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All 9 Regions from the Pokémon Anime, Explained


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by Xtreme HD IPTV

Summary

  • The regions in the Pokémon universe are based on real locations, but the events are purely fictional.
  • The first four regions (Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh) are connected within the same land mass and are based on locations in Japan.
  • The remaining five regions (Unova, Kalos, Alola, Galar, Paldea) are separate and based on other countries and territories.


If one is to speculate that the regions in the Pokémon universe were based on real locations, they would be correct. In some regards, the games can be considered a digital version of our world, with notable countries and territories fitting as models for the various regions. To be on the safe side, though, none of the events of the games are based on any real-life historical events. Anything plot-wise that has happened in the anime or the games is nothing more than works of fiction. However, various Pokémon are based on real-life events.

For the most part, most of the nine regions of Pokémon stand alone as their own continents or land masses, as indicated in the anime when Ash and his companions arrive in different regions via boat or airplane. That does not mean that they are not connected, because as the franchise progresses, fans come to learn that some places are more connected than they appear, as some games allow players to unlock previously established areas for exploration. Here are the nine regions of Pokémon explained.


The Connected Regions

It was previously revealed in Pokémon Gold & Silver that players can cross from the Johto region back into the Kanto region after defeating the Elite Four. Then, it was revealed in Pokémon Diamond & Pearl that the first four regions, Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh, are all connected within the same land mass. These four regions are based on different locations in Japan, with Kanto being the most obvious, named after the real-life Kanto, situated on the island of Honshu. The area within the game even bears a strong resemblance to its inspiration, with Pallet Town having been modeled after Machida, which happens to be the birthplace of Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of the Pokémon franchise.

The Johto region is to the west of Kanto, and is believed to have been inspired by the Kansai Region of Japan (west of the real-life Kanto), with the in-anime cities of Olivine and Goldenrod drawing inspiration from Kobe and Osaka. The region even features a lush park like the four in Kansai, teeming with Pokémon and potential rivals alike. The Hoenn Region draws its inspiration from the island of Kyushu, with its biggest indicator being the large Mount Chimney volcano, similar to Kyushu’s Mount Aso. Both locals are mountainous and similarly structured down to their trademark hot springs.

Related: Pokémon Concierge Trailer Teases a Charming Stop-Motion Netflix Adventure

Finally, there’s the Sinnoh Region (formally Hisui), the home of the powerful legendary Pokémon, Dialga and Palkia (Diamond & Pearl), based on Japan’s Hokkaido Island. This territory is the northernmost region and is full of towns to visit in Japan. There is Canalave City, inspired by Otaru, the cold Snowpoint City modeled after snow-covered Wakkanai, Sunnyshore City players make their final stand, based on Nemuro, and many more.

Pokémon Connected Regions

Seasons to Watch

Kanto

Season 1: Indigo League (1997-1999); Season 2: Adventures in the Orange Islands (1999)

Johto

Season 3: The Johto Journeys (1999-2000); Season 4: Johto League Champions (2000-2001); Season 5: Master Quest (2001-2002)

Hoenn

Season 6: Advanced (2002-2003); Season 7: Advanced Challenge (2003-2004); Season 8: Advanced Battle (2004-2005); Season 9: Battle Frontier (2005-2006)

Sinnoh

Season 10: Diamond and Pearl (2006-2007); Season 11: Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension (2007-2008); Season 12: Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles (2008-2009); Season 13: Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors (2010)

The Isolated Regions

Now that we’ve covered the regions that are connected, let’s look at the remaining five, which stand separately and require alternative transportation to reach. They are also the regions based on other countries and foreign territories. The first was the Unova Region, introduced in Pokémon Black & White (2010), based on New York City in the United States. It’s worth noting that from this era of the games onwards, it may become difficult to discern from the games that proceed with it. To clarify, this region is the one with the starter Pokémon being Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott. While traveling, players will notice locations like iconic spots in the world-famous city, such as a large park in the central region similar to Central Park and a spot that looks eerily close in likeness to Broadway.

Introduced next was the Kalos region (Pokémon X & Y) based heavily on Metropolitan France with the starters Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie. Kalos’s main features resemble Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. The region is said to be considerably further away from the main country in which the first four regions are set, according to the anime at least, with the main protagonists arriving via airplane.

And then, after Kalos, the Alola Region was introduced in 2016 (Pokémon Sun & Moon), based on the U.S. State of Hawaii. Perhaps the name itself was a give-away, given that it rhymes with Aloha? The starters for this region were Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio. Like Hawaii, Alola is comprised of a group of islands and features a warm tropical climate. Despite being a standalone region, it’s been speculated that Alola may lose to Kanto given that the games for which it is set see the return of Kanto-originating Pokémon, but in different forms. This proximity has never been confirmed, though.

Next is the Galar region, introduced in 2019’s Pokémon Sword & Shield, with the starters Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble. This region is based on none other than the United Kingdom, with Wyndon City being a replica of London. If the relation wasn’t already clear to players, they could see it in the game’s unique building architecture, which resembles the style of Great Britain, and the NPC’s usage of common British colloquialisms to further solidify the link.

Finally, the most recent region to be introduced in 2022’s Pokémon Scarlet & Violet is the region of Paldea, based on the Iberian Peninsula, with starters Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly. If one were to examine the spiked protrusions on The Academy, one may recognize the resemblance to the cathedral, La Sag Familia, located in Spain. The towns such as Casacarrafa and Porto Matinada also take influence from coastal small towns in Portugal.

Related: The 10 Best Pokémon Movies, According to Rotten Tomatoes

Many of the Pokémon in this game also have Spanish names: Fuecoco, for instance, whose name originates from the word “fuego” meaning hot, given its being a fire-type Pokémon. The game has been positively received by new and long-time fans alike, with many praising the new region for its inclusion of more diverse locations and cultures. Given that the Pokémon franchise shows no signs of slowing down, there’s no telling where the next game may take inspiration from.

Pokémon Isolated Regions

Season to Watch

Unova

Season 14: Black & White (2010-2011); Season 15: Black & White: Rival Destinies (2011-2012); Season 16: Black & White: Adventures in Unova and Beyond (2012-2013)

Kalos

Season 17: XY (2013-2014); Season 18: XY: Kalos Quest (2014-2015); Season 19: XYZ (2015-2016)

Alola

Season 20: Sun & Moon (2017); Season 21: Sun & Moon: Ultra Adventures (2017-2018); Season 22: Sun & Moon: Ultra Legends (2018-2019)

Galar

Season 23: Journeys (2019-2020); Season 24: Master Journeys (2020-2021); Season 25: Ultimate Journeys (2021-2023)

Paldea

Season 26: Horizons (2023-Present)

Possible Future Settings

A screengrab of the game Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which features two trainers and several Pokemon in a rural landscape
Nintendo

The Pokémon franchise has covered a lot of ground, but there are plenty of untouched countries for future regions to be based on. From a biased standpoint, there have already been two U.S. States used, but there are others that would also work well. If not, there are the South American countries of Brazil, Peru, and Mexico, each with unique styles and cultures that can be used as inspiration. The games could also take inspiration from China, with its rich history and mythology. The Pokémon, Gyarados, is based on a Chinese dragon, so it could play a big part in the growing mythology.

The same can be said about Central Africa or Scandinavia, which has Viking lore. The world is vast and full of possibilities. Even if the anime does not explore these options, it could only be a matter of time. What places would you like the series to explore?

Stream Pokémon on Netflix or Hulu, or purchase its season on AppleTV

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by Xtreme HD IPTV

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