Pokémon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu

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The Electric Tale of Pikachu
(Dengeki! Pikachū)
GenreAction-adventure, Fantasy
Written byToshihiro Ono
Published byShogakukan
English publisher
MagazineCoroCoro Comic
Original runApril 1997December 1999
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

The Pokémon Graphic Novel, more commonly known as Pokémon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu (電撃!ピカチュウ, Dengeki! Pikachū, "Electric Shock! Pikachu") is a fantasy action-adventure manga series created by Toshihiro Ono and serialized in the Children's manga magazine CoroCoro Comic. Individual chapters were collected into four tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan, who released the first volume on October 28, 1997 and the fourth volume on January 28, 2000. The characters and storylines are all drawn from the Pokémon anime series, although some events and depictions of characters diverge slightly from the anime, and the world itself has a visibly higher level of technology.

The manga was published in English in North America by Viz Communications in a "flipped", left-to-right format.[citation needed] In 1998 the company released comic book issues; the collected volumes came afterwards. At the time of its release Issue #1 was the best-selling manga issue, and best-selling comic book of any type, in the United States.[1] The first volume, The Electric Tale of Pikachu!, was released on September 5, 1999. In the United States, the volume sold 1.001 million copies, the highest for a single comic book since 1993.[2] The third volume, Electric Pikachu Boogaloo, was released on April 5, 2000.

In Singapore, the manga is published in English by Chuang Yi and translated as Pokémon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu! for all four volumes.[3] The Traditional Chinese edition in Taiwan of the manga is published by Da Ran Culture Enterprise and Chingwin Publishing.


Toshihiro Ono, the author of the series, said that he began drawing the series after Mr. Saito, Ono's editor, asked Ono to draw a manga to go along with the anime. During the production of the manga, Ono received scripts of the anime series. The author then altered the stories to fit the desired amount of pages used per storyline.[4]

Ono said that his favorite manga chapter was "Clefairy Tale" from the first volume and that he was "embarrassed that I can't say why." According to Ono he did not find any particular chapter to be more difficult than any other chapter. He said that when the episode "Clefairy in Space" ("Subway no Pipi") was going in manga form, Ono had to redraw many of the pages, a time-consuming process. Ono encountered difficulty in drawing Dragonite in the final chapter, as he struggled to "get a face that cute to look powerful." His favorite human characters to work with were Ash Ketchum and Jessie and James. In particular he liked Jessie and James because they are minor characters and "have much more freedom" than main characters. Therefore, minor characters are "more fun to draw." Ono's favorite characters to draw were Ash Ketchum, Ditto, Nurse Joy, and Oddish.[4]


Jason S. Yadao, the author of The Rough Guide to Manga, wrote that "the story was predictable" but that "narrative complexity never was a defining trait of the franchise."[1]


Japanese names in Western order (given name before family name) are given first, followed by the English name. For simplicity, English language names will be used in this and other articles in Wikipedia about Pokémon, unless explicitly referring to the Japanese version.

  • Satoshi / Ash Ketchum - The main character, whose name in the Japanese version (Satoshi) is named after Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of the Pokémon games. Ash aspires to be a Pokémon Master, and together with the various friends and Pokémon that travel with him, embark on many adventures. In a similar fashion to the game, Ash does this by entering various Pokémon League competitions.
  • Kasumi / Misty - A Water-Type Pokémon trainer and the Gym Leader of Cerulean City. She is the youngest of four sisters. Like her anime counterpart, she joins Ash on his journey after he "borrows" her bike and Pikachu destroys it. Although critical towards Ash, she develops feelings towards him, who appears to reciprocate.
  • Takeshi / Brock - A Rock-Type Pokémon breeder and the Gym Leader of Flint City. Unlike his anime counterpart, he never joins Ash on his journey and the only time they meet is during Ash's battle with him for his second badge.
  • Pikachu, a little, yellow, mouse-like creature with a lightning bolt tail and the ability to create electrical jolts from its cheeks. Unlike the games or anime, Ash finds this Pikachu chewing on the electrical wiring in his house, and keeps it as his first Pokémon when he qualifies to be a trainer.
  • Shigeru / Gary Oak - His name in the Japanese version (Shigeru) is named after famed video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Unlike his anime counterpart, this version of Ash's rival does not hang out with a pack of cheerleaders, nor does he travel by car. In fact, about the only thing this Gary has in common with the anime Gary is his antagonistic attitude towards Ash. In the manga's epilogue he travels with Ash.
  • Team Rocket- A chaos causing 'gang' that has many goals, mainly conquering the Pokémon world.
  • Musashi / Jessica "Jessie" - The female half of Team Rocket. In the manga's epilogue, she marries James and are expecting their first child.
  • Kojiro / James - The male half of Team Rocket. In the epilogue, he quits the gang, marries Jessie, and are expecting their first child.
  • Nyarth (ニャース Nyāsu) / Meowth - The talking cat of Team Rocket. One of very few Pokémon that can speak a human language.
  • Sakaki / Giovanni - The seldom-seen boss/leader of Team Rocket.

