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| Kantō-chihō region
|| I, II, III, IV
Anime-based map of the Kanto region
The Kanto region (Japanese: カントー地方 Kantō-chihō) is a large area located east of Johto, north of Hoenn, and south of Sinnoh. It is the first region to be introduced, explored in the Generation I games and in the Generation III games Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions. Kanto is also accessible in the Generation II games Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal and their Generation IV remakes after the quest in Johto is completed. It is the only region to appear in all Generations so far released.
Most of the names of the cities in Kanto are the names of colors (Viridian, Lavender, Indigo Plateau, etc.). Professor Oak is the resident Pokémon professor and gives Pokémon Trainers a choice between Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle as their starter Pokémon, though in Yellow the only choice is a Pikachu that he recently caught, although he did have an Eevee. In the games, the player begins his or her journey in Pallet Town and ends it at the Indigo Plateau.
It is based on and named after the real Kantō region (関東, meaning "east of the barrier") in Japan. Unlike almost every other region, which are specific to their own generations, Kanto has been explorable in all generations of Pokémon games so far. However, it is not the primary region in the Generation II and IV games it appears in, in which players explore the neighboring Johto region before exploring Kanto.
The artwork of Kanto in Generation I and Generation II depict Kanto as grassland, with very few trees. In Generation III and Generation IV, Kanto is seen with more trees, making it less like grassland.
Areas of interest
Routes in Kanto began the numbering process, going from 1 to 25 in Generation I and Generation III, but adding three routes to connect to Johto (26, 27, and 28) in Generation II and Generation IV.
- Main article: Indigo League
In Generations I and III
Between Generation I and Generation III, Kanto is very much the same with some alterations in respect to the improved graphics and gameplay in the remakes. Additionally in FireRed and LeafGreen, the first three in a chain of islands known as the Sevii Islands, located east and southeast of Kanto, are unlocked once Blaine is defeated on Cinnabar Island. Championing the Elite Four and getting the National Pokédex unlocks the other islands which make up this archipelago.
In Generations II and IV
In the Generation II games as well as HeartGold and SoulSilver, trainers may travel from Johto to Kanto and notice that changes have occurred as a result of three years having passed since the time of the Generation I games and FireRed and LeafGreen:
- The Safari Zone is closed (becomes Pal Park in Generation IV)
- Cerulean Cave has collapsed (untrue in Generation IV)
- Cinnabar Island has been destroyed by an eruption of the volcano, and its gym was temporarily relocated to the Seafoam Islands.
- Viridian Forest has become smaller (untrue in Generation IV) and Mt. Moon has decreased in size due to rock slides.
- The Power Plant has become functional.
- The Pokémon Tower has become a radio tower.
- Blue has remodeled Giovanni's former gym and functions as the Gym Leader.
- Janine has taken over Fuchsia Gym, seeing as her father Koga has been promoted to the Elite Four.
- The Pewter City Museum is closed for renovations (untrue in Generation IV).
Connection to Japan
- Main article: Pokémon world in relation to the real world
Regardless of their proximity, the people of Johto and those of Kanto are set apart by many cultural differences. Kanto is based on the real Kantō region in Japan. Compared to the traditional Kansai region (where Johto is based), Kanto is modern and technological, which is reflected in the look of the cities and the buildings like the Pokémon Lab of Cinnabar Island, or the Power Plant. Also this fact is reflected in Kanto being the only Pokémon region without any legends, myths or traditions (an example of that is Mewtwo, the Legendary Pokémon of Kanto, which is a product of the science, contrasting the Bird Duo of Johto, the Weather Trio of Hoenn, or the Dragon Trio of Sinnoh), or in Porygon, which was created in the Pokémon Lab (adding the fact that the player receives the item Up-Grade in Silph Co.). The soil of the Kansai region is volcanic, referencing the in-game Kanto region's inability to maintain a berry crop in Generation II, Generation III and Generation IV. People from Kanto are considered to be sophisticated, reserved and formal. Kansai and Kantō, however different, are the two most important areas of Honshū, the largest island in Japan, and, much like Johto and Kanto, represent a harmony of contrasting cultures living together. The cultural divide is most noticeable in the games, as the player talks to and learns about the denizens of both regions.
Tokyo, based in the commercial Celadon City and the financial Saffron City, is the most important commercial and economic center of Japan. Yokohama, based in Vermilion City, is the main and largest seaport of Japan.
- Kanto's name was never revealed in the Generation I games outside of Japan, causing many fans to think the region was called Indigo (because of the Indigo Plateau). It was mentioned only once in the Japanese versions upon viewing the Town Map at the rival's house. The first mention of its name outside of Japanese context was in Super Smash Bros. Despite this, its name is mentioned multiple times in the Generation III remakes, including but not limited to viewing the Town Map at the beginning of the games.
- Kanto is the only main region which has been featured in two separate anime series, once at the start of Ash's journey (in the original series), and once after Ash returned from Hoenn (in the Advanced Generation series). It is also the only in-game region that has not had continuous time spent in it for more than one dub season.
- Until Platinum's release, after Ash defeated Maylene and Crasher Wake (not to mention just before Ash challenges Fantina), it was also the only region in the anime where Ash defeated the Gym Leaders in a different order from the games.
- Kanto is mentioned during the event in which players capture Shaymin in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. Professor Oak states that somewhere in the Kanto region there is a white rock similar to the one at the north end of Route 224 in Sinnoh, although no such rock has appeared in past games taking place in Kanto. Despite the fact that Kanto appears in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, no white rock appears at all. This may have been a mistake however because there is a white rock in Hoenn outside the Space Center.
- If the Sevii Islands were considered part of Kanto, then Kanto would be the largest region in the games.
- Kanto is the only region that is accessible in every generation (albeit not in every game in every generation): Red, Green, Blue and Yellow in Generation I, Gold, Silver and Crystal in Generation II, FireRed and LeafGreen in Generation III, and HeartGold and SoulSilver in Generation IV.
- Kanto is the only region that shares its name with the region of Japan it is based on.
- In its Generation I and III appearances (i.e. the games in which it is the primary region), Kanto is the only region where the player doesn't need Waterfall to get to the Elite Four. Pokémon Trainers from Johto, however, do need Waterfall.
- It is the only region where the League is west of all of the Gyms. This does consider Johto, whose Gyms are all west of the Indigo Plateau.
- Kanto is the only region in the main series in which all the cities have Gyms, and none of the towns do.
- Kanto is the only region that does not have a Battle Frontier in the handheld games.
- Kanto and Johto are the only regions that are connected to each other by land, and are likewise the only regions to add additional routes in their second appearances.
- In Generation I, Kanto was slightly redesigned twice, with the designs of signposts, doors and other minor details being changed, thus having 3 different designs through Red and Green, Blue and Yellow. The original Red and Green design was updated to be fully colored and subsequently reused in Generation II, if not counting the changes in the areas of the region.
- Kanto is the only region in the main series not to have repeating characters in it's name.
|| カントー Kantō
|| From 関東, the Kantō region in Japan.
|| From the Japanese name.
|| 관동 Gwandong
|| From the Japanese name.
| Chinese (Taiwan)
|| 關都 Guāndū
|| Taken from 関 Kan and 都 to. Can mean "closed capital" or "city of the pass".