This mainly deals with the many commonly raised queries 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 was started by Hidenori Kusaka and Mato. Hidenori Kusaka creates the plotline while Mato does the illustration. During the GSC arc, Mato fell ill with a condition that affected her hand function, forcing her to quit. Her job was taken over by Yamamoto Satoshi, who has been doing illustrations for the manga since then. Yamamoto Satoshi is officially credited as the artist in Volume 10, where the Crystal saga began.
2) How is PokeSpecial released in Japan?
In the past, PokeSpecial was serialized in several Grade magazines, but with their cancellation, the series currently runs on two main magazines: Corocoro Ichiban, a monthly magazine, and also Pokemon Fan, which is Pokemon-centered irregular release. Currently, the XY arc is being serialized, while the BW arc has just completed volume compilation. The B2W2 arc has completed their magazine run, and is expected to go into volume format following BW. One new chapter is released each time in each magazine, 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. Original materials are often added when the chapters are compiled into volumes, and a significant portion of the Platinum and HGSS arcs, especially their conclusion, were only available in the volume format. Starting from April 2014, the XY arc is being pre-published into a separate collection, which will consist of chapters being serialized in Corocoro Ichiban, but not those in Pokemon Fan. The conventional compilation will continue, and according to the writers, this new publication method allows early compilation of the XY arc into volume format, and also serves to lessen new readers' burden to go through dozens of old material. It may also alleviate the pressure to rush the B2W2 arc, which has limited magazine chapters.
PokeSpecial is not currently being serialized in any English-based magazines, but the series is being translated by VIZ in English, and by Kurokawa in French. Singapore's Chuang Yi also translated the series in English before the company closed down. Viz has released the RGB, Yellow and GSC series mostly according to their Japanese formats, except volume 14 which included the final chapters of GSC from the Japanese volume 15. The RS series is currently being continued where GSC left off, and is expected to progress into FRLG and Emerald eventually. On the other hand, the DP and Platinum series were being released as a separate series, and the HGSS was also given the same treatment, with the 4 HGSS chapters in the Japanese volume 43 moved to the equivalent volume 42 in English. The BW arc was released as mini-volume formats in English, but full volumes were released afterwards, under a separate title again, following the Japanese format except the HGSS content omission from volume 43. In French, only the BW arc was released, having full volume thickness but only compiled the magazine chapters directly, thus having different covers and listings from the Japanese volume release.
3) When and how is the Netkun site updated?
The official Netkun site is updated once each month, usually at the beginning of each month, updating the news, latest plot teasers as well as authors' corner. Occasionally, there will also be updates to the Move-Dex and Poke-Dex on the site. The gallery of the site has also not received any updates for years.
4) How many volume issues are there so far?
In Japan, 51 volumes have been released. Vol. 52, which begins B2W2, has not had a release date announced yet. For the English version by VIZ, the titles that follow the Japanese numbering is currently up to volume 25 at the FRLG series. The DPPt series is completed at volume 11 (Japanese volume 40). The HGSS series has been completed (2 volumes in total, the Japanese 41 and 42). For the BW arc, the full volume format is up the fourth volume (Japanese vol. 46), while the mini-volumes are still being published.
For the French version, 9 volumes of the BW arc have been released so far, and only 4 magazines chapter have not been compiled.
For the Chuang Yi versions, 41 volumes have been translated and released before the company shut down their business. Shogakukan Asia has carried on and released volumes 42 and 43.
When Viz first started translating the series years ago, 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 two magazine tend to go out of chronological order during their monthly release. As Corocoro Ichiban is a monthly magazine, its serializes the main plot. Pokemon Fan usually feature chapters which chronological order is unclear, but usually happens some time further down the timeline compared with the Ichiban chapters. It is worth noting that the Fan chapters may be out of chronological order themselves, which means a chapter released on a later Fan issue may actually preceded that of the previous issue. A good example is that of issues 31 and 32, which feature the Cold Storage chapter and the Battle Subway chapter which White encounter Shauntal. The two chapters were reversed in chronological order when compiled into volume format.
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. This holds true in VIZ's republication of the series.
7) How did the writers come up with the idea of Blue and Yellow? And what is the real deal with Emerald and Wally?
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 Doduo to ride on.
At one point during the RS series, Wally was planned to represent the Emerald game as the third Pokedex Holder. He was named Hoenn's third Dex Holder in the magazine chapters, and even registered himself on the third Dex. However, the writers eventually decided to design an original character, Emerald, who replaced Wally as the true representation of the Emerald game. Aspects of Wally's Dex Holder status were altered when the chapter went into volume format.