Volume and comic list[edit]

No.TitleJapanese releaseEnglish release
1The Electric Tale of Pikachu!October 28, 1997[5]
ISBN 4-09-149341-6
September 5, 1999 (United States)[6]
ISBN 978-1-56931-378-7
  • Bonus 1. "Tales Of Pikachu In The Wild"
  • 01. "Pikachu, I See You"
  • 02. "Clefairy Tale"
  • 03. "Play Misty For Me"
  • 04. "Haunting My Dreams"
  • 2Pikachu Shocks BackJune 27, 1998[7]
    ISBN 4-09-149342-4
    December 6, 1999 (United States)[8]
    ISBN 978-1-56931-411-1
    • Bonus 2. "I Am Ditto!"
    • 05. "The Human Race and the Pokémon Race"
    • 06. "To Evolve Or Not to Evolve, That Is the Question!"
    • 07. "Pikachu's Excellent Adventure"
  • 08. "You Gotta Have Friends"
  • Bonus 3. "I am Porygon."
  • Bonus 4. "Suddenly It's Questioning Time!"
  • 3Electric Pikachu BoogalooApril 26, 1999[9]
    ISBN 4-09-149343-2
    April 5, 2000 (United States)[10]
    ISBN 978-1-56931-436-4
    • Bonus 5. "I Am Hungry!"
    • 09. "I'm Your Venusaur"
    • 10. "Clefairy in Space"
    • 11. "Days of Gloom and Glory"
  • 12. "Welcome to the Big Leagues"
  • 13. "The Indigo Finals"
  • 14. "The Orange Islands"
  • 4Surf's Up, PikachuJanuary 28, 2000[11]
    ISBN 4-09-149344-0
    August 10, 2000 (United States)[12]
    ISBN 978-1-56931-494-4
    • Bonus 6. "The Ultimate Pet Of The 21st Century"
    • 15. "Attack of the Demon Stomach"
    • 16. "You Bet Your Wife"
    • 17. "Orange Crew Supreme Gym Leader"
  • 18. "Orange Crew Supreme Gym Leader (2)"
  • 19. "Pokémon Side-Story Ash vs. Gary"
  • Epilogue: ""Type: Wild" - A Possible Future"
  • The series was originally released in the United States in an American comic book format. Part 1, Issue #1 was released in November 1998, and the subsequent three issues of Part 1 were released in December 1998, and January and February 1999. Part 2 #1 was released in March 1999 and the other three issues were released in April, May, and June of that year. Part 3 #1 was released in July 1999, and the other three issues were released in August, September, and October of that year. Part 4 #1 was released in November 1999 and the other issues were released in December 1999 and January and February 2000.[13]

    Toshihiro Ono[edit]

    Toshihiro Ono was born in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture on February 27, 1965. He moved to Chiryū, Aichi Prefecture when he was one year old. Ono said that he began drawing in elementary school and junior high school. He drew illustrations for advertising agencies, men's magazine columns, and English language dictionaries. In addition to his freelance jobs he also was an assistant for Glass no Kamen, a manga by Suzue Miuchi. In August 1999, after the publication of Pokémon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu, Ono appeared at the San Diego Comic-Con. Ono said that he likes American comics because the artwork and storylines have "such a different flavor" than artwork and storylines of Japanese comics. His favorite artists were Walter Simonson and Mike Mignola.[4]


    1. ^ a b Yadao, Jason S. The Rough Guide to Manga (Rough Guides reference guides). Penguin Books, October 1, 2009. ISBN 1405384239, 9781405384230. p. 48.
    2. ^ "The last million-selling comic book in North America? It's Batman vs. Pokémon for the title". Comichron. May 8, 2014.
    3. ^ "Available Issues for THE ELECTRIC TALE OF PIKACHU." Chuang Yi. Retrieved on December 1, 2008.
    4. ^ a b c "Animerica Interview Toshihiro Ono" (Archive). VIZ Media. May 10, 2000. Retrieved on May 31, 2009. An interview was published in Animerica in Volume 8, Issue 1 (Archive) (2000)
    5. ^ 電撃!ピカチュウ 1 [Surprise! Pikachu 1] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
    6. ^ "Pokemon Graphic Novel, Volume 1: The Electric Tale Of Pikachu! (Viz Graphic Novel) (0782009049937): Toshihiro Ono: Books". Amazon.com. ISBN 1569313784.
    7. ^ 電撃!ピカチュウ 2 [Surprise! Pikachu 2] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
    8. ^ "Pokemon Graphic Novel, Volume 2: Pikachu Shocks Back (Viz Graphic Novel) (0782009054634): Toshihiro Ono: Books". Amazon.com. ISBN 156931411X. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
    9. ^ 電撃!ピカチュウ 3 [Surprise! Pikachu 3] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
    10. ^ "Pokemon Graphic Novel vol. 3: Electric Pikachu Boogaloo (Pokemon) (Pokémon Comic Series, 3) (0782009058434): Toshihiro Ono: Books". Amazon.com. ISBN 1569314365. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
    11. ^ 電撃!ピカチュウ 4 [Surprise! Pikachu 4] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
    12. ^ "Pokemon Graphic Novel, Volume 4: Surf's Up, Pikachu (Pokémon) (0782009056836): Toshihiro Ono: Books". Amazon.com. ISBN 1569314942. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
    13. ^ "in the news" (Archive). Viz Kids/Pokémon. Viz LLC, June 8, 2003. Retrieved on March 27, 2015.

    Other Pokémon manga[edit]

    External links[edit]