. When she found Gyarados again, it was outraging. 

Worried about the kidnapping, Red calls Professor Oak, who explains that Team Rocket is kidnapping Pokémon. As Red asks Oak where to find them, he says that the malevolous team is probably on Mt. Moon, looking for the Moon Stone. 

So, infuriated, both kids go to Mt. Moon. 

Team Rocket 

During Mt. Moon exploration, Red stumbles with a Rhyhorn, which seems like a friendly Pokémon, except when it starts attacking Red very furiously. The savage Rhyhorn belongs to Team Rocket, exactly to Koga, who appears and challenges Red to a battle. 

No, you didn’t read wrong; Koga, the Gym Leader, is a bad guy in this Manga. Koga uses Rhyhorn while Red uses Pika, with the latter being the battle’s winner. But then, Koga injects Rhyhorn with a substance that causes it to forcibly evolve into Rhydon. 

Steroids have arrived in the Pokémon world! Rhydon is now a real beast, so it disposes of Misty and her Staryu and, with its strength, makes the cave fall. Thankfully, Red saves Misty and steals the Moon Stone, almost like a superhero. 

Very powerful for a 10-year-old kid, right? 

Cerulean City and Red’s Second Badge 

After almost dying in Mt. Moon, Misty takes Red to her mansion in Cerulean City, as she wants Red to train together and get ready to fight Team Rocket. But Red laughs at Misty’s plan and goes over more interesting things, like challenging Cerulean City’s Gym Leader. 

Misty, as if heaven gifted her the opportunity to make the kid cry, reveals herself as the Gym Leader and gives Red a beating he will never forget.

Reluctantly, Red agrees to train with Misty. It is implied that Red spent some days with Misty, as in the end, Red leaves Cerulean City with the Cascade Badge, so now, our protagonist is more than ready for the danger he’s about to face. 

Lt. Surge 

After a long travel, Red arrives in Vermillion City. Red starts exploring the place like a curious kid until he finds the majestic SS Anne and the Pokémon Fan Club. Red gets in the Fan Club when suddenly, a member appears, claiming that he got his Exeggcutor kidnapped. 

This situation seems like a usual thing in Vermillion City, as the Club members tell Red that they get their Pokémon stolen some days before SS Anne sails. So, it’s obvious that the criminal is moving the kidnapped Pokémon on the ship. 

Red then decides to help those Pokémon, trespassing the guards and getting into the ship. Eventually, Red finds the Pokémon but also the mastermind of the crime; Lt. Surge. Yes, none other than the Gym Leader. Something or someone is influencing the Gym Leaders to be corrupt…

Anyway, Red defeats Lt. Surge and rescues all the Pokémon. Oh, and also, Red almost drowned in the sea, but his Poliwhirl evolved into Poliwrath and saved him. 

Lavender Town 

Red now heads to Lavender Town. On his way, he caught a Snorlax and named it Snor! And then, when Red arrives in Lavender Town, he founds himself in a desolate city in the middle of a storm. Thankfully, he gets rescued by a man named Mr. Fuji, who tells Red about the mysterious Pokémon Tower. “The ones who enter there will never get back.”

Also, Mr. Fuji tells Red he saw a kid named Blue entering the Tower, but he hasn’t gotten back yet. So Red decides to go to his rescue. Rescuing people is like Red’s bread and butter. 

The Creepy Pokémon Tower 

Red enters the Pokémon Tower, and a creepy fog starts chasing him. Suddenly, a Psyduck appears and starts attacking Red, to which he responds by using Saur against it…

But something is wrong; Psyduck isn’t receiving damage. 

After a closer look, Red realizes that Psyduck isn’t more than a dead Pokémon being possessed by a Gastly. Yes, this is getting disturbing; I’m sure I’m not the only one surprised. Red finds Blue, who’s inside a ghostly fog, and tries to help him, but Blue isn’t cooperating; he actually doesn’t look well. 

In fact, Blue is also possessed by a Gastly. 

