This mainly deals with the many commonly raised queires about this manga. These are just ones off the top of my head, some containing spoilers, so please add anything you find relevant (notice I only have information mainly for Japan, the US and Singapore):
1) What is PokeSpecial?
Also known as Pokemon Adventures in the US, this manga is started by Hidenori Kusaka and Mato. Hidenori Kusaka creates the plotline while Mato does the illustration. However, according to the Netkun website, Mato got ill sometime during the GSC saga, and her job is taken over by Yamamoto Satoshi, who's doing illustrations for the manga til present. Yamamoto Satoshi is officially credited as the artist in Volume 10, where the Crystal saga began.
2) How is Pokespecial released?
In the past, PokeSpecial was serialized in several Grade magazines, but with the cancellation of the few it used to run on, the series currently runs on two main magazines: Corocoro Ichiban, a monthly magazine, and also Pokemon Fan, which is Pokemon-centered irregular release. One new chapter (of half, if the chapter is long) is released each time, and the chapters get combined into comic version once there is adequate content. Notice that the issue name does not coincide with the month. For instance, the issue released for May is called the June edition. As of the latest serialization, the writers are coming up with original material to finish off the HGSS series in volume 43, which will also start serialization of the BW series.
3) When and how is the Netkun site updated?
The Netkun site is updated once each month, usually at the beginning of each month, updating the plot teasers as well as the pop-up content and authors' corner. Occasionally, there will also be updates to the MoveDex and PokeDex on the site. In the past, they used to update chapters of the previous month for each series, but since May 05, they stopped doing this and started posting snippets of the current month's chapters instead. The gallery of the site has also not received any updates for years.
4) How many volume issues are there so far?
In Japan, 42 volumes have been released. Vol. 43, which will finish the HGSS series, is expected to come out in 2013.
In the US, Viz has started translating the manga again, and finished up to the GSC series at Volume 14. They have also jumped ahead and started translating the DP saga under the name "Pokemon Adventures:Platinum", with 8 volumes so far; and also started serialization of the BW series under the name "Pokemon Black and White", which has 7 mini-volumes so far.
In Singapore, 39 volumes have been translated and released so far. English translation is used in both US and Singapore versions.
When Viz first started translating the series, they occasionally broke up each volume into several smaller comics and released them separately. While you can read about the Japanese volume listings on the site, the following is the listing of Viz's titles of the 7 volumes they translated, and the individual release titles under each volume:
Volume 1: Desperado Pikachu
i) Mysterious Mew
ii) Wanted: Pikachu!
iii) Starmie Surprise
iv) The Snorlax Stop
v) Gastly Ghosts
Volume 2: Legendary Pokemon
i) The Rocket Returns
ii) The Hunt For Eevee
iii) The Nidoking Safari
iv) Mission: Magmar!
v) The Dangerous Dragonite Ice Climbers
vi) The Mythical Moltres
Volume 3: The Saffron City Seige
i) The Impassible Mr. Mime
ii) The Articuno Ambush
ii) The Saffron Showdown
iv) Master Mewtwo
v) Return To Viridian Gym
vi) The Pikachu Maneuver
vii) The Final Challenge!
Volume 4: Trainer In Yellow
i) Pikachu's New Partner
ii) The Ice Cage
iii) The Gym Leaders' Alliance
iv) Blue Returns
Volume 5: Making Waves
i) To Catch A Caterpie
ii) The S.S. Anne Adventure
iii) Evolution Action
iv) Dratini Of The Deep
v) The Seafoam Encounter
Volume 6: Cave Campaign
i) Challenge Accepted
ii) Agatha's Arbok
iii) Best Enemies
iv) Shadowboxing Gengar
Volume 7: Pokemon Elite
i) Mewtwo Meets Its Match
ii) Yellow Beginnings
iii) Bruno's Battle
iv) Lance's Charge
v) Primary Colours
Thanks to http://animemania01.tripod.com/mangaj_r.htm for the above listings.
5) I don't understand how the story progresses in the different magazines?
