Only the Fellowship watches this place now.
Meiro City is the popular name for an extremely densely-populated urban area in Tatsu. The name is a partial misnomer, as Meiro is actually a settlement consisting of tenement buildings in the Jade City metropolitan area.
Meiro City is located just north of the Jade City Center. It consists of two large semi-circular 'blocks' with a fairly large, open circular plaza in the center that houses the Gym and the Ariados Shrine. These two blocks were originally divided by a four-lane road that bisected Meiro with a rotonda around the plaza, so Meiro and its plaza fit neatly into a Poké Ball shaped layout. However the city haphazardly developed a network of bridgeways over those roads that grew into dwellings themselves, merging the two halves and turning the road into a tunnel.
Because of the city's severely cramped quarters, the plaza is the only area of the city that receives direct sunlight most of the day.
Meiro was once a small, humble trading post. But thanks to a number of historical mixups about who owned what, the few blocks of Jade City that would grow into Meiro City were left to develop on their own with little if any official government or intervention to stop them. By the turn of the millennium, the amalgamated block of residences and stores that was "Meiro City," as it was now popularly known, had become a hive of all sorts of activity, both legitimate and criminal. Authors and artists took inspiration from its gritty, streetwise charm to conjure up many an award-winning film or comic book.
But as the new millennium settles in, it seems the greatest threat to this city is the one thing that helped it grow in the first place: development. With development sprouting rapidly on both halves of Jade City, Meiro has become an eyesore as much as a historical landmark.
SOLARUS in West Jade City and Silph in the East have set their sights on Meiro as their shiny new real estate and commercial developments expand outward toward the giant slum block. Both are also competing for the rights to host the city's gym on their respective sides of town, even going so far as to develop new complexes - gyms in all but their certification - hosting their own dedicated group of trainers and gym leaders. And with the seeming lack of documentation in Jade City Hall about this part of town, it seems like only a matter of time before Meiro is almost literally swept into the dustbin of history.
People & CultureEdit
Meiro City is statistically one of the poorest sections in Tatsu, let alone Metropolitan Jade. However, the people there seem quite happy with their cramped lot. The city is bustling as ever during daylight hours, the smell of cheap home cooking battling with the noxious fumes of waste for the nostrils of inhabitants and tourists.
The city is also one of the most demographically diverse in Tatsu. Citizens from every region of the country can be found here as well as a mix of residents of other parts of the world, moving to Tatsu looking for an escape from whatever it is they escaped from.
As such, the city is also both famous and notorious for its flea markets. Each 'building' in the giant block has its own set of stalls where virtually any kind of non-unique good can be found. Although prices are the lowest for residents, and much of the products' branding is dubious, a good negotiator can haggle a great offer if they can find one.
The city was once a hotbed of crime and the provincial headquarters for a number of villainous Teams. However, a particularly violent inter-Team war a few years ago warranted the full force of the Tatsu Police. But when this force was narrowly repelled, the citizens of Meiro rose up and created a shadowy vigilante group loosely inspired by Koga's ninja, but more accurately based on the ancient Assassins. The group was called the Ariados Fellowship.
The Fellowship's more precise and stealthy approach, tailored to the city's maze-like structure, proved much more effective and as a result most of the criminals fled across the bay to what would later become Giha City. While known criminals are still allowed to enter the city, they are prohibited from conducting activities against other Teams and especially against Meiro residents. They now mainly gather within the underground fighting arenas just to gamble and socialize.
Although crime has decreased in recent years thanks to the Fellowship, trainers are still advised to keep their valuables well-concealed and have their Pokémon on watch for pickpockets and kidnappers at all times. There are also reports of a new set of Triads wreaking havoc across Jade City and originating from Meiro, but these have not yet been confirmed.
The lack of sanitation in many parts of the city has resulted in an abundance of poison and insect Pokémon. Tenants also keep Fighting Pokémon on hand as protection, as well as electric Pokémon to provide power when their often illegal connections to the grid eventually fail. Because of the extremely tight quarters, it is generally considered impolite to raise Pokémon taller than 5'6" outside of their Poké Ball.
The only officially-sanctioned fighting area in Meiro City is a Poison-type gym. The gym leader, Hassan al-Zayyed, is also the head of the Ariados Fellowship. His inheritance of his late father's trade as an apothecary enable his Pokémon to ensnare their enemies and administer their poison in ways that would more effectively incapacitate those that challenge him. Defeating him earns the Web Badge.
Despite mastering the Poison-type, Hassan is also an honorable fighter, giving Antidotes to those that lose to him the first time. However, he has vehemently refused to take sides in the corporate conflict encroaching into Meiro's maze of passageways. He doesn't even seem to be unsettled or angered by the fact that even his own men are being bought out from under him, instead quietly believing that all the money in the world cannot buy principle.
Meiro also hosts a number of underground fighting arenas mainly to provide gambling and entertainment opportunities for locals. Located well off the beaten track, these arenas are actually very exquisitely (if not gaudily) furnished for their environs and feature seating for at least a hundred people.
Although allowed by the vigilante group as it has been a historical part of the city's culture, the very nature of the underground arena means that neither a trainer's nor their Pokémon's safety are guaranteed. But with risk comes reward, and the more popularly-known arenas can grant its battlers a great amount of reputation and money...along with the chance to meet some of Tatsu's shadier personalities, found sitting in the VIP seats placing the biggest wagers in the house.
Meiro City is directly modeled off and inspired by the former Kowloon Walled City, a very densely-populated slum in Hong Kong that was torn down in the early 1990s. Its interior takes inspiration from the street bazaars and flea markets found across Asia from the Middle East to India and China.
The name 'meiro' is derived from the Japanese/moonspeak word for 'maze' or 'labyrinth'.