After some struggle, Red rescues Blue, who gets conscious and decides to look further into the Pokémon Tower, as he got there in the first place after suspecting Team Rocket being involved in some dirty jobs around the place.   Blue was right; Koga was waiting for both kids. Team Rocket used the Pokémon Tower as their HQ, perturbing the dead Pokémon’s rest and using the ghosts to their benefit. 

Red and Blue give Koga a great beating, freeing the Pokémon Tower from Team Rocket’s annoyance and letting the dead Pokémon rest peacefully again. 

Volume 2; Legendary Pokémon 

Green 

Red’s next destination is Celadon City. During his travel, Saur evolves into Ivysaur. While Red is training with his Pokémon, he gets approached by a girl named Green, who sells him some battle items. Red goes to try his brand new tows on Pika, but quickly, Pika gets busted by a wild Pinsir. Then, sadly enough, Red realizes that the little kid tricked him. 

Feeling defeated, Red returns to Celadon City and stumbles with Green again. Both have a battle where Red wins, retrieving his money, but the girl steals Red’s badges during the altercation. Green is a danger! But she’s not a bad girl; she only cares for herself. In fact, she’s also against Team Rocket. 

Introducing Mewtwo 

Red continues his adventure when he realizes there’s a Team Rocket Hideout in Celadon City, so he decides to explore it by stealing a Team Rocket’s uniform. But Green, as always, is two steps ahead. The girl entered before Red, discovering Mewtwo and stealing a disc with all the info about Mew’s genetics. 

Because of the disc’s stealing, Team Rocket is hot on Green’s heels, and when Red enters the Hideout in disguise, he gets selected as a part of the patrol looking for Green. Team Rocket catches the girl, takes the disc, and almost kills Green, but thankfully, Red breaks his disguise and saves her. 

With the disc, Team Rocket can finish their most ambitious project…

Erika and Eevee 

Things aren’t finished in Celadon City for Red, as he has to battle against Erika to claim his next badge. Red goes directly to her Gym and challenges her. Still, she wants Red to do a small task before facing her: Catching a wild Eevee that is misbehaving. 

The problem was that Eevee was strangely modified to the point where it could shapeshift into one of its three eevelutions (Jolteon, Flareon, or Vaporeon) to combat against Red.  As Erika was the one who sent Red to confront the shapeshifter Eevee, Red started suspecting that Erika was also a Team Rocket member. 

Notably (and justifiably) angry, Red burst into Erika’s Gym. In his way, Red discovers a machine that can heal Eevee, so he puts the shapeshifter Mon into the machine, healing it. Erika appears, and Red challenges her to a Battle. As Red wins, Erika explains that she got noticed about a genetically messed Eevee running free through the City. As she saw Red, she asked him for help. 

So, all the situation ended up with Red with the Rainbow Badge and a new friend as it is Eevee. 

Who’s Giovanni? 

Red goes through the Safari Zone and then into Diglett’s Cave, where he meets a fossil maniac named Giovanni.  After playing archaeology, both guys return to Pewter City. Still, suddenly, they discover that a Magmar set the Museum on fire. 

Red defeats and traps Magmar with a Sand Attack from his freshly caught Sandshrew, and Giovanni congrats him by gifting him the Old Amber, which has the potential to be revived. Red then leaves the place. But everything was a plan by Giovanni, who was scouting the little kid. While Magmar frees from his sand trap, Giovanni freezes and slashes the fire-type Pokémon in half, revealing himself as Team Rocket’s leader. 

Gyara and Articuno 

To continue his adventure, Red has to get the HM Surf, as the next task is to explore Cinnabar Islands. The problem is that he doesn’t have the HM, so it’s time for Red to disguise himself as Detective Conan! 

Eventually, Red found it, but it got broken by a Dragonite.  Also, Red almost died, but Misty appeared and saved him! As the HM is broken, Misty gives Red her Gyarados in exchange for Red’s Krabby. Then, Misty teaches Red to surf with Gyara and tells Red about rumors that Team Rocket is behind Articuno on Seafoam Island. 

