My introduction to Pokemon was through the anime and when I watched the first few seasons I enjoyed them. For the most part my friends and I were into all things Pokemon (games, cards, TV, movies) so we consumed all of it. If it was Pokemon related we were there.
The anime became this repetitive cycle and very quickly (around Orange Islands) I realized that unless Ash was battling I did not really care to watch it. Eventually unless Gary was in the episode or Ash was battling in a tournament I didn't tune in. When Ash battled Drake for that two part episode was probably my favorite since Drake had so many Pokemon that I had not seen a trainer use.
I remember being introduced to the magna with the Electric Tale of Pikachu and Pokemon Adventures and found they were able to keep my attention for much longer than the anime. When Gary unleashed his Nidoking, Arcanine and Gyarados, they were just plain scary looking to me. It was my first time I saw Pokemon portrayed in a different light that was not the cutesy anime perspective I was introduced to. Going back to the Drake story arc in the anime, the confrontation also took place in the magna and I realized how much better it was handled in the manga as well.
Pokemon Adventures in my mind successfully captured what type of story the anime would have been better suited for while continuing to portray the characters in a way that children could have enjoyed it too. Seeing Red actually get hurt, and revealing that there were truly evil characters in this world, not just bumbling idiots, went a long way towards solidifying my enjoyment of the manga.
For me the manga will always be the better of the two.
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