So that wraps up Unova. I can't remember if I've mentioned in a journal before how little experience I have in playing Unova games. I think I got to Skyla's gym once in Black and I've gotten to the second or third gym in Black 2 a couple times but I can never get hooked by Unova. So for this intermission I relied on my partner in crime Yoshi348 to provide me with some character and story basics and the expertise of ky-nim to keep me on point. Also ky-nim proved invaluable as a bitching receptacle as I went about personally blaming her for everything I found even remotely annoying about the setting. ("The Skyarrow Bridge is annoying to draw. YOUR FAULT.") As always I want to thank TeamHeartGold for looking over all of my scripts.
I want to go into some regional stuff here. My internal canons involving regional culture are fairly fluid but I'm settling on a few general ideas. First is that the regions represent self-coherent geopolitical entities. What I mean by this is that, for instance, some would assume that Unova, being based on real-world New York City, is a population center in some larger abstraction of America. That's all well and good, but in my comic, Unova is its own entity. The map does kind of fade into a larger landmass on pretty much all the regions, but I'm assuming that's uninhabited badlands or some such. "America" doesn't exist; when it comes up I will be referring to Surge as "The Lightning Unovan" because it simplifies things for me. Johto and Kanto (and the Sevii Islands), being governed jointly by the Indigo Chapter of the Pokemon League, is also its own self-contained region. Places like Orre also probably exist in some form or other and I may or may not touch on those.
So, regions. Each region has some sort of cultural relation to a real world country or ethnic area.
Unova is obviously Fake America. Anyone with a last name that appears American in origin is probably from Unova or has some cultural heritage in Unova. Now, there's been mixing between the regions for quite a while so there may be some old established families in places like Johto or Hoenn with Unovan last names. Falkner is one of these, but for example David Elm, Samuel Oak, and Dustin Surge are from Unova.
Johto and Kanto are Fake Japan. I hesitate to actually declare this as canon because it seems, I dunno, trite, but it makes sense to assume that Japanese is an older, archaic language that isn't much used anymore in these regions. As a matter of course I follow the western localized versions of the games because that's what I grew up with, but I give any Johto or Kanto native a Japanese last name to mark them as a member of that general ethnic group. Candace Ogawa, Whitney Kobayashi, Janine Fukujima, etc. On the rare occasion that I actually use Japanese kanji in the comic (apart from the "Summer" kanji to mimic Myths of Unova I can only think of the Anzu/Kyo character on Janine's mask) I do have to assume that it refers to an older language; there isn't really anywhere else apart from Johto or Kanto that it might actually be spoken contemporarily. The goofy radio drop "Okido-San" used in the DJ Mary segment to refer to Oak must also be some reference to that. Okido is his Japanese name which is obviously why I put it in the comic, I just have to come up with an in-universe justification for it. On a side note, I didn't have a last name picked for Candace or Whitney until I needed to write them down on a page. On both occasions I abused my friendship with Japanese person Sanpincha by telling her "just give me the first Japanese surname which comes to mind" and turned a couple down before hearing one that I liked. It's possible that I liked Ogawa and Kobayashi as much because I associate both of them with Star Trek as any other reason. Although, when I think about it, it's further possible that the context in which each first appears in the comic had a hand in it. Ogawa first appeared on a medical report (Trek connection: nurse Alyssa Ogawa) and Kobayashi first appeared following a catastrophic no-win scenario involving Hoenn.
Hoenn, on that note, is probably Fake Hawaii/Fake Pacific Islands, but that doesn't really matter that much at this point, does it.
Sinnoh...I might as well go ahead and declare it Fake Italy. Fake Sicily if I want more of the rural connection. I need somewhere for Giovanni to come from, and there are other reasons that Sinnoh would be a good home region for him that may come up eventually. A couple of notes about Giovanni specifically. We have one example here of something I'm kind of prone to do, which is use first names as last names and vice-versa. Giovanni is usually a first name, and almost certainly is canonically the character's first name in the games and the anime, but I wanted it as a last name so I could have it be the rival's last name as well. I know what his first name is and I won't reveal it here on the off-chance that it becomes a plot point, but do note that I've never called him Silver in the comic. The other thing about Giovanni is that his first name, Santino, is one of the many references to professional wrestling in my comic. Like many people, I name Rocket Executive Ariana as the rival's mother, and canonically in my comic her last name is Marella. So there you go. Maybe the name of Giovanni's tetsubo club makes a little more sense to some of you now.
Kalos is quite obviously Fake France, which doesn't have much relevance to the comic other than that it's where Sabrina Dufresne, as well as Karen Fontaine and probably a few other characters hail from. I gave Karen the last name Fontaine thinking it was Italian but I looked it up later and, oh well, she's from Kalos. Another side note about Karen: that was the first name of Candace's mother in the first uploaded version of the Rocket Goldenrod flashback where she was featured. I had momentarily forgotten that there was an Elite Four member named Karen and I edited the page to make her name Karin to avoid confusion. Then I found out later that Karin is the spelling of Karen's name in the Japanese version of the games and at that point I just said fuck it.
I'll say again to all you folks: join me at the nuzlocke IRC chat #nuzlocketalk on irc.rizon.net to meet some cool people and also be privy to me bitching endlessly about whatever update I'm currently working on. I'll post wips and even some scripts sometimes so you can get sneak previews that way as well. Cheers!