The storylines in each magazine tend to go out of chronological order, meaning they don't necessarily happen at the same time. Each magazine focuses on it own plot development and tend to cut out parts that are not immediately related though relevant to the whole PokeSpecial story. When these chapters are released on the actual manga volumes, the writers will then put them in the right chronological order, and sometimes mix certain chapters if they actually have overlaps.
For example: Earlier in the R/S saga, one magazine focused on Sapphire's gym challenge on Dewford and another focused on Ruby's encounter with Steven on Dewford. Ruby and Sapphire met each other briefly and thus the same scene where they bumped into each other was featured in both magazines, but with different followups. When released in the actual volume, this scene is shown only once, and the two individual followup stories of Ruby and Sapphire are intertwined in the comic.
Currently, Corocoro Ichiban features the main stem of the plot, with Pokemon Fan supplementing chapters that will eventually get woven into the plot.
6) I don't get the deal with Blue and Green, who's who?
In the Japanese version, Green is Prof. Oak's grandson and the rival of Red, and Blue is the girl who has many tricks up her sleeve. In the US version, the name Blue is given to the rival and the girl is named Green instead. The reason for this is in Japan, Red and Green are the original games released, and thus the hero and the rival are named accordingly. But in US, Red and Blue are the original games released, so the rival was given the name Blue instead of Green.
7) How did the writers come up with the idea of Blue and Yellow?
In the guidebook of the GB game Red and Green, a picture shows the hero, rival, and a girl with long brown hair and dark dress with the three starter pokemons. Blue was based on the girl.
Yellow was a completely fictional character made from scratch. The writers once said they decided to give Yellow a western (I think they mean mexican, cowboy) feel and thus gave him the hat and Dodo to ride on.
8) How did the writers come up with the team lineups for the characters?
As said by the writers themselves, they consider a few things. First, HM moves. It would be ideal for each pokemon to take care of one HM and thus you can see Red's pokemons fulfill this criteria (Cut - Saur, Fly - Aero, Surf - Gyara, Strength - Lax, Flash - Pika, bear in mind HM 6-8 did not exist back then). They said if not all HMs, each trainer should at least have means to surf and fly. Second, colour balance. Red for instance again, he himself is red, Poli is blue, Saur is green, and Pika is yelow. This obviously is not observed in Blue's team with an over excess of pink. Gold, Silver and Crystal don't seem to fulfill the fly/surf criteria either.
The writers also mentioned they picked certain pokemon based on polls such as favourite pokemon and so.
The following is about a few alterations or changes I made which does not entirely follow the original versions, namely nicknames and certain names of places or characters.
I do not follow the original Japanese nicknames or the ones used in the official english translation. Here is how I came up with the nicknames:
Red: All his Pokemon are named by truncating part of their original names, e.g. Fushigidane = Fusshi, Pikachu = Pika. I do basically the same to their english names and use parts that would reflect the pokemon in all its evolutions, e.g. I chose Saur for the whole bulbasaur line instead of naming it Bulba. Incidentally, Chuang Yi nicknames Red's Pokemon the same way starting in the FRLG series.
Green: No nicknames in the original, so none in my translations either.
Blue: Blue's pokemon names have a 'cutesy' quality to them. Except Jigglypuff & Clefable & Snubbull, all are followed by '-chan' which is an expression used in the language to denote someone close or dear to you. I figured adding '-y' to english names have a similar though not entirely identical effect, so I chose names like 'Nidory' and 'Ditty'. For Clefable, it's named 'Piku-kun', where '-kun' is used to address boys. The name 'Cleffo' hit me as being quite masculine, so I simply chose it. Jigglypuff is named 'Puriri', and I got lazy and simply name it 'Jiggly' to cut out the hassel, although it technically wouldn't be so appropriate now that it has evolved into a Wigglytuff. Snubbull's nickname is the same as the Japanese name of Snubbull, Buruu, which has the same katakana writing as Blue's name (which is also Buruu), and the writers are fond of calling it Buruu's Buruu. For a long time I didn't give Snubbull a nickname, but now that it has evolved into a Granbull and Blue continues to call it Buruu in the Japanese version, it will be weird to nickname a Granbull Snubbull, so I changed it to Blu, keeping a phonetic and spelling resemblance to Blue's name. Incidentally, Chuang Yi nicknames a few of Blue's Pokemon the same way starting in the FRLG series.