8) How did the writers come up with the team lineups for the characters?
Early in the series, 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 Pokemon fulfill this criteria (Cut - Saur, Fly - Aero, Surf - Gyara, Strength - Lax, Flash - Pika, bear in mind HM 6-8 did not exist back then). Even if not all HMs could be included, 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 yellow. However, the colour rule was not really observed in Blue's team of excessive pink, and Crystal didn't really have a surfer on her team. From the Hoenn Dex Holders onwards, the aforementioned two rules were even less true, and the choice of Pokemon appeared to be character oriented. For example, Dia's Pokemon were slow and bulky, while those of Pearl were fast and agile, matching their trainers' traits. Certain Pokemon choices were based on polls and popularity. A good example is Y's Sylveon, which the writers planned to give a Dex Holder since its introduction.
The following is about a few alterations or changes I made which do 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. VIZ also used these names similarly, except Snorlax who was named Snor.
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, which were mirrored by VIZ.
Yellow: All her Pokemon 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 Pokemon 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'. VIZ used the suffix -o to nickname Gold's Pokemon.
Silver: Like Green, no nickname in the original version.
Crystal: All her Pokemon 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. Both Chuang Yi and VIZ adopted the suffix 'ee' to Crystal's Pokemon nicknames.
Ruby: I basically kept all the original nicknames coz they're in english anyway, though some of the phonetics do not really appear in the English names. VIZ corrected this by using syllables from the English names instead.
Sapphire: With the exception of Blaziken, all of Sapphire's Pokemon 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. Chuang Yi added '-o' as a suffix to her Pokemon's names, while VIZ didn't really follow any fixed format.
Emerald: Emerald doesn't seem to name his Pokemon either, so no nicknames.
Diamond: Diamond nicknames his Pokemon by extending one syllable of their original names. I kept them the way they are due to a previous suspicious that the phonetics would make up the word P. Berlitz (Platinum). This was later proven false with the introduction of Moo (Mamoswine) and Ghee (Regigigas). Chuang Yi picked a single syllable from their species names, while VIZ did something similar with some twists.
Pearl: Pearl adds the suffix '-hiko' to all his Pokemon 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 Pokemon names. Chuang Yi simply used '-hiko' directly, and VIZ changed them to '-ler'.
Platinum: Platinum is the person of the trio in the latest series who doesn't nickname Pokemon.
Black: Black uses the same naming style as Red, truncating his Pokemon's species names to get their nicknames. I mirrored the names used by VIZ.
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. The exception to this is Yunibo, which is not really an English name. For this I used a slightly altered phonetic spelling Unibo. VIZ kept most of the namings except Jessica and Yunibo. Her Tepig, Bubu-chan, was named Gigi by VIZ, which I mirrored.
Lack-two: Doesn't nickname his Pokemon
Whi-two: Doesn't nickname her Pokemon
X: Again, X uses a truncated syllable from the species name, although Kangaskhan is the only Pokemon he owns so far. Baby Kangaskhan had an extra 'Ko-' preceding its mother's nickname, and I just added an '-o' as a suffix instead.
Y: Y doesn't seem to have any naming patterns. Fletchling uses the '-chan' cutesy method which I replaced with '-y', while her Sylveon uses repeat syllables.
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
Gi- = Ghee
Saruhiko = Chimlord
Perahiko = Chatlord
Torahiko = Raylord
Zeruhiko = Zellord
Tarohiko = Taulord
Diguhiko = Diglord
War = Brav
Poka/Chao/Buoh = Tep/Nite/Bo
Musha = Musha
Tula = Tula
Goura = Costa
Garu and Ko-Garu = Kang and Kango
Marisso = Marisso
Salame = Salame
Elec = Elec
Yako-chan = Fletchy
Vuivui = Veevee
Kerokero = Frofro
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. From the BW arc onwards, I tend to simply use their Japanese names directly.
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 Berlitz - this young lady who is the scientist that researched on the Green Orb to control Rayquaza is named 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. Later, it was revealed that Yanase was her first name instead, but I still kept the same word.
11) Phool & Ignor - Platinum's bodyguards are named Paka and Uji in Japanese, which are corruption of Baka (stupid) and Muji (ignorant). I adopted their names from fool and ignore with a twist.
12) Secretta - Drayden's secretary is named Hisoka, which meas secret.
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. VIZ also adopted the name Amber.
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. VIZ named him Blaise, and the trio is named the Three Fires.
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. VIZ named them 'The Three Beasts'.
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. VIZ adopted the same 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. VIZ adopted the same 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. VIZ adopted the same name.