Pembo's Pokemon adventure - (Solo bookclub ポケットモンスター SPECIAL!)

I can see this becoming a long intro post so here’s the TL;DR:
I’m going to read the Pokemon manga. I’m not structuring it, don’t expect anyone to follow along with. I’ll be creating a record of vocab, grammar, and interesting sentences. I WILL be discussing the plot so there will be spoilers. (however everything will be hidden in detail headers)


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Hello all, as I’ve alluded to elsewhere. I’m parking Anki decks for the time being and trying to do some meaningful input. I have decided to start reading the Pokemon manga I’ve had for a few months now that I bought far to early into my Japanese studies! (After all, you don’t become the very best like one ever was without being optimistic).

I don’t plan on running this like a normal bookclub because I’m lazy, nor do I expect anyone to join me on this journey. I’m setting no deadlines or targets. I’m going to read as and when I please, update as and when I please, the only goal is to read! If this gets some attention and a following, I could look at making it a more organised, proper bookclub but I have no faith in my own pace doing this :smiley:

El plan

Reading will be split between my breaks at work and sitting at home on my computer. At my PC will be where the majority of my progress will be made, as typing on a keyboard is much easier than on a phone. Plus I have multiple screens so can keep open the likes of,, Google Translate, and google itself. At work I will just have my phone which will make looking things up a bit slower.

I’m keeping a handwritten notebook which I will then type up into a public spreadsheet. I can’t promise it will be the best quality, however, I’ll try and make everything as accurate as possible. Someone else down the road might find it useful (and maybe save them some time!).

The plan is to create a running diary of the pages I read. This will be brief summary of what happened in the panels, any new or noteable vocab/grammar, and also a sentence from each page that I either found interesting/noteworthy or had difficulty parsing. The vocab and grammar list will NOT be exhaustive, it’s only going to cover things I don’t know or find useful to write down.


[insert my spreadsheet here]

Volume 1

Chapter 1

Pages 5 6 7

Pembo's Pokemon adventure - (Solo bookclub ポケットモンスター SPECIAL!) - #4 by pembo

Page 8

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Pages 9 10

Pembo's Pokemon adventure - (Solo bookclub ポケットモンスター SPECIAL!) - #24 by pembo

Page 11

Pembo's Pokemon adventure - (Solo bookclub ポケットモンスター SPECIAL!) - #29 by pembo

Pages 12 13 14 15

Pembo's Pokemon adventure - (Solo bookclub ポケットモンスター SPECIAL!) - #36 by pembo

Pages 16 17 18

Pembo's Pokemon adventure - (Solo bookclub ポケットモンスター SPECIAL!) - #42 by pembo

Chapter 2

Pages 19 20 21 22

Pembo's Pokemon adventure - (Solo bookclub ポケットモンスター SPECIAL!) - #45 by pembo

Handwritten Notes



  • てき - enemy/opponent/rival


Interesting Sentence:


the one by Hidenori Kusaka and Satoshi Yamamoto?

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I feel like the series is “old” now, 1999 or something? Is it by any chance free somewhere?
Sounds like fun in any case, nice that you will be talking about it!

Handwritten notes

Page 5

Here we are introduced to マサラタウン (Pallet town in the West).

A young girl is trying to catch a ニドリーノ (Nidorino), while getting teased by a Bug Catcher. She throws a few pokeballs at the Nidorino but fails to catch it. レッド (Red/Ash) explains you need to weaken a pokemon first, then throw a ball.


  • くそう - damn,shit a generic curse
  • はじかく - to repel/bounce Young girl has thrown a few pokeballs at the nidorino but she can’t catch it, it keeps ‘repelling, rejecting’
  • つかまえる - to catch learn this word on the first page, I expect I’ll see it again at least once or twice
  • そんなんじゃダメだよ - “not like that!”/“that’s not how you do it” more of a full phrase than a vocab point, Red comes in and tells the young girl that’s not how you catch a Pokemon then proceeds to go on to describe the correct way
  • つと - quickly straight up wrong!


  • けり - not sure on this yet, need to ask some people cleverer than me. Apparently it’s an old term for passing off second hand information.
  • や - pretty sure this the ‘non-exhaustive’ and. It’s used in the interesting sentence below! wrong again!

Interesting Sentence:

My translation “To catch a pokemon, you also have to weaken it quickly then throw a ball.”

As mentioned above, I don’t really understand what the けり does. From what I gather, it’s a way of passing off something as second hand information. I’ll be interested to see what the short grammar thread has to say.

Page 6

Ash shows everyone how to catch a pokemon! He sends out his ニョロズ (Polywhirl), and attacks with water gun. Nidorino is visibly weakened (I see a very stylised くそう!) so Red throws a pokeball!


  • こんな風にな! - set phrase, “like this”/“this is how you do it”
  • ニョロズ - Polywhirl! (our 1st pokemon name if you don’t count the chapter title!)
  • みずでっぽう - watergun literally the words water and gun
  • そうして - “like that”/“in that way” basically Red is pointing out “just like that, the pokemon is weakened” See interesting sentence


  • Nothing to note on this page for me

Interesting Sentence:

My translation “And just like that, it’s weakened now throw a ball.”

Causative form of 弱る, てある form “it has been forced to become weakened” in essence. I don’t understand why を is used with これ here.

Page 7

Red succesfully catches the nidorino. He shows off to the adoring crowd as he is showered with praise.

Red starts to introduce himself properly. He’s a pokemon trainer who lives in マサラタウン。There’s not a trainer in town that can match him.

What are pokemon you ask? Well, pokemon are non-human creatures that live in the forests and lakes.


