Pokémon has spread to just about every medium of entertainment, so it was inevitable that Nintendo would make a comic out of it. When people talk about the Pokémon manga, most often one particular manga comes to mind: Pokémon Special. Pokémon Special is a manga adaptation of each of the core RPGs in the loosest sense of the word. It features characters representative of each game's protagonist, each with a unique personality and perspective. Each arc focuses on a new set of trainers confronted with PG-level treats that, due to being marginally darker than the anime, became the "adult alternative" to vanilla Pokémon.
But Pokémon Special is just the tip of the iceberg. There are several far weirder manga out there. Most fans have no idea how bizarre the rabbit hole goes... There are some weird Pokémon manga out there.
10 Pokémon Battrio: Aim To Be Battrio Master!
If you don't know what Battrio is, don't worry. Before discovering this manga, I'm sure most people outside of Japan wouldn't know what Battrio is, either. Pokémon Battrio was an arcade game released in 2007 in Japan and Taiwan exclusively, which focused on 3v3 Pokémon battles.
So this manga is about a real kid playing an arcade game for the sake of being the best there is. If you ever wanted to revisit the classic theatrical Nintendo commercial The Wizard, only with Pokémon instead of Power Gloves and Super Mario Bros 3, this is the manga for you.
9 The Electric Tale Of Pikachu
For many old-school Pokémon fans, The Electric Tale of Pikachu is a bit nostalgic. Released stateside before Pokémon Special became super popular, this manga adapted the anime series, featuring Ash and Misty on their adventures with Pikachu. However, the manga mixed and matched lore from the games, such as incorporating TMs, while also going on its own original plot. The series ends with Ash and Misty married, as well as James and Jessie getting hitched and with a baby on the way.
So why is this here?
It was drawn by a hentai artist. And it shows. It... really shows. It makes the whole experience in its uncensored form incredibly uncomfortable.
8 Magical Pokémon Journey
Another oddly nostalgic entry in the Pokémon manga catalog, Magical Pokémon Journey is actually a shojo romance manga focused on the love-lives of Pokémon trainers -- and their Pokémon, sometimes.
What makes it odd is how out-of-place it is with the rest of the franchise. Pokémon is a series that rarely contains canon romance stories, much to the disappointment of the series' shippers. To have such an overtly romantic story like this is surprising. Of course, it's soft and sweet and worth reading.
7 Phantom Thief Pokémon 7
Ever read the manga DNAngel? It's the story of a gentleman thief who steals art, following in the tradition of Arsene Lupin (no, not Lupin III, but the classical short stories that inspired it). Phantom Thief Pokémon 7 is essentially a direct rip-off of DNAngel, where Nintendo went "Hey, what if we made a manga about a phantom thief, except this time he used Pokémon?"
The story focused on a boy and his Lucario stealing from other thieves and returning the items back to their original owners. It's actually, again, like a lot of entries on this list, a fairly entertaining manga, if a little immature. But it's definitely unorthodox for Pokémon.
6 Pocket Monsters Platinum: Aim to Be Battle King!!
What Pocket Monsters Platinum: Aim to Be Battle King!! does differently to other Pokémon manga is this: it's not about Pokémon. It's about a real boy playing Pokémon.
It's a single-volume manga about a boy playing the real Nintendo DS game Pokémon Platinum. It focuses on the competitive scene of the Pokémon games, with some real tactics used in that era of play combined with Yu-Gi-Oh!-esque rule bending. It's another strange manga about the real people who would read this sort of thing rather than the universe they fell in love with.
There are several other manga about people playing the game, including We're the Mew Research Team, which focuses on kids trying to capture Mew in Pokémon Red/Blue. But Pocket Monsters Platinum: Aim to Be Battle King!! feels the most well-thought out.
5 How I Became A Pokémon Card
The Pokémon TCG is one of the most popular trading card games around. Even decades after its initial release, the game still sells tons and tons of booster packs and decks all around the world.
This unusual manga was created by the artist for many of the Pokémon cards, Kagemaru Himeno, as he tells the story of the Pokémon who appear in the picture of each card. He tells the story leading up to each iconic image on the cards. It's a very unorthodox story, with each chapter being a one-off. It's an interesting manga, albeit a very strange one.
4 Pokémon 4Koma
There are so many Pokémon 4Koma manga that they all sort of group together here. 4Koma is a four-panel style of manga, most often used for comedy series. A famous 4Koma manga is Azumanga Daioh.
The Pokémon 4Koma manga often depict each Pokémon in an unusual, often funny, situation. They're often advertised for younger children. They are, essentially, the equivalent of Garfield for Pokémon.
This isn't so strange in and of itself, but rather just how many there of these exist. In Japan, they're popular and big enough to have legacy book collections collecting the best Pokémon 4Koma chapters across the last two decades. It's not strange that these exist, but strange that few people outside Japan know they exist, despite their popularity. Translations are hard to come by.
What's even going on here?
3 Pokémon Quiz Puzzle Land Pikachu Is A Famous Detective
So this one is pretty obscure.
So Pokémon and puzzles go hand-in-hand. From the very beginning, puzzle games have been created with Pokémon skins to help market them. But what if there was a manga that used puzzles as the core form of storytelling?
This strange Pokémon manga featured a group of Pokémon trying to solve puzzles, with puzzles being the primary focus of the story. Young readers could read the 13 chapters, and solve puzzles in order to figure out what happened next. It's definitely an innovative way of storytelling, to say the least. It's also strange.
2 Pokémon Pocket Monsters
The first Pokémon manga ever written, Pokémon Pocket Monsters was released back when the games were first coming out and published continuously until -- well, it's still being published.
Pocket Monsters is surreal for a few reasons. Clefairy is the main Pokémon front and center. It's a gag manga. It never matched up with the general tone of the greater Pokémon franchise, especially the early chapters in Kanto. But what makes this manga particularly bizarre is just how perverted it all is. Clefairy is a little perv in this manga.
Also, this isn't a Clefairy like you're familiar with. It's a trash-talking, oddly human looking Clefairy. It's deeply unsettling to any Poké-fan accustomed to more...normal affairs.
1 Pokémon RéBURST
This is it. The weirdest Pokémon ever got. Uncovering Pokémon RéBURST is the same as uncovering that part of DeviantArt overtaken by fetish artwork. It's weird, uncomfortable, yet so much talent and passion went into creating it that you simply can't look away.
Pokémon RéBURST starts as a regular Pokémon manga would. Trainers come, encounter your usual pocket monsters. But then they introduce the concept of BURSTing, where humans can actually fuse with Pokémon, becoming these anthropomorphic things that engage in hand-to-hand combat.
It basically throws out the concept of Pokémon altogether, becoming something more akin to Saint Seiya or Sailor Moon, with transformations and power-ups abound. The idea, however, of fusing with your Pokémon is weird enough, but what gives it that extra touch of weirdness is how mature the characters look -- who, mind you, are just kids fused with actual animals.
What even with this manga, Japan? What...even...?