The manga started serialization in Japan in Shogakukan magazine on 03/03/1997 and currently is still being published (it'll be published as long as Game Freak keeps making new games, hopefully) and as of today (2023) the manga has 60+ volumes and 500+ chapters! The manga is written by Hidenori Kusaka and illustrated by Satoshi Yamamoto (it was illustrated by Mato until the 9th volume).
The manga is divided by arcs, in which arc is named by the name of the games (the protagonists are also named by the games versions, except remakes) and As of 2023 the manga has 17 volumes (with Scarlet and Violet TBA). Here are all arcs in release order:
- Red, Green & Blue
- Gold, Silver & Crystal
- Ruby & Sapphire
- FireRed & LeafGreen
- Diamond & Pearl
- HeartGold & SoulSilver
- Black & White
- Black 2 & White 2
- X & Y
- Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
- Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon
- Sword & Shield
Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu & Let's Go Eevee, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and Legend Arceus doesn't have a dedicated arc nor made an appearance on the manga yet. I think that the Let's Go series being more an attention grab to the players of Pokémon Go didn't count it as the main series games so that's probably why it didn't get an manga appearance, but for the other two I am hoping to see an manga adaptation but if they don't it's understandable since the games are being rushed to release and this doesn't give enough time to manga chapters to be released.
Each manga arc is about the homonym game and features each game character as protagonists. Up to the 4th gen, both the playable characters and the rival were protagonists, but after the 5th gen dropped the third version game the rival isn't a protagonist anymore and just a secondary character. The manga also features three original characters: Blue, Yellow and Emerald (even though Blue is considered to be the counterpart of Leaf, she was based off an artwork of the Pokémon Red & Green and didn't originally appear in the games).
Manga tidbits and trivia:
- Almost every protagonist starts the story with a start Pokémon different than the 3 starters of the game and gets a proper starter later in the story (on the footer are the Pokémon starters of all protagonists up to Sword & Shield arc)
- The manga was also released in many parts of the world: Brazil, China, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and Vietnam
- Blue is called Green in the English translation and vice-versa that's cause in Japan was released the Pokémon Red & Green versions while in the USA it was Pokémon Red & Blue so they changed in the translation probably because she was the third character in the manga (this fact raises a lot of confusion when talking about characters and while in my site I'll using her original Japanese name, to avoid confusion when talking to someone remember that Green has a surname, his full name is Green Ookido)
- The Kanto, Johto and Hoenn protagonists met and Sinnoh is known/mentioned to the characters of previous arcs
More about the manga arcs and the characters will be added on their own pages soon!