  • ニドリーノ - Nidorino same name in both English and Japanese, easy!
  • さすが - as you would expect the Peaky Blinder is saying “of course Red would catch it”
  • かなう - to match, to equal as in match in skill or ability
  • やつ - person, guy, thing very derogatory, Red is using this to brag and put others down


  • ニドリーノいただき! Red uses a lot of slang and brags a lot, interesting to me he uses いただき here, but then I don’t know better

Interesting Sentence:

My translation - I didn’t, I had to run it through a few translators to get an understanding of it.

つて is 伝 I believe, however I don’t think I fully get the sentence at all. I can’t be sure if it’s つて or って at the end. って would suggest Red is quoting you. He’s basically saying, “you’ve never heard/come across/met a pokemon?” Tough one.

Phew that took longer than expected. I think I learned a word or two though!


Eventually, yes!

Apparently the first 9 issues where illustrated by 真斗 Mato

I couldn’t tell you, I’m afraid. I bought mine, and I intend to have the full series in physical.


One thing to keep an eye out for is smaller letters:


This should get you some more understandable results.

を marks the object. The subject is performing the verb (throw) and the object is what they are throwing (this). Without checking, I’m guessing Red is holding a Poke Ball when he says the line, so これ would refer to the ball.

It’s って, which you’ll see a lot in this “quoting” usage. It works like a topic mark here, similar to in English fi you said “Speaking of Pokemon…”


Wow, thank you so much. The small hiragana in this text are often the same size as the normal size ones.

I’ll be more vigilant going forward!

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Yeah, the small letters are hard to tell apart when you don’t have the same letter normal size to compare with.



It gets easier when you’ve learned and gotten used to the various words, grammar, and colloquialisms that use them.

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Found it on Bookwalker and read the first few pages :slight_smile:
Interesting, I only knew the story that is told by the video game / anime with Ash getting Pikachu as his first Pokemon, not this version with him having a Polywhirl and teaching others how to catch Pokemons


It was written after the games and anime too, apparently it’s bit of a darker tone than the show when you get into it, but I could be misinformed.

If you want a shock, this is the closing title song in the Japanese anime, sang by Prof Oak himself.

Not to mention the episode where James gets a breast augmentation:

Probably NSFW :upside_down_face:



Hahaha :rofl:
Somehow I feel like I’ve seen the second image before already, I have no idea where though, I doubt that that episode made it uncensored to France when I was a kid :sweat_smile:

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I read up to gold and silver in English years ago and yes it is darker.

The original GB games could be pretty dark, too.



I was going to mention this being でっぽう not てっぽう, but it seems like you got it.

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Page 8 kicked my butt, lots of vocab I didn’t know but luckily the grammar wasn’t too difficult so while it took a while looking up words on my phone, actually understanding what went on was simpler!

Handwritten Notes

I don’t like wasting paper, however writing with the spiral on right hand side of the page is very awkward!

Page 8

The narration continues. No one knows how many types of Pokemon live in the world but Red is going to catch 'em all!

Bug Catcher asked Red if he knows オーキド博士 (Dr Orchid/Prof Oak). Red shows his usual arrogance and writes オーキド off an an eccentric, old man who lives on the outskirts of town. Young girl says there’s a rumour he’s actually a very knowledgeable man, and has a grandson that he has taught to be a Pokemon Trainer.

Red dismisses this grandson* (we’ll get to the interesting sentence)


  • そのうち - someday/sooner or later
  • ぜーんぶ - I think this just a stylised 全部 meaning all (context そのうちこのレッド様がぜーんぶ捕まえてやるぜ!)
  • オーキド博士 - Doctor Orchid (Professor Oak in the West)
  • 町はずり - outskirts of town
  • へんくつ - strange/eccentric (変 plus another kanji I don’t know?)
  • うわさ - rumour/something overheard
  • くわしい - knowledgeable/well read
  • ただ - just/only
  • まご - grandchild
  • すっと - far away (also long ago)
  • たとえ - no matter/anyway
  • てき - enemy/opponent/rival


  • そいつがどーかしたのか? - I guess there’s some grammar and vocab here “that guy” “what’s the matter” “hmm?” “what’s the deal with that guy” is my translation. のか is the new grammar point here, it’s pondering the previous sentence. そいつがどうかした being the sentence pondered.

Interesting Sentence:

Context: Red has just been told Prof Oak has been teaching his grandson to be a Pokemon Trainer, Red dismisses Grandson with this statement.

My translation - Literally translated it basically means “I doesn’t matter who I am up against, they are not my enemy/opponent”. However I think it actually says “It doesn’t matter who I face, they’re no match for me!”

Why is this the interesting sentence? At first reading, if you’re new to the language, like I am, and you’re looking a lot of stuff up, it seems like Red is actually saying no one is his enemy or opponent. He’s almost being friendly which is opposite to his arrogance in the other pages. However, this is a problem with trying to translate word for word and not taking the whole sentence into consideration.

Red comes across as very arrogant and self-assured, but does pride come before a fall?! (I know the answer, I’ve already read the first 2 chapters last month :upside_down_face: )


Especially with his オレ様.


If only there was some program that could convert manga images to text if you’re not sure…


If you’re reading manga in a web browser (such as via Amazon or Bookwalker), Copyfish can help with that.

It’s not always perfect, but does a decent job most of the time.


Aren’t they making you a pass so you mention your proyect? :sweat_smile:


My code that utilizes Mokuro wouldn’t be applicable here.

Mokuro itself would be, but it’s also more difficult to get up and running.

Copyfish is quick and easy to set up and use with little computer experience, so I took the opportunity to mention that project =D