Yellow: All her pokemons have the term '-suke' following, which vaguely means 'the one who's..', like 'Chibisuke' means the short one (not in the sense of identifying who or which person, but rather in the sense of a name). I couldn't find anything suiting in the english language, so I simply mimicked the word 'suke' and added '-sk' to all Yellow's pokemon names. Raticate is named Rat-chan which follow's Blue's way of naming, so I called it Ratty instead of Ratask or something. For Butterfree, I initially used the name 'Freesk', but later changed to 'Peesk' since it mimicked the original Japanese sound 'Piisuke' better. Chuchu's original name is kept.
Gold: All his pokemons have the term '-tarou' following, which is a name usually given to the eldest child in a family in Japan. Again, I mimicked 'tarou' and added '-taro' to his nicknames. Previously, I simply opted for the '-ro' sound and attached it to the end of their species names, but rethought about it, and decided to use '-taro' instead. For Pichu, it is a bit tricky because for the phrase 'chu', the Japanese phonetics is actually 'chu-u'. Pichu's nickname in the Japanese version has the final 'u' cut out, but it wouldn't have made a difference in English, so I simply cut the 'u' and made it 'Pich'.
Silver: Like Green, no nickname in the original version.
Crystal: All her pokemons have the term '-pyon' following, which is a sound made when one jumps. Crystal's mom is a very 'jumpy' and energetic person and she has somehow taught Crystal to name all her pokemons followed by this term. I mimicked 'pyon' and simply used '-peon' to name Crystal's pokemons. Previously, I opted for the '-on' suffix only, but rethought about it, and decided '-peon' will be more suitable.
Ruby: I basically kept all the original nicknames coz they're in english anyway, though 'Coco', 'Zuzu' and 'Popo' do not really appear in the English names.
Sapphire: With the exception of Blaziken, all of Sapphire's pokemons have a repeating phrase or sound in their nicknames that play on their original names, like 'Dorara', 'Eruru', 'Tororo'. While I keep and only slightly altered some, (I kept Tororo, and simply made Eruru Wailulu, and Phadondon, Phadodo) I changed that of Lairon to 'Ronono' coz 'Dorara' doesn't seem to appear in neither Aron, Lairon or Aggron. Same reason for change of Jirara to Relili. Blaziken is called Chamo, which means fowl. Unlike the japanese names, where Achamo, Wakashamo and Bashamo all have this term, there's no real term that links Torchic, Combusken and Blaziken except the word chicken. So I played around with the word a little and made it 'Chaka' to reflect this and stay as close to 'Chamo' as possible.
Emerald: Emerald doesn't seem to name his pokemons either, so no nicknames.
Diamond: Diamond nicknames his pokemons by extending one syllable of their original names. From the looks of things, there is a chance that the writers are playing a trick on the nicknames of Dia's pokemons, since Pooh, Beh, Roo and Lee make up most of the word P. Berlitz, the first name initial and last name of the Lady. Let's see if Dia is going to catch a Pokemon with 'Tsu' in its original name to complete the picture. In the most recent chapter he is seen along with Sebastian's Weepinbell (Utsudon). Given its name and 'eating' nature after evolution, this is likely the Tzoo we are waiting for.
Pearl: Pearl adds the suffix '-hiko' to all his pokemons' names, which is used in japanese to refer to a noble person born under the royal blood, more or less resembling the 'Sir' or 'Lord' titles given to people coming from prestigious families in english. Thus, I picked '-lord' and added it to his pokemons' names.
Platinum: Platinum is the person of the trio in the latest series who doesn't nickname pokemons.
Black: Black uses the same naming style as Red, truncating his Pokemon's species names to get their nicknames.
White: White uses actual English names for most of her Pokemon. While they have special meanings tying to the Pokemon's various aspects in Japanese, the meaning is usually lost in English. Her Tepig, Gigi, follows the official English name given by Viz.