Red arrives at the place, but Team Rocket is there first. Red battles against Team Rocket, and Articuno gets sick and tired of the situation and makes a tantrum to get out of the place. Thinking that he saved the legendary bird, Red leaves, and heads to Cinnabar Island…

But Articuno didn’t have luck on its escape, as Team Rocket eventually caught it. They did the same with Moltres and Zapdos. 

Blaine 

It’s time to talk about Blaine, a poor guy trapped in the circumstances; his only sin was to trust Team Rocket.  Blaine was Mewtwo’s creator, but as he saw the atrocities that Team Rocket planned to do with his creation, Blaine freed Mewtwo and betrayed the evil guys.

Let’s return to the present, where Red travels to Cinnabar Island. As he arrives, Team Rocket and an unknown man are battling.  Red rescues the man, who introduces himself as Blaine. Thanks to his technology, Blaine revives the fossil out of the Old Amber Giovanni gave to Red and both escape in Red’s newly Aerodactyl! 

Oak Is Missing! 

Blaine left Red, who got to Pallet Town, as he would tell Professor Oak about all of Team Rocket’s mischiefs. The latter seems wacky as Red gets to the place and starts talking with Oak. Suddenly, the professor starts attacking his apprentice. 

Everything was an illusion created by Sabrina, Saffron City’s Gym Leader and part of Team Rocket. She waited for Red in Oak’s laboratory only to reveal that Oak was kidnapped by Team Rocket.  That’s not good for a villain, Sabrina, don’t reveal your plans! 

Volume 3: Saffron City Siege 

Pallet Town Madness 

Blue also arrives in Pallet Town, only to discover that the whole place is devastated and his grandparent is missing. Blue went there to notify Oak that Saffron City was blocked.  After arguing, Blue tells Red that Saffron City is blocked, so they go to the city, as it’s obvious Team Rocket is doing something there. 

Silph Co. 

Red and Blue meet Green, who is also trying to get to Saffron City. The place was surrounded by a Light Screen, but eventually, the kids entered the city. The group goes to Silph Co.’s Building, but it is mostly useless, as Lt. Surge catches Red, and Koga does the same with Blue. 

While trapping the kid who frustrated his plans, Lt. Surge explains that he got to be a Team Rocket member because of the great status the evil team promised him. But, as I’ve always said, everyone has a price tag.  Meanwhile, Blue gets badly wounded by Koga’s Golbat with a strong strike on the kid’s chest. 

Hang On There, Blue! 

Red sees his opportunity, so he attacks Lt. Surge and gets free from his prison. After leaving the place, he takes the Thunder Badge. Red is going directly to Blue’s prison. Koga’s Golbat is about to give the Coup-De-Grace to Blue when Red appears. 

Stupidly enough, Koga frees a seemingly dead Blue and catches Red. A bad move from Koga, as Blue awakes and uses his Pidgeot to attack the Gym Leader. Seemingly angry and offended because two 10-year-old kids are mocking him, Koga basically cheats by using a Legendary Pokémon, none other than Articuno. 

With the legendary on his side, Koga freezes the kids. But Blue is a rude boy, so he uses his Charizard to unfreeze them, defeat Koga, and, since he was humiliating Team Rocket, burn the entire building. 

Never Trust Green 

While both boys were battling against the Gym Leaders, Green did the same with Sabrina. Green didn’t win, but at least she snatched the Marsh Badge from her.  As Blue and Red got free, Blue went to look for his grandfather, and Red went to look for Green. Eventually, Red and Green reunite, and both start exploring the place. 

Red and Green find a device with seven holes corresponding to seven badges, and they find out that the device enhances the power of any Pokémon.  Red has six badges, including the Volcano Badge, which Blaine gave to the kid. Green offers him the Marsh Badge in exchange for the Moon Stone, and then Red uses the device on Pika…

But nothing happened. 

