Welcome back to “Pop Places IRL!” Miss the series? Today I’ll be taking you to Red Dragon Island and comparing it to its counterparts in real life. And if you like the sound of that, be sure to check out other Pop Places IRL posts.
So… where in the real world is Red Dragon based off of? Well, we already know that the island is based on the Magic Tree House books, so where is that based off of? The answer to that question is right in the novel’s description!
“Jack and Annie are headed to a land of fierce samurai and great beauty, the capital city of Edo (now the city of Tokyo), in ancient Japan in the 1600s. They bring only a research book to guide them and a magic wand with three special rules.”
Japan it is, Poptropicans! Wait, wait, wait, hold on… what about Main Street? What about Jack and Annie’s hometown? Well, “Frog Creek, Pennsylvania” is sadly a fictional city, but Pennsylvania’s neighborhoods match up pretty well anyway!
Okay, now we can head over to Old Japan. We have many sites to see here, foremost being the imperial garden that our Poptropicans come across during our adventure. Basho’s Garden, which we visit later in the game, offers a similar setting. At both locations, we see beautiful Japanese trees, flowers, and huts over water. Looking at the IRL version of the scene, things seem pretty accurate!
Moving on, we come across the Great Bridge before truly entering Edo! The resemblance of the bridge is uncanny to the Shin-kyo Bridge in Nikko Japan, which demonstrates very similar architecture and color.
Next we have East and West Edo, which then lead to the fortress and the secluded lake. Red Dragon shows us a marketplace, paired with a stunning landscape, bonsai shop, and more. Though times have greatly changed since the days of Ancient Japan, its rich history can still be seen in the distinct architecture and environment.
Even the Fortress in game mimics the classic Japanese architecture used in palaces and castles. Perhaps some stylistic choices were taken in Poptropica to add some more pops of color?
Before we wrap up our trip through Tokyo, who could forget about the unique apparel and characters that we come across on the island? Geishas, sumo wrestlers, and ninjas alike are memorably encountered.
Pretty cool, right? Many people in the community agree that Red Dragon Island has some of the most beautiful scenes in Poptropica. Makes me want to go visit Japan! 🙂
That wraps up our post, so what do you guys think of the comparison? Does Poptropica accurately capture Japanese culture?