List of Japanese (official) / English (fan-made by me) nicknames:
Fusshi = Saur
Nyoro = Poli
Pika = Pika
Gyara = Gyara
Gon = Lax
Pute = Aero
Vui = Vee
Kame-chan = Turtley
Puriri = Jiggly
Piku-kun = Cleffo
Meta-chan = Ditty
Nido-chan = Nidory
Tat-chan = Horsey
Buruu = Blu
Chuchu = Chuchu
Rat-chan = Ratty
Dodosuke = Dodosk
Omusuke = Omask
Gorosuke = Golosk
Piisuke = Peesk
Baku-tarou = Explotaro
Ee-tarou = Aitaro
Nyoro-tarou = Politaro
Uu-tarou = Sutaro
Man-tarou = Mantaro
Kima-tarou = Suntaro
Toge-tarou = Togetaro
Pichu = Pich
Mega-pyon = Megapeon
Muu-pyon = Smoopeon
Ebi-pyon = Chanpeon
Para-pyon = Parapeon
Uin-pyon = Arcapeon
Nei-pyon = Tupeon
Kara-pyon = Cupeon
Bari-pyon = Mimpeon
Chamo = Chaka
Dorara = Ronono
Eruru = Wailulu
Phadondon = Phadodo
Tororo = Tororo
Jirara = Relili
Diamond (simply a change of spelling for easier pronunciation)
Ru- = Roo
Be- = Beh
Pu- = Pooh
Ri- = Lee
Mu- = Moo
Saruhiko = Chimlord
Perahiko = Chatlord
Torahiko = Raylord
Zeruhiko = Zellord
Tarohiko = Taulord
Diguhiko = Diglord
*Coronis hasn't come up with nicknames for some of the BW characters yet, so those listings are just placeholders
War = Brav
Poka/Chao/Buoh = Tep/Nite/Boar
Musha = Musha
Tula = Tula
Goura = Carra
Supporting/Recurring Character Names:
As you may notice in the recurring character bios page, all characters have names, but the truth is not all of them do in the original japanese version.
1) Bozz - he was somehow given two names in the original version. He was named 'Boozu' during the yellow saga, but perhaps the creators forgot or something, they referred to him as 'Junji' once in the Johto saga. I basically kept the name Bozz
2) William - he was named Akihito in the original version, and I did some searching on the pokemon game and found out one character in GSC is actually called Akihito (not a supernerd there, though). I checked the official english name of Akihito and it's William, so I gave it William
3) Oceano - Oceano was never named in the original version but they just call him swimmer boy. Some hunch came along and I simply called him something related to swimming
4) Wilton - Wilton actually is in the GSC games. I think he's in Mahogany and he's the one who phones you about the appearance of Remoraids in the region. Though Wilton's name never officially appeared in the manga, the writers once wrote in the 'Q&A' section of Netkun that the 'fisherman who acquanted with Yellow is the same one who calls you about sightings of Remoraids'.
5) Joey (Chuang Yi: Grant) - Joey actually appears in the GSC games as well. He's Japanese name is 'Gorou' and he's the first trainer fighting you on the way to Violet City, and he owns a Rattatta in the game as well!
6) Kylee - You can fight Kylee in Winona's gym. Like Joey, Kylee is a character taken out from the actual gameplay.
7) Jack - In a similar fashion to Wilton, Jack is in the R/S games though his name has never been officially mentioned so far in the manga. In the Q&A section on Netkun, the writers have written that 'the swimmer boy who witnessed the fight between Ruby and Norman can be fought on sea route 133. Like in the games, he owns a Staryu and a Gyarados'. And that's why you also see an Gyarados in the bio of Jack which hasn't made an appearance in the actual volumes yet. (It will soon, however, coz I've seen it in the September issue of the Grade 5 Netkun magazine)
8) Mazie - this granddaughter of Kurt doesn't even have a name in the original games but is given one in the anime. A while ago, someone posted a question on the Netkun website asking her name, and the writers replied 'Chie-chan', which after some look up, is actually the same name used in the anime. As the english name of her in the anime is Mazie, I just kept it the same in the manga.