It results that when Green stole Red’s badges, she gave him fake ones back. Green steals the device with all the original badges and leaves Red behind.  Even if she’s very smart and is one step ahead of everyone, Green is such a bad person. Red has done nothing but save and help her, and she only steps on him. Poor guy; he has to check on his friends more often. 

The Amalgamation 

Then, Sabrina appears and uses Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres to attack Red. Then, with her Badge Device, she makes the three Legendary Pokémon merge into what I call The Amalgamation. Blue appears, and both start fighting The Amalgamation. Meanwhile, Green’s device explodes, and she returns, only to see the Amalgamation and faint at the impression. 

The battle gets intense, and the floor breaks. Finally, the kids get safe thanks to Red’s Ivysaur (which evolved into Venusaur). The strength of the three kids is enough to defeat Sabrina. The three legendary birds separate and run away. The kids leave the place, and the building falls apart. 

Blaine’s Redemption 

As Silph Co’s building got destroyed, Saffron City’s people caught all Team Rocket’s members, including the corrupted Gym Leaders. Blue goes directly to the League, while Red gets a report of a beast destroying Cerulean City, so he goes there. 

As Red arrives, he discovers Blaine, who’s injured but is battling against Mewtwo. 

At first, Blaine prevents Red from fighting, as it’s one of those battles a man has to fight, not only to protect the world, if not for also to forgive himself for his own mistakes. This is another strong message Pokémon Adventures gives us, and I absolutely love it!

But Blaine gets easily out of combat, and Red takes his chance. Blaine gives Red a Master Ball, and thanks to Red’s Aerodactyl and Pika, the boy manages to catch Mewtwo.  Before leaving, Red gives Mewtwo to Blaine, as he and his creation have to learn how to live among humans. 

Red’s Last Badge 

Red heads to Viridian City to get his last badge. In his way, he helps a little girl to get her first Pokémon. This little girl is named Yellow and is important, but not for now. Red arrives in Viridian City and goes to the Gym, which seems abandoned. Suddenly, a man’s voice tells Red that he’s the only trainer the man has been waiting for a long time. 

This voice is Giovanni’s. 

Giovanni reveals himself as the Gym Leader and Team Rocket’s head and puts some conditions on the table. If Red wins, the kid is allowed to leave the place. But, if Giovanni wins, Red has to obey him. 

Red accepts, and the battle begins.  Giovanni imposes against Red, and the battle is so strong that the Gym falls into pieces.  Both outside, Giovanni strikes and leaves the kid on the verge of death with a Poison Sting from his Nidoqueen. 

But thanks to Pika, who got to fight at the last moment, Red wins against Giovanni, who leaves the place. The mastermind of Team Rocket got defeated by a 10-year-old kid; that should be a shame. 

FAQs

Question: Is Pokémon Red, Green & Blue a dark story? 

Answer: This story has some disturbing moments, like the Pokémon Tower one. However, I’m sure this Manga was aimed at young adults more than kids, as Satoshi Tajiri wanted a darker story. 
Nonetheless, thanks to Nintendo, Pokémon got more kid-appealing. Without that change, I’m sure Pokémon wouldn’t have become as famous as it is now! 

Question: Are Lt. Surge, Koga, and Sabrina evil? 

Answer: Personally, I don’t think so. They just were greedy and dumb and got coaxed by Team Rocket as they didn’t have the best life ever. 

Question: Why did Team Rocket create Mewtwo? 

Answer: Team Rocket’s main plan was to use Mew’s DNA to create an unbeatable weapon as it is Mewtwo and use it to rule Kanto and, therefore, the world.

Pokemon Red & Blue Manga: Conclusion

The rest of the Manga shows Red winning the Indigo League against Blue. A great ending to a great Manga.  Pokémon Adventures isn’t only the typical Pokémon story; it talks about corruption, personal goals, animal cruelty, morals, and much more. 

I don’t recommend this story for kids, mostly because they won’t understand it as much as a young adult can see it. 

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