Review: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Ginji’s Rescue Team

  • Title:
    • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Ginji’s Rescue Team
  • Author:
    • Makoto Mizobuchi
  • Release:
    • March 6, 2007
  • Format:
    • Paperback
  • Series:
    • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon

I had to read this for my Mystery Dungeon Wiki, so I figured I may as well review it while I’m at it.

While I think it probably did a decent job of hyping people up for the games, it doesn’t really hold up all that well. It does little world-building when it could have been a decent backstory for the games.

The protagonist is hot-headed and irrational. He jumps into an earthquake-created sinkhole to help somebody caught inside without trying to figure out how he’s going to get out. His partner is timid and cowardly, yet somehow thinks he has what it takes to create a Rescue Team and save people. It seems to follow its own canon for the most part or I’d have more to say about the characters. They really don’t fit well with the protagonists from the game or anime short.

It loosely follows the events of the game but cuts out so much that without the context of the games, you’d be lost. There’s little to no indication of how much time has passed or where the characters are. I think there’s a total of 2 named locations from the games. Everywhere else is only loosely described, if at all. It crams as many action scenes as it can to keep readers interested. This just leaves everything feeling extremely rushed with little explanation.

It was originally spread out over 6 volumes in CoroCoro Comics in Japan and Nintendo Power in North America. This explains why the pace is so terrible, though it also makes it so it doesn’t fit well into a graphic novel format.

The biggest failing of this story is the dream sequences. It often led to confusion on my part. I couldn’t follow if this was all in the protagonist’s head or if it was really happening. The ending has him learning that it really did happen, keeping a relic from his adventures. It offers no explanation of how this came to be, leading to further confusion.

The second big issue I have with this is readability. It occasionally reads from left to right while other times reads from right to left. This was confusing as hell. It led to me having to read pages multiple times to figure out what order they were intended to be read in.

I would only recommend this if you like terribly paced manga or you’re a huge fan of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red and Blue Rescue Team titles. While the backstory it offers is mediocre at best, it at least offers more than the games did.

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