9) Brinca - this peculiar old woman on Two Island in the FRLG arc is named Kiwame in the original Japanese version. The name Kiwame plays on the fact that she comes from Kiwa-no-misaki, translated as Cape Brink in the english games. So the Kiwa part means Brink, and after looking up in the dictionary, Wame possibly comes from Wameku, a verb meaning to call. From Brink and Call, I came up with the custom name Brinca. On revision, Kiwame itself actually means 'ultimate', and a more appropriate name for her should be 'Ultima', but since the name Brinca has been used all along, I did not intend to make shifts to this name. In the Chuang Yi version, she is named Kimberly, most likely chosen for phonetic resemblence to Kiwame.
10) Prof. Weircove - this young lady who is the scientist that researched on the Green Orb to control Rayquaza is named Prof. Yanase in the original Japanese version. Yanase is a common surname in Japan, where Yana means weir or fish trap, and Se means the shallow waters of a cove. As such, I have named her Prof. Weircove.
Team Aqua / Team Magma:
If you've played the RS games, you will know that TA and TM each has two executives only (TM - Courtney & Tabitha, TA - Shelly & Matt). In the manga, an extra male executive is added to each team to make trios. For TM, an original character called Hokage is introduced, and for TA, another original character called Shizuku is created.
First, I'll explain my choice of English names of TA. The trio has the name SSS (ThreeS), which comes from the fact that Shelly (Japanese: Izumi, Chuang Yi: Angie), Matt (Japanese: Ushio, Chuang Yi: Ark) and Shizuku (Chuang Yi: Amber) all have the su or zu syllable in their names. Naturally I'd need to pick a name with S for Shizuku. If you've been following the summaries that I write for the site, you'll notice that Scott is the first name I picked for this character, but since Enishida's official english name turns out to be Scott, I have to change it to avoid confusion. Not left with too much choices of male names that start with an S, I simply threw in Sean, hoping that no future major characters will bear this name.
Now the problem is Matt. It is his official english name yet there isn't any S in his name. So I deliberately call him Matts just to fit the SSS theme.
For TM, the trio is known as the FireHeads, which doesn't affect the way I name characters much. Tabitha (Japanese: Homura, Chuang Yi: Mitch) and Courtney (Japanese: Kakari, Chuang Yi: Marge) are taken directly from the games. For Hank (Chuang Yi: Mack), the phonetics of Hank seems to resemble Hokage quite a lot, and again due to it being a way too common name to be used in the future, I picked Hank for Hokage.
1) Neo Team Rocket - This is a name I give to the TR resurrected under the Mask Of Ice in Johto during the GSC saga. They are known as simply TR as well in the manga. I just thought calling them neo would differentiate them from the time they're directly under Giovanni.
2) The Beast Warrior Trio - Now in the FRLG arc, the Giovanni-led TR makes a come back with three new admins which are known as 'San-jyuu-shi', literally translated as 'The Three Beast Soldiers'. While I initially intended to simply call them the 'Beast Trio', it might confuse readers with the legendary Entei, Raikou, Suicune beast trio, so I added the warrior part to the name.
For their separate names, Jagura (Japanese: Chakura), Oca (Japanese: Ouka) and Storc (Japanese: Saque) are the custom names I gave them. It took me a while to figure out a meaning behind their original names, and while I still might be wrong, I realized that their names are all playing on actual animal names. These names might be subjected to change if future storylines actually give better explanations of their name-origins.
For Chakra, I feel that it is adapted from jaguar, and possibly making a reference to chuckle as well, since that is what he always does, so I used Jaguar, and twisted it a little like in the Japanese to make it Jagura. In the Chuang Yi version, he is named Carr, most likely chosen for starting with the same letter as the Japanese name.
For Ouka, the first impression was the term ogre, but afterwards I thought it might have a slight reference to the killer whale orca as well. Oca is from orca, with a slight twist to sound closer to the original name again. In the Chuang Yi version, he is named Orm, most likely chosen for starting with the same letter as the Japanese name.
Finally, for Saque(may also be romanized as Saki), the only thing I found was the fact that the long-neck birds like cranes, storks, or something like that are named Sagi in Japanese. Stork seems to resemble the phonetics of Saque a little more, so again, a little twist to the word yield Storc. I admit that her features make her look feline though. In the Chuang Yi version, she is named Sird, most likely chosen for starting with the same letter as the Japanese name, and perhaps coming from bird as well.